DMR – take ‘n’ …

Seems Canada Post gave me a little present just in time for Christmas, on Christmas eve  — at the door later in the afternoon, I hear a ring, and outside was a package waiting for my signature.  It took a few weeks to get it (about 5 or 6 I think), but it was opportune.  New in my hands was the programming cable for my radio that I’ve had for a while not programmed …

xpr6550 Cable & Radio
xpr6550 Cable & Radio

While I’ve had this radio for a while, it was not very usable.  I did manage to get a charger for it (thanks Shaun) and verify it worked fine — I could not transmit on it was it was not programmed.  So, now that I have said programming cable, I took a stock code plug from the va3xpr site (thanks guys!) and used that as a template to set things up.

This radio has quite the heft to it – it’s solid that’s for sure.  Since I do have the remote speaker mic for it — and since I do not yet have a mobile digital radio (neither d-star nor dmr), I will use this one in the car for a bit with the external antenna and remote mic to see how it goes.

On another front, a local ham (William) is also new to digital radio – the dstar type and has a line on getting mobile power cables for the dstar radios we both have – so will be good to have an option on that as well.

So, all is good in radio land – now with UHF DMR radio #3 to try out 🙂

73, Dan ve4drk

2015 RAC Winter Contest

While being away from my home QTH for a couple weeks off and on, I wasn’t 100% prepared for this latest contest.  We also had quite a bit of white stuff (ie: snow!) fall in this period — covering up a number of cables/etc.  Oh well .. my long wire antenna was up (actually, it’s the alpha-delta DX LB Plus).  This little guy gives me 160-10 coverage pretty darn good.  I had it tuned up real nice on all bands for what I wanted, so I was thinking, great .. I’ll be ready to go — but alas, it sat on the ground for a while until I got to it and when I did put it back up, well, one band wasn’t quite tuned up .. matter of fact, it needs some work to get it back.  The 20m band on it was way out .. best was 3:1, so needless to say, it wasn’t going to work too well for that.  To top it off, my  other antenna – the vertical 5 band, which works great by the way – had a problem with it’s coax.  Some intermittent was in there making it not that good.  So I was limited to the wire antenna and off of 20m for the most part.  Oh well — that’s the breaks when I don’t have enough time 🙂

Stats from the RAC Winter Contest 2015
Stats from the RAC Winter Contest 2015

But, working the contest was fun, I heard LOTS of VE4’s! and worked quite a few of them.  I was surprised by the VE5 contingent that was out – made a few there as well 🙂  Later on the VE7’s were booming on 15m, and I was able to work those folks who were on.  I was pleasantly surprised the YT/NT made it on my chart.  I was also quite surprised at the signal reports I received — band gods be praised.  Only ones I didn’t work were NU/PE.  I did not put in the full time, no where near it — only 10 hours or so … but my score was OK.  I did manage to make a few runs on 15 and 10 was open for a bit it seemed.  40 was decent too.  My long(er) term plan is to upgrade my rig (TS450Sat) to a more current rig with newer integration  – might save my voice a bit 🙂

73, Dan ve4drk