Some further ham updates

Well, it’s been a “while” again – so I know I’m going to miss reporting on some interesting items – but will get to some I recall off the top of my head – at least I’m remembering something.
There was an interesting snail-mail package I received from BC. Seems that when I worked the BC QP a few months back I had not sent my logs, but did receive an email for me requesting I do so – I found it rather interesting at the time that they had not received one single log file from this province before (ever!), so I decided to send it in, with my low number of contacts.
Earlier a week or so ago, I received the following:

BCQP Cert

Which was completely unexpected!  (Note the low score – I made contacts with only 10 BC stations) … so .. next year .. hop on the bandwagon and listen in for these folks out west – they have a great website:  http://www.orcadxcc.org/   In case you did not remember, I do use VE4EV for my contesting callsign.

I also hosted a local meeting of Radiosport Manitoba – and my XYL made up some nice baggage-tags for our last meeting of the season:

Baggage-tag

Nice … oh yeah, there is a reverse side too with name/address 😉

Another interesting thing that’s happened locally — I’ve previously mentioned I run an Allstarlink.org RF site on 146.475 simplex (127.3 Hz tone).  It’s node is 45427 and is linked to our hub allstarlink.org site (47012) in our local datacenter.  It also supports echolink and is listed in the echolink directory  (node id is 817350) The RF site is on my own house in south St. Vital, but can be heard throughout the city pretty good.  (With continued expansion, we’ll have one at a better RF site soon).

On one of the ham-lists I subscribe to, the creator of the echolink program proxy/relay (PE1CHL – a callsign I recall from the 90’s NOS days running his software version of KA9Q NOS!) he was indicating they were looking for more NA-based echolink relays and proxies to service the local ham community.  (Local meaning NA-based)  A couple of hams in the US fessed up 24×7 resources to support this – including us local WPG ham guys.  Working with my son, Robert VE4RLK, who founded and runs a local internet hosting service here in Winnipeg for the past few years (pegboardhosting.ca), and utilizing his services he’s offered to our VA4WAN group for hosting ham services/sites, we setup an instance to support the echolink usage.

Immediately upon activating the proxies, it started seeing usage.  Once the admins verified the reliability, it was also added to the relay listings.  That really started bringing in echolink traffic.  After a couple of weeks, it is bringing in 30GB+ of network traffic.  It’s actually handling traffic from all over the world! (One of the nice features of pegboardhosting.ca is that there are no data caps or limits!)

One of the more recent interesting items with allstarlink.org is the added functionality of providing transport/gateway services for analogue/DMR/DSTAR/P25 systems!  With some added software (and with an added hardware piece for DSTAR), we can bridge the various modulations and inter-tie these systems together – now that sounds awesome – time to experiment again.  Certainly, the technology is new(ish) and can have growth pains, but hey, that’s what this hobby is all about – experimenting to see what works and what doesn’t – cool.

Speaking of brandmeister – I was on my DMR radio with my zumspot hotspot in DMR mode connected to brandmeister network and was talking to a ham near Ottawa on a local Yeasu Fusion repeater – now that was cool and seamless!

I’m running quite a few ham-systems on my local 2.3GHz VA4WAN connection – I really need to move to 5GHz and utilize the higher bandwidth – -latency is getting to be so-so – not bad, but it could be better!

Anyways, time to move on and get back on some more projects I’m interested in.  (SDR’s come to mind!)

73, Dan ve4drk