W8EMV - Whiskey Eight Echo Mike Victor (2022)

FediHams, a multiprotocol digital voice interconnect from DK1MI for Mastodon and the Fediverse

FediHams is a digital voice interconnection with support formultiple ham radio networks, put together by Michael DK1MI tosupport amateur radio use and experimentation for the Mastodonnetwork.

For more info about FediHams and instructions on how to join,see its home page at https://fedihams.net . For detailsabout Mastodon.radio - one participant in a federatedset of servers sometimes known as the Fediverse - seehttps://mastodon.radio .

The network as it's currently constructed allows use byamateurs coming in on the Echolink, Allstar, Yaesu SystemFusion, and Peanut networks, as well as to two differentDMR networks (Brandmeister and TGIF). All of these nets requireproof of amateur status to join. Not all of them requirea purpose built hardware radio to connect; in particular,Echolink and Peanut were both tested with apps running on myAndroid mobile phone.

I connected to the FediHams network with three differentconfigurations - Echolink (via phone), Peanut (via phone),and DMR (Brandmeister DMR via a DMR radio and my MMDVM gateway).

For Echolink, the configuration was easy because I alreadyhad the software running on my phone to support connections tothe regular Sunday night net run by the University of MichiganAmateur Radio Club. Use node DK1MI-L (963110) and you'll be added to FediHams. Please note, the Echolink use of Internet protocolsdoesn't always play nicely with modern firewalls, and I nearlyalways have to turn off wifi and connect through the data plan onmy phone; your results may vary. If you don't already have Echolinkinstalled, after you download it you'll need to validate your licensevia instructions at https://www.echolink.org/validation/ .

For Peanut, you'll want to download a client from the home baseof David PA7LIM at https://www.pa7lim.nl/peanut/ and send in yourproof of license via provided instructions. The software is providedfor Windows (not tested) and Android. Once that is all set(it took a day for me), you can configure the app to connect tothe channel of your choice and away you go. Please note that channellistings are provided via a drop-down menu keyed by country, andthe YSF-FEDI channel is listed under the DE (Germany) menu. Theuser interface is a simple push-to-talk, and I found the sound qualityquite pleasant especially because I could use a good headset on my phone.

I'm using the Brandmeister DMR network on my MMDVM hotspot, and a Radioddity GD-77 HT. Program your HT to connect to TG 2630002,and then check the Brandmeister network info page athttps://brandmeister.network/?page=lh&DestinationID=2630002 to seeyour traffic. On my MMDVM hotspot status page, the connection showsup as TG DK1MI. MMDVM will start monitoring FediHams onceyour first transmission goes through. If you want to always havetraffic to FediHams key up your radio, you'll need to connect tothe Brandmeister "Self Care" page for your hotspot and add 2630002as a static talkgroup.

My first test on FediHams was to use Echolink and DMR to both connectto the network at the same time and to talk to myself. Sound qualitywas fine, and the delay in transmission was about 4-5 seconds. (Delayscome from the distance of the Internet connection from Ann Arbor toSW Germany, but also from delays associated with voice transcoding.)I even had a pretty respectable echo loop set up as the phone and theradio listened to each other.

More fun of course is an actual QSO with an actual person on the otherend of the line. Michael DK1MI and I had a few nice conversations on2022-10-11 - one part "how do I sound" of course, and also a discussionof how the network is put together and some hopes for future use. DK1MIhas a blog at http://qrz.is which has details on a number of projects(hardware and software) with a ham radio theme.

This is my second go at getting a useful repeater configuration for usewith Mastodon.radio. You can see my notes on the first try athttps://vielmetti.typepad.com/w8emv/2020/07/feditalk-qso-dmr-brandmeister-tg-23514-with-m0yng.htmlwhere Christopher M0YNG and I both made a connection through aBrandmeister DMR TG. My hope is that the new FediHams setup willwork with connections from a variety of networks and will alsohelp discover new connections.


Posted at 12:50 AM in DMR, Echolink, Mastodon, Mastodon.Radio, Peanut | Permalink| Comments (0)

Operating notes: W8UM nets for Sunday, August 7, 2016

As previously noted the W8UM repeater on 145.23 is off the air because of construction on the University of Michigan central campus at the Weiser Building (aka Dennison Building, aka Physics and Astronomy building). The complete gut and rehab of the space meant that all systems in that building are being torn out and rebuilt, including the space that had been used for the 145.23 W8UM repeater and for the UHF link that connected the repeater to the UMARC shack at the EECS building on North Campus.

Despite the loss of the RF link, the W8UM weekly Sunday night net went on as scheduled tonight, using the Echolink node for net control. I tried to connect but was having a hard time getting audio out of it until I realized that Echolink doesn't play well with firewalls, so I turned up a VPN connection and was able to successfully connect through that.

After the 8:00 p.m. UMARC net there is a 8:30 p.m. ARPSC net on the 145.15 repeater, and several W8UM regulars are also regulars on that emergency and Skywarn preparedness net. So after the net closed we talked for a bit - we being me W8EMV, Augustine W8AWT, Don AC8TO, Matt WS8U, and Thom W8TAM. Several of those folks had attempted to run a net on 145.23 simplex, but the consensus was that we needed a net control station with better coverage, perhaps someone operating from the UMARC shack.

Look for future weeks for more improvised operations. Stuart W8SRC who does a lot of programming of local repeaters was away and not able to provide his assistance, but there were a lot of folks with hardware that could perhaps be put to good use temporarily or permanently.

Posted at 10:52 PM in Echolink, Operating notes, W8UM | Permalink| Comments (0)

Operating notes: Echolink commands, operating at low power, programming with Chirp

This list of Echolink commands should be helpful if you want to do more than listen to a repeater. Note that repeater operators can and will change any of these codes.

To switch a Baofeng UV-5R between high power (5 watts) and low power (1 watt), press the octothorpe key ("#") briefly. The "L" character will light on the display if you are operating low power. A long press of the octothorpe key will lock the keyboard or unlock it.

The current version of Chirp is 0.4.0. I updated my radio so now it has channels 1-70 with a bunch of gaps, and added Monroe County, Lucas County (Ohio), and Marquette County repeaters to my setup. Alas, the programming I did managed to get the receive frequencies correct but did not properly get the repeater offsets. I don't know exactly what happened, next time I'll go back and sort it out.

We went to a Mud Hens game (it was a good time, and they won). I wasn't able to find the Lucas County, Ohio Skywarn repeater. We had a little light rain in the first two innings but it cleared up and was a beautiful night.

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Posted at 06:53 AM in Baofeng, Chirp, Echolink, Operating notes, Repeaterbook | Permalink| Comments (0)

Operating notes, July 11, 2014: Baofeng UV-5R battery fade

I had my Baofeng UV-5R out and about with me today, monitoring W8UM and N8DUY. W8UM is the U of Michigan Amateur Radio Club 2 meter repeater on 145.23 Mhz, and N8DUY is the repeater on 145.15 Mhz that has the local Skywarn net.

N8DUY sends out a signal in morse code every 15 minutes (did I tell you I'm learning Morse, mostly so I can decode these tones) and so it was an interesting punctuation to a meeting I was having where radio communications was part of the conversation.

This evening I kept the Baofeng on and heard KD8YYI giving a call over Echolink, so I joined in on 2m and started to talk. Alas, the battery in my Baofeng seems to cut out on long transmissions at the end of a day of monitoring. I switched to Echolink on my Android phone and we had a good conversation. KD8YYI is from the Cincinnati OH area and he was just getting started on Echolink, so I invited him to join the Sunday night net at 8:00 p.m. on W8UM-R which routinely has calls from Hawaii, Houston, and Boston in addition to the Ann Arbor area locals.

Posted at 11:52 PM in Echolink, Operating notes | Permalink| Comments (0)

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