New Theme

Hey Guys, it’s a new theme!! As you might have noticed, this isn’t my usual blog theme. I have been looking at ways to keep my cloud computing costs fairly neutral these days – so, when I want to spin up something new in the cloud, I look at optimizing what’s currently there. I’ve moved from a host that ran ghost (for this site and a few other blog hosts), and migrated the site to hugo (I mean, it’s basically a static website anyway), and decided to upgrade the theme in the process of doing so.

Uniden HomePatrol and GPS

After a few months, I ended up getting a great deal on a HomePatrol 1 and 2 from a member of a local scanner group. I did get a lot of things included with it: Uniden HomePatrol I Uniden HomePatrol II 2 GPS Units (BC-GPSK) A litany of cables, USB Splitters, and 12 dead batteries. :) After getting everything unboxed, it’s been sitting on my desk and my bedside table, gleefully providing noise to my work day, or, my evening before I go to bed, depending on where I’m at/what I’m doing.

PortaPack H2+ HackRF One

Did you brick your PortaPack H2+ HackRF One when you went to update It to the latest firmware? Yeah. Me too. The reason Is probably kinda silly: I bought one off of AliExpress (Option 10 for those who are Interested): when I checked, most of the US suppliers that I trusted were out of stock and I wasn’t about to buy one on Walmart of questionable origin when I can just by one from China and put It together myself.

Hamvention 2022 Recap

I am sitting in a hotel near Memphis, TN this morning, after spending the last three days at Hamvention 2022. For those who are interested in Ham Radio, but, not necessarily In-the-know about Hamvention, the best way that I can describe it is that it’s where just about where anyone who has ever been involved with RF work goes. I ran into friends who worked at Motorola, friends who worked In Broadcast Television and Radio, friends who worked at iCOM, and plenty of folks who I’ve worked alongside or volunteered with in my days as a VE doing testing for amateur radio operators.

FT8 Contacts tonight

Working FT8 tonight I managed to have contact with the Netherlands, Georgia, Northern Ireland, and Italy with a little under 100 Watts. I consider that a small success. For those who are wondering: I normally do DX FT8 on the last Thursday of the month. I log via QRZ’s logbook, but, If you’d like to send a physical QRZ card, please note that my FCC address has changed as of 7/30/2021; I’ll send one back as soon as I get my new cards delivered, no return postage needed.

MMDVM and BrandMeister

If you’re banging your head on the wall as to why your Pi-Star MMDVM is not registering with BrandMeister and you’re getting the error: Login to the master has failed, retrying network You’ll need to go into BrandMeister Self Care, create a Random Password, and add it to the “Hotspot Security” section of the SelfCare page: Then, take the same password to your Pi-Star’s DMR configuration: Apply the changes to your Hotspot.

Radio Programming Software...

It’s 2021. Why does your radio programming software require a windows physical host? Seriously. I have to keep two computers (which, alternates between a Thinkbook and a Thinkpad X220T, depending on the radio), that just run Windows 10, and then deal with the maintenance and insanity of that. Windows isn’t my daily driver. OSX (for work) and Linux (for personal stuff) is. It’s not like I can really just throw my Windows image into a VM and run it that way (looking at you, TYT).

New Plates!

So, I finally got my customized plates in the mail today: This is nerdy enough, right? First thoughts: I noticed that the “With god, all things are possible” have been removed from the right side of the plate. I also noticed that the barcode in the lower right side of the plate is the same as my plate number. The good news? It’s already on my vehicle, along with some tamper-proof license plate screws, just in case there are any shenanigans – but, I live in a fairly decent condo downtown, and I’m not too worried about someone stealing my plate.

14 Hour Roadtrip with my HT

I set off to Pikeville, KY yesterday with my HT on, with APRS enabled, just to see how it works on road trips. I didn’t have any external antennas – just the antenna on the HT, inside my truck – and I’m actually quite happy with the coverage I’ve gotten so far: The downside of this was the battery drainage. My expectation is that it would drain similar to the Kenwood NX-5300 (I get about a day’s usage from my NX-5300), however, I only got about 4.

Kenwood TH-D74A

I acquired a new handheld, a Kenwood TH-D74A, from a seller on Craigslist this last week. I’ve been using it for about two days, and have some insights and thoughts on getting it to work with my setup. I do use APRS from time to time when I’m driving (but I don’t have my new vehicle totally set up yet – that’s probably a different post completely), and setting it up was almost like setting up my TM-D710GA; the menu options are basically the same.

Welcome to!

By now, you probably know that I’m Ian, and that I work during the day as a technology consultant: what you probably don’t know (unless you googled my License Plate) is that I’m heavily involved with amateur radio. I’ve been a radio junkie for most of my life – in fact, the first real job I ever had was at a cluster of radio stations in the middle of Ohio as a board operator.