Thursday, August 13, 2015

My Newest Project -- FLDX400 & FRDX400 Twins
Many Thanks To One Of My Mentors/Elmers - KØLW
Thanks Uncle Lee!

Lee dropped these beauties by the shop today.

I believe I will have a ball restoring these items back to working condition.

Lee says the receiver works as he had plugged it in when he picked them up.

There was a tube rolling around in the transmitter when we opened up the top of the transmitter case.

He says he never plugged in the transmitter.

From the overall looks, they are clean, very clean, since the receiver works , 

The transmitter may be OK as well. I guess I will have to fire'em up on the variac and see if they play.

I have detailed owners manuals as well, 

A plus in my book!

All For Now
Comments Invited - 73

SmØke out..

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Spring Is Here!

I wanted to give you all a little preview of some of the new RPi2 Allstar release capabilities.

  - Automatic Radio and Cable Sensing

 It will automatically sense the radio you have connected. Just hook the radio to the URI or any sound FOB with some wires connected. It doesn't matter what wires or how they are connected.
The RPi2 is smart enough to adapt to any wiring arrangement, it will just work.
This eliminates making special cables or figuring out how to connect your radio!
We hope to have have this to the point where you would not even have to connect anything, just lay the parts out on a table and press a button but that probably won't be until the next release.
More details will be in the documentation.

  - Thought control

 The new code has the ability to remember your node preferences and make recommendations for connections based on thought.
There will be a special wireless adapter that will connect via the GPIO and can actually read brainwaves to allow thought analysis to connect nodes and allow other Allstar command execution. The work on this is currently very preliminary but so far it is working well.
One of the best features of this mode is the ability for Allstar to know if you are aggravated with someone talking on the node and automatically switch it off or change nodes.

  - External Device Control

 There will be a limited amount of external device control in the first release.
We currently have it working with a smart refrigerator via Ethernet using a combination of DTMF and voice controls.
For instance you would enter a DTMF sequence and the refrigerator would ask you what you wanted to do. You could say "check temperature" to get the internal temperature.
You could also say "check soda pepsi" or check "beer" and it would check its inventory and report back the status.
This would be useful if you were busy in a conversation and you didn't want to get up and check. We will be adding more control capability in the future.
A toaster and a microwave interface are both in the works and should be in the next release.
We also hope to extend this so you can check other peoples refrigerators of other nodes.
This is especially helpful if it is a nearby node and you want to make a visit.

  - Digital Voice Detection

 And finally the best addition to the new code is a digital voice detector.
This automatically detects the crappy audio from a node that is connected to one of the RF digital voice networks - Dstar, Fusion, DMR, etc and automatically rejects and disconnect the call.
This is an especially useful feature that will keep our Allstar network functioning like it should with the best audio possible.
There will also be an optional feature that sends an Allstar advertisement back to the station before the disconnect telling them they should ditch their expensive digital equipment and join the Allstar team!

  So standby for the new RPI2 Allstar release coming in the 2nd week of April - and that is not a joke.

 Oh yes and don't forget what today is!


 All For Now
Comments Invited - 73

SmØke out..

And Thanks to Doug WA3DSP for the material for this post.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The K5TRA Allstar Web Transceiver

This is a very cool project from Tom - K5TRA.

Attached are some photos of my (just completed) Christmas toy, an Allstar web transceiver.

Complete with DTMF mic, just plug-in power and network and it functions just like a radio transceiver.

Here is more construction information of this device.....

The boards are:


modified USB audio FOB,

audio PA, and one of my regulator/fan control boards.

Attached is the schematic for the regulator/fan board.

In this application, I’m only using the regulator and LED driver (no fan).

I used SMD to mod the FOB and tacked the leads to the back of the FOB board with a hot glue gun.

I  used a 1&7/8” Green-lee punch to make the speaker hole in the enclosure.

I found the speaker grill on eBay.

The enclosure is a Hammond 1454N  ($20.76 from Mouser).

The front panel LEDs are TX, RX, and HB (heartbeat).

The mic PTT line pulls the FOB COS line (SMD diode to pin48 of CM108) low to key.

Merry Christmas,
Tom - K5TRA


 All For Now
Comments Invited - 73

SmØke out.....

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Prototype RLP 900 Mhz Repeater

This repeater has been on the build table for a couple of years now.
Been working on it in my spare time, early this morning 
I wired up the power distribution and the fan. 
I also laid out the proposed controller equipment locations to decide where that stuff should go.
Right now it is just a low power (8 watt) repeater, with the appropriate PA 
it could be a 20 watt power house at 927 Mhz.

I know Alex, KD6VPH would say bad things about me since I am using surplus TK-930 
(800 Mhz) LTR trunked LMR radios but hey it is a hobby and I don't care if it is wide band (5 Khz) or narrow-band (2.5Khz)at 900 MHZ since we hams can do what we want and I use what I have. 
I actually set the TX deviation to be narrow-band anyhow just to play nice with others.

These 800 Mhz  radios are a dime a dozen anyhow and they convert up to (902/927) just fine.
Besides KØXM and I have a "few" of these in the "warehouse" anyhow!
This will make a nice fill in link repeater with the addition of a Beagle-Bone Black Linux
controller and a DMK Universal Radio Interface (URI).

The system cabinet is a scratch and dent blemished Duracomm  RLP power supply chassis.
We get those on occasion and they end up in the scrap bin, so I grabbed one and proceeded
to lay out the repeater. It is 2U high and about  16 inches deep and 17 inches wide.

Even now has a official serial number label!
Of course it will never get close to 10 Amps, more like 5 or 6 Amps,
but in case I add a extra PA brick I have the label covered

Rear View - Just need to Add Antenna and Network Connections....

Will publish some more on this as time goes on......

Check out this web page on other Kenwood 902/927 Mhz conversions.

Have a Joyous Holiday....

All For Now 
Comments Invited - 73

SmØke out.....


Thursday, August 14, 2014

AllStar Node 41153 - 927.2375 - a B.Y.R.G Portable Repeater

The KØXM Portable Allstar Network repeater is complete!

Chuck - KØXM & I put the finnishing touches to it this evening.

The controller is a DMK Engineering URI and a Beagle Bone Black 
( in the orange case of course....) :) with a load of Arch Linux and Asterisk APP_RPT software.

I hope Chuck get a lots of use while in San Diego. It will let him pass some of his down time with us back here in KC while being on the road.  

The repeater was built in true Back Yard Style - mostly outside and with lots of recyled parts and pieces. While not very pretty it is a fully functional full duplex low power repeater. 
( 4 watts TPO)  

Parts Used: 
2 - Kenwood TK-941 - Recycled 900 Mhz                 mobile radios
1 - Beagle Bone Black with Allstar Software
1 - Orange BBB case
1 - DMK Universal Radio Interface
1 - Recycled Linksys SHSO router
1 - Recycled Sinclair 800-960 Mhz Duplexer
1 - Recycled 900 Mhz magnetic mobile antenna

1 - SM-25 recycled Duracomm power supply
1 - DB-5 recycled Duracomm DC power distribution block
1 - Pelican case of unknown origin, was given to us at  the Warrensburg hamfest this year.
All the mounting hardware was out of the well stocked junque box at home and at work.

All For Now 
Comments Invited - 73

SmØke out.....

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

August 2014 - Some New 900 Mhz Fun and Games!

Sorry for not posting in awhile. 

I been rather busy this summer with all kinds of projects and such.

Chuck - KØXM & I have been doing lots of things at some of our repeater sites here in the metro.

We have finally got network installed at the Foxridge site so we can hook the 927.5875 quantar and the UHF 442.100 repeater to our asterisk network.

Anyhow found out a few days ago Chuck, KØXM will be making a trip to 6 land later this month so he needs a portable repeater to keep in touch back home here in Ø land while he is there.

Hence this post..... here is the start of the project.

The pictures are in no particular order at this time will format them later today and write a description as we move along. 

The controller will be a DMK Engineering URI and a Beagle Bone Black ( in and orange case of course....) :) with a load of Arch Linux and Asterisk APP_RPT software.

Here at work we recycle almost everything, including blemished rack panels, they make great radio mounts for pelican cases ! :) 

Friday, April 11, 2014

More 900 Mhz Fun!

Well today is an unplanned day off from the normal working day. 

We are having some heavy, dirty, & very noisy work done here at the "The Facility".

So since I am Baby sitting the construction crews I thought I would "dust" off one of my staled 900 MHz repeater projects I had been working on in my spare time.

It is made into a scrap RLP chassis that got damaged in shipping and the front panel is also a scratch & dent special.

You see working here I have chassis options that some folks do not have.

The plus side is we have a metal brake and drill press and lots of hardware at my disposal.

I had the front panel cut for almost a year now, I got it drilled & painted this morning and I finally got the main chassis laid out & drilled today.

Glad I had lots of space here.. more holes.......... :)

So now I am dry fitting all the radio gear to see if there is any other holes and such that need to be added.

I added some more progress to the project, I had to re-drill the radio mounting since I did not allow for the front panel brackets, so everything had to move back 2 inches so it would fit.

I got to keep the duplexer holes, but I had top raise it off the bottom with some tall standoffs.

You all wonder what is inside??

  • 2 -TK-931 Trunked/Conventional Kenwood Radio.
  • 1 - Sinclair 800-900 low power duplexer.
  • 1 - DMK universal radio interface, to connect to the Allstar Network
  • 1 - Scratch & Dent RLP power supply chassis from the scrap bin
  • 1 - Scratch & Dent steel front panel of unknown model from the scrap bin.
  • Add some misc screws, fans and  such for the final hook up and connections.
Power out of this device will be about 8~10 watts, good enough to cover a 
small area or use as a low power standby repeater. 

All For Now 
Comments Invited - 73

SmØke out.....