Continuing to explore Digital (Amateur) Radio

Well it’s been a while since my last post on digital radio. And as expected, things have moved on.

I now find myself with four Jumbospot (MMDVM hotspots), and an equivalent four digital radios. In addition to the Anytone 868, I now have a Retevis RT3S, a Yaesu FT-70D and an Icom IC-E92D. In short I have all the (in my view major) digital modes covered (DMR, C4FM and D-Star).

I now normally monitor CQ-UK on C4FM, REF001 C on D-Star, Brandmeister TG 2350 (as G4EID) and TAC-310 as KM8H (although using my UK call on voice) on DMR. This may seem a little excessive, but I like keeping all options open. But it has presented with challenges (or ‘learning opportunities’) along the way. First, you can’t really operate (simultaneously) with two DMR radios using the same DMR ID. I’m lucky I was able to use my US callsign on the second radio. The caveat being that any voice ID has to be with my UIK call. Second, there’s a tweak you need to do when entering your DMR ID in the different hotspots. It seems you use your DMR ID and add 01, 02, 03 etc for each different one. Well it works for me anyway.

Since I have four hotspots, what frequencies do I use? Well there are the two allocated (in the UK) frequencies, 434MHz & 438.8MHz. In addition I’ve chosen to use 434.5MHz and 439.975MHz. it’s interesting to see what others are using, and it appears I’m not alone in choosing the above options. The main thing is to avoid the satellite sub band and existing allocated frequencies.

I’m sure some might suggest why I don’t use just one hotspot and have it scanning all three modes? Well yes, that (technically) would work, but all radios would then be on the same jumbospot frequency, and the result I find of that, is that while one ‘mode’ is transmitting (and being received on one radio) the other radios make the most dreadful racket which I can’t seem to silence with any squelch method at the radio’s disposal. Plus, as you’re listening to one mode, you can miss calls on the other modes.

I have a fairly regular contacts with a couple of local amateurs, but tend to drop into listen mode on the other reflector(s) and talk groups. There can be some very interesting QSO’s to listen into 🙂

So, now I’m settled, I do intend to get on a little more now, digital radio offers some excellent opportunities to having world wide contacts without having to have substantial aerials outside.

If you hear me on at anytime, please give me a shout!

73, Mark, G4EID / KM8H.

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