Our second whole of club virtual gathering was a focus on Digital Mobile Radio with Scott VK7HSE.
Scott focused on the Radioddity GD77 handheld which is very popular in Southern Tasmania. Scott started with a short recap on DMR terminology then dived into exploring Roger Clarke’s OpenGD77 firmware and the features of this firmware enhancement.
This firmware update sits on top of the normal GD77 Firmware and provides many more features and the ability to download the user database for your area which then presents the callers callsign instead of their DMR identity number.
Scott took the audience through where to get the firmware update from GITHUB and then how to load the firmware on your GD77. Some of the features of the loading software were also covered.
The above code plug has been prepared by Scott VK7HSE. This code plug is offered without any warranty or liability from both REAST and Scott. You may use at your own risk. Please be aware you will need to update personal details in the codeplug before uploading to your Radio. These details will be your DMR ID and callsign. Please note this code plug will only work once the GD77 has been upgraded with the above firmware.
The presentation was recorded and can be found on the REAST YouTube Channel at:
Wednesday night – 15th April saw the REAST club hold its first virtual club gathering using the marvels of the Zoom meeting and collaboration software.
The night attracted 16 members and comments about the gathering were good.
We kicked off with a run down from the members of the REAST Committee on what we planning with the zoom trial from Richard VK7ZBX and Larry VK7WLH and then moved to a “What has the REAST Committee been up to” segment with Tony VK7VKT and Hayden 7HH.
There was then a broad discussion on the various virtual gatherings that take place that included:
The 4:30pm Net on the 6m repeater (TX 53.825MHz RX 52.825) each day
There are a group of people who monitor the 1296.15MHz during the day and so you will most likely get someone come back for a chat.
There is the 1296.15 QSO Party each Sunday after the Broadcast that you heard about earlier.
We thank Scott Hutchins VK7HVK and his dedicated team who installed these units following the successful TCF grant application to make the REAST clubrooms much more energy efficient.
We also thank the heritage team from the Hobart City Council for their assistance on the placement of the external units to maintain the heritage value of this historic building.
There is a large unit in the main clubroom and a smaller unit for the operating room and DATV Studio.
Main Clubrooms Heat Pump
Operating Room Heat Pump
These units will greatly increase the energy efficiency of the clubrooms and lower our power bill. They replace the three 3kW resistive fan heaters. They will also provide cooling in summer as well as heating in winter.
A huge thank you to the Tasmanian Community Fund, Scott Hutchins and Team, and the Heritage and Asset Management Teams at the Hobart City Council.
Given the recent advice from the Australian Government and Health Authorities about indoor events need 4 square metres per person, the committee has taken the regretful step of closing the clubrooms until further notice.
This affects the Wednesday afternoon group and the DATV Experimenter’s Night.
As things develop we will keep members in the loop through regular email and broadcast updates.
A huge thank you to Damien VK7SD and Alan VK7KAD who were our fantastic hosts for the tour. Both Damien and Alan are technical support staff at the ABC and welcomed and showed us around.
We started in the live music recording studio which was being upgraded and then moved to radio studio 703 and were shown the control surfaces and control screens that make up an ABC radio studio. Everything is configurable and can be personalised for any presenter in the studio. Next door the ABC Radio Hobart presenter and producers were busy with the evening program.
It was standing room only and we had a visitor in VK2 Bob VK7BS who has moved down here and is about to become a member of REAST.
The room was setup in a theatre of the round configuration with a big table in the middle with three different Oculus Rift headsets (DK1, DK2 and CE1), computers, high power video cards, controllers and cameras.
Ian then took the audience through the video games that pioneered 3D and VR with Doom and Quake. We started to see standardised 3D gaming engines that most manufacturers adopted.
Ian Mackintosh started with a presentation on Virtual Reality (VR) Archeology. Starting in 1965 with Ivan Sutherland and Ian took the audience through the development of computer graphics and specifically three dimensional computer graphics. The VR boom took off in 1970-80s with Atari with arcade games which overtook the military applications and development. The game that took Atari to another level was Star Wars with vector graphics and Ian bought along service manual for this game. The 1990 saw NASA put resource toward VR along with Nintendo Virtual Boy and SEGA cockpit arcade game. But unfortunately each manufacturer would custom build and develop the hardware and software. Most of these were commercial failures. Ian then went through the VR Recipe including 3D hardware, multi-thread multi core processors, six degrees of freedom, 3D audio, etc.
Over the last couple of months there has been a noticeable degradation of the VK7RAD 2m Analogue FM repeater, with increased noise and crackling on the audio, and people requiring more power to get in to the repeater.
Additionally the club had been loaning a Bushcomm SWC-100S Antenna from VK7FAZE for 3 years, but it’s power limitations for non-SSB transmissions meant it was also time for a more permanent antenna to be procured and the loan returned.
A TET Emtron ED-52c was purchased as a replacement multi-band HF antenna and a Diamond X50N and these were installed last weekend, where it was discovered that the Heliax feed line to the repeater antenna was damaged, and it too has been replaced.
All up, a good 3 hours was completing the necessary maintenance and has been well worth it, with many users of the repeater mentioning the improved quality of the signal and Dave VK7DM is also reporting that where he used to need 40 Watts to get into the repeater with a clean signal, he now needs only 1 Watt!.
Thanks to VK7s SD, ZMS, ZBX, ZCR, FPCL and BEN for their assistance on the day with the maintenance work!
The observant will have noticed that our last post was in November 2018. This certainly doesn’t mean that the club has been shut down since then, there has been a lot going on and we just haven’t had time to update you on the website!
That is now changing, and we will be getting you up to date with all the happenings over the coming weeks!
Today REAST held a Radio and Electronics car boot sale and BBQ as an opportunity for members to sell some things to raise funds for the upcoming Miena Hamfest as well as being an opportunity to acquire some treasure as well.
It was fantastic to see some 16 sellers on site today, having on offer a huge variety of wares including a variety of vintage/classic radios, some more modern radios (there was an IC-7300 and flex SDR gear on offer), along with a variety of accessories such as components, power supplies, microphones and more. The only thing missing were buyers, with sellers trading between themselves for some part. Some real bargains were missed out on!
The BBQ was a huge success, selling out of all the meat on offer and also raising funds for the Association.
It was clear that based on the activity today that Radio and Electronics Car boot sales may have to become a more regular event to encourage more people to come along.
On Wednesday evening, ABC Radio Hobart contacted us through our Facebook page wanting to know if someone would like to talk about the experimenters night and what happens at REAST.
Justin VK7TW made a detour from his regular sojourn to the club rooms to visit the ABC studios and give an interview on the things that have been happening recently on Joel Rheinberger’s Evening’s show.
With permission from ABC, we can share the audio of the interview below.