At this time, we are only seeking Extra class volunteers.
When the Extra class pool changes later this year, we will be forming an Extra class educational campaign to help all you Generals upgrade!
We hope to announce a new FREE VE testing session schedule soon!
Much has happened in the world of D-Star over the summer, here are some brief highlights in case you missed any of it.
New Repeaters go live!
The GABAMFKRA (No, I don't know what it means) group went live with the WD2NY repeater on 144.980 MHz (port C +2.5 MHz) and 444.2375 MHz (port B) in Hauppauge (Suffolk, Long Island), NY.
This article, including a sneak peak video of a new Icom radio continues, click "Read More"
We are pleased to report that one of the more difficult (club related) tasks I’ve had to do is now complete. Our 2m repeater, KC2RA on 146.430 MHz (+1MHz, PL 136.5) has had its coordination updated and approved reflecting our moving the repeater back to Brooklyn. Additionally our new (ish) UHF WG2MSK D-Star repeater on 445.475 MHz (-5MHz, RPT1=WG2MSK B, RPT2= WG2MSK G) met with no objections to both the NOPC #16 filing to neighboring coordination bodies and MetroCor locally, and is now fully coordinated.
I would like to thank Jim, KC2LEB; Phil, K2RUH; Vinny, KB2PSI; and MetroCor for their help.
Click “Read More” to view the coordination documentation.
According to a University of Pennsylvania 16 page research document titled "Why (Special Agent) Johnny (Still) Can't Encrypt" reported on by The Register, the $25 GirlTECH IM-me toy can be easily reprogramed to knock out P25 radio transmissions to the extent of excluding specific subnets and users. Other simple devices were used to track specific users, and knock out encryption keys. Over a few months the researchers were able to easily hear plans for upcoming arrests, names and locations of criminals under investigation, and details of surveillance operations.
The researchers concluded that the P25 system isn’t designed with a properly layered security model.
Some mods for this device can be found here.
I recently acquired a Baofeng UV-3R dual band sub miniature HT as in import from China for about $50.00. This radio is made by Vero Telcom as a custom label product (watch out for their dual band mobile) and marketed by BaoFeng Electron Co, LTD, it is also available under several other names such as Magiksun. This radio is readily available to purchase from many online retailers, all ship from China (this article will not cover the legalities of importing your own radio or its lack of certification, please seek advice and reach your own conclusion) and will take two to three weeks to arrive.
This review is based on my opinions, observations, and specifications of the radio as I lack the necessary equipment to perform a lab analysis. I will also rely on the work of others by embedding various videos and other references that have already been accomplished. In short, this review is not meant to be gospel, and is not entirely original work.
At first look, this radio may seem like a clone of the Yaesu VX-3R. Remember the adage, never judge a book by its cover, looks can be deceiving.
We would like to announce the following changes to our KCRA repeater systems.
KC2RA 146.430 MHz +1MHz PL 136.5 Analog FM
Thanks to the dedication, hard work, and heavy lifting of our repeater technical committee (Jim, KC2LEB; Vinny, KB2PSI; Gary, KB2BSL) our Motorola repeater and cabinet is now in place and operational!
This repeater has significantly better sensitivity and power output compared to our backup machine.
All members and friends of the KCRA are requested to help us test the repeater by checking in to our net at 8:30 PM Monday, May 16th.
Additionally, the paperwork to update our coordination of this frequency has been received and is pending by MetroCor.
WG2MSK 445.475 MHz -5MHz D-Star Digital
This repeater has been re tuned to the new frequency listed. Coordination for the frequency is also pending, if it is not approved the frequency will change again.
Also, the repeater does not seem to be performing as well on this frequency. This could be due to some cable/connecter sacrifices that were made to get the 2m machine up and running, a programming mistake, or something else entirely.
I'll spend some time with it after Dayton to try and figure out why both receive sensitivity and power output seem to be down. In the interim, please do an echotest (UR= WG2MSK E) and let me know the results.
Remember, you may check our D-Star status page at any time to see what this repeater is up to.
Many of you are wondering what we are doing to enhance the usability and feature set of our repeater systems, here is a rundown.
KC2RA – 146.430 2m Analog
We are painfully aware that many of you are experiencing trouble using this machine. Last year our main repeater developed a problem in its receiver, we then switched to our backup repeater. This repeater is admittedly not as good. We are continuously looking for ways to improve performance. On April 3rd Jim, KC2LEB; Vinny, KB2PSI; and myself put in a day’s work and installed a new antenna at the site. It was hoped this antenna would perform a bit better than our current 30+ year old one, this was not the case, and last weekend I switched the antenna back to the old trusty one. Also last year the club received a donation of a Motorola MSF repeater. Jim, KC2LEB has spent a lot of time and worked very hard to get this repeater working on our frequency. Jims lab work is done, and the repeater will be moved to our site within the next few weeks. Next time you see Jim, please take a moment to thank him for his hard work and dedication. After the new machine is in place and working, the board will order our new fully loaded Arcom RC-210 controller.