RaDAR – Travelling light

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Going out into the field to practice RaDAR, generally for a short period of time, requires a lightweight, proven kit that is always ready. I’ve tried many packs sometimes increasing the size and weight but I always return to the smaller and lighter packs. It’s just too easy to pack more and more stuff into a larger pack sometimes defeating the object of RaDAR.

I’m forever changing what goes into the pack and what does not. Rigs like the FT817ND offer many facilities sometimes all of them can be useful. Just recently I chose to put in all the wires I can to access all these facilites at the back of the rig without the need to remove it from the pack and route all the wires to various areas in the pack sometimes having to make holes between the pack compartments. I’m still not happy with the results but getting there, slowly.

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Digital communications are coming more and more into the limelight especially on smart devices which are inherently powerful and lightweight. It is no longer needed to carry a small (and relatively heavy) power hungry laptop anymore.

My only concern is the heat dissipation withing the pack as I like to protect the rig against any damage whatsoever. It is the nucleus of the RaDAR pack!

Antennas need to be light, efficient and be able to withstand abuse through bad weather or windy conditions. I’m still working on solutions for this, it’s an ongoing trial.

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RaDAR – Digital radio Android and the Signalink USB

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I only recently discovered Androids USB OTG through Julian OH8STN although the technology is a decade and a half old!

Last night I tried a USB wireless mouse adapter and in no time at all I could navigate my Sony Xperia C4 Android smartphone using the wireless mouse!

This morning I sat looking at my earphone / mic that was part of my old Samsung Galaxy Note smartphone and pondered on where to cut the lead to make a digital modes interface between my FT-817ND and a smartphone using the four pole earphone jack – luckily I put it back where I normally store it. I had a cable once, I put it in a very safe place, so safe I can’t remember where?

I’ve tested before but wanted to try again, the clock was ticking but I went outside and connected my 847’s Signalink USB to the smartphone. Using AndFLmsg and pressing “Tune” the Signalink’s PTT reacted!!!! Nothing on the receive waterfall though ….

Then I routed the cables through a powered USB hub (Otherwise the smartphone needs to power the Signalink!) and used DroidPSK to test. I switched on the 847 and DroidPSK’s waterfall came alive, on TX it transmitted too!!!!

No need to build a digimodes interface for Android, my Signalink USB infrastructure can now be used with Windows, Linux or Android!!!

I was late for work but it was worth it!

RaDAR – Discovering AndFLMsg

I edited one of the predefined message forms using it as an example and called it radar.html Then I copied the HTML file to the “NBEMS files” folder’s subfolders – “DisplayForms” and “EntryForms”.

The form was available for data entry on starting AndFLMsg on my Sony C4 Android smartphone. After “sending” I could display the “sent” message. The message is sent 10 times over using the selected digital mode (Data ONLY) on the specified audio offset frequency (1500 Hz).

This is what the example message looked like. I will make another tomorrow where one can enter all required RaDAR QSO info like grid locator etc. It would be great if a few of us could test the viability of this system for use in RaDAR on one of the chosen DX bands.

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RaDAR – Installing FL-Digi on an Android device

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I was browsing the Net to find out how I can use my Android smartphone with my Signalink USB sound interface to the FT-817ND. I believe Android version 5 has better support for sound devices than previous versions.

Then my thoughts turned to the very successful FL-Digi. I thought, what if FL-Digi could run on Android? I found a website where the APK can be downloaded and it can be acccessed on http://www.w1hkj.com/vk2eta/

You will have to tell your phone that it can install a program from the local SD card but switch it back again once you’re finished for safety’s sake! The APK is safe.

Somewhere in the back of my mind things look familiar and I recall John VK2ETA being involved with porting PSKMail to Android also using FL-Digi as the modem …..

Now to get my Signalink USB talking via my OTG USB adapter!