Some other interesting modes of operation:
There seems to be a good bit of
interest in Echolink lately. Echolink is an internet means of
communication for licensed ham radio operators. By way of one’s
computer, it is possible to talk with ham operators all over the
world, either directly from one computer to another (similar to a
"chat room") or from computer through various repeaters that are
connected to Echolink. One of the two meter repeaters in Jackson,
TN, is connected to Echolink. Operation is simple. All that is
needed is a computer with a sound card, a microphone and the
Echolink program which can be downloaded free of charge. One must be
a licensed ham radio operator in order to use Echolink because some
of the communication available is actually transmitted over the ham
In order to take advantage of this means of communication,
while connected to the internet, type "Echolink" into your search
engine and find the option that lets you "DOWNLOAD" the Echolink
program. After downloading the program, you will have to register
your call letters, address, etc. with the forms that will appear.
Make sure the information agrees with that which is on your license
or you will not be verified. It may take a few hours or a few days
for you registration to take effect in that all calls are verified
manually with the FCC data file to make sure the call is legitimate.
Once your call has been verified, when you are connected to your
internet server, you can click on the Echolink icon that will appear
on your desktop screen, the Echolink program will begin and you will
see the wording: "Fetching data" (be patient while it gathers the
list of stations connected). Down below will appear the "NOT
CONNECTED" line. When data appears, you can select a station,
repeater or link to which to connect simply by clicking on one.
Then, after you are connected (which will show up at the bottom of
the screen), the space bar becomes your PTT button, or there is a
little lightening bolt up in the upper right hand corner that can be
clicked on with your mouse and use it for PTT. Each must be pushed
to talk and then pushed again to listen.
Some hams object to Echolink on the basis that it is not
really "ham radio." That can be debated back and forth and never
settled to the satisfaction of everyone. On the other hand, Echolink
has some advantages, one of them being that those who have only Tech
licenses can communicate around the world with the click of a mouse.
Don’t like the idea? Don’t try it. Like it? Give it a try. I
personally like it because I can get into a repeater in St. Louis
and talk with my son-in-law while he is driving around town talking
on his two meter radio. He does not have a low band rig in his car.
73, W4KRU Richard
for details and software
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Yeah! I know! It's about
time we get this going!
I'll write more on this later...
Here are a few links that will help you
understand the 'pros' and 'cons' of the APRS system.
Download UI-View Chester County Maps
Introduction to APRs from ARRL
There are several ways to go about getting
the needed equipment for you APRs station. Let's look at a few that are
One method is to use your computer's
soundcard along with a program such as UI-View. These two programs in
conjunction with a two meter transceiver and a small easy to build ptt circuit,
make a fairly good team!
The second method is rather a bit old
fashioned, but probably the most reliable. It consists of a two meter
transceiver, a TNC, and a computer. Just like the old days, HUH!
Let's discuss the AGW Packet Engine / UI-View combination a bit
In today's technology, computers and their
components have come a long way. One of these evolving components is the
personal computers soundcard. There have been countless computer software
programs written just for soundcard use. One of these is the AGW Packet
Engine. The AGW Packet Engine is a program that allows your computer's
soundcard to receive and transmit packets using AX25 protocol. Sound a bit
GREEK to you? That's okay! You just have to dive in head first!
On we go!
It's very simple actually! Let's
take the following components: a small inexpensive laptop (133Mhz), AGW Packet
Engine software, UI-View32 software, a two meter transceiver (could be an old
one...no need for pl tones) and a small and easy to build ptt circuit and
1. Download and install the AGW
Packet Engine on your computer (AGW
Packet Engine). Once installed, run it. A software license
agreement screen should appear. Please read carefully and choose one of
the options at the bottom.
2. Look in your systray and find the
AGW Packet Engine icon (Should look like two little towers).
3. Click on the icon and choose
4. A 'RadioPort Selection' screen
should appear. You should choose 'New Port' and then press 'OK'.
5. The first thing you will need to
do is to select what port you will be using for you PTT. We will discuss
this in detail a bit later. For now just leave it be.
6. The second thing you will need to
do, is choose your 'Tnc Type'. Click on the box and choose 'Soundcard'.
7. A 'SoundCard Modem/TNC Setup'
window should automatically appear. Just press 'OK'.
8. Find the box that has the 'DualPort'
selected and change it to 'SinglePort'.
9. Now press the 'OK' button at the
bottom of the window.
10. AGW Packet Engine will ask you to restart
the program. Simply press 'OK'. Go back to the icon in the systray,
click on the icon and select exit.
11. Restart the program...Once you have
restarted the program, there should be a small tnc icon next to the towers in
12. Now you are ready to install the UI-View
software. Yes, you must register the 32bit version of UI-View ($15.00 USD).
The maker SV2AGW has worked hard in making this program, so let's help him keep
up the good work. If you just can't seem to pay the $15.00, the 16 bit
version is free and will definitely keep your interest. Okay so download
and install UI-View from this web site UI-View
13. After the installation is complete, you
should see a UI-View icon on your desktop (looks like a globe in a box).
Double click on it. Several help windows will pop-up. It is
important that you spend the time to read them; however, if you do not, continue
to the next step...HI HI
14. At the top of the screen you will find a
menu bar. Please select 'Setup' (Another help screen will appear...just
read it or close it).
15. Select 'Comms Setup'. A screen
16. Find the 'Host Mode' box and select 'AGWPE'
and press 'OK'.
17. Go back to 'Setup' and now select 'Station
Setup' (Exit the help screen again).
18. Another screen should appear prompting you
for your call sign, latitude, and longitude. Find the GPS coordinates of
your position and type them into the box followed by N for latitude and W for
Latitude would be something like 30.43.39N and Longitude would be like 86.10.69W
19. Go down to your 'Unproto addess' box and
type in 'aprs,wide5-5'.
20. Under Beacon Interval (mins), change the
'Fixed' box from 30 to 45 and press 'OK'
21. If your soundcard is configured correctly
and the volume on your speaker is up, you should hear a short cluster of
22. Now, you must make a cable to go from the
speaker out jack on your two meter rig and plug it into the mic input or line in
jack of your soundcard. Most two meter single band transceivers accept a
mono jack; however, your soundcard usually must have a stereo jack. So
wire one end with a mono jack, then wire the stereo jack on the other making
sure the center conductor of the mono goes to the tip of the stereo. The
ground, of course, goes to the ground on both jacks
Receive Audio Cable. You should be receiving stations now.
Still Under Construction.....
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From a presentation at
FHUAC on 6/4/2002
PSk31, what is it:
- Keyboard to keyboard, not unlike RTTY
- 31.25 Baud
- At least 2 flavors BPSK and QPSK
- Loads of free software
- Not meant to replace anything.
- Takes advantage of the sound card DSP in
the common computer
- Uses a special abbreviated code
- “Wheel of fortune” : Example a single
‘1’ in a frame is a “space”
- Uses up to the most common 128
- Never two “0” in a row
- Frames start and end in a “1”
- Would normally be illegal by FCC rules
of coded transmissions
- Software dependant. Most psk31 programs are
- Need Sound blaster compatible sound card
- Most any older 486 would work well
- Most PSK31 software will also do CW, RTTY,
AMTOR, Packet, SSTV, FAX and more.
- Most of the software is FREE on the
- Most ham bands have frequencies allocated
to PSK31. 14072 for example.
- Works with most rigs
- AGC considerations
- IF bandwidth and filters
- 100% Duty cycle
- Some sort of interface, maybe VOX.
- 30 watts make you king, perfect for QRP.
The way it works
- 180 degree phase shift at 31.25 Baud makes
it two distinct tones at 15 cycles from center. Or 30 Hz wide
- Signals as close at 1000HZ away are not a
- Add 90 and 240 degree for error recovery
not error correction
Joe Loucka AG4QC -