N1MM Logger Plus

There is a new VB.NET ‘Plus’ replacement version of the popular N1MM logger coming soon! There is not much else info around but the screenshots look promising:


As it is VB.NET based, I was wondering if it will work on Linux / MacOS (e.g. by using Mono Framework)? It would be a pity if it remains Windows-only app after such a massive rework….

There is a Facebook fan page with regular updates posted and the app is now in beta-testing stage.

Would it have been better written in Java the first time instead so it would be truly cross-platform?

HSMM Mesh on Raspberry Pi

Broadband-Hamnet™ (formerly called HSMM-Mesh™)  is a high speed, self discovering, self configuring, fault tolerant, wireless computer network that can run for days from a fully charged car battery, or indefinitely with the addition of a modest solar array or other supplemental power source. The focus is on emergency communications.

In its current form it is built using the Linksys WRT54G/GL/GS wireless routers and operates on channels 1-6 of the 2.4GHz ISM band, which overlaps with the upper portion of the 13cm amateur radio band. Other platforms and bands are in development at this time. Next will be Ubiquiti equipment with others supported as development resources permit.

It’s fairly easy to flash an old Linksys WRT54G router with HSMM-Mesh (now called BroadbandHamnet-v1) firmware. The downside is that the routers are fairly old and not that easy to find anymore. Plus, they are fairly limited in functionality. It would be more interesting to put mesh software on a microcomputer such as Raspberry Pi or BeagleBone which I did.

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WSPR beacon on Raspberry Pi

This was probably one of the easiest fun projects I did. Basically, the software written by Guido PE1NNZ does everything – just download. compile, and run the code. True software-defined radio!

I downloaded the source code from https://github.com/threeme3/WsprryPi and then compiled it on my Raspberry Pi using gcc. I found  instructions coming with  the code very handy.

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Free DV – open source digital voice codec for HF

Want to try this out soon – need to interface my TS-520 to my laptop:

Amateur Radio is transitioning from analog to digital, much as it transitioned from AM to SSB in the 1950’s and 1960’s. How would you feel if one or two companies owned the patents for SSB, then forced you to use their technology, made it illegal to experiment with or even understand the technology, and insisted you stay locked to it for the next 100 years? That’s exactly what was happening with digital voice. But now, hams are in control of their technology again!

FreeDV is unique as it uses 100% Open Source Software, including the audio codec. No secrets, nothing proprietary! FreeDV represents a path for 21st century Amateur Radio where Hams are free to experiment and innovate, rather than a future locked into a single manufacturers closed technology.

FreeDV is a GUI application for Windows and Linux that allows any SSB radio to be used for low bit rate digital voice.

Speech is compressed down to 1400 bit/s then modulated onto a 1100 Hz wide QPSK signal which is sent to the Mic input of a SSB radio. On receive, the signal is received by the SSB radio, then demodulated and decoded by FreeDV.

FreeDV was built by an international team of Radio Amateurs working together on coding, design, user interface and testing. FreeDV is open source software, released under the GNU Public License version 2.1. The FDMDV modem and Codec 2 Speech codec used in FreeDV are also open source.

See a demo of a freeDv QSO:

More info at: http://freedv.org/tiki-index.php


DIY CW (Morse) beacon using TI MSP 430 – proof of concept

I wanted to build a compact CW beacon which I could use to call CQ in the fields when using a QRP transceiver or in a field day contest, or for a fox hunt. The TI MSP430 chip is very suitable for these applications due to its ultra-low power consumption and cheap price.

This is a first iteration of the beacon program and is my first program for MSP430. It only transmits one message in a loop.

The source code comes below…

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Get your own azimuthal map in 30 seconds

While googling for an azimuthal map for Toronto location, I came across a great web tool – the NS6T’s Azimuthal Map

Using it, you can generate an azimuthal map for a particular QTH.

If you live in Toronto, you can use the attached ones I have generated for FN03 grid QTH (Toronto, ON) using his site:

If you think NS6T’s service is worthwhile and would like to show your appreciation, I encourage you to make a donation to the K6LRG repeater and contest operation (look for the donate bottom near the bottom of their website)

NCDXF Beacons – windows mobile / pocket pc app

I realize there are many windows mobile and pocket pc devices lying around still in a good working condition. For example, I have a 10-year old HP Ipaq 4150 which  still works fast and well. The only thing I had to replace is a Li-ion battery (available on Amazon for a few dollars).

I also have a still working well 3-year old Samsung Omnia 900 which I used with PocketDigi, DX Cluster, and some other ham software.

I know, Android is hot, and same is Apple, but I just cannot justify throwing away a finely engineered and still functional device just because it’s not cool anymore.

Anyway, recently, I was looking for the NCDXF Beacons app for Windows mobile / PocketPC on the internet. The link on NCDXF Website was outdated. The search was taking too long so I finally decided to write one myself.

After a few hours and two cups of coffee, the working beta version is now ready and available for download at https://va3paw.wordpress.com/software/

I have a couple more apps in mind. Then, I may switch to Android and RIM Playbook development as there are still not many usable apps for our hobby.

Logging in Linux

I use Linux at my computers and I was looking for a good freeware logging software for my self. So far I tried four available in Debian / Ubuntu linux logging programs:

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