RV Gravel Pad and Grading with the GC1720

RV Gravel Pad and Grading with the GC1720

How I built my RV gravel pad using a Massey GC1720 and Bosch Laser.

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BFDX TD-503 DMR Review

BFDX TD-503 DMR RADIO

I’ve been using the BFDX TD-503 for several months on the local DMR repeater and NCPRN.  The main reason I really like it and its found its place above my Mototrbo and Hytera is it the GUI by default shows the Frequency and Channel Name.  Controls are standard and easy to use.  The case is high quality and it has some heft to it.

It has been left out in the rain, taken on swift-water calls (submerged in the river), dropped, banged, and otherwise abused with no issues whatsoever.

BFDX TD-503 In Water
BFDX TD-503 in Swiftwater
BFDX TD-503 In the Rain UTV
BFDX TD-503 – Rain UTV

 

BFDX TD-503 - Confined Space Ropes
BFDX TD-503 – Confined Space

Programming is easy and the cable is inexpensive.  The audio quality is better or on par with both my Hytera and Mototrbo’s in both analog and digital mode.  This radio works great on analog repeaters as well.  I’ve been using this pretty much exclusively for any outdoor adventures (UTV’n, Rafting, Swift-water Rescue, Climbing) without fail, mainly because of its price point and performance.  At $250 brand new its much less expensive than a used Mototurbo or Hytera.

Video

I had some issues with the audio on this so bear with it.  Also standard definition only.

 

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What’s Next in Ham Radio Rant

Just a quick video of what’s next in Ham radio and some projects I’ve been working on, as well as others, to get there.  Some highlights:

What’s Next…

  • MultiCodec – Codec2, AMBE…
  • Remote Standardized Head Unit / Retrofit
  • Less PC .. More Embedded
  • More modular
    • Easier to use and the possibility of installing station away from Radio.
  • DSP development in the hands of more people.
  • Older Designs get updates.
  • Powerful Tools getting more accessible
    • KiCad (New stable, RF Traces (Curved), Diff Pair Routing (USB, etc))
    • Inexpensive STM32 and other DSP platforms
    • Filter Creation and Simulation

Details

An open source codec for compression is up and going (CODEC2).

AMBE is much easier to implement and get ahold of.

Remote heads are beginning to pop up commercially in the FlexRadio line.

More embedded projects/products including SM1000, FlexRadio head unit, and many many DStar node adaptors.

DMR radios have hit the market to warm up the digital voice market, many which are under $300 new.

Video

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HP 8935 E6380A EL Display Fix

I have a HP 8935 E6380A service monitor that had some pretty severe screen burn.  After looking around for a replacement I wanted to see how hard it would be to adapt a current LCD to the 8935.  Suprisingly it was fairly easy.  I had a 10.5 inch display and after probing around a bit to see what signals/power were on the A1A1 connector (400 i think) I started playing with a FPGA dev board to convert signals to something I could see on the screen.  It works but doesn’t fill the entire screen and its not the right size hardware.  Now that I have a PLAN B and I’ve found a 6.5″ish lcd I can readily buy cheap, I’ll troll along with the burnt display till it fails or I can’t stand it anymore. I’m hoping there is a lot of interest in this to other 8935 owners and its something I can justify doing in the near future.

Some things I played with while I had the 8935 apart and the 10.5″ connected:

– Inversion to have some way of preventing screen burn.

– Adding some color (Changed boarder color, changed color of spectrum analyzer portions of the screen) This isn’t something that can be done everywhere. If its simply which pixels get what color it’s trivial.

– Added text to the parts of the screen not used going from 512×256 to 640×480.  Could add ADC to show voltages etc as extra info.

-Centered screen and added border.

 

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DMR NEXEDGE VOIP DSTAR Switch / Trunking

I’ve been working on a hardware to spin up a homegrown DMR/NEXEDGE/VOIP/DSTAR switch using freeswitch, some AMBE hardware, and common DMR radios (Hytera and Mototrbo) for use in Ham.  I have been working a board design I did last year to handle the AMBE codec.  The basic idea is to have a way to convert the AMBE codec to G711 to allow interface to other systems.  It also allows trunking/routing between systems.  If this something you might be interested in doing or helping with please let me know.  I’m really interested in hardware donations including NEXEDGE, DSTAR, and Hytera gear.

 

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