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Zero Retries 0091 BEACON Edition
2023-03-24 - The Quick Mentions Edition of Zero Retries
Zero Retries is an independent newsletter about technological innovation in Amateur Radio. Zero Retries promotes Amateur Radio as (literally) a license to experiment with radio technology.
Steve Stroh N8GNJ, Editor
Jack Stroh, Late Night Assistant Editor Emeritus
In this issue:
About the BEACON Edition
As I explain in Zero Retries 0091, this edition of Zero Retries is a breakout of the ZR > BEACON section of Zero Retries.
A primary limitation of an email newsletter is that it can only be so large before it runs the risk of being… “managed”… by the big email platforms such as Gmail (potentially) not allowing it to go through because it’s too large.
Unfortunately, limiting the size of an email newsletter forces triage of timely, interesting information.
Starting with this issue, for at least the next few issues, I will conduct an experiment. The “Quick Mentions” that would normally appear in ZR > BEACON will be published in this separate edition of Zero Retries.
My intent is that the separate editions will allow both the long form articles and the ZR > BEACON “quick mentions” to both be more timely and complete.
Microwave Update 2023 / 46th Eastern VHF/UHF Conferences
2023-04-14 and 15 in Windsor, Connecticut, USA
Topics will include small dish EME, microwave propagation, parabolic dish feedhorn design and construction, SSPAs, circuit design, latest microwave devices, software defined radios, digital modes just to name a few.
Topics for the Eastern VHF/UHF Conference sessions will include antennas, propagation, EME, roving, SDRs, SSPAs, circuit design, digital modes, and activity nights.
2023-05-06; not stated whether it will be virtual or in person.
If it is held in person, it will be in Redmond, Washington, USA.
For more than a decade, this has been the primary conference in the Seattle area for digital communications in Amateur Radio.
APRS / Packet Meetup at Hamvention 2023
Jason Rausch K4APR on the aprssig mailing list:
I'm trying to setup a Saturday evening meetup at Dayton this year for the APRS / Packet folks. Last year we did a lunch thing right on the event grounds and a few showed up and we had some good impromptu conversation, but it would be nice to have something a little more formal planned. I kind of see this as a replacement for the APRS forum that we no longer have at the actual event. If you're a developer (hardware, software, etc.) please come and feel free to talk a few minutes about what you're working on. I'll have some of my hardware on hand to show off.
My plan is to hold it at:
Little York Pizza & Tavern at 1800 (6:00 PM):
4120 Little York Rd
Dayton, OH 45414
Even though Hamvention is held south of Dayton now, I found most people are still staying around the Miller Ln. hotel area, including myself. I ate there last year. The food was good and the service was friendly. If I can get a rough idea of how many might show up, I'll call them soon and give heads up of our group. Feel free to email me: jason (at) ke4nyv.com.
New book - The Untapped Potential of Amateur Radio
From Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2368 for Friday 2023-03-17:
A longtime leader in amateur radio in India has just completed a book that examines the untapped promises that ham radio holds for the future; reported by Graham Kemp VK4BB.
World Science Day was also book launch day for S. Suri, VU2MY, the founder of the National Institute of Amateur Radio in Hyderabad, India. Ham enthusiasts, engineers and Indian communications officials arrived at the NIAR campus for the author's introduction of his book, “The Untapped Potential of Amateur Radio.”
Suri told those in attendance that his book underscores the vital role amateur radio plays in disaster response. He said he hoped that by writing the book he was also making it clear that ham radio is relevant in other areas of society. He said he favoured its increased inclusion as a tool by universities, law enforcement and the armed forces and he urged policymakers to rethink radio’s role. According to a book blurb on amazon.in, the book also traces amateur radio's growth from an activity among experimenters to its emergence as a resource in a number of nations.
This book seems to be available only from amazon.in (link in the title). Even using the ISBN in amazon.com does not find it.
ARDC’s 2023-03 newsletter provided an update on the TAC and plans for 44Net:
We have identified key initiatives to focus on this year, each of which has a dedicated subcommittee working group that is chaired by a TAC member. There are five of these subcommittees:
Roadmap Subcommittee: Develop an architectural roadmap for future 44Net services and infrastructure.
Wiki Subcommittee: Catalog 44Net use-cases and create substantive updates to the Wiki.
Portal Subcommittee: Build and launch and upgraded 44Net management portal Minimum Viable Product.
PoP Subcommittee: Develop and measure a 44net Proof-of-Concept Point-of-Presence.
Embedded Subcommittee: Entry level embedded appliance reference design for 44Net.
It’s good to see some plans for advancing 44Net now that ARDC has financial resources to realize 44Net’s potential. I’m especially looking forward to seeing what the POP and Embedded Subcommittees come up with.
ka9q-radio Presentation and Demonstration
I first learned of, and wrote about Phil Karn KA9Q’s current project - ka9q-radio at Hamvention 2022. In my opinion, KA9Q’s presentation was one of the most important talks at Hamvention, and the Hamvention management didn’t see fit to record KA9Q’s presentation (or fumbled the opportunity to do so).
I think that KA9Q presenting and demonstrating ka9q-radio is one of those few things that text doesn’t nearly do justice to the concept. Thus, I’m very pleased that another KA9Q demonstration of ka9q-radio, at the 2023-03-15 PAPA System San Diego Luncheon, was recorded and made available for posterity.
Masters Communications Multiple Modem to Single Radio Multiplexers
Kevin Custer W3KKC in a message on on the DRA@groups.io mailing list mentioned two of his “multiplexer” units, and there is actually a third unit. DRA is Digital Radio Adapter (what I call an “audio interface”). See the links for more details about the differentiation and intended usage for each unit.
DRA-3M-DIN6 - Allows DRAs, SignaLink USBs or other sound cards and Pactor Modems (or other modems) to be connected to one radio - at the same time.
DRA-MIX-MUX - Used in instances where you want to connect different applications using separate radio interfaces - simultaneously, to one radio.
MUX-25 - Allows one repeater to be alternately connected to D-Star, DMR (some form of digital voice) or AllStar Link (analog).
Paul Elliott WB6CXC:
This is a presentation that looks at frequency stability — history and practice — including why and how to modify the QDX transceiver to use an external clock reference.
Wow… 500 episodes… that is an achievement!
In this episode, the hosts cut loose and let it all hang out. Topics range from science to games to technology and hedonism. It's just a free-for-all, fun episode with a little of this, a little of that and--oh yeah--the drawing for our 500th Episode giveaway. Thank you all for 500 episodes and we’re looking forward to 500 more.
I don’t listen to Linux in the Ham Shack as often as I’d like / should as it features some Zero Retries Interesting topics.
A Final Transmission
Finally, this was Zero Retries Interesting not because any technology angle… actually the reverse - the human factor in Amateur Radio:
Zero Retries 0091 BEACON Edition Poll
Join the Fun on Amateur Radio
If you’re not yet licensed as an Amateur Radio Operator, and would like to join the fun by literally having a license to experiment with radio technology, check out
Join the Fun on Amateur Radio for some pointers.
Zero Retries Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - In development 2023-02.
Closing the Channel
In its mission to highlight technological innovation in Amateur Radio, promote Amateur Radio to techies as a literal license to experiment with wireless technology, and make Amateur Radio more relevant to society in the 2020s and beyond, Zero Retries is published via email and web, and is available to anyone at no cost. Zero Retries is proud not to participate in the Amateur Radio Publishing Industrial Complex, which hides Amateur Radio content behind paywalls.
My ongoing Thanks to:
Tina Stroh KD7WSF for, well, everything!
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More bits from Steve Stroh N8GNJ:
SuperPacket blog - Discussing new generations of Amateur Radio Data Communications - beyond Packet Radio (a precursor to Zero Retries)
N8GNJ blog - Amateur Radio Station N8GNJ and the mad science experiments at N8GNJ Labs - Bellingham, Washington, USA
Thanks for reading!
Steve Stroh N8GNJ / WRPS598 (He / Him / His)
These bits were handcrafted in beautiful Bellingham (The City of Subdued Excitement), Washington, USA.
If you’d like to reuse an article in this issue, for example for club or other newsletters, just ask. Please provide credit for the content to me and any other authors.
All excerpts from other authors or organizations, including images, are intended to be fair use.
Portions Copyright © 2021, 2022, and 2023 by Steven K. Stroh.
Blanket permission granted for TAPR to use any Steve Stroh content for the TAPR Packet Status Register (PSR) newsletter (I owe them from way back).