200711 Weekend Drive

The weekend drive from Long Island to North Central CT to Berkshires and return to Long Island on Sunday will yield all sorts of communication opportunities. There will be 2 cars with VHF DMR communications between them on a commercial frequency (yes, we have a license!) with 50w Motorola mobiles. The range is excellent and well beyond any GMRS type radios. My car will also have the usual “light travel” stack, but no go box.

The light travel pack will be a Motorola XPR4550 with a DMR roam setup for initially NYC DMR 444/31362 and as we drive into CT I will switch to CT ARES State Wide network. The coverage is
fascinating – having a radio switching between tower automatically in a clean roaming format is simply fascinating. This is not the old “scan” list, but a clean transfer to the next repeater on the same talk-group. No noise!!

The other radio is a CS800D with the typical complement of ham zones. I have a hate love relationship with this radio. DMR audio is too soft and i end up turning the radio up. Now it is too loud for analog. This is the hate part. The love part is that it is flexible since it covers VHF and UHF including the mobile hotspot in the car. So it kind does everything, but nothing great.

We must have APRS! So APRS has always been fascinating to me. In the early 90’s we built packs with a hiking GPS, TNC and Transmitter. We also had to build our own dos based line drawing maps with limited data points. It was so cool and we rocked! Now, to not de-sence the VHF radios in the car I use a WX3in1 with custom firmware and simply smart-beacon to APRS-IS. No on-air pollution. The car is also a mobile I-Gate as we roam the country side. “Got to leave a trail!”

Plan is:
to monitor NYC METRO DMR until CT, the switch to CT ARES State Wide, then in reverse. Analog will monitor 146.520. APRS will be N1ATP-1 and N1ATP-5 for the 2 mobiles.

2 thoughts on “200711 Weekend Drive

  • Big plans, but forgot the programming cable for the XPR4550. No improvement to the roaming. More to come.

  • Awesome drive. Little ham-radio activity was disappointing. The most repeater activity was heard on K1ENF in Enfield, CT and CT ARES Sunday night statewide net. I have some work to do on the CT SW DMR Roaming code plug since it was spotty along I-95 in SW CT. Next Weekend I’ll be doing almost the same drive. Let’s see if the codeplug can have some of the voids filled in.

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