Weekly Commute

A job change has necessitated commuting. Thus, I will be treking south to Long Island on Monday mornings and back North to the Berkshires on Friday night. A part of the entertainment while in traffic for is ham radio. Go-Box #2 is designed to be added to the pax seat and by adding one mag-mount provide DMR Roaming capabilities on both UHF and VHF. This is something the daily radio CS800D cannot provide.

Under “Project Events” -> “the Go-Box” you can see a description of the Go-Boxes.

Additionally, there may be a tweet for updates.

Live Aprs will also be available at: APRS.FI N1ATP-1

Beyond monitoring NYC Metro DMR 444 / Brandmeister 31362 and CB Ch 19 (yes, experience shows it is the best traffic info when traffic comes to a standstill!) and Google Map / Waze I am wondering how to best manage the traffic chaos.


This go-box has been flipped from this picture. The radios on the right have been moved to the left to make the primary Motorola radios more accessible when the box is in the front pax seat of the car. Yes, it includes a small cheap CB since it provides traffic reports from the trucks. I tri-plexer allows for CB, VHF and UHF on one antenna.

Upper MotoTrbo XPR4550 is a UHF 403-470 band split. The lower MotoTrbo XPR4550 is VHF. They are connected and can be used a Cross-Band repeater on DMR and/or Analog at will.

CT DMR network is programmed in ROAM mode and switches repeaters as I drive through the state. The NYC Metro network is also programmed in ROAM from the Albany NY area to NYC, to eEastern Long Island and New Jersey. Although automated, you can’t say this is not ham radio – no hotspot used while in the NYC Metro Area.

This Go-Box has also become the go-to Public Service Go-Box. It is compact and packs Analog VHF and UHF, D-Star VHF and UHF and DMR VHF and UHF. With the Cross-banding capabilities it could translate Analog, D-Star and DMR modes. Hum!!

Update Direction: Notes for the Drive Between Berkshires and Long Island:
The Commute has Ended since we now reside on Long Island. We commonly still return to our Berks House or Connecticut House on the weekends.
6/21 North Nicely moving traffic from Long Island via I-684 to I-84 in CT. Both Google Map and Waze sending me on 2 lane back roads for best time. A beautiful drive with little traffic but on local back roads.
6/17 South Traffic was typical. DMR local (NYC Metro 444) was dead. Cool thing with the MotoTrbo radios is that with a roam list the radios switch sites and maintain the same TG along the route.
6/15 North Google Map and Waze are leading the way. Problem is – I missed a turn and ended up on I-84 eastbound. Giant mistake! Traffic went to a standstill all the way to CT-7. Probably lost between 30-45 minutes. Total time: 4:15 including getting gas. DMR and 2M simplex was dead. Kind of OK since I spent 2 hours on a conference call (thus missed my turn). Route to I684, the I-84 to CT-7, CT-202(?) to CT-8.
6/10 South Monday will be the 2nd commuting trip. I have to make it in to a “Ham Expedition” in small scale or the drive will be dreadful. A few programming changes on the MotoTrbo XPR4550 to tweak the roaming and local Long Island Zones (biz-band talk). It seems when i come from Central CT the NYC Metro system comes alive around Danbury, VT.
6/7 North First Friday night commute from Long Island to the Berkshires. A late start (3pm) put me in to traffic. Both Google Map and Waze rerouted my best time route from the usual route up through Connecticut to stay further west on Taconic Parkway until abeam Gt Barrington. I started with a 1845 arrival. It then went up to 1915 to return to 1845. Nearly 4 hours without cruise control! It held true. DMR coverage along the route was not 100% but having both UHF and VHF seems to hold the repeaters pretty well. DMR Roam is just awesome! It still amazes me how little ham activity there is! With that said, LA9GHA suddenly called me on the NYC Metro system from Brandmeister 31362. Very cool! We continued the QSO from HotSpot to HotSpot. CB-19 is still the best local traffic backup information system.
6/3 South Run number 1 southbound. Accident on I-84 between Exit 17 and 15 caused 30 minute crawl. Only CB-19 gave any local information on what to expect.