Tuesday, February 27, 2018

High Tech Morse Code Safety Boots!

There was a news item on the BBC news website today about some new safety boots that use morse code for signalling purposes!

According to the manufacturers..."The shoes holder can “press” this “button” with his toes to start a sequence (composed of 2 symbols: “short” or “long”, an alphabet derived from MORSE code). This differs from other smart PPE that do not allow interactions with the device without using hands. Right and left vibrating motors, as well as a 90dB buzzer, allow the shoes to communicate with the holder using short and long vibration or beeps too. For instance, this system allows holder to acknowledge when he receives a message to leave immediately an area. Or he can send a “MAY DAY” message to alert his employer or colleagues. To handle extreme situations (such as broken leg), a second external membrane is also available by hand."

1) BBC News item
2) Manufacturers website

Sunday, February 25, 2018

New 70cms repeater in West Wales...

Over the weekend, I was using EchoLink and I came across a new Welsh repeater there.... GB3UP-R in Fishguard on the west coast of Wales.

I had a chat with the repeater keeper Simon GW6TKK and it turns out that the repeater has been up and running since August 2017.

Here are the basic specs...

Keeper/NoV holder - Simon GW6TKK
Channel - RU73  input Frequency -  438.5125 MHz  Output frequency 430.9125 MHz
Access - CTCSS Tone F 94.8 Hz
Echolink Node GB3UP-R

The repeater is located in a domestic house about 300ft asl on the south side of the town of Fishguard and is heavily screened by hills to the south and east. This is shown in the coverage map which is pretty small over land areas but would be much bigger over the Irish Sea if it was shown. It's very likely that it can be worked from Ireland under lift conditions so it might making a note of it.

The repeater website is http://sparks.btck.co.uk/FishguardRepeater

Friday, February 23, 2018

Cork Radio Club in the SSB Field Day Contest...Sept 1999

I came across this video by accident while I was looking for something else. Despite the fact it is over 18 years ago, field days today are still pretty much the same.

Friday, February 9, 2018

EI DMR Registrations...

A few weeks back, I got a registration number for using DMR (Digital Mobile Radio). Considering DMR has its roots in the commercial world, I think that this will become the de facto standard for digital radio on the VHF amateur bands in the future...as opposed to D-Star or Fusion.

I was curious to see how many EI stations have registered to do and I put together the chart above. The 2017 peak coincided with articles in the IRTS newsletter.

The chart below shows the total number of DMR registrations for EI calls at the end of each quarter up until the end of 2017...

As of the 9th of February 2018, there are 106 EI calls registered on DMR. Needless to say, not all of them are active or may even have equipment but it does show a growing interest in this digital mode.

Update 9th March 2018 : Using the 'Heard Users' function, 47 of the 108 registered users have been heard using DMR. That's roughly 44%.