And the playing continues…

Playing with the radio continues! Last week Ellen (KI6FEB) and Mark (KI6FEA) both passed their technician exams, I hoped they might take the test but I really never believed hey would! Following their successful completion of the exam we went to a class for new hams about emergency communications put together by the Southern Peninsula Emergency Communication System. Both of them found it very helpful, as did I!

I’ve been continuing to work with Packet and APRS with my radio, and had decent success with both. Before the exam I stopped by the Ham Radio Outlet and picked up a magnetic mount mobile antenna and that has helped a lot. I’m still surprised at how rarely my APRS packets get picked up… I think there just aren’t enough relays or digis out there, and then because of excessive packet collisions I think most never make it out anyways. Seems like a broken system… one of these days I’ll devise a new method of APRS hehe.

[List of URL’s of my present position moved to separate post here]
And with packet, I knew I would like that a lot once I get it all figured out. I found a good list of Packet frequencies for the Monterey Bay Area by looking at the Santa Cruz ARES site.

WR6AOK is close to my house, so I was able to log in to it’s PBBS, had minimal options and features, but was still cool to see text showing up on the screen coming off the radio Then I used WR6AOK as a digipeater and bounced down to KI6EH in Santa Cruz. That’s a “real” BBS, with file upload and download capabilities, my own e-mail box, bulletins, etc.

I did set up an e-mail box there, so I am now known as:

ki6esh @

I believe the only way to send messages to that address would be via the radio, or there might possibly be an internet gateway to make it out there too, I have no clue…

My project last week was to get my radio to connect directly to my Palm Pilot for packet use. I bought a Radio Shack DB9 Male Gender Changer trying to connect the Palm Hotsync Cradle to the data cable for my radio… but of course what I actually needed was a Null Modem so… instead of buying a null modem at radio shack and also needing the gender changer, I decided to wire my own. I picked up two Radio Shack 9-Position HD Male Solder D-Sub Connectors and found some schematics for which pins needed to be wired… next thing I know, my palm was scrolling the info from my TNC when I booted it!

Next hack would be to allow me to use my portable palm keyboard and the modem adaptor at the same time… if that doesn’t work, it’d be way too annoying to type on the palm, but I could set up the macros to check my mail at least.

The fun continues… and next week… Burning Man and hooking up with the Burning Hams!

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