With the kids in town for the holidays there hasn’t been much time for radio. But I’m an early riser and have spent the last few mornings before dawn in the shack while everyone else was sleeping.

The DX has been unremarkable though I never take any contact with VK’s for granted. It’s a 9,400 mile path which still impresses me so I was pleased to have worked another VK this morning on 30 meters.

I worked a South African a few days ago who I later learned doesn’t use LoTW or QSL which made that contact a waste of time for both of us. That same day I received confirmation for a couple more on 12 meters meaning I’ve now confirmed contacts via FT8 on all bands from 160 thru 6 meters.

These achievements may seem inconsequential, but considering this new mode has only been around a few months, was born during historically abysmal band conditions, and how modest a station I operate, I remain impressed beyond words.

Digital Mobile Radio

Meanwhile, I’ve been spending a lot of time with DMR this week since the openSPOT is running and I’ve kept the handheld within arm’s reach. The capability to explore all of the talk groups and reflectors has been an eye-opener for me and I realize now that my original glimpse at this facet of the hobby was obscured by being limited to repeater only access.

Setting things up wasn’t difficult but there are many parts to the configuration of the entire system - openSPOT, WiFi router, and radio. Enough that I’ll no doubt forget what I did six weeks hence so I plan to document the experience mostly for my benefit but perhaps you might find it useful too.

I’ll update the Projects page to include it as time permits.