Re: PRFN update for January 28th, 2020


I'm getting an Openspot 3 to mostly replace my existing Pi-Star Jumbospot unit, but it looks like they're back-ordered, and it won't be shipped out until Feb. 20. I was able to get into FCS00238 a couple of times early last year, but had no luck since. 
For the Wires-X node, you no longer need a 2nd radio if you have the FT2DR or FT3DR, just need a firmware update and the special cables to link to your computer with the Wires-X software. I connect to the net that way sometimes
but can't leave it on forever as the FT2DR HT is really meant to work on battery and the battery life on it isn't so good. So I'm hoping when I get the Openspot, I can connect to the K2ZA network, as I can't consistently hit the repeaters unless I point the antenna just right.

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Hinkel via Groups.Io <mrhinkel@...>
To: k3pdr <>
Sent: Sun, Jan 26, 2020 11:42 am
Subject: [k3pdr] PRFN update for January 28th, 2020

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Hinkel <mrhinkel@...>
To: mrhinkel <mrhinkel@...>
Sent: Sun, Jan 26, 2020 11:37 am
Subject: PRFN update for January 28th, 2020

>> This is an update for the Philadelphia Regional Fusion Net or PRFN <<
>>New night...  Last Tuesday of the month at 9pm following the DEN<<

We will link up the Fusion / C4FM repeaters at 9pm local time;
Phil-Mont in Roxboro (444.800)
PDRA in Wyndmoor / Glenside (447.475)
DVRA in West Trenton (442.650)
PWA in Southampton (448.225)
Please feel free to link in your own Wire-x node to Yaesu room #21349. 

The good news is that we -- Bruce (WA3ZPC) Harvey (WA3GTL) and myself (WA3QVU) -- will continue the PRFN for the Winter months in 2020. The bad new is that we are having very few check-ins and will be cutting back to once per month with email updates to advise everyone when the net will occur.

I will quote someone whom we all know Dennis Silage (K3DS);
I've spoken to Dennis several times on the air and he usually says "We used to have one mode, "FM", to talk to people on the way to and from work each day.  Now we have D-Star, Fusion and DMR.  We've taken a shrinking group of people and divided them into smaller and smaller groups".  My answer is always "The manufactures have made sales of their own product more important than allowing everyone to talk to each other".  Looking at this from a sales department standpoint, I believe Motorola is "Top Gun" at selling the customer something he/she really doesn't need.  Just look at all the ways Motorola has gunked up the P25 protocall.  ie:$2500 for a hand held radio.

So on we go...
I'm counting 3 different ways to connect your Fusion / C4FM radio to the internet, and to other repeaters that are not in RF range.  1; with the typical Yaesu Wires-x equipment, 2; with a Shark RF "Openspot". 3; with a typical Hotspot.  See my notes below....

Brian (N3EXA) has put together a mini-portable repeater using two mobile radios.  He has it connected to a Hotspot and listens to the Warminster ARC 443.95 machine.  When it's up, he's running on the Pistar reflector FCS 002 / 038.  That's listed on the website as FCS00238 "Pennsylvania" with Talk Group numbers to get in with a DMR radio.  Yes, the reflector converts the DMR digital to C4FM digital. 

Mark  WA3QVU

1;  Yaesu Wires-x box or HRI-200.
This requires purchasing an extra Yaesu radio (usually the FTM-100) and HRI-200 box from a Yaesu distributor.  And a Windows computer (Win7 thru 10) -- cost of equipment is about $500.  The are 2 benefits;  One, you are able to use the Yaesu radio or repeater in AMS mode. Two, you can setup the Wires-x box at a remote location where you have internet service.  (internet not needed at the repeater site)

2;  Shark RF Openspots.
The original Openspot uses a cat-5 Ethernet cable to your router -- the newer Openspot 2 uses a Wifi connection -- for much less than $500.  This allows you to connect to others on the internet with multiple modes; D-star, DMR, C4FM and other modes.  The software "also" allows you to connect to a fixed server and communicate with friends or for a specific public service event like John (K2ZA) has done with the Southern Counties Emergency Repeater Network.  (no longer D-star, now Fusion / C4FM)

3; Hotspot or MMDVM.
The Hotspots are typically small "hats" that mount on top of a Raspberry Pi computer running Linux.  As with the S hark RF units, you connect to others on the internet with multiple modes; D-star, DMR, C4FM and other modes.   They do not connect directly to a Wires-x room, you must go thru Pistar to connect to other stations.  We're still a bit green behind the ears with regard to Hotspots, mainly because this deals with loading a Linux image onto an SD camera card (that's what the Raspberry Pi uses).  You can purchase them as kits or fully assembled with the Raspberry Pi computer and SD card already loaded.

HRO Zumspot;

Pistar website;


MMDVM with LED screen less Raspberry Pi on eBay;
(shipped from California not from China)

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