GB7DS – Network

GB7DS – Network

GB7DS is currently not connected to the internet. The site owner has changed ISP’s and we will need to visit to reinstate the connection. This will be complete ASAP.

DTMF Controller

It works!

After a lot of playing around with code and many cups of tea. I have finally managed to establish the DTMF routine. On first boot the controller keys the transmitter until a new PIN is set. Once the PIN is set, a reboot will ensure the controller stored the password. Here is a short video showing the DTMF password setup. Sorry about the camera, I don’t own a tripod!

Controller recycling!

My attempt at being eco friendly!

A few years back I started to work on a repeater (GB3VW). One of my goals was to construct and program a complete repeater controller from scratch.

The original GB3VW controller


As you can see it’s a bit messy! The important point is that it worked, and worked well! The original controller used a Picaxe 40X2 (Microchip processor), programmed in BASIC. BASIC is very easy to grasp, especially if you’ve beer! After closing GB3VW I assumed this would become a mantelpiece, wait a minute. Instead of buying new strip-board and components it would be fun to reuse as much of the controller as possible.

So the hard work begins… Below are some pictures of the process.

Firstly, remove the 40pin socket

Reroute the DTMF lines

Add support circuitry

Finally on test!

GB3NZ – Logic parameters

What did that repeater say?

For the most part, repeaters will beep and sometimes speak! Some sound like R2D2 on steroids and some are a little more reserved. There is a fine balance between information and annoyance!

I’ve always tried to keep the pips / voice IDs down to a minimum. At one time I liked the idea of tail pips until I tried them for a week! After that week it was back to a single pip!

What is the pip actually for?
A lot of people will respond say, its clearly the over signal! Well, while I agree it does have other purposes. One of the most common reasons for the pip is to indicate the time-out timer has reset. This informs the operator he or she now has the full time-out time available to them. Another reason is Repeater health & status. It can be very useful to know if the repeater is on battery backup or is connected to another link system.

So what about GB3NZ?
The following settings will be applied to GB3NZ.

  • When an operator accesses the repeater he or she will need to provide a transmission longer than 1.5 seconds.
  • On successful talk-through a single pip of a frequency 1200Hz + 1215Hz will be sent.
  • If an operators transmission is less than 1.5 seconds or a weak signal a pip will not be sent.
  • After the last received signal the repeater will wait for 15 seconds. Once 15 seconds has passed the repeater will ID and close down.
  • If an operators transmission is longer than 3 minutes the time-out routine will begin.
  • Time-out is signalled by 10 count down pips embedded in the talk-through audio.
  • The repeater will then shut the transmitter down until the signal is cleared. Once the signal is clear the repeater will ID and send a single pip. The operators must wait for the pip or the repeater will time out again!

GB3NZ – Tuning and logic control

GB3NZ Storno

It’s been a busy few evenings tinkering and playing with Arduino. The new controller will utilise the AMTEL ATMEGA328P-PU microprocessor. The final variant will not include the boot-loader. I will say that the boot-loader makes debugging very easy! At the moment the controller is a real mess. I’m using bread-board along side the UNO device, the final product will be constructed on strip-board.

Please mind the mess, It’s just for testing I promise. Other than the dust, sitting on a bench does that… the system is in good shape.

The controller won’t need that much h/w as the Storno interface has been modified perfectly (Thanks Phil) G8MLA.

See you in the next post!