Monday, August 23, 2021

OpenGD77: Required Build Files

 The OpenGD77 project went through some turmoil earlier this year (specifically, mid-to-late April 2021) due to some complex legal issues in regards to distribution of pre-compiled binaries.

Once the original project's repository was "cleaned", a new fork appeared on GitHub, and seemed to contain the necessary files to build the firmware.

So, I went ahead and imported the firmware/ folder into NXP's MCUXpresso IDE. and tried to build the software...and it failed.

The Failure

The failure was caused by the linker script missing two critical files which contain the DMR codec functionality from the original (stock) firmware:
  • codec_bin_section_1.bin
  • codec_bin_section_2.bin
These files were very difficult to procure; once I had them in the appropriate directory at the time of compilation, MCUXpresso spit out a shiny new OpenGD77 firmware file, with the .sgl extension -- ready to be flashed!

The Files

Below, you may find the files separately or packed together in either a 7-Zip or a plain-old Zip archive:
I've also gone ahead and created my own forks of both the OpenGD77 firmware, as well as the OpenGD77CPS code plug software; they can be accessed via the following links:
Please submit issue reports! Also, pull requests are always welcome!

Sunday, July 18, 2021

The Cuban Government, the Cuban People, and Amateur Radio

NOTE: The following is reposted from my personal Facebook page (my first post in perhaps a decade), with the first portion being posted to both my personal Facebook page and my personal Twitter profile. The sections are demarcated by the line containing three hyphens ("---"), as Twitter has obvious limitations on message length.


I'm absolutely inspired by the strength and courage of the Cuban people, unfazed and unsurprised by the Cuban government's typical #Communist response of not only shutting off the internet; but blocking/jamming the 40m #hamradio band?!

#FreeCuba #SOSCuba

Additional Info: Up here in the Chicagoland area, grid square EN52xi, I have been consistently been receiving strong interference between the frequencies of roughly 7.100MHz to 7.225 MHz for nearly a week, as received with a random-wire antenna on my SDRPlay RSP1A and my Yaesu FT-991a with a few different antennas. If anyone wants to reach out to me, I am KD9QZO and you can typically find me on 20m digital modes, as well as online at the typical places. If you want to help with the efforts to get information to and from the wonderful people of Cuba, I would recommend reaching out to Alex, W7HU, and asking what you can do to help. If you have no idea what #hamradio is, and still want to help the Cuban people, please reach out to your US congressman and/or senator, the white house, or just share this message. Information is the most powerful tool we have as a society, and we are blessed with the freedom to share it. The Cuban people have been suffering under the utter failure of #Communism for over 6 decades, and when their message doesn't align with the politics of the day, it's not just censored by big tech oligopolies, they're faced with torture, disappearance, harassment of friends and family, or even death. They know what actual oppression is, because #Communism is an abject failure (and will always be) and they have a hostile government, working in tandem with the #ChineseCommunistParty to actively deny them the ability to simply communicate with their friends and family in a life and death situation.

Remember kids, #CommunismKills

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Hello world!

Hello everyone!

I'm a newly licensed amateur radio operator; I sat (and passed) the tests for technician class, and general class on November 17, 2020 -- receiving my callsign KD9QZO on November 19, 2020!

I am excited to become a member of the amateur radio community, and I look forward to making many contributions to the hobby!

I've long held an interest in radio; as an electrical engineer and software engineer, I have always enjoyed working on RF applications. From the cheap, ubiquitous nRF24L01+ to the more modern Bluetooth LE and 802.15.4 applications, the use of the 2.4GHz band to allow my embedded systems to communicate was fantastic! But I wanted more: more power, more distance, more efficiency... At this point, the 915MHz band became attractive, with my first foray into the space being a pair of CC110L BoosterPacks on a Texas Instruments LaunchPad boards; the ability to place one in my upstairs window, and carry the other one (powered by batteries, and equipped with a small segment LCD) around the neighborhood to explore various metrics (ie: bandwidth, bitrate, packet loss, modulation techniques, distance, rssi, etc.) was quite satisfying! Eventually, LoRaWAN caught my eye, and much of the same process was repeated.

But it soon became high time to "put on my big boy pants", and get licensed. More power, more spectrum, more flexibility...I had to have it! So now, here I am. Some basic equipment I have, allowing me to get started in the hobby includes:
  • Baofeng UV-5RE
  • Yaesu FT3DR
  • Baofeng UV-5RIII (tri-band)

A couple of additional things I use are:
  • A couple of good 'ol RTL-SDR dongles
  • An Analog Devices ADALM-PLUTO (aka, the PlutoSDR)

My next steps are to be setting up a more powerful (25-50W) dual-band or tri-band mobile radio as a base station in my shack, with an antenna on the roof; I'd like to use it for a combination of conventional FM repeater and simplex voice, but even moreso, I would like to explore the world of packet radio technologies, such as AX.25 connectivity, setting up an APRS digipeater, amongst a few other things.

Another big item on my to-do list is entering the world of HF radio; unfortunately, equipment in this realm is rather expensive, so this may take some time...

If anyone is interested in supporting me, I've listed my crypto addresses below. Any help, regardless of amount, helps tremendously and is very much appreciated.

ETH: 0x2c245Dc7462c88149f118b18EdDfd7B37c03840E
USDC: 0xc1001CF11119EC963607deCA3d900645F975de90
ETC: 0xBE6781A4D18A74feE2B81CECabf942730244B287
COMP: 0x6Cd1824051916FaCC08629304Ab316A24408ffA5

OpenGD77: Required Build Files

 The OpenGD77  project went through some turmoil earlier this year (specifically, mid-to-late April 2021)  due to some complex legal issues ...