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

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