Welcome to my amateur radio BLOG. Here at N1CLC.com (aka HamNinja.com), I hope to cover my exploration of ham radio, summits on the air (SOTA) and general RF geek stuff. My other BLOGS focus on technology (cloudrant.com), photography (cameraninja.com/blog), and life (thethroboflife.com). QSL via QRZ, LOTW, cards.
I’ve had a few people ask me what “time slot”
(TS) they should use when setting up a talkgroup on a particular repeater. For DMR Tip 02, I'll focus on answering this and give you links for more information on finding repeaters and configuring your radio correctly.
Here is a good description of what a time slot
With a TDMA (time division
multiple access) system like DMR, the mobile or portable radios are
synchronized typically by a repeater and assigned a time slot. In DMR Tier 2,
there are two time slots, i.e.
2-slot TDMA. A mobile radio transmits for 30 milliseconds and then receives for
30 milliseconds. It listens for a permission to transmit and then begins a call
to all other talk group members who will also receive on that same time slot,
e.g., Time Slot 1. Meanwhile, a different group of users on another talk group
could be using Time Slot 2 simultaneously. Well almost simultaneously, offset
by 30 ms., but you would never know the difference, because two voices can come
out of two radios simultaneously from the same repeater.
This is a recap of my adventures at Socal Spring SOTAFest 2019. My friend Adam, K6ARK, organized a trip for ham radio
operators that enjoy doing “summits on the air”, (SOTA). We planned to meet at a campground, hike up
to bunch of nearby summits to “activate” them, getting contacts in the US and
beyond, and then do the next peak. There
will also be a lot of stories about past epic conquests, radio and antenna gear,
and techniques. Hams also build a lot of
different pieces of their own gear, from custom radios to antennas, and other
The original destination was near Big Bear, CA
but the weather called for a chance of rain so we went out to the southern
desert region to Sawtooth Campground, which is surrounded by SOTA summits.Although Adam announce the meetup on a few
different mailing lists, we only had two other hams that were going to be able
to join us, Scott (N0OI), and his wife, Corrine (N2ZIP).I’ll take some of the burden and help with
the marketing campaign next time. (Click on photos for larger)
Today’s hike took me up to Sycuan Peak (W6/SC-203 - Sycuan Peak).This is a short hike but steap at
points.I decided to sleep in this
morning and headed out at about 10.The
weather was clear with visibility of a million miles.It was just under 80 and a nice hike up.The peak had a slight breeze and it was very
enjoyable, I just wish I had brought my chair, I would have stayed up there
This next post on my Digital Mobile Radio
(DMR) tips series, we’ll look at an easy way to test our radio and also check
that the repeater is working properly.
To do this, use the Parrot talk group.
By using this talkgroup, everything you transmit is recorded and played
back to your radio.
article assumes you have a DMR radio and can program it to use a repeater and
Using the parrot talk group, every
transmission is repeated back to the radio. This allows the operator to
●Verify that the radio is working
and getting into the repeater.
●Because the parrot repeater is on
the internet, when you hear yourself, this verifies that the repeater is
working and it’s connected to the Brandmeister network.
●This test allows you to test audio
quality and levels.
I wanted to hike Middle Peak again and try
going up the north side for the final summit push.The last time I was up there, 11/25/2018, I
went up the south side based on the best topo research I could do.It’s been activated a few times so I knew it
was doable.During that last hike, I
followed a false trail and ended up in a horrid bushwhack to the activation
zone, followed by a horrid bushwhack back to the road.After that trip, my SOTA Yoda, K6ARK, said I
should have gone to the North side and used the unpublished trail.So that was the mission of the day.I charted out a new course on Alltrails in case I missed the
The weather was beautiful up there today,
starting with clear sky then moving to partly cloudy.There was a slight breeze keeping it cool but
not cold.I could see the clouds moving
up the mountain from the coast.It was
nice to be out in the sunshine not freezing my tail off.I found the cairns that marked the trail to
the summit (lat/long of 32.98287, -116.60007) and the tail to the summit was
10,000 times easier.For one, that side
of the mountainwasn’t nearly as
overgrown as the south side, and there was a cut trail that has been heavily
used.It’s beginning to get overgrown
but not bad.A huge shout out to Adam,
K6ARK, who told me about the alternate route.