Mars Cap Mod for Kenwood TM-V71A

Expanded Transmit Modification for TM-V71A To open the transmit on this radio, you have two options for the frequency range you want to open up. For either option, start by opening the radio: Place the radio on the bench with the speaker side up and the front of the radio facing toward you. Remove the 8 screws that hold the top cover on the radio. Look in the lower left-hand corner (closest to the control head on the left-hand side of the radio). Notice a green wire labeled “W601” and two chip resistors labeled “1” and “2”.

Option 1
Option 2

Here are your two options:

option 1) For transmit between 142-151.995 and 420-449.995 remove green wire W601. Either unsolder to remove the wire, or cut it and tape it to prevent the wire from touch anything else inside the radio.

option 2) For transmitting between 136-174 and 400-470 MHz remove W601 as above. Also, remove the 0-ohm resistor labeled “1” which is just in front of W601.

And VOILA! you have a fully open radio.

10 Minute Script for Linux and Mac OSX

So today I was cleaning up some of my scripts and found this little gem, a simple script that would send a voice with my callsign out through the speakers, since I own a Signalink the audio output of this would trigger my radio and thus keeping me “part 97 legal”, Its just for kicks nothing special here but others may find it useful, you can edit the script for your makeshift repeater or simply have it transmit while you start a conversation and have it remind you or simply call out your callsign.

# Written by Jose Malave KM4OOD
while true
# Change the CallSIGN WITH YOUR OWN
say This is $callsign
# 10 Minutes = 600 Seconds
sleep 1



Today we created a circuit that will protect your Ham Radio from any surges, just for about 5-8$ worth of parts.

Lets take a look at the items needed to complete this project.

  1. 3x LED’s (Red,Green,Yellow)
  2. 3x 560.1k OHM Resistors
  3. 1x Zener Diode (1.5KE15A)
  4. 30 Amp Glass tube fuses
  5. [ ́Fuseholder

After much deliberation, there was something about this circuit that was limiting my power output. I will be going over this circuit at a later date and find where it was limiting my amperage.

Adding a Mobile Dashboard for your Pi-Star Hotspot Device

I found a very good video that shows how to add a mobile dashboard to your Pi-Star Hotspot, this is very good for those that use their Hotspot while mobile either by connecting to your phone’s hotspot for an internet connection or purchase a Hotspot from Verizon or At&t. So let’s get started!

First, connect your Hotspot to your home/office network and open your browser of choice on your computer, then navigate to https://pi-star.local/admin/expert/ssh_access.php after this go ahead and log in with your credentials, the default credentials are “pi-star” as the username and “raspberry” as the password after this run the following commands.


sudo wget -O /tmp/

sudo chmod 555 /tmp/

sudo /tmp/

sudo rm -r /tmp/

Then after this has been completed, navigate to the “update” tab, this will take the RPI back to Read Only (RO)

Once this has completed you can navigate to the https://pi-star.local/mobile on your phone and access the Mobile Dashboard.

Right Menu

Left Menu

Landscape Mode

Taking it a step further for those with an iPhone:

1st Launch the Safari Browser

2nd Navigate to pi-star.local/mobile

3rd click on the Box with the up arrow icon

4rth on the bottom selection screens were you see Copy | Add to Reading List | Add Bookmark | Add to Favorites | Open in News, click on “add to Home Screen” edit the name of it and Voila! You have an icon on your home screen that you can open when you are mobile with your Pi-star device as I have mine in my car and you can check and make changes while mobile.

Credit goes to WOOTM for creating such good work!
DISCLAIMER: Install at your own risk! This addon is NOT supported by Andrew Taylor I have worked Andrew Taylor and following these instructions will not break the update process This addon does NOT require admin rights, so use at your own discretion.


APRS fun! iGate , Rapsberry Pi, RTLSDR and APRSC Servers


So…. after our Weather Balloon Presentation at the Wellington Radio Club, I decided I was going to check out my APRS Beacon setup that I have in my vehicle a Mini-Trak connected directly into my vehicles battery with a relay that will power off the unit after the engine turns off give or take about 5-10 seconds after. This allows me to track my vehicle and play with the data afterward.  Well, it was time to dust off the device as I had not used it in a while. Last time I really used it was when I was on vacation and went to Puerto Rico and drove to the largest Radio Telescope there is.

This weekend I decided to check out how I can use my raspberry pi and my Custom Made RTLSDR as an iGate. I went online and found some information on Github as well as other sources. Some information worked some did not, especially the location beaconing, I ended up using UTM coordinates (Zone=17r easting=xxxxxx northing=xxxxxx). After getting this iGate finished and coded I had a Working iGate that captured all the radio transmissions on 144.390Mhz. After I got this going I left the project working on my office network rack, it consumes little to no bandwidth and power so why not leave it operational?!.

On Sunday I wondered what about the server this thing connects to? (ig) Well, I went and read a bit more for about 10 minutes and found the open source code for APRSC binaries. I went and created my own APRSC Server then went to take a nap and get ready for the hurricanes that are coming our way (Hurricane Irma). After this I went and sat in my office and did a bit more coding and linked up the server to their network and monitored it for a bit, I found that they are using bootstrap so I did some custom code to make it look better for my taste.

And thus concludes my APRS Weekend. If you are interested in seeing the iGate search for KM4OOD-10, for the Server you can navigate to my IO Webpage ( and go to the site this will show you the server and its glory. Now I will leave this running for about a month but because I am using an external server it will charge me 10$. I will make an image if I ever find a cheaper way to host this server, in the mean time it’s in the pool of servers. Enjoy!


Rookie Roundup

Coming up: 2017 April (SSB) Rookie Roundup!-

The next Rookie Roundup will be Sunday, April 16, using SSB.



• You can be a Rookie if you were first licensed in 2017, 2016 or 2015 – send the year you were first licensed in the exchange.


• Starting in April, if you were licensed before 2015 you can also be a Rookie if you made your first Amateur Radio contact during 2017, 2016 or 2015 or if you haven’t made any contacts on the contest mode (SSB, CW, or RTTY) before the Rookie Roundup contest, send the current year (2017) in your exchange – either of these reasons qualify you as a Rookie for just one year.


• Rookies will attempt to make as many contacts as possible during this 6-hour event. Rookies work everyone – and non-Rookies work only Rookies.


This is a great way to try out contesting in an event designed for newcomers.  Hope to work you then! To pre-register teams or submit your score after the event, please visit the Rookie Roundup page hosted by Bruce Horn, WA7BNM.


DTMF A,B,C,D” Where is it on my baofeng radio?



With Baofeng being a very popular and economical radio, a lot of Hams have this device and in some cases come across a means to input DMTF tones for either IRLP or Echolink. As you all know I am part of the Wellington Radio Club here in S. Florida and We have been adding new features to both of our repeaters. It came to my attention that one of the features that we are about to put in place uses a DTMF tone of  “#” which is being used for our Echolink node and Wires uses this as a default. We have changed this to A and B for our Echolink and IRLP Nodes since we have multiple ones in one repeater. I found that my simple radio did not have this but my friends Yaesu did have these letters (A, B, C&D) printed on the keypad. Well here is the simple solution. See image bellow. The radio will output these but it seems that Baofeng did not quite have room to add the letters to their HT. Seems like a simple thing but when you are out and about trying to access a feature on your favorite repeater and the repeater has prefixes it can be a headache.



Menu = A   ▲ = B   ▼ = C   EXIT = D


How to run HCALC_129 on the Macintosh

QSTCSDR – Creating your own Tranciever with a Raspberry Pi 2 or 3 and a RTL-SDR Dongle



After updating the post were I was using the RPI and a RTL-SDR dongle to create a Server for those that wanted to listen to the WRC Repeater, I stumbled upon the blog of the creator of OPENWEBRX and found a nifty article and library that allows you to use an RTL-SDR and a RPI as a transceiver, here is the github repo.


Lets get started, you will need an RPI 2 or 3 and an RTL-SDR Dongle after imaging your SD card with a copy of Debian Jessie set the RPI to overclock “medium” of course you must have some kind of cooling for the chips, amazon has RPI Heat sinks for sale that you can use. After this go right ahead and from within the home run the following code.



sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade && reboot

This will update and upgrade your RPI.

Once it has been updated we can move onto adding the software needed. Run the following commands one by one , adding a “Y” for yes every time the Pi asks for more disk space.

git clone
cd qtcsdr

If you run into trouble and need to do some troubleshooting go ahead and reference the well written Github repo

Credit of course goes to ha7ilm for his contributions towards the SDR community.


………… I almost forgot after installing it and you need to run it once more go ahead and cd into the qtcsdr directory then run the shell script ./  ENJOY!

Also this is done via SSH, if you are in windows you can use  PUTTY and if you are in Mac OSX or Linux simply run the Terminal.



Cheap Signal Link Style Interface!


Signal Link

We all know that Hams often are cheap when purchasing hardware. There are some modes that I personally would like to master and these would be SSTV and MBEMS ( MT632KL) as well as others. But we all are on a budget and today I was part of the Wellington Radio Club Slow Scan Net. I was having some issues while transmitting using acoustical coupling, I also got some RF burn from my Baofeng’s Battery terminals, not good at all. So I decided enough was enough and I wend to my Home lab to gather the items that I needed to create my own “SignalLink”.

Here is what you will need to accomplish this.

  • HT (Wouxun, Baofeng or Kenwood) Others may work , you will need to ensure the size of the MIC and SPKR output.
  • baofeng UV5R1x Sound card :  found on Ebay (LINK)
    Price: US $3.99


  • 1x “EASY DIGI” Digital Sound Card Interface by KF5INZ : found on Ebay (LINK)
    Price: US $22.95


  • 2x 3.5mm Audio Cables (AUX Cables) : found on Ebay (LINK)
    Price: US $4.95

2x 3.5mm cables

  • 1x 3.5mm Male to 2.5mm Female Audio Adapter Converter : found on Ebay (LINK)
    Price: US $2.59


A total of $34.48 US. The Signal Link is $120.00 US plus shipping. I have successfully tested it on SSTV and MBEMS, both working great!


I have tested it on MAC OSX as well as Windows 7,8,8.1 and W10 as well as VMWare. Hope you guys find this useful for those looking to send and receive data via your HT. 73’s



Instructions on how to connect your HT using this method will be completed this week… Stay Tuned…..