Radio Shack HTX-242 MIC Repair (MIC Part 19-1126)

After a Ham Flea Market, I picked up this old 2M Radioshack Radio for 20$, I took it home and tested it and it works like a charm, I cleaned it up, the image above. Unfortunately, it suffers the same fate as any other of its kind and that was the coiled cable for the MIC it was chewed up and had electrical tape (vinyl tape) as well as some sections with small zip ties. Well, I couldn’t keep it in this form so this article focuses on the restoration of the microphone for this old radio.

Tools:
Soldering Iron
Heatgun or Rework Machine
#2 Phillips screwdriver
#0 Phillips Screwdriver
Hot Glue Gun
Cable Cutters
Multimeter to test any two points for any shorts when soldering.
* No other pin should show continuity.

Materials:

Small Zip Tie
Solder
Solder Flux
Shrink Tubing
Microphone 8 pin Cable ( Click me I am a link)

Step One: Remove the three screws on the rear of the MIC.
Step Two: Remove all 4 screws holding the PCB onto the MIC Case.
Note* Take good caution for the buttons and surface mounted components.
Step three: Remove the PCB from the Housing.
Step four: Remove the slider switch and the two small plastic slider covers with care.
Step Five: Cut one end of the 8 Pin Coil cable and strip the ground then add a small shrink tube to protect it from shorting anything else. Also without heating up add some shrink tubing for later use as a strain relief on this end just push it to the side for later use.
Step Six: Use a heat gun or in my case, I have a workstation so I used that at a low temp so as not to damage other conductors.
Step Seven: With caution remove the 8 pin header by applying solder flux and using a chisel tip then run the tip of the solder gun back and forth while applying some force. You will find that it will slowly come off the PCB board leaving no trace or marks. The key is to be patient.
Step eight: Clean the PCB with some Electronics Grade Isopropyl alcohol, a small bristle brush does not hurt 😉
Step 9: This is the good part. Here you see the pins in relation to the 8 pin RJ45 Connector. Please disregard any color coding used by the manufacturer as I saw this not matching the factory MIC color code. Solder each of the conductors carefully and with patience, leaving at least 1″ of spacing for our “service loop”.
This is the image of the Soldering Completed.
Step ten: With care make your service loop add a small zip tie for strain relief, Here you can also see the shrink tubing added earlier in {step 5} for help with any strain as well.
Step 11: I added some hot glue to protect the joins from any movement wear.
Put it all back together and here is the end product.
It works like a charm!

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.



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

POWER CIRCUIT PROTECTOR WORKSHOP 7/16/2016

POWER PROTECTOR layout 3

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.

Ham Radio Pager (Dapnet)

A few years ago I found myself reading an article about pagers and how there are a few that can be programmed to be on the 70CM band after some research I found that there was a project to add the DAPNET to the Brandmeister system. I went ahead and ordered a pager and started to fiddle with my Hotspot running Pistar and got it to work. Below are the notes that I had with some screenshots, note that some of the information was taken from the DAPNET site with images and videos created by me today to illustrate how easy it is to set up.

Items that you will need:

  • MMDVM
  • MMDVM_HS_Hat
  • MMDVM_DUAL_HAT

with Firmware >= 1.4.1

Software

PiStar >= 3.4.16 or MMDVM-Host Version ???

Which Pagers can be used

  • Skyper
  • AlphaPoc 602R X4 (z.Z. ausverkauft) – TPL Birdy
  • I used this pager ( you can have the seller program your pager or get the programmer, I chose to have both done as it was free programming and the programmer would be good for later use.

If you already have a running pi please update and Upgrade Pi*’s base system services and packages

  • Login to your Pi* Installation via SSH using Terminal,cmd-Prompt or putty (Standard is „ssh pi-star@pi-star“ (you can miss the:22 at the end because it is the standard port)
ssh pi-star@pi-star [Enter]

Now you will be asked for the Password – Standard-Password is „raspberry“ without „“ or take the password you have changed in Pi-Star Dashboard.

You will see the Welcome Message in ASCII-Signs

Now you have to Enter the following commands:

1. PI* uses write protection so the command to unlock the filesystem for editing is:

rpi-rw [Enter]

2. Now get the latest Version of Pi* and all needed software components:

sudo pistar-update [Enter]

3. Upgrade the Pi* Installation to the next following Version:

sudo pistar-upgrade [Enter]

Repeat the last command (sudo pistar-upgrade) till you get a message „you have installed the latest version of Pi* – No update needed“ or a similar message.

It is not possible to directly upgrade to the newest version! So you have to repeat the pistar-upgrade several times.

For example, You have installed Pi* Version 3.4.13 and want to get onto Version 3.4.16

You have to use the command „sudo pistar-upgrade“ 3 times to get from 3.4.13 to 3.4.14, then from 3.4.14 to 3.4.15 and 3rd time to get from 3.4.15 to 3.4.16.

The last output in the terminal should be:

    You are already running the latest version…
    Sleeping a few seconds before making the disk Read-Only…
    Finished

Upgrade the firmware of your MMDVM-Hardware

for Upgrading MMDVM_HS_Hat board connected to GPIO you have to enter the command:

sudo pistar-mmdvmhshatflash hs_hat

for upgrading the original MMDVM-HS_DUAL_HAT board (made by Andy, Florian (DF2ET) and DB9HAT) connected to GPIO you have to enter the command:

sudo pistar-mmdvmhshatflash hs_dual_hat

If you get a message that the flashing process was successful, the hardest part is done. If not, repeat flashing or ask for help in the „MMDVM-BM“ or „DAPNET User“ Telegram-Messenger Groups.

Newer board variants are equipped with a 12.288MHz TCXO and require a firmware with different settings. The commands above flash a 14.7456MHz firmware. To upgrade boards with a 12.288MHz use the following commands:

sudo pistar-mmdvmhshatflash hs_hat-12mhz

respectively

sudo pistar-mmdvmhshatflash hs_dual_hat-12mhz

Be sure to identify your TCXO before flashing the firmware!

Do a restart now with

sudo reboot now [Enter]

Configure Pi-Star and enable DAPNET

Please register to DAPNET here https://www.hampager.de once you have an account you can Register a New Transmitter <— Here.

You will get a „DAPNET AuthKey“ by email if your ticket is arranged by a Team-Member.

Now it`s time to Login into the Pi*-Dashboard!

On a Windows, Mac, or Linux-based computer (not the hotspot itself) that has WiFi enabled, open a browser window and navigate to (trailing slash needed):

  Windows: http://pi-star/
  macOS, iOS, etc.: http://pi-star.local/
  On some mobile devices, the url won't work. In that case, try the Auto AP IP address: 192.168.50.1
  

Go to Admin Area and hit „Apply Changes“ somewhere, like if you would save any changes – even if you did not change anything. This will reload the page and force Pi* to reload the Configuration. During this process, all missing or by update added sections will be loaded and shown correctly.

Now you should still see the Configuration view and in the „MMDVMHost Configuration“ section, switch on „PROCSAC“ and then click „apply changes“.

The Page will reload – now search for the „POCSAG Configuration“ section and fill out the needed values:

  • Node Callsign POCSAG – Enter the POCSAG node callsign.
  • Radio Frequency POCSAG – Enter the POCSAG radiofrequency. Per Andy Taylor in the Pi-Star User Forum : „If we get good buy-in from repeater keepers, we could have a really good paging network with great coverage, especially if we all use the same standard frequency.“ In Germany, where are already a lot of repeaters we use 439.987.500MHz, which will be the default entry in Pi*!
  • DAPNET AuthKey – Enter your authorization key for the Decentralized Amateur Paging Network. Which you got by Mail after you registered a New Transmitter as I told you on the Beginning of Configure Pi-Star and enable DAPNET
  • POCSAG Whitelist – This is a white list filter. You can enter RICs separated by a comma. Only calls to those RICs will be transmitted on the air. You can, for example, enter your own RIC here to only transmit calls to yourself. Beware that group calls, time sync messages and the like will be suppressed if you do not enter the corresponding RICs here as well.

Once you have done so you can send and receive messages/pages from the network. Please see the video below.

For those advanced users you can use the API here https://forum.pistar.uk/viewtopic.php?t=719

*Please keep in mind that this blog was created a few years back so this may well be easier now to set up. Enjoy! 73’s

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.

rpi-rw

sudo wget -O /tmp/pi-star.mobile.install.sh https://www.w0otm.com/pistar/pi-star.mobile.install.sh

sudo chmod 555 /tmp/pi-star.mobile.install.sh

sudo /tmp/pi-star.mobile.install.sh

sudo rm -r /tmp/pi-star.mobile.install.sh

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 (Malave.io) and go to the APRSC.malave.io 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.

NEW RULES – MORE ROOKIES!

 

• 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