it’s Tetra time .. so DMO yourself a favour and try it out ..

Time marches on, and it’s hardly news that our MotoTrbo DMR repeaters GB7MB and GB7UZ and the short lived TAC-9 have both passed into memory, but it’s okay, P25 continues in the Morecambe bay area, and although P25 is approaching what must be it’s seventh year or so of usage around Morecambe Bay, it was recently given an additional boost last year too with Dave G6CRV’s construction of the P25 – DMR repeater, GB7MP. Nice one Dave.

For several years I’ve been reading about Tetra, Many years back i purchased an old Dolphin Tetra HT just out of curiosity, but at that time P25 and even DMR overtook my Tetra interests back then, and the crappy old Dolphin HT stayed in the junk drawer, and i think i even threw it in the bin eventually.

Until a few months ago I’d been playing with SDR Tetra receivers, and had been doing so for a few years, Telive and Gnu Radio weren’t easily accessible for most, as for years it was the preserve of Linux users who love compiling stuff from source, not exactly a turn-on for most SDR users, but as i am pretty comfortable with Linux, starting as i did, messing with RedHat Linux and Solaris back around 1997/1998 after i upgraded from NT4, so it was easy, 
It has been interesting to see Tetra SDR decoding move over to windows and become somewhat mainstream, now, where it’s pretty much as easy as installing any Windows SDR program. and the looming ‘lockdown’ seemed like a good time to pick up a couple of bits of Tetra stuff to play with, so a couple of MTM800s were bought, an MTM800e and a MTP850S and a whole pack of paracetamols – for the inevitable headaches coming my way.

This is a Motorola MTM800E



Tetra sets are often a little low powered in comparison to other PMR sets, MTM800s are all around 3 or 4 watts RF out which is a little disappointing, but as radio amateurs we are quite capable of pushing a low power signal over a reasonable distance, negating losses, and and tweaking aerials etc, so not a huge hurdle, but one to bear in mind.

Typical Motorola build quality,  Physically it’s a standard DM4600 type body and uses the same mounting brackets and screws, power lead and fist mic. There’s no infernal speaker, so you will need a suitable connector, The DM4600 type connector do look similar on a computer screen, but thy are not,  they are different dimensions, so i picked a small box of used 16 pin connectors over on Epay, the rear connector is 20 pin and you do need the full 20 pin connector for the programming lead, (buy one instead) but a 16 pin connector will be just fine for speaker output. They have a nice chunky underside heatsink, a very familiar casing, and DM4600 mics will fit.  From all i gather though, most MotoTrbo IMPRES mics will work okay, but the navigation keys aren’t supported, sadly. Some Epay sellers sell an MTM800E version with the Amateur 70cms band codeplug programmed in already too, but to me, i see no point buying the more expensive one, because you will still need to edit the codeplug for UK Ham usage anyway.  We use our CCS7 ID, but there is no reason to yet. Most Tetra sets you will see are 380mhz to 430mhz, but with a simple codeplug hack, you can allow frequencies up to 440mhz to be programmed in to the CPS without it complaining then refusing, but the seller told me much above 435mhz and it’s going to be noticably less sensitive anyway, but it’s great at 430mhz and 431 mhz, which is where most Tetra users are anyway.

Most sets are 380mhz to 430mhz, but there are the rarer, (and pehaps slightly more useful) 410mhz to 470mhz versions, there are 800mhz variants too, but they are no use to us in Europe. Many sets will come with encryption in – so you may see ‘TEA’ mentioned. UK Airwave (emergency services) use TEA2, but that is of little or no interest to Amateurs as well as it being TEA2 being illegal to own, or have in your set, or something like that.

And this (below) is a MTP850S

Actually, it’s a MTP850s fug (don’t ask) the ‘proper’ MTP850S just has a little speaker grill on the top front corner, but anyway, the MTP850S is a very popular Tetra HT, i prefer these as the MotoTrbo DP3600 / DP4600 speaker mics fit and they’re a nice size and form factor too, they have plenty of cheap accessories and some have a high-power option too, which this set has, nearly a full watt of RF output extra, and is, of course, switchable like on any other Moto HT.  The FuG version which you see here is a slightly different version to the standard MTP850S, and it has an interesting feature which enables it to be used as a DMO repeater, perhaps that’s of limited use on a HT, but very interesting nontheless and it’s a bit of fun to play with all the same, and it does work too. The usual (hidden) extended MS147 Hirose external antenna socket is still there, in the HT, and is a little more accessible than the (Motorola-ized) MS147 in the DP4800 / DP4801 DMR HTs, but i have yet to try connecting it to an external aerial, Of course Motorola sell a special, elongated MS147 adaptor for testing purposes which needs to be as long as the MS156, but the Motorola specific version you need is, er,  as expensive as the HT itself (cheers Moto)
Standard MS147s just about reach the MTP850’s ext aerial socket, and could, with a little bit of non-invasive and careful work, allow connection to outside aerials to the MTP850S when sat in the shack.

It goes without saying that you can’t hear the emergency services on these,  that’s not something we’re interested in here anyway, we’re interested in the tech, as radio Amateurs.  Of course TETRA is first and foremost a trunked system,  with little (or no) accessible Amateur Tetra TMO repeaters in the UK – that we’re aware of, there are several TMO ones on the continent, but as we’re up in Lancashire – we use DMO mode – (rig-to-rig or simplex)

(below) the older version of the popular MTM800 (not ‘e’ suffix)


Much the same as the MTM800E but an arguably less attractive control head and a few other refinements, It’s a GM380 styled Tetra mobile, and some older GM series RJ45 mics and bits fit. The rear programming cable is exactly the same on both MTM800 and MTM800e versions.

DMO repeaters are easily available, but there seems to be a lack of interest in Tetra in the UK Amateur radio scene, although pleasingly there seems to be many little pockets of Tetra users all across the UK however, but it’s a great pity that there is no MMDVM or PI-star type device for Tetra, which would really create a boom in UK Amateur Tetra use.

I notice there is some illegal use around 421mhz, but low powered sets and inefficient aerials on HTs mean they will go mostly undetected. Some UK sourced sets come with something called ‘National 430’  already programmed in, in addition to often the unofficial 421mhz pirate channels, but with a centre frequency of 430.000 mhz, this means that half of your TX signal falls outside of the Amateur band anyway, so that is not a wise choice.

Many LPD devices use 430.000 as a spot frequency too, and a depressingly large amount of other ‘license free’ plastic Epay crap pollutes these frequencies on 70cms too, so we decided to use a carefully chosen frequency that’s largely out of the way of most things, and seems pretty clear, for the most part, so 430.3125  is where we live on Tetra. We chose TG 10 (in Tetraspeak that’s GSSI 10) although perhaps ‘1’ would be more logical.

Local usage around Morecambe Bay is of course, low, only three of us are using it for occasional local chats, but hopefully a few more Amateurs will take the plunge, and as our antennas improve, maybe with some Tropo in the summer months too, it will provide a little more chance of some activity, and if in the coming months we are all allowed out of the house on non-essential trips to go up the hills and go out mobile, perhaps the reasonably cheap MTM800Es on Epay will all get bought by UK Amateurs.

Tetra gear seems a little less easy to find for sale, but do keep looking. There are a couple of good sites on Facebook where there’s no clique, and all information is shared in good humour, the Facebook grup below is only for licensed Amateurs interested in learning about the mode, and not for those strange blue-light fantasists and plastic paramedics who like to dress up in high viz gear and try to look a bit official. You know the type ūüôā

I monitor 430.3125 Tetra TG 10 most of the time on a HB9CV up 4 storeys pointing South from Morecambe and it looks like there’s going to be plenty of time for us all to play radio whilst sat at home, where we can even wait for a Tetra rig arriving in the post !

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2570924786484340/

-Hax-

After GB7MB

Although we have seen the demise of the GB7MB DMR repeater, the site itself is not going anywhere. I am hopeful that Hax will continue to add the odd posts as he as always done so. I personally feel he has a excellent way of passing his knowledge on. Locally we are still served by GB7MP thanks to Dave, which caters for both DMR and P25 digital modes. I shall however be diversifying the site to cover more of my other hobbies as well. The only reason for this is to justify my continuing funding of the site. If you are a member and wish to be removed from the site due to these changes just drop me a quick note to admin(at)mbars.co.uk and i will remove you.

Regards to all

Paul

2E0DXO

GB7MB closes down


Unfortunately, between 27th December 2019 and 28th December 2019 GB7MB will be going off-air and closing down because of site loss.

If anyone is able to offer a practical working site to relicense and host GB7MB – a UHF MotoTRBO 25w repeater, please get in touch with anyone here at https://mbars.co.uk


Many Thanks to everyone who supported GB7MB and kept it in operation.
This Mbars website should continue however.

-Hax-

GB7MP Morecambe Bay P25 repeater comes on-air


A new UHF repeater has come on-air this week,  It is a P25 / DMR digital repeater.
It’s transmitter output is on : 439.750 and it’s RX: 430.750.

The P25 repeater uses the default NAC of 293 and Talkgroup 2 and, and if you are out of the area or are unable to get in via normal RF means, It is also linked to the ‚ÄėMorecambe Bay Talkgroup 2 reflector‚Äô which also allows P25 users to access the repeater via the internet.
The DMR side of GB7MP is colour code 3, and is connected to Brandmeister, and here’s the thing, there are no Brandmeister talkgroups assigned, so you will need to check the standard Brandmeister Talkgroups that you intend to use before you program.

The reason GB7MP does not carry Brandmeister talkgroups by default is that the repeater is primarily a P25 repeater and lots of busy DMR traffic would render the P25 part of the system unavailable to the primary P25 users, but you have the option on using GB7MP or GB7MB, remember GB7MB is DMR only and thus 100% availabile for DMR use anytime, and MB is on the Phoenix network, not Brandmeister. MP and MB are *not* directly TG9 linked like UZ was before UZ went off-air.
Just a note about the echoserver, program it as a private call, not a group call, like it is on Phoenix.

I quote Dave, G6CRV the Repeater keeper of GB7MP
“All the reflectors have an associated Talk Group, if you don’t want to enter all the talk groups into your radio, then you can connect to the associated Reflector by using a private call. IE private call to 4412 connects you to TG23520 (North West) and connections to reflectors time out after 5 minutes if not being used ”

Thanks Dave, If you need more information on the operation of GB7MP, please check out the Facebook group at:

GB7MP Facebook group 

Here are some links to check on the system status of GB7MP:

GB7MP P25 Last heard 

GB7MP Brandmeister (DMR) Last heard

MW0MWZ’s list of Brandmeister talkgroups 

Armchair stormchasing & webcam links

I think most people are interested in thunderstorms and weather, so here are a few links here if you’re interested.

Here is a link to a newly created UK Thunderstorm and severe weather Facebook page,
it was created as most UK storm sites on Facebook seem to be full of non UK storm info.
on this, Only UK content allowed.   Link HERE

As this is Morecambe Bay, here is the obligatory live streaming webcams..
https://morecambebid.com/more-cam/

Met Office Observations
¬† Might as well start with the UK Met Office.¬† This link is centred on GB7MB and ‘LIGHTNING’ – but of course you can drag or search any part of the UK and set it for rain or whatever by clicking on the ‘cog wheel’ and selecting the weather type you are interested in. The lightning is live and is triangulated via a very well established network of sensors, apparently.


Worldwide Youtube webcams
Р(a list of about 180 on the right hand side) 

Lightning Maps
 A European wide real time lightning display.

 

Blitzortung
Much the same as the European display above, You can’t drag the map like on LightningMaps, but the noise of the lightning as it strikes is remeniscent of an old Geiger counter if there’s a storm on..

 

Webcam Taxi
Not a storm site, but a streaming video site, with some really great cameras from many parts of the world. There are full video, not flickery updating photographs. Some have sound.

 

SkyLineWebcams
Much the same cams as above.

 

Severe Studios USA
No, it’s not a dominatrix site, it’s a North American Storm chasing site.
Live maps from the storm chasers vehicles and full streaming video from inside the vehicles whilst hunting, travelling to and chasing severe weather in North America. 
Some are professionals working for News stations or weather centers, some are science estalishments or groups or individuals.
Be aware that in some parts of the country these storm chasers get into, their 4G or mobile data signal can get broken and disappear for seconds, minutes or completely !

 

Live Storm Chasing
Similar idea to the above website, seems less busy at times, but it’s a different group and different organization, well worth keeping an eye on too.

 

UK full video webcams

There are more, but UK webcams seem to come and go regularly, some don’t re-appear,
these are working as on Mid June 2019¬† ¬† Expect interruptions or outages, as most folks don’t take webcams oo seriously any more.

 

Arnside Pier  Live Webcam 

 

Bracklesham Bay   (West Sussex)

 

Brighton Runway webcam 

 

Bristol Surfcam

 

Dawlish (Devon)

 

Derbyshire (Nr Buxton)

 

Great Yarmouth

 

Hastings Pier

 

Haverford West

 

Hoylake (Wirral)

 

Bognor Regis Pier

 

Langland Bay (S. Wales)

 

Blackpool Promenade

 

Dover Beach (Kent)

 

Camsecure UK    a clickable map with a few streaming video cams in different areas of the UK

 

Oxford School 

 

Pembroke sea front

 

Polzeath beach (Cornwall)

 

Port Isaac Harbour (Cornwall)

 

Portpatrick (Dumfries & Galloway)

 

Various Shetland Isles cameras

Shropshire sailing club

Streamdays UK

Surfcheck UK beaches

Anglesey beach

Southampton – New Holmwood Hotel on the Solent

Some Golf Course in Scotland

Berwickshire, Scotland

Banbury Cross

Weymouth B&B Dorset coast

Whitstable Yacht Club

Windermere



Block it !

Most places you go to on the web now, will almost certainly be serving you adverts, or tracking you, or worse, and this is only an basic article about adblocking, Ublock origin in particular, as it’s the one that gets recommended by security analysts and researchers, and i install it in every browser first thing, i watch a fair bit of Youtube like most of us, and i still see many people complaining about adverts, so let’s go.

Youtube pre-rolls and ads have been around for years, but people really like money by doing nothing, and so adverts have bled their way into Youtube, one of the most high profile sites on the web. 
If You’re ready to watch a video, it’s incredibly annoying to have to sit through some unwanted crappy advert about something you hate, using your bandwidth, electricity, hardware and most insidious, your time.

Adblockers are plugins or extensions for your web browser which aim to stop this, they’ve also been around donkeys ages too, but, like every other bit of software, it doesn’t always do what it ‘says on the tin’ and, sometimes it does rather more… some Adblockers actually bring in adverts to your browser (mentioning no names) as they feed you tailored ads, different to what you may otherwise get fed, and for this, the adblock company gets a pay-off. Ad blockers, not blocking ads for money, sweet, no ?

This last year or two, the one everyone has been raving about is Ublock Origin  by Gorhill.
Actually, it’s not just an adblocker, as Gorhill himself says, it’s a wide spectrum blocker. so It’s a little like a java script blocker and firewall too, and a bit more too. but DO NOT confuse “Ublock Origin” with the similar sounding “UBLOCK” use Ublock Origin(al)

Default settings are, of course, pretty conservative, and try not to break anything too much, there’s always a trade-off between security and convenience, and you’re the only one who knows where the balance is for the way you use the web. The ‘tyranny of the default’ is a problem, and most bits of software – of any description, often benefit from a check through the preferences, in some cases, doing so can often turn a pain in the arse program into a pleasant to use and safer thing.

For me, i put all settings pretty much up to maximum, and if a website breaks, then so-be it, it can be whitelisted, turned off or adjusted until the site functions as expected if really needed.
Ublock Origin is available for every browser, Firefox,  Chrome, Chromium, Brave, Iriduim, Safari and even Edge although You really should try NOT to use Microsoft Edge Browser even if Microsoft have started building it underneath the bonnet from the Google Chromium browser, but if you must, enable WDAG at very least  before you start fixing it..
If You really want to tighten up privacy with Ublock Origin, go into the settings and enable the extra lists and Prevent WebRTC and for extra privacy i  block CSP reports too, although some people criticized Ublock Origin for being over zealous.




Above: i add extra privacy by clicking the “WebRTC” and “Block CSP”

One of the least discussed, but wonderfully useful things i like about some advert, or content blockers, is ‘element hiding’
where you can either temporarily or forever hide unwanted parts of a web page, sometimes it it *extremely* handy and can get you past some casual pay walls or some only-logged-in parts of some sites or remove bulky or screen wasting photos or guff.


 Here is a rather extreme example of element hiding on the same MSN homepage, these 2 pictures are before and after, i spent a couple of minutes hiding bits of the website Рby using the mouse and highlighting it, and  i got rather carried away and deleted pretty much everything !

Properly set up, Ublock origin should stop almost all adverts, even Youtube pre-rolls and in video pop ups whilst enhancing your privacy a little bit more, and it might speed up your browsing too and keep websites leaner and faster, but if you get into element hiding, you can extremely easily break a website (for you and that browser only) in a big way, or you might just hide the video, or login button, so you’d have to go into the ptions in ‘my filters’ and delete the filter lines the program has added.

-Hax-

TDMA – what’s that all about then ?

It’s not always obvious when you get into DMR exactly what makes DMR so ‘special’ and why everyone is jumping on the bandwagon, compared to most other types of digital voice modes, one of the coolest things about DMR over most other forms of digital voice modes is TDMA. that’s the secret sauce.

Conventional FM repeaters, along with older FDMA types work very well indeed, but more can be done, especially nowadays. On an FM transmitter, as soon as you transmit, your transmitters PA (RF power Amp) shoots right over to solidly pumping out 100% constant carrier, this is simple to understand, as indeed is a FM repeater’s basic operation, and we’re all used to and happy with that.
However, one conversation on a FM (or FDMA) repeater generally means that you have to wait until the repeater is free before you can use it of course, so if your message is important, you’re stuffed, unless you have another repeater to make the call on.
Imagine though, a repeater which can carry 2 separate conversations at the same time using the same two frequencies an FM repeater would use ? How ?

The answer, is TDMA, Time Division Multiple Access, it has been around years, longer than you might think, but it’s basically a channel access method – a way of data streams sharing the same channel, (because *everything* is data nowadays) and there are different types of channel access too, but as we are discussing DMR really, we’ll stick to that for now. Most of us, back in the 1990s will likely be familiar of the annoying and somewhat unpleasant ‘buzz’ or interference when your old cell phone was near an amplifier or stereo (remember those?) and the rat-a-tat buzz from the 2G Nokia cell phone you had.. that was a TDMA transmission.

Very basically, and because it’s a little abstract, i’ll attempt to give a ‘duffers’ way of imagining it. I know very little, but there seems to be very few write-ups anywhere on the web about it, particularly for hobbyists or folks who aren’t computer whizz kids, there are many DMR websites and discussions on forums and Facebook, but many others, though thorough and correct, require the imagination the size of a planet and a leap of faith to match.

Here goes, if you were to chop your FM transmitter on and off very quickly indeed, you could also imagine that in between your brief TX bursts, and the snapping of your PTT, that someone else, if just as quick, could send their quick TX bursts out too, on the same frequency in-between yours, no-one would be harmed, but you couldn’t speak fast enough to get your voice over could you ? and neither could the station that you’re trying to talk to.
Now, digital radio takes all your TX audio, throws away what it thinks is unneeded, and compresses the rest.
Now your voice is digital and in squeezed into a tiny IC in your radio, we can do fancy things with it, we can, for instance, break it up into blocks and transmit these blocks in, er, blocks, or packets, –¬† the quick pulses we mentioned earlier, but faster and electronicaly timed and controlled.
The receiver collects these ‘blocks’ and re-constitutes them, back into a whole lump, like adding water to a 1970s Vesta Chow Mein and you’ve got your audio back at the receiver, albeit after a lot of processing, and of course, you can do this through a repeater or simplex. You can even have two concurrent QSOs on simplex, on the same frequency!

A basic one way QSO through a DMR repeater is pretty simple to envisage,
here’s the first of my (sad and tragic) attempts at basic animation in The Gimp, a open source, free software graphics program, (For Windows, Mac & Linux) which i only found out did animation a couple of hours ago, so be kind to my first attempts !


TDMA – the Secret sauce

As you can see above, transmitting one DMR transmission over a DMR repeater all seems to make some kind of sense, you can see the packets arriving at the repeater, and the repeater transmitting them on.

The interesting bit about DMR is whilst they’re nattering on there, we can start up another QSO on the same repeater and the other QSO will be totally unaware, so, if there’s just one QSO on the DMR repeater, it will be sat idle a good proportion of the time, yet still continue to relay a full QSO on one of the slots, but there’s another slot we can play with, lets look at that.

Slots o’ fun

Above, on grubby animation number two, is what the repeater is seeing when someone else calls through the repeater, hugely slowed down, as for a short time it listens in the (lets call it a ‘gap’) and if it hears any valid DMR on the input at that time, it calls that slot 1, then automatically and without waiting, listens again on the same frequency in the other ‘gap’ or slot, and if a valid chunk of tasty DMR comes in at the expected slot 2 time, well, we will call that slot 2 then, and so it goes, back and forth, many times a second, constantly, until both transmissions stop and it can rest.¬†

So, to recap, there are now two simultaneous QSOs going on in the repeater, and as we can see, as the repeater is easily hearing both transmissions, the DMR repeater is also sending back control information to your radio, stuff like telling both transmitters when to TX their blocks of data back, all DMR receivers expect to hear packets or these blocks of data, so everybody is happy. Win, Win.


It’s a busy, busy busy job …

Above, in crap animation number three, (I’ll stop soon, i promise) – is a very poor attempt to envisage a DMR repeater in the midst of, er, repeating. Two QSOs are taking place on the one repeater at the same time, neither QSO knows or needs to know about the other QSO,

QSO one (slot 1)¬† is blue, and QSO two (slot 2) is green, neither know or can hear, (or join in with) the other QSO, they’re both completely independent, try doing that without TDMA.

In the crude graphic, massivley slowed down, the repeater is flashing the colour of the QSO it is currently TXing, it really onl haas one transmitter and one receiver really, but as you can see, it switches between both ‘slots’ automatically and very fast indeed, with the effect that the end user can’t tell. congratulations, because instead of having to buy another repeater, you’ve just got a free one by using DMR.

There are more DMR benefits too, stuff that the FM and FDMA stuff can only dream about,Myself, i like the old P25 phase 1 digital, a mostly American emergency service digital system, but it’s old and FDMA, not TDMA and and has only half the capacity of a these two slot TDMA system, bit TDMA is so important in comms, that P25 ‘phase 2’ is now TDMA, because it makes NO SENSE to invest in a poor propriety digital amateur only mode, or really any FDMA nowadays, unless it’s foe low end or retro fun, it’s a technological dead end street now, technology has moved on, some companies thought they’d lock users into substandard and propriety modes and dropped the ball completely or refused to update, as their cash cow was still bringing in the $$$ whilst other, superior standard, industry wide modes, well supported and still in active development continue to offer future development, rather than just at the whim of some proprietary bean counting exec.. but i digress..

One feature we enjoyed when we started playing with DMR, was to de-key each other .. the locals here are an often cruel and cheeky bunch who used to delight in, lets say, if someone was transmitting for a really long time, and listeners were starting to doze off or get bored, we send a DMR command from our rigs to the Guy who is still in waffle mode – still in TX -and¬† instantly setting the (surprised) waffling station’s rig back into receive mode – whilst they still had their finger on their PTT !¬† ¬†for a while it was a challenge to not be boring or waffle too much, lest you would be remotely de-keyed in mid sentance !

Such is the fun we had, but alas the tumbleweeds have taken over the hobby and i have to get my kicks by writing articles on MBARS ūüôā

Next Article:
“Talkgroups what the bloody hell are they then”

Changes are a comin’

We’re trying to diversify a little bit on MBARS here, Digital radio is just one tiny part of the whole electronics and hobby radio thing we’re all addicted to here, so we’re just mixing it up a little bit, as there’s not really enough happening in the DMR or digital voice part of the hobby to inspire me to pen many articles, the hobby is far bigger than just digital, We’re interested in a wider array of hobby radio and electronics.

I have added more areas, with more specific titles to reflect our other interests, and hopefully you’ll not be not forced to scroll and click around endlessly just to browse this (little) site of ours, with all the areas up the top instead, MBARS is only a 2 man effort, and i do most of the waffling and Quack does all of the Admin. If there are any menus or areas you think we should have, tell us !

So much content is on Facebook nowadays, so it’s a little hard not to be drawn into the Quagmire that is Zuckerberg-world (Giggidy) so please don’t expect a huge quantity of material on here, but we do like the idea of quality, and that is instead, what we will strive for, and that is also why joining is pretty much a slightly more tedious ‘send us an email’ type instead of the more usual email-loop – like you get on most other sites, though that may very well change, but it does keep out most of the spam, so there is method in our madness.

I’m no writer, or journalist, but when i have time (or the inclination) i do enjoy writing, especially on MBARS, but I found the digital radio bias rather restrictive, as i’m mostly a HF SSB Guy really, so I have added up some more categories up on the menu where hopefully you can jump to a particulat type of thing, instead of scrolling around, i found navigating the site a chore myself, so i need to make navigation easier and more straightforward.

Stick with us, and i hope we all can develop MBARS a little more, and take away some of the focus from DMR and cater to the far wider interests that we have, yet we still will stay mostly in the Hobby radio domain…

-Hax-





GB7MB is still on-air, but we use P25 & HF SSB 28.495


The demise of DMR in the area has seen a¬†resurgence of a few of the locals go back to 10m SSB instead.¬† We have been using 28.495 USB (on and off) for over 10 years now, with a brief flirt with DMR in between when we put GB7MB on air.¬† Activity is low of course, but is monitored most of the time, so fire your HF rig up and shout up. We are vey relaxed on there and fun, please don’t get offended by the goings-on on 28.495 – instead, just join in,
DONT BE a LISTENER !

The photo above is a MMDVM – a little radio board that sits on top of a Raspberry Pi – those tiny twenty quid computers – and it’s a hotspot for your P25 rig.
You can buy them ready built too,¬† they work fine. here’s an example.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/UHF-VHF-MMDVM-Hotspot-pi-star-Support-P25-DMR-D-Star-For-Raspberry-Pi-Antenna/253949198976?epid=10025105973&hash=item3b208d4280:g:~csAAOSw61Fb0YNh

After a bit of a config you need a P25 set, they pop up on Ebay and other places occasionally.
you shouldn’t need to pay much above ¬£100 for one, the chinese haven’t yet made a cheap P25 set yet, and likely never will, have a google for P25 digital if you don’t know what it is.

We have a Morecambe bay reflector for P25 and several users, though again, activity is low ūüôĀ

So, that’s an overdue update, just so you know what’s happening (not too much) but feel free to use GB7MB and have fun.

GB7UZ off-air

As most DMR locals may have noticed, GB7UZ is off-air and there is no way of knowing if it will ever return.
So It isn’t your radio – the repeater is gone.