1. The Topic of the Month for October is "Make this the Perfect Bugout Location". Please join the discussion in the TOTM forum.

Rebuilding my local AoO Comms.....

Discussion in 'Survival Communications' started by BTPost, Jun 7, 2013.

  1. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    I have been rebuilding my local AoO (Area of Operations) Comms capability, here for the last few months. First was to replace the old ALINCO Dual Bander, with a used Kenwood TM-D710a Vhf/Uhf APRS/Packet/SkyCommand II Radio. Getting this integrated with my New Kenwood TS-590 for SkyCommand II, is still ongoing, but I have the GPS Input and Internal TNC talking to my local Network, and iMac, running WinXP in a Virtual Machine. Then I found a used Kenwood TH-72a Dual Band Vhf/Uhf/GPS Handheld on QRZ.com, It is basically the TM-D710a, in a Handheld Unit. It does just about everything that the mobile does, in a handheld package. Both Have 1000 Memories and when CAP/MARS'd Opened, have the same Frequency Coverage. Very useful, out here where I live.... The final item, just happen to come up cheap, on QRZ.com. A used Kenwood TM-D700a Dual Band Vhf/Uhf APRS/Packet/SkyCommand II Radio. This is the earlier version of the TM-D710a and basically does everything that the later Unit does, but only has 200 Memories, and will NOT do the New Narrow Band FM. The GPS Input was not functional, and there were a few MODs that need to get done, before it was ready to install in my Rhino 660. After working over the radio, and doing the MODs, I started to look at the GPS Input issue. This used the same Input as the 710, but it just wasn't seeing the incoming Data Stream. After a few hours of starring at the circuits in the Service Manual, and tracing out connections, on the SMD type Main Board, under a BIG Magnifier, I determined that the GPS Data Ground was Open to Radio Ground, and with no Data Ground Reference, the internal TNC couldn't see the Data Stream. Apparently the Previous Owner had put some voltage on the GPS Data Ground, and burnt the choke, and parallel resistor, Open. In doing a few other MODs, I added a Switched 13.4Vdc Line to Pin 1 on the DB-9M Data Port, as well as a solid Radio Ground to Pin 6, to Power the external GPS, from the Radio. So once I found the open GPS Data Ground, I added a short 28Ga. Jumper from the GPS Port Data Ground Pin, to Pin 5, on the DB-9M DataPort. Then I got to thinking, if I am Powering the GPS from this Port, I could also put in a couple more 28Ga. Jumpers and bring the GPS Data Stream In thru Pin 4, and the Data Stream Out on Pin 9. None of these Pins were connected to anything, in the stock Radio. Now I can just use a Single Plug, to power, and connect, the GPS to the Radio. Once everything was done, I reassembled the radio, and connected everything up. Then hit the Power Switch, and went to the Position Screen, on the Internal TNC, and Wahoo, there was the GPS Data and a blinking GPS Indicator on the radio LCD. Way cool... Blinking GPS means it is receiving the Data Stream correctly. Nice. Now, I am ready to install the System in the Rhino, when it finally stops raining for a day or two. Then try out the APRS functions, and finally the SkyCommandII system for controlling, and working the TS-590 from the Rhino, or the HandHeld..... Could be useful, when the Black Helicopters, come looking for a Clandestine HF Radio, operating from Bush alaska.....

    @ghrit.... You only need t read this once, here....
    Yard Dart and tulianr like this.
  2. techsar

    techsar Monkey++

    Good to hear things are moving along for your setup. BIG magnifiers are our friend!:-D
    BTPost likes this.
  3. STANGF150

    STANGF150 Knowledge Seeker

    Lord I wish I was bright enough to understand half of what Bruce just said. Unfortunately my mind can't seem to work in that direction :(
    techsar and VisuTrac like this.
  4. techsar

    techsar Monkey++

    Short, non-technical version...got a base radio he can control by a mobile...got a great buy on another older, but compatible radio that had a problem. Turned out to be an open circuit that was repairable. Now everything works! WOOHOO!!![touchdown]
    VisuTrac likes this.
  5. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    It says (in the fine print) that I'll be able to control my TS 480 from my TH 7A. It remains unclear why I might want to --

    Now, after a bit of learning, I can see a reason to run the TS 480 from the laptop. @BTPost, do you do that? (As in PSK31 --)
  6. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Not via PSK-31, yet... that comes after the SkyCommandII project.... but being able to operated an HF Radio from a remote location, could be a BIG advantage, if the Black Choppers are looking for you..... .....
  7. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Ghrit, Did you download the TS-480 Control Software, and Audio Drivers, yet? I think you will be impressed with the quality of these two programs. I sure like the TS-590 versions, that I now have debugged and running from the Virtual XP Machine, on my iMac. I finally debugged the Driver Hardware for the TS-690 Backup HF Radio, and have it talking to the Virtual XP Machine, running the "Ham Radio Deluxe" Control Package. Next thing to do for the TS-690 interface is to bring the Tx/Rx Audio Lines, into a Plantronics USB Audio Codec. so that I can work on getting the Radio's Tx/Rx Audio, in, and out, of the Virtual XP Machine. The Drivers get a bit confusing, when they look for Audio Inputs, and Outputs, that are coming in thru the Virtual Machine/Mac OSX Interface, rather than a hardware SoundCard. It just takes a while, to figure out, which Drivers, need to talk to what Audio Ports, and what Glue Firmware needs to be in between, to make the connections. Getting closer to having everything connected each day. Hope I can get it all done, before Momma comes home..... ......
  8. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Haven't yet powered up, waiting until the antenna gets here and I can see what else I'll need to get from the rig to the air. For sure, there's coax in the future, and probably a couple connectors as well. I plan on downloading the software, it has to be easier to program that way, but haven't yet. The Kenwood software did wonders for setting up the h/t to just hit the repeater, and there are other features I have yet to probe. (Like scanning.)

    Just yesterday, I realized I was suffering from analysis paralysis on a skyhook. This morning, I pulled the trigger on an MFJ 1775 dipole on a stick. That will take some trimming, I'm sure. Will need to borrow a meter from one of the local guys, then meddle with it. That will open the door to the classroom so to say.

    I'm going to delay going with SDR controls until later. Being a bit one track minded, combining steps will have me lost in a hurry.
survivalmonkey SSL seal        survivalmonkey.com warrant canary