NW Digital Radio Blog page 2

Holiday Sale on ThumbDV

The ThumbDV™ is on sale through December 25th for $99.95, that’s a savings of $20 over list price.

ThumbDV™ – See the Resource Page for SW

Check out the Wikis

Check out the Wiki pages for the newest documentation.

AMBE Wiki for information on the ThumbDV™, PiDV™, and AMBEserver

UDRC Wiki for information on using the UDRC™ for applications such as APRS™, dstarrepeater, direwolf, fldigi, and Xastir.

We have more information coming for application users, developers, and experimenters.

Club Discount

The UDRC-II has generated renewed interest in Digital Radio. We were recently approached by a local club that wanted to make a group buy, so we’ve put together a quantity discount program.

Buy 5 of any of our products (they don’t have to be all the same) and receive a 5% discount. Use coupon:

club5

Or receive 10% off on 10 or more. Use coupon:

club10

You must place a single order to one shipping address to qualify.

UDRC-II and the Process of Continuous Development

The great thing about Software is that you can improve it continuously. Here at NW Digital Radio, we view Hardware the same way. Each time we build out a PCB Fabrication run, it’s only engineering time and new solder-paste stencil charge to make any improvements. So we re-evaluate each product, looking for ways to make it better or appeal to a broader market.

Now that we’ve shipped hundreds of units, we’ve updated the UDRC based on feedback from the field.

UDRC-II Changes:

  • PTT and SQL are now independent and buffered on both ports making it a true 2 port controller
  • LEDs have been added to both PTTs and the 5V converter (only lights if wired to 12V)
  • The 12V to 5V converter has an RFI Filter and Transient Protection for Mobile Applications
  • The Audio Inputs and Outputs are now 100 ohms to improve cable matching
  • The EEPROM version allows the driver to auto-configure for the UDRC or UDRC-II

The UDRC-II starts shipping once we have all the documentation updated. All existing backorders will ship UDRC-II. The original UDRC will be obsoleted.

Limited Time Offer for all UDRC Owners!

If you’ve already purchased a UDRC, place an order for a UDRC-II by the end of September and receive a $20 Rebate. Just write UDRC Rebate in the comment field. Your email address must be in our Customer Database to qualify.

UDRC™ and Raspberry Pi 3 Compatibility

 

Some users have encountered reliability issues when the UDRC™ is used with a Raspberry Pi 3.

NW Digital Radio has duplicated the problem and isolated its root cause.

Our team looked at different options and after consideration, we recommend the following simple change on the Raspberry Pi. The change can be applied to both the Raspberry Pi 2 and 3.

Edit /boot/config.txt adding the following to the file and saving the change:

force_turbo=1

This will take effect upon rebooting of the Raspberry Pi.

Additional details are available on the UDRC Wiki

9.6Kpalousa

It’s time to move from 1200 bauds (it’s been 38 years).
NW Digital Radio will setup a test bench at the Northwest APRS Summer Gathering (Sep 9-11 at Valley Camp) to help get stations operating at 9600 baud packet.  This is your opportunity to get your equipment up and running on 9.6K packet.
We will have spectrum analyzers and deviation measurement equipment setup to make sure your configuration is optimal.
Bring your 9.6K capable hardware or software TNC, your radio, connection cables, and documentation on adjusting the radio’s deviation and TNC levels.
If you don’t have a 9.6K capability.  We will be offering the UDRC for sale on site (or pre-order).  You need to provide
  1. A Raspberry Pi 2 or 3
  2. A 9600 baud packet capable radio with appropriate cable
    • Mini Din 6 on the UDRC to your radio’s interface
    • We will bring a soldering station if you need to put a connector on a Mini Din 6 cable,
  3. A micro SD Card, preloaded with Compass Linux and direwolf
    • We can load your SD Card on site.
  4. A power supply for the radio and the Raspberry Pi (3A recommended)
There will also be examples of messaging applications as well as APRS applications available for running on the Raspberry Pi.

The $800 Tri-Mode Repeater: UDRC™ + Yaesu DR-1X

John’s Presentation at Hamvention® 2016. (Begins at 0:55)

Shipping Shutdown

Shipping will be shutdown starting June 22nd. Orders placed after that will ship when we re-open on July 10th.

UDRC™ – New Wiki Post

There is a new Wiki entry on using the UDRC™ on packet radio with the direwolf soundcard TNC

See: Wiki Post

Using the UDRC™ + Raspberry Pi 3 + 7″ Touchscreen Display + a FT-817 (or other radio) makes a great little desktop Xastir based APRS viewer.

Cables and Connectors

From the US Tech License Question Pool:

T4A01

Which of the following is true concerning the microphone connectors on amateur transceivers?
A. All transceivers use the same microphone connector type
B. Some connectors include push-to-talk and voltages for powering the microphone
C. All transceivers using the same connector type are wired identically
D. Un-keyed connectors allow any microphone to be connected

The UDRC™ has a “standard” 6 pin Mini DIN that works with the Data Port on many radios from Icom, Kenwood and Yaesu. Of course there are a variety of connectors and pinouts on both Amateur and Commercial radios.

We’ve found an excellent resource for cost-effective custom cables, right here in the Pacific Northwest. We’re currently having the following mini DIN-6 Cables made for our own use:

  • DE-09M, for the Alinco x35 radios
  • DE-15M, for the new Bridgecom 220 radio

If you need a cable for your radio; contact Randy, W7TUT, directly at:

www.qsl.net/w7tut/