Week Ending 1/22/22

An interesting week……………………………………………

As always, first the chronology;

1/16/22 – Sunday – Up at the usual time.  Out to the kitchen for breakfast and to motivate myself to go to church.  Kathy announced the motivation wouldn’t be necessary as her COVID test came back positive.  So, I got cleaned up and ran errands that she can’t now that she is quarantined.  Went to the grocery store and picked up prescriptions.  Got money out of the ATM and gassed up the truck.  Home in time for lunch.  Downstairs and did the blog.  Upstairs for a nap.  Up for dinner and chores around the house.  Usual evening routine.

1/17/22 – Monday – Up at the usual time.  Spent the day in the shack building a packet node.  Not much exciting.  Kathy still not feeling too bad.  Just a little stuffy nose and scratchy throat.  Running out of ideas for meals.  Usual evening routine.

1/18/22 – Tuesday – Up at the usual time.  Back downstairs to continue work on my packet node.  Had Kathy place an order for groceries at Kroger.  Took her for a ride into J-town and let them bring the stuff out to the car for us.  Home and put things away.  Back to working on the packet node.  Kathy ordered pizza from Hometown so I went down and picked that up.  Usual evening routine.  Also adjusted the timing on the modem associated with the packet node and all works OK now.

1/19/22 – Wednesday – Up a little late.  Didn’t sleep well.  Continued work in the shack.  Replace a backup battery in an HTX202.  Still no RF output so I ordered an output transistor for it.  Ordered new tips for my soldering station.  Otherwise usual evening.

1/20/22 – Thursday – Spent the morning looking for a bootleg copy of software to program the Motorola CDM-1250.  Found it and spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon learning how it works.  Finally got things working the way I want.  Put the radio on the TNC and had several problems.  Fixed the easy ones now have the info on the groups,io to see if the designer has any ideas.  Usual evening routine.

1/21/22 – Friday – Up at the usual time.  Spent the day again working on TARPN.  Finally modified a NinoTNC to make it work with the Motorola radio.  Put it online with my packet node I built and everything works great.  Not much else happened today.  Rest of the day was the usual stuff.

1/22/22 – Saturday – Up at the usual time.  Spent the day in the shack again.  Got the A3 NinoTNC that I got for .99 off ebay.  Put it on my APRS system and it worked like a champ.  Kathy’s quarantine was over yesterday so she was out shopping today.  Otherwise the usual things.

Now the specifics:

Kathy’s positive COVID test was a surprise for both of us. She had the symptoms of a mild cold and didn’t do anything about it till Friday a week ago. Her ear started bothering her and she was concerned that she might get into the vertigo thing so she went to the emergent care facility by our doctor’s office. They did a bunch of tests that were all negative but the nurse practitioner wanted to send out for a regular test. Sunday morning we got the word that it came back positive. Again, mild if any symptoms. So, I felt guilty and to make sure I wasn’t carrying it to others, I essentially quarantined my self as well. I had plenty to work on in the shack and it’s cold and miserable outside so why not. She was suppose to quarantine for 10 days from the start of her symptoms so that ended the quarantine on Friday this week. Needless to say, she was out shopping Saturday.

We did need some groceries so I had her call in an order to Kroger. It’s the first time we have ever done that. I took her along in the car so she could get out. Since they were bringing the stuff out to the car I didn’t see a problem. Other than issues with the supply chain and them not having some things, it all worked out rather well. An interesting exercise.

I spent most of the week working in the shack. Doing a lot with TARPN and packet radio. Digital radio like that needs some well constructed radios as the transmit duration is longer than normal for a hobby radio and it’s on all the time. So the answer to that is used commercial radios. I ordered a Motorola CD1250 from an outfit in upstate New York that had a lot of them. I spent time this week finding a bootleg copy of the programming software and a good amount of time learning how it worked. When I got that done I tried to use it on my packet node and it would not work. Several issues, one involving the NinoTNC. I put the information out on the NinoTNC group at groups.io. The designer of the TNC asked me to gather some additional data for him which I did. Another member of the team suggested a way to circumvent the issue. I modified a TNC as was suggested and it worked. So that will get written up in the TARPN.org website with credits to me for doing the field work. Felt good getting back into the component level of things.

Saturday I got an A3 version TNC that I bid $.99 on over ebay. I spent some time Saturday rearranging my radio desk to use the A3 rather than the A4. The A4 has much more to it that I don’t need on my APRS so it was logical to put the A3 there and free up the A4 I was using.

I made some phone calls this week and sent some text messages to see how people are doing. Good to hear all is well. Hope everyone stays safe and healthy.

I could write 10 times more than this but I don’t want you all to get bored with my ramblings about packet. So, until next week, be safe and blog at you again next week.

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