Wardriving and D-STAR Digital Data

I’m slowly working towards doing some experiments with mesh networking (OLSR) and Icom ID-1 D-star Radios in Digital Data mode.  I’ve been wondering what coverage I would (should) see from a vehicle, back to one of the locations where I have an ID-1 in a fixed location (thanks EI3JB/EI8JA).

I got back from a trip today, grabbed an ID-1, an Omni Antenna, Laptop, a short bash script I wrote to ping and record replies along with a GPS position, and an old GPS-18 puck.   All the nodes have fixed IP addresses so the script is quite simple, ping host A, if A replies within 2 seconds, record the next position output from the GPS, try the same with host B, loop forever, nothing fancy or terribly accurate.

As I only have two nodes set-up, and without much preparation (shutting down chatty applications), I persuaded SWMBO to do a short (war)drive, while I kept an eye on the laptop.

This first picture below shows (the red dots) the coverage from Nicky, EI3JB’s place (roughly at the 8 in the R708 closest to the top). Note the few packets recorded in Tramore, shortly after I left my own place.

The second is obviously from my place, as it is much more centred on Tramore.

Nothing really ground-breaking in either picture, but useful to help visualise potential coverage nonetheless. There is a huge black-spot on the section of road just leaving Tramore, as far as Ballykinsella (L4061 on the map).  This is of no surprise, as it is a tough location  for 430Mhz signals to get out of. What was surprising though is the packets received from EI3JBs location out in Tramore.

Next steps are to get EI8JA up and running, and complete a more thorough survey.

Now though, it is time for a beer!

6Y0A and yfktest.

Well, we made it to 2013. First up on the radio agenda this year was the January Irish Radio Transmitter Society 80 Meter band Counties Contest.

I hadn’t planned to enter the contest this year, but, the day before, I suddenly found myself with that afternoon free. I was invited along to the QTH of Liam, EI8BLB to operate his station along with EI8JA and EI3JB.

I brought along my roadkill linux laptop with yfktest on it for logging.

Yesterday, I received a card from “Kappy” WA4WTG, for 6Y0A, confirming Jamica as a new one for me (thanks Kappy). Kappy collects stamps so I took a bunch of stamps I had from Christmas cards and other received QSL’s and sent them onto him. In return 6Y0A was the first card I received in 2013.

While recording the card in my log, I was thinking that it would have been useful to have yfktest ‘tick off’ the counties as we worked them in the contest last Tuesday. So I had a quick look at the code.

It turned out to be pretty straightforward, as there was examples there already that I was able to follow, so that change should be in the repository come the summer IRTS 80m Counties Contest.

A very happy new year and wishing you good DX for 2013.