Amateur radio

Found a problem with the Icom 2820 dual band radio I have in my car on Thursday night, where the microphone stopped working.

Upon investigation, it looks like the microphone socket, (which is an RJ45 socket), has come loose, causing the connection to be become intermittent.

Looking inside the case, the socket is held by a couple of tiny plastic lugs, one of which appears to have broken.

When I’m feeling brave, i’ll have to solder the connector back to the board, and then somehow secure the socket so it’s not loose.  Either that, or I’ll send it back to Icom to do it for me.

In addition to my usual radio activities, this weekend I’ve been lent a 4m FM mobile radio, and a Motorola DMR handheld.

I’ve never tried 4m, I’m told it’s called the ‘friendly band’, as there is very little traffic, so when someone does make contact they are typically very happy.

DMR is interesting. I have a couple of dstar radios, which was specifically designed for Amateur radio, but unfortunately the dstar repeaters in my area seeming to be in decline, with Internet connections not being renewed etc. DMR is a technology used in the PMR world (i.e. mainly private radio system used by security guards, taxi companies, building sites etc). I’ve seen a demo of it, and in my opinion the audio quality is better than Dstar, and it has similar functionality.  A benefit of DMR is that a number of manufacturers make DMR radios, although they tend to be single band, as they are designed for the PMR industry.  There is talk of some of the cheap Chinese manufacturers  bringing out a DMR radio, which if true could bring the price down significantly.

Anyway, Martin (M1MRB) from the ICQ podcast has lent me a Motorola DP3400, so I shall be having a play over the weekend.

Got a phone call from Practical Wireless last week, to let me know I’d won a Yaesu FT-252 2m handheld radio, which I collected at the weekend from their stand at the Kempton park rally.

At this stage I’m not sure what I’m going to use it for, as I’ve already got a bunch of handheld radios, so for now I’ve passed it over to my mate Martin Butler (M1MRB) to review for the ICQ Podcast.