Discover more from Random Wire℠
I/O: AllStar on the road plus fiddling with netbooks
Success with ASL from the hotel!
I/O is a quick in-and-out note, short and sweet! Contents:
Allstar with the ANR100-N
Loading up some netbooks with ASL and/or Debian
Renewed my amateur radio license, good to 2033
Problems with my Kenwood TM-D710G radio
1 – Allstar with the ANR100-N
I just spent several days in hotels and found that the ANR100 radio-less node worked very nicely. I had trouble with it on past trips because I had not set up the wifi to automatically connect to my cellular hotspot. Once I figured that out, it connected straight away and I was in business.
I had previously implemented the script provided by David Gleason (AllScan.info) that causes the node to speak the IP address it is connected to. I entered *690 on the DTMF microphone, got the IP address, and used that address on my iPad to connect to AllScan that was running on the node. You can find the how-to for doing this on the AllScan AllStar App & Nodes group on Facebook in a post dated May 21, 2023.
AllScan showed several nets in progress so I joined one. It turned out this group of hams were holding their eighth net, and when the person serving as net control saw me join, he asked me to introduce myself. I ended up having a really pleasant conversation, but more to the point of this post, they complimented me on the quality of my audio.
To be abundantly clear: I was connected via a radio-free AllStarLink node, using an Alinco EMS-57 hand microphone, with a T-Mobile cellular hotpot linking it to the internet. And the audio quality was reported as quite good. That made my day!
2 – Loading up some netbooks with ASL and/or Debian
I recently loaded the AllStarLink Debian 10 ASL image onto a small laptop computer and tested it with my radio-less ANR100 node. That worked really well. It was nice to have Supermon and AllScan running on the same platform as the node and to have a screen and keyboard as part of the package. It’s too big for my home desk, but for traveling, it may be just the ticket as I can also use the laptop to get work done.
I’ve been playing with three different platforms and fiddling with Debian 10, 11, and 12. The beta ASL image available from AllStarLink.org runs on Debian 10. I’d like to get ASL running on Debian 11 and I’m almost there. The small laptop I’m using is an older Lenovo Ultrabook.
I’ve loaded Debian 10, 11, and 12 on the Ultrabook and it likes all three flavors. Right now I’m trying to upgrade the Debian 10 ISO by running a full upgrade to Debian 11. Only one package is missing in Debian 11 so the “make” process for ASL is balking. I’ll keep plugging away at it. I did like the way Debian 12 looked when I ran it for a day. I might make that a daily driver on another small laptop.
3 – Renewed my amateur radio license, good to 2033
After hearing many horror stories of hams who forgot to renew their amateur radio license, I set a reminder in my personal calendar so I wouldn’t be one of those hams! The reminder came up on the first of June and I started the process of renewing my license.
I only hit one snag and that was having to set up a username on the FCC site and tie it to my FRN number. That process was not entirely well described but I muddled through it and renewed the license. I’m good for another 10 years!
From the FCC website:
In order to associate your username to an existing FRN, you must log in to CORES and click on the "Associate Username to FRN" link.
If you register for a new FRN after you have signed into CORES, the system will associate your username to that FRN automatically.
4 – Problems with my Kenwood TM-D710G radio
A few weeks ago I noticed that my daily driver, a Kenwood TM-D710G mobile transceiver, wasn’t working quite right. I was occasionally seeing “TNC ERROR” in bold letters on the display. Then I started to notice the cooling fan was running continuously.
I have been running APRS on that radio whenever I drove, usually at low power. I checked all my connections on the radio and all was well. Transmitting and receiving on simplex and repeater frequencies worked as usual. APRS, though, was having a tough time.
I’ve pulled that radio from service while I look for a shop that can diagnose and repair the problem. I’d like to invest in this radio because I really like how it operates. Meanwhile, I swapped my Icom ID-5100A into service and am getting used to how it operates while I am mobile.
Please do leave a comment!