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Zello on the Inrico T192 screenless radio

Exciting news for network radio enthusiasts! Inrico launched the T192, an improved version of the T199.
Although I am a big fan of the T199 I have to admit the T192 was a good move.

I will start with the design. The shape is rectangular, reminding the popular Motorola radios. I always found the T199 too small, reminding me a walkie-talkie for kids. The T192 is heavier, thicker, and above all, is IP54, unlike the T199.

To give extra security, the battery has its own locker (I doubt you could accidentally remove the battery even without using the secondary locker). These small details make the T192 a really rugged radio!

The audio, as usual can be set to a real high volume, while maintaining a crisp-full speech sound. I am sure this radio will be a top seller.

As you probably know, these radios are built for professional use and run services like PTT4U. So they don’t want the users to mess up with the settings and installing unwanted apps. With such, on the T192, Inrico removed the USB socket so a “normal” user would not make any changes to the configuration.

The USB is still there, although it’s hidden. You must attach a small 5-pin adapter (included with the programming cable) and make all the configurations to the radio, using TotalControl software.

All network settings must be done via the mic/earphone sockets, using the programming cable. You will need this Software and the UART drivers to use it.

Since V4.08, Zello is almost 100% compatible with the T192. You can change volume, use the PTT button and select channels using the dial knob. You just need to follow the configuration steps released by Zello.

As you know, Zello has different status: Available, Solo, etc. When we select Available, then, you will receive an busy channel, even if you are not on that channel. The selected channel will be in priority mode, but even though, it can be frustrating if several channels are busy. If we transmit, then we will only transmit on the selected channel.

To avoid this, the best option is to select Solo mode. You will only listen to the selected channel. However, by default, Zello will not start in Solo mode so you will not be able to use it on the T192. (During programming, you can switch Zello to Solo mode, however, once you remove the USB cable, the unit will switch off as it’s the cable that powers the unit while programming)

The goods news is that Zello developers already opened a ticket to have this issue solved in a future release.

Where to purchase the T192?

Order your T192 here

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What have the Romans ever done for us?

by Chris G7DDN

Ah! The immortal line from Monty Python!

Well among many innovations, one that the Romans did do for us was to redefine our road system.

A revolution in road design

Goodness knows what roads were like before the Romans brought their new technology to bear, but it seems they may well not have even been very straight!

The Romans understood however that the quickest way from A to B was in a straight line; that is why the remains of their roads criss-cross Europe, whether or not there were hills in the way, so it seems.

He’s finally flipped!

Now what on earth is G7DDN going on about now? Has he finally lost his marbles? Well maybe you think I already have(!), but surprise, I see a parallel here with Network Radios.

Let me explain…

The Issue of Competition

When Amateur Radio was in its full pomp, the “competition” such as it was, was unimportant and even irrelevant.

Phone calls to foreign countries were inordinately expensive; Ham Radio was worth getting into if only from a financial point of view, but you also had the thrill of sending signals worldwide…

CB radio was, in the UK at least, first illegal, and then, once legal, limited to 11m FM and 4 watts output – hardly anything to be concerned about when the next door 10m Ham Band could transmit 400 watts of SSB or CW.

446MHz licence free radio at 500mW was no match for 70cms with 400 watts power and repeaters and satellites.

This is one reason Hams did not take their callsigns and procedures onto 11m and 446MHz for example. It did not make sense to do so.

The Path of Least Resistance

People naturally took the “path of least resistance” – a little like electrons!

The problem in 2018 is that there is “competition” for the hobby and it’s big gun competition!

The internet allows anyone, at no cost, to colour video call worldwide.

You can imagine your 14 year old child or grandchild doing this, while you might be sitting in your shack, grumbling about the lack of conditions on 20m or lack of activity on 144MHz.

Is it any wonder ordinary people don’t “get” Ham Radio in 2018?

What they do, like all of us, follow the easiest path to get the job done.

It grows and grows…

Now the growth of the Network Radios movement worldwide is astonishing, but on one level unsurprising.

It is, finally, with Network Radios, fairly painless to make contacts across the world, whatever the state of the Ionosphere.

After all if you are using the Internet as propagation instead, you don’t have to worry about things like the K-Index or the state of the sunspot cycle. (Fun though that is in its own right!)

And I am not decrying “traditional” Ham Radio by the way; I still use it regularly.

What I am saying is you cannot blame folk for travelling the “straight road”, the path of least resistance, if indeed what they want to do is communicate with like-minded radio enthusiasts.

It’s too easy!

After I gave a talk on Network Radios at a club recently, one gentleman remarked, “Well, this is all great, but the trouble is, it’s all too easy!”

True enough – but is that enough of a reason to dismiss it?

Sometimes, in any hobby, don’t we want things to be just a little easier?

Isn’t a 6 mile bike ride on your Dutch bike to see your friend on a Wednesday a nice change from that 80km sprint you do every Saturday on your racing bike with your local club?

The Convenience Factor

Sometimes, I like to chat with VK stations on Network Radios, rather than stay up all night trying to work them for a few moments on 80m.

Yes there is a thrill doing that that cannot be had with Network Radios, but there is also a satisfaction that comes with making radio friends in Australia with who I can regularly chat – and you don’t get that on 80m.

It is simply “horses for courses”.

‘Both and’, not ‘either or’…

No-one is suggesting that Network Radios will replace traditional Ham Radio – frankly it cannot do that.

But, you know, no-one I know is actually suggesting that.

Yes, it is new(-ish), yes it is different, yes it is convenient, and by gum, is it fun!

And, unless I am mistaken, people take up a hobby to have fun, above all.

And I cannot see anything wrong with that!

Hail Caesar!

Chris Rolinson G7DDN

30th July 2018

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

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Improvement / adjustment of the standard microphone of the Inrico TM-7

From various stations I was told that the modulation of my TM-7 was rather shrill.
On this I decided to replace the standard microphone (internal) with an electret microphone.
In order not to burden the TM-7 extra, I decided not to extract the required voltage from the device (via the microphone connector) but to use an external power supply for the electret microphone.
This requires:

1 – Three wire electret microphone (with separated + wire)

1 – Button cell battery

1 – Button cell holder

I have connected the new microphone according to the diagram below.

After a number of QSO’s tests, the adjustment proves to be a huge improvement on the standard situation. The modulation is said to be nice and full and not that sharp anymore.

by Marcel Goedemans

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The Joys of Moderation

The Joys of Moderation
by Chris G7DDN

Years ago, when I first started listening to Amateur bands, operating practices were pretty good.

Callsigns were given clearly, explanations were given at the end of a contact as to the intentions of the caller, (whether still monitoring, closing down, changing frequency or whatever).  They were very useful “pointers” to what was happening next in a contact and especially great for listeners like me.

The Dark Side…

However, there were always a few “mavericks”. Often these people frequented repeaters and used them for their own, somewhat “quirky” purposes.

It was not unusual to hear music playing, odd “squeaky” voices and sometimes downright disgusting language. It wasn’t the kind of thing you would want your children or grandchildren to overhear. It didn’t do a lot to advertise the hobby either!

Why? Why? Why?

We can speculate forever as to the motives of such folk and, indeed, there may even be some mental issues involved in the mix too.

But the fact remains that the Amateur Bands were not (and dare I suggest, even today, are still not) a place you would let youngsters roam free.

We bemoan the lack of activity on the Amateur bands (apart from contests, but that is very much a “Marmite” subject which I shall avoid for now) but it is, to some extent, out of our hands.

What can we do?

The kind of behaviour that we would not wish to hear become prevalent, sadly has – and there seems little we can do about it.

Whether it is the more “infamous” occupants of 14MHz or the local idiots on 2 metres, our licensing authorities seem powerless, or unable, or maybe do not have the time and resources, to police our bands effectively.

Time was that it would not take much straying outside of the terms of your license that you could expect a very prompt and forthright visit from Officials from the GPO (in the UK) – many licenses were in danger of revocation and much equipment was impounded.

Not any more it seems. We may have a “free” licence in financial terms, but with that comes far less say as to how our Amateur Bands are controlled.

Enter Digital Technology

In the 21st Century however, we have digital technology that allows us to control our “online worlds” far more effectively.

And this is one aspect of Network Radios to which I would like to draw your attention today.

“Taking Back Control”

Zello is the favoured PTT app used by these devices – there are many good reasons why, but amongst them is the ability to keep the way in which people access it, in check.

Built into Zello are controls to help channel organisers and “moderators” keep your corner of the digital world running smoothly.

For example, let’s say you create a channel for your local radio club. You can password protect it as a first “line of defence” – only your members will know the password and only they can access it. So far, so good!

Then you can select that any new members, having entered the correct password, need to be “trusted”. This means that everyone has to await a moderator’s say-so to allow them full access to that channel.

But that is not all!

Once trusted, you can be “muted” (no transmission rights – listen only allowed), blocked (for any period of time) or even summarily kicked off!

If only…

Can you see where I am going with this?

If this had been possible on Ham Bands and repeaters in the past, a lot of the poor operating and behaviour would have gotten nowhere.

But that is not so easy in an analogue world. In a digital world though, it is easy to implement!

A further example

Let me give you another example – the “Network Radios” Zello channels are proving very popular at the moment, especially here in the UK. Indeed they are growing seemingly by the day!

Thanks to a dedicated group of moderators (which also seems to be growing by the day, by the way!) newcomers are lightly “interviewed” as to their possible interest in a mostly-Ham based channel.

The membership is very much a mix of licensed Amateurs and unlicensed radio (or even “PTT”) enthusiasts, but there are strict rules about behaviour, etiquette and expectations.

Once or twice, people have overstepped the mark and they have been simply removed from the channel, warned and sometimes given a second chance to ameliorate their behaviour. (Sometimes not too, depending on the seriousness of what has taken place…)

Evidence!

Because Zello can record all overs (if you tell it to!), it is fairly straightforward for the moderators to listen to what actually was said and use that as a primary source of evidence in cases of dispute.

In other words, there is less requirement for circumstantial evidence based on what someone thought someone else said or meant. Even if the moderators miss the offending moment in person, they can simply replay it back, as if it were live!

Joy to the (Digital) World

These then are some of the “joys” of moderation – the “joys” of a digital world.

Once again, and I apologise for harping on about this, but technology has thrown us a conundrum. If we continue to try to live exclusively in an analogue world, the joys of moderation will not generally be available to us. However, if we embrace what new digital  technology can do for us, we can improve our lot substantially.

It is no over-exaggeration to suggest we can be, in this new digital world, our own policemen and indeed our own licensing authority – in fact, we are already doing it!

The Last Word…

Perhaps the last word should go to a member of the Network Radios group, who himself posted only this week on the Facebook Group attached to the channels, the following…

Just want to say a thanks to both the mods and the users I hear every day for creating and maintaining a busy, interesting, largely tech/radio centric place I can finally tune into and listen to again in the car and at home when the family is about.

My youngest (9) is into radio. Has her own PMR radio (set up with privacy so she only hears me), uses Zello on our own private channel and wants to take the foundation test!

We’re ‘outdoorsy’ and take the radios with us everywhere we go, but the local chatter around here has gotten so bad with colourful language, near-to-the-knuckle innuendo/smut and politics tainted with bigotry that I no longer feel confident of turning on the FT-70, except for during the morning school run when it’s virtually dead anyway.

I had put together a mobile hotspot with a DV4 Mini and a Raspberry Pi 3 to tune into CQ-UK which is infinitely better and true to the spirit of radio – it’s just a little too quiet sometimes. I can often make my whole commute without hearing a single call.

Firing up Zello and Network Radios in the car and at home, I know we’re going to hear a decent, clean and respectful discussion – which is what I always believed to be the Amateur Radio credo – and I 100% know I’m not going to hear the stuff I hear from the CB lot currently prolific on 2 metres around here with their one sentence overs, arguing, swearing and threats to give someone ‘a visit’.

I am waiting for my T-320 to arrive… The FT-70 will… still come with me when I leave the house, but I expect it’ll start the journey in the bag when the kids are around.

In short – cheers for making somewhere that’s a pleasure to be a part of, a pleasure to listen to and for a place that I know will not totally put off my daughter from the hobby, but will encourage her to go for her Foundation (License).

A breath of fresh air it is indeed and long may it continue.”

Well said, Sir!  Long may we all continue to enjoy the “Joys of Moderation”!

© Chris Rolinson G7DDN
June 12th, 2018

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You can win a Free mobile Transceiver!

Learn how to win a FREE mobile network radio! It could not be easier! This is a sweepstake for a brand new Anysecu 3G-W2 – The mobile network radio with the biggest display, for easy mobile usage! What are you waiting for?



Terms & Conditions

This is your great chance to win a free network transceiver – the Anysecu 3G-W2

You don’t have to buy anything. All you have to do is to register in our newsletter and you get a free entry to the sweepstake that will occur on the 30/06/2018.

We will contact the winner by e-mail so make sure you add our e-mail address to your contacts so it will not end up in the spam folder. Our e-mail address is info@network-radios.com

But you can increase your chances to win, by earning additional free entries to the sweepstake! See how you can get extra entries:

Once you register, you will get your unique code and you just need to share with your friends. Look how you can increase your chances:

Each referred signup +100 entries
Share on Facebook +10 entries
Share on Twitter +10 entries
Share on Google+ +10 entries
Share on WhatsApp +10 entries
Share on Pinterest +10 entries

Just register below. Once you do it, you can check how many entries you have accumulated! Good luck!

Also read our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy

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Win a FREE Transceiver

Learn how to win a FREE mobile network radio! It could not be easier! This is a sweepstake for a brand new Anysecu 3G-W2 – The mobile network radio with the biggest display, for easy mobile usage! What are you waiting for?



Terms & Conditions

This is your great chance to win a free network transceiver – the Anysecu 3G-W2

You don’t have to buy anything. All you have to do is to register in our newsletter and you get a free entry to the sweepstake that will occur on the 30/06/2018.

We will contact the winner by e-mail so make sure you add our e-mail address to your contacts so it will not end up in the spam folder. Our e-mail address is info@network-radios.com

But you can increase your chances to win, by earning additional free entries to the sweepstake! See how you can get extra entries:

Once you register, you will get your unique code and you just need to share with your friends. Look how you can increase your chances:

Each referred signup +100 entries
Share on Facebook +10 entries
Share on Twitter +10 entries
Share on Google+ +10 entries
Share on WhatsApp +10 entries
Share on Pinterest +10 entries

Just register below. Once you do it, you can check how many entries you have accumulated! Good luck!

Also read our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy

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3 Differences between RFinder K1 and M1

Size matters
The RFinder K1 is smaller than the M1.

Dual SIM card slot
The RFinder K1 has a dual SIM card slot, so you can actually have two different cellphone providers in the same radio and make & receive calls, texts and use data services from both providers.

Optional drop-in charger
It’s probably the most popular accessory for the K1. Just drop it in the charger and go on with your life!

What can these radios do?

DMR operation is exciting, but dealing with code plugs can be a terrible headache. RFinder makes it easy.

What if you could have a radio with a database of all DMR repeaters that updates continuously and you just have to point and click to change to the right frequency and settings? And this is not only regarding DMR, but also analog repeaters and Echolink nodes.

This is the RFinder concept. DMR made easy!  Get your GPS location, find nearby repeaters, select it from the list, and the radio is fully configured!

This 4-Watt Transceiver is also a powerful 4G/LTE Android smartphone and it works well in US/CA, EU, UK, Australia and most countries.

Visit the official RFinder website