CQ CQ CQ: Ham Radio in Advent? ZedNet is ACTIVE! Weekly net?

A quick note with a suggestion and observations.

First, I had a great chat over ZedNet with a fellow in Tokyo. He accessed ZedNet through WIRES-X, I through my DMR hotspot. In the Yaesu System Fusion (WIRES-X) “room” 28598 is cross-linked to Brandmeister (BM) DMR worldwide talkgroup 31429.

If you are a ham and are interested in this to get yourself going, WB0YLE gave me a Bill of Materials.  A list of what you need.  HERE  It’s what I have. Basic, but it works. It doesn’t use a local repeater.  Rather the hotspot is in my home network.  I do have a “mobile” set up, identical, in a small bag and I can tether it to my mobile phone.

Also, I see on SpaceWeather that, as I write there are some sunspots.

And there is a new comet to look at as well: Erasmus, which comes around every 2000 years or so.

Back to radio.

Perhaps during Advent we could try a weekly net?

I created a page for the List of YOUR callsigns.  HERE  Chime in or drop me a note if your call doesn’t appear in the list.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Ryguy says:

    This is KC3QDH and would love to be added! I got my Tech in September and hope to pass my General in December. This has always been a hobby I’ve been interested in learning. All your posts on the subject and my desire to find a new hobby to do with my 10 year old son convinced me to jump all in a few months ago. I hope to catch you and the other Z-Blog hams on ZedNet at some point! 73

  2. Ryguy says: a new hobby to do with my 10 year old son

    Kudos! Did you son also get his license?

    See if you can get going with DMR. It’s not the same as bouncing waves off of layers in the atmosphere or meteor scatter or even the moon, but it is pretty cool.

  3. Ryguy says:

    Fr Z: not yet, although he is very excited to get it and I’m currently helping him study for it. He’s also getting his friends interested in the hobby as well!

    DMR has been on my list to try next now that I got Echolink working. Your Ham Radio in Advent has convinced me to get going at it now.

  4. Russell Lundsgaard says:

    Fr Zuhlsdorf: I do not want to be a non-registered lurker, N9AGW, Russell Lundsgaard, Glenview, IL. Please register N9AGW. Thanks for your daily Mass.

    Thank you,

    Russell Lundsgaard

  5. Ryguy says: Echolink

    There are multiple paths to ZedNet including BM TG 31429 and Wires-X room 28598, it’s also now linked into the Allstar analog network on node 28868, and it is accessible via Echolink.

    One of our readers here has made his Echolink node availble to us: 554286 – WB0YLE-R

    I haven’t used that for a while. I’ll check if it is still functioning.

  6. MitisVis says:

    Father if I could ask a favor. The BOM from WB0YLE-R lists the ZUMspot UHF Hotspot v0.6 Kit, however the price has gone up some since the Bill of Materials was put together and HRO has the ZUM Radio ZUMspot RPi Nextion 3.5 Kit at a 40 buck discount till the 30th which looks to me as having the same specs with case etc. Favor would be to ask WB0YLE-R (or maybe anyone of you) if this fits the bill, yea or nay. I’m sure HRO will advise but it may help others thinking of taking the step.
    My brother and I as a couple old dodgers figure it’s time to seriously look into this. Sadly my experiences in engineering only involved VHF/UHF antenna design and theory on the shortwave side of things, so we have NO idea what we are getting into. We’ve a tight learning curve so I’m hopeful but I’ll say it right now, this idea of get it and learn as you go is completely backwards to my training :) Give me a schematic and I’ll build it from making the PCB up. Have to think you’re all a little nuts but it’s my kind of crazy.

  7. Ryguy says:

    Fr Z: I’ve tried to connect to the Echolink mode multiple times but have always gotten a notification that it is disconnected.

  8. Paul says:

    I check most evenings around 6 or 7pm EST.

    Would anyone be interested in setting up a day/time to regularly meet as a group? Something we could do once a week.

    Also, I recently purchased the zumspot 3.5 and would be happy to help anyone through getting connected.



  9. crule says:

    Since there’s a category for “Priestly Hams”, I wonder if we can have a new category for “Deacony” Hams. N4TII = Byzantine Catholic Deacon. We do need to get a net going – if not a regularly scheduled one – at least a one-time event over this long holiday weekend. Also, for those looking at DMR hotspots, I picked up the AURSINC MMDVN Pi-star hotspot from Amazon rather cheap.

  10. JesusFreak84 says:

    I’ve been kicking around getting into this, if for no other reason than I live alone and thus would be significantly more vulnerable if the cell towers were taken out, etc., but I have zero idea where to begin. Best links, anyone? I mean, from-zilch, for idiots, explain-it-like-I’m-five o.o;;;

  11. Pingback: CQ CQ CQ: Ham Radio in Advent? ZedNet is ACTIVE! Weekly net? | Fr. Z’s Blog | Deaconjohn1987's Blog

  12. All:
    Yeah, the BOM is a bit dated; the technology moves as fast as the updates to Windows and other stuff.

    Any Zumspot that supports the MMDVM family of software (mostly, at this point, Pi-Star https://www.pistar.uk/) which is the easiest to set up, will work.

    Please note that you have to register your call on radioid.net so you get a node number to program into the hotspot when your brandmeister.network login is approved. You will receive a node number back in a bit (it’s volunteer driven, so, be patient sometimes), and there is a need to think of a node password as of 12/31 (yeah, the miscreants are trying to hack this network too…).

    If you think it would be helpful, sometime during Advent on a Sunday afternoon, I can stand up a webex or zoom meeting and go through the steps in real time via screen sharing. My email on QRZ is good if you want more information.

    I’m thinking that sometime during the Christmas Octave…might be a good time while many are on holiday break, to stand up the first Zednet network.

    73 de wb0yle

  13. Semper Gumby says:

    JesusFreak84: I’m not a ham (yet) but here’s a few notes:

    You can purchase a ham radio (prices vary greatly) and listen all you want, the ham license is a permit to transmit. Once you have your ham license you next get a “call sign” that identifies you on the air when you transmit.

    The entry-level of ham license is the Technician. Study materials for this license are relatively cheap, and there are websites and apps available to help prepare you for your license. Also:


    You may want to speak with a local radio club or an “Elmer”- an experienced ham who can provide advice.

    Many hams begin with a small hand-held radio for under $100 and eventually work their way up.

    Here’s a few beginner’s articles, they vary in writing style and content thus three:




    Also, James Rawles’ SurvivalBlog has more articles than you can shake a stick at, do a search on “Ham Radio.” Happy reading.

    [Good summary. It doesn’t take all that much to get that entry level license. There are three levels. I leveled up each each after getting the Tech license.]

  14. MWindsor says:

    Is ZedNet still in operation? I haven’t seen any activity in about two months. I thought it was down for the count.

  15. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear JesusFreak84,

    If you just want to pass the test for the Technician Class license, the test pool is available from ARRL (American Radio Relay League):


    If I understand correctly, they, basically give you the test questions.

    Ideally, one should know the basics about electrical circuits (E = IR seems to be about as advanced as you need for the Technician Class License), electromagnetic wave theory (basic EM spectrum, SI prefixes, simple ionospheric structure, basic wave theory), transmitter and receiver basics (my weakness, because I haven’t kept up on the technology), and basic regulations (easy to learn). I was on a site that had flash cards of test pool questions for the Technician Class license and I was able to answer a fair number of them without any study, at all, but, then my father held the amateur Extra Class license back when it was really hard to get and we grew up with ham radio. I, also, have a strong science background in fields related to ham radio.

    It all depends on how much detail you want to get into. If you just want to send and receive signals, then the books at the ARRL site should be more than enough. I, on, the other hand, need to understand how things work at the theoretical level, so, I would love to find more advanced books. I can read schematic diagrams (ah, the days when TVs came with circuit diagrams), so I would love to understand how the tech works from the ground up.

    My problem is money. Ham radio is an investment. Yes, you can get some inexpensive equipment, but the price quickly exceeds my budget for more sophisticated things. Back in the day, you could build transmitters. There are some circuits listed on the ARRL site. I don’t know how expensive or hard they are to make.

    The Chicken

  16. I regularly rag chew with folks on Zednet. Brandmeister TG31429, Wires-X room 28598, and with notice, i can link in Allstar node 28868.

    Give it a try.

  17. MitisVis says:

    Thank you all.
    Rawles got us moving this direction to begin with and Chicken, I hear you.

  18. jescala says:

    Hello all. I’d love to have a weekly net on BM TG 31429. Also, I’m working with members of the Federation of North-American Explorers to get Catholic youth licensed to operate Ham radio. We are part of a private association of the faithful of pontifical right for children and young adults to participate in Ven. Jacques Sevin’s method of Catholic Scouting. Could we use TG 31429 for an annual Catholic JOTA event?

    — KK4RIR

  19. JesusFreak84 says:

    Y’all rock ^.^ Thanks!

  20. Ryguy says:

    jescala – I’m a leader in my local FNE group and my kids are members including my son who I’m helping get his Technician! I’d be interested in participating in a Catholic JOTA event. – KC3QDH

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