Friday, February 12, 2021

Day 58, 59, 60 - Harlingen, TX - TT

Wednesday (58) - Hot and humid today. Walked a bit this morning before another remote radio test. Then headed for the pool to relax before the next test. The VE (volunteer examiners) group has been getting into DMR (digital mobile radio) and we even have an informal talk group. DMR could be very confusing but one member of the group has been helping others get started.

The RD-5R radio that I’ve been using for the last couple of years has a lot of limitations. The programming software is difficult to use and some things aren’t even addressed. I ordered a new dmr handheld from Bridgecom systems that has quite a few features that are missing on the RD-5R. Lots of memory, GPS, both analog and digital APRS, digital text messages and more. According to UPS, it’s supposed to be delivered tomorrow. We'll see.

Thursday (59)
 - Today's high temperature was this morning at 6am. And it'll be dropping all day long. By Sunday, the low will be below freezing. I heard that there were some major accidents in northern TX due to the icy roads. I guess that's why my delivery was delayed. By the time we leave this park, the forecast is for warm temperatures.

According to the UPS app, my package is out for delivery right now which probably means late afternoon at the earliest. 

Friday (60)
 - The UPS package arrived around 9:15pm. I didn't think they ran that late. I unpacked the box and set up the charger as the battery is shipped only partially charged. The small device is a Bluetooth push-to-talk button with a velcro strap. It's designed to attach to something such as the steering wheel if you want to use it hands-free. The Bluetooth can be paired to headsets or even your car stereo.

This morning, I imported the Brandmeister Talkgroups (around a thousand or so) and the world-wide database of dmr users (about 180,000). The Talkgroups list will make it easier to program and the user list will display name, call sign, and location on the radio screen instead of just the 6-7 digit dmr id. The RD-5R didn't have this ability and I could never remember the call signs. Easier to just look at the display.

After the first test session, I went to the jacuzzi as it was above 40°F (barely). I only stayed for about 20 minutes as it was pretty windy. Not at all like Chena Hot Springs.


  1. Brandmeister? I'm wondering what's behind this German term meaning fire chief?

    1. This decentralized network has independent servers all around the world to support amateur radio. The dmr (digital mobile radio) repurposes commercial radios in UHF & VHF bands. The software was developed in Europe and has spread around the world supporting ~190,000 users.