As some of you might know I don't have a lot of time to spend on the hobby lately mainly because I travel a lot for work. This however does not mean I am not interested in the latest developments and I would like to share some of those with you.
Since I like to follow the new development I also acquired a TYT HT. Since the supplied antennas do not provide me sufficient gain to be able to hear all stations around my hometown I decided to connect the HT to a magnetic mount antenna for 2m/70cm; this improved the situation a lot and I was able to make my first dPMR QSO with Hans, PD0AC. The audio quality is good however some things could be improved to the frontend of the HT to get better selectivity. For example when I am sitting in the garden the temperature sensor of the weatherstation can be heard all over the 70cm band. And I read something about someone who added a bandpassfilter for 2m which improved the overall reception a lot as well. However it's nice to hear and follow these experiments in my own hometown (when I am around of course)
Another nice experiment to follow is the building project in Hilversum, the radio and television town of the Netherlands. The local radioclub (Radio Club het Gooi) has started an initiative to build a simple 23cm transceiver and as such make more use of the 23cm band. Already for a longer period of time I was looking for a possibility to become active on this band. Since I don't have any hamgear for it I wanted to buy an HT which supplies this band. There isn't an awful lot of choice in new HTs nowadays that have this functionality so I ended up with an Alinco DJ-G7EG. Somehow I was reluctant to buy an Alinco, maybe I mixed up the brand with Alecto and I don't have good memories with that one. But I must say the Alinco surprised me, both in buildquality and sensitivity.
As with any new HT it takes some time to get used to it. The programming software which can be downloaded for free from the Alinco website was a no-go for me; after struggleing with it for a while I decided I had to find out how to manually program the repeaters. After having done so my first QSO on 23cm was not very good (due to power output, distance to the repeater and no line of sight) but the 2nd QSO was successfull and I got a good audio comment. Great at least I know it works. So I am happy I decided to go for this type of HT in the end... And now I can monitor and use the 23cm repeater(s) around here as well.
The last thing I want to draw attention to is the availability of a cheap DMR radio from TYT, the MD-380. Currently I bring my Hytera PD-365 when travelling abroad. Since Hytera builds HTs for a professional market field programming (via the keyboard) is not allowed/possible, though I feel the PD-365 is not as tailor fitted for the professional market as for example the PD785. So you would always need to use a computer, programming cable and software to change the codeplug and then upload it to the radio. And therefore I would like to appologize to the OZ6DMR users for not reconnecting the default reflector after having used TS2/TG9 to connect to the Netherlands. No programming cable means no changes to the codeplug and because I don't have 4700 in my contactlist.... Anyhow the MD-380 seems to be small, has 5W output and would be field programmable. Though I haven't seen or touched one before in real life I decided to order one; let's see what it brings. Hopefully today I will be able to play with it...