11/01/2022

Configuring Anytone 878UV & Alinco DJ-MD5 for sending SOTA spots using DMR2SOTA

First of all, I wish to thank Iñigo EA2CQ for his efforts giving to all SOTA activators these useful tools as the SpotMySota Android app, and the new feature of spotting activations using the DMR Brandmeister net, by means of the DMR Brandmeister SMS utility.

Concerning to this, when we (Iñigo and me) were making the preliminary tests on the server, we discovered that some adjustments must be made in order to the system to work. Specifically when using the Anytone 878UV and Alinco DJ-MD5. There are several DMR SMS standars, and if no properly configured, you will not be able to use DMR2SOTA.

All the following information refer to the mentioned DMR2SOTA system, developed by Iñigo EA2CQ. More info about it can be found at this link in the SOTA reflector.

Here we will describe how to make these talkies work. Please follow the next steps to configure your system/talkie to be able to send SMS spots.

Part 1. SYSTEM CONFIG

Step 1. For both talkie brands, Alinco & Anytone.
Configure Brandmeister Selfcare. You must browse to this web, identify yourself, and check if in the field "Brand:" you have the value "Motorola" selected. If not, change it. (Don't forget to save your modifications before exiting).

click on the images to see them larger


Step 2. On the talkie settings menu (both Anytone & Alinco)
Configure the SMS format to M-SMS (MENU-> SETTINGS-> RADIO-> SMS FORMAT)

 

You can also do this using your CPS software (screen can vary from a firmware version to another, but they are all pretty the same):


Step 3. Only for Anytone 878UV
Disable APRS receive feature. Due to firmware issues, and to be able to receive SMS traffic on the Anytone talkie, the "APRS RECEIVE" option must be disabled on every channel which will be used for send/receive SMS. You can do this using one of the following methods,

a) Using the CPS software:


b) Right on the talkie: MENU->SETTINGS->CHANNEL->APRS RECEIVE->OFF  for each channel:


 
If you choose this last option, you must do it as many times as channels you want, so it would be preferable to make it using the CPS software. You probably can export all the channel database to CSV, modify them easier using some datasheet software (Excel, Calc, etc) or even a text editor if you know how, and uploading the modified channel database to the talkie.

These done, all the necessary changes are made, and our talkie is ready to send spots. Let's see how!

Part 2. SPOT MESSAGE FORMAT

The format to be send must be exactly this to be managed correctly by the DMR server which will forward later to the SOTA (sotawatch) system:

REFSOTA FREQ MODE CALLSIGN COMMENTS

i.e.: EA2/BI-055 145.525 FM EA2CW/P QRV NOW
 or: EA2/BI-055 145.525 FM */P QRV NOW
(Note that the * symbol is eq to your DMRID callsign without "/P")

Be aware that :

- Only the [space] character is allowed as field separator, (DON'T USE , ; % & $ etc. which are allowed in the APRS2SOTA system, but not here)

- Frequency must be given in MHz, using one dot if neeed, but DO NOT include the expression "MHz" on the text!

Part 3. SPOT SENDING PROCEDURE:

As far as I know, both models have the same or very similar procedure to send a DMR SMS. This is:

MENU->
    SMS->
        NEW MSG->

            (type here your spot message, following the format:)
            REFSOTA FREQ MODE CALLSIGN COMMENTS
        CONFIRM->
            SEND->

                ID LIST->
(if you have previously defined the DMR ID 214996, select it on the list using up & down arrows)->

or, if you have not defined the ID before,

                MANUAL DIAL->
                    PRIVATE ID->
214996
                    CONFIRM->

Done! You will receive one or several messages telling you:
- That the spot was sent,
- The requested info (vía the / commands, see the reflector spot) or,
- That you made some kind of syntax error and you would re-send your spot once fixed.

You can check if your spot was correctly processed at the sotawatch page. 

N.B.: Please, if you want to send any test spot to check that all is working ok, be sure to include the word "TEST" as comment. This way, the spot will not appear to the users who have configured them to be ignored.

 73 de Mikel EA2CW


17/10/2021

Open letter to our fellow chasers

Dear chasers,

These last times, I am more and more concerned about some bad habits which have been spreading among SOTA chasers. Perhaps the example given by a few but active and renowed chasers -whose behavior is far from being the best- has something to do with it. For the activators is a very hard situation to be in front of a bunch of shouting mad people after making the effort to climb to the summit, and stay there on cold, hot, wind, rain or snow. 

So, I finally decided to publish these very simple advices to make our lives easier, and to allow your fellow chasers achieving the QSO too. Please remember that SOTA is only a competitive issue for a few, whose only interest is fame and prestige, no matter the costs.

- First of all, LISTEN, LISTEN and LISTEN. Don't transmit just after turning on your transceiver. Remember that you have also a receiver. This is the key to avoid other mistaken behaviours.

- Please, don't tune your rig on the activator frequency. Think on the rest of chasers. All of you are trying to contact the activator. The faster we do it, the more will achieve it. 

- Please, call only once. If you call and call and call again, you are only contributing to increase the noise listened by the activator.

- Please, don't repeat your call if the activator copied it right. If we make short QSOs, more chasers will be able to make them. Of course the QSO is your moment of glory, when all the rest are listening. But if you need that, probably it would be better you to choose another hobby. 

- Please don't transmit when the activator is calling to a partial callsign, a particular zone or a SOTA to SOTA station. Respect the rest, and the rest will respect you.

- Please, don't transmit exactly on the same frequency than the activator. He will only hear a continous tone. Move your dial just 100-150 Hz up or down, and your transmission will be clearly listened. 

That's all. It is not very complicated. It is only a matter of mutual respect. Don't be anxious, the race is only for a few. We the rest have other important things in life.

Many many thanks for being there.
Except if you come just to make QRM.

73, Mikel EA2CW






13/10/2021

EA1/LR SOTA Tour, October 2021

San Lorenzo EA1/LR-001 from La Fonfria summit

Material

HF:
Elecraft KX2 @ 10w output
20/30/40m trapped endfed dipole
2x 2.500 mAh, 1 x 6.500 mAh 11.6v LiPo batteries
5 & 8 m fishing poles
3D printed CW keyer

V/UHF:
Alinco DJ-MD5 talkie (analogic & DMR).
GPS, APRS, and SOTA spotting capable
External microphone
Telescopic 1/2 lambda V/U antenna

Other material & resources:
Bivouac Tent (600 g)
2 sleep bags for 15ºC
Thin rubber mat
Camping chair

https://sotl.as webpage as doc, alerts and spotting resource
Locus Pro (android app) for GPS tracking and hiking

Please click on each summit reference to find out more info and photos about them

 


Activations

Friday  2021-10-08
 

Name: La Nava
Ref: EA1/LR-028
Altitude: 1.498 m
Points: 6
Access from: Daroca
QSOs: 38


Saturday 2021-10-09

Name: La Rasa
Ref: EA1/LR-030
Altitude: 1.471 m
Points: 6
Access from: Muro de Cameros
QSOs:42


Sunday 2021-10-10

Name: Cuento
Ref: EA1/LR-050
Altitude: 818 m
Points: 4
Access from: Cerro Concejo, A-12 p.k. 101
QSOs: 26


Monday 2021-10-11

1st summit
Name: Cabi-monteros
Ref: EA1/LR-033
Altitude: 1.384 m
Points: 6
Access from: Arnedillo
QSOs: 35



2nd summit
Name: Sierraelpalo
Ref: EA1/LR-039
Altitude: 1267 m
Points: 6
Acess from: Navalsaz
QSOs: 56

 

Tuesday 2021-10-12

Name: La Fonfria
Ref: EA1/LR-036
Altitude: 1.302 m
Points: 6
Access from: Pazuengos
QSOs:40