We had an opportunity recently to provide a unique duplexer system. The customer needed a single antenna feed line for two repeaters. This solution saved the customer two costs. One, the expense of hiring a tower climber. Also the recurring cost of additional tower space rental for a 2nd feed line and antenna. This is perfect for Amateur and Commercial applications.
Watch the video to hear Ron describe the application and solution.
What can I say about Dayton Hamvention 2017 other than WOW! It had everything; Great venue, 30,000 of your favorite ham radio friends, great vendors, Rain, Rain, and more Rain, good food, great buys, mud and on-site camping. Did I miss anything, share your comments below.
The Venue: Xenia, OH is a quiet little town southeast of Dayton, OH in Greene County. The Greene County fairgrounds consist of six buildings, a horse race track, camping areas and parking. The vendors, inside exhibitors and forums occupied the buildings with additional space provided by two large tents. In the horse track and some of the parking area was a giant flea market area. Except for the rain and mud created it was a really well laid out venue for Hamvention, but more on that later.
The Hamvention main area: I walked the area a couple of times and everything was packed. Right from the opening gun the buildings were buzzing with people, radio conversations, Morse Code, CWID and people talking all things radio. There were friends catching up, customers meeting vendors/businesses, plans being made for club repeaters/outings, and so much more. Between the buildings were tower displays, food vendors and more conversations.
The flea market was in and around the horse track. It was also packed with lots of people, gear for sale and deals to be had. I was not able to make it over there personally, but all reports were very positive.
The Rain: What's a Hamvention without the rain. This year we didn't just have a little, but several inches of rain. It rained every day and in buckets, but luckily no severe weather. The rain caused mud in the grassy flea market and camping areas. It also flooded the floor of parts of the tents. Nearly everyone that came into the vendor area had wet/muddy shoes and pants. Even still there wasn't much complaining and all seemed to be adapting. I heard reports of some folks getting stuck on Sunday, but were pulled out by a tow service provided by Hamvention. I suppose contingency planning for a rainy Hamvention 2018 is already taking place.
Conclusion: We loved the new venue. 30,000 people never seemed crowded and provided plenty of area for people to move about. It gave Hamvention a much needed face lift. Even with the rain people adapted and seemed to enjoy their time. I would say Dayton Havention in Xenia, OH was very successful.
I'm interested to see what changes are made for next year. I could see Hamvention growing again. Can you imagine 40,000 at Hamvention? I can! See you next year at Hamvention 2018!
Please share your comments and experiences, I'd love to hear your thoughts!
I had an interesting exchange over email with a potential customer recently. I believe it perfectly illustrates BridgeCom's commitment to quality products and industry leading customer service. Please enjoy, and if you have questions let me know. Regards, Tim
Customer: Hello...Came across your page when doing a 220 radio search. The radios look awesome? Where are they made?
BridgeCom: Hello, Thanks for your email. We have radios made in the US, China and Korea. We tried to make as much as we can here in the United States. No matter where our radios are made, we only offer high-quality materials and workmanship. All of our technical support and questions are answered by our office in Smithville, Missouri, just north of Kansas City, Missouri. If you have any other questions or need specific information about a 220 product let me know. Regards, Tim
Customer: Thanks Tim for your email below….Curious why you do only single band radios?
BridgeCom: Hello, Single band radios are still the best way to get quality RF on TX/RX, so we have chosen to go that route for now. You know, do one thing and do it well. The dual band radios today are also very good and don't make too many compromises. The tri band or quad band radios normally sacrifice one or two bands with less power, require an antenna change, or just too much going on to manage any part well. Thanks again for your questions. Please let me know if you have others. Regards, Tim
Customer: Tim…I get the single band thing…it makes sense. Is the BCM 220 mobile made in the US or Korea?
Thanks for the Great Customer Service…..
BridgeCom: Hello, The BCM mobiles are made in both the US and Korea. The RF radio comes from our factory in Korea. We have been working with them for over 13 years now. The software and firmware are made here in Smithville, MO. Regards, Tim
Customer: Thanks Tim…..The reason I ask about your radio manufacture is that I am not a big fan of radios made in China, and their quality control. Regards
BridgeCom: Hello, We understand, we get asked all the time. What you have to know about radios from China is that they are not all made the same. The BridgeCom radios and repeaters, regardless of the country of origin, are made with quality in mind. As a company, and for selfish reasons, we don't want to constantly be repairing or replacing radios. It's a waste of time and money for both you (customer) and BridgeCom. With this in mind we can assure you the product you get from BridgeCom will be of high quality and come with great customer service. Thanks again for your email, hopefully we can do business. Regards, Tim
Customer: Tim…Your comments below make sense. Will order in the near future! Glad to see that you guys are championing the 220 band! It really is a nice band with so many positives! Finally someone who makes equipment and believes in it! Thanks
Recently I vacationed around New Mexico and Southeastern Arizona. I had programmed my new BCM-220 mobile with all of the New Mexico 220 repeaters including those from Arizona. Though the radio's maximum wattage output is limited to 30 watts, I was able to reach repeaters 70 miles away throughout my trip. While locally in the small towns and cities I was in, 10 watts was more than sufficient for making contacts. I'm very happy with my purchase, glad I made the decision to have bought one. Everyone I made contact with either said.... wow, your coming in 5x5 or they would comment how clean the voice modulation was. I encourage my fellow Hams to try one out, you don't have to take my word for it, the radio does the talking... Thanks BridgeCom Systems!
My purpose in building this interface was to have the capability to receive NBEMS messages for use in a disaster and disaster exercises. Since this was a new radio on the market, I did not find any information regarding the building of this interface.
This article is intended to provide information on the building of this interface and the associated jumpers for the Tigertronics Signalink. This article does not provide information on how to utilize the associated software. However, just for information, I did use a PC, with Windows 10 with FLDIGI, FLWRAP and FLMSG.
While this is a relatively simple interface, I have written this article in the spirit of helping and assisting others in interfacing the BridgeCom Systems BCM-220 radio accessory port with a Tigertronics Signalink. To that end, it may be overly detailed for many, but will hopefully fulfill a broader audience.
It was suggested that I add a disclaimer to this article, so here it is. You use the information in this article entirely at your own risk. I, (the author of this article) will not be held responsible for anything that happens as a result of using this information.
There are 2 components to this interface. One is a custom cable to interface the radio accessory port to the Signalink unit and the other component is the associated jumpers internal to the Signalink.
Cable Build The cable between the BridgeCom Systems BCM-220 radio and the Signalink consists of one RJ-45 connector wired as EIA-568B for the Signalink end, and one HD-15 connector for the radio end. The Signalink unit come with a 3 foot cable the and Rj-45 connector for use at the Signalink end. This connector is pictured below for reference.
April 24, 2017 BridgeCom Systems, Inc Phone: (816)532-8451 E-Mail: tim@BridgeComSystems.com Contact: Tim King
Press Release: NEW BCM-144 & BCM-440 Mobile Radios Now Shipping ________________________________________________________________________ BridgeCom Systems, Inc is pleased to announce the availability of BCM-144 and BCM-440 Mobile Radio for the amateur radio market. The join the already available BCM-220 1.25m mobile radio.
The BCM-144 Mobile radio transmits between 144-147.995 MHz and receives between 136-174 MHz. It features user selectable power; 5, 10, 25 and 50 Watts using a high-quality Mitsubishi "brick" style power amplifier. Other features include: 4W front panel speaker, 128 X 32 dot-matrix graphic LCD, High quality heavy duty DTMF Microphone, CSQ, CTCSS, and DCS Encode/Decode, SO-239 Antenna Connector, Rear Panel (DE-15) accessory port, 250 memory channels, VFO/Memory Mode, SCAN, and much more! For a full list of features and a specs visit BCM-144 2m Mobile Radio.
The BCM-440 Mobile radio transmits between 430-449.99 MHz and receives between 400-470 MHz. It features user selectable power; 5, 10, 20 and 40 Watts using a high-quality Mitsubishi "brick" style power amplifier. Other features include: 4W front panel speaker, 128 X 32 dot-matrix graphic LCD, High quality heavy duty DTMF Microphone, CSQ, CTCSS, and DCS Encode/Decode, SO-239 Antenna Connector, Rear Panel (DE-15) accessory port, 250 memory channels, VFO/Memory Mode, SCAN, and much more! For a full list of features and a specs visit BCM-440 70cm Mobile Radio.
BridgeCom Systems, Inc. was established in 2004 with offices located in Smithville, MO. We specialize in the development of communications equipment for land mobile radio including commercial and amateur radio. We currently offer the BCR Repeater available in UHF (70cm), 220 MHz and VHF (2m), an LTR Repeater Controller, and a selection of amateur and commercial portable and mobile radios plus our line of TL-NET multi-site RoIP wide area linking products. TL-NET will link RF sites including: LTR, conventional, digital, P25, analog, amateur radio and more. As a third-party developer for MOTOTRBO products, TL-NET also allows for various enhancements to MOTOTRBO digital repeaters operating in IP-Site connect mode.
In addition, we offer concept to reality engineering for your design and manufacturing needs. Our services include electronic and software engineering and complete turn-key communication solutions. As the industry evolves we are committed to developing outstanding products that meet our customers' needs. If you have any questions please contact us.
BridgeCom Systems, Inc 102 NE State Route 92 Hwy, Ste C Smithville, MO 64089 www.BridgeComSystems.com (816)532-8451
What is amateur radio linking and why is it so important, necessary, or just plain fun? Let's say you want to set up a repeater at Hamvention and talk to the group back home. How is that possible? More on that later, but first let's talk about methods of linking.
As long as radio has been around we have been trying to talk farther and farther from home. We use bands that bounce off the atmosphere and penetrate buildings. We even climb to the top of mountains to get more range. So it goes without saying that we are always pushing the limits of the range of communication. This is where linking comes into play, when you have exhausted the range required.
Radio linking at its simplest form is radio to radio simplex in a daisy chain. The more radios the larger the chain and greater coverage area. The idea is to get the message from one end to the other. Now we've all played the phone booth game where the first person wispers the message to a second. By the end of the chain the message has been altered or may not even mean the same as when it began. So linking in this format isn't very effective.
A better way is to use a repeater, like the BCR Repeaters, to link several radio users together. By this method many can talk over a larger area. Now what if you need more? Like to link to another band or another area. Another option is an RF link. This method is a great, inexpensive, way to combine two bands or connect a repeater withing RF range. All you need is a link radio, like the BCM-220, jumper cable, antenna and feed line. We have several customers using BCR Repeaters and link radios, like the BCM-220, BCM-144 or BCM-440, to RF link a pair of repeaters. It's often a good way to create a network for larger coverage area or mix bands to increase activity.
Is there another way? Why yes, RoIP. That stands for Radio over IP. You may have even used RoIP and didn't know it. Have you tried using D-STAR through a Reflector or DMR on a world wide talkgroup? How about Echolink, IRLP, etc? Then you have used RoIP. Let's say you have a BCR Repeater with the D-STAR kit we offer. Tie that to reflector 30C and talk all over N America. Maybe you have a DMR repeater tied to an MV-DMR or c-Bridge on DMR-MARC. How cool is it to talk to your old Army friend in Italy on DMR? These are all examples of RoIP.
Did you know there is yet another RoIP method? Let's say you have a group of BCR-220 repeaters between Seattle, WA and Portland, OR along I-5. They aren't quite close enough to RF link. Even if RF linking would work, you may need to be near a repeater to kill the link.
A better way is to use the BridgeCom ARNS, Amateur Radio Linking System. It puts total control of the links in a convenient web based system. It is easy to manage anywhere you can access the web. The system can grow to include other systems or links.
What about our Hamvention repeater mentioned above? You can set up an ARNS RoIP link system, and have the Friday net from Hamvention! How cool would that be! Just set up the repeater system in the camper in Xenia and talk to the group back home.
Does the band matter? No, it will work on any analog band and even through a base mobile for many of the digital modes. You could effectively have a system that includes all the digital modes and all the analog bands. Think about the possibilities for an event, ARES/RACES, a disaster, or maybe a "Super Net." The size of the system and how it works is entirely up to you.
In summary there are many ways to link communications. From the very basic radio to radio, RF, and RoIP. Which way is best for you will vary depending on your needs and budget. When you need help making a decision call BridgeCom Systems, 816-532-8451. Please use us as your expert linking resouce. We have been linking communications for over 10 years and can help you design your system to fit your needs.
Our original 444.950 repeater was an old Motorola unit setup and operated by N1BUG. It worked but required too much time and attention. Our club voted to continue operations on 444.950 so we bought the BridgeCom and now operate under the club call. The repeater itself has operated without problem since installation.
We are looking for more activity on the repeater, can you help? We operate on 444.950+ and 103.5 tone, plus Echolink K1PQ-R 896607. Please let your audience know that the repeater is on the air and looking for users.
Our club has offered license classes annually for years with VE testing immediately following. We produced three new Hams this year. You can find us on FB at K1PQ and Piscataquis Amateur Radio Club. We also have a presence on QRZ.com and keep a log there.
Thanks for the info and pic Bill. Hey everyone, check in on the repeater if your in the area or hit it on Echolink. Let's see if we can make this BridgeCom BCR-40U Repeater sing!
K1PQ Club Info
Debra Kaczowski (KB1WRY) President
Bill Welsh (KB1WEA) Vice President and K1PQ Trustee
Ben Kittredge (WA1PBR) Secretary/Treasurer
Our club was founded in 1994. Population density is low here with few hams. Our membership is spread over a considerable area.
We provide communications support for local events such as the Piscataquis River Race and a dog sled race. The club also participates in ARRL Field Day. We sponsor the Three Rivers Hamfest in August.
If you live in or are visiting our area, we invite you to join us on our weekly net, Wednesday at 7:00 PM on area repeater 147.105 MHz with a 103.5 Hz tone. Guests are always welcome to attend our meetings, held the fourth Monday of the month, 7 PM at the Milo Town Hall.
Reviewed by Pascal Villeneuve, VA2PV email@example.com
In the past few years, VHF/UHF digital voice communication has been one of the fastest growing segments of Amateur Radio. D-STAR and System Fusion (C4FM) were specifically designed for Amateur Radio, but this is not the case with DMR — Digital Mobile Radio. It is an open standard, developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). As such, this technology is available to any company willing to build a digital radio, such as the BridgeCom Systems D-500 (by TEKK) reviewed this month. Introduction to DMR There are three types of DMR — Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III. To learn more about DMR, I strongly suggest that you read “Introduction to Digital Mobile Radio (DMR)” by John S. Burningham, W2XAB, in the October 2015 issue of QST. In this review, we will concentrate on the widespread Tier II DMR network. You will need to understand a bit about this technology to program your DMR radio. As DMR was not developed specifically for Amateur Radio, the terms are different from what we are used to. Tier II DMR uses TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access), which is a frequency-sharing protocol. You can have two conversations on the same frequency without interfering with each other. This is very efficient, as Tier II TDMA uses a 12.5 kHz bandwidth with two time slots. The switching is very fast, thus allowing for two simultaneous contacts on the same frequency, using this time-sharing method.
Reviewed by Rick Palm, K1CE QST Contributing Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Using BridgeCom Systems’ new 222 MHz (1.25 meter band) mobile radio was a walk down memory lane for me. In the late ’70s and early ’80s, I was part of a small, quirky but devoted group who ragchewed on two 220 MHz repeaters in northern Connecticut and western Massachusetts. One machine was on Talcott Mountain overlooking Hartford, and was run by the son of a major city developer. The other was owned/ controlled by my longtime friend, Paul Koplow, WA1VEI, on Mt Lincoln in the Berkshires. Our radios back then were quirky, too: mine was a Midland (crystalcontrolled, no PLL) that looked like a battered, old CB radio from a trucker’s cab — the kind you might find today in a pawn shop. Later I had a Yaesu Memorizer for the band, which was a great radio. We rolled our eyes and suffered one user who used the autopatch to talk with his wife on his commute home every evening with over-the-top kissing and cooing sounds. Off-air and even on-the-air counseling sailed over his head.
Nowadays, the 222 – 225 MHz band is still a great spot for repeaters and their disciples. I had a lot of fun getting back on this band thanks to the BridgeCom BCM-220. Continuing with the nostalgic theme here, the company, which is based in Smithville, Missouri, evokes the feel and quality of those old radios in their new products, especially this one. The BCM-220 is built like a tank, with commercial-grade construction, and a high-quality, heavy-duty mic that eschews the numerous functions/ buttons that populate some mics. The BCM-220’s mic has a simple DTMF keypad and only three function buttons below it: the first to switch between memory and VFO modes, and the second and third buttons for frequency or channel up and down. That’s it — and I love it! It’s heavy and feels good in my mic hand. Indeed, all of the radio’s functionality seems to be focused on the essentials, and that’s a plus in my book.
International Crystal Manufacturing (ICM) of Oklahoma City has announced that it will be going out of business, probably at the end of May. Royden Freeland Jr., W5EMH, son of the company’s founder, posted a letter this week on the ICM website.
“We will be honoring all orders that we have already taken and will be able to fill a limited amount of new orders dependent upon raw materials available,” Freeland said. “We would like to thank you for your past business. The success of ICM over the previous 66 years has been largely due to its amazing customer base.”
International Crystal produces RF control devices — quartz crystals, oscillators, QCM crystals, filters, TCXOs/VCTCXOs, and precision crystals.
We were recently called by Earl, KJ6DQR from the Desert RATS (Radio Amateur Transmission Society), K6VE. They needed their antiquated 220 repeater and IRLP node running on an old Amiga computer replaced. Having recently installed a new BCR-50V 2m repeater, they chose to replace their aging system with a new Bridgecom Systems BCR-220 and a PiIRLP node.
We built a custom cable to connect the BCR-220 repeater to the PiIRLP's DSUB9 connector. Then we set their IRLP login credentials, adjusted the repeater's local audio and TX power. To complete the install, we adjusted audio levels to and from the IRLP network and tested the system through various IRLP reflectors. We even managed a few QSO's along the way. The system sounded great.
Here's a quick video demonstration. Thanks Ron for showing off the new BCR-220 IRLP Pi node system! This will turn any BCR Repeater into an IRLP Pi node. If you would like your own system contact us.
Is it magic, you know when you go to an event and all of your favorite vendors are there. Did they just magically appear? Well no, of course not, so how did they get there and what goes into the event.
BridgeCom Systems goes to several events throughout the year. We have a booth to display our product and answer questions. What goes on behind the scenes to get us there? It begins months before the event.
Once we determine we are going to an event the games begin! Who's the organizer and how do we get a space reserved? How are we getting there, flying or driving? Let's say we have a space reserved and we are flying. We have to reserve plane tickets, hotel and a rental car.
Next we will get the booth ready to ship. The booth includes banners, table cloth, brochures, pens, even business cards. Also we will ship out product that we may sell, demonstrate or be delivering to a customer in the area. All told it's about 200 pounds we will ship. If we are driving it's a little easier. We can load up any booth piece or product into the vehicle and hit the road. No shipping to organize, no planes to catch, just hours of windshield time and good conversation with the BridgeCom Crew.
We normally try to get to an event a day early to set up the booth and see other vendors and acquaintances. This is also where the real work begins. The booth takes about an hour to two hours to set up. Banners are rolled out and put behind the booth, tablecloth on the table, demo BCR Repeater, BCM Mobile, BCH Handheld, BCS Speaker Mic and more are laid out on the table. Literature is placed in its rack and business cards are laid out. Product is unboxed and prepared for display.
Now it's time to walk around to see who else is attending/displaying. Over there is Alpha Antenna, "hi, Steve." Oh look, Jason at Grapevine and HamRadio 2.0; wave. Even HamRadio 360 is here, I bet they will be doing a live podcast; "hey Cale, Jeremy, George!" MTC is here, Kenwood, Icom, NW Digital Radio, West Mountain, and the list goes on.
The big day has arrived, it's showtime. Dressed in my BridgeCom Shirt, lanyard with my name tag, call sign and adorned with 10 pieces of flare (pins from past events) I'm ready for the masses. The events start with a bang when the doors open. Attendees scurry around like mice looking for cheese. Everyone has their favorite booth or table they hurry to check out, then settle into a pattern to work their way around the event. People ebb and flow with the event session, Breakfast, Lunch and dinner. The booth is busy at times and quiet at times. Hopefully there is enough break for a nature call or two and some food.
At the end of the day it's time to pack up and go. I usually meet a customer, another vendor or a friend for some food and good conversation. I try to unwind and reload for day two before hitting the hay for some zzzz's.
When the event ends it's kind of a reverse of setup day. Rolling up banners and tablecloths. Packing boxes and assessing what needs to be replenished before the next event; literature, pens, business cards, product, etc.
It's also time to asses the event; how many attendees, event mood, costs, follow up and so much more. It's really not for about a week or two after an event that it's really over. If we have events back to back it seems like it never ends, but we love it, never a dull moment that way!
So there you have it... what it's like to take BridgeCom Systems on the road to an event. It's a logistical challenge, personnel challenge and the best way to meet you, our customers and fans. Thank you for attending a BridgeCom Systems event and we look forward to seeing you at the next one!
It is a Bridgecom BCR-220 operating (currently into a Dummy Load) on 224.56- mHz. in Edmonds, WA. It will remain on the bench for testing while a suitable repeater site is located (we have one on the radar). The repeater operates dual mode, analog FM (CTCSS 123.0 hz.) and D-STAR.
It uses the NW Digital Radio UDRC as the controller/modem. (The UDRC and it's Raspberry Pi can be powered directly off of the BCR-220 accessory port.)
The repeater is connected to both the ircddb and Quadnet D-STAR networks via ircddbgateway. (Callsign routing between G2 Icom gateways and ircddb is possible with the ircddb add-on for G2 -- common linking via DPLUS, DExtra, DCS, XLX, etc. is available via repeaters/hotspots connected to those networks).
The addition of 220 as a D-STAR repeater band opens VHF opportunities for club and individual repeaters where 2 meter repeater pairs are unavailable.
John D. Hays
Contact BridgeCom Systems for more information or to purchase
November 14, 2015 BridgeCom Systems, Inc Phone: (816)532-8451 E-Mail: tim@BridgeComSystems.com Contact: Tim King
For Immediate Release Introducing the NEW BCD Duplexers by BridgeCom Systems ________________________________________________________________________ BridgeCom Systems, Inc is pleased to announce the availability of the BCD line of duplexers for the amateur and commercial radio markets.
Introducing the New BCD line of duplexers. There are five duplexers available: BCD-144/440, BCD-220, BCD-144250 and BCD-440250. The BCD-144/440 is a small mobile style duplexer available in either VHF or UHF frequency Bands. It covers VHF (136-174 MHz) or UHF (400-520 MHz) frequencies, requires 5-8 MHz frequency split for up to 50W with 80 dB isolation. It's small size allows it to mounted inside the BCR repeaters for a compact installation.
The BCD-220 is made for VHF (210-230 MHz) which includes the 220 MHz (1.25m) Amateur Radio band. It requires a 1.3-1.6 MHz frequency split and will handle up to 125W with 85 dB isolation.
The BCD-144250 is made for VHF (136-174 MHz). It requires 0.6-15 MHz frequency split and will handle up to 250W. It has 90 dB of isolation and is rack mountable.
Finally, the BCD-440250 is made for UHF (400-470 MHz). It requires 0.8-15 MHz frequency split and will handle up to 250W. It has 85 dB of isolation and is rack mountable.
For a full list of features and a specs visit https://www.bridgecomsystems.com/collections/duplexer, call 816-532-8451 or email tim@BridgeComSystems.com.
BridgeCom Systems, Inc. was established in 2004 and is located in Smithville, MO. We specialize in the development of communications equipment for land mobile radio industry. Our first product to market was an analog FM community repeater available in both UHF and VHF. Since that time, we developed an LTR controller and a new repeater series called the BCR available in UHF, 220 MHz and VHF. BridgeCom Systems signature product is called TL-NET. TL-NET is a multi-site wide area RoIP linking product that links RF sites including: LTR, conventional, digital, P25 and more. As a third-party developer for MOTOTRBO products, TL-NET also allows for various enhancements to MOTOTRBO digital repeaters operating in IP-Site connect mode.
In addition, we offer concept to reality engineering for your design and manufacturing needs. Our services include electronic and software engineering and complete turn-key communication solutions. As the industry evolves we are committed to developing outstanding products that meet our customers' needs.
BridgeCom Systems, Inc 102 NE State Route 92 Hwy, Ste C Smithville, MO 64089 www.BridgeComSystems.com (816)532-8451
Due to the inability of certain people to communicate properly and understand all the aspects of site testing this page was created to read, compare notes and build on for the benefit of all. Human communication, comprehension and understanding problems is beyond the scope of this document, however the reader should keep these problems in mind when dealing with site issues and interfacing with other companies and government Agencies. Misunderstandings, bogus readings, log entries, technician and management diagnostics and plan of actions for problem solving are commonly mis-directed with considerable time and expense wasted in the wrong direction of efforts. This can lead to the general desensitation (pun intended) and poor attitude of the workforce in most any private company or government in the technical (repair) field around this country. Fortunately, there still is a handful of technicians that care to understand what the problem is and the proper way to solve, or at least, reduce the symptoms to an acceptable figure. If you are reading this it's most like you are in one of the latter. This is a good thing.
The BCH-220 handheld 222 MHz (1.25 centimeters) FM transceiver is a product of BridgeCom Systems, a company many readers may not have heard of. Based in Smithville, Missouri, the company was established in 2004, and according to its website, develops and sells communications equipment for the land mobile radio, Amateur Radio, commercial radio, and remote monitoring markets. Its first product was a VHF/UHF FM repeater.
DMR-MARC announced today that the DV4 Mini is now supported. DV4 Mini is a USB dongle that allows Hams remote access into DMR networks. Initially three talkgroups will be supported through eight core DMR-MARC bridges (MV-DMR).
Newsflash: The world is going digital! I know, I know, this is not really a revelation. We all carry around a smartphone, tablet or PC that communicates over digital LTE or Wifi. The two way radio is not much different with all the digital communication options and even some LTE radios. Yet analog radio is not dead and in many ways is thriving in the commercial and amateur radio worlds. So the question becomes, what if I have both analog and digital radios, then what? There is an option to use both and I'd like to tell you about linking digital, specifically DMR radio and analog.
First, a little background to understand how DMR became available. There is a commercial radio FCC mandate that all repeaters be narrowband, 25 kHz compliant. This meant a repeater would have to be run in 12.5 kHz bandwidth. The big manufacturers took advantage of this opportunity by introducing Digital radio, including DMR.
Digital radio takes the narrowband mandate one step further by going super narrowband, 6.25 kHz. Many commercial repeaters were replace with a narrowband analog repeaters or super narrowband digital repeaters, like the MotoTRBO DMR repeaters. What's super narrowband you ask? Through digital modulation the repeater can be run in 6.25 kHz of bandwidth, allowing two repeater calls to take place in 12.5 kHz of allowed bandwidth.
If your mind is racing, probably because this explanation is just scratching the surface, then let me try this. What used to be one repeated call in 25 kHz can now be up to four repeated calls in the same space! Crazy right? Note: amateur radio is still 25 kHz and the FCC has made no push towards narrowbanding the ham bands.
The amateur radio world has latched onto the DMR technology and found new ways to communicate using Radio Over IP (RoIP). Using the c-Bridge (MV-DMR) a MotoTRBO DMR repeater can be linked to other like repeaters all over the world, lots and lots of repeaters. Unfortunately this is a separate communication network. It's kind of like adding another band, but without the ability to link to other bands.
Back to the problem, which is getting the new DMR (digital) radio to communicate with the analog radio. The solution is an RoIP gateway that can convert the digital audio to analog and be connected to the MotoTRBO DMR repeater and an analog RF source.
Have you heard of the MVi-1 RoIP Gateway? It's OK, most folks have not. It contains what is needed to connect to the DMR repeater and convert the digital audio into RoIP which is routed through the internet. The receiving RoIP gateway will take the data and convert it to analog audio for the repeater to repeat. This all happens in milliseconds with just a little equipment. PROBLEM SOLVED!
If you are a commercial or amateur repeater owner and need to link DMR to analog, analog to analog or DMR to DMR, the solution is available.
If you would like more information about the MVi-1 or have any questions about linking repeaters, contact the folks at BridgeCom Systems, 816-532-8451. They manufacture the MVi-1 and many other products.