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Orlando HamCation 2020 Interview with Nelson (KM4OPK)

Orlando HamCation 2020 Interview with Nelson (KM4OPK)

Speaking with Nelson, KM4OPK, about his experience with DMR and Hurricane Irma, helped us remember how crucial Ham radio is to emergency communication. 

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- Hey, this is Ron with Bridgecom Systems, I'm KC0QVT and I'm here in Orlando's Hamcation 2020, and I'm here with Nelson KM4OPK. And he just got done getting his new 578 taken care of by Dwayne Reese. He had a few questions and stuff, and he just needed some hand holding for a little bit 'cause he's new to the 578, and I just want to talk to him for a minute. I want to know Nelson, how did you become a Ham Radio guy?

- As a truck driver who got tired of CB,

- Yeah?

- 'cause they're not very well behaved, you can't play your CB with your family in your car.

- Yeah. I decided to take it to the next step. I took it to the technician class and then I took it to the general class, and DMR is something that even a lot of old Ham operators are having a hard time with.

- Yeah!

- And I'm jumping right into DMR.

- You are?

- With Bridgecom's help, right into the, deep into it, yeah.

- Well cool, so this is your second Hamcation?

- This is my first Hamcation!

- Oh this is your first, okay.

- But I have two of your radios, I have the 878 and the 578.

- Alright, so you got into DMR, was it straight out of the gate or did you dabble with analog on analog repeaters? But let me back up, when did you first get licensed?

- I got licensed about five years ago.

- Okay, five years, did you play around with analog for a while?

- I have not played with it.

- Oh, you went just right to DMR?

- I have been playing with 10 meters, and I'm just now getting into DMR.

- Oh okay, with your technician class you can go to 10 meters for a while.

- Yes and I also have my general, so I can do,

- Okay, right!

- Yeah.

- Okay cool! So yeah, DMR is pretty cool, you can get right into it, and of course with all of these repeaters, now do you have a hotspot?

- Not yet.

- Okay, so you're talking on repeaters.

- Repeaters, yes.

- Okay so are you active in a club right now?

- Fort Myers Amateur Radio Club.

- Okay, how big is that club?

- It's pretty big,

- Yeah?

- It's not that bad, it's pretty big, I took my general there and there's a very nice set of people there, and none of those guys have a code plug yet, so I'm gonna help them with a code plug.

- Nice, so you're gonna be like an Elmer to these guys.

- I'm gonna Elmer myself with Dwayne and them, and Elmer them, and that's what it is about Ham radios.

- Yeah.

- You learn it and then you pass it onto somebody else.

- So does the club have a DMR repeater already?

- Not yet.

- Okay, so you might be the guy.

- I might be getting Bridgecon to help me with a repeater,

- Oh cool!

- So we'll see what happens.

- Rock on! So you're basically gonna spearhead this thing probably, and get everybody into DMR in your club?

- I plan to, because I moved to the woods, I'm in the middle of nowhere, so when I don't have cell service and I have no network, I need to be able to reach out and touch somebody with a repeater.

- Okay.

- That's why I need more power with the 578,

- Okay.

- and with a little handheld. So by hitting the repeater, I'm always gonna have connectivity, and that's what Ham radios are there for. We want to be ready for the worst of it, and Irma kicked our butts a couple of years ago, and I was incommunicado for two-three weeks. And that's never gonna happen to me again, so that's why, Ham radio.

- Oh nice. Well you heard it there, Ham radio saves lives, no doubt about it. We make repeaters as well as you know, and one of the things that we talk about is that Ham radio guys, we're there. I know a while back, it came to, I believe it was hurricane Maria, or maybe it was Irma, that hit the island of Dominica. The only thing that was running for three days was an amateur radio repeater.

- An amateur radio, yep.

- Yeah, and that's cool that you're into it for that purpose too, so are you in an (inaudible) group as well?

- Not yet.

- Okay.

- I'm working my way up, I'm opening it up into the Fort Myers level area. I'm in the boonies, there's very few repeaters right in the hole where there's no towers in the state of Florida on a map, I'm right smack in the middle.

- Okay.

- That's why I want to be able to reach the nearest repeater with a bigger radio, and then later on set a repeater myself so we fill that little hole up.

- Well, it's really cool getting to meet Nelson, he just popped in here and wanted to get some help. And Dwayne in 6DMR, and he's our Anytone Factory rep, he's actually been in our booth all weekend and was kind enough to work with Nelson to get his radio up and get some understanding going on. And it's really great to have you as a customer and also to hear your story about how you got into DMR and stuff like that. So anyway, if you guys are needing anything with DMR we'd love to serve you, we'd love to meet you and hear your story just like Nelson and what he's doing with his club. He sounds like he's gonna be one of the guys to help everybody to get on DMR and enjoy this new technology that's sweeping into Ham Radio for the last several years. So, get your DMR ID at, get you a radio, get you a hotspot, or find the guy that can help you on a repeater. So you're doing it man! And it's good to know you.

- Thank you so much, appreciate it.

- 73.

- 73!

Previous article Can You Use the Hotspot You Already Own With Your 878?


João Carlos Silveira Abreu Melo - February 27, 2020

hello I’m CT2HYA from Portugal I loved reading your interview with Nelson 73

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