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BridgeCom Systems D-500 70 cm DMR and Analog Handheld Transceiver by QST

BridgeCom Systems D-500 70 cm DMR and Analog Handheld Transceiver by QST

Reviewed by Pascal Villeneuve, VA2PV
va2pv@arrl.net

D-500 Amateur DMR HTIn 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.

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Review: BridgeCom Systems BCM-220 222 MHz FM Transceiver by QST

Review: BridgeCom Systems BCM-220 222 MHz FM Transceiver by QST

Reviewed by Rick Palm, K1CE
QST Contributing Editor 
k1ce@arrl.org

BCM-220 1.25m Mobile RadioUsing 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. 

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Receiver Desense Testing by Karl Shoemaker, AK2O From Repeater-Builder.com

Receiver Desense Testing by Karl Shoemaker, AK2O From Repeater-Builder.com

Receiver desense testing by Karl Shoemaker, AK2O

Introduction

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.

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BridgeCom Systems BCH-220  222 MHz Handheld FM Transceiver - QST Magazine

BridgeCom Systems BCH-220 222 MHz Handheld FM Transceiver - QST Magazine

Reviewed by Rick Palm, K1CE k1ce@arrl.net

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.

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Becoming a Great Elmer - Our Hamstation by Fred, AB1OC

Becoming a Great Elmer - Our Hamstation by Fred, AB1OC

There is much being said and written these days about the importance of bringing new New Amateur Radio License Classpeople, especially young people, into our Hobby. There are many obvious reasons for this. As we all get older or get busy with other aspects of our lives, some will leave the hobby. Also, we have the use of many commercially valuable portions of the RF spectrum and there is always pressure to reallocate bands or segments of bands which are not fully utilized. In my mind, the most important reason to bring new HAMs into our hobby has to do with the energy and new ideas that these folks bring to Amateur Radio. Amateur Radio has always been a learning hobby and new folks help us to keep this important part of what makes our hobby so much fun vibrant.

Becoming a Great Elmer - Our Hamstation by Fred, AB1OC

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BCR-220 repeater Very Impressed

BCR-220 repeater Very Impressed

Bcr-220 repeater  01/30/16 Very impressed so far with the performance with the new 220 repeater receiving much better than are old 220 repeater Dan V N3FCX BCR-220

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65 Great Things about Ham Radio by CQ Magazine

65 Great Things about Ham Radio by CQ Magazine

Clearly written by hams for hams. 65 great things about ham radio from CQ Magazine
BridgeCom Systems Booth Ft Wayne Hamfest 2015
1. It works when nothing else does
2. It makes you part of a worldwide community
3. The opportunity to help neighbors by providing public service and emergency communications
4. Some of the nicest people you'll ever meet
5. Some of the smartest people you'll ever meet
6. Some of the most interesting people you'll ever meet
7. Some of the most generous people you'll ever meet (along with some of the cheapest!)
8. Lifelong friendships
9. Friends around the world (including those you haven't met yet)
10. The opportunity to go interesting places you might not otherwise go to
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