VX-8GR

My new toy arrived a couple of weeks ago and I was able to figure out some APRS and debugging stuff.
Sending emails using APRS and the Winlink system was one: http://www.winlink.org/aprslink
For short: 1.) Grab an account at Winlink. 2.) Start sending emails through APRS by directing a message to the call WLNK-1 using either the short message format:
SMS to@add.ress My message is this!
or the long version where one email is split up into multiple APRS messages (see above link). Another neat thing was the alignment menu. On this model you can enter it by:
- enabling + setting the CW id (menu no. 16) -> to AH041M
- switch to "A" band VFO mode only, set the freq to 430 MHz
- switch the radio off, and switch it back on with the HM/RV key pushed
voila!
- now you're on your own regarding the settings :)
- extra tipp: turn the knob a few settings and then hit the Band button. now you're able to change the same settings, but for 2m Band separately.

VX-8GR_thumb

Packet Radio with Linux (sound card)

http://www.baycom.org/~tom/pcf/ptt_circ/ptt.html
http://www.qbjnet.com/packet.html
...led me into the right direction. Thanks for those resources!
Anyway I'm struggling with "soundmodem" and my USB-to-serial PTT-device.
I'm using one of these: http://www.elv.de/mini-usb-modul-um2102-komplettbausatz.html
Result: DSR is toggling (reverse), but neither DTR not RTS does?! Halp. -> Update - Solved: Using a FTDI-Adapter now. HNY.
Update #2 (06.01.2013): http://graham.auld.me.uk/projects/aprs/linux/index.html
Worth reading, regarding behaviour of soundcards and transceivers (de-emphasis).

ISS via Packet Radio

For the first time I configured "soundmodem" and the rest of the AX25 stuff on my linux laptop. Got some frames from the ISS today:

;RS0ISS-4 UI  pid=F0
=4532.92N/01930.10E-Op.Vlado/QTH:Kula {UISS53}
fm YU7RD-0 to APRS-0 via RS0ISS-4 UI  pid=F0
:HEARDlast:LA4FPA-6,G4CCB,F4DUR,F0ESV,G7UZN,G4HBI,HB9SKA{UISS53}
fm LA4FPA-6 to V2RYY6-0 via RS0ISS-4,WIDE2-2 UIv pid=F0
`|^+l .>/]"41}Erling mobile JP32bm=
fm G4HBI-0 to ALL-0 via RS0ISS-4 UI  pid=F0
It;s good to be back de Frank G4HBI in Manchester IO83wl
fm RS0ISS-4 to CQ-0 via SGATE-0 UIv pid=F0
>ARISS - International Space Station (BBS/APRS on)
fm LA4FPA-6 to V2RYY6-0 via RS0ISS-4,WIDE2-2 UIv pid=F0
`|^+l .>/]"41}Erling mobile JP32bm=
fm G4HBI-0 to ALL-0 via RS0ISS-4 UI  pid=F0
:Heard    :EB1IVY-9,G4CCB,EA2AUK,F0ESV,M3EAV-15,HB9XJ,IK3ZGB-2,LA4FPA-6,
fm HB9SKA-0 to APRS-0 via RS0ISS-4 UI^ pid=F0
=4726.07N/00812.00E-Via ISS, 73 de Thomas
fm DL1MAX-0 to US4QR3-0 via RS0ISS-4 UIv pid=F0
'~=x. .`/>73 via ISS=
fm HA3HT-0 to 4V1T21-0 via RS0ISS-4,WIDE-0 UIv pid=F0
fm LA4FPA-6 to APK102-0 via RS0ISS-4,WIDE2-2 UIv pid=F0
:DL1MAX   :73{11;EL-374241*111111z4845.42NE00824.47E0439.225MHz 1750 R50k DB0TFM-R
fm F0ESV-0 to CQ-0 via RS0ISS-4 UI  pid=F0
:G4CCB    :Seasons Greetings de F0ESV Willy via ISS
fm F4DUR-0 to APRS-0 via RS0ISS-4 UI  pid=F0
=4538.55N/00424.16E`73' Via ISS {UISS53}
fm G4CCB-0 to APK102-0 via RS0ISS-4 UIv pid=F0
:G4HBI    :HI FRANK. GOOD SIGNAL. {54
fm LA4FPA-6 to V2RYY6-0 via RS0ISS-4,WIDE2-2 UIv pid=F0
`|^+l .>/]"41}Erling mobile JP32bm=
fm YU7RD-0 to APRS-0 via RS0ISS-4 UI  pid=F0
:G4HBI    :TNX, also to you, 73 de Vlado.
fm YU7RD-0 to APRS-0 via RS0ISS-4 UI  pid=F0
:HEARDlast:LA4FPA-6,G4CCB,F4DUR,F0ESV,G7UZN,G4HBI,HB9SKA{UISS53}
fm RS0ISS-4 to HB9XJ-0 UA-
fm RS0ISS-4 to HB9XJ-0 I00+ pid=F0
ISS Crew Keyboard. Crew may not be available. For BBS/PMS use RS0ISS-11
fm RS0ISS-4 to HB9XJ-0 RR0+
fm RS0ISS-4 to HB9XJ-0 RR0+
fm RS0ISS-4 to HB9XJ-0 RR0+
[...]

Small Echolink Gateway

Thanks for the article about using the Raspberry Pi as an Echolink gateway
(CQ/DL 10/12) or: http://svxlink.de/?page_id=1606
Mine looks like this now:

20m transceiver, first QSOs made!

After putting the parts into simple tinplate boxes and eliminating an RF stray problem from the microphone (I searched quite long to find this one) the first 10 QSOs are made: EA, R, LZ, G - I could not resist laughing to myself after an "excellent modulation" rapport - While getting it I simply hold the bare dynamic mice capsule in my hand :-) Anyway, with the same parcel in which my tinfoil boxes where, was also a nice housing which is planned for some next - more sophisticated - home-brew project. I can recommend www.schubert-gehaeuse.de (german only, english version obviously broken) !

20m transceiver, finished (no housing)

I'm happy that most of the work is done and this little transceiver is putting out its 5 watts. The signal looks quite fine on the oscilloscope. Me happy :)
If you like to look into the schematics, most of them are available (with german text) here:
http://www.peter-rachow.de/k4_1.htm
http://www.peter-rachow.de/k4_2.htm
http://www.peter-rachow.de/k4_3.htm
http://www.peter-rachow.de/k4_4.htm
http://www.peter-rachow.de/k4_5.htm


TBD: Find a decent housing for this toy.