Tuesday, November 24, 2009

MB6AM D-STAR coverage in Oxfordshire

Having read about the new MB6AM node yesterday, I tuned one of the receivers of the FT8900 in the car to 144.8625. That's FM only and doesn't receive D-STAR but I thought I'd be able to see what signals were like.

Pretty much as soon as I drove out of the car-park at Didcot, I heard the GMSK 'buzz' which was encouraging. Driving home, I also heard a couple of packet nodes on the frequency, which might be interesting - not sure where they were. Just around the corner from home I could hear the D-STAR signal.

But from home, with the E92 D-STAR handheld, I couldn't open up MB6AM. That was a little disappointing, but on reflection, I suspect I'm just a little bit shielded in that direction. Conceivably, a collinear on the top of the mast might sort that out.

To capitalise on what looks like a viable 'mobile' signal from MB6AM, I've ordered an adapter patch lead to allow me to plug the handheld into the mobile aerial, so I can give that a go when it arrives and I'm pretty sure that will be successful.

I brought the E-92 into London today and when I got out of the car at Didcot, I tried blipping up MB6AM which was successful from a couple of areas of the station car park, so it looks like there's hand-held D-STAR coverage from that part of Oxfordshire now.

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