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Amateur Radio Q-Codes

The Q-Code is a standardised collection of three-letter message encoding, also known as a Brevity Code, (Brevity Codes are used in amateur radio, maritime, aviation and military communications. The codes are designed to convey complex information with a few words or codes, all of which start with the letter “Q”), initially developed for commercial radiotelegraph communication, and later adopted by other radio services, especially amateur radio. Although QCodes were created when radio used Morse Code exclusively, they continued to be employed after the introduction of voice transmissions. To avoid confusion, transmitter call signs are restricted; while an embedded three-letter Q sequence may occur (for instance when requested by an amateur radio station dedicated to low-power operation), no country is ever issued an ITU prefix starting with “Q”, (The International Telecommunication Union [ITU] allocates call sign prefixes for radio and television stations of all types). The codes in the range QAA–QNZ are reserved for aeronautical use; QOA–QQZ for maritime use and QRA–QUZ for all services.

Early Developments

The original Q-Codes were created, about 1909, by the British government as a “list of abbreviations… prepared for the use of British ships and coast stations licensed by the Postmaster General. The Q-Codes facilitated communication between maritime radio operators speaking different languages, so they were soon adopted internationally. A total of forty-five Q-Codes appeared in the “List of Abbreviations to be used in Radio Communications”, which was included in the Service Regulations affixed to the Third International Radiotelegraph Convention in London (The Convention was signed on July 5, 1912, and became effective July 1, 1913.)

Later Usage

Over the years, modifications were made to the original Q-Codes to reflect changes in radio practice. Over a hundred Q-Codes were listed in the Post Office Handbook for Radio Operators in the 1970s and cover subjects such as meteorology, radio direction finding, radio procedures, search and rescue, and so on.

Some Q-Codes are also used in aviation and some in maritime. (A subset of Q-Codes is used by the Miami-Dade County, Florida local government for law enforcement and fire rescue communications, one of the few instances where Q-codes are used in ground voice communication.) Many military and other organizations that use Morse Code have adopted additional codes, including the Z-Code used by most European and NATO countries. Used in their formal “question/answer” sense, the meaning of a Q-code varies depending on whether or not the individual Q-code is sent as a question or an answer. For example, the message “QRP?” means “Shall I decrease transmitter power?”, and a reply of “QRP” means “Yes, decrease your transmitter power”. This structured use of Q-codes is fairly rare and now mainly limited to amateur radio and military Morse Code (CW) traffic networks.

Breakdown by Service •

QAA to QNZ – Assigned by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). •
QOA to QQZ – Reserved for the Maritime Services.
QRA to QUZ – Assigned by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). •
QVA–QZZ – Are not allocated.

Amateur Radio

Selected Q-Codes were soon adopted by Amateur Radio Operators. In December, 1915, the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) began publication of a magazine titled “OST”, named after the Q-Code for “General call to all stations”. In Amateur Radio, the Q-Codes were originally used in Morse Code transmissions to shorten lengthy phrases and were followed by a Morse Code question mark (··–··) if the phrase was a question.

Q-Codes are commonly used in voice communications as shorthand nouns, verbs, and adjectives making up phrases. For example, an Amateur Radio Operator will complain about QRM (manmade interference), or tell another operator that there is “QSB on the signal”; “to QSY” is to change your operating frequency.

They can still be heard on HF communications but are not normally used on UHF and VHF communications. The reason is quite simple. Many radio amateurs have become certified purely to be volunteer communicators for their local emergency programs and consequently are not very familiar with the Q-Codes. Recently Q-Codes have again been used more for Morse Code communications than for voice communications.

 

Australia LTE frequency bands

Frequency bands and channel bandwidths

From Tables 5.5-1 “E-UTRA Operating Bands” and 5.6.1-1 “E-UTRA Channel Bandwidth” of 3GPP TS 36.101, the following table lists the specified frequency bands of LTE and the channel bandwidths each listed band supports:

E-UTRA

Band

Duplex-
Mode
ƒ
(MHz)
Common name Included in
(subset of)
Band
Uplink (UL)
BS receive
UE transmit (MHz)
Downlink (DL)
BS transmit
UE receive (MHz)
Duplex
spacing
(MHz)
Channel
bandwidths
(MHz)
1 FDD 2100 IMT 65 1920 – 1980 2110 – 2170 190 5, 10, 15, 20
3 FDD 1800 DCS 1710 – 1785 1805 – 1880 95 1.4, 3, 5, 10, 15, 20
5 FDD 850 CLR 26 824 – 849 869 – 894 45 1.4, 3, 5, 10
7 FDD 2600 IMT-E 2500 – 2570 2620 – 2690 120 5, 10, 15, 20
28 FDD 700 APT 703 – 748 758 – 803 55 3, 5, 10, 15, 20\

References
ETSI TS 136.101 V13.3.0 (2016-05) – LTE; Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (E-UTRA); User Equipment (UE) radio transmission and reception (3GPP TS 36.101 version 13.3.0 Release 13)

ETSI TS 136 101 V14.3.0 (2017-04) – LTE; Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (E-UTRA); User Equipment (UE) radio transmission and reception (3GPP TS 36.101 version 14.3.0 Release 14)

Orange Pi PC 2 H5 Quad-core 64bit

The marketplace has been flooded with Raspberry Pi for a while now, most are massively expensive and the “$35” Raspberry Pi, well actually it’s about $50 landed in Australia.. For a true $35AU single board computer you should check out the Orange Pi range of single board computers.  These little baby’s give the Raspberry Pi a run for it’s money and are well worth a look. This article, I’ll focus on the orange Pi PC 2.. It’s an open-source single-board computer.  It can run Android 4.4, Ubuntu, Debian, Raspberry Pi Images.

If your interested in playing with (or you have a serious project), they are available on BANGGOOD. At the time of writing they are $33.52AU delivered.

For this price point it has everything including 40 Pins Header,compatible with Raspberry Pi B+. Three USB2 ports, a 100/1G Ethernet port, although good luck actually getting giggle bit performance.

A H5 High Performance Quad-core 64-bit Cortex-A53, with an Integrated multimedia acceleration engine, Hardware Java acceleration, Integrated hardware floating-point co-processor and has 1GB DDR3 SDRAM.

The GPU is a High Performance Hexa-core Mali450, providing full scene over-sampled 4X anti-aliasing engine with no additional bandwidth usage, It supports the industry standard OpenGL ES 2.0/1.1/1.0, OpenVG 1.1, EGL, pumping out 40 GFlops, with a pixel fill rate greater than 2.7GPixel/s.

The board supports a TF cards upto 64Gbytes and has onboard NOR flash of 2MB.

It can run Android 4.2, Android4.4, Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Raspbian, ArchLinux,openSUSE, OpenWrt, and other OS systems. Checkout the Orange Pi website for further information about this

A CSI input connector Camera, supporting an 8-bit YUV422 CMOS sensor interface,with CCIR656 protocol for NTSC and PAL. Supports the SM pixel camera sensor .Video capture is possible up to 1080p@30fps.

Video Outputs include the standard HDMI with HDCP, CEC, and integrated CVBS. Unlike most simultaneous output of HDMI and CVBS is supported.

 

Unlike the Pi, the Orange PI has DC input for can power and a power switch. Unfortunatly the USB OTG port doesn’t supply power.

As already mentioned, they are available on BANGGOOD. At the time of writing they are $33.52AU delivered.

Orange Pi™ is a trademark of the Shenzhen Xunlong Software CO., Limited

 

3-in-1 Orange Pi Zero 512MB Development Board

I’m really excited about the Orange Pi Zero, and can’t wait for mine to arrive!! This little development board combo includes the Orange Pi Zero 512M, Expansion board and case. For $25.89AU landed (at time of writing), this combo provides a big punch for buck that’s great for all those little projects. It forgoes things like HDMI connectors, making it ideal for headless, embedded applications.

Under the hood it’s a H2 Quad-core Cortex-A7 H.265/HEVC 1080P, using a 1.2Ghz AllWinner H3 SoC, with 512MB DDR3 SDRAM. With a Mail400MP2 GPU humming along at 600Mhz with support for the industry standard OPENGL ES 2.0.

Network connectivity provides you with some great options, either old school 10/100M Ethernet RJ45 with POE!! Or WiFi with supported IEEE 802.11 b/g/n, via an XR819 antenna.

Power is via USB OTG with power switch. wile the board doesn’t consume much in the way of power, it’s recommended you use a 5V 3A PSU for your connected  peripherals.

Shop Links:

 

 

 

 

 

Spectrum reform

We’re undertaking the most significant change to Australian spectrum management in the last 25 years.

In 2015 the Government announced it would implement the recommendations of the Spectrum Review, including agreement to:

  1. Replace the current legislative arrangements with new legislation that removes prescriptive processes and streamlines licensing for a simpler and more flexible framework.
  2. Better integrate the management of public sector and broadcasting spectrum to improve the consistency and integrity of the framework.
  3. Review spectrum pricing to ensure consistent and transparent arrangements to support the efficient use of spectrum and secondary markets.

The Government has released a consultation package on these recommendations consisting of two components:

  1. an Exposure Draft of the new Radiocommunications Bill and consultation papers on the proposed approach to broadcasting and transitional arrangements
  2. consultation papers on spectrum pricing and Commonwealth held spectrum.

The package outlines how the new legislative arrangements and proposals for spectrum pricing and the management of Commonwealth spectrum might operate together.

Stakeholder feedback on the spectrum pricing and Commonwealth held spectrum consultation papers will assist the Government in its consideration of an appropriate spectrum pricing framework under the new legislative framework. It will also support the efficient management of Commonwealth held spectrum. This will be the only round of consultation on these reviews before government consideration. You can have your say on the spectrum pricing and Commonwealth government use of spectrum consultation papers.

Feedback on the Exposure Draft of the new Radiocommunications Bill and consultation papers on the proposed approach to broadcasting and transitional arrangements will be used to finalise a draft of the Bill package required for introduction. There will be a second round of consultation before the Bill is finalised. You can have your say on the Exposure Draft and proposed broadcasting provisions and transitional arrangements.

The reforms will put in place a framework that is simpler, more efficient, flexible and sustainable to support new and innovative technologies and services while providing certainty of spectrum access rights for users. In addition, regulatory burden on spectrum users will be reduced with simplified licence issue processes. We will also be hosting a series of presentations to stakeholders on the reform package over the coming weeks. Register your interest to attend a presentation.

Find out more:

Legislative proposals consultation paper:

Legislative Proposals Consultation Paper – Radiocommunications Bill 2016

Spectrum Review:

Stay informed:

  • Email spectrumreform@communications.gov.au with the subject ‘SUBSCRIBE’ for notifications about input opportunities and to keep up with the progress of the reform.
  • Follow the Department on Twitter for reform-related notifications.

SOURCE

9-Code, 10-Code

Over the years, public safety dispatchers have developed a semi-standardized code for speaking on the radio. Although the trend during the past 10 years has been to use plain English for law enforcement and fire communications, many agencies still use codes on the radio. The code is known as “the ten code” because the actual code is preceded by the word “ten.” The origin and reason for this is unknown. However, it appears that the “ten” prefix was meant to signal that the numbers following are part of the code, and not an address, age, phone number, etc. Over the years, as more codes were added, the number of ten-codes ran out, and agencies began using “eleven” as a prefix. At some point, other agencies developed a nine-code that accomplished the same thing but used the number nine as a prefix.

The use of codes continues, despite some pressure to use plain English to assist in clarity and operations among different agencies. Once in a while a agency will announce they’re switching away from codes. But since many laws, ordinances and other regulations are stated in letter/number codes, many law enforcement agencies continue to use codes over-all.

We do know that the first published 10-Code was in the APCO Bulletin of January, 1940, after a meeting of the State Systems Standards Committee in Springfield (Ill.)–part of their Project 4 to develop developed “Ten Signal Cards.” There were only 17 codes in the first version, but it grew to about 60 after the list was first published. APCO also took a stab at standardizing codes back in 1973 as part of their Project 14 to make radio communications more concise. These codes includes those from 10-1 to 10-39, with an “optional” list of codes above 10-39. We don’t know of any original listing of these codes on the APCO Web site, but check here for the standard codes, and here for the expanded set.

In late 2005 FEMA established requirements for adoption of the National Incident Management System (NIMS), including a requirement that all public safety agencies routinely use plain English on the radio in order to qualify for any federal grants. However, after some hot debate, FEMA rescinded the order in Feb. 2006, saying plain English was only required when handling multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional incidents. Download (pdf) the explanatory letter.

In early 2009 several large agencies began the transition to plain English, including Dallas PD.

Despite attempts at standardization, there are probably 20 to 30 versions of the original 10-Code being used across the county. Even when an agency uses the standard list, they probably have customized a some of the codes for their own use. For each code we have tried to include the most common definitions. In this consolidated list, some codes have the same definition. Also, many agencies do not use all of the codes on this list, but rather just the few they need.

Many codes can be suffixed by the letter “x” to indicate that a female was involved, or other letters that specify more information (“A” for audible alarm, “S” for silent, etc.).

For this reason, it’s not advisable to memorize this list if you intend to study before becoming a dispatcher–your agency probable has its own list. However, it would be helpful to be familiar with the definitions and types of information that are usually condensed to code form.

Beginners Guide to Radio Scanners

If you’re a complete beginner/novice to scanning, I hope this guide will give you some useful advice and point you in the right direction to get you started.

This guide will be updated time to time to add new subjects and teach you more about your scanner and various scanning activities.

First off, I’ll start with the basics of what a scanner is and does in its simplest form.

The Basics

1: What is a scanner?

A scanner is a radio that covers a far wider frequency range than your average radio at home. Most radios you find in everyday use have a single purpose, i.e. the radio in your car/home is designed to only receive commercial radio stations. Scanners on the other hand, can receive signals transmitted on a wide range of frequencies, allowing the user to listen in to a huge range of different communications including air traffic control, emergency services (ambulance and fire), hobbyists (Citizens Band, Amateur radio), security guards, taxi’s and a lot more.

2: What does a scanner do?

A scanner has two main modes of operation; these are commonly known as ‘search’ and ‘scan’

In ‘search’ mode, you are searching for any transmissions within a certain frequency range specified by the user, i.e. 400-470 MHz. The scanner will quickly scan through the frequencies and if it detects a transmission it will stop immediately and let you listen to what it has found. At this point you can hold the scanner on this frequency and continue to listen or you can let it continue scanning for other transmissions. You can also store the frequency it stopped on into a memory channel for future reference. That brings me to the next mode on your scanner, ‘scan’

Once you start filling up your memory channels with frequencies of interest to you, you can set the scanner to scan through only the channels you’ve saved. This mode on most scanners is extremely quick so you never miss any action.

3: Types of scanners?

Scanners come in two types, handheld and base/mobile. Deciding which to buy is simply a case of knowing where you will use the radio most. If you only plan to use it at home, a home base unit would be a better option. If you plan to take your scanner out and about, a handheld unit will be the best option. Purchasing a handheld is probably the best option for beginners as you can use this at home and also outdoors so you get the best of both worlds.

Getting technical

Now that we’ve got what a scanner basically does, we’ll move onto some of the more technical aspects of scanning.

A lot of beginners seem to falter at this stage, they’ve bought a scanner, played around with it and can’t find anything to listen to and are disappointed and blame the scanner, when 90% of the time, it’s a user error, or just a lack of knowledge in regards to knowing where to scan and what to look for.

I’ll start with some of the other basic functions on a scanner, I’ll stick to the basics that every scanner will have, most scanners will have a lot more features but these will all be model specific.

1: Squelch

You need to set your squelch control properly for the scanner to search/scan. This is easy to do. To start off, turn the squelch right down so you get the constant hissing/white noise coming through the speaker, then slowly turn it back up, you want to set it just above the point where the hissing/white noise stops and that’s it, your squelch is set.

2: Modes

Nearly all scanners will have at least 2 modes, those being AM and FM. For the best part, you’ll be sticking to FM. There are some exceptions though, Air Band (108-136 Mhz) for example uses AM, so when searching through the air band range, make sure you’re using AM.

Some scanners will list FM as NFM and WFM, NFM stands for narrow fm and WFM stands for wide fm. You only need WFM for listening to commercial radio stations, for everything else stick to NFM.

There is also USB and LSB, upper and lower sideband, these modes are used mainly on the HF bands (3-30 MHz) by radio amateurs, ships, aircraft etc. You will only find these modes on more advanced scanners.

3: Step size

You’re scanner will usually have various step sizes for you to choose from (on cheaper/older scanners you may find these are locked and you have no choice) these will typically range from 5/6.25/8.33/10/12.5/25/50khz steps. Choosing the correct step size is essential for searching efficiently and making sure you don’t miss any transmissions, and also to make sure that when the scanner stops, it’s accurately tuned to the frequency.

A general guide is to stick to 12.5 kHz steps for VHF, and 6.25 kHz steps for UHF.

4: Scan delay

Most scanners will have an option for you to choose how long the scanner will stop on a frequency after the transmission ends, before it starts scanning or searching again. The times will vary from scanner to scanner, usually 2-30 seconds and it’s entirely up to you which you choose. This is a handy feature as the other radio user may take a few seconds to respond to the first person, so without this feature, the scanner would just immediately move on without waiting for the response.

5: Lock out

Again, this is a feature most scanners have. This enables you to lock out certain frequencies you want to skip past/ignore. In “search” this is useful as you will occasionally come across a transmission which is constantly there making the scanner stop, so instead of having to manually make the scanner continue, with the lock out feature the scanner will simply ignore it and continue scanning. In ‘scan’ mode, you might not want to listen to some of your stored channels while scanning through them, so if you lock them out, the scanner will ignore any activity found on them. Any channels locked out, can be unlocked at any time as well, refer to your manual on how to unlock the channels (usually just the same way you locked them to start with)

6: Hold

Most scanners have a ‘hold’ button, pressing this will indefinitely hold the scanner on the current channel/frequency until you press it again which is handy for monitoring one channel if something interesting is happening, this will ensure you miss nothing.

Using your scanner

Now that you have a basic understanding of what your scanner can do, and what the basic functions do, it’s time to put it to use.

You will need to refer to your scanners manual to find out how to get it into search mode (to find frequencies in your area) or scan mode (to scan frequencies you’ve stored)

Here is a rough guide of where to search and what you may find using your scanner.

31.000 – 32.000 MHz FM – Cordless phones

70.500 – 71.500 MHz AM – Fire Brigade

85.000 – 88.000 MHz – PMR (Private Mobile Radio)

117.975 – 136.000 MHz AM – Civil Air band.

144.000 – 146.000 MHz FM – Amateur Radio 2m Band

156.000 – 163.000 MHz FM – Marine band

163.000 – 185.000 MHz FM – PMR (security,taxis,ambulance etc)

200.000 – 399.000 MHz AM – Military airband

430.000 – 440.000 MHz FM – Amateur Radio 70cm band

440.000 – 446.000 MHz FM – PMR

446.000 – 446.500 MHz FM – PMR (including licence free pmr)

446.500 – 470.000 MHz FM – PMR (security etc)

It’s now simply a case of searching through the various ranges over and over and finding transmissions within range, listening to them and trying to identify them.

Have patience when you’re searching and don’t get frustrated if you pick up nothing the first few times you scan through, just keep on searching and you will come across transmissions eventually! Once you do, you can start adding them to your memory channels and building up your own database of frequencies in your area.

NA-771 SMA-Female Dual Band UV 144/430Mhz 10W High-gain Antenna For Baofeng BF-UV5R

Type : NA-771
Connector : SMA Female Connector
Frequency : 144 / 430MHz
Gain : 2.15db(144MHz) / 3.0db(430MHz)
Max power : 10 Watts
V.S.W.R : Less 1.5
Impedance : 50 OHM
Color : Black
Length : About 400mm
Weight : 29g
Package weight : 37g
This antenna is also compatible with the following radios.
BAOFENG: UV5R/Plus, UV5RA/Plus, UV5RE/Plus, UV5RB, UV5RC, UV5RD, UV3RPlus, BF-320, BF-480, BF-490, BF-520, BF-V6, BF-V8 etc…
WOUXUN: KG-UVD1P, KG-816, KG-818, KG-819, KG-869, KG-889, KG-833, KG-659/E, KG-699, KG-669, KG-669plus, KG-689, KG-679, KG-659, KG-689plus etc…
LINTON: LT-2288, LT-3288, LT-5288, LT-3188, LT-2188, LT-3260, LT-2268, LT-3268 etc…
PUXING: PX-777, PX-666, PX-3288, PX-555, PX-666, PX-888, PX-6288 etc…
QUANSHENG: TG-K4AT, TG-2AT, TG-45AT, TG-42AT, TG-22AT, TG-25A
WEIERWEI: VEV-3288S ,VEV-3288 V-1000 etc…
FEIDAXIN: FD-6288, FD-268, FD-288, FD-150A, FD450A, FD160A, FD450A, FD-460A etc…
TYT: TH-UV3 etc…

 

Low profile SMA-Female Dual Band Antenna for BaoFeng 888s UV-5R

A low profile antenna that is great for vehicle communications that works better on UHF 400-520Mhz than VHF 136-174Mhz.

Specification:
 Max. Power :10W
Impedance:50ohms
Magnet diameter: approx. 30mm
Connector:SMA-Female
Length: 3 meters
Antenna height: approx. 140mm
Frequency: 136-174MHz 400-520MHz
Gain: 3.0 dB
Weight: 46g
This antenna is also compatible with the following radios.
BAOFENG: UV5R/Plus, UV5RA/Plus, UV5RE/Plus, UV5RB, UV5RC, UV5RD, UV3RPlus, BF-320, BF-480, BF-490, BF-520, BF-V6, BF-V8 etc…
WOUXUN: KG-UVD1P, KG-816, KG-818, KG-819, KG-869, KG-889, KG-833, KG-659/E, KG-699, KG-669, KG-669plus, KG-689, KG-679, KG-659, KG-689plus etc…
LINTON: LT-2288, LT-3288, LT-5288, LT-3188, LT-2188, LT-3260, LT-2268, LT-3268 etc…
PUXING: PX-777, PX-666, PX-3288, PX-555, PX-666, PX-888, PX-6288 etc…
QUANSHENG: TG-K4AT, TG-2AT, TG-45AT, TG-42AT, TG-22AT, TG-25A
WEIERWEI: VEV-3288S ,VEV-3288 V-1000 etc…
FEIDAXIN: FD-6288, FD-268, FD-288, FD-150A, FD450A, FD160A, FD450A, FD-460A etc…
TYT: TH-UV3 etc…

NAGOYA UT-106 10w Antenna for BAOFENG UV5R / UV5RA / UV5RE HIYG

This great little vehicle mounted antenna will provide extra coverage when out and about.

Specifications:
Length: Approx. 43cm/16.9″
Diameter: Approx. 3cm/1.18″
Frequency range: 136-174 400-520 (MHz)
Impedance: 50 (Ω)
Gain: 2.15 (dB)
Max power: 10W
Applicable models: Baofeng all models
Center frequency: 144 / 430MHZ
Weight: 60g
This antenna is also compatible with the following radios.
BAOFENG: UV5R/Plus, UV5RA/Plus, UV5RE/Plus, UV5RB, UV5RC, UV5RD, UV3RPlus, BF-320, BF-480, BF-490, BF-520, BF-V6, BF-V8 etc…
WOUXUN: KG-UVD1P, KG-816, KG-818, KG-819, KG-869, KG-889, KG-833, KG-659/E, KG-699, KG-669, KG-669plus, KG-689, KG-679, KG-659, KG-689plus etc…
LINTON: LT-2288, LT-3288, LT-5288, LT-3188, LT-2188, LT-3260, LT-2268, LT-3268 etc…
PUXING: PX-777, PX-666, PX-3288, PX-555, PX-666, PX-888, PX-6288 etc…
QUANSHENG: TG-K4AT, TG-2AT, TG-45AT, TG-42AT, TG-22AT, TG-25A
WEIERWEI: VEV-3288S ,VEV-3288 V-1000 etc…
FEIDAXIN: FD-6288, FD-268, FD-288, FD-150A, FD450A, FD160A, FD450A, FD-460A etc…
TYT: TH-UV3 etc…