After several sessions of the AARC Digital Net, it seems time for an update. If you haven’t been keeping up, the AARC C4FM Net is an informal net using the Yaesu digital mode that the WA4TFZ 146.895 repeater supports. Called on Thursday evenings at 9PM local time, almost every week sees another club member or area ham who is able to use this mode. Nets have averaged 5 checkins over the past couple of months. Participants include Joe W2PVY, Jeff K4OLW, Bill N0WP, Elmer KF4UCI, Matt W1MPR, John N4IWI (Stuarts Draft) and Dave K4DND. Others, Stefan K0STP, Rick KJ4ZIH and Matt KM4AAX, have radios and we expect to see them joining in on subsequent nets.
C4FM digital audio is not bad. One advantage to the Yeasu digital mode is that it requires very little overhead. Basically, when you turn on a new radio, such as the FTM-400D that many of us are using, it asks you to input your call sign. Other than get the repeater frequency and offset set up in the radio, you are now good to go, and should be talking to another ham on the Buck’s Elbow repeater as soon as one answers your call. By comparison, in my view, the initial overhead in getting started using D-Star is at least an order of magnitude more involved. So with C4FM you can quickly and easily be on the air enjoying digital audio.
Without going into TMI, an additional feature of the Yeasu system is the ability to send data, particularly in the form of low resolution jpeg images. Yeasu markets a separate handheld microphone with an integral camera. Elmer KF4UCI has this mike and sent the tower image on the net last week.
This left image is of a tower at the Bear Den site on the Blue Ridge just north of where I64 crosses. It took about 60 seconds to send this image, which is captured to the SD card mounted in the radio. The image can subsequently be called up from the SD card, and resent from a radio that previously received it.
The image on the right is of repeater equipment at the Bear Den site. While these images are obviously not HD quality, they represent a useful and interesting addition feature that Yeasu has built-into their digital radios.