Hotspot Fixing Packet Loss with AutoCal

The thing with digital communications, it can be extremely complicated. It only takes one tick box to be ticked incorrectly to take your station off the air.  Just as easily one tick box will get you on the air and sounding great.

With Analogue, it was all about antenna gain, SWA, power and height.  Digital is vastly different, especially via a hotspot, as it is all about lack of power, mic gain and packet loss.  Packet loss can be tricky and is often put down to a bad internet connection.  However, that is not always the reason, and if your internet is good, and your packet loss is above 1%, then it can get tricky to know why.

Assuming you have a good connection, you have your hotspot close to your modem if it is via wifi and your radio is also close to your hotspot, then here is something you may want to try.  I will explain how to do it using an OpenSpot, as that is what I am using, however, most hotspots may have the same or similar features.

After many years of using the same hotspot, I noticed more and more the hotspot didn’t seem to recognise my signal from my radio.  I could hear fine, and my hotspot even said it was receiving my signal, but my call didn’t come up on the dashboard and the other person couldn’t receive my signal unless it did come up on the dashboard.

It started 3 in 1 times I would trigger the hotspot like normal, then it changed to 1 in 3.  It got worse before it made the hotspot almost unusable.

My hotspot, an OpenSpot2, has a AutoCal option and will analyse an incoming signal and tries to find out the frequency difference between the OpenSpot and the transmitter. They suggest that you only run AutoCal feature if the openSPOT2 shows BER above 1% for your radio’s transmission, as errors in the voice stream usually won’t be noticeable if the BER is below 1%.

You can see this on the OpenSpot by going to the Status screen and open the BER graph and transmit. A quicker way is to look when you transmit on the dashboard of your OpenSpot, you can see below the BER is next to the B, and this example has a loss of 1.3%.

Dashboard showing BER loss.

With the Openspot, press the quick setup button, select the type of radio you are using (I am using a DMR radio), and then you can see the AutoCal button.

All you need to do is press that AutoCal button.  Then scroll down and you will see it doing the three phases. Make sure the correct modem mode is selected. Hold the PTT button on your radio until all 3 phases are completed. Once complete, you can try the echo test to check you are working well.

Then you can return to normal use and the BER should have reduced to well below 1%.

OpenSpot have more information here in their user manual.

I hope this helped you, and if you enjoyed it, here are some other posts I have done. Please don’t forget to put your email address in to make sure you get the latest posts.

OpenSpot from the Start

I have spoken to a few people who have felt a bit overwhelmed setting up their OpenSpot from the start. In saying that, I have always been surprised how many people are on digital, some of them have no computer experience at all.  It only takes one tickbox to be selected wrongly and you are off the air totally.  So clearly there are a lot of helpful Amateurs out there.  This website is my way of helping, as I can’t be all over the world to help.  I have put things of interest as I find them on my site.  If you find it interesting, please subscribe or let me know.

In saying that, OpenSpot has been setup to be as easy as possible with a lot of thought behind it.  While I am not claiming this is the best hotspot, I am saying I have two of them and found them great to use at home, mobile, and portable.

This is what I do with my openspot2.

Starting from the beginning

Plug your OpenSpot2 in

Turn your mobile phone wifi (or could use a tablet or laptop with wifi) on and connect to your openSPOT2 AP

If the popup page does not show up (it may take a while to load), type in openspot2.local in a web browser

A welcome screen will ask you to select your country

Scan or manually select your home wifi

Press connect and type in your password for your home wifi

After pressing ok, you will get a message saying this hotspot is going to connect to the wifi now instead of directly connecting to your phone

You can then connect to it via your phone or device that is connected to the home wifi.  I recommend you do this via a pc as you get more functions on screen, however you can do it via a mobile phone with a smaller screen. To connect, go to openspot2.local in a web browser.  However, if you have two openspot2’s on your network, as I do, you will need to log into your network modem and check the actual ip address of your openspot.

If you can not find it on your network, then I suggest you go back to your phone and see if you can connect to your openspot again via wifi.  If it is not there, you may need to unplug the power cord and plug it back in a minute or so later, or press the button next to the power cord until the light goes white to reset it and start again.

Once you connect via the wifi network to your Openspot for the first time you will get a Quick Setup Screen.

Put in your call sign and the DMR ID will auto populate.  You can put in your NXDN ID also.

Select the type of radio you will be using to connect to the OpenSpot.

Type in the frequency you want to use while using the Openspot.  Make sure it is a different frequency to all other hotspots so you don’t get hotspot feedback. Keep colour code as 1. Then select the network you want to connect to.

Enjoyed the read? Don’t forget to subscribe. Below are some other interesting reads:

Treehouse

An unusual name, but a catchy name no less, just like Peanut that was written by the same person, David PA7LIM. If you like Peanut, then you will like this project also. This project, like Peanut, includes some amazing coding and thinking.

Launched in 2020, the main website for Treehouse is found off David’s web site. This project is a YSF reflector with multiple rooms.

Dashboard

You can see the dashboard via this link http://europelink.pa7lim.nl/ it is a very similar layout to the Peanut one.

If you open the above dashboard, you will see down the left side in the Room Control section, a message stating your hotspot is not logged in to this reflector.

There are several ways you can connect, but here are a few in no particular order.

BlueDV

A friend of mine, Chris, put this video together. He uses BlueDV to get onto it.

YSF – via your hotspot

As I use an Openspot2, my instructions will show you how I do it, however I am sure you can apply similar to your hotspot should you have a different one.

First you need to connect to the YSF reflector called EUROPELINK, and according to the YSD reflector register, this has an ID number of 00007. If you don’t know how I found this, go to the YSF Reflector Registry page and type in EUROPELINK in the search box, and you can see the ID number of 0007.

Back to the Openspot2, I select Quick Setup, then I select DMR, as I am using a DMR radio, then select YSFReflector then in the Server box, I type in 00007 or EUROPELINK, to select that reflector. Doing this will connect my DMR radio to the YSF system.

Almost instantly, the Room Control section of the dashboard has updated to my call sign and I now have a drop-down list where I can select which room I want to connect to. You can then select the room you want.

As you transmit, you will see your call in the Active QSO’s screen.

While this is not connected to the Peanut Dashboard, there will be rooms that go across to each other. The Online Stations section of the Dashboard has the time stations connected.

There is a new AU-NZ room which is good and was quickly made after it was requested to David. Some rooms link just to themselves, like the English room and so on, while others connect beyond the internet. Remember this reflector will get busier as time goes on.

Also, this setup is still very new, and like Peanut, it took a little while to become popular.  Having said that, Peanut took off quickly and given the success of that, and a lot of people at home during the 2020 Pandemic, I believe this will take off quickly also.

Hope you enjoyed this post. Please remember to follow this blog by putting in your email address so you get posts as soon as they are posted.

Want to see other projects that are similar?

Here are some other posts we have done that are similar:

Portable Hot Stop with Battery Pack

The new OpenSpot3 has come out with an internal battery. You might ask why? Well there is two common issues that is mostly raised with almost all hot spots. One is the range – I have addressed this in my BlueDV post if you want to make your own long range hotspot. However the other issue is it isn’t very portable.

I have two OpenSpot2 hotspots and enjoy them very much. I can cross modes easily all by using the one radio. You used to have to get one radio per band which was a lot more expensive. Anyway I can take the OpenSpot2 in the car and plug it into the car battery and run it via my mobile phone which works well. However what if I want to go for a bike ride or walk without the car?

The main issue is not having the battery of the car when you walk or ride your bike. This is perhaps one reason why the OpenSpot3 has an internal battery. For the rest of us, you can still do it.

Below is a picture of my setup. I took this picture in outback South Australia. At the top of the picture is a small pocket size battery which actually has two USB plugs, so I could plug in my HotSpot and my mobile phone. It even has a torch on it and has a lot of charge (15,000 mAh 2.4 Amp) so it wasn’t the cheapest one available. I could have gone a lot cheaper however we also used this battery pack for other things while we were in remote Australia for several days.

To the left of the photo is my GD-77, my hotspot and my phone. With this setup, I was able to talk the world!

Some other reads you may enjoy

BlueDV Windows 10 GD-77

I found it hard to find useful information on how to run the OpenGD-77 hotpot mode with Windows 10. At the time of writing this, there is a lot about this topic using a pistar and even android or ISO, but not much with Windows 10. This is my experence with BlueDV and Open GD-77 using a Windows 10 PC.

Someone once asked me after reading this page, why would you want to do this? So I have added this paragraph to try and explain. One reason is to extend your hotspot range. For example, if you use a normal regular hotspot, it will only have a small range around or in the house. If you want to go for a walk or dig in the garden, you either have to take a battery pack to plug your hotspot in and your mobile plus your radio. This is something I have done many time, especially while camping and in outback Australia – I have added a photo of it below. However if you have a spare digital radio, then you can plug in your GD77 into an external antenna and via BlueDV as explained below, and then almost run your own 5W repeater into the talk group you want. I have done this and been able to walk several kms from home and still have full access yet only taking my GD77 radio with me. The other reason you can do this is because you can. To make your own repeater is a bit of fun.

Hotspot with battery pack and mobile phone on a park bench.

Before you read on, it should be noted that the Open GD-77 firmware and software is changing all the time, so some of the steps below may change. I will do my best to keep this page up to date, however please message me or leave a comment if you have any suggestions.

First install the Open GD-77 firmware and comm driver. There are instructions on my other post here.

Then once complete, make sure your GD77 is plugged into your USB on your PC. Then type in Device manager in the Windows 10 search box to open the Device Manager. Go to Ports and there you should see OpenGD77 followed by a COM number. If you do not, then you need to install the Comm Driver again. Take note of this Com number.

Now open the GD-77 CPS Community Edition and once loaded make sure it has an Extras menu between the View and Language menus. Click on the Extras menu and select OpenGD77 support. Click on Read codeplug and make sure that works. Obviously you need the radio plugged in and turned on to do this.

Now download the latest BlueDV install file from the following web site. Make sure you select the Windows version. There may be beta versions available if you want to try them.

Download and then install the msi file inside the zip file.

Keep the radio plugged into the USB port on your PC. Turn on the radio and press the green button to go into the OpenGD77 menu. Scroll down to options and then go up to Hotspot and when on hotspot press the right button until it changes to BlueDv. Press the green button to save.

Next open BlueDV and once opened, click on Menu then Setup. Put in your callsign, then change the serial port radio to the Com port noted earlier. Tick on RX/TX Colors, enter in the Frequency you wish to use, enter your DMR ID in both boxes, then select the Brandmeister DMR Master server you want to connect to and put in your password. Select Save to save these settings and close the setup box.

Now turn on Serial (top left under menu) by pressing the slide switch to the left, and DMR in the BlueDV interface. If you can not turn on DMR then you have the same problem I did, then you have not turned your radio on correctly or turned the hotspot mode on. If you have not turned on the hotspot, see two paragraphs above. Then, make sure the radio is in VFO mode by pressing the red button, you should see two lines of frequencies. Make sure they are both the frequency you are using in BlueDV. Turn your radio off, connect the cable and plug it into the PC, then hold down the small black button above the blue button and PTT button, and while holding the button, turn the radio on. The radio should say Hotspot along the top of the screen.

It should now work. Adjust your power level on this radio and plug into a nice antenna, then you can use another DMR radio on the same frequency and you now have your own hotspot that will cover an area that your GD77 will cover.

If you put in the DStar or Fusion settings, you can cross mode across to these networks also if you use the latest BlueDV version.

For more information, here is a video I found that got me going with this project. If you look at this video from 6:34 you can see how to do it without BlueDV and using MMDVMHost instead.

I hope you have found this useful. Please see below some other similar articles I have written that might be of interest. Please leave me some feedback if this has been of some help.

Australian DMR Repeaters

There are several DMR networks around the world, and more and more start all the time. The Australian DMR network currently covers the entire country and is for Australian residents only.

It can often be hard to find which DMR repeaters are online, offline and where they are, especially if you travel a bit like me.

Here is a few links that may be of some use. Please let me know if these links no longer work.

A map of all DMR repeaters around Australia is available here.

If you want to check the status of these above repeaters, have a look at this page. It shows which ones are currently online, or offline.

Online repeater map is a great page showing all repeaters around Australia. It is well worth the look at if you are traveling or are going to be in Australia. https://www.onlinerepeatermap.com/

Another way is via the DMR database. If you put the start of the repeater call sign in the middle repeater section it will list the repeaters in your area. For example, all repeaters in my area start with VK3, so I put in VK3 in the middle callsign box and selected begins with and got a list of registered repeaters. This will work all over the world. https://www.radioid.net/database/search#!

Further Reading

Enjoyed what you read, here is some more interesting articles on this site you may enjoy.

  • Hotspot Fixing Packet Loss with AutoCal
    The thing with digital communications, it can be extremely complicated. It only takes one tick box to be ticked incorrectly to take your station off…
  • OpenSpot from the Start
    I have spoken to a few people who have felt a bit overwhelmed setting up their OpenSpot from the start. In saying that, I have…
  • Treehouse
    An unusual name, but a catchy name no less, just like Peanut that was written by the same person, David PA7LIM. If you like Peanut, then you will like this project also. This project, like Peanut, includes some amazing coding and thinking.…
  • DROID-Star
    After talking to a friend just to the north of me, he told me about the app DROID-Star for Android. As I only have apple…
  • Software Defined Radio (SDR)
    If you don’t have one of the latest and greatest expensive scanners, you will struggle to listen to a lot of transmissions. While there is…
  • SMS via Radio or Hotspot
    One of the most underutilised by very cool feature that comes with some digital networks is the ability to send and receive SMS messages. You…
  • Portable Hot Stop with Battery Pack
    The new OpenSpot3 has come out with an internal battery. You might ask why? Well there is two common issues that is mostly raised with…
  • BlueDV Windows 10 GD-77
    I found it hard to find useful information on how to run the OpenGD-77 hotpot mode with Windows 10. At the time of writing this, there is a lot about this topic using a pistar and even android or ISO, but not much with Windows 10. This is my experence with BlueDV and Open GD-77 using a Windows 10 PC.…
  • Iphone won’t download photos
    I get the “Device is unreachable” Error message when trying to import media from iPhone to Windows 10 PC. …
  • Australian DMR Repeaters
    There are several DMR networks around the world, and more and more start all the time. The Australian DMR network currently covers the entire country…
  • Upgrade to OpenGD77
    This page is just a help to friends I have spoke to who are interested in upgrading the Radioditty GD-77 to the OpenGD77 software. This is not my work, however I really do appreciate Roger and his team have done to put this together. I claim no responsibility if it breaks your radio, however I have not hear this happen now in some time. I am not an expert at all with OpenGD77, I have just put this together to help people who have asked me how to do it.…
  • Basic Antenna Fundamentals
    A good friend of mine, Mike VK5ZC, put the information below together and asked me to put it on my web site. He has spent a lot of time putting it together with pictures and videos, so I encourage you to have a good read.…
  • The History of Ham Radio
    A good friend of mine, Mike VK5ZC, put the information below together and asked me to put it on my web site. He has spent a lot of time putting it together with pictures and videos, so I encourage you to have a good read.…
  • ProScan and ProScan Client Update
    I recently started using ProScan after years of using FreeScan. I have always enjoyed using FreeScan as it is easy to setup, I can download outputs from the software, and the main reason “it works”. However ProScan seems to be more graphical and has different features also.…
  • ProScan and ProScan Client
    I recently started using ProScan after years of using FreeScan. I have always enjoyed using FreeScan as it is easy to setup, I can download outputs from the software, and the main reason “it works”. However ProScan seems to be more graphical and has different features also.…
  • USB Device Error PL2303HXA
    I went into the device manager and found the error, my cable no longer worked. This same issue happened to a USB Card reader also.…
  • Amateur Radio Nets
    A list of Radio nets we have gathered from web pages around the world, as well as friends etc.…
  • The Radio Box
    How do you stop a hand held radio from falling and being damaged? Do you sometimes put the radio down on a bench or desk…
  • WizNet DMR
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  • Mini Keyboard Options
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  • Orion Push to Talk
    Orion is an app that isn’t really known in my world, perhaps because it isn’t available on all platforms, or because it does transmit your…
  • Using an Android TV Box for Ham Radio
    If you want to get onto Digital Radio for less (way less) than $100, then you may be interested in this. I have Apple equipment,…
  • Welcome to the site
    Hi there from Down Under, Melbourne Australia. Thank you for visiting my radio web site. Below is what items by category is available on this…
  • Power without Power
    In 2019 my family and I went on a five week trip through outback Australia to some of the remotest parts. We had no access…
  • Chirp
    CHIRP is a free, open-source tool for programming your amateur radio. It supports a large number of manufacturers and models, as well as provides a…
  • Updating Firmware
    Updating the firmware on the GD-77 can be daunting, as you can easily “brick” your radio. So be extremely careful. Make sure you understand why…
  • My Radio Diddity GD-77
    Starting in digital can be a little overwhelming to start with, no matter how many years you have had your licence.…

Basic Antenna Fundamentals

A good friend of mine, Mike VK5ZC, put the information below together and asked me to put it on my web site. He has spent a lot of time putting it together with pictures and videos, so I encourage you to have a good read.

Topics include:

  • What is an antenna
  • Antennas types and general usage
  • Video of Antenna Propagation
  • The Antenna Mechanism
  • Antenna Resonance & Bandwidth
  • “Q” factor
  • Directional patterns of antennas
  • Video of Antenna Directivity
  • Gain of Antennas
  • Impedance matching
  • Vertical & Horizontal Polarization
  • Balun basics, Unun & Ugly Balun
  • SWR and Video
  • Coaxial cables and feed lines
  • The Velocity factor
  • Plugs and Connectors

Open the PDF document here:

So what did you think of this document? Please leave your comments below.

Mike also wrote a document that has the full history of Amateur Radio. You can read that here.

Want to read something similar:

If you enjoyed that read, here is some more posts we have on this site.

  • Amateur Radio Nets
    A list of Radio nets we have gathered from web pages around the world, as well as friends etc.…
  • Australian DMR Repeaters
    There are several DMR networks around the world, and more and more start all the time. The Australian DMR network currently covers the entire country…
  • Basic Antenna Fundamentals
    A good friend of mine, Mike VK5ZC, put the information below together and asked me to put it on my web site. He has spent a lot of time putting it together with pictures and videos, so I encourage you to have a good read.…
  • BlueDV Windows 10 GD-77
    I found it hard to find useful information on how to run the OpenGD-77 hotpot mode with Windows 10. At the time of writing this, there is a lot about this topic using a pistar and even android or ISO, but not much with Windows 10. This is my experence with BlueDV and Open GD-77 using a Windows 10 PC.…
  • Chirp
    CHIRP is a free, open-source tool for programming your amateur radio. It supports a large number of manufacturers and models, as well as provides a…
  • DROID-Star
    After talking to a friend just to the north of me, he told me about the app DROID-Star for Android. As I only have apple…
  • Hotspot Fixing Packet Loss with AutoCal
    The thing with digital communications, it can be extremely complicated. It only takes one tick box to be ticked incorrectly to take your station off…
  • Iphone won’t download photos
    I get the “Device is unreachable” Error message when trying to import media from iPhone to Windows 10 PC. …
  • Mini Keyboard Options
    I bought this wireless keyboard/mouse which was very cheap. It does not come with batteries, but come with a USB dongle. It has a fantastic range since it is 2.4GHz RF. The back also has good grip which apparently isn’t common on all models. You can select what colour you want the plastic to be also.…
  • My Radio Diddity GD-77
    Starting in digital can be a little overwhelming to start with, no matter how many years you have had your licence.…
  • OpenSpot from the Start
    I have spoken to a few people who have felt a bit overwhelmed setting up their OpenSpot from the start. In saying that, I have…
  • Orion Push to Talk
    Orion is an app that isn’t really known in my world, perhaps because it isn’t available on all platforms, or because it does transmit your…
  • Portable Hot Stop with Battery Pack
    The new OpenSpot3 has come out with an internal battery. You might ask why? Well there is two common issues that is mostly raised with…
  • Power without Power
    In 2019 my family and I went on a five week trip through outback Australia to some of the remotest parts. We had no access…
  • ProScan and ProScan Client
    I recently started using ProScan after years of using FreeScan. I have always enjoyed using FreeScan as it is easy to setup, I can download outputs from the software, and the main reason “it works”. However ProScan seems to be more graphical and has different features also.…
  • ProScan and ProScan Client Update
    I recently started using ProScan after years of using FreeScan. I have always enjoyed using FreeScan as it is easy to setup, I can download outputs from the software, and the main reason “it works”. However ProScan seems to be more graphical and has different features also.…
  • SMS via Radio or Hotspot
    One of the most underutilised by very cool feature that comes with some digital networks is the ability to send and receive SMS messages. You…
  • Software Defined Radio (SDR)
    If you don’t have one of the latest and greatest expensive scanners, you will struggle to listen to a lot of transmissions. While there is…
  • The History of Ham Radio
    A good friend of mine, Mike VK5ZC, put the information below together and asked me to put it on my web site. He has spent a lot of time putting it together with pictures and videos, so I encourage you to have a good read.…
  • The Radio Box
    How do you stop a hand held radio from falling and being damaged? Do you sometimes put the radio down on a bench or desk…
  • Treehouse
    An unusual name, but a catchy name no less, just like Peanut that was written by the same person, David PA7LIM. If you like Peanut, then you will like this project also. This project, like Peanut, includes some amazing coding and thinking.…
  • Updating Firmware
    Updating the firmware on the GD-77 can be daunting, as you can easily “brick” your radio. So be extremely careful. Make sure you understand why…
  • Upgrade to OpenGD77
    This page is just a help to friends I have spoke to who are interested in upgrading the Radioditty GD-77 to the OpenGD77 software. This is not my work, however I really do appreciate Roger and his team have done to put this together. I claim no responsibility if it breaks your radio, however I have not hear this happen now in some time. I am not an expert at all with OpenGD77, I have just put this together to help people who have asked me how to do it.…
  • USB Device Error PL2303HXA
    I went into the device manager and found the error, my cable no longer worked. This same issue happened to a USB Card reader also.…
  • Using an Android TV Box for Ham Radio
    If you want to get onto Digital Radio for less (way less) than $100, then you may be interested in this. I have Apple equipment,…
  • Welcome to the site
    Hi there from Down Under, Melbourne Australia. Thank you for visiting my radio web site. Below is what items by category is available on this…
  • WizNet DMR
    The WizNet DMR app is still in beta testing, and at the time of writing this, you have to not only have a currently have…
Antenna fun

The History of Ham Radio

A good friend of mine, Mike VK5ZC, put the information below together and asked me to put it on my web site. He has spent a lot of time putting it together with pictures and videos, so I encourage you to have a good read.

Topics include:

  • What is Ham Radio
  • Introduction Video
  • The Circuits
  • The Components
  • The Early Pioneers
  • Who Invented the first radio
  • The Amplifier
  • Modulation
  • Introduction to SSB
  • Pre-WWI
  • Between the Wars
  • During WWII
  • Post War
  • Licensing
  • Call Signs
  • Types of Radios

Open the PDF document here:

Ham Radio History

What did you think of this document. Please leave a comment below.

Mike also wrote a document Antenna’s which is also a fantastic read. You can read that here.

Other Reads

If you enjoyed that read, here is some more posts we have on this site.

  • Amateur Radio Nets
    A list of Radio nets we have gathered from web pages around the world, as well as friends etc.…
  • Australian DMR Repeaters
    There are several DMR networks around the world, and more and more start all the time. The Australian DMR network currently covers the entire country…
  • Basic Antenna Fundamentals
    A good friend of mine, Mike VK5ZC, put the information below together and asked me to put it on my web site. He has spent a lot of time putting it together with pictures and videos, so I encourage you to have a good read.…
  • BlueDV Windows 10 GD-77
    I found it hard to find useful information on how to run the OpenGD-77 hotpot mode with Windows 10. At the time of writing this, there is a lot about this topic using a pistar and even android or ISO, but not much with Windows 10. This is my experence with BlueDV and Open GD-77 using a Windows 10 PC.…
  • Chirp
    CHIRP is a free, open-source tool for programming your amateur radio. It supports a large number of manufacturers and models, as well as provides a…
  • DROID-Star
    After talking to a friend just to the north of me, he told me about the app DROID-Star for Android. As I only have apple…
  • Hotspot Fixing Packet Loss with AutoCal
    The thing with digital communications, it can be extremely complicated. It only takes one tick box to be ticked incorrectly to take your station off…
  • Iphone won’t download photos
    I get the “Device is unreachable” Error message when trying to import media from iPhone to Windows 10 PC. …
  • Mini Keyboard Options
    I bought this wireless keyboard/mouse which was very cheap. It does not come with batteries, but come with a USB dongle. It has a fantastic range since it is 2.4GHz RF. The back also has good grip which apparently isn’t common on all models. You can select what colour you want the plastic to be also.…
  • My Radio Diddity GD-77
    Starting in digital can be a little overwhelming to start with, no matter how many years you have had your licence.…
  • OpenSpot from the Start
    I have spoken to a few people who have felt a bit overwhelmed setting up their OpenSpot from the start. In saying that, I have…
  • Orion Push to Talk
    Orion is an app that isn’t really known in my world, perhaps because it isn’t available on all platforms, or because it does transmit your…
  • Portable Hot Stop with Battery Pack
    The new OpenSpot3 has come out with an internal battery. You might ask why? Well there is two common issues that is mostly raised with…
  • Power without Power
    In 2019 my family and I went on a five week trip through outback Australia to some of the remotest parts. We had no access…
  • ProScan and ProScan Client
    I recently started using ProScan after years of using FreeScan. I have always enjoyed using FreeScan as it is easy to setup, I can download outputs from the software, and the main reason “it works”. However ProScan seems to be more graphical and has different features also.…
  • ProScan and ProScan Client Update
    I recently started using ProScan after years of using FreeScan. I have always enjoyed using FreeScan as it is easy to setup, I can download outputs from the software, and the main reason “it works”. However ProScan seems to be more graphical and has different features also.…
  • SMS via Radio or Hotspot
    One of the most underutilised by very cool feature that comes with some digital networks is the ability to send and receive SMS messages. You…
  • Software Defined Radio (SDR)
    If you don’t have one of the latest and greatest expensive scanners, you will struggle to listen to a lot of transmissions. While there is…
  • The History of Ham Radio
    A good friend of mine, Mike VK5ZC, put the information below together and asked me to put it on my web site. He has spent a lot of time putting it together with pictures and videos, so I encourage you to have a good read.…
  • The Radio Box
    How do you stop a hand held radio from falling and being damaged? Do you sometimes put the radio down on a bench or desk…
  • Treehouse
    An unusual name, but a catchy name no less, just like Peanut that was written by the same person, David PA7LIM. If you like Peanut, then you will like this project also. This project, like Peanut, includes some amazing coding and thinking.…
  • Updating Firmware
    Updating the firmware on the GD-77 can be daunting, as you can easily “brick” your radio. So be extremely careful. Make sure you understand why…
  • Upgrade to OpenGD77
    This page is just a help to friends I have spoke to who are interested in upgrading the Radioditty GD-77 to the OpenGD77 software. This is not my work, however I really do appreciate Roger and his team have done to put this together. I claim no responsibility if it breaks your radio, however I have not hear this happen now in some time. I am not an expert at all with OpenGD77, I have just put this together to help people who have asked me how to do it.…
  • USB Device Error PL2303HXA
    I went into the device manager and found the error, my cable no longer worked. This same issue happened to a USB Card reader also.…
  • Using an Android TV Box for Ham Radio
    If you want to get onto Digital Radio for less (way less) than $100, then you may be interested in this. I have Apple equipment,…
  • Welcome to the site
    Hi there from Down Under, Melbourne Australia. Thank you for visiting my radio web site. Below is what items by category is available on this…
  • WizNet DMR
    The WizNet DMR app is still in beta testing, and at the time of writing this, you have to not only have a currently have…
Ham Radio History

USB Device Error PL2303HXA

I like to program my radio or scanner via the computer. You can see more, import more and adjust things quickly. One thing you can do on the PC is adjust which channels are in the scan or not, something unfortunatley you can not do on the radio (bit funny).

This all worked fine, however after a windows update, I could no longer connect. Something happened.

I went into the device manager and found the error, my cable no longer worked. This same issue happened to a USB Card reader also.

PL2303HXA PHASED OUT SINCE 2012. PLEASE CONTACT YOUR SUPPLIER.
PL2303HXA PHASED OUT SINCE 2012. PLEASE CONTACT YOUR SUPPLIER. Error

While this is all very informative, it really didn’t help me. However I found a solution.

What windows have done, is for the older chips, Window’s has dropped driver support for them. However you go to http://wp.brodzinski.net/hardware/fake-pl2303-how-to-install/ you can download an old driver version, then install the old driver version.

Once downloaded, open the zip file and run the exe file and install. Unplug the USB cable, and plug it in again.

Then, go back to the Device Manager, right click on the above line, select properties, go to Driver tab, select Update Driver, select Browse my computer for driver software, then navigate to the downloaded file, then select Let Me Pick, then you get a selection as per the picture below.  Select the older 2008 version as shown below.

Driver Update

Press Next and let it install. Once complete, click on Close, and Close again, and the Device Manager should now be changed to:

Prolific USB-to-Serial Comm Port (COM?)

You should be able to communicate with the radio fine now.  You many have to re-do the above steps if you re-boot the PC or do a windows update.

Option 2

I came acrross this other way to do it also, using a different driver. Both options work for me, however it depends on which cord I am using. So if the first option doesn’t work, you may want to try option two below.

I hope this helps you. This took a while to put together, so please let me know what you thought by adding a comment below. Don’t forget to follow our page also for more updates. There are more hints on this web site also.

  • BlueDV Windows 10 GD-77
    I found it hard to find useful information on how to run the OpenGD-77 hotpot mode with Windows 10. At the time of writing this, there is a lot about this topic using a pistar and even android or ISO, but not much with Windows 10. This is my experence with BlueDV and Open GD-77 using a Windows 10 PC.…
  • Iphone won’t download photos
    I get the “Device is unreachable” Error message when trying to import media from iPhone to Windows 10 PC. …
  • ProScan and ProScan Client
    I recently started using ProScan after years of using FreeScan. I have always enjoyed using FreeScan as it is easy to setup, I can download outputs from the software, and the main reason “it works”. However ProScan seems to be more graphical and has different features also.…
  • ProScan and ProScan Client Update
    I recently started using ProScan after years of using FreeScan. I have always enjoyed using FreeScan as it is easy to setup, I can download outputs from the software, and the main reason “it works”. However ProScan seems to be more graphical and has different features also.…
  • Software Defined Radio (SDR)
    If you don’t have one of the latest and greatest expensive scanners, you will struggle to listen to a lot of transmissions. While there is…
  • Treehouse
    An unusual name, but a catchy name no less, just like Peanut that was written by the same person, David PA7LIM. If you like Peanut, then you will like this project also. This project, like Peanut, includes some amazing coding and thinking.…
  • USB Device Error PL2303HXA
    I went into the device manager and found the error, my cable no longer worked. This same issue happened to a USB Card reader also.…

Amateur Radio Nets

Below is a list of Radio nets we have gathered from web pages around the world, as well as friends etc.

Clearly nets change all the time, so please let me know if there is anything you notice as potentially being wrong, needing to be updated, not clear of if you would like to add one you know.

You can then sync this calendar to your device so you have all the nets available just by clicking on the Add to Google Calendar button down the bottom. It will update as we are notified of changes.

I suggest you click on the weekly or daily view of the calendar below to see it correctly.

If you found something missing, or incorrect, or just have some suggestions, please send us a message via the form below. It will be great to hear from you.

While you are here, there is lots of other useful information on this site:

  • Hotspot Fixing Packet Loss with AutoCal
    The thing with digital communications, it can be extremely complicated. It only takes one tick box to be ticked incorrectly to take your station off the air.  Just as easily one tick box will get you on the air and sounding great. With Analogue, it was all about antenna gain, SWA, power and height.  Digital…
  • OpenSpot from the Start
    I have spoken to a few people who have felt a bit overwhelmed setting up their OpenSpot from the start. In saying that, I have always been surprised how many people are on digital, some of them have no computer experience at all.  It only takes one tickbox to be selected wrongly and you are…
  • Treehouse
    An unusual name, but a catchy name no less, just like Peanut that was written by the same person, David PA7LIM. If you like Peanut, then you will like this project also. This project, like Peanut, includes some amazing coding and thinking.…
  • DROID-Star
    After talking to a friend just to the north of me, he told me about the app DROID-Star for Android. As I only have apple devices, this wasn’t initially an option for me, however I do have an Android TV box which I use for Amateur Radio, so will review it from that device. At…
  • Software Defined Radio (SDR)
    If you don’t have one of the latest and greatest expensive scanners, you will struggle to listen to a lot of transmissions. While there is still a lot of Analogue transmissions today, even a lot still on AM especially when it comes to Aviation, however most have gone to digital. There are several reasons for…
  • SMS via Radio or Hotspot
    One of the most underutilised by very cool feature that comes with some digital networks is the ability to send and receive SMS messages. You can send it fairly easily to another radio, but did you know you can also receive a weather report, see where your last GPS transmitted location is, and send messages…
  • Portable Hot Stop with Battery Pack
    The new OpenSpot3 has come out with an internal battery. You might ask why? Well there is two common issues that is mostly raised with almost all hot spots. One is the range – I have addressed this in my BlueDV post if you want to make your own long range hotspot. However the other…
  • BlueDV Windows 10 GD-77
    I found it hard to find useful information on how to run the OpenGD-77 hotpot mode with Windows 10. At the time of writing this, there is a lot about this topic using a pistar and even android or ISO, but not much with Windows 10. This is my experence with BlueDV and Open GD-77 using a Windows 10 PC.…
  • Iphone won’t download photos
    I get the “Device is unreachable” Error message when trying to import media from iPhone to Windows 10 PC. …
  • Australian DMR Repeaters
    There are several DMR networks around the world, and more and more start all the time. The Australian DMR network currently covers the entire country and is for Australian residents only. It can often be hard to find which DMR repeaters are online, offline and where they are, especially if you travel a bit like…
  • Upgrade to OpenGD77
    This page is just a help to friends I have spoke to who are interested in upgrading the Radioditty GD-77 to the OpenGD77 software. This is not my work, however I really do appreciate Roger and his team have done to put this together. I claim no responsibility if it breaks your radio, however I have not hear this happen now in some time. I am not an expert at all with OpenGD77, I have just put this together to help people who have asked me how to do it.…
  • Basic Antenna Fundamentals
    A good friend of mine, Mike VK5ZC, put the information below together and asked me to put it on my web site. He has spent a lot of time putting it together with pictures and videos, so I encourage you to have a good read.…
  • The History of Ham Radio
    A good friend of mine, Mike VK5ZC, put the information below together and asked me to put it on my web site. He has spent a lot of time putting it together with pictures and videos, so I encourage you to have a good read.…
  • ProScan and ProScan Client Update
    I recently started using ProScan after years of using FreeScan. I have always enjoyed using FreeScan as it is easy to setup, I can download outputs from the software, and the main reason “it works”. However ProScan seems to be more graphical and has different features also.…
  • ProScan and ProScan Client
    I recently started using ProScan after years of using FreeScan. I have always enjoyed using FreeScan as it is easy to setup, I can download outputs from the software, and the main reason “it works”. However ProScan seems to be more graphical and has different features also.…
  • USB Device Error PL2303HXA
    I went into the device manager and found the error, my cable no longer worked. This same issue happened to a USB Card reader also.…
  • Amateur Radio Nets
    A list of Radio nets we have gathered from web pages around the world, as well as friends etc.…
  • The Radio Box
    How do you stop a hand held radio from falling and being damaged? Do you sometimes put the radio down on a bench or desk between overs or while you are waiting for someone to call you? Some radio’s don’t stand very well on their own, or can fall over easily if the bench is…
  • WizNet DMR
    The WizNet DMR app is still in beta testing, and at the time of writing this, you have to not only have a currently have a licence as an Amateur Radio Operator, but approved to be part of the beta testing group. You can do this by googling the web site, submitt a few details,…
  • Mini Keyboard Options
    I bought this wireless keyboard/mouse which was very cheap. It does not come with batteries, but come with a USB dongle. It has a fantastic range since it is 2.4GHz RF. The back also has good grip which apparently isn’t common on all models. You can select what colour you want the plastic to be also.…
  • Orion Push to Talk
    Orion is an app that isn’t really known in my world, perhaps because it isn’t available on all platforms, or because it does transmit your exact location to everyone on the channel. However there are some benefits to this mode and does add another communication mode to your list. You can also create your own…
  • Using an Android TV Box for Ham Radio
    If you want to get onto Digital Radio for less (way less) than $100, then you may be interested in this. I have Apple equipment, and therefore miss out on a lot of the testing apps that are only available on Android. There seem to be more and more there all the time! I don’t…
  • Welcome to the site
    Hi there from Down Under, Melbourne Australia. Thank you for visiting my radio web site. Below is what items by category is available on this web site. Thanks again for visiting. This web site is still being built, so don’t forget to Follow us to get updates as they come. You can do this by…
  • Power without Power
    In 2019 my family and I went on a five week trip through outback Australia to some of the remotest parts. We had no access to power, reception, food or water for days. We took what we had. Here is a cheap way to have power without having power, a rather inexpensive way to do…
  • Chirp
    CHIRP is a free, open-source tool for programming your amateur radio. It supports a large number of manufacturers and models, as well as provides a way to interface with multiple data sources and formats. Supported Radios Supported radios can be found on their web site at https://chirp.danplanet.com/projects/chirp/wiki/Home. This list is updated as the software is…
  • Updating Firmware
    Updating the firmware on the GD-77 can be daunting, as you can easily “brick” your radio. So be extremely careful. Make sure you understand why you are updating your firmware first. Since there is the option of “Bricking” your radio, and I only have the one digital radio, I decided not to update the firmware…
  • My Radio Diddity GD-77
    Starting in digital can be a little overwhelming to start with, no matter how many years you have had your licence.…