Monday, 5 February 2018

Anytone Apollo 1 "10 Meter" CB mod

On a recent road trip to Detroit I spent almost 12 hours of silence in my car. My Ham radio was on but nobody was heard. I have found this to be the case on many road trips of late. That's why I installed an HF radio into the car - maybe I can talk to people further afar? Not on this trip at least. So I tuned my HF rig to the CB channels and was able to have some interaction with other travelers on my route.

This led me to thinking that I need a CB in my car. But I don't have room for another display on my dashboard. Looking around the usual online places I found this Anytone Apollo 1 "10 Meter" CB. Out of the box it comes preset to 40 channels between 29.4-29.6MHz. Great! I have a license for that. I had also read reports that it could be modified to cover other frequencies such as CB too.

The manual isn't too bad for a Chinese radio. And it does indeed explain how to change the 10 Meter frequencies. However, one has to take it apart and remove some solder links to get it going on other frequencies. The manual does not tell you how to do that. So I took mine apart to see what I could find. The usual caveats apply. Do this mod at your own risk. Your mileage may vary. I take no responsibility. Ask your doctor if Viagra is right for you.

Remove the power from the radio and unplug the microphone. Using a T8 Torx bit unscrew the bottom panel and also the face plate. This will reveal 2 solder jumpers at the very front of the board almost in the middle going across. See the below pictures for guidance.



Using a solder pump or wick remove the solder from the 2 Jumpers being careful not to disturb the SMD parts just above the pads.


Before putting the covers back on power up the radio and check that it still works. You should notice the display now shows "EUH 01" indicating that your radio is on CB channel 1.

Just for good measure do a factory reset too.

  • Power the radio off by using the mic "POW" button.  
  • Hold the "FUNC/FRQ" and "POW" buttons at the same time. The display will read "RE S"
  • Release the "FUNC/FRQ" button. The radio will power off.
Here are some before and after shots of my rig.



Before putting the covers back on the radio take a look at the face plate. Can you see how much room there is on the inside of it? It occurs to me that one could add 2 small toggle switches to the plate. Wire them to the solder pads on the radio's PCB and now you can dynamically change the frequency of the radio without a soldering iron. I've ordered some small switches. More about that when I get them. 

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Raspberry Pi/Echolink using a USB-RIM Lite

I built an Echolink interface for the W4FCV repeater in Floyd, VA. This page is not so much to brag about it but rather to write down some notes for later reference.

The repeater in Floyd is a System Fusion capable machine with an Arcom RC210 repeater controller attached. The Echolink system will connect to one of the 3 "radio" ports on the controller. A look at the Repeater builder website shows a number of sound card interfaces that will directly connect to the back of a number of different radio's and repeater controllers. I bought one that fit the RC210 directly.

I shall not be explaining how the various steps are performed. They are well documented on their respective websites.

Things I used:

What I did:

1) Install latest Raspian Lite image onto the SD card. Make sure to enable SSH.
2) Install SD card into the RPi. Attach an Ethernet cable and power.
3) Log in to the RPi and set up the environment with "sudo rasp-config".
4) Disable the WiFi and Bluetooth radio's as we'll be using Ethernet. Edit /boot/config.txt 

# Free up some memory by allocating less RAM to the graphics
gpu_mem=16
# Increase current to USB ports
max_usb_current=1
# Turn off WiFi and Bluetooth
dtoverlay=pi3-disable-wifi
dtoverlay=pi3-disable-bt 
5) Install SVXLink per the instructions https://github.com/sm0svx/svxlink/wiki/InstallSrcHwRpi
6) Configure the SVXLink config file http://www.svxlink.org/doc/man/man5/svxlink.conf.5.html. The USB-RIM interface required HID_RAW settings and the HID_PTT on GPIO3 also.