After my switch over to Ubuntu on my Surface Go 2, I went on the hunt for a way to continue my Winlink Wednesday check-ins and, more importantly, maintain my ability to use email from the field. I’ve chronicled some of that success here. In the end, I settled on using ARDOP with Pat as my modem and mail software. They’re a great combination and rock solid so far.
The big deal here was from the hardware side. This session was done using my IC-705 with a Hardrock-50 amp connected to the home attic dipole. It has solidified my position that this solution will work from my QTH. I will have to run a test from the field with a portable antenna and I will add that in to one of my POTA activations in the near term. The Hardrock-50 does come along on trips with the camper to enhance the power of the IC-705 which is sometimes necessary when trying to send email. It feels good to build experience with this gear so that field work is more getting on the air and less screwing around with settings and buttons and wires.
The send was a success! Yes, I do like to play digital radio on HARD mode.
However, in the interest of keeping things real, there are some outstanding issues with this setup.
First, the version of ARDOP that I’m using is a precompiled version from the author’s site. I’m still not clear on how often that gets built or how often there are updates (if at all). That makes me fear for Ardop in general. I need to find a way to ensure that it’s going to work in the future.
Second, ax25 is still out there mocking me. I need to do a deep dive there and grind it out the way I did with ARDOP. Not having access to that mode could be a problem at some point. It’s time to figure that out.
Finally, I need to do some hardcore ALSA documentation (again) and get myself back into that groove. I have things that work, but I’m not 100% sure why some of the pieces fit. I need to trace my solution and confirm each piece. My intuition is great and all, but having some documentation on the local machine is the right way to do it.
With all of that said, the solution appears stable. There’s always room for tweaking and whatnot, but having something that has worked more than once is always a confidence builder.