“Programming and using the SA-818 Radio Module“
My Tek Net plan was to cover a FM Transmitter Deviation Monitor project, however it seems that I should make sure everyone is clear on how the SA-818 Radio module works, since that is the heart of the deviation monitor project.
The SA-818 is a complete walkie-talkie radio module manufactured by NICERF.com. These modules are available in VHF 134-174 Mhz or UHF 400-470 Mhz range.
#1 SA-818 Walkie-talkie Module
The SA-818 is a cost-effective ( less than $20.00) integrated professional walkie-talkie module with a built-in high-speed micro-controller, high-performance RF transceiver chip and RF power amplifier, and provides a standard serial port to communicate with the module, so that the relevant parameters of the module can be programmed quickly and easily.
You only need to connect an audio amplifier, microphone, and speaker to this module to work as a small two-way radio. It features selectable 1 watt or 250mw to 500mw RF output, 36 CTCSS tones and 166 CDCSS capabilities for transmit and receive, 12.5 or 25 Khz band width, 8 level Squelch and 8 level Volume settings and operates from +3.3 – 5.5 volts.
The SA-818 is great to add radio capabilities to an Allstar Node, ClearNode, Shari Node and anywhere a single frequency two-way radio is needed.
#2 Small size
#3 SA-818 pin-out
Programming the SA-818 is done with the NiceRF SU108-TTL USB Bridge Board with TLL interface or a USB to TTL Serial cable ($4.95 to $21.00), these cables can be found at Office Depot and Best Buy locally.
You will need to have a monitor and keyboard connected to the Pi to log into the Hamvoip software, or while connected to the same network from your PC use the PUTTY program to SSH into the Hamvoip software.
#4 Carrier/mounting board for 818
By using a mounting board all the power and data connections are made available for programming.
When the Rasp Pi has been powered up and running the Hamvoip software, you will need to log in to it, you will be greeted with the Admin Menu screen showing selections to be able to configure the Hamvoip software the way you want. Choosing selection -9 opens the bash shell, at the prompt enter “818-prog”.
With all pieces connected and powered up ( see phot above) you will see the following screen to program the 818.
#5 After selection-9 from Admin Menu, enter “818-prog”
All the necessary parameters are easily changed and the SA-818 can be rewritten many times over to use in new projects. The module can not be programmed for frequencies outside the range of the device, VHF or UHF.
This is the latest data on the new SA-818
NiceRF.com has other radio modules including a multi channel board and DMR and Mesh communications devices.
Keep in mind that the SA-818 can produce 1 watt of transmit energy so it will get hot in that setting on extended transmissions, I only operate them on the low power setting and have continuous duty service without any issues in the past.
Prices for the SA-818 have jumped around abit because of the supply chain issues, but there a few places selling them online.
I have used these devices in a variety of applications, wireless intercoms, vehicle alarm transmitter, Allstar nodes, etc.
If anyone does have an SA-818 and needs to have it programmed, contact me if you don’t have the TTL to USB bridge and we will get you taken care of.
Audio clip by Dave W3QQQ
73 until next time.
DE WB6AMT Earl
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