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W6EK 2M Repeater Failure Update

Skip - K6DGW
 

Repeater Trivia Question:

What frequency pair was the original SFARC [K6ARR] repeater on and what was the PL?  You are officially old but have a good memory if you know this.

73,
Fred ["Skip"] K6DGW
Sparks NV DM09dn
Washoe County

On 3/7/2020 3:56 PM, AI6US wrote:

Hello SFARC Members,

The 2 meter repeater is the heart beat of the SFARC. It is a great resource to stay in touch with friends, check into the nets (if only to answer the mystery question), supports our community with event communications, encourages learning and sharing on the Elmer Net, sharpens our communications skills, prepares us for an emergency response with ARES nets / exercises or simply a fun place to rag chew as we sip our morning coffee. I didn't really think about how I would miss the W6EK 2 meter repeater.... until we could barely copy the signal this past week.

Just wanted to provide an update on the W6EK 2 meter repeater, which had been having intermittent signal breaks during the past few weeks and failed this past Wednesday. The PA was only outputting 1/2 watt instead of the usual 45w. On Thursday, Clyde, AB4CC; Marv, N7MSM; Ken, KA6SUB and I met at the vault. The 70cm repeater programming was enhanced with on-demand linking to Gold Run, Bakersfield and other repeater systems. We swapped out to the spare 2 meter transmitter, but it also had a defect and only transmitted noise.

Bob - K6UDA graciously loaned the club a Yaesu DR-1X repeater and with the assistance of Jeff, AK6OK, we successfully restored the W6EK 2 meter repeater operations with limited coverage and services on Friday afternoon. The repeater is operating at a reduced power level of 20w. Until the situation is resolved, you may experience a reduced reception range from the repeater. Without a controller interface adapter, the repeater operation is limited to local repeater communications and the extra features such as phone patch, voice playback, DTMF testing, AllStarLink, Echolink and the Broadcastify internet feed will not be available.

Kerchunk, Kerchunk, Kerchunk... Yes, the squelch tail is currently very short and the carrier drops without a roger beep. Many kerchunkers might think that they are not hitting the repeater, but it is working! Please throw out your call! Someone is likely to be listening and respond. :)


Last evening, an emergency SFARC repeater meeting met and we reviewed the incident, repair and replacement options. In attendance were SFARC club members: Orion, AI6JB; Greg, KO6TH; Brian, AI6US; Marv, N7MSM; Clyde, AB4CC; Jim, WA8MPA; Bob, K6UDA; Gerry, WA6E. It is estimated that the SFARC repeaters have been in service between 25 to 35 years and have recently been experiencing reliability issues. The event communication support season begins soon and the first WSER training run is less than two months away. We must have the system fully operational and tested in perparation for these upcoming events. The repeater committee unanimously recommends an equipment purchase for the SFARC Board and Membership consideration and approval. The repeater account has funding for this purchase and a healthy reserve would remain for tower, antenna and feedline replacement or if required, a site relocation.

The repeater committee equipment recommendations total under $3000 and include these items:
2x - Yaesu DR-2X with LAN, one unit designated for daily operations and the second for back-up.  $900 each after the Yaesu Club Repeater Discount
1x - Henry 100w+ amplifier - Approx $600
1x - Arcom Controller interface - Donation from Ken, KA6SUB
1x - Arcom Controller interface - Donation from Jeff, AK6OK

The March 6, 2020 emergency repeater meeting notes are posted in the repeater documents section on the SFARC Groups.io site or if you have not joined this group, I will email a copy upon request. Please review the repeater committee recommendations and contact any of the members or board members ASAP with any questions or comments. The board and SFARC members will vote on this recommendation next Friday, March 13, 2020 at the monthly SFARC board and Club meetings. The board meeting starts at 6pm at Mel's Diner in Auburn and followed by the general club meeting at 7:30pm in the Rose Room at the Auburn City Hall.

Thank you for your continued support of SFARC. Looking forward to seeing you next Friday.

Catch you on the repeater or give me a call. 73

Brian Gohl
SFARC President
916-770-7751 cell

Greg D
 

It's always been on 145.430 for me, but if I recall, the PL was 94.8.  That would have been back in the early 1990's... 

"Old" has been official since my birthday a few months ago.  As for the memory, well, that's the second thing to go...

Greg  KO6TH


Skip - K6DGW wrote:

Repeater Trivia Question:

What frequency pair was the original SFARC [K6ARR] repeater on and what was the PL?  You are officially old but have a good memory if you know this.

73,
Fred ["Skip"] K6DGW
Sparks NV DM09dn
Washoe County

On 3/7/2020 3:56 PM, AI6US wrote:

Hello SFARC Members,

The 2 meter repeater is the heart beat of the SFARC. It is a great resource to stay in touch with friends, check into the nets (if only to answer the mystery question), supports our community with event communications, encourages learning and sharing on the Elmer Net, sharpens our communications skills, prepares us for an emergency response with ARES nets / exercises or simply a fun place to rag chew as we sip our morning coffee. I didn't really think about how I would miss the W6EK 2 meter repeater.... until we could barely copy the signal this past week.

Just wanted to provide an update on the W6EK 2 meter repeater, which had been having intermittent signal breaks during the past few weeks and failed this past Wednesday. The PA was only outputting 1/2 watt instead of the usual 45w. On Thursday, Clyde, AB4CC; Marv, N7MSM; Ken, KA6SUB and I met at the vault. The 70cm repeater programming was enhanced with on-demand linking to Gold Run, Bakersfield and other repeater systems. We swapped out to the spare 2 meter transmitter, but it also had a defect and only transmitted noise.

Bob - K6UDA graciously loaned the club a Yaesu DR-1X repeater and with the assistance of Jeff, AK6OK, we successfully restored the W6EK 2 meter repeater operations with limited coverage and services on Friday afternoon. The repeater is operating at a reduced power level of 20w. Until the situation is resolved, you may experience a reduced reception range from the repeater. Without a controller interface adapter, the repeater operation is limited to local repeater communications and the extra features such as phone patch, voice playback, DTMF testing, AllStarLink, Echolink and the Broadcastify internet feed will not be available.

Kerchunk, Kerchunk, Kerchunk... Yes, the squelch tail is currently very short and the carrier drops without a roger beep. Many kerchunkers might think that they are not hitting the repeater, but it is working! Please throw out your call! Someone is likely to be listening and respond. :)


Last evening, an emergency SFARC repeater meeting met and we reviewed the incident, repair and replacement options. In attendance were SFARC club members: Orion, AI6JB; Greg, KO6TH; Brian, AI6US; Marv, N7MSM; Clyde, AB4CC; Jim, WA8MPA; Bob, K6UDA; Gerry, WA6E. It is estimated that the SFARC repeaters have been in service between 25 to 35 years and have recently been experiencing reliability issues. The event communication support season begins soon and the first WSER training run is less than two months away. We must have the system fully operational and tested in perparation for these upcoming events. The repeater committee unanimously recommends an equipment purchase for the SFARC Board and Membership consideration and approval. The repeater account has funding for this purchase and a healthy reserve would remain for tower, antenna and feedline replacement or if required, a site relocation.

The repeater committee equipment recommendations total under $3000 and include these items:
2x - Yaesu DR-2X with LAN, one unit designated for daily operations and the second for back-up.  $900 each after the Yaesu Club Repeater Discount
1x - Henry 100w+ amplifier - Approx $600
1x - Arcom Controller interface - Donation from Ken, KA6SUB
1x - Arcom Controller interface - Donation from Jeff, AK6OK

The March 6, 2020 emergency repeater meeting notes are posted in the repeater documents section on the SFARC Groups.io site or if you have not joined this group, I will email a copy upon request. Please review the repeater committee recommendations and contact any of the members or board members ASAP with any questions or comments. The board and SFARC members will vote on this recommendation next Friday, March 13, 2020 at the monthly SFARC board and Club meetings. The board meeting starts at 6pm at Mel's Diner in Auburn and followed by the general club meeting at 7:30pm in the Rose Room at the Auburn City Hall.

Thank you for your continued support of SFARC. Looking forward to seeing you next Friday.

Catch you on the repeater or give me a call. 73

Brian Gohl
SFARC President
916-770-7751 cell


Skip - K6DGW
 

K6ARR was originally on 146.16/.76 and the PL was missing. While popular in congested areas such as SoCal and Silicon Valley, PL didn't make it to the "rural" repeaters until about 1980. There was some co-channel QRM from a system in the San Joaquin Valley and eventually, Jim put 94.8 PL on the .16/.76 repeater. This was a moderately big deal for most users at the time because few of the HT's and mobiles in use had PL built it and you had to get a ComSpec PL board and wire it into your radio(s). The move to 144.83/145.43 took place shortly after the FCC opened that sub-band for repeaters. The PL was 162.2 and it still is, or was last time I was in Auburn a few weeks ago. .16/.76 was the second most popular repeater pair in the country after .34/.94 and many re-purposed land mobile radios had crystals for those two channels only.

Being the Poster Boy for "Old," I couldn't remember some of the details but fortunately, I found them in one of my old station notebooks.

73,

Fred ["Skip"] K6DGW
Really Old Guy in Sparks NV

Dennis - WU6X
 

Hey, I "resemble" those days, Skip. Hi! I had an IC-2AT into which I installed the ComSpec PL board with the DIP switches exposed out the rear ... it worked great! Getting the level "right" was always a challenge in those early years, adjusting so it didn't get passed through with the audio, so loud that people complained you had a power supply hummmmm!

Tnx for the memories!

Dennis, WU6X


From: sfarc@w6ek.groups.io <sfarc@w6ek.groups.io> on behalf of Skip - K6DGW <k6dgw@...>
Sent: Sunday, March 8, 2020 12:02 PM
To: Greg D <ko6th.greg@...>; sfarc@w6ek.groups.io <sfarc@w6ek.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [from W6EK Groups.io] W6EK 2M Repeater Failure Update
 
K6ARR was originally on 146.16/.76 and the PL was missing.  While popular in congested areas such as SoCal and Silicon Valley, PL didn't make it to the "rural" repeaters until about 1980.  There was some co-channel QRM from a system in the San Joaquin Valley and eventually, Jim put 94.8 PL on the .16/.76 repeater.  This was a moderately big deal for most users at the time because few of the HT's and mobiles in use had PL built it and you had to get a ComSpec PL board and wire it into your radio(s).  The move to 144.83/145.43 took place shortly after the FCC opened that sub-band for repeaters.  The PL was 162.2 and it still is, or was last time I was in Auburn a few weeks ago.  .16/.76 was the second most popular repeater pair in the country after .34/.94 and many re-purposed land mobile radios had crystals for those two channels only.

Being the Poster Boy for "Old," I couldn't remember some of the details but fortunately, I found them in one of my old station notebooks.

73,

Fred ["Skip"] K6DGW
Really Old Guy in Sparks NV




--
Dennis - WU6X

Orion, AI6JB
 

Skip,

 

Thank you for the historical perspective!  As a relatively new ham, PLs are SOP and are easily programmed on our radios. 

 

73

Orion Endres, AI6JB

1201 Wood Oak Court, Roseville, CA 95747-7383

(916) 788-8251 H \\ (916) 534-8251 C

 

What the heck does “73” mean?  73 is morse code short hand for “Best Regards” used by Ham radio operators.  It’s origin goes all the way back to the landline telegraph days.

 

 

 

From: sfarc@w6ek.groups.io <sfarc@w6ek.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dennis - WU6X
Sent: Sunday, March 08, 2020 14:14
To: sfarc@w6ek.groups.io; k6dgw@...
Subject: Re: [from W6EK Groups.io] W6EK 2M Repeater Failure Update

 

Hey, I "resemble" those days, Skip. Hi! I had an IC-2AT into which I installed the ComSpec PL board with the DIP switches exposed out the rear ... it worked great! Getting the level "right" was always a challenge in those early years, adjusting so it didn't get passed through with the audio, so loud that people complained you had a power supply hummmmm!

 

Tnx for the memories!

 

Dennis, WU6X

 


From: sfarc@w6ek.groups.io <sfarc@w6ek.groups.io> on behalf of Skip - K6DGW <k6dgw@...>
Sent: Sunday, March 8, 2020 12:02 PM
To: Greg D <ko6th.greg@...>; sfarc@w6ek.groups.io <sfarc@w6ek.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [from W6EK Groups.io] W6EK 2M Repeater Failure Update

 

K6ARR was originally on 146.16/.76 and the PL was missing.  While popular in congested areas such as SoCal and Silicon Valley, PL didn't make it to the "rural" repeaters until about 1980.  There was some co-channel QRM from a system in the San Joaquin Valley and eventually, Jim put 94.8 PL on the .16/.76 repeater.  This was a moderately big deal for most users at the time because few of the HT's and mobiles in use had PL built it and you had to get a ComSpec PL board and wire it into your radio(s).  The move to 144.83/145.43 took place shortly after the FCC opened that sub-band for repeaters.  The PL was 162.2 and it still is, or was last time I was in Auburn a few weeks ago.  .16/.76 was the second most popular repeater pair in the country after .34/.94 and many re-purposed land mobile radios had crystals for those two channels only.

Being the Poster Boy for "Old," I couldn't remember some of the details but fortunately, I found them in one of my old station notebooks.

73,

Fred ["Skip"] K6DGW
Really Old Guy in Sparks NV



--
Dennis - WU6X

Casey - W7IB
 

I still have the IC-AT with the dip switches and it still works well!

On Sun, Mar 8, 2020 at 4:03 PM Orion, AI6JB <ojendres@...> wrote:

Skip,

 

Thank you for the historical perspective!  As a relatively new ham, PLs are SOP and are easily programmed on our radios. 

 

73

Orion Endres, AI6JB

1201 Wood Oak Court, Roseville, CA 95747-7383

(916) 788-8251 H \\ (916) 534-8251 C

 

What the heck does “73” mean?  73 is morse code short hand for “Best Regards” used by Ham radio operators.  It’s origin goes all the way back to the landline telegraph days.

 

 

 

From: sfarc@w6ek.groups.io <sfarc@w6ek.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dennis - WU6X
Sent: Sunday, March 08, 2020 14:14
To: sfarc@w6ek.groups.io; k6dgw@...
Subject: Re: [from W6EK Groups.io] W6EK 2M Repeater Failure Update

 

Hey, I "resemble" those days, Skip. Hi! I had an IC-2AT into which I installed the ComSpec PL board with the DIP switches exposed out the rear ... it worked great! Getting the level "right" was always a challenge in those early years, adjusting so it didn't get passed through with the audio, so loud that people complained you had a power supply hummmmm!

 

Tnx for the memories!

 

Dennis, WU6X

 


From: sfarc@w6ek.groups.io <sfarc@w6ek.groups.io> on behalf of Skip - K6DGW <k6dgw@...>
Sent: Sunday, March 8, 2020 12:02 PM
To: Greg D <ko6th.greg@...>; sfarc@w6ek.groups.io <sfarc@w6ek.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [from W6EK Groups.io] W6EK 2M Repeater Failure Update

 

K6ARR was originally on 146.16/.76 and the PL was missing.  While popular in congested areas such as SoCal and Silicon Valley, PL didn't make it to the "rural" repeaters until about 1980.  There was some co-channel QRM from a system in the San Joaquin Valley and eventually, Jim put 94.8 PL on the .16/.76 repeater.  This was a moderately big deal for most users at the time because few of the HT's and mobiles in use had PL built it and you had to get a ComSpec PL board and wire it into your radio(s).  The move to 144.83/145.43 took place shortly after the FCC opened that sub-band for repeaters.  The PL was 162.2 and it still is, or was last time I was in Auburn a few weeks ago.  .16/.76 was the second most popular repeater pair in the country after .34/.94 and many re-purposed land mobile radios had crystals for those two channels only.

Being the Poster Boy for "Old," I couldn't remember some of the details but fortunately, I found them in one of my old station notebooks.

73,

Fred ["Skip"] K6DGW
Really Old Guy in Sparks NV



--
Dennis - WU6X

--
73 de W7IB Casey

Clyde Campbell
 

While not a ham radio system this is an example of how far we have progressed. When I went to work CALOES in 1978 we had a  Statewide single pair VHF radio system that employed two PL tones one for state use and one for counties to use. The mountain top repeaters were controlled by a burst tone. To further complicated matters the repeaters were microwave interconnect. So the early mobile had an outboard Burst tone box and rotary dial to activate the microwave system. The rotary dial was later replaced by an outboard DTMF box. 
73 de AB4CC Clyde

Nathan Chilton - K6NDC
 

When I was in Atlanta, I came across a repeater without a CTCSS/DCS tone listed in RepeaterBook.  I assumed it was an oversight, but then I found that I could activate the repeater by just transmitting on the input frequency without any tone at all.  That's the first time I'd come across a repeater without any input tone.

Gerry - WA6E
 

When repeaters first became popular back in the 1960s and 70s, they were all carrier access.  You still find a few of those in more remote locations.  But I'm surprised a repeater in an area like Atlanta can survive without PL.

Gerry
WA6E

On 3/11/2020 8:29 AM, Nathan Chilton - K6NDC wrote:
When I was in Atlanta, I came across a repeater without a CTCSS/DCS tone listed in RepeaterBook.  I assumed it was an oversight, but then I found that I could activate the repeater by just transmitting on the input frequency without any tone at all.  That's the first time I'd come across a repeater without any input tone.