[W5SFA] W5SFA July Repeater Report by Roger N5RWK
kf5zrt at gmail.com
Wed Jul 29 19:34:51 CDT 2020
During Rogers report I stepped on his transmission. I am posting his
report on the reflector so his full report is know to all. When you
have contact with Roger and Dan, please thank them for all the effort to
keep our Repeater Systems up to date and functional.
Hereis the _revised_ July report.
1.The Bellville repeaters, both C4FM VHF/UHF, and the D-Star VHF/UHF,
have been functioning normally.
2.Yaesu returned the DR-2X repeater I sent in back in April for repair.
They replaced faulty inductors in the front end, and it appears to be
working properly again. The repair was covered under warranty, so the
only cost to the club was shipping it to them.
I tested the repaired repeater at home with an HRI-200 Wires-X interface
hooked directly up to the repeater, and linked to the Bellville Wires-X
room. I learned a couple of things by doing this:
-Hooked up this way, the repeater can do either digital or analog
communications, but not both.
-While it works fine, there is a two-second delay in RF communications
that is introduced when going between repeaters: roughly one second for
each HRI-200 involved on each end. I don’t believe there is any way to
reduce this delay.
3.I visited the Glidden site (where the Columbus repeater is housed)
three times in the last two weeks. For those who are not aware, this is
a restricted site and we have to make prior arrangements with San
Bernard Electric, who meets us there to let us in. The San Bernard
Electric folks have been very cooperative letting us in.
The goal was to hook up the Columbus repeater to Wires-X and link it
with Bellville. To do this I deployed an old Windows laptop, one of the
club’s HRI-200’s and a souped-up Raspberry Pi with a power relay board.
The Pi can be used to
remotely power cycle the repeater if it has problems, without having to
visit in person. We have an identical setup in Bellville built for this
The connectivity issues that were plaguing us in Columbus have been
resolved, and we now have working internet with the proper ports opened
for Wires-X connectivity. In addition, I can remotely access the
equipment through the internet.
We noticed that the VHF antenna’s SWR was high, so during one of the
visits we pulled the cans and Dan White retuned them. They were
reinstalled Tuesday and SWR is down around 1.2. So the Columbus
repeater was down for a few days, but is up again as of Tuesday. There
is still an issue with the antenna, but we won’t be able to resolve this
until San Bernard Electric does maintenance on the tower – it is cost
prohibitive for the club to hire someone to climb the tower and do the
Although the repeater is working, I have so far been
unable to connect it to the Bellville Wires-X room (63655) and actually
link the repeaters.
4.Dan and I have been discussing the feasibility of linking the
repeaters from another location. We think it is possible to link
Bellville, downtown Houston and Columbus, giving us an exceptionally
wide coverage area for our repeaters. This would be accomplished by
using a Wires-X RF link, which we’re currently doing in Bellville with
an FTM-100 dedicated for that purpose. However, it would require the
purchase of additional radios to implements. We will test this in the
near future, and if it is feasible we will present a proposal to the
club including the cost. Note however, that linked repeaters will
experience the two-second lag in communications.
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