[W5SFA] W5SFA July Repeater Report by Roger N5RWK

Gary Baldwin 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.

73

Gary-KF5ZRT


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 
purpose.

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 
work.

                 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.

Respectfully submitted,

Roger N5RWK
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