A couple days ago we posted about potentially shutting down the repeaters if the storms got too bad. Well as you probably noticed, there were no storms at all. The same holds true anytime there are storms. It is really nice when you own the tower because you have access to the repeaters at any time. When you rent space or loan space on someone else’s tower, you are at the mercy of a third party to get permission to go up on the tower. In our case, it is as simple as disconnecting a few cables and enjoying the storm.
In times that we do turn off the repeater, you can still get some pretty good storm coverage from WX5OUN on the WX5OKC repeater on 145.41 MHz. It is usually a controlled net so it is not recommended to just go over there and start talking when you hear the CW letter “W” (dit dah day) on their courtesy tone. Another good source that I’ve found is the W5NOR, 147.06 MHz or the K5EOK repeater 147.315 MHz.
There are infinite weather sources in the area so there is no need to leave our repeater on the air when lightning is close by. Usually, we either get on simplex, 147.48 MHz or we’ll browse around and listen to other repeaters during severe weather. We hope you all stay safe and for those other storm enthusiasts like me, enjoy them all you can.
If you have tried using the IRLP or Echolink nodes on the 443.3 repeater you may have noticed the audio would drop after connecting. We’ve discovered that it was just a simple push to talk (PTT) wirecoming lose from the terminal. We will have that fixed today so it shouldn’t be a problem. We’re sorry for any confusion or inconvenience this may have caused.
A couple days ago, K5GLH and W5QO were talking on the 146.7 MHz repeater when they noticed the signal coming back from the repeater was intermittently weak and was preceded by static. Later, K5GLH received an email from a user saying they experienced the same thing while connected to an IRLP node. At first we thought it was a fluke but now it is clear there is a cold solder joint or possibly a pot that has some connectivity issues on the power amplifier.
We have not had a chance to check it out yet but we just wanted to let everyone know that we are aware of the problem. We do have backup repeaters to use when we get a few minutes to swap them out. Keep in mind, the backup repeaters have different courtesy tones set on them so you’ll know when the backup is being used. You can still use the repeater but just be aware that if the other person doesn’t come back to you or you stop hearing courtesy tones, that you are experiencing this issue.
We have family here so we are not able to get to it immediately. We appreciate your patience and we’ll get to it as soon as we have some time.
This week we added Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) object scripts to both of our IRLP nodes. This adds an object to the map showing IRLP-4122 and IRLP-3013 at the tower site on the map. The negative side to this is that both objects are on top of each other. We have set them to beacon at different times so that each one will be dominant at different times. The 146.7 MHz repeater, IRLP-3013 is set to beacon once every 10 minutes while the 443.3 MHz, IRLP 4122 is set to beacon every 15 minutes. Since they both show up on top of each other on the map, you really can’t read the text.
To alleviate the two nodes being stacked on top of each other we moved node 3013 one slightly to the North so that they show up beside each other vertically instead of stacked on top of each other.We noticed there were some stations up in Canada that were doing it this way. Now when you look at them on aprs.fi, you will see the two nodes on the map with IRLP-3013 slightly North of IRLP-4122, even though both of them are on the same tower.
When you click on them, they show the repeater frequency, offset, PL tone and our web site. Hopefully this will help those traveling through to be able to locate our IRLP nodes. We couldn’t show the Echolink nodes simply because there was not enough space to show them. Our web sites reflect them so people should still be able to find them. If you have any questions, please let us know.