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.
With potential severe weather this afternoon in the area, we may decide to disconnect the repeaters in the event of a lot of lightning. The repeaters and their respective IRLP/Echolink nodes are very expensive equipment and it only makes sense to take whatever precautions we can. It is very possible that we get no storms at all, and there is a possibility that we will. We just want you to know that if you try to key them up this afternoon and get no response, then you’ll know that we took them offline on purpose until the weather passes.
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.
Good afternoon and Happy New Year!
Today we added Echolink or better named EchoIRLP to the node on 443.3 MHz. Previously we had no need to put Echolink on this node because used it as a full time WIN System repeater. While you can still connect to the WIN System at any time, we no longer leave it connected 24 hours a day. This is because there are not enough control operators to monitor it 24 hours a day.
If you are looking on the Windows Echolink software, you will see the 443.3 MHz repeater listed as W5DEL-L. They will not let you have more than one repeater with the -R suffix so we used the -L which would normally be a simplex node. Despite the -L suffix, it is a full duplex repeater. The new node ECHOLINK node number for this repeater is 794636 if you are trying to dial in remotely. If you have the operating manual, the instructions are the same on dialing an Echolink node on the 443.3 MHz repeater as it is the 146.7 MHz repeater. We have also changed the location in Echolink to show Oklahoma City instead of Del City. This was done so that people not living in the area would know where the nodes are located. Most people are unaware that Del City is a suburb of Oklahoma City.
We are working on a 2017 manual to give out to our users. Once complete, we will email a pdf version to each person as long as those on our roster have current email addresses.
To summarize the node numbers, the 146.7 MHz repeater is both IRLP node 3013 and Echolink node 164667. The 443.3 MHz repeater is both IRLP node 4122 and Echolink node 794636.
Del City Amateur Radio Society, W5DEL
We would like to wish all of our members and their families a wonderful New Year in 2017. The last year was very eventful for us and we hope the next year will be even more so. Thank you for being a part of our small group and allowing us to serve you.
Our club has been mainly a small group of family and friends though anyone has been and continue to be welcome. As of now, our roster is more than 150 people and we appreciate everyone of you. It is our wish that you and your families have a prosperous New Year with good health and financial stability.
What a busy year it has been. Today at 12:24 PM, the 443.3 MHz repeater signed on the new DB-420 antenna at 96 feet on the new tower. It is our desire to make this repeater our full time WIN System repeater like it was back in 2010 when K5GLH took his tower down to facilitate the sale of his house. Now the 146.7 MHz repeater is at 113 feet elevation, also on the new tower. This has been very costly and time consuming over the last year.
Since we’ve struggled to find someone to climb the tower and install the antennas, this project was a bit delayed but we finally got it done. Our Trustee, W5QO would have done it himself had the rest of us begged him not to.
We hired a tower climber that has experience with this and he was very good. If anyone needs tower work, we can set you up with a guy that is good, quick and does a very professional job.
In this picture we have the tower with the 146.7 repeater antenna installed while the climber pulls the 443.3 repeater up. We are thrilled to have this installed once and for all. I hope you are able to reach them from your location.
In this picture you can see the antenna going up the tower. We could not have asked for a better day to do this. It started out as a nice cool 52 degrees and was a comfortable 76 by the time it was complete. The wind was very light and there were very few hiccups in this process. There are over 400 pictures in our Flickr album from the time we picked up the tower sections until complete. You can view the entire album here.
This tower project started as K5GLH was looking for some tower sections for his own use. He found someone on Craigslist that had 14 sections but he only wanted five sections. W5QO wanted the remaining nine sections and over the last year has built and install the tower. Today is an exciting day to see this project complete. Thank you for your patience.
It has been a long time building to this point but the 146.7 MHz repeater has been moved over to the new tower located about 50 feet to the SW of the old one :).
The old tower was 50 feet tall with a 20 foot DB-224 antenna on top making it 70 feet above the ground. It has served us well over the years but now is on a brand new 92 foot tall Rohn 55G tower with a brand new 20 foot DB-224E antenna. It also has brand new 7/8 inch hard line feeding the antenna.
In the first picture you can see the tower from down the street before the antenna is installed.
In the second picture you can see the climber was pulling up the coax in the top photo.
This is the non magnified view from the ground.
In this photo you can see the hard line coax laying on the ground with the mounting hardware installed on it.
We’ve had some good preliminary reports so far from far NW Edmond, Eastern Oklahoma County and SW Oklahoma City. In a month we are going to have a brand new DB-420 antenna installed at 92 feet for the 443.3 MHz repeater. We hope this will improve its signal and we are confident that it will considering how poorly it is connected at the moment. Please post any comments you have on any experiments that you try either on our blog or on our Facebook Page or Group.
Again, if anyone wants the connect and disconnect codes for either of the nodes, just send an email requesting them to club [at] delcityars.com.