Good afternoon everyone!
Yesterday, 13 Dec 18, we noticed the 146.7 repeater began to have an intermittent static during transmit. It seemed to begin almost simultaneously with the arrival of the cold front and the high winds. We planned on doing some trouble shooting on it as we found time but it appears this afternoon the repeater has died, or at least the power output has died. It receives a signal but barely even moves the power meter when transmitting.
In the short term, we are going to swap the repeater out with one of the backups until we have time to work on the main repeater. The backup repeater will have a different courtesy tone and probably an out of date announcement but if you can ignore that for the short term, we’ll have it back on this afternoon.
One more thing, the audio levels on the IRLP system are unique to each repeater as the circuitry has varying impedance that are not exactly the same. This results in the audio out of the repeater into the node being either too loud or too low, depending on the repeater used. Each time we swap one out, we usually have to reset the audio levels to match the repeater in use. Again, this takes time and we don’t have time today to make these adjustments but can do it as we get time. Just keep in mind if you dial up a node and someone on the other end tells you that your audio is too hot, or too low. In all likelihood, it is on the repeater (node), not on your end.
We just wanted to let you know the reason the repeater is either offline, sounding different, or giving strange announcements. Thank you in advance for your patience. We provide our repeaters and nodes free of charge with no financial or technical support from anyone but four family members, with the vast majority coming from our Trustee, my proud dad, W5QO, so our time and resources are limited to work on these as time allows.
Recently you may remember, we took Internet Radio Linking Project (IRLP) nodes off our repeaters and replaced them with Allstar Link. One of our interface boards (146.700 MHz) repeater was left with a hum. We made the decision to put the IRLP node 3013 back on this repeater and leave the Allstar Link on the 443.300 MHz repeater.
We have not updated our user guide with the old instructions on how to use the IRLP for those that don’t remember. We’ll get to that as we have time. At present, the IRLP and Echolink are on the 146.700 MHz repeater. As usual, if you don’t remember the IRLP usage and control, just send an email to club at delcityars.com and we’ll send it to you.
Is anyone else enjoying this rain? It is a true blessing.
We’ve been working on a project for the last couple of weeks and now we can reveal it. Our 443.3 MHz repeater is now Allstar Link node 28941. We removed IRLP from this repeater and used most of the same hardware to convert it to an Allstar node.
What drove this change was an email from Cox Communications that forced our hand. Since we had two IRLP nodes, on the same Internet service, at the same location, it required us to have two external IP addresses. The reason for this is two identical nodes require the same ports for control and audio. When inbound calls arrive at the router, we have to have set pre-determined port forwarding. The signal has to know which computer to go to. Unfortunately we had two nodes vying for the same ports and you cannot forward packets to go to the same port on two computers. This is why we paid extra for an additional external IP address.
Well Cox seems to have changed their policy on issuing out extra IP addresses to residential service accounts. They will no longer do it and will not grandfather you in, if you already have one. They wanted us to subscribe to Cox Business Services account. To do this would vastly increase the price for a service that we already had. This is just not a feasible option.
As a result, we had to come up with an idea to maintain two nodes without using the same ports. Allstar was a natural choice because they only require one computer (server) and can have many nodes attached to that one server, with only one external IP address. We had already requested a node number several years ago but had never put a node together. This situation forced our hand on doing something. Since we already had most of the hardware on hand, we decided to build one.
As of yesterday, September 21, 2017, at 2:00 PM, node 28941 signed on the air.
Allstar is a completely different system and the operating procedures are not the same. We are currently working on updating our User Guide to include operating instructions for our new Allstar node. Many of the IRLP reflectors are now on Allstar Hubs, like the WIN System. Where they are node 9100 on IRLP, they are node 2560 on Allstar. We are hopeful that you will like using it and we are trying to quickly get some instructions on our web site.
Special thanks to our Trustee, W5QO for once again, hosting this site for us. If you have any questions, please direct them to club [at] delcityars.com.