Tag: repeater

Another Digital Conversion

Today, March 2, 2021, our 146.700 MHz repeater was changed out to a dual mode, FM and System Fusion (C4FM) repeater. This repeater is not going to have WIRES-X setup all the time but rather, after we get the proper hardware setup, it will continue to have both Internet Radio Linking Project (IRLP) and Echolink. Since the hardware is different, it will require new cables to be built to reconnect. The IRLP and Echolink will only be setup to work on FM but since the repeater is setup on automatic mode select (AMS), it will switch to the mode the user decides to use.

If you transmit on FM, the repeater will respond on FM. If you transmit in digital, the repeater will respond in digital just like the 443.300 MHz repeater. The 443.300 MHz repeater will continue to have WIRES-X just as it does now. If you have any questions, please either ask on the Facebook group or if you have given up on Facebook like we are on the verge of doing, just email club [at] del city radio club dot com. Just fix the email address by removing the spaces and the [at].

Also you can ask questions on our Discord Server. We have many channels setup on Discord as well as four voice channels.

146.700 MHz Repeater

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  The backup repeater will have a different courtesy tone and probably an out of date announcement but if you can ignore that for the short term, we’ll have it back on this afternoon.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.

Thank you,
Paul, K5GLH

Cub Scouts – November 3, 2018

On Saturday, November 3rd, BSA TROOP 20 AMATEUR RADIO CLUB – WS5BSA is going to be supporting a large Cub Scouting event at Camp John Nichols.  They will be introducing amateur radio to the Cub Scouts and putting them on the air.  They will be using both our 146.7 MHz and our 443.3 MHz repeaters during the day to give the Scouts a chance to make some contacts.  They will also be using the link systems to demonstrate what an FM repeater can do.

We want to invite any hams in the area to check in to help them make some contacts.  This is a rare opportunity to influence young people to potentially join the hobby, and become licensed.  Part of their goal is to develop an interest in amateur radio amongst Scouts and hopefully motivate some of them to pursue an amateur licence.

Please join in that day and we’ll keep you up to date on any new information about this event.

Thank you!

WIRES-X

After a long upgrade process, we now have WIRES-X node number 33521 installed on our 443.300 MHz repeater.  We have removed Echolink and Allstar from this repeater as it stands right now.

The repeater is both digital C4FM (Yaesu System Fusion) and analog FM on auto detect mode.  When using FM, the tone has been changed from 162.2 Hz to 103.5 Hz.  The repeater also transmits a 103.5 Hz tone so that you can put your radio on tone squelch.  Sometimes the WX5LAW comes in on our frequency so adding the tone squelch will mute some of that signal.

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We’ll have to update our user guide to show the new node and instructions on how to use it.  Also to update the changes on the 146.700 MHz.  This has been a long road getting this setup and working because most of us are busy doing other things.  We just updated Repeaterbook.com and ORSI with the new information as well.

We sincerely hope you will enjoy using the new digital format.

IRLP is Back on 146.700 MHz

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.

Allstar versus IRLP


We have recently converted our 443.300 MHz repeater from IRLP to Allstar Link.  We turned off IRLP node 3013.  We have started building a new Allstar Link node for our 146.700 MHz repeater as well.  I am looking at ways to see if we can salvage one of the IRLP nodes and have both connected to the repeater where we can choose which system to use.  There is a reason that we changed from IRLP to Allstar Link and it wasn’t because we didn’t want IRLP but rather our Internet Service Provider (ISP).

IRLP, like most linking systems use certain ports to communicate, whether it be audio or control signals.  Like systems, require the same ports.  If you are going to be able to run a node effectively on a local area network, you need to be able to change the node to a static IP address and then forward the necessary ports to that computer.  If you are going to have two IRLP nodes at the same location, you have to have two external (WAN) IP addresses.  This is because if packets arrive over the Internet and reach your router, you need to be able to forward it to the correct computer.  Unfortunately when you have two nodes, they both use the same port. The router cannot forward the same port to more than one computer at the same time.

For years, we have been paying for an extra IP address for this purpose.  Recently we received a letter from our ISP saying they would no longer supply a second IP address for residential accounts. If we needed a second IP address, we would have to subscribe to a business account.  A business account is more than double the price.

We were left with a decision to either shut one of the nodes down or try other options.  Allstar Link allows many nodes on the same computer, so it allows you to assign specific ports to each node. You can have each node using a separate port, eliminating the need for two external IP addresses.  We have one node working very well and a second node  under development.  I know we only needed to change one node but our trustee, W5QO likes it so much, he wanted to do both repeaters.

Many of the IRLP reflectors are also connected to Allstar Link. We have already verified that the WIN System (IRLP node 9100) is also on Allstar Link (node 2560).  The East Coast reflector (IRLP node 9050) is Allstar (node 27339).  The Alaska reflector (IRLP node 9070) is Allstar (node 27597).

Currently we don’t have a way to connect our old IRLP node in parallel with the Allstar Link node but if we can figure out how to do that, we’ll certainly do that.  Our 443.300 MHz repeater is now Allstar Link node 28941 and soon the 146.700 MHz repeater will be Allstar Link node 46810.

This will require a new user manual to be created so that people know how to use it.  I have started this project but not yet complete.  Once this is complete, then we’ll have to make some significant changes to our frequently asked questions (FAQ) page.  We’ll let you know when the new node is on the air.

Our First Allstar Link Node

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.

Thank you!