BRVARS members Larry Hill, Brian Evers and John Walker installed 5 antennas and coax cable atop the 50 foot tower at the home of Tom Achors in Fairland. It was a day long project of assembling antennas, coax and connectors along with a rotator installation completed with the help of a bucket truck. Lots of hard work on a very, very nice day weather wise. The days efforts were capped off with an extremely nice monetary donation to BRVARS by Tom Achors. I think we all had a lot of fun assembling, installing and then seeing each antenna work just fine afterwards.
We are still experiencing interference on the 145.48MHz repeater. The interference comes and goes but seems to be the worst during band openings. We have been slowly raising the squelch level on the repeater’s receive frequency hoping that we can eliminate most of the interference without sacrificing the excellent coverage we enjoy with this new piece of equipment. Some of you have been enjoying making the repeater with your handi-talkies and we are trying not to up the squelch so far that we eliminate that coverage. We always have the option of putting PL tones on the repeater but I know that some of you still have radios that don’t handle PL tones. PL tones will be our last resort.
The interference has been persistent enough such that it times out the repeater after 3 minutes. Then the repeater is not usable until it automatically resets. This sort of interference can deny us use of the repeater during an emergency situation like the Skywarn Severe Weather net. We would not want this sort of thing to happen when we need the repeater the most.
We will continue to work with the repeater and see if we can wean out the interference by using increased squelch levels. If that does not work, then we well be forced to use PL tones in order to try and maintain repeater use during emergency situations. If we introduce a PL tone, we will use one of the recommended Indiana Repeater Council PL tones for this area of Indiana. The two recommended tones for this area are 88.5 and 151.4 Hz. When we have to invoke this option we will get the word out to you.
John Walker, K9SVL
Friday afternoon the new Yaesu Fusion repeater was put on the air and is available for use on the 145.48 MHz frequency that was used by the analog FM repeater. The Yaesu Fusion repeater will work both Fusion digital and analog FM modes. The repeater controller auto senses the mode of the signal transmitted to the repeater and adjusts accordingly. Analog FM radios will still be able to use this new repeater since it works both modes. There are no PL tones on this repeater as well, since we still have users with equipment that are not PL tone capable. It is nice to report that we have received several compliments on the apparent increased improvement in coverage by the repeater. We hope that this new equipment will better serve the local amateur radio community and be of better service when needed during events requiring emergency communications. This is an open repeater and is available to all licensed amateur radio operators.
The Indiana Repeater Council(IRC) has approved the frequency assignment for the D Star UHF repeater. The assigned frequency pair is 442.1875/447.1875 MHz. As soon as we receive the duplexers for this repeater we will put it into service.
We also have a home for this repeater. The Mark Concrete Products Incorporated, 1126 S Miller Ave, Shelbyville, IN 46176, will be allowing us to house the repeater equipment in what used to be the old Hardin Oil Company office building. The 125 foot high tower already has a nice UHF band, 8 bay, folded-dipole array antenna mounted on top of the tower. The antenna is fed with very high quality, low-loss, hard line coax. The site was last used by ATT until about a year ago when they ceased using a UHF repeater on the site for their communications. We checked out the coax and antenna and everything looks good for use with the D Star repeater. We are very fortunate as an amateur radio club to be able to accept the hospitality of the Mark Concrete Products company in hosting our repeater at their site.
You have the opportunity to pay your dues in advance at the current rate of $10/year for a period not to exceed 5 years. This could save you $50 over the next 5 years. This offer expires at the January Dinner meeting in 2016. If you don’t take advantage of the offer before the expiration date, dues will be $20 per person per year for a single membership for years 2016 and beyond. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by.
The new Yaesu Fusion repeater has arrived. We will endeavor to get it up and running on the 145.48MHz repeater frequency as soon as possible. The controller needs to be programmed with the data specific to our repeater frequency and mode of operation, but other than that, it is pretty much plug and play. The present antenna, duplexer and coax should work just fine. Likewise, the power supply and battery backup should work as well.
This repeater will still continue to work with your analog FM radios without any trouble. It will also automatically detect Yaesu Fusion digital radios and switch to digital mode when those radios are keying up the repeater.
Don Miller, W9NTP, passed away at his home on Sunday, March 23, 2015. Don was a charter member of the Society and was very instrumental in numerous Society activities over the years. Don was 91 years young when he passed and had been an ARRL member for over 70 years. Don was born on May 25, 1923.
The viewing will be at the Glen George Funeral Home in St Paul, IN from 5:00PM until 8:00PM on Friday, March 27. The funeral service will be at the Moscow Christian Church in Moscow, IN at 10:30AM on Saturday, March 28.
We have decided to go ahead and have the Ham Breakfast this Saturday morning at Denny’s at 8:30AM in honor of Don, and then go onto the Funeral service at Moscow.
Please call John Walker, K9SVL at 317-402-5000 for any further information or questions.
The National Weather Service will issue Test Tornado Warnings Thursday between 10:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., and again between 7:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. It’s everyone’s job in these drills to test your tornado plans, seeking safe shelter areas. Review your actions, and amend your safety plans if needed.
By unanimous approval the membership approved the purchase of a Yaesu Fusion repeater at the March membership meeting. The repeater will initially replace the analog FM repeater that is in service on the 145.480MHz frequency. The Yaesu repeater is a dual-band unit that could possibly work in place of either our VHF or UHF repeater as needed. The new repeater is also dual mode as well. It works both in analog, FM mode and Yaesu’s Fusion digital mode. It can work either analog, digital or be in “auto sense” mode working with either analog or digital traffic as required. More information will be made available to the membership at the next meeting regarding the operation of this new repeater. We expect delivery from Yaesu in about 2 months time.
After spending several hours of voting on amendments to the proposed Constitution and By-Laws, the documents were approved by unanimous vote. The biggest changes to the Constitution and By-Laws had to do with equal opportunity and disbanding policies. These two areas are important in order to secure a 501-(C)7 status with the Internal Revenue Service(IRS). Once we attain that status we will then be able to apply for Grant monies if needed in the future. Outlays of the Society’s treasury for replacement repeater equipment and other items could far exceed what is currently available. Local agency sources for Grant monies will only accept applications from non-profit groups that have official 501 status with the IRS.
There was also a change in the annual membership dues from $10 per person per year to $20 per person per year with adjustments for additional family members. Once the new Constitution and By-Laws were accepted, a motion was made to offer a special deal to current members that they could prepay their dues for out years at the current $10 per person per year amount for up to 5 years. This offer to current members expires at the January, 2016 dinner meeting.
The new Constitution and By-Laws will be posted on this website for ready reference in the future.