At the November 16th meeting of the Society, John Walker, BRVARS Repeater Trustee, proposed that the Society build and operate a Motorola Mototrbo UHF repeater for the benefit of amateur radio operators in Shelby County Indiana. The motion was seconded and was unanimously approved by the membership.
Several members of the Society already own DMR radio equipment and additional interest was shown after Hoosier DMR representative, Brent Walls, N9BA, made a presentation to the Society at the September members meeting explaining what DMR is and how it operates. He brought a portable repeater to the presentation and demonstrated how the equipment works.
Work has begun accumulating the necessary equipment to get the repeater up and running. The Society has committed to purchasing a used Motorola Mototorbo repeater, duplexer unit, UHF repeater antenna and tower climbing and installation services. Drake Electric is providing the space to house the repeater and a spot on their 150′ tower for the antenna. We should have all of the equipment accumulated by the end of December 2015.
As of December, 14, 2015, we have the repeater, duplexer, antenna, tower climber, backup battery, mounting rack all in hand. We are trying to schedule a tower climb sometime before Christmas(if the weather cooperates) in order to get the antenna installed. Hopefully, we would get the repeater on the air the same day.
The new DMR digital, UHF repeater is now on the air. The repeater operates on 441.4875 MHz in digital mode only. This repeater is networked into the IndianaDMR.net repeater network which provides linkage to all of the DMR repeaters worldwide. You can find out about DMR at IndianaDMR.net or by Googling “DMR.” More information on DMR will be posted on this website in the next few days. In the meantime, if you already have some DMR radio equipment and want to get it programmed with the current software “plug”, please get in contact with either Ron Bush, KC9RMV or John Walker, K9SVL.
While we had the tower climber in the air we checked out both runs of available hardline that were not being used. Both runs checked out just fine. The decision was then made to install not only the UHF repeater antenna for the DMR system, we also installed a VHF/UHF antenna utilizing the other run of hardline. We now have a spare antenna system at 140′ that can be utilized as a backup repeater antenna or used for some purpose such as an APRS digipeater/igate system. This additional antenna system only enhances our resource position for future expansion.