The annual members meeting was held on Saturday, January 16th, at the Grover Museum in Shelbyville. The dinner was well attended with members, wives and friends present. The meal was prepared and served by members of Lewis Creek Baptist Church. It was a great meal topped off by a selection of tasty desserts.
Larry Hill, President, and John Walker, Secretary, both spoke after the meal and gave a review of the Society’s activities during 2015. The President then presented the Carl and Bev Mohr Amateur of the Year award to John Walker for his efforts towards promoting the Society and its activities during the past year.
The 224.440 MHz and 444.975 MHz repeaters are now back on the air. The 224.44 MHz repeater is part of the Central Indiana 220 repeater network. There is a net held on the network every Thursday evening at 8:00PM. The 444.975 MHz repeater is a new Yaesu Fusion analog/digital repeater. If you have a Yaesu Fusion radio you can use the repeater in digital mode. Otherwise, the repeater will work with analog FM as well.
Click on this link for updates on this project.
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 HoosierDMR.net repeater network which provides linkage to all of the DMR repeaters worldwide. You can find out about DMR at HoosierDMR.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.
The annual Members Dinner Meeting will be held on Saturday, January 16th, 2016 starting at 5:00PM. The Dinner Meeting will be held in the lower level meeting room at the Grover Museum. The cost per person for the meal is $13. You may call Brian Evers at 317-835-7301 to make reservations. You may pay in advance or at the door.
Society Secretary and Repeater Trustee, John Walker, proposed to the membership at the November 16 member’s meeting to purchase and install a DMR repeater in the Shelbyville area. After a presentation by representatives from the Hoosier DMR Net at the September members meeting about the DMR repeater system in Indiana, several local members purchased some DMR radios and began exploring the world of DMR digital radio. It soon became evident that it would be necessary to have a repeater here in Shelbyville in order to take full advantage of the DMR repeater network.
The Society will be purchasing a top grade Motorola DMR repeater that will work in the UHF band. Almost all DMR repeaters for amateur radio use function in the UHF band. Once all of the repeater equipment is procured, the repeater system will be located at Drake Electric with the antenna mounted on their tower. This is the location for the Society’s 2 meter Yaesu Fusion repeater.
Weather permitting, we are hoping to have this new repeater up and running before year’s end.
Over the past few weekends, Society members assembled antennas and raised a 50 foot tower for fellow Society member Guy Sever, K9ZB. Society members Bob Westwater, N9BK; Brian Evers, KC9UGG; Ron Bush, KC9RMV; Bill Price KC9ZMT; Pat Wagner, WA9AAV; Gregg Steele, K9CDB and John Walker, K9SVL all pitched in at various times and got the project completed. As you can see in the pictures below, the variety of antennas pretty much covers the entire number of frequency bands available to amateur radio operators. This was what you would call a very heavy lifting project, there was no walking-up this structure. You can also see that we made very good use of Bob Westwater’s pickup truck. This certainly turned out to be a team project and some very good ideas and suggestions along the way from those working on the project got this mission accomplished. This was a very good exercise in teamwork for sure.
Click on this link to see video of tower raising. Link takes you to N9BK’s, Bob Westwater, website where the video resides.
As of October 6, 2015 the BRVARS call sign will be W9NTP. At the request of Sandra Miller,KC9SME, the Society made application for Don Miller’s, W9NTP(SK) call sign.
Over the years, Don did many things for the good of the Society and it is quite fitting that the Society would pick up Don’s call sign. The call sign will be used for all Society events including Field Day and the ID’s for all of the repeaters.
The W9JUQ call sign has been vacated and should be available at some time in the future for anyone wanting to pick it up for their personal call sign.
John Walker, Secretary/Repeater Trustee
Due to continuing interference on the 2 meter(145.48MHz) Shelbyville repeater, we will be adding an 88.5 Hz tone on both the input and output sides of the repeater. The tone will be implemented around the first week of September. This should give you enough time to figure out how to program a PL tone on your radio. Hopefully, this will let us reduce the current maximum level of squelch on the receiver, make the repeater more handi-talkie friendly, eliminate the interference and stop the repeater from timing out during long periods of interference.
The 88.5 Hz tone will be added to the output side as well so that users may block any unwanted digital “noise” that they hear when Fusion digital users are occupying the repeater. This repeater has a fairly large footprint for the height above ground of the antenna and we are beginning to pick up more users from out of County. Some of those users are Fusion digital users. We think eliminating the “noise” for analog only users is probably a good thing.
I know this is probably an inconvenience for some to have to program a PL tone into their radios, but it probably wouldn’t hurt to get the manual out and go through the exercise anyway. You might discover some things about your radio you didn’t know before. I don’t have any good answers for folks with radios that can’t handle a PL tone, but I don’t think we have any other choice but to apply the tone to the repeater. We have to keep the repeater running as best we can when it is needed the most.
John Walker, K9SVL
Our Section Leader has made a call for 2016 Bicentennial Special Event Station ideas. BRVARS did a special event station earlier this year in conjunction with the Grover Museum, W9S, celebrating the display of vintage radio equipment that was on display at the Museum. Perhaps we could come up with something for the State’s Bicentennial year that is somehow historically associated with Shelby County or Shelbyville(maybe, even St. Paul). If you have any ideas for a special event station please pass them on to either me, John Walker, K9SVL or to one of the persons listed below. Please give this some thought. We had a lot of fun with the W9S special event station. Below is an excerpt from this months Indiana Section Newsletter concerning the subject.
“During the ARRL 100th Anniversary Celebration last year, one of the most popular activities was the portable W1AW station moving from state to state. That reactivated many hams that hadn’t operated HF in years and brought them back to the hobby. As I’ve traveled to club meetings around the state, I’ve heard several hams comment how they wish we could do something like that again. Indiana has that opportunity next year.
2016 marks the 200th Anniversary of Indiana Statehood. The ARRL Indiana Section proposes to host a year of historical special event stations to celebrate our bicentennial. We are looking for amateur radio clubs that have some notable event or significant place in Indiana history that they would like to highlight. Think about Indiana firsts or places that everyone identifies with Indiana. At this point, we need responses from clubs with a good idea for a special event, a suitable location, and who are willing to commit to operate the special event. Clubs wishing to participate should contact either:
- Section Affiliated Club Coordinator Jimmy Merry KC9RPX
- Section Public Information Officer Joe March KJ9M
We’ll use initial response to this project to gauge interest. Please discuss this opportunity in club membership and Board meetings. Let us hear if you want to celebrate Indiana’s Bicentennial on the air.