As we continuously work to consolidate the W5HRC “brand” within the club, little things come together every so often. Recently the W5HRC callsign was validated with Echolink successfully, and so our current 442.850 machine’s Echolink callsign has been changed to W5HRC-R.
Thank you Steve, KM5HT for allowing us to use your callsign as our Echolink callsign for years.
You can find more information about our repeaters and Echolink on our Club Info and Repeaters page.
We have known for a while now that we should expect to have our main repeater taken offline for water tower maintenance. The time has now come. We were informed recently that work would start on December 23rd with dismantling our antennas and coax on the TCC water tower. This date has been pushed up one week.
We expected to shift everything to our backup repeater on Saturday December 17, but the City has signed, sealed, and delivered the work orders and the work officially starts December 16th. VP David, KD5YDU, and President Chris, KD5HIY, have taken the main repeater offline and shifted all operations to our backup machine. The main repeater and associated equipment have been removed from the shack for the safety of the equipment during construction. (Accidental falling tools, etc)
What to expect:
- The 2 meter foot print will be temporarily reduced drastically (hoping for one month, but two is not out of the question)
- The [backup] repeater will identify as W5HRC/B
- The repeater should still be able to serve the HEB area as needed, other areas may be on the fringe or non-existent
- The repeater has an extremely short squelch tail (you may not think you are even making it. (We will tweak it over time))
- Tone is the same at 110.9 Hz input and output.
- The backup repeater is a Fusion repeater, so:
- Input can be either digital or FM
- Output will always be FM regardless of input
We are excited about the renovations to the water tower and getting our equipment back online. We have plans for our repeaters next year, and many other good things happening.
Information on our repeaters can be requested by emailing:
First, Butch KC5ONZ has accepted the position of club callsign trustee and repeater coordinator. The FCC ULS has already been updated and we will be submitting the proper notification to the Texas VHF-FM Society very soon. Thanks to Butch for volunteering.
Second, I received an e-mail from a Yaesu representative last week which informed me that our application for the System Fusion Repeater Installation program had been accepted and our new Yaesu DR-1X repeater had been shipped. It should arrive on soon, but it may take us some time to test and assess the best way to implement the repeater so that we can utilize the new digital capabilities while retaining all of the same usability of the current repeater.
If you would like to know more about the System Fusion repeater and the features of the new Yaesu radios which it supports, there is a 15 minute video which provides an excellent overview. Yaesu has also published an excellent Digital Communications Guide for Amateur Radio Operators which explains many of the reasons by behind the System Fusion design decisions, gives some history, and clears up some misconceptions and misunderstandings about digital in general.
Yaesu has rebates on several of the System Fusion radios good through the end of the year. There is a handheld, a dual-band mobile, and an HF+VHF/UHF model which support the new C4FM digital mode, have GPS/APRS built-in, and can use the optional mic with built-in digital camera.
The important thing to understand as a user of the current repeater is that the new repeater is fully compatible with all existing analog FM radios, but you may have to program a CTCSS tone into your radio if you don’t want to hear the digital transmissions. We will be testing this out before we put the new repeater on the air.
We also have the option of configuring the repeater to decode and transmit all received signals, even digital, as analog FM which is where Yaesu’s approach to digital differs from digital-only solutions like D-Star. I think this is an exciting new era in amateur radio that allows us to embrace digital without losing the advantages of analog FM and we are happy to be on the leading edge of it!
Posted in Repeaters