DARK Repeater

After some klub discussion, we’ve decided that the northern section of Chatham-Kent is lacking in repeater coverage – especially the Wallaceburg area. Indeed, travelling between “the Burg” and Sarnia, it’s pretty tough to stay in contact with Chatham. Even Dresden has issues. So, we propose a VHF (or UHF) repeater in Dresden to cover the entire area. Even at 100′ HAAT should provide adequate (mobile and possibly H/T) coverage for the area encompassing Thamesville, Florence, Wallaceburg, Chatham, the eastern shore of Michigan and nearly all the way to Petrolia!

Our proposed repeater would like to have the following features:

  • Radio linking to VA3KCR/VE3KCR/VE3COZ-V/VE3COZ-U
  • Radio linking to London, Sarnia and/or Windsor
  • EchoLink
  • FAST CW id’ing
  • low tone “tail”
  • ability to add extra receive sites
  • DTMF functions such as:
    • S-Meter readings
    • Time/date
    • Link management

And, if internet access is available:

  • IRLP
  • AutoPatch (via “MagicJack” or similar)
  • remote access/control
  • TXT messaging

Yes, some are pie-in-the-sky wants but hey, might as well think expansion right!

We have at least TWO towers in mind (sorry, no details) that would provide at MINIMUM the required footprint. Keep your fingers crossed!

 

 

Equipment

DARK has managed to obtain EIGHT VHF repeater folded dipoles and FOUR filter cavities to make a nice VHF repeater. We wanted to use the old VE3WAL frequency pair (146.985-) as it is no longer in use. I tried to make a base station antenna from ONE of the dipoles and concluded that they resonate around 190 Mhz! This will not do. Also, a “whisker” arrangement was added to the antenna with hopes of bringing that down to a usable ham band level with little success.

After some discussion with the other members we’ve decided to instead possibly re-instate the old VE3MGK UHF (442.200+)  repeater from the CKARC arsenal instead if they’re OK with that.

Who knows what the future may bring.

 

 


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