Posts Tagged ‘Repeaters’
What is an amateur radio repeater and how do they work?
In this video, with a non-amateur-radio viewer in mind, I chat about the very basic concepts of a repeater. This is a vlog (video blog) entry on my video channel, and it is shot in a relaxed, “ride along with me” format. Feel free to share this short overview with those who might be interested in our hobby. There are more of these sorts of ridealongs coming.
Thank you for watching, and for sharing…
I had the opportunity to meet Bob via social media many years ago when RFinder first launched and have been a fan and supporter of RFinder ever since. I even discussed RFinder in episode 55 of the Practical Amateur Radio Podcast back in May of 2012.
For several years I used the ARRL repeater directory along with their TravelPlus digital version to search for and program my transceivers. While this solution worked very well, it was limited to just the ARRL database. For the traveling ham, this meant being at the mercy of the internet to find information on repeaters in the region and countries visited and this information was not always accurate.
In the time I’ve known Bob and been a user of RFinder, it’s grown to become a truly worldwide solution with partnerships with many national radio societies including the Radio Society of Great Britain, Amateur Radio Society Italia, Deutscher Amateur Radio Club, Radio Amateurs of Canada and the American Radio Relay League (just to name a few). Finally, the current database contains current and validated repeater information from over 175 countries.
RFinder the Worldwide Repeater Directory is available in app form for both the iOS and Android platforms and is also supported by both RTSystems and CHIRP radio programming software. Normally the cost for an annual subscription is $9.95 USD, but for a VERY limited time an RFinder Lifetime Membership is available for $99.99 USD. When I say VERY limited time, I truly mean this offer will not last long. It’s a very good deal.
Until next time…
73 de KD0BIK (Jerry)
As I have mentioned before, I am a rare repeater user, partly because my voice is so poor currently and I don’t find operating through repeaters that satisfying. Each to his/her own and if this helps you enjoy the hobby go ahead!
At the moment it is far from clear which form of digital repeater will win: there are several competing digital standards and all have their advocates. For now I shall sit back and wait. A bit like the video standards war in the 1980s, the best system may not win. Let’s see. Up to now I have only used FM repeaters.
When I do use voice I use SSB, FM and AM. All modes have their places on our bands. SSB is good on the crowded HF bands, FM useful for nets on VHF, and AM rigs simple to build and there is space on all bands from 10m upwards for all analogue voice modes. A well designed AM rig should occupy less than 6kHz, far less most FM transmissions on our bands. 10m AM, just above 29MHz, is a great mode. I have worked quite a few stateside stations on 10m AM. And I have only used QRP AM. Let no-one tell you AM is a dead mode!
Ed, PE5ED and Wijn are developing a project called the IARL. They are trying to collect as much data as they can on repeaters and beacons. This will be freely available via the website and also through an app for smartphones.
They already have quite a lot of information for western Europe though I have already spotted a couple of errors relating to local repeaters. If you can help with corrections or sources of data they would like to hear from you.
RFinder, the BEST repeater locator app on Android is now available in the iOS App Store. Bob has been working hard on getting approval for awhile now, and people like me who switched from Android to iOS have been waiting for this. If you’ve used any of the other available repeater apps and been disappointed, you really must try this one. Worth every penny at $9.99. If you’ve used Bob’s Android version you will be pleasantly surprised by the huge speed increase with the iOS release due to an upgrade to the database the app uses. Note to Android users: this will also speed up the original Android version on RFinder.
RFinder shows you all repeaters in your location in a selectable radius, or allows you to override the location for a custom search. Sorts by location, frequency, callsign, or displays on a map. Locates all repeaters in the database by band ( you choose which band or bands) 10M thru 1200. Corrections and additions can be submitted for paid users. Give it a try!
RFinder in the App Store. For iPhone and Ipad.
According to the UK repeaters website, two new 2m repeater channels have been internationally agreed:
- 144.9750MHz input / 145.5750MHz output (RV46)
- 144.9875MHz input / 145.5875MHz output (RV47)
Though these channels are not available for use in the UK yet, the wording of the announcement suggests that they eventually will be.
Looks like we dinosaurs who still insist on calling the calling channel S20 are going to have to give up QSYing to S23!
I recently acquired a DV access point (DVAP) dongle from HRO. This is a very interesting piece of D-STAR equipment. It is a 2m transceiver that is connected via a USB 2.0 port to a computer, which has to be connected to the internet. This then allows the dongle to be effectively a simplex repeater passing D-STAR signals on and off the D-STAR network. So using my IC-91AD HT I can link to either D-STAR gateway repeaters or reflectors and talk to other operators. The audio quality is very good. I have heard other operators using theirs and I have had good reports when using mine. Output power is 10mW (but can be lower) and I can link to the dongle from around the house. So I can make contacts around the World on the D-STAR network from the comfort of an armchair or whilst sitting outside on the deck.
The device is made in the USA and it is very well put together and packaged. Even the supplied USB cable was a quality molex brand cable. (Please note you must own a 2m D-STAR radio to use a DVAP, it will not convert FM to D-STAR. If you do not have a D-STAR radio consider the DV Dongle.)
Here are a few videos that talk about the DVAP dongle.
First an overview from the US National Capital Radio D-Star Association. They talk about the DVAP dongle for about the first 2 minutes then go on to talk about other equipment.
Next a detailed DVAP demonstration by Tim, G4VXE,
Finally HRO has them in stock!