NV4B/R 146.790 Repeater
Coordinated by the Alabama Repeater Council
Status: ON THE AIR
This repeater is open to general amateur use with the stipulation that proper operating procedure be used. I will post my guidelines for use later, but for now, please use common sense and play by Part 97!
I hope to have the antenna replaced with a better and higher one soon, but the repeater has about a 10-mile mobile coverage area now. The city of Red Bay is included in this area. HT coverage will be spotty, and base coverage may exceed this distance considerably depending on the station.
On April 7, 2006, severe storms damaged the tower on
which the 146.78 repeater in Haleyville resided. The owner, Wilton Taylor
(WA4YYL) decided not to put the repeater back on the air. I purchased the
repeater on April 17 and have received a new coordination.
The repeater had been on the air in Haleyville since
1976, originally on 146.79 MHz, as the K4KQE Repeater. When the Alabama
Repeater Council switched to a 20 KHz band plan, the repeater moved to 146.78
MHz, where it remained until 2006.
June 18, 2008 - Repeater returned to service with
temporary TR-7950 receiver
May 31, 2008 - Repeater removed from service
temporarily to replace failed Mitrek
May 20, 2008 - Repeater returned to service &
made generally available for amateur use
May 17, 2008 - Repeater taken off air to fix
October 2007 - Mitrek transmitter taken out and
replaced with FT-2500M due to noise on output.
Februrary 2007 - 146.78 repeater re-crystalled
for 146.79 and placed on the air with a low temporary antenna.
November 2006 - 90-day extension granted
June 2006 - Coordination granted
April 2006 - Repeater purchased
The repeater will be put back on the air in Vina, Alabama
on the Franklin County E911 tower site. The tower there is 300' tall, and
the top is about 450' above average terrain. This site should give good
2-meter coverage of all of western Franklin County and large portions of Marion,
Itawamba, Colbert, Tishomingo, and other surrounding counties.
The repeater has the following features (repeater
directory codes in parentheses):
- Open access (o): All amateurs are welcome to use the machine, provided they
follow FCC rules and standard operating guidelines.
- ARES Affiliation (r):
The repeater serves Franklin County ARES directly and is sponsored in part
by the Franklin County EMA
- Emergency power (e): There will be a
provision for connecting a 12V battery to the repeater.
- Link (l): There will be a
fixed-frequency remote base on the repeater for linking with the 147.21
repeater in Spruce Pine. The repeater will be linked most of the time,
but the link can be disabled if necessary.
- CTCSS Access (not full-time) (t): During
periods of band enhancement, a 103.5 Hz PL tone will be required to
access the repeater.
- Remote Base (RB): Future plans
include the addition of a new controller and frequency agile remote base.
- Weather Net (Wx):
The repeater will be linked with the 147.21 during weather sessions of the
Alabama Emergency Net K.
The repeater consists of the following equipment:
- Transmitter: Yaesu FT-2500M at 25W
- Receiver: Kenwood TR-7950 (temp.)
- Controller: MCC RC-1000/V
- Duplexer: Wacom WP-639 4x 5" cavities
- Remote Base Radio: Kenwood TR-7730 (25 watts)
- Remote Base antenna: small 2m yagi
- Antenna: 5/8-wave groundplane (will be
- Power Supply: Astron RS-35
- Lightning Protection: Polyphaser AC and coax
Other parts that must still be obtained are (in order of
importance): new feedline, antenna, and standoff; antenna and related for
link radio; PL
board; new controller; frequency agile remote base radio.
1 sec COR drop-to-courtesy tone time. Please do not ragchew during this delay before the beep -- this is the time alloted for a station to jump into a QSO between transmissions, or to request to make a comment out of turn in a roundtable. Remember -- if you transmit before the beep, the timeout timer is still running!
5 sec tail time. It is necessary to let the repeater drop out completely ONLY ONCE in a given 30-minute timeframe to avoid timing out the transmitter. A separate 30-minute watchdog timer is employed on the transmitter to guard against controller failure. Otherwise, feel free to continue your QSO as soon as the courtesy tones sound.
3 min timeout timer. This is mainly to protect you against microphonus behindus if you accidentally sit on your mic! For the sake of those listening and participating in your QSO, however, please limit transmissions to 3 minutes. If for some reason you do need more time, enter a DTMF 1 by itself and continue talking. This resets the timeout timer.
Timeouts are signalled with a Morse "TO."
9 min ID cycle. Hint -- I always use a repeater's ID'er as my personal ID timer. That way I don't have to watch the clock or try to remember when I last ID'ed. Warning though -- if it comes ID time and you are transmitting, the controller will do a forced ID over you, and you won't hear it (although those listening will, and hopefully they'll immediately ID to let you know). When the repeater is busy, the ID will always be in CW. When the repeater is idle, subsequent IDs will be my recorded voice.
30 min watchdog timer. This is a TOT on the transmitter itself and is there to guard against a controller lockup. If you keep the repeater going for 30 minutes (which is easier than it sounds if you're in a roundtable QSO), and the transmitter suddenly goes away, this is probably why.
User DTMF codes:
1 - Extend timeout timer
5 - DTMF '5' is not muted -- use this to check your DTMF level on another radio
#0 - Keypad test. Test one digit at a time. Readback is in CW.
#1 - Listen to the CW ID. It says, "NV4B/R."
#2 - Listen to the voice ID. It says, "This is the NV4B repeater." It begins playing as soon as you enter the code, so unkey quickly!
(More coming soon for remote base)