This month’s Repeater Talk article will focus on our clubs repeater roll out status and plans.
As you know the club is taking part in the rollout of the latest Yaesu System Fusion repeaters – first of all how about a bit of background on how they got to this point? Yaesu had a stroke of genius when their realized that they couldn’t compete on price point against the recent flood of radios from the likes of Wouxun, Anytone or Baofeng and remain profitable with such a slim to nonexistent profit margin. So their product strategy was to change the game altogether by introducing a repeater into the market place that offered the benefits of both digital and analog to the users. This had the expected consequence of driving the sales of their equipment into the repeater, mobile and HT markets. What followed was very favorable pricing options for clubs that where looking to renew their repeaters and rejuvenate the membership base.
Recently the DVRA clubs was fortunate to have two members step up and buy gear for the club to use. That has allowed us to place on the air the 2 meter repeater using the existing antenna, feedline and duplexer. The results have been received with positive feedback and we are looking at changing it for the better in the near future.
The machines are currently set to allow either C4FM digital or traditional FM Analog users to take part. This is the key function that allowed Yaesu to begin gaining market share so quickly. Still you need to be certain to have your tone squelch set to 131.8 tone – as well if your radio has the option for a Busy Channel Lock Out – BCLO. The Tone Squelch will allow you to access the repeater to have your signal repeated as well as opening when appropriate your receiver. Normally the tone squelch would be transparent to you, however if by chance you are using a repeater and another user is taking advantage of the C4FM protocol you analog radio will hear the digital tone that is transmitting the voice. The BCLO will prevent you from inadvertently doubling over another user when mixed modes are active in a System Fusion machine.
The 440 machine is under test using a temporary antenna while the club explores options for renewing the installation. Initially we thought to use the South crank up tower and feedline, this turned out to be less then optimum! The range of the machine was less than 2 miles, this was primary due to undersized feedline that was most likely subjected to water intrusion. Regardless of the reasons we made the decision to shutdown the ICOM repeater and put off the commissioning of the new Yaesu 440 machine.
Hopefully we will have issues worked out over the coming month and the new 440 machine will come back onto the air in the West Trenton area. It may take a bit of effort to install feedline, and a tower but the energy is back and many are lending a hand with labor and/or funds.
As I have said before, if you are interested in the clubs repeater committee, drop me a note using my call at arrl.net