CELEBRATE ARRG's 40th all year!

Amateur Radio Relay Group 

Providing Public Service through Technology

CELEBRATE ARRG's 40th all year!
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The K7RPT Repeater System Page

The K7RPT Repeater System is owned and operated by ARRG, Inc. which operated by Members of the Amateur Radio Community. ARRG and the K7RPT Repeater System stays modern and operational because of our membership dues program and through other small donations.

 

While we hope that at all users would become supporting members by joining ARRG, the K7RPT is one of the few truly ‘open’ repeater systems in our area and it should be noted that ARRG does not charge, nor ever has charged any fees to use the K7RPT repeaters or our IRLP or Echolink Nodes.

ARRG provides the use of our repeaters to important groups like ARES, CERT, Mountain Wave Search & Rescue, Jolly Jeepers and important events like the Hood to Coast Relay, Reach the Beach Relay, Cycle for Life Ride and many more.

ARRG is a diverse group and we welcome all Amateur Radio Operators to join the group and use the K7RPT system without regard to age, disability, marital status, protected veteran status, race or color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by law.

 

Important Jan 31st, 2018 South Saddle Project Update

Jan. 31, 2018 Project Update by Marc Peterson, W7PM - the current South Saddle Fundraising Campaign is now complete! A huge 'thank you' goes out to our wonderful supporters who helped us purchase or obtain new and more modern equipment for the South Saddle site.

This past week, many members of your K7RPT technical team have been attending hands-on program, setup and alignment training classes for new equipment we have obtained for the purpose of modernizing our South Saddle site. The gear includes a brand new Motorola Quantar 125 Watt repeater being setup and tested on 147.320, as well as a slightly used UHF Quantar that will become the new 442.325 repeater.

Because of your support, ARRG will be replacing the 10 year old repeater controller with a new ARCOM 210, which happens to be manufactured right here in Oregon! We still have about a month of setup and testing to do on everything before we move everything up to South Saddle. Whether permitting, the plan is to have the new repeaters on the air for your use no later than March 1st, 2018.

The repeaters are set up here at my QTH where we've been working on them, if any ARRG Member wants to come by and check them out before they get locked away on top of the mountain, please let me know.

73, Marc Peterson, W7PM

About the South Saddle Repeaters and recent Failures

Jan. 14, 2018 - Members of the K7RPT technical team have been super busy keeping the South Saddle system running over the past 5 months. On Sunday, tech team members made it up to the site (which was surprisingly accessible and completely snowless). A site visit was needed because the 442.325 repeater had been falling since early December, where the transmitter had been dropping intermittently during regular conversations and during the nightly ARES D1 Net.

Special thanks goes out to David Heirs, KF7JCK, who scouted the road for the team, which allowed us to travel safely to and from the South Saddle site. David also was helpful in the temporary fix we put into place for 442.325.

It is important to keep the 442.325 repeater running 24/7, because it serves as a system 'hub' that makes it possible for the 147.320 repeater to communicate with the 147.040 Portland and 146.720 Coast Range repeaters. During the popular Hood to Coast Relay, the 442.325 machine alone helps link Mt. Hood to many of the Coast repeaters, so it’s probably the most important repeater in the K7RPT system at this time. During a large earthquake and tsunami, this repeater is one of only a few possible lifelines into Clatsop County.

Recent History of Upgrades and Repairs at South Saddle

The current 147.320 repeater is a Motorola Micor Unichassis repeater and was built in 1977. The actual repeater we are using today spent about a decade serving as a Public Safety repeater prior to finding its way to ARRG. Almost all of our repeaters are used and came from Police or Fire departments through various surplus or grant channels or were bought from other Groups selling their gear on EBAY.

Each of these repeaters has to undergo a significant ’conversion' process which requires the technician to rewire, crystal and align the entire machine from scratch, just to operate in the Amateur band. Besides the original cost, this conversion costs around two to three hundred dollars. While saving thousands off the cost of buying a new repeater, we realize the downside of buying used (and really old) is that parts on these outdated models are becoming scarce.

When the 147.320 amplifier failed in September 2017, the tech team scrambled to find a spare amplifier deck, but our local and even Ebay channels have dried up and the team was forced to install a 'questionable' spare amp that works, but is weaker than it should be; all of which means that the current 147.320 amplifier is on borrowed time.

During the same site visit to South Saddle we replaced the 442.325 receiver because users were reporting an intermittent open squelch noise, which was difficult to diagnose on site and left us swapping out the receiver tray with our very last UHF spare receiver.

On Sunday, January 14th, 2018, the tech team responded to work on a failing 442.325 transmitter and like the receiver tray installed in September, we were forced to use our last spare working transmitter tray, which incidentally began to have issues just minutes after it was installed. Onboard one of our vehicles, we had another complete working Micor repeater (which actually is a spare b/u for another site) and we were able to steal parts off that machine to get 442.325 running again. I’m sure that after reading this far, you are beginning to get the idea that both these aging repeaters need to be replaced outright, but read on if you want to hear more of the story!

In 2014, Marc Douglas, AE7KK took on the task of converting a Micor with the idea that it would replace the 35 y/o 147.320 'split tray' custom built mobile repeater. The split tray 320 machine was getting weak and again, we were running into issues finding replacement parts, so the idea of upgrading to the full Micor Unichassis idea was a good one, plus we already owned one ready to convert.

It ought to be noted that the split tray units, that were custom built by ARRG technicians back in the 80’s and 90’s, have served us well for many decades, but each has been placed into retirement by their original Agencies, only to be repurposed by ARRG for their second life.

When the 2014 and 2015 storms damaged the 147.320 antenna and feedline, our team took the opportunity to install the newly converted 147.320 repeater at South Saddle, within a week or two of installing the brand new 147.320 antenna and feedline, in hopes that it would operate into the next decade.

The 442.325 repeater (which is co-located with the 147.320 machine) allows our users the option of coming in on 2m or 70cm, whichever has the better signal at your location and which is linked fulltime to 147.320.

This current 442.325 repeater is one of our longest running and oldest K7RPT repeaters on the air. The repeater couldn’t have served us better over the years, for being a custom built 'split' tray unit, similar to the early 147.320 repeater. These spit units are built by combining two Micor mobile radios and mounted into heavy duty racks with beefed up fans for cooling, but they keep going and going!

While not as robust as the full-fledged Micor Unichassis repeater, the 'split' tray units have served ARRG well for many years. As each split tray unit has failed over the last few years, we’ve done our best (within our budget) to replace the Micor units with a generation or two newer Motorola models like the MSR-2000 and MSF-5000 repeater lines. ARRG has already upgraded a few repeaters to the MSR-2000 model (which by the way are still old, being built from 1982 to 1990). The team has also been slowly purchasing MSF-5000 repeaters, which are synthesized and built from 1992 to about 2000.

While the team does have a couple Yaesu System Fusion Repeaters on the air, it is my opinion that the Yaesu DR1X and DR2X are not a good replacement solution for many of our repeaters, which operate at very remote sites, which have to endure antenna issues resulting in high SWR, power hits and lightning strikes; the Yaesu system is simply not commercial grade or as robust as a Micor, MSR-2000, MSF-5000, Quantar or MTR series of repeaters.

The fact that the System Fusion repeaters are made up of two FTM-400 mobiles, placed in a 19” rack with some extra heat sink and fans is worrisome to me, especially when our own DR1X repeater lost its finals only 6 months after we installed it at our Sylvan site and had to go back for warranty service.

The Plan Going Forward

With the help of our Member's and Repeater Users who donate to the South Saddle Repeater Upgrade Fund, our hope is to completely replace both the 147.320 and 442.325 repeaters with brand new repeaters, or if the fund will not allow new repeaters, at least purchase two current production models; which guaranty parts availability for the next decade or more.

 New repeaters run about $3500 each, while slightly used or refurbished units run around $1500-$1700 each. We want to look at the new MTR line, but we are familiar with the lower cost Quantar model. Also, you'll be happy to know that as plan out our purchase, we will be looking for a model which can operate narrowband for future upgrades, but also must operate in the current FM Analog mode that all of our current mobiles and portables use today. There will be no need to upgrade your gear just to use our system.

I know this posting was quite long and sometimes a bit technical, however, I felt it was important to provide our users and member supporters with all of the information as it currently stands. I know this this letter was long, but I felt it was important to be as detailed as possible, especially since we are asking our members to chip in quite a bit of change to update the repeater system at South Saddle. For me and other ARRG leaders, the South Saddle site holds a special spot in our hearts; not only is it vital for daily and emergency communications, it stands ready to provide a working lifeline during a natural disaster, but the biggest reason why it is so special to ARRG is because this is where the K7RPT repeater system was born. From a single home-built repeater installed over 43 years at South Saddle to the twenty or so repeaters we have on the air today, without South Saddle, the K7RPT repeater system would not have existed.

The Current System might fail before we can get replacements installed 

People who rely on the South Saddle system for their daily communications, Nets, Training and Emergency Comms should be aware that the repair we made last Sunday and other repairs made clear back through July 2017, are simply temporary fixes, and could fail again at any time. The problem is that we are now out of stock on the parts and modules that will be required for a future rescue, all of our old purchase channels have gone dry as groups have dumped the Micor line (and their stock of used parts) many years ago.

In closing, during the next two  months, while listening to your favorite Net, you are going hear requests asking you to make a donation to the 2018 South Saddle 147.320/442.325 Upgrade Project, please consider making a starting donation and help us get the fund off the ground sooner, rather then later.

You can donate to the fund online by using your Debit or Credit Card by clicking on the DONATE NOW link below.

Or you can snail mail a personal check, made out to ARRG, Inc. (please write ‘SS Repeater Fund’ in the memo line) and mail it to

P.O. Box 91213, Portland, Oregon 97291

One Hundred percent of your donation will go directly to the South Saddle Upgrade Project. The goal is to reach around $4k as soon as possible, so we can order one or even both repeaters and get them here on the bench, so we can start to align and test them with our ARCOM controllers and get them installed at the South Saddle site. Any leftover funds will go to towards upgrading other K7RPT repeaters.

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments about the project.

Feel free to contact me direct at w7pm@arrg.org

73, 

Marc Peterson, W7PM

President & Technical Lead ARRG, Inc. 


Repeater Upgrade Fund

You decide, from $1 to $1000.

ARRG is an approved Oregon Charity and is a 501 (c)3 Public Service Team. All donations are usually tax deductible.

Click in the donate button to securely donate any amount to the Repeater Upgrade Project.

Your donation to ARRG (we are an official non-profit 501(C)3) is tax deductible.

 
 ride,
December 29, 2017, the K7RPT Repeater Technical Team will be installing a new 2018 model Yaesu DR2X System Fusion Repeater up at our Sylvan KOIN site.
The new repeater will be replacing the older Yaesu DR1X 442.225 machine.
The new repeater will set to auto mode select, which means Analog FM in spits out Analog FM out. Use C4FM DN (Digital Narrow) or VW (Voice Wide) in to the machine and it will retransmit the proper digital only signal. FM Users should be using full CTCSS encode and decode so as not to be bothered by the C4FM digital noise. The new repeater will still be operated on 442.225 + 100.0hz and will continue to be linked fulltime the 444.400 + 100.0Hz (Analog FM only) on Chehalem Ridge. For those in Hillsboro or Forest Grove, we might be trying to link the Sylvan/Chehalem system into the South Saddle 442.350 + 114.8Hz (TBA).
 
 

Repeater Location & expected signal coverage area

Freq

Shift

Tone

Elev

Repeater Facts  EchoLink/IRLP/Autopatch comments

CEDAR MILL Portland West Hills

Covers West Portland, Beaverton, Tigard, Aloha and Hillsboro. Open to all, but home of Beaverton CERT. BCREPT Weekly Net Monday's at 8PM

147.380

443.750

+

+

100.0

100.0

617

613

Linked fulltime to 443.750

Linked fulltime to 147.380

ECHOLINK NODE:  K7RPT-R

CENTRAL OREGONCinder Butte

Redmond -covers Madras, Prineville, Bend & Sisters.

147.040

+

114.8

896

Part of the Mt. Hood /Timberline System. Linked  f/t to 147.120  and to 442.225  on Eagle Butte.

ECHOLINK NODE:  AC7QE-R

CENTRAL OREGONEagle Butte

Warm Springs – Wide Area from Timberline, Madras, Sisters and Bend.

442.225

+

114.8

3900

Part of the Mt. Hood Timberline System. Linked f/t to 147.120  Mt. Hood and 147.040 on  Eagle Butte.

ECHOLINK NODE:  AC7QE-R

CHEHALEM RIDGE  Portland Metro

Also covers some of Newberg, Salem, Beaverton & Hillsboro. Part of the KOIN 442.225 System

444.400

+

100.0

1351

Part of the KOIN 442.225 System. Linked fulltime to 442.225 at KOIN.

LA GRANDE Mount Fanny

147.260

+

103.5

7200

Wide Ares -Covers I-84 from Cabbage Hill to Baker City.

MEDFORD – John’s Peak (Off air)

147.020

+

100.0

1760

DOWN- Lost SITE due to S/K, need new permanent site

MOUNT HOOD – Timberline Lodge

Mt. Hood Wilderness Area

147.120

444.225

+

+

100.0

100.0

7100

7100

Linked to 444.225

Linked f/t to the Cinder Butte 147.040 and Eagle Butte 442.225

ECHOLINK NODE:  AC7QE-R

PENDLETON Deadman Pass

145.330

-

103.5

3600

As of Nov  2017, off air, repeater is being rebuilt back in the Portland Shop.

PORTLAND- Sylvan Hill  KOIN TX Tower

  -System Fusion Digi/Analog repeater is on 442.225 + 100hz. At 7:25PM daily the 147.040 auto links to the 147.320 South Saddle repeater to carry the nightly ARES D1 Net.

Portland - West Side Spare

147.040

442.225

444.125

+

+

+

 

100.0

100.0

 114.8

980

980

657

147.040 IRLP NODE  #7959

442.225 is a multimode Analog FM and C4FM SYSTEM FUSION repeater.

SKYLINE KATU Tower

Covers West Portland, Beaverton and Hillsboro

147.380

+

114.8

950

On Standby - Emergency Backup Repeater for Beaverton CERT

SOUTH SADDLE MOUNTAIN

PDX 2 Coast - Home of the 730 PM ARES D1 Net

Saddle System Fusion

ECHOLINK NODE:  K7RPT-L

147.320

442.325

442.350

+

+

+

100.0

100.0

114.8

3100

3100

3100

Linked fulltime to 442.325

Linked fulltime to 147.320

System Fusion in AMS mode: FM, DN and VW Modes

ECHOLINK NODE:  K7RPT-L

WICKIUP MTN.  Astoria-Coast Range

Expands the ARES District 1 Nightly Net into  Clatsop County

146.720

-

114.8 

2900

Linked fulltime to  the South Saddle 147.320 System

Other ARRG Affiliated Repeaters - W7PM Repeater

442.250

+

100.0

1100

 

W7PM Yaesu Fusion Repeater 


Thank you for your continued support of our repeaters. Contact Webmaster



Public Service through Technology

As an Oregon Non Profit 501C (3) public service organization, the Amateur Radio Relay Group (ARRG) builds and maintains the 17 wide area VHF/UHF repeater systems that make up the K7RPT System.  ARRG offers all types of Public Service support by providing quality communications facilities to State and Local Emergency Preparedness Teams such as ARES, CERT and several Search & Rescue Groups, all at no charge to that agency or group. When our repeaters are not being used for emergency training or daily Nets, they are open to any licensed Ham in our Community.  In an effort to support our community during times of emergency, we have the equipment and trained people who can set up a mobile Net Control/Dispatch Center within a just a few hours time. Annually, we also provide ARRG Volunteers and radio gear to many special events like the annual Hood to Coast race, Reach the Beach race, Cycle for Life Ride, Race for the Cure, Portland Marathon and even more!


Web Hosting for ARRG is provided as a Public Service by our friends over at
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   Just a reminder that ARRG up to the minute news and events are always announced first via our
FACEBOOK page. 

ARRG is an ARRL Affiliated Club
.