eHam.net - Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net



[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams

from Mark Stennett on February 21, 2010
Website: http://rfprojector.com/txvhffm/index.php?poll=1
View comments about this article!

Texas VHF-FM Society Seeks Opinion
on DStar Coordination

If you are a licensed amateur who resides in the state of Texas, The Texas VHF-FM Society would like to hear from you. The Society has been coordinating digital repeaters including D Star systems on certain simplex frequencies on 2 meters in select areas of Texas. These co-ordinations have been issued for the past three and a half years on an interim basis until such time as a formal band plan can be adopted The time has come to formally adopt a plan.

Traditional repeater pairs in some major metropolitan areas are unavailable for coordination while there are a number of individuals and clubs who are expressing interest in putting digital technology on the air in these areas. To meet the demand, the Society proposes coordinating digital repeater systems on 2 meters as follows:

The Coordination Committee has been issuing on an interim basis, coordination for Digital repeater systems in the upper 50 kHz of the VHF simplex spectrum, using 1 MHz split with 10 kHz channel spacing. This proposal affects only 2 meters and only in areas where traditional repeater pairs are unavailable. Digital systems coordinated on these frequencies will be moved to traditional channels as they become available. The Coordination Committee will coordinate digital repeater systems on the following five pairs:

146.450/147.450 MHz
146.460/147.460 MHz
146.470/147.470 MHz
146.480/147.480 MHz
146.490/147.490 MHz

On an interim basis while a formal band plan is proposed and ratified. These coordinated systems will protect existing analog systems with regard to interference and spacing issues. These frequencies will not be used to coordinate analog systems. Digital systems will be coordinated on traditional repeater channels where practical and placed on the waiting list where traditional repeater channels are unavailable at the time of coordination.

This topic is discussed in the Society's Spring 2007 Newsletter. Click -here- to read it in its entirety.

Update: On August 2, 2008, the general membership voted to extend the provisional status of this band plan recommendation for an additional two years (ending Summer meeting 2010). The purpose of the extension is to ensure enough time to complete the vested member poll and have the general membership vote on the band plan change. Please watch for more information on this proposed band plan change in future newsletters. For more information, please contact president@txvhffm.org

To participate in the poll, please click this link:  http://rfprojector.com/txvhffm/index.php?poll=1

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by KG4RUL on February 21, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
While I don't live in Texas, I feel compelled to comment. IF there is a valid need for D-STAR repeaters, coordinate them in the repeater portions of the 70CM band. Or, better yet, try 1.2GHz and get the high data rates that have long been touted for D-STAR. Leave 2M simplex ALONE!!!
 
RE: Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by AA5TB on February 21, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I am a Texas ham. In short, I'm opposed to the plan.

The proposed plan uses up spectrum set aside for simplex operation by agreed upon band plans. I feel it isn't necessary to lose a lot of simplex analog spectrum when there are so many analog repeaters that see almost no use these days. Unused repeaters are the real problem, not that there isn't enough spectrum.

If someone wanted to put up an analog repeater on 2 m these days for even important purposes they wouldn't be offered the same opportunity to use simplex frequencies so in that regard I don't think the plan is fair. A fair method may be to revisit the band plan altogether in light of the newer technologies. Just taking spectrum doesn't seem right. In some areas there is a lot of simplex activity and those users wouldn't automatically become "problems" in the eyes of the digital repeater users.

By the way, judging by the strong digital transmissions heard on various simplex frequencies I wonder if this "plan" is already in use.

73,
Steve - AA5TB
 
RE: Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by AA5TB on February 21, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Okay, I see in the first paragraph that the plan is already in use on an interim basis. I missed that the first read through.

Steve - AA5TB
 
RE: Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by N5XTR on February 21, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I am a Texas amateur.

I know of 2 locals amateurs that have D-Star radios. They had an Echolink node setup on D-Star and they were the only ones who could hear the RF output. D-star technology is out of the price range for many amateurs. So if the Dallas metro has this much D-Star activity, then go for it. But in Lubbock (pop 300k), it will make no difference. Rarely is there any activity on 2 meter FM. Most folks use 1.25 meters or 70 centimeters.
 
RE: Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by KF6QEX on February 21, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
>the plan is already in use on an interim basis.
Well...it is Texas and both sides of the argument have second amendment rights :)

Someday D-star might be as commonplace as all-mode dual band mobile rigs...but I don't believe this day is here yet.

It should probably be continued on an interim basis until the D-Star people find a newer technology to get excited about.

 
RE: Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by KC8VWM on February 21, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I think the technology is a great idea and such advances serve to advance the radio art.

But, I am having difficulty with the suggestion there are no available coordinated repeater pairs available for the technology to reside on.

I am feeling this is yet another paper repeater pair issue that needs to be resolved. The solution should not in anyway propose to reduce allocated simplex radio spectrum as the solution to the problem.

Perhaps the proposed polling needs to be conducted and redirected to the local repeater community in that area for consideration. Perhaps the coordinating body should be forced to adopt a policy and send out a letter to any current inactive repeaters that are no longer operating on the air to have their equipment fully functional and on the air in a 60 day period, or else they would loose coordination.

This would reassign the pair and would serve to accommodate the new technology.

I work simplex (as many others who are currently active on VHF in the Kansas City, Joplin, Mo, Oklahoma to Texas VHF corridor) We work into Texas on 2m simplex on a regular basis.

So, I can only conclude this arrangement as it now stands would serve to reduce available simplex spectrum on 2m VHF.

So, should I somehow agree to that suggestion?

Although I am willing to embrace the technology, I suspect it's a very high probability there are likely other possibilities that have yet to be pursued and exhausted in the frequency coordination equation.

73 de Charles - KC8VWM EM16xd
 
RE: Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by N5YPJ on February 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I guess that this poll isn't open to all hams or maybe the poll takers aren't liking the results they are getting so they rigged something.

I've been assigned N5YPJ since at least 1992 with no lapses in license expiration. When trying to answer the poll this is the reply I get -

" This callsign was not found to be registered with the FCC. If your callsign is new, please allow our system 48 hours to update."

Why waste my time if you really don't want my answer, this is probably going to get railroaded down our throats anyway so stop trying to make it look right by taking a poll that doesn't even work!
 
Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by K1DA on February 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
A number of us in southern New England, having been chased off other legit simplex frequencies by unco-ordinated repeaters which the wimps won't do anything about, have settled on 147.49. We aren't moving. It's that simple. That's why we buy big amps. BTW 6 or 7 of us on simplex only "tie up" ONE frequency, vs TWO for an "over to you in the side pocket" repeater, which has the same palaver on it that all the others have.
 
RE: Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by N5XTR on February 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I cannot submit my vote either. Same response as N5YJP. No wonder these guys get the nickname Texas VHF F 'em Society.
 
RE: Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by K1DA on February 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Apparently these digital droids only want to hear from hams in TEXAS. Maybe digital repeaters have some secret way of not crossing state lines. SO, they'll take an opinion from someone who lives at the other end of the state but reject one from someone in Louisiana, HALF as far away. Go figure. Same thing happens here. The co-ordination group "next door" to us puts repeaters on ARRL simplex frequencies we have used for years and when pressed their answer is "well WE don't use them that way". And the rf doesn't cross state lines, right?
 
RE: Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by K9MHZ on February 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I love D-Star, and anything digital and new. 2 meters is not the place for growth....really bad idea. Go up in freq and plant yourselves on an under-utilized band....more bandwidth there, anyway.
 
RE: Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by KF6QEX on February 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
N5YPJ: Are you sure you were going to vote the right way? Try changing your mind and then submitting your vote :)



 
RE: Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by N5YPJ on February 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
KF6QEX: ROFLMAO. Sounds like the Louisiana political system I grew up in. Will give it a try . TNX & 73.
 
RE: Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by KF6QEX on February 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
They might have fixed it. At least it realized I am not from Texas :)

"According to the FCC your callsign is not registered in Texas, which is a requirement of this poll. If this is incorrect, please update your FCC address and allow our system 48 hours to reflect your changes."

But ... what prevents someone to grab a call book and start punching in Texas callsigns ?
 
Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by AC2FV on February 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Just curious... in the northeast 2m seems to be the most used. I travel alot, and noticed that 70 cm gets the most use pretty much everywhere else. Any reason why, or it just is what it is?
kc2ozm
 
RE: Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by K5WW on February 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Apparently, I no longer live in TX either:

"According to the FCC your callsign is not registered in Texas, which is a requirement of this poll. If this is incorrect, please update your FCC address and allow our system 48 hours to reflect your changes".

Is it that you DON'T want votes from Texans, maybe?
 
RE: Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by K6AER on February 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
The problem I have with D-Star is it is not an open source format that other manufactures can produce radios to.

The D-Star format offers no higher performance than narrow band FM communication. This is a manufacturer’s solution in search of a problem and is market driven for the sake of sales only. Listen on 2 meters and 95% of the time the repeaters are not in use. Most areas have more repeaters than hams to use them. Even in Southern California the repeaters see little use in a 24 hours period.

Just last year ICOM was giving away D-Star repeaters in order to jump start their radio sales. Why should a priority format be given executive status to any spectrum?
 
RE: Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by K5CQB on February 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I didn't have a problem submitting my vote. I also agree that of the existing repeaters, very few are used or used often enough to justify going outside the band plan. If new equipment is going to be needed then that is a double bonus for 70cm or 1.2g. If I would have to buy new equipment then I would rather buy it and experiment on a new band.
 
RE: Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by K1DA on February 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Air Force (Pave Paws) long range radar on Cape Cod has limited 440 erp for a big half circle around southern New England. The repeaters hear well but can only run a few watts. Same thing on the left coast.
BTW for those of you "for ANYTHING NEW AND DIGITAL"
the coverage from the trendy new digital TV stations has been LESS than exciting. Very clear, though (IF you can get it)

A repeater is a repeater, if it has bleep coverage, it is a bleep repeater, no matter what trendy mode it is on.
 
Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by WD3T on February 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
What part of the band plan do you not understand? Simplex freq's, leave them alone. You want to replace an existing repeater with one of these so be it, other wise go Peddle them else where's. It's a lot like legal and ilegal which part do you not understand? If there's no room wait till a repeater owner wishes to replace with these or a Club, in the 2 meter repeater freq's not simplex. Or place on another band less used up to utilzed the band. It's like when we lostpart of the 1.25 meter band instead of you guys using the good sense that god gave to you and put new novice or techs on that band to ocupy it you wanted to do other thingsand we lost it. So if 2 meters it full, flip the band switch and use another band.
 
RE: Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by K6AER on February 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Not to go winging off subject too far.....if a hamster repeater can take down the Air Forces coveted Pave Paws RADAR then all the bad guys have to do is buy some cheep ham repeaters and turn them on.

I remember when the Russia went to great lengths to take down and defeat our early warning system. Who would have ever thought that HRO would be a major supplier of military jamming equipment.
 
RE: Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by WA6ITF on February 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Ive written several articles regarding this situation on a national basis over the past three years -- and Ill repeat the basic tenant again here.

In my view, just because a new mode comes along should not mean that it gets some special treatment above and beyond already established modes. In the case of digital audio repeaters -- be they D-Star, P-25, or whatever: The answer from the coordinator(s) has to be "...fill out the application, get in line and wait your turn." And if "waiting your turn" means waiting 5 or 10 years as many hams did who wanted to put up FM repeaters in some localities where all channel pairs were in use -- then so be it. That's always the way it has been and there's no reason to change it now.

As to existing owners of analog repeaters who want a second frequency pair for va digital audio machine, the answer from the coordinator has to be: "... if you want a D-Star, P-25 or whatever digital machine, then take your existing analog repeater off the air and use the same channel pair for your digital repeater." As far as I am concerned, any group or individual that's asking for a separate set of frequencies just to add a digital machine in addition to their analog FM machine are proverbial "channel hogs."

Simply said: In areas where there are no available channel pairs for new digital -- or analog repeaters -- then that should be the repeater activity cap until an existing machine decides to go away at which time the channel pair should be awarded to the next in line who has patiently waited and not to a new mode only because its a new mode. Nor should simplex users be forced to suffer to placate the desires of those who want more repeaters -- analog or digital. -- de WA6ITF
 
RE: Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by W2MB on February 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I'm under the impression that D-STAR technology is open source and available to all. I use both D-STAR and analog fm voice here in NW NJ. I feel that D-STAR repeater systems should NOT displace analog simplex use, but replace analog repeater systems as the technology evolves.
 
RE: Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by K9MHZ on February 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
>>>>by K1DA on February 22, 2010
Air Force (Pave Paws) long range radar on Cape Cod has limited 440 erp for a big half circle around southern New England. The repeaters hear well but can only run a few watts. Same thing on the left coast.
BTW for those of you "for ANYTHING NEW AND DIGITAL"<<<<


Who ever suggested that 440 is the only option for those hams living around Beale or Hanscom?

Brad
K9MHZ
 
RE: Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by K9MHZ on February 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Oops....I mean Otis, not Hanscom.
 
RE: Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by K9MHZ on February 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
>>>>K1DA wrote....A repeater is a repeater, if it has bleep coverage, it is a bleep repeater, no matter what trendy mode it is on.<<<<


A very, very broad and mostly incorrect statement.


Brad
K9MHZ
 
RE: Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by N1DVJ on February 23, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
>>>>K1DA wrote....A repeater is a repeater, if it has bleep coverage, it is a bleep repeater, no matter what trendy mode it is on.<<<<

>A very, very broad and mostly incorrect statement.
>
>Brad
>K9MHZ

Brad,

What part of the word 'repeater' don't you understand?
 
Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by N9NFB on February 23, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Although you'll hear "there are no open frequency pairs available", from a technical standpoint, there are a huge number of available pairs.

The first problem is poorly specified spacing requirements. Single site / single TX repeaters in WI have a range of about 10 miles, maybe 30 miles for the souper-station repeaters. I occasionally participate in a local weekly FM simplex net, where "extreme contester types" in about a 40 mile range all talk, I'm describing the "30 foot antenna" and "1.5 KW" and "100 foot tower" crowd here. An average repeater with average user stations (HTs, etc) is basically limited to a county, figure 10 miles, although there are extreme home stations that can work repeaters 50+ miles away, more or less.

So, from a strict engineering standpoint, I'd say a reasonable repeater geographic spacing would be about 30 miles on the same pair with different PL/CTCSS tones. What is the "legal requirement" from our local repeater coordination council? 90 miles instate, 120 miles out of state, and 40 miles on adjacent channels. With those insane requirements I'm surprised there are any repeaters in the entire state.... Basically, by design, about 90% of the repeater subbands are dead in any given area, because the nearest machine is 100 miles away, etc.

Another perspective, is to work 120 miles on sideband on a regular basis, you need something around a rooftop tower and around a "TV antenna size" antenna and around 100 watts and some low loss coax, in all ways, massively outclassing 99.9999999% of FM users, most of whom are doing the "shack on a belt" thing with a HT, or at most a quarterwave on a car a yard off the ground with 50 watts.

The other huge failure is multiple assignments. There are one or two repeaters where the carrier never seems to drop, almost 24x7. MOST repeaters of course are idle 99.999% of the time. How many unused repeaters can be placed on one frequency? Well, in theory, thousands of unused repeaters can share a frequency, but more realistically, you could put at least 3 to 5 repeaters co-channel and no one would notice, especially given CTCSS. There are a few experiments with co-channel DSTAR and analog going on now, not in this area, but nearby, sounds like a good idea.

In the old days, changing frequencies required ordering new crystals and aligning the vacuum tube oscillators, add the cost of each member's rigs together and changing freqs was probably thousands of dollars. Its not quite so impressive anymore, a minute of typing at most. So, if one pair is bad, move, no big deal.

In my opinion 70s style state-wide coordination should make way for a more modern technique... Maybe based on a nationwide database, you send in a request, and get the five pairs with the most distant coordinated repeaters, you have six months to settle on one of the five pairs. Forbid broadcasting an ID every ten unless the repeater is actually being used, require CTCSS/PL on input and output of old fashioned FM repeaters. Its all no big deal...

73 de Vince N9NFB
 
Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by AA8X on February 23, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Dstar is Icom's priority operating system and must not mingle with current 2 and 450 repeater systems. Dstar should only be use in the 1.2GHz band.
 
RE: Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by W8JI on February 23, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Vince,

Your spacing plans and PL plans will not work.

To be useful a repeater has to have significant height and sensitivity. Otherwise the people using the repeater could just use simplex. A 30 mile spacing is only a 15 mile radius. Most repeaters that fit that criteria of being hand-held workable at 10-15 miles are easily workable with a normal mobile at 30 miles or more, and workable from home stations at 50 miles or more.

PL also does not stop QRM, and so PL would not allow closer spacing without forcing interference on other systems. PL only makes the repeater not come up, it does not eliminate QRM from two stations on the same input or output frequency.

It sounds to me like the real problem is there are too many short range personal or "friends and family" repeaters, too many repeaters that are off the air but coordinated, and those systems need to disappear or move to shared frequencies.
 
Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by K0RGR on February 23, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Yes, there are way, way, way too many dead repeaters, and even more 'paper' ones.

We should petition FCC to require a separate license for each individual repeater, and require an annual fee of $100 to maintain the license. Bring back the 'WR' callsigns!

I predict that within about 2 years, there would be all kinds of available repeater pairs! And those that remained or came on the air would actually be used.

By letting people hog frequencies that they don't need, we've successfully strangled all the growth in FM, and pretty well killed it.
 
Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by K8GJP on February 23, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Im not from Texas but I have to say leave the simplex frequencies alone.If someone wants a D-Star repeater let them wait for a frequency pair just like all the analog users have too.You go and start taking simplex frequencies in Texas and people everywhere will want to do the same.I would also suggest as another ham said also, use a band that is under utilized for d-star like 70cm.
just my 2 cents..
 
RE: Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by SCUBA on February 23, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Hi K0RGR, Sir, well stated. In light of your query, may I further ask the repeater authorities...

Large TX county, home of a repeater graveyard.

I mean no disrespect to repeater owners.

Why must an inactive repeaters' frequencies remain encumbered until the owner either gives up those frequencies (not gonna happen) or until the death of the owner?

Do the heirs (or estate) of a deceased repeater owner have the right to keep those repeater frequencies blocked?

Why can't an inactive repeater's frequencies be made available (to a new repeater owner) after a number of consecutive inactive years?

Why are [some] repeaters allowed to transmit a carrier continuously for years?
 
RE: Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by N5YPJ on February 23, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I'm not very familiar with D-star technology but there are bandwidth issues on the lower frequencies like 2 meters that don't allow for the use of the 128 KB digital data mode. I don't know then why the 1.2 Ghz band isn't being utilized to get the maximum performance out of D-star besides having quiet a bit of unused space up there that the FCC probably notices every time somebody comes frequency shopping for a new technology - use it or lose it. 1.2 Ghz is the place for D-star.
 
Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by K9EX on February 23, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I think this is a bad idea. Why are simplex frequencies viewed as less important? There is a fair amount of simplex activity here in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area and with new hams joining our ranks daily, we could use more simplex frequencies, not less. Simplex requires greater communications skills and fosters an interest in better antennas and other VHF modes such as SSB and weak signal work. Plus, there are simply many hams who are not interested in clubs or organizations and prefer simplex as a more personalized and relaxed way to communicate with no time limits on transmissions. As others have pointed out, there are way too many unused repeaters already wasting the spectrum. Simplex is a extremely valuable (and appreciated) form of communication and the hobby can benefit in many ways from more simplex use vs more frequencies lost to unused repeaters.
 
RE: Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by N5XO on February 23, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
As a Texas HAM and someone who looked at setting up a 2 meter repeater this past year, I am 100% against this band plan proposal.

WE DO NOT NEED MORE REPEATER FREQ, we need some ACTUAL COORDINATION of what we have. In San Antonio region alone I was able in 20 minutes to find 13 repeaters that are keeping a freq tied up and that have not been active for over 5 years, there are more than have not been active for the past 2 years.

Clean out and use those repeater frequencies and STAY AWAY FROM THE simplex freq. I'm a member of a large group of simplex users, we enjoy 2 meter simplex and prefer to have quality stations and not use local repeaters unless needed for mobil to mobil operation.

If all of the coordinated repeaters were operational and we were out of frequencies then this might be a different story, but as it sits now there is no moral, or logical reason to attack the simplex freq portion of the band to steal from it.

If a repeater has been off the air for over 24 months {2 years} then pass that freq onto a new repeater that needs to make use of it.

It's THAT SIMPLE.
 
Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by KK8ZZ on February 23, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Common Icom.. D-Star is great, but financially avialable to only the hams with the most available disposable income.. we can;t afford this new tecnology... cheaper to have fun on HF...
 
Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by K9CTB on February 23, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I agree with many others. I'm not a Texas ham, but this issue will rear its head elsewhere if it hasn't already.

Let 'em play digital on the repeater sub-bands like everyone else. 2 meter simplex has a valid reason for its existence. Some don't like the citizens' band that (2 meter) repeaters have become. ECOM and special events are a valid use for simplex channels, particularly on 2 meters.
 
RE: Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by K0FF on February 23, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Thank god the CW sections of 6 and 2 meters are for CW only, no digital, rtty etc. allowed.

Frequency "coordinators" should be SSB and CW operators, not just repeater operators.

Geo>K0FF
 
RE: Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by K1DA on February 23, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Perhaps K9MHZ can explain HIS vague statement. I'll stick with " a repeater with lousy transmit and receive coverage is a lousy repeater, no matter WHAT tricks it
is proposed to do and what 'new and exciting' mode it uses." Backyard repeaters, in particular, do NOT belong on 2 meter simplex frequencies which skilled amateurs use to talk 40 or 50 miles WITHOUT tying up repeater pairs.
 
Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by KB5WVK on February 24, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
If it's not open source, we don't want it.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
 
Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by K5JWK on February 24, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Rumor has it that there a ton of repeater pairs unused if not unknown. Folks want to set up a repeater but can't get frequencies even though they probably exist. Suggest we expend our energies policing the unused frequency sets and use that area before we move into the simplex area.
 
Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by KE5RCX on February 24, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
It seems like D-Star could better take advantage of the higher bandwidth bands, so 70cm, 33cm, or even 23cm suits D-Star better. FM voice doesn't get better on 70cm but D-Star could have faster data transfers if they were on 70cm, 33cm, or 23cm. More is gained from D-Star when it’s used on a higher bandwidth band.

With that in mind, it doesn’t make sense to give special treatment to D-Star on 2m unless there are some very compelling propagation issues, ECOM need, or a large population of D-Star uses in the area. D-Star should not have special priority or treatment for coordination when it comes to 2m.
 
Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by AC5WO on February 24, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Voted No in the poll without any difficulty.

I enjoy 2m simplex along with repeater operation and would like to see the upper simplex frequencies preserved. Between Packet, APRS, and 145.8-145.8MHz auxiliary, the number of simplex frequencies available in the lower half of the 2m band has been gradually reduced.

Here in the DFW area all available repeater pairs in both the 2m and 70cm have been coordinated. However, parts of the 70cm band are underused. Bet we could find room for extra repeaters in the 445-446/440-441MHz and 438-440/433-435MHz band segments.
 
RE: Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by KC8VWM on February 24, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Since when does repeater coordinating bodies have the authority to start coordinating simplex frequencies.

??
 
RE: Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by W4CNG on February 24, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
There are too many "Paper Repeaters" still listed across the country. If the various "Repeater Co-Ordinating Groups" would get off of their back sides and Enforce their written rules, most of these issues would not surface and more Functional Repeaters could be brought on air. I have sent more than one set of Paper Repeaters in Georgia to the SERA with NO results in the findings, but an article in the CVRA Journal with no results. Go get/kick the Co-Ordinators off their butts and into Co-Ordination and the issues will clear themselves.
 
RE: Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by K4FH on February 25, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
"The other huge failure is multiple assignments. There are one or two repeaters where the carrier never seems to drop, almost 24x7. MOST repeaters of course are idle 99.999% of the time. How many unused repeaters can be placed on one frequency? Well, in theory, thousands of unused repeaters can share a frequency, but more realistically, you could put at least 3 to 5 repeaters co-channel and no one would notice, especially given CTCSS. There are a few experiments with co-channel DSTAR and analog going on now, not in this area, but nearby, sounds like a good idea. "


The problem around here is that we have repeaters not being used but when they are being used they are all being used at the same time by different people.

Drive time is a prime example. At 10:30 am all repeaters could be dead silent but at 4:30pm they could be busy. How would you co-channel that traffic?
 
Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by K9CTB on February 25, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I like what K4FH said:

"MOST repeaters of course are idle 99.999% of the time."

I'm not sure about the math, but here in Indianapolis, there are more than two repeaters which are hardly used in the 2 meter band. Perhaps an investigative "coordinating body" could look into the possibility that some of that idle equipment could be augmented with DSTAR apparatus and it'd be a win-win. The repeater itself would get more usage and there wouldn't be a whole lot of head-scratching as digi-guys search for a place to set up shop. Trustees would need to be willing to talk about it, and the 2 or three hams dedicated to "that repeater" would have to make a new repeater home, but if someone would at least consider the dialog ...
 
RE: Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by KG4RUL on February 25, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Once again - What is wrong with D-STAR repeaters being coordinated on 70CM and 1.2GHz. Lots of room and high data rates on 1.2GHz.
 
Dead Repeaters, Encumbered Frequencies in TX  
by SCUBA on February 25, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
SUBJECT: Long Dead Repeaters - Long Encumbered Frequencies

Well, well, well.
Digging around through the regulations, this was found.
http://www.txvhffm.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=30&Itemid=38

"VII. ... Revocation of coordination shall be for the five following reasons:
1. Any system which is inactive for longer than three months shall be subject to review by the Zone Coordinator for possible revocation and re-assignment of the frequency."

What about systems that have been dead longer than 3 months, eg. 3 years or more? Are there exceptions to policy that allow these "Frequency Owners" to continue to "own" these frequencies way longer than 3 months? If so, what and why?

Mr. Stennett, is there any possibility you could answer questions raised subsequent to the article you posted?
 
RE: Dead Repeaters, Encumbered Frequencies in TX  
by KU5Q on February 26, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
"Dead Repeaters, Encumbered Frequencies in TX Reply
by SCUBA on February 25, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
SUBJECT: Long Dead Repeaters - Long Encumbered Frequencies

Well, well, well.
Digging around through the regulations, this was found.
http://www.txvhffm.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=30&Itemid=38

"VII. ... Revocation of coordination shall be for the five following reasons:
1. Any system which is inactive for longer than three months shall be subject to review by the Zone Coordinator for possible revocation and re-assignment of the frequency."

What about systems that have been dead longer than 3 months, eg. 3 years or more? Are there exceptions to policy that allow these "Frequency Owners" to continue to "own" these frequencies way longer than 3 months? If so, what and why?

Mr. Stennett, is there any possibility you could answer questions raised subsequent to the article you posted?"

=======================================================

Scuba/Jack,

Read 47CFR § 97.205. Also read Bill Cross W3TN comments from his address of repeater coordination at 49th Dayton Hamvention, and the Terry D'wana Letter.

Coordination is voluntary. *Coordinators have no FCC regulatory authority*. Here are some comments from Bill Cross;

"There is no Commission rule requiring approval of a frequency coordinator before a repeater goes on the air."

"Frequency coordinators derive their recognition from the voluntary participation of the local or regional amateur service community. We do not tell you who your frequency coordinator is. The frequency coordinator is responsible to you - it is not responsible to the FCC."

"The FCC does not recognize or regulate local or regional frequency coordinators, per se."

"As long as you do not cause harmful interference to another station, however, you can put your repeater on the air. Section 97.205 provides the authority. The licensee of the repeater station is responsible for
that station."

"A frequency coordinator does not have the authority tell any licensee that he or she may not put a repeater on the air. Telling you that would in essence, restrict what your license authorizes. Only the Commission can do that. The coordinator's decision is to coordinate your station or to not coordinate your station."

"There are no Commission rules governing the selection of a coordinator or the procedures for coordination. The technical standards a coordinator uses such as distance separation, propagation models, channels spacing etc are not FCC standards are not in the rules. If the standards a coordinator is using are "wrong" in some sense, tell the coordinator."

Part 97 rules still prevail.....

The entire letter can be found;

http://www.thenfcc.org/billcross1.pdf

and other places.

Also read;

http://www.thenfcc.org/d_wana_terry_letter.pdf

======================================================

The following confuses some people, but shouldn't if they read carefully what it says, and do not "read into it" something that is not there;

from 47CFR § 97.205 Repeater station, para.(c)

"(c) Where the transmissions of a repeater cause harmful interference to another repeater, the two station licensees are equally and fully responsible for resolving the interference unless the operation of one station is recommended by a frequency coordinator and the operation of the other station is not. In that case, the licensee of the non-coordinated repeater has primary responsibility to resolve the interference."



The FCC regulations are also clear who in the Amateur Radio Service may be a repeater station, and where repeaters *MAY NOT* operate;

47CFR §97.205 Repeater station.

"(a) Any amateur station licensed to a holder of a Technician, General, Advanced or Amateur Extra Class operator license may be a repeater. A holder of a Technician, General, Advanced or Amateur Extra Class operator license may be the control operator of a repeater, subject to the privileges of the class of operator license held.

(b) A repeater may receive and retransmit only on the 10 m and shorter wavelength frequency bands except the 28.0-29.5 MHz, 50.0-51.0 MHz, 144.0-144.5 MHz, 145.5-146.0 MHz, 222.00-222.15 MHz, 431.0-433.0 MHz and 435.0-438.0 MHz segments.

(h) The provisions of this paragraph do not apply to repeaters that transmit on the 1.2 cm or shorter wavelength bands. Before establishing a repeater within 16 km (10 miles) of the Arecibo Observatory or before changing the transmitting frequency, transmitter power, antenna height or directivity of an existing repeater, the station licensee must give written notification thereof to the Interference Office, Arecibo Observatory, HC3 Box 53995, Arecibo, Puerto Rico 00612, in writing or electronically, of the technical parameters of the proposal. Licensees who choose to transmit information electronically should e-mail to: prcz@naic.edu.

1. The notification shall state the geographical coordinates of the antenna (NAD-83 datum), antenna height above mean sea level (AMSL), antenna center of radiation above ground level (AGL), antenna directivity and gain, proposed frequency and FCC Rule Part, type of emission, effective radiated power, and whether the proposed use is itinerant. Licensees may wish to consult interference guidelines provided by Cornell University.

2. If an objection to the proposed operation is received by the FCC from the Arecibo Observatory, Arecibo, Puerto Rico, within 20 days from the date of notification, the FCC will consider all aspects of the problem and take whatever action is deemed appropriate. The licensee will be required to make reasonable efforts in order to resolve or mitigate any potential interference problem with the Arecibo Observatory."

No licensee in the Amateur Radio Service owns a frequency. No one.



KU5Q
 
RE: Dead Repeaters, Encumbered Frequencies in TX  
by KF5EGM on February 26, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I do have to agree with a former post...the arrl has already come up with a band plan, that works fine, and while it is not required nor part of fcc regulations, it works for us all, don't stir the pot and make things hard on others by trying to do something "in isolation" that isn't really in isolation. Remember that you don't live in a box, especially with radio. There is plenty of spectrum for repeaters, and if not then there is probably no useful purpose for YET ANOTHER repeater. I, for one, would like to keep as much simplex and other mode available as possible. Even for digital simplex...the truth is that 2 meter is rapidly becoming nothing but a repeater band. Joy. Repeaters. Push button. Talk. Sounds like a telephone to me. Now I live in Oklahoma but I'm in a neighboring state, and from time to time we hear you guys all the way here in okc, really it's not that rare. Every few weeks I'd say, and I'm not one to listen for it. So ... just play nice with the given plan. So many of us use it as it is, why make it difficult...I don't want to end up having things so difficult that every state i go to has a seperate band plan...ick. Could you imagine the chaos? That is the president you would be setting. Always look into the future with any decisions you make and think of what COULD happen. If it sets a president that could have negative results then don't do it. I'm new but can't you guys switch to narrowband? That would leave you LOTS of extra spectrum and not bother anyone.
 
RE: Dead Repeaters, Encumbered Frequencies in TX  
by KC9BQA on February 27, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
It is very good to see so many hams coming to the defense of long-established simplex frequencies. I promote more activity on SSB and FM simplex 2m than anyone I know within several hundred miles. So I'm always glad to hear the "weak-signal" hams talking up what we enjoy so much.

Some of you may know me via www.kc9bqa.com. Thru that website, and especially thru sending out email weekly to a few thousand hams within several hundred miles of me, we're changing weak-signal VHF/UHF for the better in and near WI. There are many solid ideas on my website for improving V/UHF activity levels. If you see something there you think makes sense, then put it to use in your backyard.

Why I'm posting today is to clear up some comments made on Feb. 23 by N9NFB. Now I consider N9NFB a ham friend, and it's been good to see him grow on the weak-signal side of VHF/UHF. (Weak signal defined as beyond the horizon, or DX-type work on VHF/UHF) He has a nice signal on FM simplex, and on 144 MHz SSB, and he tried out a VHF contest back in January.
But this quote from him really could turn guys off from trying VHF/UHF, and I have to clarify a few things.

N9NFB said on Feb. 23rd -- "I occasionally participate in a local weekly FM simplex net, where "extreme contester types" in about a 40 mile range all talk, I'm describing the "30 foot antenna" and "1.5 KW" and "100 foot tower" crowd here. An average repeater with average user stations (HTs, etc) is basically limited to a county, figure 10 miles, although there are extreme home stations that can work repeaters 50+ miles away, more or less."

The weekly FM net he's talking about is on 146.430 at 8pm central every Thursday. I am net control and general pot-stirrer. :) We've had at least 200-250 unique check-ins since I started in July 2008.
Our FM simplex net is hardly "extreme contester types". Out of the 200-250 total that we've heard from, I can only think of 3-4 that have antennas at 100' or higher. 80-90% have antennas in the 30-60' high range. I do love a contest, but I doubt more than 1/3rd of our FM check-ins have ever contested. It's far more just ordinary hams who enjoy a friendly roundtable and want to keep simplex comms alive.
On 146/147 MHz FM, I have a 10' high dual-band omni, up 90'. I can work guys 50-100 miles *simplex* with typical wintertime dead bands. When I tune around, I can often copy repeaters out 100-150 miles with my setup. During the occasional band openings, we can get DX check-ins to the FM simplex net in 100-300 mile range.
I have never used more than 150 watts, any mode, any time, since I got on VHF/UHF in the summer of 2003. I know of nobody who uses a KW on FM. Not sure if I know of any check-ins who even go past 150 watts.
Do you have to be "an extreme home station" to work 50+ miles on repeaters? NO. :) Unless you think extreme is using 50-150 watts with a decent ground plane, up 30-50', with good coax and a clear horizon. Add a vertical beam in the 8-15' boom length range, and you'll really have fun.

Again, I consider N9NFB a ham friend and every new guy to FM simplex or SSB ops on VHF/UHF is important to me. But as the net control in question, I want hams everywhere to know that enjoying weak-signal VHF/UHF is NOT for extreme stations only. Many hams are capable, but few know where/when the activity is. If you don't have this sort of activity in your area, then start it yourself.
 
Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by N6EY on February 27, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Boy, somebody pulled the pin and tossed in a grenade...
 
RE: Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by KV4BL on March 1, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I agree with all who are against giving special treatment to Icom's proprietary (despite claims to the contrary) mode. IMHO, D-Star is a junk mode that is seriously overrated.

I attended a seminar a couple of years ago at a nearby hamfest where the Icom rep who spoke was making claims about how "narrow" the D-Star signal was. Having been on the receiving end of interference from D-Star repeaters operating on frequencies adjacent to analog repeaters, I will say that they don't seem to be all that narrow in bandwidth.

If a repeater is coordinated and maintained in good operating condition, I don't see forcing it off the air, regardless of how little it may or may not be used. If the repeater is one that keys up and drops repeatedly on a regular basis (usually due to no PL), has a poor receiver or transmitter issues, or otherwise shows signs of poor or no maintenance or pride in engineering by its owner, then de-coordinate it if this has gone on for a long time (weeks, months, etc).

With regard to the numerous paper or "ego" repeaters, if they have been coordinated for a year or longer and no repeater has gone up and been maintained in good working order, de-coordinate it.

In Kershaw County, SC, there are two paper repeaters that have been in the repeater directory for years and have never seen the first keydown.
One has been up for ten years (give or take) and the other for at least five or more. That county has no working repeaters and no available pairs for someone who might wish to actually field a working machine.

It seems to me that the coordinators and the ARRL Repeater Directory staff need to start taking someone else's word about status, features, etc on repeaters than just the hams who have coordination status. Looking through any ARRL Repeater Directory for my area, you will find scads of inaccuracies on many repeaters regarding everything from PL tones, auto-patches, and even the current owners for a given repeater. Allowing corrections from other hams who are end-users of these machines (if the machine exists) would make that publication far more useful and accurate than it has been for many years. I mention this because looking through the ARRL Directory or the Repeater Journals (magazines) of various coordinating bodies does not give an accurate portrayal of the machines that are active and in use.
 
Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by WM9V on March 4, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
There is nothing coordinated about it.. and I echo the sentiments of a previous poster who doesn't like the encroachment on the simplex freqs ...
Maybe they should wait until Dstar becomes a non proprietary technology. We have seen this too many times, where amateurs are being asked to move to accommodate a technology that no one wants to buy into.
It's like the next new microsoft operating system.
Why should I have to register my serial number with someone just to use their machine?
Why cant the existing licensees take down their FM
machines ? They wont invest in it either.
The band plan and bandwidth wasn't designed for 1 meg splits. You still can't buy an off the shelf 900 meg amateur radio.
Ask the people who have to deal with municipal 800 meg services and are being forced to reequip just to satiate nextel and the fcc.
Buy a cell phone , the federal government will give you one for free now.
 
Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by AD5KL on March 11, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
The 2M frequency assignment problem is much like television station allocation problems in metro areas. You have a handful of actually-watched stations, and the rest are less-watched home shopping, public access, religious or other special interest programming that each require a separate channel. You have more stations than channels to give.

Draw a parallel to 2M. A few heavily used repeaters, and the rest are barely used if at all. But they all use valuable spectrum.
 
RE: Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by N3IDG on March 14, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
While I do not reside in Tx , I do travel to the DFW Metro at minimum of 8 times a year. While in this area of Tx. I hear and have used FM simplex more then repeaters . So I if I had a say it would be leave 2 meters alone and go with say 220 for Dstar comms and revitalize a dead band . 1 contact on 220 in the 5 years I have owned a radio for 220 makes a dead band in my book.
 
RE: Texas VHF-FM Society Polls TX Hams  
by AB5XZ on March 15, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
K6AER,

D-STAR is not a proprietary specification, but it does use a proprietary codec, and that problem is allegedly being worked on.
 
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to discussions on this article.

Subscribe!
My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

Other Recent Articles
Army MARS at the ARRL Convention:
Skywarn Warriors: Radio Buffs Work Front Lines for National Weather Service
Amateur Radio Operators Descend on Civic Center for Annual Hamfest:
Ham Radio Users Could Be Vital Resource In Emergency:
The First Social Network: Chewing the Rag with India's Ham Radio Operators: