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Author Topic: repeater testing  (Read 263 times)
KG6ECO
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Posts: 15




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« on: November 04, 2008, 11:34:12 AM »

Hello Elmers,

I was just monitoring a local repeater and a station came on and said "testing," the nthe repeater mechanical voice replied "s9+ 10"

How do you do that and why?

73

KG6ECO
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20540




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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2008, 11:37:13 AM »

It's an "S meter" reading provided by the repeater, via its automatic controller which has a digital voice synthesizer output.

This is a very common repeater feature, it's been available for at least 25 years on some controllers.

Whoever keyed up to get the "test" report should have identified!

The "meter readings" reported by the repeater annunciators aren't very accurate.  Most I've worked with report "S9 plus 10" for a pretty weak signal, and report "S9 plus 40" to nearly anybody; that's the nature of FM receivers, everything is non-linear.  But it's better than nothing, and the feature adds no real cost to the controller.

WB2WIK/6
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KG6ECO
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« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2008, 11:42:59 AM »

Many thanks WB2WIK for your kind and speedy reply.

73
KG6ECO
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KB4QAA
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Posts: 2236




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« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2008, 11:45:14 AM »

I think the answer you are looking for is NO the repeater controller does not respond to voice commands.  He entered a command code with the DTMF keypad on his radio, then keyed his radio and said "testing".

Bill
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KG6ECO
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« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2008, 11:51:26 AM »

Thanks Bill. The command is it a universal code or each repeater has its own code?

73,
KG6ECO
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AD4U
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Posts: 2150




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« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2008, 11:59:16 AM »

I own 3 repeaters and I maintain 3 more.  All of these repeaters use the ancient RC85 or RC850 controllers, which are over 20 years old.  What the HAM you heard was doing was getting a signal report of HOW THE REPEATER WAS HEARING HIM.

I (with some help) have designed a circuit that gives a rather good indication of signal strength on GE Mastr II repeaters.  Any signal report over S9 is full quieting.  S8 indicates just a little noise on down to S0 which is very noisy and right at the receiver's lower limit to decode a signal.  This circuit works very well, but of course nothing is perfect in the real world.

On our repeaters all the user has to do is IDENTIFY and push the number 8 on his touch-tone pad. The repeater will respond with a signal report indicating how well the user is getting into the repeater somewhere between S9+60 down to S0.

This is a good feature IF the repeater owner takes the trouble to design and install a circuit that gives the signal report real meaning.

Dick  AD4U
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KG6ECO
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Posts: 15




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« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2008, 12:13:05 PM »

Many thanks AD4U

73,
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K0BG
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Posts: 9833


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« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2008, 12:58:48 PM »

Well, maybe....

I know of at least 3 repeaters which answer to voice commands. Heck, nowadays even your base cellphone does that!

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2008, 05:03:07 PM »

>RE: repeater testing       Reply
by K0BG on November 4, 2008    Mail this to a friend!
Well, maybe....

I know of at least 3 repeaters which answer to voice commands. Heck, nowadays even your base cellphone does that!<

::Good point.  I had VR software running on my repeater in 1980; not as good as what's available today, but it worked.

I think if repeaters have any future at all (not so sure), they should start employing AI software and begin making decisions for themselves based on trends.  Simply put, this might be really easy stuff like if the received signal is weak, increase transmitter power to help the prospective user hear it better; or scan a group of remote receivers looking for the best SINAD, then link that back to the site and work with it.  Those are easy ones.

Better AI applications abound, and could be the future of amateur repeater work.  If not, they could all die off from lack of use.  Repeater's heyday was probably in 1980 or so and it's been a downhill slide since.

I know, I was building them then, and many years before, and remember what it was like, once.

WB2WIK/6
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