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Author Topic: KA4WJA/R, 146.97, Voted "Best" (non-linked) repeater in "4" Call Area...  (Read 124960 times)
KA4WJA
Member

Posts: 1041




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« on: July 16, 2014, 09:54:12 AM »

Hello to all,
I returned from out-of-town last week, just in time for my scheduled semi-annual preventative maintenance on the repeaters at the tower site.
After finishing things up, and returning the repeaters to regular use, I was greeted with the usual thanks/appreciation, etc. and then something different....

A few of the guys on the 146.97 (KA4WJA/R) said that they weren't surprised that we were voted "the best repeater in the number 4 call area".....and as I inquired what this was all about, everyone said that there was a nation-wide vote, ranking repeaters in the 10 different call areas, in 5 different categories (apparently separate lists for "linked" systems and "un-linked repeaters")...

My first thought was "cool"....and then I thought maybe this was one of my friends playing a joke on me, but sitting across the dinner table from a few of them showed me that this was no joke...

It was explained to me that repeaters were ranked (from 0.0 thru 10.0) in five different categories, with a maximum score of 50.
The Categories:
A)  "Friendliest" to all (old-timers and novices)...
B)  "Most Reliable"....
C)  "Easiest" to use...
D)  "Coverage area"...
E)  "Technical Expertise" of the owners/clubs/licensees...

And, in the "unlinked repeater" list, we received a score of 50!!

This is not surprising to me....
a)  as I've always made it clear that although I don't use the repeater much, everyone is welcome (and actually had my syth. voice ID say "All are welcome" for many years!)
b)  high-quality components, regularly maintained, with both battery back-up and automatic generator power (as well as redundant / back-up equipment)...all of which is needed when on a tall tower in central Florida (aka "the lightning capital of the world"!)
c)  simple COR, open to all, no-CTCSS, long-time coordinated as a wide-area coverage repeater, no squelch-tail issues....upgraded a decade ago to voice-ID, time, etc...
d)  antennas at ~ 1100' AGL (above-ground-level), standing off > 10' from the tower, fed with 7/8", from 100+ watt PA's, and modern low-noise / limited-bandwidth receivers, thru precisely tuned BP/BR duplexers...
e)  owners' average number of years in RF engineering / RF systems : 35+ years each...

In addition to the many local users in our coverage area, with the tower a few miles from one of the only two Interstate Highways running N/S in the state, a few miles from other main highways, and only 60 miles from the other Interstate Highway, we get a LOT of travelers using the .97 machine, many of whom are heading to/from Disney World / Universal / Busch Gardens, etc. and/or to/from Cruise Ship docks, etc....
Late at night, truckers can use it for QSO's lasting two hours as they transit thru....and we even have a train engineer who calls in on many late nights as he drives a train "more than a mile long" at highway speeds...
And, with the "local" folks representing a wide cross-section of society / diversity...there is usually always someone to talk to to about something!!!


Now, I'm completely flattered and humbled by the ranking....but I cannot find the website that did this...
So, my question is:
Does anyone know the URL of the site, so I can pass on my thanks to all of them?


Thanks!

73,
John,  KA4WJA
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K2LGO
Member

Posts: 177




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« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2014, 05:04:54 PM »

Well I don't know who nominated you, but I tip my hat to you and your operating ethics...I try to force myself to reply to any stranger who might wander to our very underused repeater...I hope a lot of old timers, and newbe's alike will take a lesson from you....BOB
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KA4WJA
Member

Posts: 1041




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« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2014, 01:24:39 PM »

Bob,
Well, I still don't know either....maybe we'll never know...
But, thanks for the kind words...
Well I don't know who nominated you, but I tip my hat to you and your operating ethics...I try to force myself to reply to any stranger who might wander to our very underused repeater...I hope a lot of old timers, and newbe's alike will take a lesson from you....BOB
And, thanks for doing what you do as well!!

When I remember back to my teenage years and even then, finding many of the oldtimers unable or unwilling to help, and now 35 - 40 years later realizing that I (and many of my ham friends) are now the "oldtimers", it makes me really try to be there to help novices along....
(just a hour or two ago, I explained on-the-air to a newer ham, how he needn't worry about his malfunctioning antenna analyzer, as he could still test his antenna with his rig and his swr meter, using low power on an empty/dead band he could test 10m and 15m late at night and maybe even find a time when 20m wasn't open...nobody ever explained that to him before, everyone else just told him he "had to buy this, or that...")


Again, Bob, thanks for all you do as well...

And, BTW, speaking of websites...here are two....the first one was put together by a friend of mine to help out the local ham community and the second one was a link e-mailed to me recently by someone that thought it might be the site I was looking for (but it wasn't)..

http://www.146970.com/

http://www.repeaterbook.com/repeaters/details.php?state_id=12&ID=9561#sthash.crnBvw2S.dpbs



73,
John,  KA4WJA
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KA4WJA
Member

Posts: 1041




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« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2015, 02:21:26 PM »

Okay, it's been a year, and I'm having dinner tonight with some friends....and one of them said he might have a line on that site!  Woo Hoo!!!
So, maybe by tomorrow I'll have the actual website to post the link for!

Also, planning on a upgrade to the Fusion DR-1x....but concerned it won't be as good as my current VRX-7000...
Anyone that's changed out a 7000 for a DR-1x, please post your comments/advice!
Thanks!


73,
John,  KA4WJA
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W2NAP
Member

Posts: 290




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« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2015, 08:01:14 PM »

Also, planning on a upgrade to the Fusion DR-1x....but concerned it won't be as good as my current VRX-7000...
Anyone that's changed out a 7000 for a DR-1x, please post your comments/advice!
Thanks!


73,
John,  KA4WJA


blah go DMR mototrbo, or stay ani and upgrade the 7k for a quantar.

hell if you want 2 mobiles in a box to call a repeater get 2 GM300's it be a load cheaper
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I AM THE VOICE OF THE VOICELESS!
KA4WJA
Member

Posts: 1041




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« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2015, 09:55:32 AM »

Tony,
Thanks for the advice...but...

But, I'm an analog guy!  
My VRX-7000 has been working fine for years, as well as the Cat-300xl controller!
And, with my antennas at > 1000' AGL, with flat and slightly down-sloping terrain, I've got a great system that I don't want to screw with!
 

Recently many friends have asked me to upgrade to an analog/digital system, and with Yaesu offering the DR-1x for $500, I bought one...
But, with the reports of mediocre performance and it being just two mobiles in a rack cabinet, I've been dragging my feet on installing it!


Thanks again.

73,
John,  KA4WJA
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KD0WZW
Member

Posts: 53




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« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2015, 10:55:03 AM »

sounds like you have a pretty rock-star setup there, antenna at 1000'?  wow!

almost all repeaters made today are two mobiles in a cabinet.  The DR1X is no different, although the mobiles are heavily modified, they aren't just FTM-400's.   Having access to both FM and Fusion is a lot of fun.
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W2NAP
Member

Posts: 290




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« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2015, 07:50:56 PM »

sounds like you have a pretty rock-star setup there, antenna at 1000'?  wow!

almost all repeaters made today are two mobiles in a cabinet.  The DR1X is no different, although the mobiles are heavily modified, they aren't just FTM-400's.   Having access to both FM and Fusion is a lot of fun.

if it can't do 100 watts at true 100% duty cycle, then to me it ain't worth it.

and Fusion imo is a waste, DMR/Mototrbo is going to win out on the digital battle.
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I AM THE VOICE OF THE VOICELESS!
NO2A
Member

Posts: 1318




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« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2016, 12:50:17 PM »

They've had problems with the Yaesu /Fusion repeater in our area. It was doing funny things, we couldn't bring it up a few times. It appears it can't handle the 100%duty cycle like the previous poster said. Maybe a heat issue. Especially during long winded qso's.
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KA4WJA
Member

Posts: 1041




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« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2016, 02:07:03 PM »

Thank You!

Thanks to all of you!

In 40 years in RF, I still think my old GE Master II's were bullet-proof...
But, my current VRX-7000 is still going strong, and I'm thinking I'll keep the VR-1x as "back-up".  (I know that some friends will be upset, but I'm paying the bills, so for now I'm staying analog!)

73,

John,  KA4WJA
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W2NAP
Member

Posts: 290




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« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2016, 09:14:59 AM »

They've had problems with the Yaesu /Fusion repeater in our area. It was doing funny things, we couldn't bring it up a few times. It appears it can't handle the 100%duty cycle like the previous poster said. Maybe a heat issue. Especially during long winded qso's.

its 2 mobiles in a box. so at its rated tpo it wont do 100% duty, have to turn the tpo way down.
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KA4WJA
Member

Posts: 1041




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« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2017, 02:28:29 PM »

Okay, after spending the $500 for that DR-1x (and never taking it out of the box)....and still having excellent coverage with the venerable VRX-7000....I should know better than to even think of changing out to something new....

But, I've gotten some repeater users who are asking about the Yaesu DR-2x repeater....
I'm not really looking to spend the $$$$ on it (even it is a good unit), as I like the analog world, and am happy with the repeater we got now, but wondering if anyone has any insight into the new DR-2x??

{BTW, anyone want to know the thankless (and expensive) task of owning a decent coverage repeater....well, just know I'd almost rather talk politics on 75m!  Smiley }



Thanks for any info/insight into the DR-2x.

73,
John,  KA4WJA
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N1LO
Member

Posts: 1179


WWW

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« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2017, 02:50:29 PM »

And W4HZL 145.370 was voted the best repeater in eastern Virginia !  Wink
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KA4WJA
Member

Posts: 1041




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« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2017, 02:58:29 PM »

Mark,
FB!  (awesome!) Smiley

But, does anyone have any info / reports on the Yaesu DR-2x repeater?

73,
John,  KA4WJA
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KA4WJA
Member

Posts: 1041




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« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2018, 03:08:52 PM »

Well, thanks to all that have emailed me with some real-world info on the DR-1x, etc...

So, earlier this summer I sold my new DR-1x (for the same $500, that I paid Yaesu for it), and bought a brand new ~ $1100 VRX-7000 to replace my existing 18 yr old VRX-7000 (which replaced Hamtronics modules and RCA PA, which replaced an old MasterII)...
With the VRX-7000, and ext PA (to maintain our coordinated ERP level), and antennas at > 1000' AGL, we're dedicated to keeping a wide-area coverage repeater open to all!

It seems that most are happy!  Smiley

So, while I can count on my fingers the times I've actually been on 2m in the past few years, I still pay > $500/yr for phone line for autopatch (which few, if any use), and I still pay for all the other costs / maintenance / etc....
But, I do rely on some of my best friends to actually go out there and do some maintenance, as I'm away a lot....
So, I want to say thanks to them for being there to help!! 

Okay, after spending the $500 for that DR-1x (and never taking it out of the box)....and still having excellent coverage with the venerable VRX-7000....I should know better than to even think of changing out to something new....

But, I've gotten some repeater users who are asking about the Yaesu DR-2x repeater....
I'm not really looking to spend the $$$$ on it (even it is a good unit), as I like the analog world, and am happy with the repeater we got now, but wondering if anyone has any insight into the new DR-2x??

{BTW, anyone want to know the thankless (and expensive) task of owning a decent coverage repeater....well, just know I'd almost rather talk politics on 75m!  Smiley }


Thanks for any info/insight into the DR-2x.

73,
John,  KA4WJA

Thanks again and I hope those of you using repeaters will try to remember that it takes quite a bit of effort (and $$$$) to design, install, and maintain a decent system...

And, while I will never ask nor accept $$$ for this, it would be nice if you all could just pass the word to be nice to everyone!!  Smiley

73,
John,  KA4WJA
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