W8BNZ’S REPEATAER’S

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W8BNZ Repeaters

The 147.040  Fusion at Crystal Mountain has + offset and PL tone and tone squelch of 114.8.  The 442.600 Fusion on the Benzonia water tower has + offset with a PL tone and tone squelch of 100.  The analog only 442.200 in Frankfort has + offset and PL tone and tone squelch of 114.8.  

 

Welcome to the Benzie  County A.R.P.S.C. – (Amateur Radio Public Service Corps) A.R.E.S (Amateur Radio Emergency Services, R.A.C.E.S. (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services)  and B.A.R.F. (Benzie Amateur Radio Friends). We hope these guidelines will aid your enjoyment of our repeaters.

 

Repeater Information

Two of our repeaters are Yaesu DR-1X Analog/Digital C4FM, VHF and UHF.   They can run either mode Analog or Digital and all you need to do is transmit. The internal controller will send the audio in that mode.  The output power of 147.040 is fed to six cavitities  isolating duplexer and ran thought 1 7/8 inch hard line to a  4 Bay VHF array antenna that sits on top of  the a 40 foot light pole pearched 1100 feet at Crystal Mountain west of Thompsonville,  Michigan.

 The  Benzonia fusion UHF repeater is located on top of the  Water tower at 95 feet.  The signal is ran though a  4 cavitity duplexer and 1 1/4 inch hardline to a Dimond antenna.

Our third repeater is a UHF Motorola this is analog only UHF and currently sits on top of Paul Oliver in Frankfort Michigan.  We are making plans to move it to a higher location outside of Frankfort.  These three systems can stand alone or they will be linked together.

 

User Radio Setup

2 METERS

Set your radio to 147.040 MHz with a positive offset of 600 kHz. Therefore, the input frequency is 147.640 and the output frequency is 147.040. Set your squelch so you do not hear the hissing sound. Set your transceiver for an input and output PL tone/tone squelch of 114.8 Hz.  You can use FM or C4FM which is the digital mode from Yaesu.  This system will be VOIP with an internet connection soon.  Always operate on the lowest power setting possible to make a good contact. For the best audio quality, talk across your microphone, not directly into it. You must have an Amateur Radio license to operate on the 2 meter band.

Note: An input  subtone (PL tone, CTCSS or Encode) of 114.8 Hz is required to access the repeater on analog.  Use Decode PL also 114.8 to prevent digital traffic noise.

 

440 mHz

For Benzonia UHF set your radio to 442.600 with a + 5.000 kHz offset/duplex and use a PL tone of 100.

For Frankfort UHF set your radio to 442.200 and use the + 5.000 kHz offset/ duplex.  The PL tone is 114.8 .

 

Making a Contact

Before initiating a contact, always listen to see if the frequency is in use. If you are calling a particular station, give their call sign once or twice and then your call sign. You may repeat again if no response. If still no response, end your transmission by giving your call sign.  If your using C4FM, DN and another station transmits you can see his info and distance on your Yaesu FTM400, FT1D, or FT2D radio’s. There is no repeater audio ID in C4FM.

According to FCC Regulations, you must always identify yourself when transmitting on any frequency; otherwise you made an illegal transmission. Simply keying the microphone to see if you can hit the repeater with no identification is an illegal transmission. You are not required to identify the call sign of any other station during a conversation, only your own. When you are testing, you also must identify. Simply give your call and say “Testing”. When you have finished testing, give your call and say “Clear” and give your call.

If you have no one in particular to contact and would just like to announce you are available for conversation, simply give your call sign (of course, after first checking to make sure the frequency is not already in use as in the instructions above).

If there is a conversation already in progress and you want to join, simply give your call between transmissions. Courteous operators will acknowledge you right away and turn the frequency over to you for you to join. It is preferred not to use the word break to join a conversation, because it is confusing with the words break break, which indicates an emergency. All stations should relinquish the frequency immediately for any station with emergency traffic.

If there is a conversation already in progress and you want to make a short call, follow the instructions as above then ask politely to make a quick call. If you make contact, ask your party if they can move to another frequency. Make your call, then thank everyone for the interruption. Courtesy is always the key to good Amateur Radio practice.

Timeout

The B.A.R.F. repeater is set with a timeout function at approximately three minutes. If you make a transmission beyond this time limit, the repeater will timeout and temporarily shut down. Keep each transmission as short as possible to avoid timing out the repeater.

Doubling

When two operators are trying to talk at once on the repeater, the resulting noise is known as a double. If you’re in a conversation including several people, you can avoid this by passing to another ham by giving their name or call at the end of your transmission. This type of group conversation is called a round table.

When Not to Use the Repeater

In Benzie county we are a low usage system.  We enjoy all users making the repeater part of their operating experience.

There may be a controlled net in progress.  Some examples are during call outs for A.R.E.S or R.A.C.E.S real or exercises, Bad weather or SKYWARN nets, and our Wednesday night net.  In this case participation is encouraged and welcomed.  Just call net control and sign in.  If not sure what to do just ask.

Most SKYWARN nets are in 3 conditions.  GREEN which means a severe thunderstorm watch has been issued.  Benzie most likely will not start a net unless its clear tornado warnings will be issued.  YELLOW is when a Severe Thunderstorm warning has been issued.  Conditon RED, is when a tornado warning has been issued.  The storm is well inside the county and winds are greater than 58 mph and hail bigger than 1 inch.  During condition GREEN simple reports of weather occuring at your location are ok.  Durning YELLOW or RED only TX when directed by net control or damage, loss of life and property has or will likely occure.  Emergency power should be set to go prior to condition YELLOW or RED.  A net control station need only be able to take info and log checkin’s  and pass traffic by phone or email,  to the National Weather Service in Gaylord.

 Talking on the Repeater

Use plain English when on the repeater. The amateur phone bands are not the frequencies for using 10-4 codes. Stay familiar with the International Telecommunication Union Phonetics as suggested by the FCC, especially when checking into nets or during emergency traffic situations. In all situations, give your call slowly and clearly for easy identification.

As with FCC Regulations, inappropriate language is not permitted.

If you hear someone not following these guidelines or violating an FCC Regulation, don’t assume they are intentionally doing so. Everyone can make mistakes. You may offer them the benefit of your knowledge at that time in a helpful, friendly manner. It is neither helpful nor courteous to berate anyone over the air. If there is further concern, advise a member.

 

Demonstrating the Repeater

If you would like to demonstrate amateur radio to a non-ham or just show off some of the repeater capabilities, preface your transmission with demonstration. This will let others know what you are doing and may even generate a contact or two to assist in your demonstration.

When the Repeater is Down

Should the repeater or links ever go down, try switching to another repeater.  All systems are stand alone or should be linked across the county. We might use the output frequency or simplex of 147.040 , 442.600 or 442.200  mHz for operation at those times when the systems are down.

 

 

W8BNZ LEGAL’S

 

 

  1. Always identify (complete call sign, unless in a directed net and then every 10 min) before using any of the repeater functions and at the end of any series of transmissions.

  2.  Business rules have been relaxed by the FCC, but you still cannot conduct activities on amateur radio that are a normal part of your job, or any activity in which you have a pecuniary interest. This means that you can call your doctor to cancel an appointment, but you cannot call your office to get messages. If in doubt DON’T DO IT.

  3. Music is NOT tolerated on amateur radio, except retransmission of  NASA audio during shuttle flights. If you call a company and they have Muzak or other music on their phones while you are on hold, you must end the call immediately. Remember, as an amateur radio operator, you are responsible for the repeater, not the company you called.

  4. The repeater is never turned off except for maintenance and deliberate interference.