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Discussion of general interest including club business and events. Please post ARES discussion in the SC4ARES group.

July 9, 2018 Net

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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  • #8685
    Casey, KA5WAX

    Hi squad,
    I tried to join th net from the outer fringes of those heatmaps in the library – Sheep Trail above 280 in Belmont. Sorry if I stepped on anyone by trying to call-in; the reception with my circus of gear was pretty poor.
    I did hear fragments – something about grizzly bears?! From Pat. Some recognizable voices. it was interesting to experience this failure mode.
    This was part of my ongoing experiments with communication with the Canyon – used a Yeasu HT with a EdFong special up in the air on a tripod. A pretty sketchy setup.
    Next time I’ll try a directional antennae from up there.

    David, KM6DOV

    You sounded good coming into the repeater around 7:15 or so. I acknowledged you, but didn’t hear you come back, so I wasn’t sure if you could hear.

    Casey, KA5WAX

    Thanks David ; I think I did hear part of your reply ( I think you said “loud and clear.” )

    I was also stepping all over some kind of Sonoma County Net from my location with that test, as it turned out, and I wasn’t sure it was you so I backed off. That net was ringing in clearly. But once they had left and the SC4 net started I was picking up a lot of noise.

    My reception was terrible, so that’s my next bit of tinkering. I was switching back and for between “D” and the regular repeater setup but it wasn’t much different.

    From my readings I think I will try building a Yagi for 146 – does this sound sensible?

    David, KM6DOV

    Yeah, you were very loud, perhaps bordering on some overdrive crackling around the edges.
    The yagi might help reception. Just be careful how much output power you’re using. I think you might be able to get away with about half as much.


    The K6ACS repeater in Santa Rosa is on the same frequency as ours, 146.730-, with a PL of 88.5 instead of our 114.8.

    They come in surprisingly strong down here when you get to higher elevations, unless tones are enabled. I’ve picked up Santa Rosa conversations clearly on my scanner (with no tones) on Sand Hill road in the Sharon Heights area.

    We should plan some repeater access tests with a variety of antennas from your preferred test locations, so we know what works and what doesn’t before we build anything. We can try dbj-2, 1/2 wave and 1/4 wave verticals, and even Yagi’s.

    Casey, KA5WAX

    I should of spelled out my experiment.
    I was using 2 Yeasu HT VX-6 radios, one with an Ed Fong DJB-2 ( picked up in sunnyvale from Ed Fong himself; interesting ) and another with a Diamond SRH320A.
    The DBJ-2 was mounted on a carbon-fiber tripod. The tripod mounted antennae was connected ( and I now think this was the problem ) via a 50′ foot cable to a smaller whip connector. My ‘clever plan’ was to be able to move around the tripod and check connectivity while keeping a pile of notes and stuff by a camp chair. IF it was poor I would shuffle out and move the tripod.

    David: sorry about blasting. I’m guessing now that transmit was ok; but that I am loosing something ( discrimination? selectivity? sensitivity? what do you folks call it ) due to transmission loss in the cables.

    Mike: thanks for the context re Santa Rosa. My experiment’s procedure is to use the heatmaps and mark my Belmont locations in a straight line to the public record’s location for your repeater. Once I have a usable connection along the vector I will iterate back to my house and repeat the experiment.

    So next time I’m on this side for the net I will skip the long cable to the HT and just use the little whip.

    General question:
    Is there some better way than waiting for a net to do this iterative testing? I am wondering about just using both radios and ‘talking to myself’ but it seems like that’s outside of common practices/courtesies .

    David, KM6DOV

    I wasn’t complaining about “blasting”. Just giving an honest signal report to aid in tuning your setup. If the repeater is quiet, there’s no harm in doing some radio checks, as long as you follow FCC ID rules. Using two radios will get you a little way toward your goal, but if you have an earbud, you might consider using that for your receiving radio, lest you feed back on yourself and lose a few hair follicles in your cochlea.


    The repeater is on 24/7, so outside the Monday evening net, there’s a lot of time open for testing.

    You probably want someone at the ‘other’ end with known good repeater access to help with the testing – your other radio will probably de-sense when you transmit and you might not rear the repeater response.

    I work from home, so I’m available most days or evenings to help test – just pick a date and time, and we can try. Might also be worth testing access to the OES repeaters at the same time.

    BTW, 50′ of RG8X might cost you about 2dB – maybe 40% of your power. That matters with 5W, not so much with 50W.

    Casey, KA5WAX

    Clearly your collective advice helped a great deal this Monday past.


    I skipped the coax and just used a little cat-tail to the DBJ-2. Only walked out with one HT soas not to be tempted to desensitize the other. My reception was pretty good, altho I wasn’t able to hear the person in the Middleton Tract. ( odd )

    here are some shots of my setup, but mostly the beautiful hillsides and cooling fog fingers.

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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