AH6LE REPEATER AND REMOTE BASE SYSTEM
This repeater system is the culmination of many years of evolution. It is a fairly sophisticated system with many capabilities yet is easy to learn and use. But if simple communications is all you desire, it is also just a good ol' repeater.
There are currently two different repeater sites that make up the system and they may be interconnected as needed. This is accomplished via a radio link system and hub repeater. Also available for use from any repeater on the system is a 2 meter remote base radio, IRLP and EchoLink nodes. Most of the time, both sites are tied together via the UHF links.
See the system diagram for a graphical representation of the system.
Wilsonville (Parret Mountain)
The 442.675 repeater is installed at this location as well as the Link Hub Repeater (the Link Hub Repeater is currently used to link this site to the Beavercreek site and eventually others).
The repeater is usually left intertied to the Link Hub Repeater which allows access to other features of the system, such as IRLP and EchoLink. It also provides for interconnection to the Beavercreek repeater on 146.920
Also located here is the 2 meter frequency agile remote base radio that may be intertied to either repeater and remotely programmed.
Beavercreek (Highland Butte)
The 146.920 repeater installed at this location along with a link radio to allow access to the UHF Hub Repeater at Wilsonville. Either may be linked to the UHF Backbone, which allows access to IRLP, the HF Remote Base and interconnection to the Wilsonville system.
The Hub Repeater is used to intertie the two repeater systems together and allow access to the IRLP Node, which is not physically located at either repeater site. The Hub Repeater is not available for use by users.
Of course, whichever repeater you're currently using must actually be linked to the Hub in order to access the other site, IRLP or the Remote Base. See the respective Command Sheets for the codes.
This manual should help with the learning process and allow you to use the system to its full capability. Of course if you don't care about all the fancy features and just want to chat, that's OK too! Don't be afraid of the system - you can't hurt anything by playing with it. About the worst thing you can do is NOT use it!
Throughout this manual, you may find it helpful to refer to the command code sheets. I will take each section (groups of commands) individually and hopefully cover them well enough to get you going.
If you run into trouble or are having problems trying to understand how a particular function is supposed to work, let me know by either giving a hollar on the air or shoot me an email!
GENERAL COMMAND STRUCTURE
All commands are entered by touch tone and evaluated by the controller at the end of your transmission. By releasing your PTT, you tell the controller to act on the touch tone digits sent during that transmission. If those digits form a valid command, that function is executed. If they don't form a valid command, they are ignored. If for some reason there is a constant signal on the input of the repeater (such as intermod), you can force the controller to act on your command WITHOUT waiting for the carrier to drop; this special force command is "D".
COMMANDS WHEN LINKED
When the two sites are linked together, access to the other site's commands is available by prefacing the desired command with a pound (#). This also applies for accessing IRLP or the HF Remote Base.
For example, you're using the 146.920 repeater at Beavercreek and you want to send the command to the Wilsonville repeater to readback the building temperature (the command for which is A81). You would enter #A81.
Or maybe you're using the Wilsonville repeater and want to connect to IRLP Node 3030. You would enter #3030.
COURTESY AND TAIL TONES
You will notice all sorts of beeps and boops when using the repeater. These are not there to simply annoy you, but to let you know the state of various things about the repeater, such as which band a particular signal was received on, for example.
As you listen more to the system, these tones will become second nature. For now, just be aware of them and that they actually mean something.
EXPLAINATION OF COMMANDS
The following sections will give you details on the various commands listed on the Command Sheets.
|TouchTone Pad Test||This command allows you to check the operation of your touchtone pad. By pressing 85, followed by a string of other digits (all within the same transmission), the controller will read back those digits it properly decodes.|
|Since the controller evaluates commands on input carrier drop, if there is a signal holding the receiver's squelch open, the evaluation will never occur. By using this command, you force the controller to act on your command(s) immediately. Also useful for stringing commands together.
By using this command, you can make a short audio recording of your transmission. This allows you to check how your signal sounds to others.
Announces the time of day of course!
Announces the date of course!
|Temperature||Various temperature sensors are placed at both sites. These commands allow you to interrogate the current temperature of the device listed.|
VOICE RESPONSE TELEMETRY
The controller allows for remote monitoring of various parameters at the repeater site, such as line voltage, power supply voltage and current, as well as temperature inside the rack. The channel assignments are shown in the command sheets.
In addition, there is a real-time clock that can be commanded to read back the current time. This clock is also used to tag the time and date of several messages, such as high and low readings of the VRT and controls the scheduler.
You will notice not all VRT channels are yet assigned.
2 METER FM ONLY REMOTE BASE
This is a Kenwood TM-271A , running about 60 watts. It is installed at the Wilsonville site and uses an omni directional 6 Db vertical antenna. It is normally left on 144.320 simplex (the local VHF DX coordination channel) but there may be times when it is programmed on a different channel.
Any signals received on this radio have a distinct set of courtesy tones so you can identify that signal's source. These courtesy tones are a rapid pair of touch tones. If you hear them, you can be sure that signal came from the 2 meter FM remote.
Unless you have transmit enabled on the remote base, audio is mixed in a manner known as "monitor mute", where any signal on the UHF repeater input will mute the audio from the 2 meter remote. This allows you to talk normally on UHF without being retransmitted on whichever channel the 2 meter remote base is currently programmed to but allows you to monitor activity on that channel.
Note that if the remote is in the transmit mode, you will hear the Remote's courtesy tone immediately on unkeying. This way you know you are actually transmitting on the 2 meter frequency the remote is currently programmed on. By the way, if any touch tone digit is pressed, the 2 meter transmitter immediately drops so as not to cause interference on 2 meters. It will transmit again on your next transmission.
You can either directly program the frequency you want or take advantage of one of memory channels. If you want to directly program the frequency, you simply enter the proper command. For example, let's say I want to put the 2 meter remote base on 146.460 simplex. I simply key my radio and enter:
B 7 1 1 4 6 4 6 0 2
The controller will read back the frequency you entered, along with the transmitter offset - minus, simplex (the controller says "s" to indicate simplex) or plus.
Or if you wanted to take advantage of one of the preprogrammed memories, you can enter the command for that. Let's say I want to put the 2 meter remote base on memory channel #3:
B 7 5 3
You can even program whether to use CTCSS or not. Refer to the Command Sheets for details.
When done using this remote, please turn it back off with the command B 7 3.
IRLP And EchoLink
IRLP is an acronym for the Internet Repeater Linking Project , a system that consists of hundreds of radio nodes throughout the world, all tied together by the Internet. You can look at http://www.irlp.net for more information about how and what the IRLP is.
We suggest that if you're not familiar with IRLP operation, you may want to read the following link to familiarize yourself with IRLP operating procedures. Nothing fancy, just some basic common sense rules.
Remember that when sending commands to IRLP, be sure to preface that command with a pound (#). A few examples are:
#3030 Connect to IRLP Node 3030
For the list of IRLP nodes, their node number, location and current status you can check the following webpage:
For EchoLink info, you can check here:
#131404 Connect to EchoLink Node 131404#73 Disconnect from either IRLP or EchoLink Node