Archives June 2012

D-Star System Testing Update

As many of you already know the D-Star project has been under way.  It was last month that the UHF D-Star (443.7125 MHz) repeater was placed on the air for testing.  It has been linked to systems all over the world and many contacts have been made by local stations who are D-Star capable.

After programming and testing VARC members turned up the (1299.200 MHz) data channel.  So now users who have a Icom ID-1 radios can now access the internet via their radio.  The RF connection is not as fast as DSL but it is usable for emergency communications.

The next part of the D-Star project is to bring up the 1.2 GHz voice module.  In order to move forward a special duplexer will have to be purchased for the system.

If you are interested in D-Star please contact KF4GTA.




If you missed Field Day 2012 then you missed one of the best field day ever!  Starting early Saturday morning several members gathered to prepare for field day operations.  For starters KI4ROO brought his military communications truck and generator trailer which is just a awesome sight to behold.  Everyone pitched in to prepare the trucks generators and to install the 50′ military portable mast system.  The group then built and installed a 40/80 meter inverted V antenna on the mast system.  There were some technical and tune issues but they were quickly worked out and KE4HKO’s Alinco HF station was on the air inside of KI4ROO military truck by the 2:00 PM start time.

KF4GTA set up his Yaesu HF station and operated the 20/15/10 bands with the tri-band beam which is mounted on a 65 foot tower. Kenwood HF station equipment was used on the 80 and 40 meter bands using a 80/40 inverted V and 510′ horizontal loop.  Once all of the equipment was setup and operational the stations were pressed into service as 3E Georgia.  As far as the overall results go the VARC team did fairly well by generating just over 400 contacts during the 24 hour event.

3E stands for 3 separate stations operating under E for emergency power.   Even thought gas generators where available to operate the stations there was a far more “greener”power source was available…. solar power!   Yes… 6.6 KW of solar panels to charge batteries and to power the equipment.  There was plenty of power!

The members would like to recognize KK4DBU for his superb skills at the grill…. they were some super tasty burgers!   It was super to see K4VLD and KE4HTH bring both there families.  It seems that they had a great time feeding and catching fish in the pond!  KI4ROO thanks for bringing your awesome mobile radio shack!  It was great to see K4ADY, AB4HQ, KD4ZYP, and the many others that stopped by to say hello, help out and offer moral support.  Thanks to those who either called or emailed to say that they would have loved to come but they had other obligations this weekend.  There is next year… remember field day is the last full weekend in June!

Overall Field Day was lot of fun for everyone who came.  Everyone’s morale or spirits where high with there being a lot of good food, fellowship and laughing going on.  It was great to spend time with friends and family to relax and to just enjoy amateur radio with them.


Repeater Project Update – June 3

Yesterday members of the technical team met to work on the repeater project.  Right now all work is focused on the repeater equipment itself.  The D-Star equipment was installed in the new 6 ft cabinet and placed in the new equipment room.  Both the VHF and UHF repeaters were removed from the short cabinets and installed in a new 6 ft cabinet.  The taller cabinets allow for more room in the equipment room.  The team also prepared some high speed data equipment and cabling that will be used for a temporary high speed data link to the tank.  This circuit will be used until the permanent DSL circuit can be installed.

Today team members installed the high speed data equipment.  A Wifi link was established on the 900 MHz band which will allow for the D-Star and Allstar equipment to be brought up for testing.   Progress is being made with the team putting in more than 40 hours each since the beginning of the year.  The team would like to thank those who have generously provided their time, other resources or financial support towards the repeater project.