Armidale & District Amateur Radio Club
On Friday May Third 2013 we laid to rest a valued member of ADARC in Roger VK2FGE sk.
On that occasion, four of us, and that is Dean VK2DJD, Les VK2LES, Brian VK2BLP and myself Rick VK4HF found ourselves in conversation about Roger and how his dream was to see the ADARC 2 metre repeater fully operational for all and sundry, had not come about even though some efforts had been made in the past.
We decided then it would be a fitting legacy to the club and travelling hams alike to put some of our energies into making Roger's dream a reality.
To that end, a temporary steering committee was formed with Dean VK2DJD taking responsibility for Secretary/Treasurer, Brian VK2BLP, Vice President and Rick VK4HF-VK2RR accepting the role of President.
A few hours on the keyboard and lots of e-mails back and forth have brought a lot of support from far and wide and we now have the offer of quite a lot of repeater equipment and technical expertise. Our immediate goal is to bring all this new support to a point where ADARC 2metre repeater will be fully operational in the very near future.
We have been fortunate enough to have received a donation of a fully operational 2 metre and a 70cm repeater complete with power supply, smart controller, a full diplexer for 70cms and an 8 cavity diplexer for 2 metres. This equipment is all neatly housed in a 19 inch rack mount cabinet on castors ready to be installed. Both repeaters are 25 watt Philips FM-828 Mk11's which were originally purchased brand new for this project when it was originally built, so they weren't just some old junkers from a previous commercial vehicle. Echo Link is now operational on the 2 metre repeater. VK2RAD-R or Node 872907.
Antennas are folded dipoles to minimise the effects of a lightning strike. Antennas and LDF4-50 Heliax are already installed on the tower ready to hook up to the repeaters.
Timeline Update:- 2 metre repeater:- Installation and
Testing August 3rd 2013. A suitable site has been acquired.
Timeline Update 2018:-
2018 has seen significant changes to the ADARC repeater system.
1- 70 cm (438.650 out with 123hz, 431.650 in no tone required)
As a result of a very generous donation, we have upgraded our 70cm repeater antenna from a single folded dipole to an array of eight. This is a commercial stainless steel system with integral phasing and over 6dbd gain 360 degrees. Needless to say it has improved the 70cm coverage ‘somewhat’. In addition, the newer 50-watt Yaesu repeater has a much better receiver than the older (30 + years) radio that is still available should all else fail!
Our 70cm repeater offers analogue and fusion access (automatic change over). We have added a 123hz tone on the transmitter so if you wish you can use ‘tone squelch’ to keep your receiver quiet unless there is a valid transmission from the repeater. There are plans to include echo link, and to link this repeater with others…. Stay tuned
2- 2 M (146.725 out with 123hz, 146.125 in no tone required)
Our 2 m repeater has also undergone significant change and now is part of the *NORTHLINK system. This means that with no special requirements, as you key any of the linked repeaters (including Armidale), you are simulcast on all others within the linked system.
This means that coverage has increased from 50ish Kilometres to most of the north west of NSW.
Technically the Walcha group have installed a “Point to multi-Point” base at Mt Crawney. This can ‘talk’ to up to 16 ‘remotes’. Our remote has a link transceiver connected to the back of our 2m repeater and the ability for us to remotely switch off the link in case of problems.
At Armidale our repeater has the normal ‘tail’ to confirm you are accessing the repeater, however when the link is the source of audio there is no tail. This makes it very easy to tell if you’re talking to a ‘local’ or not. The system easily links stations as far south as Scone to Ben Lomond in the north with Moree, Boomi and Narrabri to the west.
As linking does not allow digital modes we have reverted our 2m repeater to analogue only mode.
The new Yaesu Fusion repeater has a 50-watt transmitter and a much more sensitive receiver than the 30+ year old equipment that has served us very well and is still in usable condition should there be the need.*NORTHLINK is a ‘Point to multi-Point’ base station that allows authorised remote repeaters to become part of the group. NORTHLINK is kindly supplied and maintained by the Walcha group.