58ScoutRadio - Dunedin Hub
- Jul 4, 1999It's been a while since this medium has been used, so I think a report is in
Thanks to all who utilized the new 145.21 MHz and 444.750 MHz
ScoutRadio repeaters during the "Midnight Run." It gave us a different
perspective on how the new boxes were running.
I listened from St. Pete, and noticed some anomalies, and would also
like some feedback on what 'you,' the users thought about the boxes
operation. Matt (KA9RIX) was listening too, at a distance of some 117 miles
away, so the 2 meter box is heard well.
We understood going into this project, that 444.750 MHz is something of
a difficult pair to use, as there can be a fair amount of cable TV leakage
on the input - 449.750. Back when Richie McKusker (KB4BOS) had his box up
on the bldg, the receiver was not as sensitive (quite deaf) and did not
utilize a pre-amp. Richie's son is a HAM and is active duty U.S.C.G. in New
York state. We really wanted to keep the frequency assignment so that he
could use his dad's old frequency when he comes into town to visit.
We now have a pair of Motorola Micor's, prepared by Matt Bush - KA9RIX
that are fairly sensitive in their own right, but with the addition of the
pre-amp on the UHF box, be now have a cable sniffer. If you noticed some
foreign audio following some of your transmissions - that was the cable
leaking out just after the loss of the user's pl encode note. Not a big
problem on the face of it, but considering the fact that the UHF hub is
going to have to listen to the spokes - the furthest one away will be some
38 air miles - a nearly full quieting signal on the input isn't an option
that we can live with. A change in pair frequency will probably be in order
We are also proud to be able to keep 145.21 MHz in operation in Dunedin.
As most of you know, the original equipment was on the air for some time,
operated by Jerry Smolensky - N4IGC. Dr. Smolensky donated both repeaters
to the Scout Sertoma, after Richie passed away. Thanks again Jerry. The
repeaters are once again serving the community in Scouting's name!
Someone picked up on the fact that 145.21 is not broadcasting a tone.
This was done as a last resort at the last minute. We have a noise issue
with that repeater that we cannot reconstruct on the bench. Which one came
first - the chicken or the egg? The transmitter encodes pl, and the
receiver decodes it! But... when you have a noise issue, the receiver acts
up, causing the transmitter to ramp up, and since it is encoding it's own pl
note, we had a bit of a squirrel cage effect going on, thus the removal of
the encode reed. The radio may well act up, but without your input signal
accompanied by a pl note, it cannot agitate itself into a transmit
condition. We will try and remedy the situation in the future allowing
everyone to set their receivers to CTCSS and take advantage of Matt's
patented (no squelch tail) circuitry.
We are just waiting for the hamfest season to get rolling. For those of
you looking on from out of state on "Onelist.com," the 'fest season doesn't
get started until September here in Florida. This is where we hope to start
amassing some operating funds again. If any of you out there in the
listening audience know of a situation where there is a possibility of
liberating some used gear "for the cause," we would be glad to take it off
of your hands, and give you a receipt for a charitable donation, to boot!
We have a ways to go before the system is built out, and would really like
to be able to say that the largest component of it will be completed before
summer camp next year.
Enough for now. Again... for those of you who used the system for the
5k Race last evening, please send your input as to how you thought the
system worked for you, we would appreciate it.
From Scout Sertoma's "West Central Florida ScoutRadio Network"
Pat - N4RAT
Dan - W4BNC
Jon - W4ABC