Mike va3mw, Nigel ve3id, Neil ve3sst, and Nathan va3nxp spent the day (October 19) working on mostly antennas. There was lots of tower climbing by Mike and Nathan while Neil and Nigel had to deal with digging up the 1 5/8" feedline and changing the connector.
The 2M 4 Bay was moved to the East tower to become the new 2M DSTAR antenna
2M VHF vertical was installed on top of the west tower. This should improve VE3RPT's coverage
2M DSTARs coverage should be much more improved as the antenna is installed 60ft higher (Ramesh --- this is for you!!! 🙂 ) 145.250Mhz - Let us know how it works in Mississauga now.
The entire 1286Mhz feedline was inspected, cut, drained. The coverage still has issues so that leaves issues with the antenna, duplexor, top connector or the repeater itself. We will figure this out, it is just going to take more time. About 3M of feedline was cut off and the bottom connector remounted.
The 220 repeater is still stand alone. We couldn't find any antenna problems (yet), but I did notice that the RF out was only 3 watts from the radio. This will limit its coverage. We will up this to close to 50w with the new repeater installation.
I have started to remove hardware to integrate into the new controller, so in doing so, I have been removing hardware from the hill. With that, the hub is offline and IRLP is offline.
1 new repeater has arrived from Yaesu. I expect the other one today.
Mike and I had opportunity to have a C4FM QSO through VE3TWR (U) this morning. I was using the FT1DR inside my car as I commuted from home (Kipling/Dundas) to the office (Dixie/Eglinton). Here are few digital-specific observations:
C4FM narrow mode (DN) provides solid and robust audio - good audio bandwidth with a slight but noticeable artifacting
Digital voice wide (VW) mode has incredible quality audio - full bandwidth with absolutely no noticeable artifacting
Auto mode switches users seamlessly between VW and DN
In DN mode GPS info is exchanged between the stations in QSO - no GPS info is available in VW mode
IN DN and VW mode the repeater call and user calls are displayed
I heard a couple of 'hits' and very low level 'bubbling' when in some more difficult RF areas
Overall the QSO experience was 5/5 - I'd use this on a regular basis
Specific to VE3TWR (U):
RF coverage is greatly improved over the old equipment - and the replacement of the defective coax jumper. I worked digital mode into the P1 underground at the office
FM mode has great audio quality and level - PL levels are ideal
Some users may not be aware that the repeater does operate in digital mode - we had a couple of obvious "keyers" this morning, no doubt trying to figure out what was happening
The TFMCS is moving forward with the new technology that is presented to us in today’s new Ham radio market.
The VE3TWR repeater on 444.400 is part of the TFMCS system. In the past, this frequency and 145.41 have been linked together on a full time basis, but now these repeaters are unlinked and operating on their own. While 145.41 is still linkable to the rest of the TFMCS system, 444.400 is part of a new Yaesu technology called System Fusion, and is running in a dual mode configuration.
The first mode is the traditional FM that you use today. You will require a 103.5Hz tone on transmit and receive of your radio to use the UHF side.
The second mode is C4FM digital voice that we are currently experimenting with, which works with new Yaesu radios. We hope you enjoy the new technology and look forward to your feedback via the TFMCS web site.
The TFMCS would like to thank Radioworld and Yaesu for sponsoring this new repeater system.
In support of this new technology from Radioworld, if you purchase a new radio please let them know that you are a member of TFMCS, or if you are not a member just let them know that you are using this system.
Amateur Radio stations anywhere in the Greater Toronto Area are invited to check into the evening nets of the Toronto ARES Group.
The nets begin with a call out to roll call stations but the Net Control Station (VE3NCS) will also issue a call for any station anywhere to check in.
All weeknight nets start at 8.00 PM.
The Net on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nights is a SIMPLEX net on 147.405 MHz. You must transmit a PL tone of 103.5 hz.
The Monday night net is held on the VE3TNC repeater (147.270+) in downtown Toronto. No tone required.
The Wednesday night net is held on the VA3GTU repeater 4B (444.850+) in downtown Toronto. 103.5 tone required.
The Friday night net is held on the VA3GTU repeater 4C (443.750+) in Scarborough. 103.5 tone required.
On Saturday nights additional nets are held
at 8.30 PM on repeater VE3RPT (147.060+) and
at 9.00 PM on 6 Meter repeater VA3ECT (53.390-).
On Sunday evening three nets are held.
At 8 PM a net is held on the VE3BEG repeater (224.860-).
At 8.30 PM a simplex net is held on 446.025 MHz.
At 9.00 PM a 6 Meter simplex net is held on 52.525 MHz.
None of these 3 nets require a tone.
At 5.30 PM on Sundays, the GTA Regional Net is held on the CN Tower repeater VE3TWR 145.410-(103.5) and 444.400+.
By participating in any of these nets you are putting your radio on the air and ensuring that it is working properly.
You are also informing all the other Amateur Radio Operators in Toronto that you are on the map. That you exist.
Being an Amateur Radio Operator means you talk on a radio with other Amateur Radio Operators.
Checking into the ARES Nets is your best easy way to do that on VHF and UHF.
Print out this message for reference. Relay over to your club's website or newsletter.
VE3RPT B DSTAR on 443.225 + is back online with great coverage in the GTA area and points north to Barrie. VE3RPT B is often connected to XRF005B reflector which is a reflector that other GTA repeater are also connected to. This repeater is connected to the FREESTAR DSTAR network and it is not uncommon to hear others from all over the world on this network was well.
No DSTAR registration is required to connect to this network. Only a valid Amateur Radio callsign in your MYCALL field. (This is a change in recent history)
To ensure that you are using VE3RPT B correctly, you want the following values set on your radio:
MYCALL (your callsign) VA3MW (as examaple) UR CQCQCQ RPT1 VE3RPT B <---- there is 1 space before the B (this is the repeater you are on)
RPT2 VE3RPT G <---- same as above - 1 space (this is the gateway OUT of VE3RPT B so that your radio audio makes it out to the reflectors)
You will also notice that on this repeater and VE3RPT C (145.25) you will see the current Air Temp and average wind speed displayed from time to time. The measurements are made right from the tower at the repeater site. The complete weather details are at Weather Underground