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WD4SCD 147.030 Repeater Remote Receiver

FSG believes in cooperation and assisting other amateurs where we can. In 2019 Richard Pomeroy in cooperation with Pinellas County ACS approached FSG about locating a remote receiver at our St Petersburg location for the WD4SCD 147.030 MHz repeater. After some thought FSG agreed to provide the antenna, radios, interface hardware, computer and Internet link required for this cause. Our first iteration (an AllStar RTCM) didn’t work for WD4SCD, and we ended up with a dedicated windows server running echo-link.

It’s online most of the time, but we do not actively manage it; the WD4SCD repeater admins take care of connecting/disconnecting it. This can be accessed on a 147.030/147.630 with a 100.0 Hz PL tone. Extra Low power on most HT’s from St Pete will be full quieting into this site. As this site is at 380′, it’s one of the highest amateur repeaters in Pinellas County. This is yet another valuable service running over the Tampa Bay HamWAN.

This has been in operation since August 2019, or just about two years at the time of this writing.

Site Hardware

The hardware FSG has dedicated to this is simple, only a Motorola CDM radio, commercial gain 148-158 MHz antenna, 1/2″ heliax, a signal link interface and a server PC running Windows.

First Iteration March 2019

FSG Board Nominations Open

As it’s that time of year again, we have elections open for the board.

If you’re a member of FSG you may run for any of the positions open:

President
Vice-President
Secretary
Treasurer
Regular Board Member

If you want to nominate anyone please do so via email to the secretary of FSG
jesse@flscg.org

Our members meeting is tentatively scheduled for the 18th of September, but
COVID-19 may change that. As the bylaws require nominations to close out 30 days
prior to the members meeting, this means all nominations must be received by
the 19th of August.

Downtown Tampa Webcam

FSG has added a webcam feed on our YouTube page.  This provides views from our downtown Tampa location at the 500 foot level. This cam is a PTZ and will generally be pointed south, or moving around to a number of locations, or under manual control.

This is a 4k video webcam and we are dedicating about 20 mbit/s of bandwidth to it via HamWan. As far as we can tell, it’s the only 4k webcam in Tampa online. The stream is beta now, it may be up or down. Please inquire on the mailing list or slack if you have any questions or ideas regarding it.

St Pete UHF Analog and P25 frequency change

Due to some severe ongoing malicious interference on 444.375, we moved the St Pete Repeater to 444.325 for testing. The P25 NAC is still 293, PL is still 146.2 Hz.

Please test it out and let us know how it’s working. This move may be permanent after testing.

St Petersburg Repeaters are ONLINE!

Florida Simulcast Group is pleased to announce three new repeaters on the air in downtown St. Petersburg.  Our repeaters are located at the 400′ (121m) level, and should service most of southern Pinellas county for portable users.  These are linked full-time to our repeaters in Tampa and other systems depending on the mode.

Based on early testing we are seeing solid coverage of downtown and the beaches.

The frequencies are:
443.7625 NXDN (RAN1)
444.3750 Analog and P25 (146.2 PL/293 NAC) and Allstar Node 44233
444.9625 DMR (CC1)
All the above have a +5 MHz offset.

For more programming info on the digital modes visit kj4shl.com

Having three repeaters work well on a single antenna was no easy task.  FSG had to employ extensive filtering, branching and combining to enable all repeaters to operate without causing self interference.  A gallery of our testing and combining may be found online here, and a reddit thread describing the build is here

A short video tour is available on YouTube.

All repeaters make use of HamWAN for linking to other sites and beyond.

These are open for all amateurs to use and testing is encouraged.

Our deployment of HamWAN, a multi-megabit internet connected network over Ham frequencies, is now live in Tampa.

With a proper CPE setup you can expect to get 10-20 MBit/s TCP throughput to your network.  We support both IPv4 and IPv6 address space.  Anyone who’s licensed (Tech or higher) can get on 5.9 GHz with equipment for under $200-250 dollars.  This is perfect for linking repeaters and other critical points to the internet for redundant radio linking and high speed redundant IP data.  Leave your TNC at home and experience what packet radio should have been.

Below is a coverage map showing a 30 ft client radio elevation (and clear line of sight) to our site in Tampa.  This is an estimate for minimum signal (-75 dBm), as such if you’re marginal it may not work as well, even though the radios will work down to -90 dBm.

-75 dBm or better 30' client

-75 dBm or better 30′ client

Attached is a coverage map you can overlay into Google earth and explore.

To get online please subscribe to our FSG mailing list and we can get you authorized and your client radio configured for our access points.  We have a few test radios available if you want to test a site out before committing to it.

 

 

Repeaters are online!

We now have the 220, 440 and 900 MHz repeaters online from high up in downtown Tampa.

The 444.575 test repeater has been removed.

224.280 -1.6 MHz and a 146.2 PL tone
This has been tested out to about a 50 mile radius from a 25W mobile.  HT coverage is solid out to 15 miles and we have numerious reports of people running .3 to 1 watt HT’s from this distance.

443.525 +5 MHz and 146.2 PL and P25 NAC of 293

927.050 -25 MHz with DCS 546 and P25 NAC of 293.
900 MHz is narrowband FM, and we are investigating turning on “hearclear” companding.

All transmit PL and will respond to reverse burst if your radio is so equipped.

As of now none are linked as we are working on internet access at the site.
All these are open access, you don’t need to be a member of FSG to use them.

UHF Test repeater is online!

444.575 is now online from high up in downtown Tampa!  It requires a PL of 146.2 Hz.  P25 is supported with a NAC of 293.

Thanks to the hard work of our members we were able to bring this online over the weekend.  It is a “Proof-of-Concept” repeater designed to cover downtown Tampa and the central business district buildings.  This necessitated a lower gain antenna for solid coverage below the site and in the surrounding ground level.

The repeater consists of the following:

  • 25W Motorola Quantar
  • DB-404 Antenna
  • Mobile notch duplexer
  • DB-404 antenna
  • 3/8″ feedline (2.3 dB loss)

We plan to change out the feedline to a higher quality Heliax cable which should improve the receiver.

Below is a projected coverage area of the repeater to a HT at 5W.  We’ve had good mobile reports much further than this shows.  Please try it out and report back on our mailing list.

Test repeater 25W DB-404 2.3db feedline loss to 5W HT unity gain coverage
Projected HT coverage into the repeater

 

Below are some pictures of the repeater site after we got done.

Byron K4SIP and DB-404 antenna

Byron K4SIP and DB-404 antenna

DB-404 on Roof Looking down to the Port Quantar installed in rack Quantar online Sunset over Tampa Sunset to I4 Telewave 220 Antenna