As of this afternoon, Sunday, April 8, 2018, the new Yaesu Fusion DR-2X is on the the air. It was a 1:1 swap with the old analog iCom repeater. The new repeater is set at the maximum 50 watts compared to the old at 35 watts.
The mode is AMS which stands for Automatic Mode Select. If you transmit on 444.900 using FM and a 151.4 Hz tone, the repeater will retransmit your signals on 444.800 using FM and a 151.4 Hz tone. If you use one of the Yaesu Fusion digital modes, your signal will be retransmitted in that same mode.
The net on Sunday evening following the install resulted in mixed reviews. In many places where previously there had been no issues, signals were now bad or non-existent. Some stations could not check in from places where the old repeater seemed to have full coverage.
We’ll continue to run the repeater as-is until the next maintenance window which will be after this coming weekend. If you are unable to use the repeater when in the Lansing – Leavenworth – Fort Leavenworth footprint, please drop us a line by filling out the Comment card.
After what seemed like an eternity, the DR-2X Repeater is finally here. Yaesu apparently lost the paperwork and it required some reminding. But, alas, the new repeater is here and the old one goes back this week. Meanwhile, “Old Faithful”, our Icom UHF Repeater continues to be rock solid.
JARA members, and they know who they are :-), will assemble the afternoon of April 8th to swap out the Icom with the new Yaesu repeater and begin the testing. We will operate the Fusion (C4FM) repeater in Automatic Mode Select (AMS) for the next several months. AMS means that whatever mode you use to access the repeater (analog, digital narrow (data or voice), or wide digital voice), that’s that the repeater will output.
If you do not have a Fusion-capable radio, your analog UHF equipment will work exactly the same with this repeater as it did before. We’ll continue to hold Sunday evening analog nets at 7:00 pm, but will begin using digital at 7:15 pm so we can start getting familiar with how the repeater operates in digital modes.
The new repeater comes with a LAN connection which will allow us to connect into other repeater “rooms” such as the rooms to which the Olathe and Overland Park repeaters are connected. We will also have a remote command channel which will allow us to make room changes or other configuration changes on the fly without having to be physically at the site.
This is a very exciting time for JARA. I hope you will be as pleased with the progress as we are.
May 14, 2017 – Last last week, the Fusion repeater suffered a glitch and whenever someone starts using one of the digital modes, the repeater gets hung in transmit mode and cannot be remotely controlled or used for communications. The repeater is currently OFF. Sometime this week, the analog repeater will be swapped in for the Fusion repeater. Hopefully, a software update will solve the problem.
January 2016. After a thorough site inspection, we are re-engineering the site to accommodate 2 antennas with both vertical and horizontal dispersion and use hardline instead of 9913 coax to isolate transmit from receive and still be good RF neighbors to the other UHF operations at the hospital. Mounting hardware and a new UHF antenna are still being procured. When obtained, and when the winter weather breaks, we’ll make the modifications and hopefully have the Fusion system on the air early this spring (2016). This will be the only Fusion system serving the Leavenworth-Lansing-Fort Leavenworth area.
December 2015. As of Christmas Day 2015, JARA now has the callsign W0ROO, a club station call in memoriam of Mac and with the permission of Evelyn McConnell. We are proud to have Mac’s callsign back on the repeater. Thanks for KB0SCK-Lindsey and WA0SRS-Steve for their support with the repeater maintenance and update.
November 2015. JARA is in possession of a YAESU DR-1 144/430 Dual Band C4FM/FM Digital Repeater. We attempted to replace the iCom repeater but had a de-sensing issue with the receiver. We are in the process of re-engineering the site
Robert “Mac” McConnell, WØROO, would always sign off from “Lake Jarbalo”. There is a Jarbalo, Kansas; a postage stamp size town near the bottoms of the frequently flooded Stranger Creek. When the creek is high, it literally looks like a lake in some places. Mac had a friendly voice, was a fun-loving radio operator, and great mentor.
In his honor, we are carrying on the Jarbalo Amateur Radio Association (JARA) and keeping the UHF Repeater operating that long bore his callsign.
As of July 2015, the repeater is operating atop Saint John Hospital in Leavenworth, Kansas. Specifics can be read on Repeater Book. Here is a synopsis: