W7ACS DSTAR Repeater up and running – thank you to ACS Tech Team

A Cold Day on the Roof

On Saturday November 4th at 0900 the ACS Tech Team assembled on Capitol Hill to install the antenna and repeater equipment to breathe life into the W7ACS DSTAR repeater which has been silent for several months.  It was previously located on top of the Seattle Municipal Tower.  It was not working well at that location and was subsequently removed and remained in storage until now.

Recently, ACS leadership appointed a new team of COMTs to lead the ACS technical planning and work projects.  The first project on the list was restarting DSTAR.  We thank Doug KD7DK for taking the lead and organizing the team to plan and carry out this work which required two visits to the Capitol Park site as well as a lot of work by the team in assembling, configuring and testing the equipment and software.

Antennas at Capitol Park

The final installation took place on Saturday November 4th, a very cold and threatening day following the first snow fall of the year.   The work required transporting all the gear and tools to the site, removing an old 22 foot UHF antenna, preparing the cabling, installing and testing the equipment.  Additionally,  some alignment work was completed to improve the connection of HamWAN with the Queen Ann site.

We want to thank those who participated in this project – the team includes:  Randy W3RWN, Casey AE7SL, Mark N7LYE, Carl N7KUW, Tom N7OEP, and HamWAN engineer Nigel N7NVH.  They donated both their time and equipment to this site installation.  We especially want to thank Doug, KD7DK for his leadership and coordination of the effort, many of the planning methods for this project will be leveraged for future work.

Equipment Rack at Capitol Park

So give the repeater a try:  This is a DSTAR only, digital, narrow band repeater (IC-4000V + IC-RP2C + Raspberry PI Gateway) operating on 440.7625 with a +5.0MHz offset.  It is open to anyone to test out.  We would be interested in your reports of coverage.  Its operating at 25 watts with a modest gain antenna.

 

UPDATED Information – October 14th ACS Meeting – HamWAN Presentation & Deployment Training

HamWAN at Beacon Hill

Thank you for joining us  Saturday, October 14th, for our monthly ACS meeting and training.  We have posted documents referenced at this meeting on the ACS website and have linked these individually below – meeting agenda

We had a great guest speaker, Kenny Richards, who provided a very informative presentation about HamWAN – what it does, how it works, and how it benefits us individually as amateur radio operators, and what if offers as a backup network to support response and recovery during emergencies and disasters.

Seattle OEM and ACS are strong supporters of HamWAN, as it brings us high bandwidth data communications throughout the Puget Sound region totally independent of any other existing internet/data communications network. Learn how you can tap into this incredible resource, and like any other ham radio pursuit, there are no subscription or recurring fees to do so.

Access from Home N7KUW

HamWAN is supported by contributions from the ham radio community. What you say? Free internet? Sending messages in an emergency just by connecting to a wifi hotspot (when all commercial internet services and cellular are not working)?

There was a brief business meeting and training regarding deployment.

Access from the field Bob KG7UCL

Public Service Events – Use of APRS with Bicycle Support Vehicles

                                                                                        posted by George AE7G

I first have to confess that while I love using APRS in public service events, I am far from identifying myself as an expert in the technology.

The Columbia Winery charity run event is a great place to test out technology. The event is pretty easy, almost nothing ever goes wrong and there is plenty of time to test new things and work out kinks.

Since I became involved as team lead for this event, we have been making greater use of bicycles to patrol the course and track walkers and runners. Any halfway fit bike rider can easily keep up with even the fastest runner.

APRS allows command to easily track support team members and determine allocation of resources. With the use of a decent APRS mapping program such as APRSIS32, it becomes very easy to track your resources in the field.  This is both an excellent tool for managing events and a good way to impress observers.  Just use a simple projector to project the image on a screen and suddenly your net control operation becomes professional. Continue reading