SARA’s 442.275 Going Digital

At the 4/18/2019 SARA business meeting the membership approved a proposal to convert the club’s 442.275 repeater to a multi-mode digital repeater. Once the conversion is complete, the repeater will no longer support analog FM, but will support:

  • DMR (on Brandmeister)
  • YSF (Yaesu System Fusion)
  • DSTAR
  • P25

In addition to being inline with many of Amateur Radio’s mandated purposes, drivers for this conversion include:

  1. The area’s high profile DMR repeater will likely be off the air or moving by June (losing Copley tower site)
  2. Ohio ARES is backing DMR for ARES operations
  3. Many members have radios capable of DMR, DSTAR, or YSF, and not many places to use them
  4. With this conversion, SARA’s UHF repeater would be a high power, high profile powerhouse for DMR, YSF, DSTAR & P25
  5. Provide another reason for SARA to have workshops, training, which would draw in additional members

Current analog uses for 442.275, including the Pajama Net and a link to the Sunday Evening 6 meter net will move to N8XPK’s wide-area 444.2 repeater.

The repeater will be built on a Kenwood TKR-850 graciously donated to the club by N8XPK, and will be controlled by a Raspberry Pi with an STM32-DVM MMDVM controller board from repeater-builder.com. The new system will feed into our existing 100 watt amplifier graciously donated by WD8KNL, and will re-use the existing duplexer, feedline, and antenna at N8XPK’s Doylestown site.

There’s still many details to be worked out, but keep an eye here on w8wky.org for news, information, usage guidelines, radio programming information, and links to codeplugs. We’re expecting to make the conversion sometime before mid-May 2019. These changes will not have any impact on the club’s flagship 147.390 2m repeater.

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