Now available for use
up and down the North Methow Valley and centered in Winthrop
is a Simplex Repeater operating on 146.520 Mhz from
KI7MO's QTH which is about 200 feet above the township.
This repeater requires
the use of PL to wake it up. It listens for a
127.3 PL and transmits PL 127.3 in a full encode/decode
manner. Coverage reports are at the end of
|Due to a
faulty controller, we will soon
be adding a hub to the simplex
repeater in Mazama which will
add 446.000 simplex into the
loop so that both national
calling simplex frequencies will
be on Store and Forward.
When this is implemented, the PL
in and out will change to 141.3
on both frequencies. The
new controller and
interface will be faster as PL
logic will be used rather than
the current VOX implementation.
This repeater uses the
concept of "Store and Forward" to repeat your
transmission. So you have the choice of talking
direct (no PL) or hop from your location to Winthrop and
then being re-sent on to the station that can hear the
repeater in Winthrop.
The disadvantage is that you
must wait for the repeater to forward the message, even
though you might hear it live. So in essence, it
takes twice as long to converse. It is recommended
that long transmissions not occur do to the time waiting
for the repeating to occur but also because if you drop
off briefly, the repeater will think you are done and
begin repeating even though you may still be talking.
So test it out, play with it
and become familiar with the simple disadvantages.
We see this repeater as being able to operate alongside
of the the KB7SVP Repeater (147.220 and 444.800) on
McClure especially during emergency use or if McClure
were to go down. Check out the coverage area "map"
and please get your
Reports in to
suggestions for use of this simplex
|Try to keep
transmissions under 30 seconds, the shorter
Wait at least 2 seconds
after the last transmission before transmitting.
up wait about a second before speaking as
the PL decoder and the controller need to
|You may hear
another station twice, so don't be confused.
with it now, get used to how it is different
than a full-duplex repeater, don't wait
until you really need it. Practice,
We have limited battery
back-up power now but will soon add more Amp-hour
capacity which likely will provide many hours or days of
use. We will also be experimenting with an RX
offset, different PL's, ID'er timings and general
programming of the controller. We may add
446.000 Mhz (UHF National Simplex channel) to the
repeater as an optional port into the 52 repeater as a
cross-band operational mode.
All use will require PL encoding at all times and PL
decode in user's radios is also supported, though not
The controller (Argent
ADS-SR1) has many more
features that can be implemented but for the initial
roll-out, we desired to keep it as simple as possible
while everyone gets a chance to play and simply getting
the store n forward operation. The controller is
currently using VOX mode as well as PL, so some delays
or voice clipping is likely. I have another
controller and radio which I will use to create a better
repeater; no VOX and better audio quality.
I am waiting to see if this is
a viable project before dedicating more time/$$$ on this
feedback is appreciated. Here's a handy
guideline paper by
version). While Rob cautions that
146.52 is not the preferred simplex frequency, I think
that the Methow Valley is a reasonable exception.
If this project is embraced
by the local ham community it is hoped that we will
practice using it, then develop a list of the active 2 meter hams and a database
of which stations can hear other stations direct and
those stations which can or must use the repeater. We want
to learn how best to communicate up and down the valley so that we can more
effectively communicate in a worst case weather or other
disaster related emergency when cellular, land line
based telephone and wireless communications are down.
It is suggested that you
create 5 pre-programmed channels in your radios:
no PL (repeater RX but
||146.52 Simplex with
127.3 PL Encode only
use of the simplex repeater but carrier
squelch so you can monitor ALL 146.52 traffic
||146.52 Simplex with
127.3 PL Encode and Decode
the 52 repeater only, no direct traffic,
good for quiet radio or priority traffic when 52 direct would
otherwise be distracting
||146.23 Repeater up
.6Mhz (147.12) with 127.3 PL encode only
use if we use an offset to cut down on the
double traffic, optional but handy some day
||146.52 Repeater up .6
Mhz (147.12) with 127.3 PL Encode and Decode
use, decode keeps your radio quiet and only
hearing traffic on the repeater
Please play and I'd appreciate
some feedback on how well you can hit the repeater
and who else around you that you can talk to direct.
Email Winthrop 146.52 Simplex Repeater
Coverage area using 40w mobile with 3dB
provides approximately 20 mile radius of
coverage on most asphalt roads from the
center of Winthrop.
20 West from Winthrop to Silver Star
Goat Creek Rd and Lost River Rd
including the Lost River Airport & the
West past Robinson Creek Trailhead for
some unknown distance
20 past Twisp to Carlton on Hwy 153 is solid.
Hwy 153 from Hwy 20 good to a little
spotty the last 3 miles to Loup Loup.
East and West Chewuch Roads to Andrews
Creek trailhead, 21 miles plus
Specific Coverage and Detail
West of Winthrop:
runway good on a 5 watt mobile
Robinson Creek Trailhead
on 5 watt mobile, 22 miles out from
Silver Creek Gate
watts needed; OK to Washington pass
Overlook on Hwy 20 but noisy, no
coverage into the hairpin turn.
South of Winthrop:
coverage South to just North of Carlton
at only 5 watts (MP25). 40 watts
good to South of Carlton @ Libby Creek
(MP21), untested beyond but likely very
East of Winthrop:
Hwy 153 North of Hwy 20 good at only 5
watts to about 3 miles South of Loup
Loup, then 40 watts is usable to the top
of Loup Loup.
North of Winthrop:
5 watts is good to NF-5010 or 11 miles
North of town on the East Chewuch road,
FVD-51, then NF-5010. Then 40
watts is good past Andrews Creek
(48.783837 -120.107625, 3,000' asl) on
NF-5160 for better than 22 miles up
valley from the repeater.