Amateur Radio Repeaters and Experimenation

I started to experiment with electronics and radio as a kid as my father worked in the Military electronics and communications industry which I later did as well.

I have been involved with Amateur Radio based repeater system design and maintenance since 1990 in conjunction with my Amateur Radios clubs that I am a member, with my own systems and with other individuals. My entry into the world of repeater system design began with and continues today on the OMARC 145.11 repeater located in Farmingdale and later the OMARC 443 repeater which now belongs to AERIALS and was originated by the now defunct Cactus Net East that is located in the Township of Ocean.

I enjoy experimenting with both existing and new technologies within Amateur Radio that either offer huge benefits to the hobby in one aspect of another or are just not commonly made much use of for lack of equipment or wide acceptance.

My first really interesting repeater project effort began years ago and involved Amateur Television (ATV). Not to long after my good friend Kal, KE2SO and I started to experiment with 70cm ATV between Lakewood and Asbury Park some of our other Ham friends such as N2LEZ and KB2OPQ joined in. The application of ATV in Amateur Radio for OEM use is so huge and to this day remains such an untapped resource in our area. ATV is also a lot of fun to use and is so technically challenging as well. However we all lost interest in ATV after our effort to develop an open ATV repeater system failed. An ATV Repeater did become reality at the choosen location due to out efforts, however it never lived up to its potential as planned as was thus a failure in my eyes. Click here to read the true story of what happened.

The Internet Radio Linking Project (IRLP) of which I currently have two nodes in operation is a prime example of how Amateur Radio repeater systems can be adapted to make use of emerging technolgy and techniques. The IRLP and other similar systems have really changed the VHF+ FM repeater landscape and for the better I would like to state. In order to get an IRLP up and running you must learn Linux to some extent and be able to overcome some challenges with your IP provider at times and interfacing to your repeater controller directly or via and RF link. Some Amateurs also make use of IRLP and other Internet based linking methods on simplex as well.

I have recently started to play with Digital Coded Squelch (DCS) now that I have it on my Motorola MSF-5000 based 447.925 repeater. It will become available on all my repeaters, the 6m, 2m, 1.25m (conversion of GE 150-174Mhz equipment) and 23cm repeaters. (To get on 23cm there is absolutely no equipment except for transverters made for the hobby, it is a commercial conversion process period.) Not all Amateur radios have DCS and there are very few third party DCS boards to add it to an older radio. However, as time goes on all new FM ham rigs will have it and it also now showing up in some the the Amateur radio repeater controllers like the Pacific Research units and is also found in most commercial FM radio equiment made durin the 10 years or more as well.

Some of my repeater experimentation will lead to additional capablities for the local Amateur community to also experiment with as all my repeater systems and those that linking into my network are open systems for all licensed Amateurs to use.

I am also interested in and have developed a Severe Weather Alerting and I am looking into Spread Spectrum Communications and ACSB voice communications utilizing modified commercial equipments.

I am especially interested in experimenting with APCO-25 Digital Radio equipments that the ARRL is also taking a close look at, see ARRL Technology Working Group on Digital Voice to the ARRL Technology Task Force and ARRL Technology Task Force and here is the view of Motorola on APCO-25.

Many of my interests are in areas that will require the development of additional radio and computer hardware capabilities as we move into the 21st Century with the Amateur Radio Service poised to take part in many new communications developments.

I welcome all those that are interested in radio experimentation to contact me with you ideas and to volunteer your assistance.

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This site is and will always be under construction, since there is always room for improvement.

Entire contents Copyright © 1999-2001 by Stephen B. Hajducek, N2CKH. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.