220 & 900 Repeaters Fully Functional

2016-10-09After many days and hours of work, the SEMARA 224.800 repeater is now back on the air and interfaced to a new repeater controller.  It has the ability to link via IRLP, EchoLink and RF through a remotely selectable 16-channel UHF radio.  It is mainly parked on the New England Network (IRLP 9120 / EchoLink 9129 *NEW-ENG*), in which the Quahog Repeater Network based in Rhode Island is also linked most of the time.

The SEMARA 927.8375 repeater’s IRLP node is now back up and running.  It is once again parked on New England Amateur Radio 900 MHz Network or “NEAR-900” (IRLP 9125).  The repeater controller for this repeater was left in place, due to the fact that using the IRLP node itself as a repeater controller isn’t reliable.  This means that all three SEMARA repeaters are now using their own SCOM 7330 repeater controllers and each repeater also has its own IRLP node.  Keep in mind that the fans in this repeater still need to be replaced, in which I need to get together with Jeff-N1ZZN to swap them out.

The 147.000 EchoIRLP node had apparently froze a few weeks ago.  Joey-KC1FWN had brought this to my attention last week.  The node was rebooted this morning and it successfully began working again.

Looking to the future, the 900 fan swapping and mounting of the 220 equipment in the 2m rack are the next tasks to tackle.  The equipment doesn’t look at all impressive right now sitting around at the repeater site unmounted.  I start a new job tomorrow and my time will be limited, however most of the heavy work has been finished.  Eventually, a dedicated 220 antenna will also need to be mounted at the top of our tower as I had previously mentioned.  The 220 repeater is temporarily using the 220 section of a tri-band antenna (a Comet CX-333) which is less than ideal.  I recommend that the club looks into buying a 4-dipole array antenna next year and plans a hardline/antenna install around the summer of 2017 through NETCOM’s maintenance window in our agreement with them.  At some point at a future meeting going into 2017, I will try to be present to talk about this and to make a motion to do so.

Thanks for your patience and enjoy your 2m, 220 and 900 SEMARA repeaters!

73,

Richard J. Cabral, W1RJC
SEMARA Repeater Committee

220 & 900 Repeater Update

2016-09-01Quick update before tonight’s business meeting:

The Raspberry Pi board for the 900 node which is used to link it into the 900 network was bad.  In the picture, the one in hand is the bad one with its replacement being tested behind it.  The board is $35, but I had this brand new one that I am donating to the club.  Also, the fans in the 900 repeater that cool the PAs have seized.  Via Jeff-N1ZZN, we will get replacements next week from another Motorola MSF5000, also at no cost to the club (thanks Jeff).

Planning to get the 900 repeater back on the air when I pick up the fans from Jeff.  The 220 repeater wiring is complete with a few level adjustments and programming of the repeater controller remaining.  I’d like to be able to make one trip to the repeater site and get both repeaters beck on air together when I get the fans from Jeff.

I hoped to have this all done in August as I previously stated.  Let’s aim for next week (again, please don’t hold me to it, but I will try).

Thanks for everyone’s patience during the downtime.

Richard J. Cabral
SEMARA Repeater Committee

220 & 900 Repeaters Temporarily Off-Air

2016-07-30SEMARA’s 224.800 and 927.8375 repeaters are temporarily off the air as of today for a repair and upgrade.

1) The 900 repeater’s IRLP node failed over a month ago and it wasn’t liked to NEAR-900.  After a couple of trips to the site, it was determined that I need to re-image the SD card.  That node is being repaired and reconfigured and it will now also act as the repeater controller.

2) The 220 repeater will receive the repeater controller that was previously on the 900 repeater.  This will allow it to be interfaced to both its own IRLP node (4215) and a UHF link radio for the first time.  This will allow the repeater to be configured in a few different ways for linking.  More info on its linking status/schedule will be announced soon.

I am working from home this upcoming week which will give me additional free time to work on this project.  This is why I decided that now would be a good time to take the repeaters offline and execute the above changes.  I will send out another update when progress and/or completion occurs.  The SEMARA business meeting is this Thursday and if possible, I’ll try and get it all finished before the meeting, but I cannot guarantee it.

Thank you and sorry for any inconvenience that temporarily being off-air may cause.

Please note: 147.000 and it’s node (4210) are still ON-AIR and are unaffected by this work.

Thanks,

Richard J. Cabral
SEMARA Repeater Committee

Dave Dean, K1JGV, SK

2016-05-17

Photo Credit: Michael Ponte, W1BZJ

It is with great regret that we announce the passing of longtime SEMARA member David G. Dean, K1JGV of Dartmouth.  Dave passed away on the morning of Tuesday, May 17, 2016.  He was 77 years old.  Dave was a kind gentleman and an all around nice guy who had a strong passion for the things he did.  At SEMARA, he will always be remembered as one of our most dedicated buildings and grounds members.

Please share your thoughts and memories of Dave using the “Comments” link at the top of this story.  We send our sympathy to Amy and his family for their loss.  May he rest in peace.

K1JGV … -.-

John Williams, KB1EVY, SK

2016-02-11

Photo Credit: David H. Pascoe, KM3T; WRTC Station Test 2013

It is with great regret that we announce the tragic passing of John E. Williams, II, KB1EVY of East Wareham at age 70.  John passed away prior to noontime on Tuesday, February 9, 2016.  According to NBC 10 (WJAR, Providence), police officers had executed a well-being check at his 118 Glen Charlie Road home and discovered his body.  He suffered from multiple gunshot wounds and it is unknown at this time who the suspect(s) is/are.

Although not a SEMARA member, John was very active on the air.  According to his QRZ page, he owned a Kenwood TS-530S and TS-440S for HF where he was active primarily on 75 and 15 meters.  He was also periodically on 2-meters across various local repeaters.

Share your thoughts and memories of John using the “Comments” link at the top of this story.  We send our sympathy to his family for their loss.  May he rest in peace.

KB1EVY, SK

Don Mara, WA1PLT, SK

2016-01-31It is with great regret that we announce the passing of SEMARA member Donald A. Mara, WA1PLT of Dartmouth.  Don passed away on Sunday, January 31, 2016 at 11:30 AM.  He was 87 years old.  Don was still active in recent months and also attended several SEMARA business meetings in 2015.  President Marcel, W1MLD adds:

So sorry to hear about Don WA1PLT SK. He was always so interested in amateur radio and SEMARA. He will be missed.

Share your thoughts and memories of Don using the “Comments” link at the top of this story.  We send our sympathy to Rachel and his family for their loss.  May he rest in peace.

WA1PLT, SK

SEMARA’s Clubhouse Addition Gains Steam!

2016-01-18Construction of a new addition, which will house the new SEMARA radio room, began this past summer when a former cellular communications shelter was placed on a newly built foundation behind the existing clubhouse.  Last month, construction kicked into high gear with the ground being graded, a floor and wall being added to attach the new building to the existing clubhouse and a roof being framed and shingled.

As construction continues, follow along with pictures from start to finish, with newer photos being added periodically at SEMARA’s Clubhouse Addition photo album.  The SEMARA Web Committee would like to thank Mike-W1BZJ and Michael Raposa for providing a majority of the pictures for this growing album.

Annual “Santa Net” on 3916 kHz

2015-12-11The annual “Santa Net” is conducted every night at 8:30 PM ET (01:30 UTC) on 3916 kHz LSB until Christmas. Get your kids, grand-kids or neighbor’s kids on the air third-party and talk with Santa at the North Pole via amateur radio! The Santa Net is held every year before Christmas on the 75-meter ham band.

2016 Slate of Officers

SEMARA Election Day was Thursday, December 3, 2015.  Incoming Officers for 2016 are:

President (2016):
Marcel L. Dumont, W1MLD

Vice-President (2016):
Jean Pierre Chiron, AG1Y

Treasurer (2016):
Michael J. McDonald, KB1NB

Secretary (2016):
Marc M. Dumont, W1MMD

Board of Directors (2016):
Bradford E. Paiva, W1BEP
Joseph E. Krisnosky, Jr., N1IXC
Martin F. Jordan, KA1YFV

Trustee (5 Year Term; Chairman in 2020):
William E. Gifford, WA1HKJ

Greater Boston Public Service Events – Fall 2015

2015-08-26Brett Smith, AB1RL, Public Service Coordinator for the Boston Amateur Radio Club (BARC) is looking for volunteers for two upcoming public service events.  If interested in helping out for either event, email ab1rl [at] brettcsmith [dot] org or call (859) 466-5915.

I hope you’ve enjoyed your summer. Fall will be here faster than you know it, and with it come more public service opportunities for hams. There are a couple I wanted to let you know about.

The Jimmy Fund Walk on Sunday, September 27. This is an all-day walk along the Boston Marathon route to raise funds for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Hams provide communications for each medical tent along the route and the sweep vehicles that serve them.

To help out, please write me back with your call sign, phone number(s), available equipment, and t-shirt size. Please also let me know if you have any constraints on your schedule that day—if you can’t start before, or must finish by, a particular time.

The BAA Half-Marathon on Sunday, October 11. This is the BAA’s annual half-marathon along the Emerald Necklace in Boston. Volunteers will need to park at the Roxbury Community College before 6:00 AM to report to their assignments, and will finish in the early afternoon.

To help out, please register as a volunteer on the BAA site. When asked for an assignment preference, make sure you select Ham Radios. You don’t need to join any group.

If you have questions about either event, please feel free to contact me at ab1rl [at] brettcsmith [dot] org, or phone (859) 466 5915. I look forward to hearing you on the air soon!

73,


Brett Smith, AB1RL
Public Service Coordinator, Boston Amateur Radio Club