Utah VHF Society


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Announcing the 2019 Utah VHF Society Swap Meet

The 2019 Utah VHF Society Swap Meet will be held on Saturday, February 23, 2019 at the Davis County Fairgrounds starting at 9:00 AM for the general public and 8:00 AM to allow set-up for those that will be selling:  This is the same time and location as the past several years. 

Remember to renew your membership to see if it is good through 2019 (check the "expiry" list on the "How to Join or Renew UVHFS Membership" page if you aren't sure)and if you do need to "re-up" you may do so in person at the Swapmeet, by mailing a check or using PayPal before-hand to avoid the line.  As before, members get in free and there is a nominal fee for non-members.  There is also a nominal charge for a table or a space for a table - additional details to be announced soon.

See you next there!

Are you operating DMR/DSTAR/Wires on 70cm and breaking the law?

AMSAT, a large international organization that coordinates the operation and support of amateur radio satellites has reported that there appear to be people or groups that are operating digital modes within the 70cm satellite sub-band.

It should be noted that it is illegal to operate a repeater of any type (unless it's actually in space!) in the frequency range from  435.000 to 438.000 MHz, inclusive.  While it may not be illegal, it's certainly frowned-upon to do ANY  sort of operation in the 435-438 MHz frequency range that is not directly related to Earth-Space operations.

In other words: You should never operate on any frequency that begins with a 435, 436 or 437 unless you are trying to talk to someone via a spacecraft!

It is possible that several people are using the so-called dongles or "hot spots" in this frequency range (bad idea!) and while these devices operate at very low power - a few 10s of milliwatts, it is likely that the radio being used with one of these hot-spots is not running such low power.  It's worth remembering that in space, even a fraction of a watt of transmitted power can be easily detected even on a rubber duck type of antenna.

AMSAT has determined that these operations are occurring in the general area of Colorado or western Midwest - but this doesn't necessarily exclude Utah.  Over time they should be able to narrow down the location of these transmissions and possibly decode callsigns.

If you are operating your digital radio in the 435-437 MHz area, PLEASE STOP NOW.  If you are in Utah, please contact Utah VHF Society Simplex manager for advice on a frequency on which you may "safely" operate and/or refer to the page Wasatch Front Simplex frequency usage.

For more information about AMSAT and other amateur satellite operations, please visit the AMSAT web page.

The Promontory "5.49" repeater now connected to the Intermountain Intertie - but still a few problems to work out!

On Saturday, 29 September the 145.490 MHz repeater at Promontory was connected to the Intermountain Intertie.  This repeater, which has a standard -600 kHz split (the input being on 144.89) currently uses the "old" tone of 123.0 Hz, but this will eventually be changed to 100.0 Hz to match of most of the other Intertie repeaters.  The work party on the 29th consisted of Mike, KC0JRE and Rulan, W7QR along with John Lloyd, K7JL.  Also invaluable was earlier assistance by  Mack, K7HEN.  At the request of the former repeater owner(s), this repeater now identifies with the callsign "K7JL".

Its location at the southern end of the Promontory mountain range (about 24 miles due west of 7th street in Ogden) greatly improves Intertie coverage into parts of Davis, Weber and Box Elder counties.

Since being connected to the Intertie, a few issues with the '549 repeater have cropped up - namely the loss of 2 meter transmit:  Users transmitting on the input will be heard via the Intertie, but no signal will be heard on the output.  To fix this, a trip was taken to the site on Saturday, 3 November and the final amplifier was replaced despite the fact that the original amplifier seemed to be working properly.  More investigation revealed that there may be an issue with the repeater controller, but no parts were on-hand to fix it during this trip.

An additional trip is planned, the date yet to be determined, to attempt to fix it for good, but this will have to wait on the availability of spare time, the accumulation of a few parts and continued good weather!

Things to consider if you want to put up a repeater

Are you planning to put a repeater on the air for your group?  Are you planning to do this along the Wasatch Front?   Do you want this repeater to be on 2 meters or 70cm?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should know the following:
  • There are NO unused 2 meter repeater pairs available for use along the Wasatch Front or in many parts of northern Utah.
  • There are very few unused 70cm repeater pairs available for use along the Wasatch Front or in many parts of northern Utah.
Before buying/acquiring any 2 meter or 70cm repeater gear, consider the fact that if you do so - and you wish to put a repeater on either of these bands along the Wasatch Front or many parts of northern Utah, you may well be stuck with equipment that you cannot use.

What if you and your group believe that you have a need for your own repeater - Before you go too much farther down that road, consider the following:
  • Is you group spread over a fairly small area?  If so, do you really need a repeater - I mean really?  Won't simplex work just fine if you help get other members of your group equipped with antennas better than their stock rubber duckies?   If there is an emergency with extended power failures, you'll be using simplex, anyway!
  • There are a lot of repeaters out there that were put up with good intentions, but find very little use.  If there is such a repeater in your general area that is little-used, how about asking the trustee/owner of that repeater if you may use it?  How about offering to help improve that repeater?
  • If you find a repeater that isn't being used much and the trustee has decided to part with it, work with the frequency coordinator to find out if it is even possible to move the repeater without causing problems with other repeaters nearby that may be on the same frequency.
  • If a repeater somehow falls in your lap, remember that the problem of trying to find a frequency still exists - and your having a repeater on-hand does nothing to somehow make available a frequency!
Having said all of the above, if for some reason you (or your group) think(s) that it needs a repeater for some reason, contact the Frequency Coordinator as there may be some other options available.


An important notice to users of the ARRL Repeater Directory and the "RF Finder" app - an update

There is now a working agreement between the Utah Frequency coordinator and RF Finder (which also provides repeater data to the ARRL) in which it is now possible to make changes to the database.  Because this update method is entirely manual (e.g. it is done online via forms and tables)it will take some time to go through the relevant Utah data and make the necessary corrections and updates, but recent attempts to do this have resulted in frustration due to the "old" and inaccurate data that had been corrected being restored, destroying hours of work.  In the future, unless a means by which data may be synchronized is devised, the "Utah" data found at RF Finder will continue to be "dirty" (e.g. out of date, incorrect, and often redundant.)

Please note that the Utah VHF Society is responsible only for data related to Utah repeaters and that it will be up to other entities to keep their portions of the database current.

About the Idaho portion of the Intertie System 

The Officers of the Utah VHF Society were approached by Vance Hawley, WA7FDR, to determine if it would be possible to obtain funds from Idaho hams the same way we do in Utah to help support the Idaho portion of the Intertie repeaters.  After much discussion The Utah VHF Society Officers have agreed to begin an initial effort to ask the Idaho hams who would like to support the Idaho portion of the Intertie System to join the Utah VHF Society. 

Any funds obtained through this effort or any donations we obtain  from Idaho hams
will be dedicated to Idaho Intertie System repeaters.  We would like to thank all those who attended the Hamfest in Boise who made the initial effort to kick off this project by joining the Society and making generous contributions.  Enough funds were raised via recent efforts to address some crucial needs, such as the purchase of new batteries for the Sawtell (West Yellowstone) repeater site and upgrade and maintenance for other projects.  As more funds become available additional improvements will be made to the Idaho system.

Some time down the road it may be possible for our Idaho friends to create a self supporting entity similar to the Utah VHF Society, but for now we desire to do our best to help make good things happen in Idaho!

If you want to help with this effort you may do so through the Utah VHF Society (contact information is here).  Any funds obtained through this effort or any donations we obtain from Idaho hams will be dedicated to Idaho Intertie System repeaters.  Please mark your membership and or donations for Idaho.

If anyone has any questions or suggestions please feel free to contact or email one of the Utah VHF Society Officers.  http://utahvhfs.org

For more details about each of the Idaho Repeater Linked System repeaters please click here http://utahvhfs.org/other_rpt.html#jumpoff

UVHFS President Mel Parkes, NM7P
From the
Utah VHF Society president

Mel Parkes

Thanks to all Utah VHF Society members!

As we approach a new year I would like to let you know that we have had a very busy year and have completed many projects and helped support many groups with their repeater projects.  As your President I would like to announce that we are growing and The Society really appreciates all your support as members, we have grown to the point now where we have become the largest Amateur Radio Organization in the State of Utah, our membership is now almost at 600 members. 

I would like to take a moment to express my appreciation to all those who are members of the Society.  Thanks again and please continue to invite and encourage your fellow hams to become part of the Utah VHF Society.

If you every have any questions or concerns please let me know.  nm7p@msn.com 

Thanks to all Utah VHF Society members!

Dues increase passed for the Utah VHF Society

The officers of the Utah VHF Society voted to an increase in Dues to $15.00 per year, up from the previous $12.00.  Additional rates are $25.00 per family, and $360.00 life time.  The reasons for this are due to increases in the cost of maintaining and supporting repeaters throughout Utah.

During the last three years we have made major updates to many of the key sites in Utah and have added a few new ones this has depleted most of our reserves.  To be able to continue our repeater support and work we have determined that a modest dues increase is necessary.  Many of you may remember that many years ago we lowered our dues by $3.00 (from $15.00!) because we felt our funds were sufficient to continue our efforts at a lower dues rate.

This change was voted on and approved at the business meeting held during the 2016 Swap Meet.

Questions, updates, or comments pertaining to this web page may be directed to: uvhfs@utahvhfs.org

DO NOT SEND MEMBERSHIP QUERIES TO THE ABOVE ADDRESS!  Questions regarding your membership status may be directed to the Treasurer of the Utah VHF SocietyFor the status of your UVHFS membership, check the "How to Join or Renew" page first!

This page last updated on 20181113

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