About the Utah VHF Society

The Utah VHF Society is a non-profit organization founded in 1968 to promote and coordinate the installation and use of VHF/UHF amateur repeaters throughout Utah at a time when operation on 2 meters was fairly rare and repeaters were even rarer!  In the interest of spurring on what was viewed to be a growing facet of the hobby, the Utah VHF Society was conceived to facilitate the installation and coordination of the new repeaters as they came online.


Frequency Coordination:

From the beginning it was realized that there had to be a central coordination body so that the chaos of repeaters going on the air on the same frequencies could be avoided as well as to make the best use of the spectrum:  Even though there were still plenty of "empty spaces" in the repeater subbands, it was still important to take due care to prevent issues of interference well before they could happen!  In addition to just record keeping, coordination also had the advantage of making sure that systems that were put on the air were done in a technically-sound manner, this providing a means of keeping other repeater operators informed of what was going on as well as to help provide a bit of feedback between the would-be repeater owner, the frequency coordinator and other repeater operators so that advice could be given, mistakes could be avoided, and if something did go wrong, provide a knowledge base to help solve the problems.

As repeater operation became more prevalent, it was recognized by the amateur community and the FCC that, when disputes arose, a means of aiding in the "self policing" of the amateur service was needed and in light of that, the Utah VHF Society has long been aligned various national groups and its coordination actions are considered when issues relevant to FCC §97.201 of the Amateur Service rules arise.


"Bootstrapping" Repeaters in
rural areas:

It should not escape the attention of anyone who has looked at a map to note that there are very few people in most of the rural areas of Utah, and it is these areas of sparse population that cover, by far, most of the state.  It should be no surprise that when the few hams in these rural areas wanted to put up their own repeaters, finding the funding and expertise to do so often posed a bit of a challenge.  From the beginning, the Utah VHF Society has leveraged its membership resources so that the installation and maintenance of repeaters and linked systems in these areas was possible, often providing financial and material support as well as expertise and manpower when requested.

It was because of the these local groups and the occasional support of the Utah VHF Society that many of these systems first came into existence.


The Utah VHF Society today:

A lot has changed since 1968 in that the number of repeaters in Utah is far higher than it was.  One positive result was that there are few portions of the state that where repeater coverage is not possible and that many of the repeaters in these rural locations are linked together to increase their coverage and utility when it comes to facilitating communications across large portions of the state.  These days, many of the clubs in the more rural portions of the state are both strong and active and are well able to both install and maintain their own repeaters, but there are still some many repeater projects where the financial help and possibly the technical resources of the members of these other clubs and the Utah VHF Society may be brought to bear!

One ongoing need for all repeater systems is that of maintenance:  Utah mountaintop winters can  take a heavy toll on equipment such as antennas while the occasional lightning strike may require that much of the repeater's equipment be replaced.  In these instances, the Utah VHF Society has been called on to help in defraying some of these costs and/or providing technical assistance to get the affected system(s) back on the air as soon as possible!  As you can imagine, some of these repairs/replacements can be very costly and may be too much for some of the smaller clubs or groups to bear while at the same time leaving a "hole" in the coverage of some portion of the state!

In the future, emerging technology will require - more than ever - that close attention be paid to the management of our precious amateur spectrum resources and because of this, there must be organizations like the Utah VHF Society to make sure that these new systems are thoughtfully accommodated and integrated into our amateur bands.


Aligned repeaters:

There are a number of repeaters that are supported in full or part by the Utah VHF Society.  In many cases these repeaters are associated with the local ARRL-affiliated ARES groups while others may be operated by other clubs or even individuals.  The society also provides financial support for aligned repeater, but the society does not generally offer financial support for autopatches or internet connections as that is considered to be the responsibility of the local groups. 


The VHF
Society Net:

The Utah VHF Society holds a weekly net on the Intermountain Intertie on Tuesday at 8 PM Mountain time in which  - more information on this net may be found on the VHF Society Swap Net web page.


Frequency Coordination:


As was the case years ago, there's an ongoing need for frequency coordination of existing and future repeaters.  Not only does this function allow there to be an up-to-date list of repeaters that is made available to members and non-members alike, but the frequency coordinator is also there to help prevent interference issues before they arise as well as provide technical advice to repeater owners should they have a current or ongoing technical problem.

It should go without saying that in a state such as Utah with a wide and diverse set of repeaters and their technical requirements, many of the systems that we take for granted would simply not be possible or practical without groups like the Utah VHF Society as well as the local clubs that support these repeaters!

The Utah VHF Society is a member of the NFCC, a national group sanctioned by the ARRL and recognized by the FCC when issues relevant to
FCC §97.201 of the Amateur Service rules are involved!  In Utah, we are fortunate to have a technically competent pool of individuals involved with frequency coordination who can proactively manage complex frequency coordination and potential interference issues and are recognized nationally in various technical aspects of frequency management.
 

Technical re
source:

In addition to frequency coordination, the membership of the VHF society includes a pool of professionals that can offer technical assistance on a wide range of issues related to amateur radio communications.  In particular, if you operate a repeater or simplex node and are experiencing some sort of technical problem, there's a good chance that we've seen it before and can probably offer advice in resolving it.  If you are an amateur radio operator and are just having some sort of problem with your gear in general, we may be able to direct you to someone who can help!


The Utah VHF Society Swap Meet:


Once per year - usually on the morning of the last Saturday in February - the Utah VHF Society swap meet occurs.  At this event - arguably the largest regularly-held amateur radio oriented event in Utah - one may find radios, parts and other electronic/ham-related gear as well as putting names and faces together again, or for the first time!

In the months leading up to this event, details on when and where it will be may be found on the main Utah VHF Society page.


This page updated on 20130115

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

Return to the  Utah VHF Society homepage.