Cross-Band Repeater Test

Rick’s truck at VA Park. Antenna and Mast are on the left side. Ed KD7QOR looks on.

CBR Test. On the beautiful spring evening of April 14, 2024, Ed Menard KD7QOR and Rick Reichert NJØP deployed to VA City Park and set up for a KS-LV-ARES Cross-Band Repeater Test. The test was in preparation for the October 5, 2024 Simulated Emergency Test (SET). All Radio Amateurs are invited to participate in the SET and all ARES member are requested to take part of the SET.

Golden-99. At the appointed time, KS-LV-ARES members dialed up Golden-99 Channel 8, also known as CBR-A-USER, to participate in the Sunday Evening ARES Information & Training Net. The Golden-99 is a set of 99 frequencies that all KS-LV-ARES and interested area Radio Amateurs were requested to have programmed into the radios they plan to use for emergency communications response. CBR-A-USER means it is the Alpha channel for users to communicate through the CBR. The Golden-99 is actually our ICS-217A: Communications Resource Availability Worksheet. Having this pre-programmed, we have a 99% solution when responding to a short-notice event or incident. Our ICS-205: Incident Radio Communications Plan would list the selected Golden-99 “channels” we plan to use to respond to that particular incident.

CBR Equipment. The Cross-Band Repeater set-up consisted of a dual-band antenna mounted atop a 20′ mast secured by a drive-over mount. The radio used was a 1991-era Icom IC-2410A Dual Band FM mobile Transceiver placed into cross-band repeater mode. The frequencies were set according to Golden-99 Channel 96 labeled CBR-A-RPTR. The radio operated off a set of 12 Volt, 18 Amp Hour batteries. The radio output was 22 Watts.

An Icom IC-2410A in CBR mode for the April 14th CBR Test.

Test Results. Results are recorded as Net #11515 on Net Control Manager (NCM). We had 10 check-ins which is about normal for a daylight net and phenomenal for a low-power portable repeater. We had check-ins from Guy KFØKOS in Easton to Steve WØSER ANCS in Shawnee and Roxann KZØIMO in Linwood, a stretch of 24.2 miles, according to NCM. The others participants were Brian NBØR NCS, Keith KFØKBC LOG, Max KØMDP mobile, KEØSYO Vic on a handheld, Steve WAØSRS, and of course, Ed KD7QOR, and Rick NJØP who were on site. Most commented that the repeater performed very well. Rick marveled that the old Icom did a great job and exceeded expectations.

What’s Next. The SET Planning Team will use the favorable results in their planning for the October 5th SET. The CBR will definitely be used for the SET. It’s just a matter of picking the best place. There is at least one other CBR-in-a-box in an ARES member’s possession. The next test may be scheduled for other CBR owners to test their settings and ensure their kits are ready for deployment. For more information about the Golden-99, see our post on KS-LV-ARES web site. If you have a CBR kit and want to test it, contact Rick NJØP.

This entry was posted in Current News. Bookmark the permalink.