|Kendall Amateur Radio Society||
KARS provides and maintains the following repeaters using the Club call KB5TX:
146.64(-) pl tone of 88.5 . DR-2 fusion machine located
at around 1970 feet above mean sea level (MSL) at Tower Road.
. DR-2 fusion machine located at around 1970 feet above mean sea level (MSL) at Tower Road.
· VHF: 145.19(-) pl tone of 88.5. Converted to DR-2 fusion machine, located at about 50 feet, in Fair Oaks Ranch.
u UHF: 444.9 (+) pl tone of 88.5. DR-2 fusion machine using the top UHF antenna at Tower Road.
As result of months of effort by Ken Nichols and Rodney
Vorndam, the use
of Kendall County towers by KARS repeaters is now formally approved by
the County Commissioners Court and the County Judge.
Background: The County told us some time ago they wished to consolidate communications at the EMS site on Jennifer Road. In exchange, the County offered the Kendall County Sheriff Office (KCSO) site on Tower Road to KARS to use, backup generator, tower and all. We surveyed the building and, with the Board approving cost, Marsh Pronneke accomplished extensive repairs amounting to almost a complete rebuild, mainly to remove dry-rot, insulate, and water proof the building. With these building repairs complete, the .64 machine was relocated to its new permanent home on Tower Road. This is the tower and antennas we have to work with at Tower Road.
Tower Road Site
ha We have two working 2-meter antennas and a possible 150 MHz antenna system. Our plan is to take our 2-meter antenna and coax off the Jennifer Road tower and reinstall this at Tower Road. Then we will have three workable 2-meter antennas at varying heights, two in use and one for future use. The 450 MHZ antenna at the top of tower is providing great coverage for the 444.9 mHz repeater. Primary power is from the AC Mains with battery backup. We inherited the backup generator on site and will refurbish this later on. The DR-2X fusion repeater (.64) will be the primary repeater on this tower. So, what has been the overall plan? Here is the Road Map the Membership approved to guide the overall effort.
We have completed this with the goal to make KB5TX the premier repeater system in the Hill Country. The Tower Road site provides coverage as far north as Fredericksburg. The Fair Oaks Ranch site provides coverage into San Antonio. We now support both "pure" FM and emerging digital standards. We have APRS capability and a mesh network at 2.4 or 5.8 GHz to a remote site with an internet connection. With this we will have the ability to "call in" via the internet to participate in NETS from a remote location.
We commenced with one VHF repeater and a set of cavities. Then, a UHF repeater was added. Along the way an APRS system was installed. Bee Cave Communications provided internet to the facility. A Broadcastify system was added to the VHF repeater. WiresX was added to the UHF repeater. How to use WiresX is located here. A WSPRPi was added to provide HF propagation reports. UPS and battery backup was added. A system to monitor environmental came soon after. It’s no wonder that the Tower Road site came to look like this.
was the result of quickly adding one capability after another for quick
presence on the air, and while everything worked, it created many
problems; it had to change so we could easily add additional
capabilities, trouble shoot when needed and simply document what we
The Work of Art
Steve Lazar has the KB5TX APRS Digipeater on the air from the tower road site since 21 May. Currently we are running an ICOM IC-2100 with an output power of 25 watts and the TinyTrak 4. Our antenna is about halfway up the tower for an estimated height slightly over 1700 feet using the lower of the two existing 2-meter antennas. Look at www.aprs.fi and search for KB5TX. Here it is.
The various station locations which were heard directly on the KB5TX Digipeater are shown below on a screen shot from www.aprs.fi. Over time this will allow us to estimate what our system coverage. But from what is shown below, one would have to agree that it is pretty good.
CW ID on our repeaters is set to 20 WPM- which is the maximum
speed allowed under FCC rules. This is mentioned because we have been
asked if we can increase the speed beyond what it is currently at.
The answer is "No."