KARS is a diverse organization. We like to think of ourselves as an organization with repeaters; not a "repeater" organization. We commenced conversion from analog to digital in 2015, selling off the analog equipment in 2017. Over the following five years, our members completed this system to make KB5TX the premier repeater system in the Texas Hill Country.

Current Status

Band Frequency (Offset) PL Tone Status Location Description
VHF 146.64mhz (-) 88.5 Tower Road DR-2 at 1970 feet MSL (110 feet AGL)
UHF 444.9mhz (+) 88.5 Tower Road DR-2 using the upper UHF antenna, with Wires-X.
VHF 145.19mhz (-) 88.5 Sisterdale DR-1 at 1600 feet MSL
UHF 444.925mhz (+) 88.5 Sisterdale DR-2 using the upper UHF antenna at 1610 MSL

Tower Road

Tower Road repeater shack.
Tower Road repeater shack.

The Tower Road facility is currently leased from Kendall County and is our primary location. It is located approximately 6 miles north of Boerne at 29.86N, 98.77W. Bandera Electric provides the internet service which has provided stable Wires-X capabilites. The VHF 146.64 repeater provides coverage as far north as Fredericksburg, West to Kerrville and South to Leon Springs and the north side of San Antonio. Some members have even been able to use the repeater as far south as Von Ormy.

The UHF 444.9 repeater generally stays in digital mode, which means one will need a radio with Yaesu C4FM to access. It is connected to Wires-X and can connect other Wires-X rooms. After 5 minutes of inactivity, it automatically switches back to the SADRC room. The internet at the tower is excellent; IP traffic sounded as good as the RF traffic.

We support Yaesu AMS, which supports both "pure" FM and emerging digital standards like C4FM and Wires-X. We have APRS capability and a mesh network at 2.4 or 5.8 GHz to a remote site with an internet connection. This gives the capability to "call in" via the internet and participate in NETs from a remote location.

During the ice storm of 2023, there was some damage to the antennas that have affected the range of the 146.64mhz repeater. Marsh (WA5UBO) is currently leading the effort to get them repaired in addition to other tower upgrades.


Marsh on the tower at Sisterdale.
Marsh (WA5UBO) on the tower at Sisterdale.

The Sisterdale location is approximately 15 miles north of Boerne at 30N, 98.43W. The VHF 145.19 repeater provides coverage South of San Antonio to the Brooks Field area, Southeast past Randolph AFB and East into New Braunfels and Blanco. Northwest past Fredericksburg and Kerrville then to the Southwest to include Bandera. Tests will continue to the Southwest to determine coverage around Medina Lake and the US Hwy 90 area west of San Antonio.

The UHF 444.925 is set up for analog and/or digital. This machine is located on a private tower with the antenna at 1610 MSL (150 feet AGL). We plan to put this repeater on Wires-X.