Blog

2012/05/28

Obviously there has not been a lot of activity in the last few months. Very soon, we will upgrade the VA5DR repeater to be equipped with a GMSK modem, rather than using the software driven system. This should increase the sensitivity of the repeater and extend the usable range. Right now you can hear it but cannot work it on the outlying areas.

More to follow! Stay tuned!

2011/11/10

At 1330hrs, the VE5SKN 146.940 (-600) repeater was reconnected via UHF to IRLP Node 1350. Signal reports are welcome. Remember you must use a 100.0Hz PL tone to access the repeater.

2011/10/23

Again, its been a while since this page has been updated. We had our AGM last week and have authorized a purchase of a new tri-band antenna and coax for the VA5DR site. This should improve the system and hopefully fill in the existing range a bit better. The pre-amp should be installed soon as well.

2011/08/20

We haven't updated this page for a while. Nothing really new to report. The VA5DR repeater is off the air today for some reason so we will have to troubleshoot that. We have now added more club material to the website and the intent is to have this site become the replacement for the MARS club website.

2011/05/08

The second Saskatchewan DSTAR repeater came on the air at approximately 1700hrs on this date. The repeater is located in Martensville and details can be found by clicking on the "Repeater Info" tab above.

DV voice will continue to grow in Saskatchewan with near future plans to commission a repeater in North Battleford. Stay tuned for more information!

2011/04/08

Thanks to Bruce VE5BNC, the beacon from the repeater is now being gated to the RF APRS network in Saskatoon. We are experimenting with passing GPS position information from the DPRS to the APRS side. If you have a GPS mic, please try to send data and see what happens.

2011/04/02

The repeater seems to be working fairly well. It appears that HT coverage on fringe areas of the city may be a problem. We will experiment with a pre-amp once we get a couple of other glitches sorted out. Mobile coverage appears to extend in about a 10KM radius from the city.

2011/04/01

The VA5DR Gateway and Repeater went into commission today! Look for us on 448.125 (-5M) DV! Thanks to the crew, Sean VA5LF, Dave VE5UO, Garry VE5PNQ and Devon VE5DWR.

2011/03/29

The frequency of the repeater was moved back to the original coordinated pair of 448.125 (-5M) and we are not anticipating any problems with the move. The machine should be installed at its permanent home this week. Check back for updates!

2011/03/23

The duplexer was tuned to the specified frequency however there may be a problem with the band pass filter. The system is still in test mode on 443.125 (+5M) which is the reverse of the original plan but seems to be working well. Mobile coverage appears to be much the same as through the other set of Sinclair Resloks that were tuned by the factory.

A tentative date for installation has been set for April 1st.

We participated in a special edition of the CanNet on Tuesday, March 22nd which went very well on XRF021B. There were over twenty FREE STAR* and ICOM G2 systems connected and almost 70 check ins. The net lasted 90 minutes.

Stay tuned!

2011/03/04

We have abandoned our use of the NQSMHS board for no other reason than experimentation. The method we are now using to interface the computer to the repeater is simply a USB sound dongle with a CM108 chip. The serial port is being used for PTT control.

We have also swapped out the mobiles for a Kenwood TKR-850 repeater. This will ensure reliability under a heavier duty cycle. We have also aqcuired a Sinclair duplexer. This equipment was removed from the 443.000 VE5FS FM repeater, which is now out of service. The lack of use on that repeater lead to this decision to make better use of the equipment.

The duplexer will be retuned for 448.125 (-5MHz) as there is QRM on 448.000 for some users. We are still monitoring adjacent frequencies for any interference not yet documented.

The FREE STAR* gateway is fully functional, including call sign routing through the ircdbb exchange system. Successful routing has taken place between several Ontario stations and British Columbia stations. There is only one D-STAR gateway left in Canada to implement the ircdbb add-on. The North American Trust server (NATRUST) is being phased out. All FREE STAR* gateways can communicate with each other, however, a branded Icom gateway sysop will need to install the ircdbb add-on.

We have also set up a mailing list for Saskatoon area DV users. Membership is open to anyone interested no matter where they are physically located. Please visit the mailman listinfo page to sign up.

2011/02/04

We have been succsesful in interfacing a "Not Quite So Mini Hotspot" adapter board with a pair of Motorola CDM-1250 radios in a repeater configuration. The repeater is currently short range on test located in Martensville. It is on a frequency of 449.500 (-5M) running the call sign VA5DR B.

The repeater is often connected to REF001C and more lately on the FREE STAR* network's reflector XRF005A.

The software is the DVAR "Hotspot" software from W9ARP. If you are using the repeater, you MUST input the proper RPT1 and RPT2 settings for gateway access.

In the coming month or so (Feb 2011), we will be moving to a linux platform. The Canadian initiative FREE STAR* is what we have chosen for enter the world of DV repeaters. There is very little hardware investment required to implement a FREE STAR* repeater and gateway when compared to other solutions.

Once testing on the new gateway software is complete, the setup will be moved to a centralized location and provided DV access to the Saskatoon Region.

Check back to this site often in the next few months for a regular progress update on the system.

We are very proud to bring the first digital voice (DV) repeater to Saskatchewan!

2010/12/01

Experimentaion has been taking place on 145.600 DV simplex. We have played with DRATS and other terminal programs over the air. We have successfully transfered text and image files from station to station. Our preference in programs has been DRATS.