WB1GQR Hot 515 Repeater, Bolton, VT

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The WB1GQR repeater, sponsored by RANV, operates on 145.15 MHz with a -600 offset. There is also a UHF output on 445.025 MHz. The system consists of a GE MASTR II on VHF, a GE MVP on UHF and a SCOM 7K controller. The repeater runs about 40 watts output, or 60 watts ERP on VHF and 10 watts ERP on UHF. The antenna is a Sinclair 2-bay dipole, with a directional pattern, favoring West (Burlington) and Southeast (Montpelier).

The repeater is in the Green Mountains of Vermont, at a commercial site above the Bolton Valley Ski area. At an elevation of 3425 feet above sea level and 2000 feet above average terrain, the repeater easily "sees" stations 60-80 miles distant. However, this comes at the price of accessibility. The Bolton site is one of the hardest sites in the Northeast to get to. A four wheel drive won't even come close! All terrain vehicles and snowmobiles are often used, but often get stuck. The usual mode of access is walking up 2.5 miles. In the winter, using the chairlift cuts this to a steep 1-mile ascent.

WB1GQR is available 24 hours a day. Access is either COR or CTCSS at 100 Hz. A hi-low courtesy tone indicates COR mode, while 2 quick beeps indicates CTCSS mode.

The repeater has a 1 minute time out and 2.5 second courtesy time. Users must keep transmissions short and must maintain a long pause between transmissions to allow others to break in. Failure to comply will result in the dreaded time-out. Please do not engage in lengthy conversations during peak usage hours of 3-7PM.

WB1GQR is on the Internet Repeater Linking Project (IRLP) on node 7230. Access from IRLP to the repeater is available full time. Access from the repeater to the IRLP is available daily between 8AM and 11PM.
Dial a valid 4-digit node address to access IRLP. To drop IRLP, dial 73.
IRLP will allow only 1 connection at a time.
Go to www.irlp.net for instructions on IRLP.
Go to status.irlp.net/statuspage.html for a list of stations on IRLP.

WB1GQR is also on Echolink, on node 97406. Access from Echolink to the repeater is available full time. Access from the repeater to the Echolink is available daily between 8AM and 11PM. Dial "A" and a valid 4, 5 or 6 digit node address to access Echolink. To drop Echolink, dial #.
Go to www.echolink.org for details on Echolink.
Go to www.echolink.org/el/logins.asp for a list of stations on Echolink.

Internet linking is a very powerful tool which can be abused if not used properly. Repeater users who initiate Internet linking are expected to follow these rules:

  1. Listen for an ongoing conversation before accessing links
  2. Identify before accessing links
  3. Make sure you are full quieting. NO HT's allowed for link access!
  4. Limit usage to 8AM - 11PM at both ends. Check the time zone!
  5. Pause 1 second after pressing the PTT before speaking
  6. Pause 3 seconds between all transmissions
  7. Do not engage in a local conversation while a link is active
  8. Always drop the link when done - make sure you hear the disconnect announcement!
  9. Limit Internet use to 3 link connection attempts per day

Users connecting to our repeater from other nodes are also expected to follow these rules:

  1. NO CALLING CQ - You are already connected to an active repeater
  2. Do not link through the repeater to another node
  3. Do not engage in nuisance connects and disonnects

Thank you for being an informed and courteous user.

The latest operational status of the WB1GQR Repeater System (6/14/12):

LocationFrequencyTone (Rx/Tx)Status
Bolton145.15    -100.0Normal operation
Bolton445.025  -110.9Normal operation, linked to VHF
EssexIRLP IRLP system up
RichmondEcholink Echolink system up

Report Date: 11 September 2010

Repeater off the air due to a tripped circuit breaker, caused by other equipment at the site. Breaker reset and problem equipment taken off line.

Report Date: 15 July April 2010

New receiver installed. Old receiver had "tin whisker" problem, reducing sensitivity 18db. Performance back to normal.

Report Date: 17 July 2008

Traced desense to mix with microwave equipment on tower. Tightened clamps and rearraged cable. Problem alleviated.

Report Date: 23 April 2007

New duplexer installed on repeater. Taken up by snowmobile. Temp = 80 degrees! Repeater performance back to normal.

Report Date: 10 March 2007

Repeater problems due to forced entry into building, knocking air vent grate onto duplexer, shorting out connector. Connector repaired, but repeater not up to snuff.

Report Date: 1 March 2007

Repeater extremely deaf and weak.

Report Date: 13 July 2006

New hardline for 2 meter repeater installed.

Report Date: 22 April 2003

Echolink access installed on repeater.

Report Date: 20 April 2003

The amplifier and backup amplfier were repaired. Mitch W1SJ and Fred WA1LIE snowmobiled up while Neal N1ZRA and Chris KB1EMC provided support services.The main amp was installed and the repeater returned to normal operation.

Report Date: 7 April 2003

Late Saturday afternoon, a mere 24 hours after the repeater was fixed, the replacement amplifier also died. Chris KB1EMC walked up to the site and pulled the amp and engaged a backup repeater left in place there. The backup repeater does not have a fan and usage of this system must be kept very, very short to avoid burning it up. The repeater has a short tail and a 48-second timeout. Make your call, enchange information and move on! Do not engage in lengthy ragchews!

The cause of failures of the amps have been determined and some analyses are being done to determine if there are other issues. We hope to have the system fully functional in a few weeks.

Report Date: 5 April 2003

Mitch W1SJ and Neal N1ZRA found a dead power amplifier, caused by damaged power control circuitry They also found that the antenna was pivoted around by 90 degrees, changing the pattern and making the repeater appear weaker in some areas and stronger in other areas. The amplifier was swapped, the antenna set back to place and the hardline connector replaced. The repeater is already noticeably better.

Report Date: 17 January 2003

The new Mastr II repeater was finally installed! Tests show a 2 db improvement on receive and a 1-4 db improvement on transmit.

Nasty conditions (-5 degrees F and 30 MPH winds) prohibited any work on the balky antenna connector on the tower. We will keep our fingers crossed that the connector holds up and plan to fix this when the weather is a little less dangerous.

The "little" WB1GQR repeater in Essex has been shut down. Full IRLP access is available on the mountain repeater. Report Date:25 October 2002

The repeater continues to operate on a backup system on the mountain. It requires a fulltime CTCSS tone of 100.0 Hz. The old unit which was hit by lightning has been repaired. An entirely new system is ready to be moved to the mountain when conditions permit.

The IRLP node continues to be on the "little" WB1GQR repeater in Essex. To access this repeater, you must use a CTCSS tone of 110.9 Hz. This repeater has a distinctively different courtesy beep (two quick tones) than the mountain repeater, which is a single beep. If you are using the wrong tone, the users on IRLP will not hear you and you will just interfere with the other repeater. We hope to have the IRLP function up on the mountain repeater soon.

The IRLP protocol has changed recently. All nodes are now 4 digits instead of the old system which were 3 digits. All existing nodes will simply have a "0" added to the old node number (i.e. multiply by 10). Our node is 7230. Future nodes will be any combination of 4 digits except those starting with "9" which are reserved for conference nodes or special test nodes.

The WB1GQR repeater will now support open access. Between 8AM and 11PM you should be able to simply enter the node address and you're in. The access to IRLP overnight is restricted to control operators only.

To access a node, dial its node address. You do not need the "0" or "1" to access or drop the node. To drop a node, dial "73".

All other IRLP rules and procedures continue to be in place. Make sure you ID before accessing IRLP nodes and when you sign off. Report Date:1 July 2002

A temporary repeater was installed on the mountain Saturday morning. A fierce lightning storm took the repeater out around 3pm on Wednesday June 26th. The repeater was brought down for service. There were some shorted transistors and diodes and some melted circuit board traces.The main part of the repeater is functional. The power supply still requires work.

The temporary repeater is running on slightly less power (about 1/2 S-unit lower) and is in full time CTCSS of 100 HZ. If you don't program the CTCSS properly, you won't be able to get in. There is no UHF downlink right now, so IRLP operation is not possible on this repeater. IRLP is available on another 145.15 repeater in Essex, requiring a tone of 110.9 to access.

Report Date: 24 May 2002

The WB1GQR Repeater System joins the distinguished list of repeaters connected to IRLP, the Internet Repeater Linking Project. By entering the correct commands and address our repeater can be linked via Internet to repeaters and remote bases all over the world. See www.irlp.net for a description of the IRLP system or status.irlp.net for a list of available nodes.

For now, access to the IRLP system on WB1GQR is a closed function. Most of the active users of the repeater will be happy to link up the repeater for you.

To reach WB1GQR from a distant node, our node address is 723.

When the repeater is linked to IRLP, users are requested to WAIT at least 3 seconds between transmissions and when talking, key up the mike for 1 second before speaking. Users are also requested to not use the IRLP link unless they are full quieting into the repeater.

Report Date: 2 April 2002

The repeater is at full operation and at peak performance!
Work was done today to fix a problem in a connector on the tower. Corrosion in this connector caused reradiation interference which made many signals uncopiable.

The remote receiver in Essex is off line. Remote receivers may "appear" from time to time for certain applications.

The repeater will be kept normally in carrier access. At times, interference from random keyups and paging tones will be heard. These will be tolerated to a certain point. When this or other interference becomes objectionable, the repeater will go into tone access. This can happen at any time.

Carrier access is signified by a courtesy tone which sounds like a burp. When you hear this, the receiver on the mountain is in carrier access mode.

Tone access is signified by a short beep. When you hear this, the receiver on the mountain is in tone access mode and will require 100 Hz to access. There MAY be a remote receiver in the valley operating in carrier mode. Check to see which mode works best.

We recommend that all users program in two memory channels for 145.15 - one with tone and one without. This will allow quick switching for when it is needed. There is nothing worse than trying to fiddle around with a mobile transceiver to turn the tone on or off.

Report Date: 7 February 2002

The repeater is operational but not at peak performance. Noise is being generated in the receiver at the repeater site which is presently being analyzed. We hope to have a permanent fix in place by April, 2002.

As a temporary measure, a remote receiver, linked to the repeater has been centrally located in Chittenden County. To access this receiver, disable your 100.0 Hz CTCSS tone or change it to another tone. The main repeater receiver on the mountain is in CTCSS access. When you enable the tone, you will go through the main receiver and the remote receiver will be ignored. Depending on your location, noise will likely be a factor in how well you can be heard.

For most mobile operators in Chittenden County and nearby areas, the remote receiver (no tone) should provide good results. Handi-talkie coverage will vary, since the remote receiver is not very high. All users east of the mountains (i.e. Central Vermont) will have to go through the main receiver, using the 100.0 Hz tone.

It is recommended that users program a second memory channel with 145.15 without CTCSS tone, in addition to a channel with tone so that switching between the receivers can be easily accomplished while driving.

The remote receiver is shut down roughly between the hours of midnight until 7am. Users will be required to use CTCSS tone at that time. If you plan to operate the repeater over night, let me know and the remote receiver can be enabled.

We apologize for any inconvenience and look forward to restoring the repeater to peak performance.

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Radio Amateurs of Northern Vermont
June 14, 2012