We Need a National Repeater Frequency Plan and its 1970

as proposed to the Department of Communications as it was called then

Art Buck: The Canadian Amateur Radio Federation would like to propose a national VHF repeater frequency plan on main travel routes. Sonny Gray has been working on a proposed national repeater frequency plan.

Sonny Gray:  If the following frequency plan for 2 metre repeaters was followed across Canada we could work repeaters when travelling from coast-to-coast using only 2 receive crystals and 2 transmit crystals. These are: Repeater Frequencies (MHz) In Out for primary repeaters in each area and by utilizing the following frequencies “secondary” repeaters could be added to supplement the primary coverage and to accommodate more groups of users

In some cases these channels are compatible with repeaters in the United States. The national frequency plan has a 200-mile separation between repeaters using the same frequency. A mobile using two transmit and two receive crystals could work a repeater in each area from coast-to-coast as it was pessing through. It would be feasible then to operate additional repeaters with the secondary set of crystals. By linking repeaters on 450 MHz in an emergency you could have a comprehensive coverage of disasters involving more than one area or province. There are only three or four gaps in repeater coverage in Central and Eastern Canada. Coverage extends as far west and north as Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie. In the Prairie Provinces there are gaps between Winnipeg, Brandon, Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary. In B.C. there is a unique problem due to the mountains.

NATIONAL STANDARDIZATION OF REPEATER FREQUENCIES C.A. (Sonny) GRAY, VE3BTS – Ottawa Amateur Radio Repeater Group (Written for “The Canadian Amateur”, the official pUbli,cation of the Canadian Amateur Radio Federation, Inc.) One of the problems encountered by Canadian Amateurs today is the lack of standardization of VHF-FM repeaters across the country. I first became aware of the situation when, as a member of the Kingston Amateur Radio Club, I endeavoured to make a list of Canadian and Northern USA repeaters. At that time you needed a total of 37 transmit and/or receive crystals to work Canadian repeaters from coast to.coast: This figure was, and still is, unrealistic for the average Amateur. The situation has mellowed somewhat with some repeaters changing to popular inputs and outputs but the standardization is not there. Whatis standard? Many:feel that repeaters should have 600 KHz spacing between input and output with adjacent channels 60 KHz apart, and i fully agree. – Being involved with emergency communications in the Ottawa area, I was invited to attend the Canada EMO,conference held in Arnprior, Ontario in May of this year. Many things were discussed. An open forum was held at the end of, the conference and one of the items that came up was my plan for standardization of Canadian repeaters. Why would EMO be interested in this?

The subject was brought up by VE3AHU, Art Blick, with whom I had discussed the problem when I had first encountered it. The reason for discussing it at the conference was due to the fact that there were two members-of the DOC in attendance. They led us to believe they thought the’plan was a viable one. . Some will say it is not a problem-with them and I agree there is little problem locally at,the present time but with more and more repeaters springing up it is becoming more of a problem every day. Again some will say it is their problem not ours. I do not feel this is the general consensus. I travel quite,extensively as do many others but few can afford the large expense for the number of crystals required; consequently the average amateur cannot use a local repeater in cases of emergency or to get directions or just to “meet” some of the locals. I know most of us would like to meet out-of-towners – otherwise most repeaters would have tone access or sub-audible carrier operation. How do we solve the problem?. Simply by using our heads and standardizing repeater frequències. How do we control the frequencies? Again it is simple. We start at the local level with a repeater group. This could be a club or a committee in a large club. Their prime function would be to improve and maintain the repeater and send delegates to regional repeater councils, which would be the next step. The regional councils could take – 2 – in anywhere from two to fifteen repeaters depending on the  number of repeaters in the region. This council would consist of one or two delegates from each of the repeater groups. The next step would be provincial councils comprising delegates from the regional councils. Delegates from the provincial councils would form the National Repeater Council. How would these councils work? Supposing a new repeater is proposedmanarea where several repeaters are presently in operation. The repeater group for the new repeater should contact the regional council regarding possible interference with other repeaters. This should take in frequencies, siting (if possible) and power outputs. The council should suggest the best frequency combinations to use in that particular area and the recommended power output to be used. Should the regional councils be concerned with siting and power output? By all menas. It is possible that a member of the council may have knowledge of a very good site that could be used for repeater operation which is not known to the local group. On the power output I feel that the surrounding terrain should be considered, the sensitivity of the receiver, and.antennaes used should all be considered. It would be pointless to run 250 watts and cover a ‘large area on transmit if the “ears” of the repeater can only ‘work half as far. Remember the prime function of repeaters is to extend the working range of mobiles. There are several repeaters in use at the present time where the transmitter far . outdistances the receiver. How do the various councils seti,t all up? The plan I propose goes something like this. We divide the country into squares measuring 100-150 miles on all sides (depending on terrain). Each square is allocated a primary frequency (of which there should be no more than two) and these are alternated going East-West and North-South. In heavily populated areas where more than one repeater is required we issue secondary frequencies on a non-interference basis yet giving all amateurs in the area(s) the best possible coverage.

What are the proposed frequencies?

They are as follows:
Primary     146.460/147.060
146.340/146.940
Secondary 146.280/146.880
146.580/147.180
146.220/146.820                                                                                                                                 146.520/147.120
I referred to putting the country into squares. It would . look something like the diagram below using primaries only. Each square would measure 100-150 miles on each side. Possibly the square would have to be cut down to 50 miles because of the terrain.

Being more familiar with Central and Eastern Canada the map below illustrates the proposed standardization in that region. Remember it is proposed and not as it presently is. Is it all feasible? Yes, but only if we as amateurs make it work. No one ià going to do it for us. Maybe some aren’t concerned and rather than get involved with a little work, they will put up with the pending chaos and hcaos it will be, or maybe  just simply turn off the rig. Then again maybe some would prefer the DOC to take over and possibly end up with a situation as we have to our South. A few individuals cannot do the job. We must all work together at it. This is a starting point. YOU have to make it work.

map rpt nbp

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