ARRG Amateur Radio Relay Group K7RPT Repeater ARRG Amateur Radio Relay Group

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News Scroll:         Over the past two weeks the group lost the use of the entire South Saddle repeater system due to several severe weather events and one week later, the group lost both of the Mt. Hood 147.120 and 444.225 Timberline repeaters due to lightning striking the the lift poles, causing over $750 worth of master controller damage.  Please scroll down and read the LATEST K7RPT NEW section to learn more about the damages and about our plans to fix and 'harden' both sites, in a heroic attempt to make our aging gear better prepared for an Earthquake or Natural Disaster.                                                Don't forget to help ARRG out by donating your unwanted HF or VHF/UHF Gear. ARRG can use the gear to either pass on to new members or to sell at our annual swap tables.                                        Don't forget the ARRG can help clean up your Ham Estate, please ask us for details!                           Try downloading our .CSV file to program all of our repeaters into your radio! You can find the download on the "repeaters" page!                          
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Welcome to ARRG and the K7RPT Repeater System

The Amateur Radio Relay Group, Inc. (ARRG) is an Oregon Non-Profit 501C (3) public service organization. ARRG owns and operates the eighteen or so VHF and UHF repeaters that make up the statewide K7RPT Repeater system.

ARRG supports the Amateur Radio Community and also specific Emergency Disaster groups like ARES, CERT and Search & Rescue groups; all of whom use ARRG’s commercial grade radio repeater system. All of ARRG’s repeaters are located on mountain top repeater sites, many of which are co-located on Broadcast Radio/TV towers and at multiple hardened Public Safety sites around the state.

ARRG supports many Public Service events in the community. We do this by setting up and operating portable repeaters and dispatch gear for events like the Hood to Coast and Portland to Coast Relay, Reach the Beach, Cycle for Life ride and Race for the Cure events.

ARRG was founded in 1977 and we are currently celebrating our 41th year of providing quality repeater service to the Amateur Radio Community. We provide our repeaters and technical expertise free to the community and to any Emergency Services group which needs communications. ARRG survives solely on your tax-deductible donations, so consider supporting ARRG.

If you are New to Amateur Radio or just new to ARRG and the K7RPT Repeater System, our technical team members are here to assist you by answering questions, chatting up your Ham related ideas and even providing you in person help and support.

Latest K7RPT News

Important South Saddle Outage Update

Two of our newest South Saddle Quantar repeaters (which we thought were built like heavy duty tanks) got taken out by a couple of back to back thunder and lightning storms last week.Apparently, because the two Public Safety Generators up there only saw the strikes as mere power bumps, they did not start up, leaving the single unaffected 442.325 repeater, also off the air. It took us a full day to get up to work on the system and get it running again. The 147.320 repeater itself took the brunt of the surge and literally the back mounted AC power cord was blown out of the repeaters socket.

 

One more issue at South Saddle

 

Every time we visit the site, we test the antenna system and we’ve been noticing higher and higher SWR’s on the antenna and hardline that run the 442.325 repeater. We are pretty sure that both the 20 y/o antenna and its hardline have some sort of water corrosion inside the radome and cable. So this means that the 442.325 antenna will need to be replaced as soon as possible, because it may not make it through another winter.

The cost to fix this up right is right around $1800 and the 442.325 repeater is important because it serves as a hub repeater. As we all learned with last weeks outage, we lost the ability to link into Amity, Astoria and into 040 in Portland.We have identified and made a list of important tasks we need to do to South Saddle in an effort to better 'harden' the system for your use.

 

This unexpected outage taught us that the two repeaters that make up our South Saddle system are in no way close to being seismically ready for a large earthquake or other natural disaster.As a group, we need to decide if we want to upgrade the two current Quantar repeaters so that they can have DC battery backup.

Unfortunately, something like 80% of all Quantars built last decade all came standard with AC power supplies, with no option for us end users to DIY a battery tie in port.

 

There are a few Quantar 24v DC power supplies out there, but the sellers know they are rare and coveted and they want anywhere from $500 to $950 for a single unit. The dilemma is trying to decide if we should buy used power supplies at a couple grand price tag or to start looking at buying two Motorola XPR stations (a model that comes standard with battery backup and revert system. If we did battery revert the two stations, then we also need to consider purchasing at least 8 100HR AGM batteries and chargers, plus purchase the proper battery support to withstand a quakeWhen it comes to the possibility of draining ARRG's accounts in an attempt to keep these two site up and running, as a team, we need to be smart on how we proceed.

 

ARRG’s hope is that through your added support, we can finish upgrading the system and the site so that both the 147.320 and 442.325 repeaters will be available to the Emergency Groups and everyone who rely on this wonderful wide-area repeater system. 

Updated Info about the recent three-day Mt. Hood Outage

During the second week of July 2019, several days of severe thunderstorms, which also produce hundreds of damaging lightning, rolled over Timberline, with reports of direct strikes hitting the lift and power lines that supply our repeaters their power. On July 18, users reported the 147.120 and 444.225 repeaters were stuck on in transmit mode, with control operators unable to control them remotely. The tech team went to the site on July 21st and found that the master repeater controller was severely damaged and we replaced it with our only spare. The 147.120 panel antennas are also damaged and need to be replaced, as the entire vhf/uhf antenna system was a built by hand back in the mid 90’s, and it’s age is showing. The crackling noise is only on 147.120, users can use 444.225 without the noise for the time being. The 147.120 antennas are showing high SWR’s and we may have to shut off the machine until we can figure out a rescue plan.

In summary, both of these sites are very important to our community and they each support ARES D1 and Clackamas County ARES. it would be great if we could get a little extra financial help to make needed upgrades.

No matter if you are with ARES or just a casual user, please help support our efforts by providing your tax deductible donating to the Special Repeater Fund below.

South Saddle and Timberline Upgrade fund

You can donate any amount, you decide!

ARRG is an approved Oregon Charity and is a 501 (c)3 Public Service Team. All donations are usually tax deductible.

Click in the donate button to securely donate any amount to the ARRG Antenna fund.

ARRG Latest News

The ARRG Booth at SEAPAC this year was a major hit!
Thanks for all your support by coming by the ARRG booth.
We gained many new members and had many member renewals, which means another year of continued upgrade and expansion of your K7RPT Repeater System. Check out all the Pictures and Video of the event by checking out our Facebook scroll to the right or by visiting Facebook proper.


The ARRG SEAPAC Spring $1 Raffle Winners
The Yaesu FT-70DR Dualband FM/Digi walkie was awarded to

Brian McCallister, KJ7BLP from Salem, Oregon.

The Yaesu FTM-100DR Dualband FM/Digi mobile was awarded to

Jane Beals, W7LAW from Carlton, Oregon.

Evan Vander Stoep, KJ7BRE received the prestigious Public Service through Technology Young Ham Award at this years SEAPAC. He was also interviewed by the ARRL video team in from the East Coast.

 

K7RPT Community Assistance

Did you know that ARRG often refurbishes donated gear we receive so we can in turn repurpose the gear by getting it into the hands of new Ham's in our Community? 

We are always looking for your tax deductible donation of good used gear, repeaters and mobiles to use as linking radios. We also appreciate receiving your donation of test equipment, wattmeter's, coax, hardline, commercial and ham antennas, towers and rotors. You name it, we'll help you get rid of it by picking it up and providing you an itemized tax deductible receipt.

Long Distant Communications
Long distance walkie QSO from Mary's Peak to the Mt. Hood Timberline repeater on 147.120. Check out Roland, KG7FOP who was working Josh Richesin, K7JLR, via a 5 watt radio.
Mary's Peak is about 100 miles from the Timberline repeater.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=NIEu4gh4yW0
 
 
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