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NARS has three repeater sites, one in Klein, one Downtown, and one in the Galleria. While we have had some challenges brought about by recent weather events, our repeater team, led by Rich Jones, W5VEK, is working diligently to ensure that this system provides the reliable and convenient coverage in the Houston area that we have come to expect. To that end, they have grouped their objectives as follows:

Short Term Objectives (15 to 40 days}:

  • On or about July 19, the VHF antenna on the Lyondel/lBasell Tower, 909 Fannin Street (Downtown) will be reaced.  If all goes as planned, this VHF repeater will be back on the air after the antenna is replaced.  It will be an RF only repeater.   The Team is not planning to explore any other modifications to this repeater in the short or medium term.
  • The Repeater Team tech group will assess the reported issues with the DMR connection to Allstar. They will determine if this is a Brandmeister Server issue or other issues to be identified.
  • The temporary connection between the K5WH VHF repeater and the NARS node network for Wednesdays NARS VHF net is intermittent. The team is working towards a better understanding of the underlying reasons for this problem. Part of this link is not managed by NARS.

Medium Term Objectives (40 to 60 days):

On or about August 3, the repeater team will visit the Galleria repeater and access the UHF repeater to determine why it has gone off the air. The team believes it is a Raspberry-Pi issue but other issues may be causing the problem.
The repeater team technical group is testing some modifications to enable the RaspBerry Pi to reset without a site visit. This should be a stable platform with connections via the W5NC HUB and RF directly.
The reason it has taken so long to fix the Galleria Repeater is limited by the availability of the individual to whom the facility has given this responsibility. Currently, access is available only once a month.

Long Term issues (> 60 days)

The Galleria site has a VHF repeater that is shut down because the antenna must be replaced. This replacement can be performed by the Team without any professional installers, possibly during the August 3rd visit. An antenna has been donated for this project. The connection of the Galleria VHF machine to the W5NC HUB will not be accomplished during the August visit. Additional discussions about the future of the two NARS VHF repeaters will take place before the Galleria repeater is returned to service.

General Comments:

When the team accomplishes its goals, NARS will have two analog UHF repeaters, separated by 20 miles, connected to the W5NC HUB, one DMR repeater in Klein on the W5NC HUB, and one VHF repeater, with RF access only, at 678 feet in the center of downtown. The separation of the two UHF RF capable repeaters with W5NC HUB links should allow members without HUB access to communicate by RF into Club nets.