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News Updates

(most recent updates at the top; newsletters at bottom)

13 September 2015:  Kerchunk filter added to the 224.400 repeater to reduce false key-ups from interference.

11 September 2015:  The 145.33, 224.400, and 442.95 repeaters are all operating on a new Comet CX-333 tri-band antenna, thanks to the hard work and dedication of W4NMH and KD6FIG. They also installed a new UPS battery with a 40 minute run time, and conducted other much needed maintenance on the system.

28 August 2014:  The Norfolk 147.375 Repeater received an RF 'Face-Lift' Wed 27 AUG.
Despite "Noisy Reception and Poor Coverage" in the past, this is now a Viable Repeater.

1. Replaced Diamond 21FT 2M/440 Antenna with a new Comet 10FT CX-333 Tri-Bander.
a. Future 222MHz Backhaul for a Remote Receiver (145.330/144.730) or possibly Data.
2. Replaced RG-213 (110FT) [2.2dB/4.8dB] with LDF 5-50 (110FT) [.5 dB/.8dB].
3. Re-tuned the Duplexers [2dB Insertion Loss w/80X2 (160 dB Isolation)].
4. Updated Controller Programming (New Control OP Logins, NET Mode Only).
a. Site is Slave to announcements and Mode Changes from 444.475+T 74.4.
b. Will no longer have duplicate voice announcements and ID's across the link.
c. There are still two 'Distinct' Courtesy-Tones, please allow both before Transmitting.
d. If both Courtesy-Tones are not allowed before Transmit, the RF-Link will time-out.
e. Standard 3 Minute Timer on the RF Link to prevent System Lock-Up.
f. With a timed out link, the two repeaters become independent stand-alone units.
5. Removed aged UPS and installed a new Line-Conditioner/Surge Suppressor.
a. Site has Generator Power as does 444.475+ T 74.4

Thanks to W4NMH and KD6FIG for their efforts on this project.

22 August 2014:  The Norfolk 147.375 repeater will be undergoing maintenance on Wednesday-27 August 2014 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, so anticipate some downtime.  Replacement of the antenna is one of several planned projects for the repeater this day.

18 September 2013:

145.330/442.950/224.400 back online Norfolk (220 Rx ONLY)

-> REQUEST WIDEST DISSEMINATION<-

The Norfolk Main Repeater System was restored to operation this evening.

Technical Support: Dave K4DA

Technical Programming: Rich W4NMH

Spare Hardware Chassis: Stro KO4FR

Onsite Senior Tech: Jerry KE4URB

Onsite Tech: Jim N8JES

-Lost Voice being investigated

-Quirky Courtesy Tone being investigated

All Systems Green Lighted for Nets, including SKYWARN Activations, and Normal use.


-Report 'odd' behavior' Via Email.

73's De Rich W4NMH

 

11 August 2013:

During a high intensity Thunder-Storm SUN afternoon the Main Site experienced

a loss of control over the controller, continuous transmit, & no IDs.

A decision was made to shut the site off until repairs could be made.

Physically the site looks viable, suspect controller issue.

Exclusive use of the Backup System for ALL NORFOLK Activity, per the plan.

NETS, SKYWARN, etc...

147.375+ Tone 131.8 North of five-Points

444.475+ Tone 74.4 South of five-Points

Or which ever one works best from your location, they are connected together full-time.

W4VB Echo-Link shifted over to the backup system.

Widest Dissemination Requested; Clubs, Nets, Newsletters, etc...

73's De Rich W4NMH

 

22 April 2013:  

This month marks 20 years of service for the 145.33 repeater in Norfolk, VA! The 145.33 repeater began service 20 years ago from the same location where it now operates. Over the years many dedicated hams have supported the repeater, kept it running, and made improvements to the system. We are also grateful to the site owner and manager who have continuously supported and permitted amateur radio repeater operations from their building. Today the 145.33 W4VB Repeater is a part of one of the largest, most heavily utilized, and most welcoming amateur radio repeater systems in the Hampton Roads area. With today's technology, and enhancements of the W4VB repeater system, hams around the world can now communicate on the Norfolk 145.33 repeater. Thanks to all who have have been a part of this history and to those who continue facilitating the repeater to serve the local community. Please keep monitoring and utilizing the 145.33 repeater as well as the other W4VB systems. They exist to serve you and the community.

20 April 2013:  W4NMH has tuned the cavities on the 147.375 repeater, and its receive function is now good again.  There is some "crackling" due to the antenna/feed line, but since this is on a City Tower will need to find out how to approach replacement.  VSWR is still within tolerance.  The 147.375 (+600 in, CTCSS 131.8) is Linked to the 444.475 (+5 in, CTCSS 74.4) fulltime.

2 June 2012:  Add to Net Schedule resuming in July: Norfolk CERT Net, Saturdays at 8:00pm on 145.33/442.95.  Contact Don W4ORF for additional information.

16 January 2012:  Mike Neal, KJ4OMB would like to recognize the folks who contributed time, money and sweat to restoring the antennas Tidewater Wireless recently lost due to building renovations at the main repeater site.

KK4BNO, KJ4YKE, KJ4OMB, and Bruce Neal (non ham) spent about nine manhours hours on the roof dismantling antennas, removing storm/age damaged antennas and mountings, and salvaging coax.

Tidewater Wireless sent a new dual band antenna, W4NMH provided new coax, and the same foursome installed that antenna in a temporary (not very good!) spot.

KE4URB researched the non invasive roof mounts we chose, drove north of Richmond to buy them. KJ4OMB assembled two mounts in his back yard.

The financial support was amazing. KE4URB, W4NMH, KJ4UIE, and several anonymous donors provided money to buy four roof mounts. KE4URB donated the concrete blocks to hold the mounts in place.

The working party today was W4NMH, W8JSA and his son Alex, KK4BNO and her friend Dennis, KJ4OMB and grandsons Mathew and Andrew. KE4URB assisted with on air antenna tuning. Total manhours today was appx 40.

The improvement in reception and coverage is spectacular.

10 September 2011:  The 145.17 repeater was installed today at its new site in Hampton.
It does not currently require CTCSS nor transmit a CTCSS tone.
The antenna's HAAT is about 80 feet.
Thanks to WA4WX and W4NMH for all of their efforts and for spending more than half their day today on getting the installation accomplished.

10 June 2011:  The 444.475+ repeater has switched its CTCSS Tone Access from 131.8 to 74.4; All other W4VB Repeaters in Norfolk are un-affected (145.330/442.950/147.375 Remain 131.8, and no-CTCSS used with 224.400); Please reflect the change on all communications plans, electronic media, and web sites.

17 May 2011:  The 444.475+ repeater has switched its CTCSS Tone Access from 127.3 to 131.8

-This is a temporary trial period through the summer.

-This will most likely be a permanent change to conform to SERA NE NC, SE VA.                                                               

-All other W4VB Repeaters in Norfolk are un-affected (145.330/442.950/147.375) Remain 131.8                                      

Please reflect the change on all communications plans, electronic media, and web sites.

 

12 October 2010 - The 224.400 repeater is back on the air, thanks to Rich W4NMH.  A transmitter mod was made along with a duplexer adjustment.  Users should ensure their CTCSS is off when accessing the 220 repeater.  There appears to be a problem with the decoder, and use of a tone seems to deny access.  

25 September 2010 - The 224.400 repeater's transmitter was repaired, but only lasted a few minutes before the output power dropped off again.  Needs further troubleshooting.

17 July 2009 - Please use a tone of 131.8 to access the 145.33 repeater. 

22 April 2009 - Updated net schedule for 145.33/224.400/442.95:

            Monday 7:30 pm - RASON Net
            Tuesday 7:30 pm - RASON Net
            Wednesday 7:30 pm - RASON Net
            Thursday 7:30 pm - Norfolk ARES Net

15 March 2008 - The W4VB 224.400 Repeater is now on the air co-located and linked full-time with the 145.33 and 442.95 repeaters.  CTCSS is not currently required to access 224.400.  The 442.95 repeater is the only one of those 3 that currently requires CTCSS.  
Thanks to Stro KO4FR, Lisa KE4HGO, and Steve KC4JGC for getting the 220 machine up and running!

6 November 2007 - Coordination has been received for the new Norfolk 220 repeater to be constructed on 224.400 MHz.  Installation likely to be in the December-January timeframe.

5 November 2007 - Antenna work is planned to take place this week at the site of the 145.33/442.95 repeaters, and is expected to affect repeater service on Wednesday (Nov. 7).  The 147.375 and 444.475 repeaters should remain available as they are not impacted by this work.

3 July 2007 - The CTCSS tone on the 444.475 repeater has been changed from 131.8 to 127.3 due to another repeater in the Northeast on the opposite split and using the same 131.8 tone.  All other W4VB repeaters still use 131.8.

29 March 2007 - The 145.33 repeater blew a fuse on the power supply and was down for a few hours today.  It's back to normal now.

12 January 2007 - Access to the 442.95 repeater requires CTCSS 131.8.  The autopatch on 145.33/442.95 was adjusted today and is working well. 

10 October 2006 - Updated net schedule for 145.33/442.95:

            Sunday 9:00 pm - American Red Cross Net
            Monday 7:30 pm - RASON Net
            Tuesday 7:30 pm - RASON Net
            Wednesday 7:30 pm - RASON Net
            Thursday 7:30 pm - Norfolk ARES Net

All hams are encouraged to check in to the nets.
EchoLink access into 145.33/442.95 is available, for those outside of the
Tidewater area, by connecting to W4VB-R (Node 311763).

4 October 2006 - The Norfolk 145.33 and 442.95 repeaters can be reached via EchoLink (W4VB-R Node # 311763). Both repeaters are linked together full time. A net runs Monday-Thursday at 7:30 pm Eastern time.
All hams are welcome to join in the net or at anytime on the repeaters via
EchoLink.

22 July 2006 - The 147.375 repeater is now on the air at its permanent location in Norfolk.  The repeater has a 440 MHz remote base, autopatch, and emergency power.  Thanks to N2NMH and KO4FR for their efforts in getting the system setup and on the air at the Fire Station today.

16 July 2006 - Here's the current weekly net schedule for 145.33/442.95:

Monday 7:30 pm - RASON Net
Tuesday 7:30 pm - RASON Net
Wednesday 7:30 pm - RASON Net
Thursday 7:30 pm - Norfolk ARES Net

21 May 2006 - 145.33 is back on the air.

15 May 2006 - The 145.33 transmitter was sounding bad and has been disabled until repairs/corrections are made.  The 147.375 repeater is linked to the 442.95 repeater and will remain Norfolk's Primary Repeater until 145.33 is restored.

19 March 2006 - The new 145.33/442.95 repeater system has been installed and is on the air.  There is still some work to be accomplished, but the repeaters are up and running.  Both repeaters share the same controller and are currently linked together full-time.  The remote base system is not yet functional.  The autopatch is operational on both the 145.33 and 442.95 repeaters, however, calls must be manually dialed as the autodialer and emergency speedial are not yet functional.

13 January 2006 - The repeater work planned for tomorrow will be rescheduled to a later date, thus the equipment swapout and CTCSS change won't happen quite yet.  Thanks for your patience.

01 January 2006 - Major work on the 145.33/442.95 repeater system is planned for Saturday-14 January.  Some interruptions to normal service may be expected during the period 13-16 January as preparations are made and bugs worked out.  The most recent newsletter mentioned our efforts regarding the 147.075 repeater.  As an update, our efforts in that regard have changed to using 147.375 (+600 input).  This new repeater will likely be on the air relatively soon after we finish the upgrade work on the 145.33/442.95 repeaters.

12 November 2005 - The latest newsletter has been posted online.  The "November 2005" link on the left side of this page will take you directly to the newsletter.

19 September 2005 - The RASON Net now meets on 145.33 each Sunday through Friday at 7:30 pm.

19 July 2005 - The WA4ZUA archives section of the webpage has been updated with more photos from various years of operation at the station.  Here is a link to the page: WA4ZUA History 
If you scroll down to the bottom of the page you will also find photos from
the old W4NPT club station at the Naval Air Station.  These photos were obtained from a photo album that WX9N presented to the WA4ZUA/NNN0NHA crew on 10 November 1992.

07 July 2005 - The Radio Amateur Society of Norfolk (RASON) holds a net on 145.33 each Sunday through Thursday at 7:30 pm.  They are having a breakfast get together on Saturday July 9 at 7:30 am at Golden Corral (Norview and Military Hwy, Norfolk).  A dinner meeting will be held on July 15 at 7:30 pm at the same location.

02 June 2005 - We plan to install new repeater equipment for 145.33 and 442.95 this summer, plus work on the antennas.  The exact date is still being determined.

08 Feb 05 - Autopatch codes for this year were sent by e-mail.  All members should have received them by now.

28 Nov 04 - The WA4ZUA archives page has been updated with more photos. Go to the "Links" page to get to the WA4ZUA pages.

10 Nov 04 - The tone access for 145.33 will be changing to 131.8.  At that point, all of our repeaters will be using the same CTCSS tone.

06 Nov 04 - The webpages for W4VB and WA4ZUA have been updated.

05 Nov 04 - Members may request to join the listserver by contacting K4DA.

 

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