Tidewater Wireless W4VB News  

November 2006

Website:  http://www.w4vb.org

 Update on Repeaters

            Many enhancements to the Tidewater Wireless repeaters have been accomplished over the past several months.  We have also expanded the number of repeaters we operate.  Work continues to make the systems even better.  Many thanks to all who have helped, whether at one of the repeater sites or by helping with signal and audio checks from various locations.  Special kudos to KO4FR, N2NMH, and WA4WX for the substantial amount of time and effort expended in support of the repeaters.

             The Norfolk 145.33 and 442.95 repeaters are running on new equipment and share the same controller.  This has enabled the two repeaters to be linked together full-time.  They may also be operated as stand-alone repeaters when the need exists.  The 145.33/442.95 system has a weather alert receiver connected, but is not yet fully functional.  The repeater controller has a digital voice recorder that can be used to send Tail Messages.  Such messages are currently set to sound at intervals no sooner than 15 minutes.  The 145.33/442.95 system includes a remote base that is still being worked on.  Band modules include 440 MHz and 6 meters.  An EchoLink connection is now also available on this repeater system.  The autopatch is being adjusted, so you may have better success making calls on 147.375 until the adjustments have been completed.  The repeater transmits CTCSS 131.8 and may also be set to require a user to transmit the same tone to activate the repeater. 

             The Norfolk 147.375 repeater is the newest Tidewater Wireless repeater.  It has a 440 MHz remote base as well as autopatch.  The antenna is about half the altitude as the one on 145.33/442.95, so the range is somewhat less.  The repeater transmits CTCSS 131.8 and may also be set to require a user to transmit the same tone to activate the repeater. 

             The 145.17 WA4ZUA repeater should soon be on the air in Hampton .  This repeater will not have autopatch capability, but will otherwise function the same as the W4VB repeaters.

             If you desire an autodial slot for the 145.33/442.95/147.375 repeaters please contact us with your request.  Repeater supporters receive an unlimited number of autodials.

  Repeater Operating Modes

           Tidewater Wireless repeaters have several different operating modes, often identifiable by a different courtesy tone.  The most easily recognized are the Normal Mode (M1), Rush Hour Mode (M2),  Net Mode (M5), and Red Cross EchoLink Net Mode (M6).

             Here are some of the characteristics of the different modes:

 Normal Mode (M1):  Used on all of our repeaters when other modes are not scheduled or activated.  Has a 3-tone burst for the courtesy tone.  Rotates between several different IDs.  Tail Messages may or may not be activated by a control operator.

 Rush Hour Mode (M2):  This mode is set on weekdays 5:30 am-9:00 am and 3:30 pm-6:30 pm .  It uses a distinctive courtesy tone and has a Tail Message announcing the time.  Other Tail Messages may or may not be activated by a control operator.  This mode is designed to remind users of the potential for an influx of mobile stations on the repeater while traveling the area roads and highways.

 Net Mode (M5):  This mode is used 7:20 pm-8:15 pm on the 145.33/442.95 repeater system to facilitate the RASON Net Monday-Wednesday and the Norfolk ARES Net on Thursday.  A single-tone burst is used for the courtesy tone, however, a different tone is used depending on whether the user is transmitting on VHF or UHF.  Once you recognize the two sounds you will be able to tell which repeater the person is using during the net.  A single tone courtesy tone on any of the Tidewater Wireless repeaters may indicate a net in progress.  Control operators have the capability of activating the Net Mode whenever needed.  All Tail Messages are normally off while in Net Mode and most IDs will be in CW.

 Red Cross EchoLink Net Mode (M6):  This mode is used at 9:00 pm on the 145.33/442.95 system to facilitate an EchoLink connection into the Red Cross Communicators Net.  This mode does not use a courtesy tone and has a very short repeater carrier hang time.

 Scheduled Nets

           Sunday 9:00 pm . 145.33/442.95 Red Cross Communicators Net

            Monday-Wednesday 7:30 pm . 145.33/442.95 RASON Club Net

            Thursday 7:30 pm . 145.33/442.95 Norfolk ARES Net


            EchoLink is a Voice over IP (VoIP) system established for amateur radio operators around the globe.  Amateurs may connect to the system from their computer or by way of an RF link connected to the system.  RF links may be through a repeater or on a simplex frequency.  The 145.33/442.95 repeater system has an EchoLink connection known as W4VB-R and EchoLink Node 311763.  Amateurs from around the world may connect to us through this node and call out through the repeater.  All amateurs on the repeater are invited to communicate with stations connected via EchoLink.  Users of the 145.33/442.95 repeater system desiring the ability to connect to specific EchoLink stations on demand from over the air may email us in order to make arrangements for a special code.  Additional EchoLink information is available at http://www.echolink.org

Email Listserver

           The W4VB email listserver provides a method for updated news and information to be exchanged between all members of the list.  Email can only be sent to the list by members of the list.  To be added to the list, or to make a change to your email address used by the listserver, send a note to us.

Norfolk ARES

      The Norfolk Amateur Radio Emergency Services (Norfolk ARES) uses Tidewater Wireless repeaters to support its mission.  The Norfolk ARES website is available at http://www.norfolk-ares.org and they also have a listserver for their members.

For additional information regarding Norfolk ARES, or to schedule training, please contact the Emergency Coordinator via the website.

User Codes

     Tidewater Wireless repeaters have many functions available to serve its users.  Those amateurs authorized to receive the user codes will find a separate code sheet within this newsletter.  Please be sure to ID prior to activating any of these functions.  Codes should not be given over the air or given to others by any means other than off-air through a W4VB control operator.  Providing assistance to visitors to the area is encouraged, however, the authorized user must dial the codes for the visitor.  If you did not receive the codes or have questions please email us.