BACK | ARCHIVE 2017

31/12/2016 From today the South Hampshire Repeater Group is hosting on our site news & information on technical updates of GB7IV.
The South Hampshire Repeater Group is not providing funding to GB7IV but our members do supply engineering and support to the repeater on improving its coverage & serevice
to radio amateurs.
Recently tests were made to connect the repeater to the internet. Details on the progress of this operation will be posted soon.

This is our last post for 2016 and for now we would like to wish all our future operators to GB3SH & SU a very Happy New Year. We hope that January 2017 will bring some exciting news

Best wishes for the new year from The South Hampshire Repeater Group

03/12/2016 We have a new contact email address : gb3shsu@gmail.com

18/11/2016 The Loss of Rownhams site, and why........

Despite having obtained a licence to Operate SH from Rownhams, which is a marvelous site located just north of the East Bound M27 Services, We are not going to locate the repeater's there.
Unbeknown to us, there were several unsurmountable problem's, and only in attempting to locate there would these problems show up, they involved a Lack of Energy, Finance, and Permission to operate.

The fact that the group had been in Mothballs since we lost the British Gas Site in 2012, ment we did not know how much physical support the Committee would get, should push come to shove, and we would of needed a lot of that at Toot Hill! Like digging a 300 ft long hole, 3 ft deep , and filling it in again for starters!

A distinct lack of AC 250 Volts is evident on site, OK we say - we'll use solar , and wind and... yes we looked into a permanently installed Gas driven Genny, on auto kick in, when solar could not keep up with power requirements, the Gas Genny require's insurance, buildings, Gas inspection and certs... On going yearly costs, just for starters!
So what was wrong with Solar? Well lesson here is for all - Solar is only great on a clear sunny day when the sun pours out of a deep blue sky straight into the panel, if its at 45* or cloudy, then the power inputted is well down! Not enough to run the receivers, certainly not enough to run the transmitters!

Even better, We were only allowed 1 or 2 panel's, and no wind-turbines, worse, the site has 50 ft high tress surrounding it, but as we soon found out, an aerial at 30ft was 30ft too low, so the aerial would need a mast of 60ft, that needs to be triangular mast, on a concrete pad, with Site Owners permission, Planning Permission, several tons of concrete, while we had the promise of a 30 ft tower and a 20ft extension, this was still not high enough, a 60 ft tower is about £4,000,.. the concrete cost was not looked into!

Mains 240 volts was the first thing we looked into, we had a quote of £7,000, this was only for a cable and connection to the national grid!
We had to: Dig a 105M long, 3 ft deep trench, supply the pipe to shove their cable in, supply the sand to put around the pipe which held the cable, and fill the hole afterwards! Which brought power to about £10,000...
On top of this is "wayrights" the cost of digging through someone else's land, if they say yes, our potential landlord seemed OK with this, but the cable would have had to have crossed other companies property, and they declined the cable, yes, it could have been forced upon them for a fee of £25,000, thats before the £10,000 By the way! So thats £35,000 for a lump of cable 105 M long, Im not counting the meter box, and wall for it to sit in, and the concrete block for thats to stand on, just add another £1000!

In reality we would of needed a secure housing for the repeaters another £1,500 without the slab for it to sit on, or the planning permission!

We looked into getting power from nearby houses, We offered to mole the cable under the road - only £1300, The moling firm wanted plans of every pipe: Water, Gas, Power, Sewer, BT, Virgin Media, Telephone pole, Power pole, Pylon, BT pole, and Road drains, a map of where it was, and where it was going, We spent ages lurking around tracing wires, cables and ducts for that map., they also wanted to know What was under the ground? ; like - it's dirt!? ( Even I know theres dirt under ground !!) No- its rough stone,.. But of course the real killer was the "No" from the MOD for the UHF operations, they will never say why, and we simply have to assume that the aerial was considered to be to close to the ground, and likely to upset locals with the RF. As there really is no point operating from two sites, UHF need to come from the same site as VHF, this "No" was the catalyst for us looking again, elsewhere in the Urban area.

We have been talking with operators of a site....And when we can tell you more, we will.!..

The committee, and others will will meet in early December to discuss progress, aerial install, and extra facilities that we want, or would like.

We hope that this time next year we will be installing not two, but three separate repeater's, two of them in the same in band, all be it on different aerials, these three repeaters will offer different things for different Amateur Interest's, and very good coverage for all, in the the sub urban area of South Hampshire on VHF, and Southampton on UHF, which is the Ultimate aim.

We are sorry but were not saying - Where Yet! Keep an eye on this site for updates.

We are willing to say: the site were interested in will give a coverage area similar to the old SH & PC repeaters put together, pleasing news to our repeater-less friends in Portsmouth.

Andy G4MYS

09/11/2016 Repeater Status Beacon

As part of the repeater project we are looking into and developing the means to monitor what the repeater is doing at any given time via an off air Beacon.

Two thoughts are behind this :

1. as our visits to the site should be few and far between, it is useful to know what the repeaters are doing and why.

2. and to further our knowledge on low power RF propagation, the beacon with this data will be on air 24 / 7 / 365

Thought is being given to a transmitter which needs to be TX continuously for several years, with a constant RF power output.
So far an almost new but 20 year old 2 Watt TX has been found, and a suitable case has been donated

An Arduino Uno is been carefully built, complete with a clock stamp arrangement, so we can find out what happens when, this is useful for example to find out when we lost power, as we know how long the batteries can keep us in air, before we panic and have to go to the site with a Generator!

The Uno in summery has a number of Digital and Analog inputs and outputs .

This could of course be decoded by anyone with the appropriate receiver, and software if they were so inclined. --Trust me listening to RTTY tones for some time is not my idea of entertainment, unless those tones are giving interesting data to you!

Data such as

PSU voltage for each repeater,

Each has its own battery too, we want to know their volts.
Current in Amps drawn from the Power supplies.... is a good indication as to what is going on
AC status.... - On or Failed has AC failed? or has the PSU blown up?

RSSI for UHF
RSSI for VHF

and if the site owners let us:

Wind speed at least we might find out why were off air!

wind direction.

To further reduce costs and wind resistance of the aerial installation, an aerial is being built.

All of this is in the development stage, If we find we cant get it to work then the whole thing may not happen, but while were thinking about this project apart from signal direction ( direction finding )...Is there anything you think we should "detect" and put on reporting stream? Let Andy Know!

such things: as how far a station on the input is off frequency ? is not in our intentions!

We will advise later, if all this works and comes to fruition! Things like : what decoding is needed, Beacon Callsign, Frequency and Power level ( likely 500milliwatts) and polarisation.


Andy G4MYS Repeater Keeper

01/11/2016 Hello there,
I just signed the petition "Canterbury County Council: Allow an old man the simple pleasure of a hobby by re-instating his Amateur Radio Antenna" and wanted to see if you could help by adding your name.
Our goal is to reach 1,000 signatures and we need more support. You can read more and sign the petition here: CLICK As seen on TV

Thanks!
James

Andy G4MYS

16/10/2016 I have received this communication form the RSGB OBO
Application of site rejected the GB3SU proposal.
They never give a reason and their decision is final.
In other words we cant have GB3 SU at Toot Hill.
We are seeking other sites in the planning and this does not effect GB3SH
Andy G4MYS

09/10/2016 We took the opportunity to operate at the Repeater site at Rownhams on the Sunday, to work 70MHz, this proved very interesting, indeed we were on 70MHz for over 4 hours, which I did not think possible, filling a page of the log between 70MHz & 7MHz.

We were using 20Watts from an IC 2300, 100ft RG213 coax, Sirio CX4 -68, they are a ¾ coaxial vertical aerial with circa 1dbd average gain, user's report on them well, but suggest paying great attention to water proofing. This aerial is around 10ft 6" high, its bit more elegant then a colinear, as it has no ground planes, Certainly the one we were using worked well as far as I could judge. The aerial was 52 feet above ground.

70MHz operation tends to be group based operation on a Sunday morning, however we also found a pair of stations on 70.260MHz running AM, Dell: G1JRU and Alan: G8UJS/M, Alan was using an ancient Pye Westminster, if you recall these radio's, they have a valve final its a QQZO 640, this valve has 2.1 volts on the heater element, and 600Volts on the anode! Alan was using a ¼ wave whip, dont forget at 70 MHz this is 39 Inch long, so With thanks to Alan I got another personal first: working a station mobile on AM.

The group we worked was on 70.325MHz FM, Congregate at 0900 on Sundays consisted of:

QTH S meter reading to us
Ted G3XUX Wickham 9
Dave G0BVV Bracklesham Bay 4
Andy 2E0DFR/P Portsdown Hill 1
Terry G0IOI Sholing 3
Nev G0FOD Fareham 8
John G4ZTQ Chichester 2
Edwin 2E0LLD Titchfield 8
Rod G4FPS Stubbington 7


later in the day we worked Alan G8IPG, he was using the famed Phillips FM 1000, with a quarter wave wire in the SO239!
I know a number of us have these radios, so come on lads get them out, find the on/off switch and use them!

Of interest we could hear a beacon too, and the guys on the net tracked it down for us:
70.031MHz: G4JNT/P 600milliwatts to a dipole at 8 ¼ feet off ground at Bell Hill, near Blandford.


After 2pm we went down to 7MHz with a dipole at 52ft and had some fun, bit like shooting rats in a barrel ,as there was a contest on we worked:
EI2WWC EI2HSB EI0CZ EI4L GX1RCV Dave in London 5/9+30
EI3ENB EI1E/P EI7CD

& called M0DPM in Bridlington who preferred to work GW6VEI, so we packed up!
Moral of that is: A station who is operating portable has gone to some effort to put his station on air, they are not just sitting at home, and we were not going to burn petrol in the genny to wait for his QSO to finish to work us!

Technical Endnote: it took 2 of us around 1 ½ hours to erect the 50 ft mast, and put the station on air, and were burnt around 3Litre's of petrol over 15 hours, We blow a 20Amp fuse too!

With my grateful thanks to Andy, the site owners and Tenants, who let us lose for a couple of days.... de G4MYS aka G3SOU

09/10/2016 This is the pager busting filter which we used at the British Gas Site, this is normally fitted in the back of the repeater rack as although it does an amazing job its not so pretty, and does not need access.

It was made by Airtech Frequency Management, and re-alined to 145.1625Mhz by Andy G4MYS its a simple but slow process using a stable sig gen and a stable receiver and a lot of patience, followed by tests at SMC on their filter test unit, these tests show a tight filter with 47.65db attenuation at 153Mhz, and a tighter SWR curve good for between 145 & 145.500Mhz, so once again this filter will only be in the receive path.


CLICK IMAGE
08/10/2016 Tests made on Saturday 8th October were made because of the cronic QRM from the Transmitters believed to be pagers on
153.325 Mhz, these transmissions had crashed through our receivers front end on previous site tests which made reception difficult.
We took up some very narrow tight skirted filters, they provide some 63db of attenuation at 153Mhz, so tight is the filter they make simplex operation degraded above 145.6Mhz.

The nine hour stint proved without doubt that
1 we do need the aerial up at 50 ft, getting over thew woods that surround the site,
2 that we do need to use our receiver filter, its quite a lump it site in an 4U 19inch rack!
the 5 coils inside coils inside are about 3 inch across and about 4 inch long each.

So we worked 24 stations, one of them for over 90 minutes:
2E1 VAR/M traveled across Hampshire and Wiltshire, along the A34 from Litchfield ( hants ) along the A303, And A343 to Salisbury, proving to projection map correct ,with a loss of signal near the junction of the A 349 & A 338, it was interesting to note j how much the signal picked up in Salisbury after Richard passed away from the shadow of Salisbury collage. We later worked Richard on the A303 near Chiklade close to GB3JB once again proving the map to be correct so many thanks to Richard, he also reported poor reception on the A36 along death valley between Wilton and the A303.

We were very pleased to that 2E0ZMX had used social media to alert many in West Sussex that we wanted reports and many stations worked us who perhaps would not of been around as a result we did not call on S20 very much!

while DX was not really worked we did achieve some distances and they were to the

south east: 2E0FVL Tangmere nr Chichester
East M0EBX Fernhurst nr Midhurst
North East G4JTR Chiltern Hills nr Reading
North 2E1VAR/M Litchfield
North west furthest worked all day at: 79 miles but lost in the QSB: G8AOJ, Coleford Gloucestershire
West 2E1VAR nr GB3JB nr Mere
South west G0FAJ Holton Heath nr Wareham

however the mobiles and portables did us good too including

G7JZO at Calshot, later clocked in the car park at Lords Hill, Sainsburys by one of our spotters.

2E1ZVE on a handheld indoor in central southampton nice signal John

G1HCM who could hear us on a hand held near Ryde IOW.

and M3ZNJ /P who was walking his dog near Tatchbury using his Handheld

2E0ZBE & G0WFQ/ M both showed southampton mobile is far better with the aerial at 50 ft rather then 30ft

in total I believe our aerial was 329Ft ASL ( 100.280masl ).... makes it 34 ft higher then Millbrook towers.

to you all we say thanks, it was interesting to get this opertunity.

for sunday were going to give 70Mhz a go for no better reason then its there, and its a good site, after that who knows we have 200 watts on HF or 2M Again, I love a few mobiles in particular the M3 To Basingstoke any takers?

73 Andy

CLICK IMAGE

05/10/2016 GB3SH Filter Testing Weekend!!!
Looks like we have a 100% go'er this sat the 8th, Andy C, and my self G4MYS will have SH filters SH aerial up at 50ft & we'll have 40M dipole up too for tests at 30ft just to have some fun if its a quiet day.

Also Sunday well have 4M in the morning, and 40M wide band vertical in the afternoon.

Although we are going to be operating on 40m & 4m we will still be testing the SH filters. We are operating under the call G3SOU/P
Looking forward to talking to you all and please pass the word around to any of your friends. We hope to have as many reports across Hampshire. M3 & M27 reports will be welcome

Andy G4MYS
30/09/2016 Due to the weather conditions being wet and windy tomorrow Andy G4MYS is sorry to say that the tests have been cancelled until next Saturday 8th October from 9:00am. The long range is looking more promising. Further details to come.
Apologies if you had plans.

01/09/2016 There is going to be a test on site on Saturday 1st October.
We are testing the filters and would appreciate contacts weather permitting from 09:00. If anyone is travelling M3 that day a call to G3SOU will be welcomed.
Listen out for Andy G4MYS operating as G3SOU on 2m Calling S20

29/08/2016 August 29th 2016 Antenna testing from the site. Click Images below to see in full
Still many options on AC to the site being looked at and mast.

01/08/2016 Update coming soon as I have been away.
Test reports from our antenna test and the next field test day coming soon.
A few things to look out for as part of the GB3SH fund raiser. Check out Andy's E-bay sales


28/07/2016

Last night there was a full meeting of the Repeater Group. The latest update is that we are moving forward looking at various quotes on powering the site with AC and if there are any short term alternatives.
There was also discussion on raising funds to cover the costs of ways to supply the site with AC and also an internet feed.

Sorry there is no news of an on air date but we are hoping that with the site we can get the most of the work completed before the end of September and before the winter months kick in.

We will keep you posted on web site and also via Facebook.

Andy G4MYS & Repeater Group

27/06/2016

Antenna Test Update

We tested the aerial today as its new old stock. It was put up at 24 feet to check VSWR, and for any internal problem joint's.

Soldering the internal compression joints and Allen Key joints, has been done to stop any poor connections on of dodgy compression joints.
In addition the support tube has been replaced with thick wall aluminum tube, and two holes will now hold the base of the aerial to the pole rather then the usual one, which in time give rise to rocking and wearing of the screw hole, and finally failure of the RF connection.

The aerial was under full repeater power for just over 15 minutes, we found a VSWR of 1.04 to 1, at 145.6625MHz, and no deterioration or violent SWR jumps during the test. And this is why we decided to use an older, but brand new aerial as the new thin wall types tend to have a high VSWR at the 145.6 Mhz end of the band.

To get the base of the aerial to fit the thick wall support pole the base was put through a linesher to reduce the diameter, the pickys show the extra bolt hole bored for stability, to do this remove the bottom section of the aerial form the shroud!, before boring any hole, you will of course need to give it a thread, as the base is aluminum its best to do this slowly with some sort of cutting paste or fluid, however both these holes give water access to the internals, therefore we need to be carefull about water proofing when assembled

Further work to water proof the aerial will be done during installation.

The Aerial was kindly donated by Andy who studying the RAE. one of our members, which will help with the funding!

Andy G4MYS

Click Image to see in full


Pic 1 shows aerial just prior to tests, with the 40M end feed wire just to one side.


Pic 3 both the holes 90* apart, the linesher marks and N plug of course!
26/06/2016 Antenna Test

I will be running a load test of the GB 3 SH repeater transmitter tomorrow (monday 27th), this is a "load test" of the aerial at full power, and the repeater this will be in to the intended aerial, so it will be on 145.6625Mhz.

The aerial is one of the standard amateur aerials and has been beefed up internally, soldered connections rather then clamped, and externally, with additional bolts to secure it to the support pole which has also been beefed up by using thick wall tube.

I'll do this in my back garden with the aerial at only about 15 feet, on a 2" aluminum pole simulating the mast pole.

So im looking for a break in the weather, and if clear of rain : It will go on Monday 27th at: 3:19 PM ( 15:19 local )

The test will be for 14 minutes as this will avoid the Callsign being sent on air ( as its only licenced for use at Rownhams,) the repeater wont be accessible.

You may hear a carrier, and tones, it does not represent a signal level from Rownhams.!

I'll be listening on 433.500Mhz on my normal home station aerial if you want to call in a report.

9/06/2016 Update From The Keeper G4MYS

I am writing to let you know we now have a licence for GB3 SH, at Rownhams, it is dated last Wednesday, 01 June 2016,

However, due to Scottish and Southern Contracting wanting more then £10,000 for a new electric supply,... The cable length was around 150 M, with us doing the digging and filling of the trench. Therefore we are going to have to run "off grid", so there will be a delay, while we work out how to power the repeaters.

The group is working on ideas on how to charge batteries from solar, and non-Solar sources, we are not permitted wind generation. We are aiming at a mid July On Air date.
But that could slip while equipment is made, sourced and tested.

Kind regards Andrew G4MYS

8/06/2016 Group Meeting

The Repeater Group held a planning meeting today looking at the powering options for the site. There is no AC on this site and various options were discussed, from Solar to Wind energy.
A requested quote to Scottish & Southern was received to have a direct AC supply fitted. As it was thought the quote it more like a telephone number. It will cost the group over £10,000 to have the feed put in.

The group is open to ideas on raising such funds from lottery to holding a car boot sale.

As well as long term powering options were discussed there were also short term options that can be expermented with to get what we all want the repeater on air asap.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to the group should contact Andy G4MYS direct via email g4mys@yahoo.co.uk

7/06/2016 Andy G4MYS Logged reception reports from the GB3SH site on Monday 30th May. Logging Repeaters heard signal strengths and also Broadcast FM Stations received from the site
CLICK HERE to see his findings.

6/06/2016 Andy may not be able to operate from the site today after having a nasty bite on his foot that's causing him a problem with mobility. He said he will be about from home QTH to answer any questions. If foot improves he will be there but unlikely at this moment. Were any of you up at 5am today enjoying the lift?

4/06/2016 Tests from site under the call sign G8FAB/p will be this Monday 6th June with Andy G4MYS Andy will be monitoring 145.500 & 433.500
Reception reports will be most useful The aprox time will be at 16:00 local time

1/06/2016 Application in for GB3SH & GB3SU with OFCOM Current status is in the Vetting

30/05/2016 GB3SH/SU Repeater Update. Its good news we have been given permission to erect antennas and site the repeater in the building on the landlords land. Today there were reception tests carried out from the site by G4MYS under the call sign of G8FAB/P with a mast approx 20ft. There will be some further tests carried out soon from the site and the application to OFCOM has gone in.
Details of the site at the time are to be confidential but the approx location will be public after the application is approved.
Updates are also on our Facebook page
Watch this space more details soon
Andy G4MYs

28/05/2016 GB3SH/SU Update we have been given the aproval by the landlord to site the repeater on a building on their land Details to follow

25/05/2016 Update : A new site last night was investigated and a few tests were done from the site on 2m. We are just waiting to hear from the landlord if we get the green light. As soon as we can get the go ahead we can make this group pubic. We should hear within next 24 to 48 hours

13/05/2016 GB3SH/SU Update. From Andy G4MYS we have news from the landlord of the site we have been looking at has rejected our plans for a mast on their land. Mast being a 20ft 2" pole. But our contact in the area is looking at a site close by. Will keep you all posted.
24/04/2016 New pictures uploaded to show the old site on the British Gas Building before coming off air. Check the gallery

22/04/2016

GB7IV Testing as a beacon from SMC Chandlers Ford during office hours
Output frequency: 145.7750MHz RX Frequency: 145.1750MHz
CLICK HERE

19/04/2016 GB3SU is the 70cm (432MHz) FM Voice Repeater of the Southampton Repeater Group.

Although the range of this repeater is slightly less than that of it's 144MHz counterpart GB3SH, the coverage within the city can be better due to the higher frequency. The current lack of activity on this repeater makes it available for any use at all times of day.

As of 4th September 2012, the repeater is DOWN.

19/04/2016 GB3SH is the 2m (144Mhz) FM Voice repeater of the Southampton Repeater Group.

The coverage of the repeater extends over much of Southampton and the surrounding area, providing a link for mobile operators as well as hard-to-reach stations, although priority must be given to mobile stations.

The site has changed hands, the repeater has been evicted. As of 4th September 2012 a suitable new site has not yet been found

As of 4th September 2012, the repeater is DOWN.