Central Idaho Amateur
Radio Club
     
W7ELE Member Affiliated Repeater
W7ELE VHF/2m DMR Repeater

[IDAHO ARES LOGO]

This repeater is available to support Idaho ARES Emergency Communications.


This page last updated 5 January 2018.


Table Of Contents
Introduction

The W7ELE VHF/2m repeater is a low level open repeater, located at McCall, Idaho (e.g. 100 miles due north of Boise). The W7ELE repeater provides coverage along the highway 55 cooridor, from Little Donner to north of McCall, and into portions of Adams County.


TIP: If you are unfamiliar with DMR, please see the DMR PRIMER page for an introduction to DMR and references to additional DMR introductory information.


It is absolutely essential that all operators become familiar with the DMR operating guidelines. These can be found on the Idaho ARES web-site by clicking here, or on this (i.e. CIARC) web-site by clicking here. These guidelines provide a context regarding the shared resource nature of DMR and wide-area networked repeater operation, and are structured to make the operating experience more enjoyable for all operators.

Operators who do not comply with the above mentioned guidelines may find themselves subject to FCC part 97.205(e) restrictions.


Operators hearing stations that do not adhere to the DMR operating guidelines are encouraged to not respond to operators that operate in violation of the guidelines in an effort to discourage poor operating practices.


W7ELE VHF/2m Repeater Access Parameters
Call
Sign
DMR-MARC ID QTH Input
MHz
Output
MHz
MODE Timeout
Timer
Minutes
W7ELE 311607 McCall 146.040 146.640 DMR 10

The W7ELE Repeater has migrated from analog FM to Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) on 20 February 2017. This was accomplished with the purchase and installation of a Hytera RD-982 136-174 MHz VHF/2m repeater from White Cloud Communications. Users with a standard analog FM transceiver will no longer be able to access the W7ELE repeater. The primary reasons for this change are to increase the usable coverage foot-print through improved signal quality, attain seamless wide area networking capability (i.e. global, national, regional, and local coverage through the BrandMeister network), with a focus on statewide ARES communications capabilities.


[Hytera RD-982 Front]


Why Hytera Was Chosen: A number of people have asked why Hytera was chosen over Motorola. Since Motorola customer programming software is a subscription service, there would be an on-going charge simply to be able to maintain programming of the repeater. No such subscription charge exists with Hytera. Pirating software is not an option, legally or ethically. Motorola may very well be a viable choice for other repeater owners / operators if the subscription fee is not objectionable to them, or if they have a business relationship with Motorola that negates the cost of the subscription. Given a very balanced comparison of Motorola and Hytera repeater specifications, and Hytera's more favorable retail pricing when compared to Motorola, Hytera simply made the most economic sense.


If your station is not DMR equipped, and you attempt to listen directly to the W7ELE repeater on 444.125 MHz, you will only hear digital communications, which will sound like noise. It is recommended that stations equipped with standard analog FM capability use either the No Business Mt. or Brundage Mt. CIARC analog 2-meter FM repeaters.


DMR Code Plug Parameters

For those wishing to add the W7ELE VHF/2m DMR Repeater to their DMR code-plug, the following programming parameters should be employed:


W7ELE VHF/2m DMR Code-Plug Parameters
CHANNEL CHANNEL NAME TALK GROUP TYPE TIME-SLOT TALK-GROUP COLOR CODE TIME OUT
1 BM ID 3116 STATIC 1 3116 1 180
2 BM MT 3130 DYNAMIC 1 3130 1 180
3 BM NV 3132 DYNAMIC 1 3132 1 180
4 BM OR 3141 DYNAMIC 1 3141 1 180
5 BM TX 3148 DYNAMIC 1 3148 1 180
6 BM UT 3149 DYNAMIC 1 3149 1 180
7 BM WA 3153 DYNAMIC 1 3153 1 180
8 BM ZONE 7 DYNAMIC 1 31097 1 180
9 BM TAC 5 DYNAMIC 1 8955 1 180
10 BM SNARS 31328 DYNAMIC 1 31328 1 180
11 BM SOCAL 31066 DYNAMIC 1 31066 1 180
12 BM NORCAL 31068 DYNAMIC 1 31068 1 180
13 S1 TG8 NET STATIC 1 8 1 180
14 S2 TG2 NET STATIC 2 2 1 180
15 BM ARES-ID 31160 STATIC 2 31160 1 180
16 BM EMCOM 9911 STATIC 2 9911 1 180

NOTE: When this page differs from the Brandmeister W7ELE / 311607 page with respect to static time groups, the Brandmeister W7ELE / 311607 page will take precedence.


If you are constructing a code-plug that supports the N7IBC, W7ELE and W7CIA DMR repeaters, it is recommended interleaving channels for each of the repeaters as contiguous channels of a like talk-group to promote driving safety. For example, if the TS1 NET for the N7IBC DMR repeater is adjacent to the channel for the W7ELE DMR repeater, and then the W7CIA DMR repeater, you will not need to change zones when mobile operation requires you to move from one repeater to the next. You will only need to change channels.

Dynamic talk-groups (i.e. push-to-talk talk-groups), residing on time-slot 1, are available to stations directly using the W7ELE DMR repeater with DMR Tier II equipment, or by stations using analog repeaters that are on the CIARC 33cm link back-bone (when enabled). While stations on DMR will have the ability to activate a specfic dynamic talk-group, users from the CIARC link back-bone do not have the ability to select a talk-group and can only use the talk-group that is currently activated.

Calls initiated from other repeaters that are on the BrandMeister network, and appearing as a dynamic talk-group on time-slot 1, will be heard on the CIARC repeater network whenever the 33cm link is enabled. Any traffic on the CIARC repeater network will be heard on the active dynamic talk-group on time-slot 1. This means that your traffic may be heard on other repeaters in Idaho (and other regions, states, countries). The 33cm link will be disabled during the monthly CIARC NET, and at other times at the discretion of the control operator(s).

Dynamic talk-groups on time-slot 1 may be scheduled to operate as static talk-groups to coincide with specific NET activiies. See the CIARC home page for NET details. See the BrandMeister 311607 Repeater information page for current static talk-group and timed static talk-group information.

Note that the BM prefix in the channel naming indicates that the channel is routed to the BrandMeister network.

NOTE: Dynamic talk-groups are advisory. Technically, it is possible to program any talk-group into your radio's code-plug file and use it. There are no technical restrictions applied by the repeater or the BrandMeister network with respect to dynamic talk-groups. However, the repeater trustee recommends that operators adhere to using the talk-group listing above in as much as is practicable.

Information on the W7ELE repeater that is published on BrandMeister can be viewed by clicking here.

Station operators are requested to limit their use of high-volume traffic talk-groups, such as California statewide 3106 or USA Nationwide 3100. If you need to use a high-volume talk-group, please limit that usage to making a call and then move to a talk-group with lower traffic volume.


Private Calls

Stations making Private Calls are asked to restrict private calls to time-slot 1. Private Calls, whether initiated while on a talk-group, or programmed by setting the TX Contact to a private call contact, can be carried out on time-slot 1. If you do not use a pre-programmed channel for a private call, please make sure that you are on a channel that specfies time-slot 1 prior to initiating a private call. If you are on a time-slot 2 channel when you receive a private call, please, at your earliest convenience, coordinate a pause and switch to a time-slot 1 channel prior to resuming a private call.


W7ELE Repeater Block Diagram

W7ELE DMR REPEATER BLOCK DIAGRAM

The W7ELE repeater is programmed to give repeat audio priority over external PTT (i.e. 33cm link) audio.

The 33cm link will be disabled by default, with its primary purpose being to support the control receiver function on this repeater. Maintining a disabled 33cm link will also avoid issues of simultaneous transmission of DMR time-slot 1 conversations from the W7CIA repeater. Since this repeater uses the BrandMeister cluster feature, and maintains a link to the W7CIA repeater using Regional Talk-Group 8 on Time-Slot 1, and Local Talk-Group 2 on Time Slot 2, users of the CIARC analog repeater network will have access to users of the W7ELE repeater via Time-Slot 1 when the 33cm link is enabled at the W7CIA repeater.

W7ELE Repeater Coverage Footprint

W7ELE DMR REPEATER COVERAGE FOOT PRINT

Clustered Time-Slot / Talk-Group Pairs

The N7IBC UHF/70cm DMR Repeater, W7ELE VHF/2m DMR Repeater and W7CIA VHF/2m DMR Repeater are configured to subscribe to a cluster on Time-Slot 1 / Talk-Group 8 and to another cluster on Time-Slot 2 / Talk-Group 2. Respectively, these channels are named TS1 NET and TS2 NET. Any communications occurring on any of these repeaters will be heard on that repeater and the other two repeaters when one of these channels is used. Clustered Talk-Groups are STATIC.

The maintaining of a static talk-group on both time-slots is not conventional. The purpose of doing so is to support primary NET operations on one time-slot, and allowing traffic to be moved off of the primary NET and onto the secondary NET in order to maintain communications capability while allowing the primary NET to serve, unimpeded by traffic, as a coordinating NET. The convention that has been established for these two clustered time-slot/talk-group pairs is that the primary NET operations will be conducted on TS2 NET while off NET traffic will be handled on TS1 NET.

A composite coverage prediction for repeaters included in these clustered channels is shown below:


COMPOSITE DMR REPEATER COVERAGE FOOT PRINT

Roaming Support

Roaming provides for the automatic channel selection between two repeaters when driving out of coverage from one repeater and into coverage of another repeater. The W7ELE repeater and W7CIA repeater are configured to cooperatively support roaming, using static talk-groups, to support automatic selection of the most favorable repeater. If the operator's radio supports roaming, this means that the operator will not have to manually select the best repeater as they move in and out of coverage while mobile or portable.

This repeater has been reconfigured to support ROAMING. The repeater will transmit a beacon of a duration of 4320 milliseconds every 60-seconds. Radios that have roaming support, such as Hytera and Motorola, can be programmed to support roaming on static talk-group channels. Static talk-groups available for roaming include:

For the purpose of explaining roaming, the following discusses how roaming works with Hytera radios:

Hytera radios creates roaming lists, which are analogous to a scan list, but differ from a scan list in that the roam list contains channels on different repeaters that contain the exact same content (i.e. the same talk-group). When creating a code plug, the roam list are constructed first, and then the channels that are to be used with roaming are then subscribed to the appropriate roam list.

The following roaming lists would be created:

Then the individual channels that use the talk-groups and time-slots as appropriate for static-talk group operation on the repeater, are then configured to subscribe to the appropriate roaming list:

Lastly, the code plug is modified to assign a programmable button to be used to place the radio into or out of roaming mode.

Once the radio is properly programmed to support roaming, the appropriate channel that is included in roaming support is then selected on the operator's radio and the radio is then placed into roaming mode.

With the radio in roaming mode, the radio monitors the beaconing of the repeater. If the repeater signal strength falls below a specified Relative Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) threshold, the radio will try to find a new master repeater site by scanning the channels contained within the active roaming list. If a new master site is found that has better performance, the radio will automatically switch to that channel. If no better master site is found, the radio will remain on the current channel (which is what will happen the station moves out of range of a master site and coverage from another master site is not available). In essence, the operator's radio is voting on which repeater has the best coverage and always maintains a channel selection on the best repeater.

Roaming relieves the operator of having to manually monitor the repeater signal strength (or the station geopgraphical position) and switch channels, and this helps to maintain communications in a linked repeater network.


NOTE: Not all radio manufacturers support the roaming feature. Motorola and Hytera radios are know to support roaming. Your mileage may vary.


NOTE: Because the repeaters are periodically beaconing so that the Relative Signal Strength Indication (RSSI) of the operator's radio can perfrom the voting process, the beaconing will cause all radio receivers operating on a repeater that supports voting to exit power savings mode at a repitition rate equal to the beaconing rate (i.e. once every 60-seconds). Beaconing may result in faster discharge of a portable radio battery than might be experienced on an inactive non-beaconing repeater. Beaconing occurs at a 5% duty cycle, with the W7CIA repeater beaconing for 3000 milliseconds every 60-seconds and the W7ELE repeater beaconing for 3000 milliseconds every 70-seconds. The offset intervals are intended to skew the beacons on the respective repeaters so that overlapped beaconing is less unlikely. A 5% duty cycle, per beaconing repeater, represent 42 minutes over a 14-hour period that a receiver will not operate in battery savings mode.


GPS / APRS Support

IMPORTANT

Because GPS / APRS data requires the use of a time-slot, and have the potential to cause interference to other users (including the potential to subscribe to a different dynamic talk-group), users should disable automatic GPS data beaconing (i.e. beaconing based on time intervals or distance intervals). Transmission of GPS data associated with either Push-To-Talk (PTT) activity or manually transmitting GPS data are allowed as this occurs under the control of the operator and will not present a risk of interference to other operators.


W7ELE DMR Repeater RESET Events

The RESET event table contains no data for the (kDMR_MARC_ID__W7ELE) DMR Repeater. This is indicative that the IP reset module has not yet been installed on the (kDMR_MARC_ID__W7ELE) DMR Repeater.

Additional Hytera RD-982 Technical Information

If you are researching the Hytera RD-982 repeater and are looking for additional technical information, including guidance on configuring the RD-982 to participate on the BrandMeister network, please see the W7CIA VHF DMR Repeater page.