PJ7R Saint Maarten Amateur Radio Club Repeater 146.760 mhz

PL 186.2 hz

The Repeater

The 186.2 ctcss on the repeater receiver  is active only when needed, and most of the time is not enabled.

The 146.76 mhz Repeater is a Harris commercial grade vhf duplex radio modified and converted to Amateur Band Repeater use and was built and installed as a custom package including the IRLP Node 5830 by VE3KR, Klaus Rung in Oct. 2002. The RF radio is capable of 70w output but is throttled back to run at 45 watts to the 3db fiberglass omni antenna. The antenna is side mounted about 20 inches out from the support pipe on the north west of the tower about 6 feet above the roof of the building. Picture number 437 gives a good view of the repeater antenna and mounting hardware.

The repeater controller used is a CIB1 custom controller capable of all the normal timer functions, cw idents and timeout timers in addition to having a fully dialable link port from either side. The transmitter timeout timer of the repeater is set to 2.5 minutes.

The repeater is connected to the IRLP (Internet Radio Linking Project) via an rf link located in Cole Bay just below the antenna and is dialable by any of the more than 800 IRLP node repeaters on the system. The repeater is located on St.Peter's Hill on the Dutch side of the Island and gives hand held coverage into the Queen Juliana Airport, Cole Bay, Simpson Bay, and Phillipsburg, the capitol of Saint Maarten, and Marigot, the Capitol of the French Side of the Island including the French Lowlands. The new Harris Repeater System was installed at it's new home on St. Peters Hill on Jan. 09th, 2003, and went on the air on Jan.15th 2003 thanks to Glen Carty for providing the repeater site.  PJ7R Repeater and IRLP Node Link System is available for use by any licensed Amateur  whether from the Island of St. Martin or any of the other Islands within the repeaters footprint. This includes Cruise Ship Hams with handhelds, Yachters, or Sailors. If in Dutch waters you must use the call PJ7/xxxxx. If in French waters use FS/xxxxx.

There is a temporary repeater FS5ZMG on Pic Paradis on 146.985 mhz (soon to change to 146.85mhz)  running 7w to a newly installed SRL-224 4 Bay Dipole with 9dbd to the south. This is the backup repeater for the French side and will soon be replaced with another Harris Commercial Repeater with 45watts output. For now this low power unit is doing a fine job down into Antigua, St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat, St. Eustatius, Saba, Barbuda,  St. Barthelemy and Statia .

IRLP Node

The IRLP system has been designed as a RADIO to RADIO only linking system and CANNOT be accessed from a computer with a headset and microphone. This I think is the greatest strenght of IRLP as it gets Hams to not sit behind a pc chatting on a headset or surfing the web for hours but gets them to dust off their radios and enjoy the new aspects of long distance repeater linking. In order for a Ham to use the IRLP  Linking System all he requires is what he most likely already has in his Ham Shack,  a transceiver with a touchtone microphone that can work the local repeater.

This system uses the internet as the Linking Medium to connect from the Local Repeater Point A, to the Destination Repeater Point B. The IRLP computers use PGP Encryption to handshake before they accept a call from another computer. This prevents any attempts from a Non IRLP computer system from accessing an IRLP Node and coming out of and transmitting on the repeater without proper authentication.

Hardware

The IRLP Computer is an IBM 340 desktop half height 133mhz running 16mb of RAM, 1gb hard disk,  a CD ROM and a Floopy. The custom IRLP interface card is installed inside the computer and interfaces to the software through the parallel port of the pc. The operating system is a custom built Linux Red Hat Ver. 6.2. To this is added the custom IRLP software developed by David Cameron VE7LTD of Vancouver Canada, the developer of the IRLP System. IRLP has been around since 1998 and you can read the stories of how it was first developed on the IRLP Website at www.irlp.net .

If you wish to use the IRLP System on this Repeater, please go to the front page of this website and click on the " IRLP Guidelines " link and read them carefully as this will give you a good understanding of how the system should be operated. There is also everything you ever wanted to know about IRLP on the " IRLP Main Page " link at  http://www.irlp.net/15-status/frame.html .

The IRLP ON Codes are available in a printable form by clicking on the " Node List in PDF " link http://wa2dci.com/wa2dci/IRLP.pdf on the main page of this site. More repeaters are added to the list daily so this list will be updated on a regular basis so check back frequently.

How to Make An IRLP Call

Dialing on an IRLP link is easy. If you can punch 4 digits on your touchtone pad while pressing your PTT, you have mastered using the IRLP Linking System. Remember all you need as equipment at your station is a vhf radio with a touchtone microphone able to put a full quieting signal into the repeater.

To make an IRLP call you must first check to see if the repeater is not in use and ready for a call. Give your call sign and ask if the repeater is free for you to use. If no one objects, then give your call again and say your intentions to use the irlp system to call eg. Sister Island Node 7992, PJ2A Repeater in Curacao. Dial the code and release your PTT. Wait for the voice to tell you the status of your call. If the call does not go through and gives an error beep boop message, try again. If after 3 attempts at dialing the same number it still fails, you can be sure that the destination IRLP Node is either off the air or has internet problems, so try again later. If you dial more than 3 other stations and you get the same results then you can be certain that the PJ7R Node 5830 is having internet problems so try again later. You can also go to the Active Node Status Page at  http://www.irlp.net/15-status/frame.html and check in real time if the node you are dialing and the node you are dialing from are active or down, or connected to another station and what station they are connected to.

If you connect to another IRLP node and there is no one to answer you, please do not leave the connection up while chatting locally as all that chatter is going out over the distant repeater and tying them up. You can carry on your local conversation after you have dialed off the distant connection first. Also if you dial into a node and there is no activity, it is ok to listen for a while but if you leave the repeater, you should first disconnect the link you have brought up. You are responsible for dialing off a link you have brought up.

There are safeguards built into the irlp system with timers so if you happen to loose contact with the repeater for whatever reason,  drive out of range or your handheld battery dies, the link will automatically disconnect in 3 minutes of inactivity on either side of the link system.

There is also a transmit timeout timer that will drop the link you are connected to if you talk longer than 3 consecutive minutes.

The universal off code for any irlp connection including a reflector connection is " 73 ".

A Last Call Waiting feature has been installed and can be activated by dialing " *69 ". This feature will give you a voice read back identifying the last station that called the PJ7R Repeater from the IRLP Link. It will also read out the last outgoing call and how long ago these calls took place. So if you heard someone dialing in and out but you could not quite hear what repeater they were on because you were busy or too far from the radio to hear clearly,  you can use this feature to play back where the call came from so you can call them back. It also gives the last outgoing call information.

We have the ARRL News and Newsline weekly programs available to be played over the repeater but they have been deactivated at this time until further notice. If there is interest in hearing these news programs played on the repeater on a regular basis, please inform the custodian of the system, PJ7UQ.

The PJ7R Repeater 146.760 mhz, IRLP Node 5830 and FS5ZMG 146.985 mhz are sponsored by Comm Systems of Cole Bay Saint Maarten, PJ7UQ/W1UQ Mort Bardfield.

73 for now,

Klaus, ve3kr@yahoo.ca

Nodes 2450, 2460, 2490