Full Version: GBARC Repeater Poll
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Let's face it, VHF/UHF repeaters don't get as much use as they used to. Twenty years ago it seemed like every repeater in Southern Ontario was busy at least twice a day - during the morning and afternoon commute periods. When I first planned to move up north to Georgian Bay I visited the area many times and monitored VE3OSR to try and learn about the club that I planned to join. I learned that it was - and still is - a very quiet repeater. Recently, I have been leaving my home VHF radio turned on during the day while I am home. Most days I hear nothing at all.

A repeater network should be the backbone of any club. But, if it doesn't get used then really, what use is it? Ok, it sits there ready to be used in the event of an emergency, but if it doesn't get used on a regular basis how do we know if everything will work when an emergency comes? What do we need to do to revive daily rag chews on VE3OSR?

Do you routinely monitor VE3OSR or VE3GBT? Do we need another repeater, and if so, where? Should we upgrade our repeaters to allow digital use, and if so, which digital standard; DMR, Fusion, D-Star?

Should we have a full-time daily net with rotating net controllers like ONTARS, and if so, would you be willing to sign up for a regular 60-minute slot as a net controller? Let me hear your thoughts in the comments and/or by answering the poll questions.

Thanks for your participation.
I don't know of another topic that has generated as much heated discussion in club meetings that I have attended, as repeaters.

A set of three linked repeaters covering both to the west and east of OS would be great.  That was the plan some time ago.  We have two of the three (with OSR-GBT link).  Building a useful site to the east (Woodford?) will require either erecting a dedicated tower, or finding a generous commercial tower operator over there.

Speaking of generous commercial operators, we continue to have good fortune, with OSR & GBT so far.  We should not be surprised if it ends some day.  That already happened with OSR on the Bell Rockford tower.  I have read many tales of woe in the US where tower owners abruptly reversed their position on the donation of antennas and feedlines and started asking for $1000/month, resulting in prompt removal of the amateur repeater.

(BTW: If we were to breathe life into Grey and Bruce ARES, and developed good working relationships with local municipal EMOs, that would go a long way towards ensuring we have operable repeater sites in the future.)

The previous interest poll indicated that our members have a wide variety of interests.  I think the club should promote and facilitate all these interests, and repeaters should not be the primary focus of the club.  Repeaters are just a tool, like a radio.  If the worst were to happen (tower owner says:"get that stuff out of here"), the club would survive if it still was meeting the needs of the membership.


Dave, VE3WI