Repeaters

K4LKW REPEATER SYSTEM

VHF REPEATER – 147.330 MHZ – PL. 127.3 Hz – LAKE WALES

Our VHF repeater is located atop the water tower located on the grounds of the Lake Wales High School.  The Repeater consists of the following equipment:
  • Repeater – Vertex Standard VX7000 – running 40 watts transmitter power.
  • Controller – Arcom RC210 V3.3  (Added in 2019)
VHF Repeater – Coverage Area – Confirmed Reports.  Note:  Green flag indicate locations of reports.
UHF REPEATER – 442.425 MHZ – PL 127.3 Hz – DUNDEE
  • Repeater – Vertex Standard VX7000 – running 40 watts transmitter power
  • Controller – Internal Controller
  • Scheduled to be upgraded to a Yaesu DR1XFR in late 2019 as soon as the current DR1X is returned from Yaesu.

PURPOSE OF THE K4LKW REPEATER SYSTEM

The LWRA, Inc. (a not-for-profit Florida corporation) sponsor of the K4LKW Repeater System allows operators, especially those using mobile and low-powered handheld transceivers, to communicate reliably over longer distances.  The K4LKW Repeater System is for use by:
(1) The K4LKW Repeater System is intended to be a meeting point for LWRA members, participants during LWRA nets, as well as general conversation between and among duly licensed amateur radio operators. Regular users are expected to be LWRA members. Membership is available for only $24 per year for an individual. Bulk family rate also available.
(2) Mobile operators passing through and short-term visitors to Central Florida.
(3) Participants in other activities approved by the LWRA Repeater Trustee. To contact the trustee send an e-mail to K4KH@ryanstudios.net.
(4) The K4LKW Repeater System is associated with the Polk County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (Polk County ARES) as a backup in time of emergency operations should the WC4PEM (Bartow and Davenport, FL) repeaters fail or be inundated with emergency traffic.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. HOW MANY TRANSMITTERS DOES THE SYSTEM HAVE?

There are two transceiver, one on 147.330 +600 Khz., and through a lease agreement between LWRA and the City of Lake Wales, its antenna is on top of the water tower near Lake Wales High School. The antenna is approximately 150 feet above ground on one of the higher points of land in this area (on the ridge). Placing it 380 feet above sea level. There is a 442.425 MHz UHF+ 5Mhz repeater transmitter on top of the Dundee Water Tower which will be able to link to the 147.330 MHz system. The UHF repeater has a shorter antenna height and no remote receivers. Coverage is generally limited to a much smaller area.

2. IS THERE A CTCSS ENCODE TONE FOR THE SYSTEM?

Yes. Both of the repeaters require a CTCSS sub-audible access tone of 127.3 Hz. Not using this tone will cause the repeater to come up when you first begin your transmission, but it will drop out within mere seconds if it does not sense the proper CTCSS tone. From time-to-time, you may hear one of our members advising another station to set their “PL” tone to 127.3 so they may access the repeater.

3. ARE THERE ANY OTHER 147.330 REPEATER SYSTEMS THAT CAN BE HEARD IN THE LAKE WALES AREA?

Yes. There is one to the East in Brevard County FL, on the East coast, one to the South in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and a third repeater located to the North, in the Gainesville, FL area, as well as others within 500 miles. If the band conditions are “open”, other repeaters can be heard. The best way to reduce their signal is to increase your squelch setting or set your receiver to decode only the 127.3 Hz CTCSS tone. Most of the other repeaters have different CTCSS tones to prevent interference. At the time of this writing, there are no other repeaters in Florida on the 442.425 UHF repeater frequency.

4. IS THERE A REQUIREMENT TO IDENTIFY AT THE BEGINNING OF A TRANSMISSION ON THE K4LKW REPEATER SYSTEM?

No. But it also makes good sense as there is a FCC Part 97 Rule that prohibits the transmission of a signal to an unlicensed person. When a call is received in a clear, readable manner, the opportunity for call verification is available. So best practices would be to identify as soon as reasonable during a communication. The official FCC rule is as follows:

FCC Part 97.119 (a) Each amateur station, except a space station or telecommand station, must transmit its assigned call sign on its transmitting channel at the end of each communication, and at least every 10 minutes during a communication, for the purpose of clearly making the source of the transmissions from the station known to those receiving the transmissions. No station may transmit unidentified communications or signals, or transmit as the station call sign, any call sign not authorized to the station.

5. IS LWRA,Inc. MEMBERSHIP REQUIRED TO USE THE REPEATER?

Generally yes, all regular users are expected to be LWRA members. Repeater systems are not free to keep up; with maintenance, leasing fees, insurance, replacement, or upgrade of equipment  All of this requires members to help with costs of upkeep. With our low dues rate, there is no excuse for any regular user not to be a member. Exceptions to this policy are made for repeater use during our regularly scheduled Tuesday night net, emergency activation’s, drills and nets by ARES and SkyWarn, or other organizations should the Bartow ARES repeater fail, or be inundated with emergency traffic. Short-term visitors to our area and out-of-state or out of area mobile operators passing through are also exceptions.

6. WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I COMMUNICATE WITH A NON-MEMBER ON THE REPEATER?

Most likely you will hear mobiles visiting or passing through the area. Many times these stations use the repeater to ask questions about the area, obtain driving directions, or simply just to say, “hello” as they pass through. If you hear other users on a regular basis over a lengthy period of time, especially base station operators, invite them to join our organization and invite them to a monthly club meeting. Dues are only $24.00 per year; there is no better bargain around. LWRA, Inc. members are listed via the roster on www.LWRA.US and membership information for prospects is available there also. Several of our members actually reside “up North” but, spend considerable time in the Polk County area during the winter months. Dues help support the cost of monthly electricity bills, Insurance, lightning damage, repeater maintenance and parts, new antennas, tower climbers, etc.

7. CAN I ACKNOWLEDGE OR COMMUNICATE WITH UNLICENSED OR UNIDENTIFIED OPERATORS?

Please do not discuss any details about “jammers or jamming” on the air at any time and do not acknowledge jammers in any manner. No communications are permitted with persons not holding a valid Amateur Radio license except for transmissions in compliance with FCC rules on third party traffic and control operator supervision.

8. WHAT SHOULD I DO WHEN UNLICENSED OPERATORS OR JAMMERS APPEAR?

Use procedures listed above to assist in determining the location of the unidentified/unlicensed operator. When input from observers is sufficient to identify a source of illegal transmissions, details will be filed by the repeater trustee with the Federal Communications Commission and other agencies for enforcement action.

9. CAN LICENSED HAMS BE BANNED FROM A REPEATER?

Yes, Closed repeaters have been recognized and legal for many years. FCC Part 97.205 (e) states “limiting the use of a repeater to only certain user stations is permissible.” There is no rule which requires a repeater sponsor to let everyone use it. Those who do not follow FCC rules and the rules set forth by the K4LKW Trustee can be disqualified at will from using the repeater system equipment and/ or FCC enforcement action.

FCC Part 97, which governs all of Ham Radio, makes it clear that the trustee, who is in charge of the repeater, has total control, and responsibility for the system. The repeater system trustee has the right, under Federal Law, FCC Part 97, to deny access to anyone they choose at any time, and to silence the system in the case of misuse or conduct not in the standards of the repeater. Please identify and clearly, with your full call sign, at the beginning of a conversation, every ten minutes during the conversation, and at the end. All this information is intended to produce better, well informed Ham Radio Operators.

Let’s keep our standards high!

The underlying theme to all this is to operate your station properly and assist others to enjoy the fun of amateur radio. Exchanging information, talking about the weather or myriad other subjects is what it’s all about. Use the repeater and “have fun” but, also be considerate of others, and understand that if the repeater is in use for a net, emergency traffic or other serious communications, it’s best to “stand-by” and listen until the repeater is released for normal operation. Although our hobby is referred to as “amateur,” we can certainly be “professional” in our operating techniques.

Check out http://www.ham-operating-ethics.org/versions.html

The FCC stance on over the air transmissions