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More Repeaters and A Big Blog!

Updated: Apr 9

As if I don't have enough to do, I've been very busy helping steer the GMRS group into one of the largest cooperatives in the country. It has been a lot of fun. One thing I find interesting is the amount of traffic on GMRS and the amount of people that want to participate and absolutely love it. It works because the GMRS group doesn't really tell anyone how to run their stuff aside from a basic user agreement, good operating principles, and all the repeaters are individually and privately owned. The owners agree on some basic premises and we move on. It works. No dues. No meetings. No BS.

On the ham side of things, one depressing thing I hear an awful lot is how "ham repeaters are dead" or "there is no traffic". Well, maybe we can fix that. With a huge number of ham clubs across the state that have repeaters and their associated setups, maybe we can try a ham version of what were doing with the GMRS Group. Share! People really like the statewide network and although there are holes there, they will be filled. Maybe we can do something on the ham radio side. I realize that there are some wide area groups and some areas that get good traffic, so this obviously can't be a blanket statement. But I have been hearing this weekly for years now, so, yeah. I also realize there are hams that HATE linked repeaters. Well, maybe they're sitting on the quiet ones also and love listening to nothing. We're obviously not catering to them and that is OK. To each their own.

Well, it is pretty simple. My idea is to bring up some repeaters on Allstar, UHF or VHF don't matter. Basic analog goodness without all the proprietary modulations, colors and special equipment. Maybe some of us even try it without a club. After all, a link system is a whole lot easier to do on the ham side of things. Some people love linked repeaters, some hate them. Regardless, I often times listen to a lot of ham repeaters and they sit quiet. Let's fix it!

That being said, I have started on another process. I'm going to link ham repeaters wherever I can get them built or with whoever will come with me. It could take years (the GMRS group certainly did) and maybe name it ArkLink. I don't care if you're an individual or a club, lets share some stuff outside of our circles. I also believe deeply in EmComm/AUXCOMM so maybe this is another resource we can get together on and propagate.

I'll get it started. I have a UHF ham repeater in Brentwood/West Fork, AR, and now one in Mountain Home. Fort Smith/Van Buren is next as it's under construction. Mountain Home needs a new duplexer and some more tuning but should be a good machine when its done. I'll be working on it as I can and will come in time. Same with Van Buren.

There are a few more places I will eyeball. Regardless, they will all be linked full-time, 24/7. Others can come and go as they please but would like a few more to come that will just stay put and help grow a statewide link system for the ham licensees!

Yes, it takes the Internet. But it's 2024 now, everyone has the Internet. Try it. You can still do all your local RF stuff like good hams. I'd expect nothing less. But try this. It works.

So, if you have a repeater that's just sitting there, link it up with Allstar and come on another ride with me. If you know me, you know I'm not trying to take over people's' stuff. I'm just steering a boat that a lot of people seem to want to ride on. It's always a fun ride. Wanna go? Maybe I'll even start a website for it. Or convert this one. Or just see what happens. Anyway, I'll be working on this website this week cleaning things up and moving data around as I have time. Eclipse is Monday.Yay!

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