The WA7ABU Repeaters

Located in the Silverton Hills about 15 miles East of Salem, near Silver Falls State Park,
the repeaters transmit on 145.29 MHz, 145.19 MHz, 52.99 MHz, and 444.950 MHz.
All use the 100 Hz tone for access, but 145.29 must not use the tone routinely due to the heavy round table use, lots of people joining conversations cause unbearable doubling with the short delay.

This page explains features and plans of the WA7ABU repeater system.

I am experimenting constantly to see if it is practical to cover the Salem area better from the present site.  The first change was the antenna.  This was changed four times to get the best match to the area covered.  We seem to have optimized that.

It now talks to Salem HT users and to mobiles in areas north of Kalama, Washington, south to Coburg, and to parts of Lincoln City to the west.  At 2000 ' above the sea, it has been usable over most of the Willamette Valley, Alsea, Wren, Cottage Grove, and into Coos Bay.

Check back later to see what else is in the works.

Click on the tower above to join. Read the rest of the page to see more of the repeater plans.

Special features and accomplishments of the WA7ABU Repeater:

E mergency capabilities:  as a ham, I volunteer with the ARES group in my area.  As a repeater operator, I wish to make the equipment available to local ARES.
A night at City Hall -- WA7ABU at the Y2K rollover ARES event, serving at the Salem EOC  with Roger, the Salem EOC manager.  I and my wife spent the night on the project.  This was a memorable New Year's Eve.  We now can laugh at the implications of the year 2000, but it was not funny with the police involvement that we saw.  I am thankful it was so uneventful.

Battery backup - we have at least 10 days, continuous duty backup.  This is enough time to  start up an onsite generator for the repeaters and links.  The batteries have run the repeaters for 10 days under normal use, intermittent.  The site is on private property, so we have help on the premises.

nearly 1600# of batteries!

IRLP or Echolink: Talk to the world in a second way!  With the links and computer connections,we  have contact with over 200 thousand world wide systems. With the proper information you may make contacts in many of the countries around the world.

Digital fun - the 444.950 repeater is now running both FM and Fusion along with Wires-X.  A FM signal with 100 Hz will operate like a normal FM repeater, but with a Fusion signal, it can offer contacts from around the world or local Fusion digital.

Long term stability - the repeater has been up and running since 1992 with only very short interruptions.  There is another transceiver and antenna for backup for the 2 meter system.

Lighteningprotection - we use trees!  The site has special protection afforded by the surroundings, but the system has been tested to survive high voltage on the input.

Tower - this has been given attention to allow it to withstand high winds, as in the past. Winds are expected to reach 100 MPH in the area sometime over the next few years.  The tower was rebuilt from the foundation up in the year 2005. The entire system was rebuilt, including the building, to serve the needs of the system.

Voice quality.  If you don't see the difference, you have not been listening.  This repeater will not make you listen to others at a whisper or distorted by audio that is tailored to add "punch".  We have great compression of low audio without distortion. We do seem to have our share of both loud and soft talkers. Teach them to operate their equipment properly, when you can, with honest radio reports.

Unnecessary noise - we let you know what repeater you are on, but you will not be "blasted" by ham advertisements.  All repeater generated audio will be subdued, but easy to understand.  Talk over all repeater generated audio.

Rag chewing- we encourage friendly conversations with 3 minute long time outs - the longest allowed by the FCC.  There is provision for others to enter the conversation, key up just before the courtesy tone.

Saturday night net - "THE HAM SHOPPING CLUB" - at 7 PM, some of the local hams get together with each other to swap unneeded home clutter or "the old rig".  Join in - it is quite informal and friendly.

Join the "529 Lunch Bunch" each week day at 12 noon, and about 7 other nets.  This net was designed to help local hams stay in touch and to provide contacts.   The net lasts for 30 minutes with QSO's to ensue.  No membership or affiliation of any kind is required, so join in the fun and put your call out there!

J oin the"529 Technical and Training Net" each week day at 10 AM, and about 7 other nets.  This net was designed to help with local training on Ham related topics..   You can use the net to increase your knowledge of topics pertaining to studying for your next upgrade..  Several net controls work to help your understanding of Amateur Radio.

T he WA7ABU Repeater will entertain proposals to change any of it's parameters to better serve the local ham community.  If you have a suggestion for the use of the repeater or wish to help with some of it's projects, let me know.
145.29 Projects
Purpose Equipment Details Priority
better valley coverage Amps More transmit power - 75 watts, near500 watts ERP as measured at the antenna. 120 Watt, commercial transmitter.  This is so clean it actually improved the already excellent receive.
Affiliation with ARES and the ARRL agreements The system has been requested to serve the ARES community and has become affiliated with the ARRL. Affiliation will make backup and emergency communications a higher priority, but long QSO's and friendly conversations will always have time allotted.
CW training tapes/trainers Code training is needed locally We ran real time code training for years. 
CW over the repeater.  The guys got worn out for now, maybe again soon!
better Salem coverage Antenna Install commercial 4 bay antenna Done!  Boy what a change.
more flexibility 6 meter repeater linked for greater access, more transceivers can connect done!  52.99 uses 51.29 as the input with a 100 Hz tone.
increased system grounding new antenna static element many feet of large wire, ring grounds top and bottom, static discharge and ground rods over the entire site, all interconnected. made possible by donations upgraded grounding to the building, all equipment, better protection to building and personnel as well as the repeater.

Sometimes we have need for better coverage than possible with the main 145.29 input.  To improve such situations, we have installed receivers linked to the main repeater.  To use these receivers, use the normal setting for your radio - 145.29 with a -600 KHz  offset, then set a PL for the remote desired.  Use 100 Hz for the North input.  use 118.8 Hz for the South input.  Others may follow as possible.

The WA7ABU Repeater will always cooperate with the ORRC, as a member;  the repeater will also support other legitimate repeaters in the area.  Equipment and aid will be given as it has been received in the past.  As the owner, I wish to thank the other hams and repeater operators that have offered assistance in the past. 

Thanks for your time in reading this page.  I hope that future 145.29 repeater activities can help you to enjoy ham radio.

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This page is maintained by WA7ABU, Dan.

This copywrited page was updated March 2019