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DAYTON D-STAR W8RTL

 

In the fall of 2009 the Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) requested repeater frequency pairs from the Ohio Area Repeater Council (OARC) for use with D-STAR on 2-meter, 70 cm and the 23 cm bands.  The OARC assigned frequencies to DARA for use on D-STAR with the call sign of W8HEQ on 145.270 +0.600 MHz, 444.0875 +5 MHz, and construction of the system immediately began. 

 

 

 

December of 2009 DARA was granted permission for the start of our 90 day test period.  With no complaints being filed, the OARC granted DARA the final coordination in March 2010.

 

The W8HEQ system is located at the DARA club house in Huber Heights, about 8 miles northeast of downtown Dayton.  The 2-meter antenna is at 190 feet and power output at 25 watts and the 70 cm antenna at 150 feet giving marginal coverage in the area.  Coverage south of downtown Dayton is poor to nonexistent.

 

Given this situation, the D-STAR group started looking for another location that would improve the system with the goal of covering all of Montgomery County and the fringe areas of the surrounding counties.  At the same time another group of amateurs was looking to improve their analog repeaters and move them over to the TV Channel 16 WPTD tower site and had requested a substantial financial grant from DARA.  With the problem of our current location, low output power and another repeater 60 miles south in Cincinnati on the same 2-meter analog frequency, we knew that OARC would not grant a move to the Channel 16 tower site.  At the same time the administrator of the Xenia W8RTL 2-meter D-STAR repeater on 147.105+ was looking to improve his system.  After several meetings between both D-STAR system administrators, the requesting grant group and Channel 16, it was agreed to allow a D-STAR system to go up on the Channel 16 tower along with the other analog systems and become a Community Antenna Project.

 

Part of the negotiations was to keep the W8HEQ system intact in Huber Heights.  The W8RTL 147.105 system from Xenia was granted coordination from the OARC to move to Channel 16 tower and at the same time added the 443.0500 +5 MHz, 1283.500 -12 MHz DV and 1249.000 DD Simplex repeaters.  The project was completed and went on the air at allotted power levels in September 2012.  Propagation has greatly improved with coverage extending to Cincinnati to the south, to Richmond Indiana to the west, to north of Sidney to the north and to Madison County to the east.  One of our members in March 2012 while out for a day of fishing was able to get into the 70 cm repeater with a solid signal and no R2D2 with a hand held using the rubber duck antenna and 5 watts from Lake Loramie, a distance of about 50 miles.  Coverage is GREAT!!

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