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ARES Information / from Gilchrist EC

     I forgot to mention I attended the meeting of Alachua ARES on the 12th. What a fast paced informative, instructional meeting! I recommend that, if you can, try to attend sometime. 

Check their web site found on our DARK home page. 

From my house in Bell it takes exactly 1 hour to drive there.

     Also, they would like to include us in the upcoming Simulated Emergency Test Oct 13. I will be out of town then, you could participate from home on HF or 2 meter voice,or digital.

Contact me for details KJ4YPZ@yahoo.com

John - KJ4YPZ

Message from KN4KP

     Just a brief message to all the club members for making me welcome at last nights meeting. Had been planning to attend for a couple of years and finally remembered.

Now that I am a member, y'all will hopefully hear a lot more out of me, especially that winter is approaching and I will spend less time cutting grass and tending to my XYLs gardening.

Again, thanks again and 73.

Rusty - KN4KP

PS: I am a long time blogger so as time passes, if nobody minds, I may stick on some blogs, both Ham related and non.

QRZ.com Gridmapper

  I was just playing around with grid squares, and I found a link for https://www.qrz.com/gridmapper. I went there (note: you must be logged into orz.com)-  I typed my grid square in.  And it show me every ham in that square and put a dot where you lived. I clicked onto more squares and got a better picture of Ham in my area. A much different way to find hams.

Jim, N1BY

Not so Fast!

      Well folks 146.700 may not be dead after all.  I have decided to relocate it to the Chiefland tower where 39 is located.  Technically the move will be 5 miles south and 7 miles west. Hopefully the council will not have a problem with it since they are not doing anything at the moment.  It doesn't look as though they are going to be doing anything in the near future.  The data was so convoluted that is is practically useless. I would not want that job. So we will see, maybe one day in the near future you will again hear 146.700 on the air.

Mike, KB4MS

End of an era. 146.700

     Well folks it’s the end of an era.  146.700 will no longer be a viable repeater due to Crown Castle wanting to charge $3500.00 dollars to reestablish the repeater at another location.  It pains me greatly to end the milestone.  146.700 was the very first repeater as a club we placed into service.  It started its life on the Cross City water tower and moved to the now burned site over 30 years ago.  It has a significant history and I’ll always be proud of what we accomplished.

Scott Grant, Gary Poore, Joe Filipontia, Bill Pyle and myself we started it all.  This was our first project.  I reflect on the,process it was an adventure by a group of guys that had fun.  The radio was a big challenge quite frankly it was pretty much junk.  But we made it work.  The original controller was a 1088 that had to be programmed with a binary programmer.  Odly  enough I disposed of the programmer just a few weeks ago.  We acquired a GE master Exec. Mobile and I modified it and installed a NHRC talking controller.  The controller cost an amazing 60 dollars.  I was so impress that I put one on the 146.390 radio.  I still have the original!  It too was a GE Master Exec.

I am pretty emotional right now as it seems that I am using a best friend.  I wonder what Bill and Scott are thinking.  Joe and Glenda werevinstrumental in everything we did.  He and Glenda donated more to this club than we could ever hope to repay them for.  Gary Poore, not much can be said about Gary.  I was so amused at how our path had crossed so many times before.  For those of you who may not know Gary worked for tv repair shop in Cross City.  He was one of the most entertaining members of the klub.  His writing skills were beyond compare.

Well I degress, I just wanted to update those that might want to know.  It’s probably going to take me a couple of days to surrender the frequencies.  But we had a good run! Thanks you for allowing me to vent!


Mike, KB4MS


     Made a trip over to the 700 site to check for progress.  The mess has been moved and it appears that power has been restored. However, no power has been applied to any on the existing exterior units.  Also there is still no tower obstruction lighting.  The company contact has failed to respond to several of my emails regarding just how we are going to proceed. So the long and short of it is there is still not much to go on.  I am beginning to wonder if it is worth the time and money to continue.  I have already purchased the equipment at no cost to the klub to get it back up again.


Mike, KB4MS

Update on 146.700

     I have been is constant contact with Crown Castle about the fire.  I have assembled enough equipment to put it back on the air.  However I have been told that they may remove the tower.  That would pretty much put the repeater off the air for good.  I will start the search for another location, but due to the spacing it is grim at best.  Ill try to have another update at the November meeting.

Mike, KB4MS

146.700 Repeater

     Update on 146.700 Old Town Repeater.  Well you can see from the picture that the system less the antenna is a total loss. It was an intense fire as only the cabinet is recognizable.  I have contacted Crown Castle and asked it the cause was identified.  Also I saw somewhere the building was owned by ComCast, that isn't accurate it belongs to Crown Castle as well.  Bottom line is that I have most everything required for the repeater to be returned to the air. I am awaiting on the exterior cabinet answer which should come today. I'll try and keep updates posted as they become more clear.

Mike, KB4MS

Traders Net 5/06/17

Sorry I missed posting here for the April 26 traders net. Sometimes the days fly by faster than I realize. That week went fairly well with Mike kb4ms listing several items and John kj4ypz joining in with a few impromptu wants. That makes me feel as though I may be doing something right and needed.
The net on 5/3/17 didn't quite keep up with expectations, Mike kb4ms attempted to make contact however band conditions were not as good as the previous week as I barely caught his callsign but that was about all I could hear. His signal wouldn't even hold the repeater so he couldn't make any listings. I did read through the listings on the club website and he had put much of what he had listed the previous week so he did get at least some coverage. I will try again next week and maybe things will improve. Thanks to all who participate and keep trying.

Mike, KD4INH

Traders Net 4/19/17

       The Wednesday April 19 Traders net was another disappointment as I received no check ins. Once again I read through the items listed on the DARKLUB website and with no others on the frequency I closed the net. I hope you all know I am trying to stir up at least some traffic on our wonderful repeater however it has been very disappointing with my radio the only one active.
I will give it a few more weeks to see if there are any changes. I realize that getting people to remember something new on their schedule takes time,so I will continue for a time.
   I personally always enjoyed traders nets because I could find out much info even if I didn't buy or list, I hope I'm not alone in this. Till next week 73’s

Mike, KD4INH