We largely started GB7MB to help ourselves, a few radio geeks up here, communicate between each other a little more easily on handhelds whilst we were out and about, and perhaps, even drum a little more activity in the area, and to experiment and to have a bit of fun doing so into the bargain, and we were actually quite delighted when quite a number of other local Amateurs joined in with the DMR fun too, Great stuff. The more the merrier !
Results with GB7MB weren’t quite as great in some areas as we had hoped, largely due to a mixture of site restrictions and the local terrain, after all, this is perhaps the lower end of the Lake District, and it’s certainly not the flat VHF friendly terrain of Norfolk and other flatter VHF friendly areas we might wish to live in, even a local towns’ commercial system uses two repeater sites to cover one town – and and we would like to cover the whole area if we could…
So, GB7UZ came on air over Easter, it’s at a private site in Lancaster, it’s a MotoTRBO repeater, one of the new SL series, and it’s carrying the same talkgroups as GB7MB, the new repeater’s output frequency is 439.500 and it’s input is 430.500, all colour code 1. Yes, feel free to set roaming up between UZ and MB – both repeaters are set to beacon (nothing like CW id!) to aid roaming.
Our two UHF MotoTRBO repeaters are not completely seperate however, the one slight difference is that Talkgroup 9 local is linked between them both – how this works is you simply transmit on Talkgroup 9 slot 2 one on repeater and you are coming out of the other repeater at the same time, so if you cant get in to MB and your friend cant get into UZ .. you can both have a QSO as if it were the same single repeater. This is what we are working towards in the area, Total Area Coverage on Talkgroup 9, hence, TAC-9.
Referring to GB7MB local slot2, Talkgroup 9, (apart from being a bit of a mouthful), is less important really, as it is much the same as GB7UZ local slot2, Talkgroup 9 – and TAC-9 is far easier to say, and maybe more acurate too, and will become even more so as we test, build and expand the system over time, because calling on TAC-9 will involve your voice coming out of more than just two DMR repeaters, maybe on a different band or different mode somewhere in our local area… – that’s if we get to where we want to be with our other plans.
The next plan being discussed is to possibly add a 10m FM repeater into the TAC-9 system and possibly a 6m FM repeater too, and hopefully another digital gateway into the system too, in order for us to all experiment and provide access to a common place to chat between users of different systems, some of whom may not have DMR or 10m FM, but may still want to join in with other users who only have (say) a 6m HT or whatever, maybe giving them chance to actually use that dusty old 6m FM HT you’ve been meaning to use, but have instead, had sitting gathering dust in the shack for years.. and use it on the interlinked TAC-9 system !, of course as for the DMR side of things, these interconnections will only be local, on talkgroup 9 local, and not networked or routed across any other talkgroups or networks at all.
That’s the plan, or something like it anyway, and who knows, it might even be a bit of fun 🙂
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