Ellijay Amateur Radio Society

Repeater History

In the beginning, the club started using Jack Ferguson's (W4HHH) repeater. After Jack Ferguson became a "Silent Key". Joe Griffith's KC4ZGN bought the 2m/440 repeater from Jack's widow in the early-mid Nineties. Jack & Joe's repeater frequencies are Rx 146.985o & 442.700 Tx 146.385o & 447.700 PL tone 77Hz. The repeater was on Talona mountain in central Gilmer County up until the latter part of 2005. Then moved to the North West section of Gilmer County, on Double Knob Mountain. The 2m/440 has been moved to Tower Road just Northwest of Ellijay. A year or so before the repeater was moved off Talona mountain the repeater became so noisy that it was unusable. Since the repeater had to move do to a land purchase we hope the repeater would do better at Double Knob Mtn but the problems followed, but Joe now knew it was not a local interference problem. Since we did not know what was wrong or how long it would be to fix the KC4ZGN repeater we looked into getting a club repeater of our own. Joe discovered that the 440 worked fine by it's self and only the 2mtr was not as bad with the 440 turned off. The 440 was moved to Tower Road. Joe finally had a idea of what was wrong with the 2mtr and planned to move it to Tower Road when fixed. While Joe was fixing his 2mtr, the club had decided to get a repeater of it's own.

We first got the 440 up and going but coverage was poor to say the least. It took longer and of course cost more than expected but finally got the club's 2mtr working, but again coverage was a problem as some locals where great others terrible at the Walnut Mountain location. We also had hardware problems, mainly the duplexers. Mean while Joe got his repeater working good up on Tower Road and the club knew more or less what was needed to fix our repeater, hardware wise nothing that money couldn't fix the other was "Location, Location, Location" (as they say in the real estate buss.) We got an offer to put the repeaters in Coosawattee River Resort and did a test. the test went well. We now (early 2008) have moved our repeaters to Coosawattee and so far so good. Keep your fingers crossed! The club's repeater is W4HHH and has come full circle as the club got permission to use Jack Ferguson's former call sign. Special thanks go to: Dave Meadows (K4LDI) for under taking this task almost singlehandedly at times, from the paper work to the hardware, to the hard-work. To Dennis Rodgers (KA4VHP) for his technical expertise and support. To Dow Hoffman (N4VYU) for access to his Walnut Mountain site. To David Barlitt (KF4AWU) for custom made metal covers for repeater chassis. To Doug Barker (N3DAB). Big Thanks to all the club members that gave donations and their time to make all this happen.

D-Star capability came to Ellijay on October 29, 2010. The D-Star repeater is located at the same physical facility as the 2 meter W4HHH repeater. The frequency is 443.9875 MHz with a positive 5 MHz offset. The call sign of the D-Star repeater is W4HHH B.

D-Star (Digital Smart Technologies for Amateur Radio) is a transmission system offering digital voice as well as data communications. It is capable of sending voice and slow speed data at the same time or sending just high speed data. For voice and slow speed data, the 4800 bps digital signal is divided in three bands: 3600 bps for voice and voice error correction, 900 bps for slow speed data transmission and 300 bps for synchronization and general use. High speed data transmission is 128,000 bps and can be used to transmit interactive Internet communications on the 1.2 GHz band only.

D-Star repeaters are located throughout the World. Each local repeater (called a Gateway) is connected via high speed internet connection to computers called Reflectors. The Reflectors are connected to each other via high speed internet connection. This system allows any D-Star radio within the range of a D-Star repeater to communicate with any other D-Star radio in range of another D-Star repeater in the world.

While the D-Star repeater in Ellijay is only on the 70 cm band, radios for D-Star transmission are available for HF, VHF, and UHF frequencies. Presently, only Icom manufactures D-Star radios.

For help in programming your D-Star radio, visit www.dstarinfo.com/calculator.aspx.

History Provided by: David Barlett (KF4AWU)

In 2014, we added EchoLink to the 2 meter repeater. With assistance from NFARL, we now have a stable working system.