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Fargo Road Water Tower Project

Posted by Harrison on January 17, 2023 at 9:30 AM Comments comments (29)

Hi All, I just want to update everyone about the status of the Fargo Road Water Tank rehabilitation project. I attended a meeting with the town Public Safety officials and radio system engineers on Monday August 1, 2022 at the Water Tank . The antennas and hard line need to be removed from the tank. They were talking about putting new hard line and antennas on the temporary scaffolding for the Public Safety system, School Bus repeater and our two repeaters. They are using federal fund to pay for the rehab of the water tank. The tank is coated in lead paint so the have to remediate it. I believe at this time that the costs of the hard line and antennas is being rolled into the cost of the project and covered by the federal funds. We might incur some minor expenses if we need to supply two temporary antennas. The current timetable is they are shooting for is early spring of 2023. They have to do this work when the temperature and humidity levels are good. The old SCRAMS equipment has been removed from inside the water tank and is now stored at my QTH. This consisted of the old spectrum two meter and 70 cm crystal controlled repeaters along with the CAT 1000 and CAT 500 controllers, a power supply the rack they are installed in. I will keep you advised of the progress. 73 Harrison Fortier W1HAF

146.97 Repeater Status 06/16/2020

Posted by Harrison on June 18, 2020 at 8:55 AM Comments comments (1042)

146.97 REPEATER STATUS 06/16/2020

The 146.97 Yaesu System Fusion Dr1X repeater has been placed into full time C4FM digital mode. The reason this was done is to test out the C4FM capabilities by connecting it to the internet via a C4FM node radio  located at my QTH. The node is connected to a YSF Reflector, YSF99797, via the internet. You can access the repeater via a C4FM radio and your signal will then be sent to the YSF Refelector.

You can also acess the system using a Hot spot or OpenSpot by connecting it to the CT-RI-ROOM YSF99797 reflector.

This YSF Reflector was set up by Chuck N1LMA from Westerly RI. The reflector is also connected to his Yaesu DR1X repeater 147.24 located inWesterly, RI.

It is also connected to Brian, KB1CJP, DR1X repeater 146.925 located in Groton CT.

The YSF Reflector YSF99797 is also bridged to DMR via the TGIF Network to the CT-RI ROOM ID # 99797. This means you can also access the 146.97 repeater using a Hot spot connected to the TGIF Network.

So when you use the 146.97 repeater now your signal is being heard on three RF repeaters and via the internet on YSF and DMR networks.

If you listen on analog all you will hear is a static rush. That is the digital signal being transmitted.

Please try this system out. When you use this system please leave a break between keying up to allow all the networking to connect and disconnect properly. They all have to be timed correctly to work properly.



2020 Club Officers

Posted by Harrison on December 23, 2018 at 9:10 AM Comments comments (3)

President Ross Moxon KB1TNP

Vice President  Dave Reed         W1RED

Treasurer  (temp) Dave Reed         W1RED

Membership Sec Ed Hogan KE1LV

Secretary Tim Rodgers  KC1TWR

Trustee Harrison Fortier W1HAF

Repeater Status Update 4/2018

Posted by Harrison on April 23, 2018 at 4:40 AM Comments comments (0)

146.06/67 04/10/18

The 146.67 repeater located at the Groton Town Police Department has recently been reprogrammed to use the internal controller instead of the CAT 1000 controller. The squelch tail is 5 seconds and the courtesy beep occurs when the squelch tail drops. This was done in an effort to eliminate interference that was thought to have been caused by our CAT 1000 controller. The Commercial Radio Vendor, Tactical Communications, believes that our controller was causing interference on the North Stonington EMS channel. We will have to wait and see if this cleared up the problem. There still appears to be a gremlin in the system. I have heard a control signal type noise occasionally when the repeater is opened with PL. Speaking of PL the repeater is only running in decode mode and not in full CTCSS mode. Therefore if you had programmed your radios in full CTCSS mode you will need to reprogram them into just CT mode so that you can hear the repeater.

146.37/97 04/17/18

The 146.97 repeater has been temporarily moved to Vauxhall St Ext on top of the Water Tower in Waterford. This is a Motorola repeater and duplexers on loan from K1IKE to test this location for a permanent move to get away from the interference at the Fargo Road site. So far it seems to be much better. There is a crackling noise when it is in the duplex mode possibly due to a short in the antenna. The Polyphaser had been shorted out, possibly due to a lightning strike.  A new replacement antenna is being looked into. Unfortunately, this may set the club back a substantial amount. A new commercial grade antenna is around $700 to $1,000.00 dollars and will have to be installed by a professional company which will probably cost another $500.00. If any club member has any connections to Antenna Installers that could help please let us know.

53.71/52.71 04/17/18

The 53.71 repeater has been off the air for some time and the club has voted to not repair or replace it due to a lack of use. We will be focusing on maintaining the clubs two-meter repeaters instead. The Duplexers for the six-meter repeater have been removed to show to a prospective buyer. Hopefully whatever we get for them will help offset the purchase of a new two-meter repeater antenna.

Repeater Status 05/31/16

Posted by Harrison on May 31, 2016 at 8:20 PM Comments comments (0)


Hi All,


Today Joe, K1IKE, and I went to the Fargo Road site and installed the netbooter in the rack. This will allow us to turn on and off individual power outlets over the internet. Allowing us to be able to turn on and off individual repeaters when needed.


We also flashed the Yaesu DR1X 146.97 repeater with the latest version of the firmware and DSP software. This added several features to the repeater. Such as the ability to adjust for hysteris in the squelch and hang time. I set the hysteris to high which should keep weak stations into the repeater better. I also increased the hang time from 0 ms to 1000 ms.


Unfortunately the interference is still with us. We will have to see if we can work with the contractor on moving their antenna further away from ours.


We then went to the Vauxhall St ext site to check on the 223.96 and 53.71 repeaters. In checking the tri-band CX-333 antenna we discovered a short 21 feet away. The Polyphaser lighting protector is 21 feet away and has probably been blown out by a lighting stike. We decided to shut down the 223.96 repeater and the 144.39 APRS node to prevent any further damage. The SWR was over 13:1. We will have to schedule a day to return and change the lighting protector and hard-line jumper. We will probably need to replace the antenna also.


The 53.71 repeater antenna tested fine with an swr of 1:3 to 1. We did notice however that when the 53.71 repeater was transmitting there was some mixing of the signals with the water departments telemetry radio resulting in their receiver picking up the NWS radio on 162.55 mhz. Very strange.


It was a very productive day. I would like to thank Joe, K1IKE, for all his time and assistance. We will hopefully be able to correct the problems in the coming weeks.


73 Harrison



Posted by Harrison on November 22, 2015 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)


The 146.67 repeater is still down due to it possibly bleeding over into the Groton Fire Alarm Dispatch channel. The problem appears to be that the entenna is co loacted on the same tower as the 151.925 antenna. They also use the same PL of 156.7 on there channel and it appears that when our repeater is being used the signal bleeds over into there reciever.  We are actively working with them to correct the problem. This may require us to change our PL to reduce the possibilty of opening their receiver. We also have acquired a Isoloator to put inline with the antenna to hopefully reduce the chance of interefering.


The cause of the interference on the 146.97 repeater appears to be coming from the 5GHz flat panel antenna co-located at the site about two feet away from our repeater antenna. I have posted pictures in the photo album of the antennas. We are working with the contractor to find a resolution to the problem. I think the only solution is better sepearation. The problem drastically reduces the reciever sensitivity for weak signals. Hopefully we can solve this soon.

Harrison W1HAF

146.97 Update

Posted by Harrison on July 3, 2015 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Hi All,

Here is an update to let you know what is happening with the 146.97 repeater. It appears that we have located the source of our interference which is being caused by a commercial video link for the Town of Waterford. There is a Motorola wifi type microwave video link between two sites located at the Fargo Road site. When the system was powered off the interference went away. I notified the Town of Waterford authorities of our findings and asked if they could have this checked. I told them that we would be more than happy to assist in resolving this interference issue. I had noticed it before we changed repeaters and we thought that this may be the cause. We now know that this is definitely the cause.

We also may have a problem with our 30 year old Station Master antenna. It appears that we are hearing crackling noises on the input even if the received station has a solid signal into the repeater. This may be a sign of a bad antenna. There are three dissimilar metals at the base of the antenna that may corrode. The antenna has taken a beating on top of the tower over the years. This may cause loose or broken solder joints inside the radome of the antenna. We had a problem with desense on the repeater causing the repeater to lock up when it transmitted PL. I took the PL off the transmit side so now the repeater will not lock up. It had just enough reflected power along with transmitting the PL to cause the receiver to stay open and keep the repeater on. If you reprogrammed your radios in full PL enc/dec you should reprogram them to just encode tone not ctcss for now.

Joe, K1IKE, and I will be conducting a few further tests at the site. I suggest that we consider replacing this antenna if we would like to get the full performance of our repeater back. We are currently researching several options for a commercial grade replacement antenna. We will have to present this to the club for a vote. Considering our primary reason for being a club is to provide reliable repeater coverage I would suggest that we replace the antenna with the best possible option that we can afford.

It would be nice to have this project wrapped up during the next month before we start Hurricane season. If we have to call a special meeting for a vote maybe we can have it at the site so everyone can see the equipment in person. We also need to remove the old equipment and bring it to the L&M Hospital site for storage. I am currently working on getting us access to the Hospital site again. I will keep you informed.

Harrison W1HAF

Update July 15, 2015.

K1IKE,Joe, and I went to the site on Wednesday 7/15/15 and conducted further testing on the hardline and antenna. Joe has test equipment that can sweep the hardline and antenna and look for shorts or problems. After conducting further tests it appears that the hardline and antenna tested out fine. It appears that all the problems are still being caused by the wifi type video link setup that the town is using as a repaeter site to send video from one site to another. When the link was shut down the interfrence disappeared. When we turned it back on the interfrence on the input comes right back. The repeater and dupluxers also tested fine. Therefore, I contacted the Town of Watererford and asked that they please contact the contractor who installed this system so that we can work with them and resolve this issue. I hope to have a resolution in the coming weeks.



Harrison W1HAF


Posted by Harrison on June 30, 2015 at 3:15 PM Comments comments (0)

HI All,

Just a reminder that there will be No Meeting on July 2nd 2015 due to the closeness of the 4th of July Holiday weekend..

See you all in August!

Museum Ships Weekend 2015

Posted by Harrison on June 2, 2015 at 8:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Scrams will be participating with the Tri City Amateur Radio Club in Museum Ships Weekend June 6-7 2015 from the USS Nautilus Submarine Museum in Groton CT.
We will be operating in the upper parking lot during the regular Museum hours of 0900 to 1700 hrs. Please stop by and see Amatuer Radio in action this weekend. If you can not stop in please listen for us on the bands using the callsign of the Nautilus, N1S. We will be operating HF from the CT ARES Region 4 MCU trailer along with other stations.

Here is a link to the Museum website.

WATERFORD DMR Repeater On the Air

Posted by Harrison on May 30, 2015 at 9:35 PM Comments comments (0)

The Waterford DMR Repeater has been installed in the new building and programmed for use on Friday May 29, 2015.  This new repeater was purchased on a Grant from the DEMHS awarded to Region 4 ARES along with new duplexers. It is programmed to 448.975 + with a color code of 1. This is the old UHF analog frequency which we allowed the W1SP club to use for the last  9 months on the CT ARES DMR network. That repeater was located in Ledyard CT and has been reprogrammed to a frequency of 449.275 - with a color code of 1.  The new DMR repeater is running 27 watts out of the duplexer with 0 watts reflected. Wayne, N1CLV has provided a Mifi hotspot and network adapater so the repeater could be connected to the network until we can get a permanent DSL line at the site. 

I would like to thank all those who made this possible Joe K1IKE, Wayne N1CLV, Pat N1OTW, Rob KC1BNS, Curt N1TYU for all their time and efforts to make this possible. We still have to relocate the 146.97 repeater in the new building and make the antenna connection to the Water Tower which I hope we will complete in the next two weeks.

Enjoy the new repeaters.

73 W1HAF