SARS System Status

 

25 May 2020

We've confirmed it. The RF paths between Oat and Sierra are fine, but the audio moving across the link is compromised. We have a plan in place to replace the link radios at Oat Mountain, starting with the link to Sierra. This will be scheduled for some time in the latter half of June, COVID and other considerations permitting. When the new radios go in we will do a complete system audio adjustment. After that everything should start to sound pretty good.

I've been in conversation with all the trustees concerned. Lots of cool stuff is in the planning stages, so stay tuned!


 

16 May 2020

It looks as though all UHF systems are operational at Sierra Peak. I say "looks like" because I was not involved in any of the work, and have not heard anything official from any of the trustees. I can confirm through simple use that the RF links between Oat Mountain and Sierra Peak are operational, but I do not know if audio is passing both ways. I also think that Tom KI6GOA's repeater over in Corona is also in the mix, but that's an educated guess on my part.

The six meter repeater is off the air. I do not know what the eventual disposition of that repeater will be.

As I learn more I will update this page.

Stay tuned!

 

6 April 2020

Things are definitely off at Sierra Peak, and likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future. There is major construction going on at the site, not associated with the SARS equipment, but which has greatly impacted the SARS site there. At this point a relocation to some other site or vault is as likely as the equipment returning to service at it's present location. Given the current pandemic situation, it is difficult to say when a resolution might be reached and the equipment returned to service, but I suspect that late summer at the earliest is a fair guess.

Meanwhile the Oat and Frazier sites continue to be operational, as far as we know. I can access the Oat Mountain site from my home in northwestern Orange County, but not Frazier. When I last was in the area (the I-5 corridor) on 5 February, both Oat and Frazier were on the air and linked.

If you know different, or you have any questions, drop me a line.

Meanwhile, I can sometimes be found on the W0PE repeater, for those of you who know where that is. (Like most UHF repeaters in soCal, it's considered closed. As it is not my repeater, I am reluctant to invite the world to find me there by publishing detail about the repeater. Seek the trustee / owner if you want use the system.)

Good luck, and stay tuned!


 

15 July 2019

Things have been on-again, off-again with Sierra Peak, but the site seems to be stabilizing. I'm happy about that. For a while the site status was changing faster than I could think about updating the web site to reflect the latest change. Rod WB6ORK and Tom KI6GOA have collectively made several trips up there, and most of the issues have been cleaned up. Across the SARS system everything seems to be functional, at least, if not in pretty good operating order. The only glaring deficiency at the moment is the link between Sierra Peak and Oat Mountain. The path from Oat to Sierra is functional, but the path from Sierra to Oat is not. The link transmitter at Sierra appears to be down. No word on an upcoming attempt to get that squared away. Now that basin temperatures are approaching the triple-digit range, lethargy of the crew seems to be a factor. Too, I'm also hearing that the link radios may be swapped out for some that are a little newer and easier to work with (can you say "CDM?"), both in terms of technology and physical bulk. More on that as we get closer to changes being made.

In any event, we'll keep you posted.

See you on the air!


 

19 March 2019

On 16 March a visit was made to the Sierra Peak site to try and determine what the intermittent issue with the controller was. The upshot of this site visit was the temporary decommissioning of the entire site, pending work on the primary UHF repeater, the link radio to Oat Mountain, and the controller itself. At this time a potential return to service date is unknown.

Meanwhile the Oat and Frazier sites are on line, although the status of the links seems to be in flux. I have recently worked the Frazier repeater all the way from Wheeler Ridge to State Route 41 north of Fresno, although I was never able to raise anyone to get a signal report from. Similarly, I have recently used Oat Mountain from the Magic Mountain area all the way down I-5 into northwest Orange COunty. Again, nobody replied to my identifications.

Several of us are working behind the scenes to rectify these issues. The weather has worked against us since before the New Year, preventing several attempts at site visits. As we get into spring this will hopefully change.


 

4 July 2018

There is an on-going, system-wide project to clean up the movement of CTCSS tones back and forth across the system. Until this project is complete, you may notice that the links appear to be working intermittently, or not at all. Casual observation will show that the audio is having trouble moving from one site to another, the RF systems are fully operational (assuming they haven't been subbed off). We will be working through the summer to correct this situation.

All three SARS UHF repeaters are now both decoding and encoding CTCSS. We encourage users to run tone squelch in their UHF radios, and to report any problems or issues they might perceive to Rod WB6ORK, Chuck WD6AML, or Paul KB6MIP. The VHF low band repeater at Sierra Peak does not encode CTCSS at this time, please do not use tone squelch on low band.

Rod WB6ORK has been spending a lot of his free time at the Potosi site (near Las Vegas, Nevada). There is no anticipated start-up date, but progress is being made on not only RF systems but also facility maintenance and improvement. More information will be forthcoming.

As we schedule more site work, I'll try and keep everyone advised of the dates for the work. Keep an eye to the FaceBook page, drop by here for updates, or catch one of us on the air.


 

Sierra Peak

Both repeaters at Sierra Peak (UHF and low band) are in service and linked to Oat Mountain.

The N6FFI repeater (52.800 MHz, -500 kHz offset, CTCSS 82.5 Hz) is operational, but is showing its age. The output power of the MICOR uni-chassis base station is a modest 58 watts from the PA, 27W going up the feedline. The antenna shows a return loss of 12.61dB (1:1.61 VSWR). The receiver sensitivity is within spec.

The WB6ORK repeater (447.100 MHz) is operational and within specs. The repeater encodes and decodes CTCSS. The QUANTAR repeater continues to serve us well, although it will need some preventative maintenance in the form of dust removal and filter cleaning soon.

The link to Oat Mountain is fully operational.


 

Oat Mountain

The WD6AML repeater (447.900 MHz) is operational and within specs. The repeater encodes and decodes CTCSS. The Daniels MT-3 system has been adjusted for 20 watts going up the feedline. The multi-bay dipole tends to favor the area west of the repeater.

The links to Sierra Peak and Frazier Mountain are fully operational.


 

Frazier Mountain

The WB6ORK repeater (447.100 MHz) is operational and within specs. The repeater encodes and decodes CTCSS. The Daniels MT-3 system has been adjusted for 35 watts going up the feedline. The antenna pattern favors the Central Valley.

The link to Oat Mountain is fully operational.


 

E-mail the trustee.

Page last updated 4 July 2018