GB7SK - Skeffington, Leicester (Halfway between Leicester and Uppingham)
Repeater TX (User RX): 439.4625 User TX (Repeater RX): 430.4625
Colour Code 1 - Also called a "color code" apparently
People keep asking me about the talkgroups. I have tried my best to put together the info, but the talkgroup settings are out of my control, they are controlled by the Phoenix network. I honestly have no idea how it is set and what is below has been discovered by trial and error. I hope it is correct. I have asked for the info several times and it has not been forthcoming.
For a full list, please visit http://www.dmr-uk.net/index.php/layout/
TG9: "Secondary Local"
The rest of the talkgroups are "user activated". This means you can call on any of them, but after 15 minutes inactivity they will cease transmitting on GB7SK and you will no longer hear the traffic. If this isn't correct however then please tell me - information from Phoenix network to me is sketchy.
TG9990: Echo test
TG9: Local talkgroup.
TG830: Phoenix Regional - Midlands. This is quite quiet.
TG840: Phoenix Regional - East. This is quite a busy talkgroup!
Note - GB7LR does not have easy access to a local talkgroup without disconnecting reflectors, so GB7SK Slot 2, TG9 this is perhaps the best for a "local" chat around Leicestershire. GB7LR Slot 1, TG9 is best for a "regional" chat around the East Midlands.
The installation for GB7SK is intended to be typical for a commercial installation. Therefore the repeater is a Motorola DR3000 connected to an Aerial Facilities bandpass duplexer.
This connects in turn to Heliax feeder (LDF5-50) and a commercial 4-stack array.
There is no preamp installed on the repeater.
I don't have all the fancy technical specs for this repeater as I did for GB7LR because I just haven't measured them yet, it havingbeing supplied "ready to go" by Iain.
After GB7SK had been applied for, and before the license had even been issued it was apparent that some local amateurs felt that there had been a mistake in the choice of network. Some felt that it should have been Phoenix, not Brandmeister. Personally I never plan to use the thing so don't care.
Others also expressed concern over the homebrew angle, citing problems elsewhere with homebrew repeaters.
I am very keen for experimentation, feeling that is what amateur radio is for.
I therefore decided to apply for GB7SK. This would be engineered completely differently to GB7LR - it would use commercial "off the shelf" equipment and would be connected to the Phoenix network.
The equipment (repeater, duplexer) has been supplied and configured by Iain Philipps G0RDI. In turn he was supplied with the repeater by Rob, G6CKK. The duplexer (Aerial Facilities bandpass) was modified for amateur use by Jon, G4MDC.
This gives local amateurs the best of both worlds from two very prime radio sites that are extremely complimentary. GB7SK will cover areas that have NO repeater coverage from ANY other repeater on any band, so is clearly needed in the UK repeater network anyway.
I feel this "experiment" will allow local amateurs to assess for themselves the relative merits of both systems/networks/technologies.
In the longer term if there ever is a "convergence" of networks then the two repeaters will still be extremely complimentary. How do I know this? Because we use both sites on a daily basis for a commercial radio network that provides blanket coverage of that part of Leicestershire.