Part of the issue is the disinterest in the repeater. There are too few interested users and many have either moved away or passed on. It's certainly a different outcome than it was decades ago. When I put Fox on the air, I never envisioned it becoming networked. I wanted locals to QSO on the thing until it melted down, having it totally independent from Little Rock. Deciding to add it as I did when Holley Link came around was a wise decision as it allowed greater communication in times of emergencies and severe weather in particular. I think it served it's purpose well. Jim and Jack put in work to keep it operational. My issue now, as it was then, is the fact I live too far away from the site to be of any real contribution. Furthermore, I've not sought donations for the system in well over a decade. Fox is today just a VHF repeater presently off the air. Too few used the UHF system to keep it operational, and the duplexers have been donated to Jim, who has an operational repeater in Texas. I'm pleased he's able to make good use of them and again thank him and other friendly hams whom assisted Fox and got it back on the air, even if briefly. I'll hang on to allow Jim another visit to the Fox tower as I've heard there's another VHF transmitter waiting in the wings for installation. He knows the proper power required to drive the 100W RF deck, and the VHF receiver is operational as is the link. I'm also contacting CAUHF in January to apply for membership. They've done so much already.
As I find out more, I'll update The Flash! Merry Christmas from the Oklahoma Panhandle & 73's - NN5NN
CAUHF has spent money and manpower on Fox, which is appreciated immensely. I've been contacted by others interested in coordinating Fox'es 145.11 allocation if the system remains off the air. You may read any and all of this at the eatin' meetin'.
A history lesson is in order. I've never, ever had to pay for electricity or siting the repeaters I've had there since December, 1989 when I was invited to place an old, aging tube-type repeater which formerly operated in the MARS service on the gigantic 995' KEMV-TV tower, operated by AETN. Initially, it was a twin-antenna system until I bought duplexers for it in 1997. This was the first repeater in Arkansas with the 145.11 pair, assigned in 1987 to Heber Springs through CAREN (WB5FDP signed the original letter) I was working in Heber Springs at KAWW radio and the repeater worked a large area, including nearly all of Greers Ferry Lake and downtown Heber Springs for that matter. I stuck to my guns as a few Heber Springs club members didn't have the 145 subband in their radios! Jack Oyler (AA5EM/SK) was my trustee and I simply kept the repeater coordinated as necessary. Jim Collom - N5YU, expanded his Holley Mountain cluster to include mine and wanted to have other systems with the capability to link via UHF to Holley. To accomplish this, I bought a set of Motorola duplexers for UHF to add to my Wacom VHF duplexers, and he donated a UHF repeater, using reverse offset, so the Holley Link could function, interference-free. There was one repeater which used that link, the old 147.120 Calico Rock repeater, moved to the Parker residence in town from its lofty perch on the Forest Service tower (too bad the club there didn't keep that site!) After Mr. Parker's passing, the UHF system continued to operate, but had very few users.
Jim Collom again reached out to me barely over a year ago. I took a trip to Fox to get it back on the air and met other hams with the same mission. Part of that mission was to help Jim get a repeater on in NE Texas, which I donated my UHF Motorola duplexers to him, and he subsequently signed it on the following week. The Fox link worked perfectly to N5CG on Shinall, and many CAUHF members not hearing my callsign on the Central Arkansas airwaves in years took the opportunity to jump in and ragchew a while, through Fox. Sadly, a severe thunderstorm took down the RLC controller days later on the Fourth of July, requiring repair. Later when it was wired back in, at least one of the radios, likely the transmitter, failed. I've been told another radio is in reserve for me, but haven't confirmed it thus far.
Fox has been off-the-air for a solid year now. I'm no longer living in Arkansas and have little incentive to do much as I'm very busy working for a biodiesel plant in the Oklahoma Panhandle. There's a possibility I may move to northwest Missouri later in the year as the corporation I work for has bought out a failed plant. There's always the possibility I could move back to the Arkansas Ozarks in range of the Fox repeater when I choose to retire, but I don't see any chance of me spending any more working career time in the Natural State. If Fox'es future is up for discussion, please note the many facets of this diamond I've mentioned of it's history.
If the Club decides not to support Fox, I am willing to drive there and pick up the Wacom VHF duplexers I bought in 1997 and own outright. I will also contact the Arkansas Repeater Council to have my frequency coordination on 145.11 as recinded.
If the Club continues supporting Fox, they get many things in return, including a repeater with a very significant reach within the northernmost portions of the Little Rock National Weather Service forecast area. There's some overlap to both northern and northwest Arkansas systems, and the repeater remains a 100W ERP coverage for a mountaintop system, with the amplifier deck installed over a year ago. I will also join CAUHF as a full member as long as I remain a radio amateur. After 37 years of being licensed, I doubt I'll let that expire anytime soon.
Let me know what is decided. If tabled until the Fall meeting, no problem for now.
Mark James Mullins - NN5NN
near the center of the Oklahoma Panhandle
Steve, W5NLR wrote me and others this evening:
Just a short note to let you know that we are aware that the Fox repeater is down. We think it is just a blown internal fuse in the RLC Controller as Carl N2YV tells us by phone that it will not power up. (we think it's an RLC, correct us if we are wrong). Joel N5QLC or Randy AE5RW will first go there and try to replace the fuse on site and if that doesn't work, we will bring it back to Little Rock. We may ship it to RLC, now owned by Audio Test Solutions, Inc. If the controller is fried, then we will simply replace the controller with a new one.
There was a pretty bad thunderstorm that blew through that area the night of July 3rd/4th so we think that's when it happened.
In any event, just wanted to let you know that "we're on it" and it's top priority.
73's from the Oklahoma Panhandle (the trip was definitely worth it!) - Mark / NN5NN
I talked to N5YU this morning on HF and he told me of the communications with you regarding the Fox repeater. I then checked your repeater webpage and read your update dated 6/12/15. I am pleased to hear that progress is being made on the resurrection of the Fox repeaters. Thanks to all concerned, and I will be looking forward to the day it is back up and running.
The UHF 442.850 (97.4) on the ZWOZ tower services east Stone county well as well as points to the east and northeast. The Fox repeaters would be a real asset for the west part of the county and a link to the CAUHF network.
N5CNS (formerly kc5zkl)
---- my reply: -------
Please pass on the word to as many as possible of the upcoming resurrection of Fox this Summer! Even though I will donate Fox VHF, I want to keep updating people on it since so many have known about the project for so long, and I've maintained a history of it online. The Fox machine has existed since 12/89 with many periods of inactivity. Adding it to the CAUHF will give it new life and radio amateurs in the Ozarks should gain a much better view of the hobby further south and southwestward into Northeast TX by the time it's said and done. Besides, the frequency allocation for Fox was the first in Arkansas on the pair and I sincerely hope it gets more radio amateurs in the region back up and going. My sole concern is that of the APRS service which is 144.39 and the Fox input just 120Khz away on 144.51 .. I want to avoid issues in that regard, but the rest looks like it'll be going swell soon. Keep reviewing the Flash Link as updates will be posted there first.
73's - Mark - NN5NN in the Oklahoma Panhandle
It appears Fox VHF repeater will be back on the air soon, but here's the latest; Carl N2YV obtained a spectrum analyzer and reports the Fox 3/4" heliax has a hole somewhere in it, likely from age or a lightning strike. A J-pole was constructed to allow operation again. Then a group from Little Rock provided an APRS node (FOXX) which is operational now and using that antenna. There has been nearly no interest shown by Stone County locals regarding the Fox 145.11 repeater, although I continue receiving emails regarding it.
I want to give one last chance for Fox's participation. Carl has given the system 100w output through the Wacom duplexers I bought in 1997. I plan to visit Arkansas later this Summer, first coordinating what I can with Carl to schedule what activities we can. He and I are no longer spring chickens, but we're capable of quite a bit if we can get this done. After completion, perhaps Fox can be linked through the CAUHF system in Little Rock to get some activity going again in Northern Arkansas. If all of these fall through, I am willing to take back the Wacom duplexers and portions of the Fox Repeater which I own. I do not want these valuable duplexers simply wasted due to apathy and am willing to find some path, some avenue of placement where they are of ongoing value to save lives and property, or that I may reclaim at least some of the money I put into them. I am not interested in using these duplexers here in the Oklahoma Panhandle since there is very little usage of 2 meters in Guymon and I don't want to place a second repeater where little to no usage is virtually assured.
Finally, Jim N5YU has inquired about the Fox UHF repeater. He and Carl should soon be in touch to coordinate further about it. Fox UHF was intended as a linking system for the former Holley link, although any ham could access it. It was back on the air for a while with 82.5 pl on reverse split (your radio would use 449.425 RX, 444.425 TX). My thinking is that Jim should get Fox UHF and I will include my Motorola UHF duplexers with it. More on this as it develops!
Finally, the linking? This means Fox gets to keep the controller, depending on the viability of linking with Little Rock through the link transceiver. As you can see, there are some interesting developments going on with Fox. Whether Fox's unique history continues into the future depends on those locals who wish not only to see it continue, but reach out to us NOW to voice their interest. Just because it's built does not mean you'll come to it as a ball field. This is after all, a unique hobby having gone through a boatload of changes.
Muchas Gracias from the waterlogged Oklahoma Panhandle, Mark James Mullins - NN5NN
I am inquiring to the future of the 145.110 repeater located at Fox. Not seeing any updated info on this repeater I thought you might fill me in with any insight you may have.. I am active on hf,,vhf and uhf after a few years away from the hobby and noticed the 145.110,and 146.120 repeaters are no longer functioning in Stone county
Thank you and 73,
Neil Stanley kc5zkl
I intend to donate BOTH my repeaters very soon to either the Stone County ARC or N2YV who has single-handedly turned these repeaters back operational. I no longer live in Arkansas, but am in the Oklahoma Panhandle some 600 plus miles away from the site. As of a few months back when these repeaters were turned on, only another station or two tried to operate on the VHF machine and that was disappointing, despite a request to those attending the regular club meeting to test out Fox and see how its doing. It works well into Mountain View from the test as I've heard last year. I will encourage getting the UHF repeater operational on standard channels instead of the reverse-split it operates on now. (449.425 [-] offset @ 82.5) Furthermore, I would hope that these repeaters will be linked to the CAUHF network as they have the capability via the former Holley Link System with the added benefit of huge coverage in North Central AR on my repeaters. PLEASE check www.markjamesmullins.com through my NN5NN repeater link frequently in the not-so-distant future for announcements regarding this. Fox is presently capable of full-power operation and has operated to 100W ERP until early May last year. I will get back with N2YV soon and should have an update. I might, but will not promise, to give these updates on my @windmechanic Twitter account.
Mark James Mullins - NN5NN
Let me also add that I've not heard anything more regarding 147.120 which used to be on the KWOZ-FM radio tower. 147.180 was reportedly moved to downtown Mountain View and I have no current information on that system, although the SCARC club president or VP had it operating there in downtown, and not consistently. If it's tone-operated, I haven't a clue. Fox is still set up for 110.9 PL local operation. The 114.8 can still key up the link system and I'm not sure how N2YV will set it up in case he chooses to link with the CAUHF group. I still have contacts in that organization which have given me the Green Light to link whenever he should choose.
The bottom line is I've been very busy here with my Parts Clerk job at Seaboard Foods. It's definitely a challenge most days, and I even put in an extra hour for refresher training, required of all management support. I continue to check on potential new jobs within this company and elsewhere that my talents can be put to better use. Your emails are welcomed to cxdomains at yahoo d0t com.
73's - Mark
If any of my comments are in error or need clarification, please don't be shy and e-mail me. I'll gladly set the record straight since this site draws a number of hits.
The Fox repeater is presently off-air. Stay tuned for updates.
With the April Fools out of the way, here's the latest on the Status of NN5NN/R and Happy Birthday to LB!
Carl gave some bad news:
I've had a lot of troubles with the VHF radio and had it offline and on the bench a bunch lately. I've bought a replacement squelch module and power control card and think I've got it going. Right now it's back online with just the 30 watts. After I see it stable for a week or two, I'll add back the 100 watt amp.
Now the goody-goodies: The inverted UHF repeater never worked well. (at least recently) Now that we had some good weather, I know why. The antenna it was on (a cheap NMO mount mobile one mounted on a pole) had been hit by ice falling from the tower. You couldn't tell by looking, but it was trashed. Last week, I built a 9dB colinear antenna (http://www.rason.org/Projects/collant/collant.htm ) and got it sealed up Friday and mounted yesterday. Seems to be working a lot better, but I've got to do some driving around to see how well. I don't have a 70cm mobile, so I've got to do the HT thing. But, for anyone who wants to try.......
Fox Mtn UHF repeater NN5NN
449.425 ( - 5 MHz still reverse split for now ) PL tone 82.5
Fox Mtn VHF repeater NN5NN
145.110 (-) PL tone 110.9
AND, if you give the VHF input a PL tone of 114.8, it uplinks the VHF to the UHF. The UHF always seems to downlink if UHF is the initiator.
- - - -
My note: The reason for the UHF always triggering the link was due to the intended use of the reverse repeater. I chose reverse operation to reduce any chance of desensing interference as it allowed distant repeaters to the north to link to Holley. The link transmitter would retransmit the received repeater audio to the link and allow the audio on Holley's end through the link receiver to be retransmitted over the Fox UHF & VHF repeaters to allow for a continuing link. The only repeater to take advantage was 147.180 at Calico Rock while at the late Mr. Parker's QTH. Originally, this machine was linked directly to Holley as it was atop the mountain, giving excellent coverage. I don't have the present status on that machine.
Please give signal reports to cxdomains at yahoo dot com .
As I learn more, I will update the "Flash" as quickly as possible.
73's Mark - NN5NN
My Personal Mission Statement with respect to Fox NN5NN/R : I remain committed to improving "Fox" as I can to maximize its range and usability so hams throughout the coverage area can make use of this valuable resource. Whenever traffic is routine, (not priority) I encourage general QSO's as this repeater is NOT a sacred cow, especially if such are confined locally and not on ARLinks. Those who are properly licensed and operate with good amateur practice and spirit are welcomed to freely access it. The spirit of fellowship and cooperation in particular is encouraged and appreciated.
to the NN5NN Repeater page)
Other webpages authored by Mark James Mullins
Other webpages authored by Mark James Mullins