Update Repeaters in Mid Cities, Texas

[Updated 2/9/2015]
I’ve written a few posts on this blog about which repeaters I frequent in the DFW area, and which ones I am monitoring. This post will be an update to some of that information.

Lately, I spend most of my time on DMR. I am constantly talking to other Hams on the DFW Local (TG2) or Texas Statewide (TG3148) talkgroups. But I have 3 other radios in the truck at this time, besides my DMR radio. I recently installed an Icom IC7000 and I am using that rig on VHF/UHF right now. I have a High Sierra screwdriver antenna that I am going to install for Mobile HF work. Also I am running a Wouxun KG-UV920P with 2M/220, but only using it for 220MHz right now. The last radio is a Kenwood TK-981 for 900MHz, but I actually don’t have it hooked up to anything right now – no power or antenna.

I recently re-programmed my VHF/UHF radio to include about 15 or 16 local repeaters, then I used slots 20-30 for the NCTC repeaters throughout Texas, and input all of those. Listed below are the repeaters that I have in the top 15 channels of my radio, which are constantly scanning (unless I am talking on one).

Channel Frequency Offset CTCSS Location
1 145.400 -0.6 110.9 Grapevine
2 147.100 +0.6 110.9 Hurst
3 147.140 +0.6 110.9 Arlington
4 145.330 -0.6 110.9 Haltom City (going to remove this one because of all the traffic)
5 146.700 -0.6 110.9 Dallas FLAME THROWER
6 444.850 +5.0 110.9 Flower Mound
7 442.900 +5.0 110.9 Euless
8 441.900 +5.0 110.9 Colleyville
9 443.875 +5.0 110.9 Grapevine
10 442.825 +5.0 110.9 Bedford
11 444.650 +5.0 186.2 Dallas (linked to the main 900MHz machine in Dallas)
12 444.050 +5.0 110.9 Denton
13 443.075 +5.0 NONE Arlington
14 443.975 +5.0 156.7 Cedar Hill
15 442.175 +5.0 110.9 Grapevine
16 443.775 +5.0 110.9 Mansfield

Repeaters around Bowie, TX (used while at the hunting lease)

Channel Frequency Offset CTCSS Location
1 444.400 +5.0 156.7 Decatur
2 145.390 -0.6 192.8 Bowie
3 145.320 +0.6 192.8 Bowie
4 147.360 +0.6 123.0 Nocona

DMR Repeaters in Texas

A while back I wrote this post that detailed the list of 6 repeaters in the Dallas / Ft Worth area, with their frequencies, callsigns, offsets and color codes.  At the bottom of that list was another list of commonly used Talkgroups.

Today I am posting a complete list of all the DMR repeaters in Texas.  This list is taken from the database on the DMR-MARC website.  In order to find this list, browse to DMR-MARC.net, click the Database link at the top of the page, then click the checkbox for ‘Query Repeater Table’ and type “Texas” into the Search box, then click the Search button.  At the time of this post (I will update it as often as I can) there were 32 repeaters in the list on this website, but only 28 of them are active, as far as I can tell.  I didn’t list the W5GDL repeater in Oklahoma City, since it isn’t in Texas.  But it shows to be part of the Texas Network, so it will come up when you search.

If anyone has updates, please contact me at kc5hwb@grapevinehamradio.com and I will update it accordingly.

Below this list is a map that shows the location of each repeater in the State.

(Updated 10/7/2015) – Next step:  A codeplug with all this info….for multiple radios…..

No City Frequency Offset Callsign Color Code
1 Amarillo 444.9625 +5 KA3IDN 14
2 Anna 440.5250 +5 WS5W 1
3 Aubrey 443.450 +5 K5RNB 1
4 Big Spring 443.4375 +5 KE5PL 14
5 Cedar Park 442.6500 +5 KE5ZW 1
6 Childress 444.7250 +5 KM5PM 1
7 College Station 444.5500 +5 N1WP 1
8 Colleyville 443.2625 +5 W5HK 1
9 Cypress 444.475 +5 N5LUY 7
10 Dallas 440.6375 +5 W5EBQ 1
11 Dallas 442.5 +5 W5EBQ 1
12 Denton 927.6625 -25 N5LS 1
13 Denton 440.6625 +5 N5LS 1
14 Dumas 443.0125 +5 KD5ROK 14
15 Ft Worth 441.6250 +5 K5FTW 1
16 Houston 441.775 +5 KD5DFB 7
17 Huffman 442.4000 +5 KB5OVJ 9
18 Huntsville 440.6750 +5 KB5ZEQ 1 (not active yet)
19 Laredo 441.6625 (Brandmeister) +5 KE5WFB 1
20 Laredo 444.2000 (MARC) +5 KE5WFB 1
21 Lubbock 444.6875 +5 KA3IDN 14
22 Midland 444.3625 +5 KE5PL 14
23 Midland 443.8375 +5 KD4LXC 14
24 Mission 444.95 +5 N5YWH 1
25 Notrees 443.8875 +5 K5MSO 14
26 Odessa 444.2375 +5 KA3IDN 14
27 Odessa 443.6500 +5 N5RGH 1
28 Portable 440.5125 +5 KC5HWB 9 (goes with me to Hamfests)
29 Portable 441.35 +5 KD5DFB 7
30 Saginaw 441.975 +5 N5GMJ 1
31 Southlake 440.5000 +5 N5EOC 1
32 Stinnet 443.4375 +5 KE5CJ 14
33 Venus 441.725 +5 KN5TX 1

 

Ham Radio 2.0: Episode 12 – Unboxing the Yaesu FTM-100DR Fusion Radio

Today I unbox and test the Yaesu FTM-100DR Fusion Mobile Radio.

If you follow my videos or blog posts, you know that I am pretty heavy into DMR.  I don’t care for Fusion, I honestly don’t think it is a very good system, but in my Ham Radio 2.0 series, I want to be as well-rounded as I can and give everything a fair review.  This little radio impressed me.  It works well, it sounds good and it is easy to use.  And the feel of it is very solid.  I wish it were dual-display/receive, but if you can get passed that small lack, then it would make an excellent radio for anyone wanting to use Fusion in a mobile environment.  Watch the video below and let me know what you think.

Managing DMR Contacts in your Radio

For those DMR users out there, if you own a Motorola Radio, and have a subscription to the MotoTRBO CPS, then you don’t have an issue with importing new contacts into your radio.  The DMR-MARC website has tools to download the latest userlist of contacts for several models of MotoTRBO XPR radios, from which you can drag and drop new contacts to your existing codeplug.  Vertex Standard CPS works the same way, and the new Connect System CS750 has updated software that will let you import from a Comma Separated Values (.csv) file.
For those of you with a Chinese radio, you lucked out with the free programming software, but sometimes you might be adding contacts and new groups by hand.  Let me show you a better way.
N0GSG from Missouri has written a program called “Contact Manager” which will let you export the contacts from a variety of different radios to a .csv file.  Then you can open the .csv file, add more contacts, save it, and import it back into the radio.  The software also lets you add contacts from one codeplug directly into another codeplug, though I admit I haven’t tried this method.  The first time I used this software, I somehow ended up with duplicate contacts in my codeplug, so I am careful not to make that mistake again.  Adding contacts from one codeplug to another, effectively bypassing the .csv file, might work fine – I just haven’t tried it.
For today, I will show you how I use this software, and it will save you lots of time in updating your codeplug.
 
The following radios will work with this update.  Others might too, but this list are the only ones I have tried.
I will try to test other radios as I get my hands on them.
Steps for updating:
  1. Download the Contact Manager software from this website.  It is a free download, but N0GSG asks for a $1 donation if you find the software useful.  I have already donated my $1 and I feel I received more than my money’s worth.
  2. Open the program and click the “Open Codeplug File..” button.  Find the location of your codeplug on your computer and open it.  I suggest making a backup of your codeplug before changing it with this program.
  3. N0GSG1Once you load your codeplug into this program, it will populate all of the contacts into the field at the bottom of the window.
  4. N0GSG2Use the button on the right side to “Export All Contacts to a CSV File”  Save the file to your computer wherever you like.
  5. Use Microsoft Excel or Open Office Calculator to open the CSV file.  In this file you will find a tab with 4 columns.  The left column is the DMR subscriber ID, the next one is the contact name, then the next one is “private” or “group”, and the last column will usually be “No”  For the purposes of this demo, we will not change anything in the 2 right-hand columns, and will only update the 2 left-hand columns.
  6. At this point, you want to add more contacts.  You can get these contacts from an existing file you might have already, or from a friend’s codeplug that they sent you.  If you are in the Texas, Arkansas or Oklahoma area, you can get the codeplug from my website at this link.  You can also go to the DMR-MARC website and lookup contacts in your area or State.  Personally, I usually copy all contacts from my State so that I have a complete list.
    1. Go to DMR-MARC and click the Databases tab at the top.
    2. N0GSG3On the next page, check the box for “Query User Table” and in the search box to the right, type in the name of your State.  Click Search
    3. The results of the search will be displayed below.  In this part, I simply use my mouse to highlight all the contacts (expand the display at the bottom of the page to 100 contacts, if you want) then I copy the selection and paste them into a new spreadsheet.
    4. From this point you can copy/paste subscriber IDs and names from the new spreadsheet you just created into your CSV file.  Be sure to keep the subscriber ID a full 7 digits.  You can name the contact whatever you want. And for the last 2 columns in the CSV file, just copy/paste the same info down to all columns.
    5. Once you are finished adding all the new contacts, save your CSV file.  You can close and discard the other spreadsheet at this time.
  7. Once the CSV file is saved, go back to the Contact Manager program and click “Clear All Contacts in Work File”  Remember to make a backup of your codeplug before starting these steps.  After all the contacts are gone, click the button for “Import More Contacts from a CSV file” and go to your newly saved CSV file on your computer, and select it.  Once the screen refreshes, you will have all the contacts, old and new, from the CSV file you just updated.
  8. Click “Save Codeplug File” at the top of the window, and close the Contact Manager program.
  9. Go back to your programming software for your specific radio, and use the newly saved codeplug to shoot into your radio.  Again, having a backup is a good idea.
I always keep backups of all my codeplugs.  Every time I make an update, I re-save the plug as a new name, usually with the date.  For example, if I am saving a new codeplug for the TYT MD380, I will save it as the name “MD380_20150914” meaning that it was saved on 9/14/2015.  The next time I update it, I will save it with that date, and so on.  So I have multiple backups for my codeplug that I can go back to at any time, or load into other radios for friends or customers – just make sure you update the Subscriber ID.
This program is a nice and easy way to add to your codeplug without having to do it all by hand.  I took the codeplug from my old CS700, exported it, added a few new contacts, then I wrote it into my MD380 and my DP880 with this software.  I basically programmed 2 radios in less time than it would take to program 1 by hand.
I hope this guide was helpful, feel free to comment.

HF Stations worked Labor Day Weekend 2015

IMG_20150905_132607This Labor Day was spent on the coast of Galveston with my family, as we have done for the past few years.  Last year was the first time I setup a portable HF station, so this year I had to do the same, but with some slight upgrades.

Pictured here is my current Go-kit, which is a SKB 4u rack case with my Icom 706MKIIg, Kenwood TM-741a tribander, and Kenwood TK-981 900MHz radios.  I only had antennas for the HF station on this trip.  I ran 2-20 meter hamsticks, attached to a tripod in a horizontal configuration, sitting on the 2nd story deck, about 20′ off the ground.  The tripod stood about 8′, so the antennas were about 28′ in height.

I made some interesting contacts this weekend, including 3 new countries.  I use HRDLOG.net as a logging program and I have it setup to auto-tweet any time I make a new contact.  You can follow my tweets here.

I also used the designation of TX001S for the U.S. Islands Award Program, although I only made a couple of contacts with this designator.

Here are the stations I heard and worked.  It is an interesting list.

Galveston Island,  Labor day weekend
N0WRK on 14.252.5, 14.257
Kz8o on 14.313
KI0II ON 14.288 CONTACTED
w0sje on 14.250 contacted
wj9e on 14.263
kd0bik on 14.330 contacted
k8ikw on 14.240 contacted
n0lp on 14.246
wb9kpt on 14.247.3
w6rdf on 14.258
Jim n9t on 14.260
k0iz on 14.269 contacted
kk4kid on 14.270
aa0jd on 7.251
Century Club net on 7.267.5 – 40-meter early net
#59
– n2xtt in NJ
– k4cnm
– kb3mbp in PA
– w1jkp
– kb5tbf in VA
– kd5imv
– kf7hnc in OR
– wf4h
– ka4rgf
– kg8wl in MI
k7ioc – lee – wa003s – 14.256
KE5YF on 7.245
I2VRN 7.192
W8TAH on 14.240 from OH contacted
N4UU on 14.245.8 contacted
W2ZIQ on 14.270
VE3BZW on 14.300
KK4IP ON 14.326 IN NC CONTACTED
K3SAV ON 14.282 CONTACTED
W4DAN on 14.342
XE1B  on 14.240 contacted
Collins Collector’s Net on 14.263
-WA6FIZ – net control in CA
-W0OQ on 14.263 in MN
-WA2ROC on 14.263 in NC
-W3DA alt net control
KM4KZX on 14.347
W4JUU on 14.225 contacted
VY2KM on 14.235.5
K3UL on 14.238
KG4GSX on 14.240 contacted
AC4BD on 14.240 in FL contacted
V31TA on 14.257 in Belize contacted
9K2NO on 14.235 in Kuwait
TI2AIM on 14.249.2 contacted
VP2ETE on 14.230.5 contacted
HC2AO on 14.276
WB7CIM on 14.233
N9CQT on 14.275
VA3HTG on 14.275
W3B 14.287 contacted
AD0P 14.337
N6JP on 14.240
CE1OEB on 14.273 contacted
WS7X on 14.245 contacted
AE7SWP on 14.280
WR5O on 7.180 in Lubbock
K4OWR on 7.198.3 contacted
KD9BVS on 7.245
PY5AB on 14.210
HC2AO on 14.232
Next on the agenda for some HF work is the Texas QSO Party.  I’m planning to go setup another portable station at my deer lease, which is in a county with far less ham activity than where I live.  It should be a fun weekend.