Repeaters Report for February 2017

Sulphur Springs 145.11 (PL100 Hz) is FINALLY full time on FLG and working AOKAY! Please note that the Hopkins County Club will be moving their Net to the 146.11 & FLG on Monday nights @ 7:pm. Let's all make them welcome and help increase their check-in counts.

Kilgore 145.45 is back up and running thanks to Jim Rogers N5VGQ . It's been a problem child for sometime now but hopefully that's behind us. We have upgraded it to one of our MOTOROLA MTR 2000 VHF Repeaters with a MOTOROLA CM200 UHF Link Radio.

Shreveport ARCOS has had more than their share of bad luck!! At times both their 146.67 ( the big machine 1,150ft up KSLAs tower) and their secondary 146.76 failed at the same time. As of this writing 76 is supposed to be repaired any day, however the 67 could be a long process? The AC power supply to the 1,150ft platform has totally failed.

Nashville 147.045 has been repaired after suffering a audio failure in the receiver audio input to the controller Port 5. After a few tests and a program rewrite Bill Ryan KC5TSZ & JB Davis N5THS got her going again by moving to Port 4 for now.

Texarkana 444.425 is back online now. It's operating connected full time to FLG. The RBI at TXK is now parked on 146.715 Mt. Ida which is 100% connected to 146.88 in Hot Springs. Wayne WA5LUY there in Hot Springs and myself N5YU are working on ironing out a few glitches and hope to work together moving forward with this connection.

Alot of times it sounds bad but just look at the current list of the repeaters that are operating AOKAY this month and this is outside of one's listed above.

145.17 Karnack
145.31 Springdale
145.39 Texarkana / Barkman
145.47 Lake-O-the-Pines
146.64 Longview
146.84 Cussetta Mtn / Marietta
146.90 Huffines / McLeod
147.36 Midway / Pittsburg
443.3 Atlanta / St . Michael Hosp.
145.45 Kilgore, TX
146.76 Shreveport, LA

Remember: Wide Area Wednesdays & Spread Out Sundays where FLG and NCTC Linking Systems are interconnected at Sulphur Springs. This currently gives coverages from Arkansas, into NW Louisiana to currently Abilene and real soon Big Springs TX with the addition of the new Sweetwater TX Repeater.

Let's all use the systems and make new friends and greet old ones the way Smitty W5YME envisioned his dream!!

73 for now.
Jim Collom N5YU



There seems to be a continued interest in the Freedom-Link communications system and the abilities of linked communication in times of
emergencies. The BIG NEWSWORTHY ITEM for January is the joint meeting of repeaters operators across North East Texas in Sulphur
Springs, TX. This was a real productive meeting with members of the North Central Texas Connection, East Texas Emergency
Communication, Fredom-Link and many others.

Each of our systems was discussed and we found that we all have much the same interest in serving our communities. One of the direct
results is the plan for the Freedom-Link Group to add a two meter repeater in Sulphur Springs on the shared tower with N.C.T.C. This
shared location will also allow the link ability to connect the NCTC and Freedom-Link systems for communications. This is not planned
to be a full time link, but can be connected as needed. As of this writing the frequency pair of 145.110 has been coordinated and
approved with the Texas VHF FM Society along with equipment being gathered.

It sure is a GREAT TIME to be an Amateur Radio Operator in the ARK-LA-TEX:)

Steven Smith W5YME


Quite an interesting week with the Freedom-Link System. In the past week I believe we had three SKYWARN events as
the inclement weather passed through North East Texas, SW Arkansas, NW Louisiana and SW Oklahoma. During these
events we had three SKYWARN Net Control operators that collected hazardous weather reports as well as disseminated
storm information.

I would like to THANK these Net Control operators for a job well done. Locally we had our regular and dedicated Cass County
net control Jason Patterson KD5RQB. When connected to K5SHV, the Shreveport National Weather Service SKYWARN Desk,
we had Brent Ingvardsen W5GAS of Stonewall, LA,and native of Linden, TX and Michael McCrary WB5LJQ of Shreveport, LA.
Michael serves amateur radio in so many ways. I am proud to know and call each one of these fellows my friend.

The Freedom-Link system performed near flawlessly and it was such a blessing to have the opportunity to report information
directly to the NWS-SHV control floor as well as receiving information and being able to discuss weather information with the
control center as an eye passed over my location in Atlanta.

We THANK ALL of the AREA STORM SPOTTERS for your "in the field" reports. Without your reports, this system would be useless.
These reports and verification of weather is the "Eyes and Ears" of the NWS and helps them to verify the data and to pass along
reports more quickly, accurately and efficiently.

Last and not least, we want to THANK the NWS-SHV Forecasters and team for doing a job well and also for allowing us to be part of
the team to serve our Ark-La-Homa-Tex Region.

In closing, I want to encourage each of the amateur radio operators and spotters in the field in range of a Freedom-Link repeater to
check in and offer your weather reports. The NWS office has insured me they would rather receive duplicate reports of threatening
conditions than none at all. And remember, we are all part of a team. This is a team player event to hopefully save lives and
property. There should be NO competition considered between any reporting organization.

Steven Smith W5YME


The Freedom-Link Group would like to THANK each of you for joining our vision to help others through advanced weather
communications.   This project is a vision of ours to help save lives and properties by early reporting of weather through the
SKYWARN system. 

I do however want to communicate a major component of making this system successful.  The SKYWARN system will only be as
successful as the reports we receive from spotters and radio operators.  We need folks to use the repeater system.  We need to
know each other.  So, think of it more this way.  During inclement weather dial into any of the Freedom-Link partner repeaters
and listen for reports as well as offer reports of weather that you observe in your area.  You don't have to be a club or SKYWARN
member to offer your reports.  It is a good practice to be SKYWARN trained, but not a requirement to report something on this
system.  For example, if you see a tornado, we don't care who you are, we want to know about it! 

Secondly, on fair weather days this system is available for expanded communications for the licensed amateur radio operator.  Join
in and use the system.  By meeting each other “on the air” and in person, and getting to know each other, I believe we can build a
stronger team. 

Our local club, the Radio Amateurs of Cass County has their weekly rag chew net on Tuesday nights on the Freedom-Link as well as
the Shreveport ARCOS group has their weekly net on Thursday nights and Nashville HEAR group on Sunday nights. Tuesday and
Thursday nights we RBI connect with ARCOS. We have been contacted by several county ARES groups to hold training on the
Freedom-Link.  Although we support these groups and activities, the Freedom Link directors feel that with over 20 counties covered
by the linking system that a training net every night would burn everyone out.  Most counties that have ARES training, as we do here
in Cass County, utilize a separate local repeater for these training sessions.  Please join in with your local group for ARES training.

One of our goals is to build relationships with and among area clubs and radio operators.  It seems as hams that we must like to talk! 
So, let us do so and build relationships.  For example of building relationships, the ARCOS group has been associated with operations
at the National Weather Service for years.  We hope this association will be a great strength in direct communications with the NWS
during SKYWARN and storms. 

The Freedom-Link system is growing by the day.  What was a dream a little over a year ago, now has coverage from Nashville, AR to near
Tyler Texas covering many of the East Texas Highways that include I-20, I-30, US 59, US 259 & many more.  I can tell you now that we have
another repeater coming on-line in East Texas very soon and possibly Louisiana as well.

If anyone has any questions or comments, feel free to contact me.J

Steven Smith

P.S. We need your help and assistance getting the word out about the Freedom-Link to area amateur operators.  As mentioned above,
the key to this system saving lives and properties will be the input from our area radio operators.  Come join the fun!