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[aprssig] MIC-Encoder repeaters

Wes Johnston aprs at kd4rdb.com
Sun Feb 27 00:48:31 UTC 2005

I have a perspective for us to take... what do you think about selling the
"sizzle" of public service "something" to your local repeater group/club?

Remember 15 years ago, or even 10 years ago when the #1 priority was getting an
autopatch at the repeater site?  Well, cell phones came along and I know of
many repeaters that are simply pulling the plugs on their autopatches.  So
what's a good repeater to do to attract users?

Perhaps the public service niche we need to "sell" is mic encoder repeaters. 
Instead of autopatch equipment, get the club to invest in a TNC capable of
callsign substitution and setup for muting on the repeater input.  Set the
callsign of the TNC to the frequency (ie 147015 for 147.015) and put a 5/8 wave
mag mount on the roof of the repeater shack for 144.39 TX.

This will do two things:1) advertise the presence of the club's repeater and
possibly the PL tone too (pay attention SERA members), 2)provide a way for
weather spotters to get their positions back to the NWS without annoying the
heck out of other users.

On the subject of weather spotters...There are a lot more weather spotters than
APRS people and most aren't about to install a 2nd radio in their car.  Just to
compare prices I'll use new equipment going rates... keeping it in terms of
apples and apples or oranges and oranges...  If a weather spotter wants to add
aprs to his car, he has to purchase a tiny track kit for $36, a GPS for $80,
and a 2m radio for $150.  If the same guy was to simply add mic-e abilities to
his radio, it would cost him $150 less... about $115 all told

If the club added mic-e to a repeater, they'd need a kpc3plus at $180 and a 2m
radio at $150.  A total of $330.  Now if you could "recruit" say, 5 or 10 local
weather spotters to spend the $115 each, the collective savings would be $1500
(each of 10 guys save $150 for the 2nd 2m radio).  This makes spending $300 of
club money to put mic-e on the club repeater a no-brainer.  And it's not a
recurring cost like the $50 a month for the phone line for autopatch.

By the way, done properly, 10's of stations can check in APRS postiions via a
quiet 2m repeater during all those hours in the middle of the day when the
repeater isn't in use anyway.  And w/o even bringing up the repeater output!


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