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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 03-12-2017, 7:40 AM
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The source for the data on the sites mentioned in this thread are the various state repeater coordination organizations...
Not always.

The ARRL has worked out a deal with RFinder in which coordinators can submit their data to RFinder who will then put that data on their web site and RFinder will compile the data for the next edition of the ARRL Repeater Directory. But, many coordinating bodies are not participating in this because of past bad experiences with RFinder. RepeaterBook has state "coordinators" who edit the data for a particular state. Whether or not those "coordinators" get their data from their state coordinating body is probably a state-by-state thing.

Most amateur radio repeater coordinating bodies copyright their repeater listings and simply lifting that data for re-publication elsewhere could be a copyright violation. Some coordinating bodies, such as the South East Repeater Association do not publish their data on the Internet at all. Some coordinating bodies "salt" their published data with fake listings so they can prove copyright infringement much in the same way that Rand McNally used to put fake town names on their printed maps.

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...so I generally go directly to those sites to find their database page. It's going to be the most current info in my experience.
Going directly to the source of the data is a good idea for the reasons stated. That doesn't mean that the coordinating body always has the most accurate data. It all depends on how diligent the coordinators are about keeping their databases "clean". I can speak from experience that getting accurate and timely information from repeater owners and trustees is a challenge.
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Old 03-12-2017, 10:25 AM
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You may actually find more activity on 11 meters!
But why would I want to?
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Old 03-12-2017, 10:49 AM
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Just humans being human, I guess.
.....which has the potential to be very disappointing.
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Old 03-12-2017, 5:05 PM
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Originally Posted by W9BU View Post
Not always.

The ARRL has worked out a deal with RFinder in which coordinators can submit their data to RFinder who will then put that data on their web site and RFinder will compile the data for the next edition of the ARRL Repeater Directory. But, many coordinating bodies are not participating in this because of past bad experiences with RFinder. RepeaterBook has state "coordinators" who edit the data for a particular state. Whether or not those "coordinators" get their data from their state coordinating body is probably a state-by-state thing.

Most amateur radio repeater coordinating bodies copyright their repeater listings and simply lifting that data for re-publication elsewhere could be a copyright violation. Some coordinating bodies, such as the South East Repeater Association do not publish their data on the Internet at all. Some coordinating bodies "salt" their published data with fake listings so they can prove copyright infringement much in the same way that Rand McNally used to put fake town names on their printed maps.


Going directly to the source of the data is a good idea for the reasons stated. That doesn't mean that the coordinating body always has the most accurate data. It all depends on how diligent the coordinators are about keeping their databases "clean". I can speak from experience that getting accurate and timely information from repeater owners and trustees is a challenge.
As a repeaterbook state admin, i can tell you that there are TONS of repeaters that are supposedly "coordinated", that have been off the air for many years. Repeaterbook admins are encouraged to do a lot of legwork. Trusting coordination councils is the first mistake many people make. There are also many repeaters that simply are not coordinated, or are still going through the process of getting coordinated.

It is a task that can be a bit daunting. I've got Ohio extremely up-to-date. Constant communication and constant effort is needed to keep things accurate. Is everyone doing this? No. Some states are pretty good, whereas some have room to improve. Like anything else, it's a guide, not 100%
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Old 03-23-2017, 2:19 PM
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Originally Posted by W9BU View Post
Not always.

The ARRL has worked out a deal with RFinder in which coordinators can submit their data to RFinder who will then put that data on their web site and RFinder will compile the data for the next edition of the ARRL Repeater Directory. But, many coordinating bodies are not participating in this because of past bad experiences with RFinder. RepeaterBook has state "coordinators" who edit the data for a particular state. Whether or not those "coordinators" get their data from their state coordinating body is probably a state-by-state thing.

Most amateur radio repeater coordinating bodies copyright their repeater listings and simply lifting that data for re-publication elsewhere could be a copyright violation. Some coordinating bodies, such as the South East Repeater Association do not publish their data on the Internet at all. Some coordinating bodies "salt" their published data with fake listings so they can prove copyright infringement much in the same way that Rand McNally used to put fake town names on their printed maps.


Going directly to the source of the data is a good idea for the reasons stated. That doesn't mean that the coordinating body always has the most accurate data. It all depends on how diligent the coordinators are about keeping their databases "clean". I can speak from experience that getting accurate and timely information from repeater owners and trustees is a challenge.
I was going to suggest RFinder, they have a "Search along a route" that I've had good luck with.
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Old 04-03-2017, 11:16 PM
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This thread has inspired me to do an unscientific survey of selected repeater sites. In the next few weeks, I'll be making trips to Wichita, KS, and Bay City, MI, from Columbus, GA. Each trip is a little less than a thousand miles. I recently purchased a Yaesu FT-8900R and the software to go with it. (With almost 300 sites to program in, it was a necessity.)

Using RepeaterBook book, I entered the frequencies for the routes I will be taking. I found RepeaterBook to be lacking in some respects, particularly Alabama. I-85 was not even included in the interstate listings for Alabama, even though it enters the state on the Georgia side and terminates in Montgomery. I-65 runs from the Tennessee state line. south through Birmingham and Montgomery and terminates in Mobile. The only sites listed for I-65 were in the last 40 miles or so in Mobile County. There were no other listings for any other part of the state on I-65. It's interesting to note that the administrator for the Alabama page lives in Mobile County . I-22 was not included in the Alabama listings either. It run from Birmingham to Memphis through Mississippi. It was, however, included in the Mississippi listings. In RepeaterBook's defense, I-22 is relatively new (2015 or 2016, I think). (I left a comment on the RepeaterBook site about these shortcomings. I haven't heard from them.)

I will be traveling alone but perhaps I can document each active repeater with a minimum of distraction. Of course, I programmed the radio using RT Systems' software. I was careful to enter the correct frequencies and CTCSS codes, where applicable. The software has a “Comments” section so, after “hiding” unimportant items on the template, I printed the forms (6 pages). Using the Comments section, I will put a “+” or “-” to show the status, whether I make contact with anyone or not. Getting a response from the repeater will get a + entry. If conditions don't let me try a repeater on the trip to or from, the section will be left blank. Virtually all of the repeaters I programmed into the radio are within about 20 miles of my route and I will be using 50 watts. The radio is programmed with 6, 2 and .70 meters and I may try to make contact on all three bands, but I'll only be evaluating 2 and .70.

Both trips involve mostly interstate driving so this might ease the boredom and for those nitpickers, this is an UNSCIENTIFIC survey.
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Old 04-03-2017, 11:54 PM
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The problem with all the data that all the different on line repeater databases have is that their data sucks. It is old, out of date and generally missing the required tone to be able to open up a repeater.

I have to point the finger at the repeater owners for never caring if their repeater info is bad or even missing. I don't have a problem with the few owners that want their repeater to be closed. The databases generally will say if the repeater is open or closed.

In my many trips between southern new Hampshire and the New Orleans area over the years has allowed me to update my own listing of repeaters. This has been done over a time frame of about 15 to 20 years. I talk with the locals on the repeaters I can hit and ask about the repeaters I can't seem to hit or even hear anything from. This has allowed me to update my listing and put it on a mapping program.

Bottom line here is if no one tells the owner of these databases there is bad data and provide the correct data, it will never be corrected. Complain all you want, cry about bad data all you want, but it will not change the databases.
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Old 04-04-2017, 12:57 AM
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Repeater book can be crowd sourced data, any errors can be on the fly updated, so if you find any glaring errors and have the time , upload corrected info with a little note about the reason for the correction in the software itself .

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Old 04-04-2017, 8:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KK4JUG View Post
This thread has inspired me to do an unscientific survey of selected repeater sites. In the next few weeks, I'll be making trips to Wichita, KS, and Bay City, MI, from Columbus, GA. Each trip is a little less than a thousand miles. I recently purchased a Yaesu FT-8900R and the software to go with it. (With almost 300 sites to program in, it was a necessity.)

Using RepeaterBook book, I entered the frequencies for the routes I will be taking. I found RepeaterBook to be lacking in some respects, particularly Alabama. I-85 was not even included in the interstate listings for Alabama, even though it enters the state on the Georgia side and terminates in Montgomery. I-65 runs from the Tennessee state line. south through Birmingham and Montgomery and terminates in Mobile. The only sites listed for I-65 were in the last 40 miles or so in Mobile County. There were no other listings for any other part of the state on I-65. It's interesting to note that the administrator for the Alabama page lives in Mobile County . I-22 was not included in the Alabama listings either. It run from Birmingham to Memphis through Mississippi. It was, however, included in the Mississippi listings. In RepeaterBook's defense, I-22 is relatively new (2015 or 2016, I think). (I left a comment on the RepeaterBook site about these shortcomings. I haven't heard from them.)

I will be traveling alone but perhaps I can document each active repeater with a minimum of distraction. Of course, I programmed the radio using RT Systems' software. I was careful to enter the correct frequencies and CTCSS codes, where applicable. The software has a “Comments” section so, after “hiding” unimportant items on the template, I printed the forms (6 pages). Using the Comments section, I will put a “+” or “-” to show the status, whether I make contact with anyone or not. Getting a response from the repeater will get a + entry. If conditions don't let me try a repeater on the trip to or from, the section will be left blank. Virtually all of the repeaters I programmed into the radio are within about 20 miles of my route and I will be using 50 watts. The radio is programmed with 6, 2 and .70 meters and I may try to make contact on all three bands, but I'll only be evaluating 2 and .70.

Both trips involve mostly interstate driving so this might ease the boredom and for those nitpickers, this is an UNSCIENTIFIC survey.
Right now... The state admins have to manually link a repeater to a specific interstate. Some admins aren't as diligent as they need to be. There is a plan to make this more automatic. I can get in the admin group and hammer at more people to get on the ball. With Hamvention coming, this is more vital. Btw....I have Ohio fairly well attended to. We are supposed to be proactive in chasing correct data...some admins are better than others.

People can submit notes on specific repeaters to add these. If an admin gets the hint from lots of people, they May proactively attend to this.

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Old 04-04-2017, 8:21 AM
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For travel in our RV, I used the band plan and programed in all the frequencies in frequency numerical order. No tones or ctcss, so no duplicates. This cuts the number of freqs to scan considerably. We just keep it scanning. When it hears a station. we copy it to the VFO and try to determine tone from REpeater Directory, notes, etc. Mostly listen while on the road, but when stopped for the night will join in conversations.
On a side note, a semi-local repeater was off the air for awhile. When it returned, the PL was different, but the ID recording was still giving out the old PL tone!
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Old 04-04-2017, 8:29 AM
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Originally Posted by KD8DVR View Post
Right now... The state admins have to manually link a repeater to a specific interstate. Some admins aren't as diligent as they need to be. There is a plan to make this more automatic. I can get in the admin group and hammer at more people to get on the ball. With Hamvention coming, this is more vital. Btw....I have Ohio fairly well attended to. We are supposed to be proactive in chasing correct data...some admins are better than others.

People can submit notes on specific repeaters to add these. If an admin gets the hint from lots of people, they May proactively attend to this.

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"Aren't as diligent" is putting it mildly. Two interstates aren't even listed. One of those has been in existence for decades. The repeaters for Montgomery and Birmingham are shown in the individual city listings but they're not included in the listings for the interstates going through them.

I understand the difficulty in maintaining correct data that has to be gathered from such a large area but these administrators volunteered for the task. They weren't drafted. Perhaps some states could be broken down into sections and multiple administrators could be used
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Old 04-04-2017, 8:31 AM
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With the rash of damaging storms going through the south and along the Gulf Coast, there have been a number of repeaters taken off the air due to damage from lightning and power outages, along with flooding. It would be wise to inquire about missing repeaters as you travel the countries Interstates.

The locals do keep track of those repeaters that may be off the air. Like north of Lake Pontchartrain there are at least 3 repeaters off the air. The 147.000 in Hammond, the 146.910 in Hammond and the 147.270 in Lacombe.
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Old 04-04-2017, 9:03 AM
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I fully appreciate the fact that things happen: acts of God, financial difficulties, etc. Incompetence or lack of interest is something else. Can anyone explain the exclusion of two interstates and 95% of a third one in a single state. This is only one state. How many others are there?
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Old 04-04-2017, 10:05 AM
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I recently obtained an Icom-5100A and have enjoyed using the GPS function to find my closest repeaters based on my location. You can download the latest repeater listing from Icom's website and save it to the radio's SD card. The radio then uses the internal GPS and gives you a list of closest FM or D-Star repeaters based on your current location.

However, much like the repeater listings one finds on the internet I suspect it will not be 100% accurate all the time, but at least it gives you something to work with instead of having to manually look up and enter a bunch of repeater frequencies before you go on a trip.
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Old 04-10-2017, 10:29 AM
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I fully appreciate the fact that things happen: acts of God, financial difficulties, etc. Incompetence or lack of interest is something else. Can anyone explain the exclusion of two interstates and 95% of a third one in a single state. This is only one state. How many others are there?
Same thing used to happen on printed maps , we used to call the Rand McNally road atlas "Random Mcnally" I once took a trip to Florida where it showed a local road , which I liked local roads better than the highway , but no such road existed in the real world .

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Old 04-10-2017, 10:37 AM
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Sometimes, Rand McNally maps would show non-existent features on purpose. They were "markers" so Rand McNally's copyright lawyers could tell if another map printer was plagiarizing Rand McNally's maps. Repeater database maintainers do the same thing, so I'm told, to see if their copyrighted databases are being plagiarized.
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Old 04-10-2017, 11:36 AM
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"Aren't as diligent" is putting it mildly. Two interstates aren't even listed. One of those has been in existence for decades. The repeaters for Montgomery and Birmingham are shown in the individual city listings but they're not included in the listings for the interstates going through them.

I understand the difficulty in maintaining correct data that has to be gathered from such a large area but these administrators volunteered for the task. They weren't drafted. Perhaps some states could be broken down into sections and multiple administrators could be used
Some states do have more than one admin. I'll get on the Admin forum and whine a bit. I'll tell people that repeaterbook users have a very serious desire to see an accurate route mapping.

You are right. Admins request this duty.

Edit: I just made a plea... also, perhaps, the Owner will get on there, too. I am also a traveler, and really think there is a lot of work to be done in this regard.
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Old 04-10-2017, 12:23 PM
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Out in the boonies you are at the mercy of the existing info, the best solution I have even for larger metro type areas is APRS beacon of the local frequencies and net times etc. It certainly helps when Going thru a new area, of course not all hams use it , and Icom doesn't include it in any of there radios, I am in the process of building a digi Pete and echolink node to do just that .

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Old 04-11-2017, 12:22 AM
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I have yet to find a repeater guide that is better than about 60% accurate. If you can find one that has some active repeaters along your route, I'd call that a win. If you're looking for one that you can definitively say beats all the others for completeness and accuracy, you're gonna walk away frustrated.

For travel, I'd stick with the ARRL guide, and Artsci. Between the two, you'll find something that works just about everywhere. But neither is nowhere near complete.
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Old 05-23-2017, 8:45 AM
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True to my word (see post #26), I'll be embarking on the first trip Thursday. I'm going to Wichita from Columbus, GA..

Using mostly Repeater Book, I entered 2m and .70m frequencies. Since Alabama data is sorely lacking with two interstates not even listed, I used a mapping program to look for cities reasonably close to the interstate then used Repeater Book to look for repeaters in those cities. I chose not to do 6m. I found eight 6m repeaters along the route and 3 of those were shown as "testing."

Using RT Systems software, I entered the repeater information into a Yaesu FT-8900. The radio has an SWR of 1.3 on 2m and 1.4 on .70m. Even though I'm a pretty decent typist, I entered the frequencies using the "hunt & peck" system to minimize errors.

I'll be making a round-trip, probably be returning 3 days later. So, let's see what happens.

I'll consider making corrections in Repeater Book but I'm a little reluctant to do that. Just because I don't hit a repeater doesn't mean is not active. It could be down for maintenance, they could have changed PL tones, I might have entered wrong data into the program.

(I've got to get a life.)
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