Hello all.... guess I'll be the first to post to this board and hopefully it's within bounds of the intended use!
A few years ago, some members of the Wayne Technical Fanatics (a small radio technology enthusiast group in Ohio, http://ww8tf.club) had an idea to start a confederation of repeater sites owned by like-minded individuals. With the declining use of repeaters, many repeaters are now way under-utilized given the number of them on the air. Most repeaters seem to be feast or famine with very little in between. The goal of the project was to create a confederation of repeater owners/operators that would join together to form a "moderately sized" community of lower-use and/or low-profile repeaters. Rather than attempting to compete in some of the big networks, the goal was to create a network of repeaters where users of the repeaters could really get to know one another, a true community, while having enough membership to ensure that hams, especially new hams, had someone come back to them more often than not when they throw their call out.
The original project was started using Allstar Link on analog repeaters however a variety of circumstances led to that not working out well. WTF converted its three local repeaters (two mid-profile, one low profile) to MMDVM multi-mode with a concentration on D-STAR. Since then we’ve built a small but regular D-STAR community in the area. WTF operates an XLX-based reflector supporting DExtra, DPlus, and DCS that is hosted in a tier-1 data center to provide excellent reliability and uptime to link the three sites and offer modules to other local clubs. The reflector is XRF330/DCS330.
Revisiting the original community plan, I was interested to see if there were any repeater owners (and even regular hotspot users) who were interested in banding together to get more use out of their repeaters and serve the D-STAR community. There seems to be many people who own D-STAR-capable radios they suffer from lack of use either due to lack of repeaters or lack of someone to talk to on the network. The idea would be to gather D-STAR users together in a venue to get some under-used repeaters some use without subjecting people to the firehose of some of the big reflectors. If the community picks up steam, the thought would be to add a transcoder capability to support YSF cross-linking.
If this is of interest to you, let me know. Or better yet, give me a call on XRF330A (http://xrf330.megalink.network/). I’m monitoring most weeknights US Eastern time and am on and off on weekends depending on the family schedule.
(formerly N8JDM; still working on getting accounts changed)
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