Tuesday, May 11, 2021

HVDN Spotlight: N2ACF's amazing repeater system


This article is in a different format on purpose, because it is near impossible in the Hudson Valley of New York to take a hand held 5W radio with a standard HT size antenna and talk up and down the Hudson River between the Bear Mountain and Rip Van Winkle bridges.

Pesky mountains get in the way and our good wide area VHF repeaters such as the OMARC 146.805, MBARC 146.97, PEARL 145.130 and KQ2H 147.075 are not interlinked since they are operated by three different clubs and one really nice guy named Alex, KQ2H.

The benefits of more modern digital voice repeaters, such as those that offer DMR still do not fill the critical gap in the Hudson Valley because most clubs lack direction and funds to install what is needed in our beautiful home area.

If the goal is to have a handheld radio near the Bear Mountain Bridge and communicate all the way up to the Rip Van Winkle Bridge from either side of the river the whole 50+ miles, nothing else comes close other than the amazing linked analog and mostly UHF N2ACF repeater system.

There is a lot of work that goes into planning, building, maintaining and funding repeater systems like this and it is wonderful that such a club agnostic system exists, but the Hudson Valley needs to see this evolve to another level

The reason why systems like this become important are for supporting large scale events such as Hudson River Radio Relay and other critical situations in our region.

Steve K2GOG, founder of HVDN was able to convince 10 area amateur radio clubs to work together across 5 counties to make this event happen.

One amazing result was just even getting the ability to operate from Bannerman's Island which is a not yet qualified US Islands Awards Program entry known as NY047.

A second amazing feet was not only working closely with the USMA at West Point to pull this off, but also getting Constitution Island recognized as a brand new entity now known as USIAP NY073.

There is much happening with this event, so check out the Hudson River Radio Relay DOT com website for details and help us reach our goals in making contact with 2,000 more amateur radio enthusiasts around the world on June 12th and raise more than our modest $1,000 goal. The proceeds go to Bannerman's Castle Trust to help preserve and maintain this unique treasure for many years to come.

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