Welcome to LIMARC, the Long Island Mobile Amateur Radio Club-a club for all ham radio operators

Welcome to the Long Island Mobile Amateur Radio Club
Telephone: 516-450-5153

LIMARC address, PO Box 392, Levittown, New York 11756-0392
Check into Mondayís InfoNet
8:30 PM on W2VL - 146.85, PL 136.5, negative ( - ) shift. Learn what is happening in LIMARC and keep up with the latest amateur radio news, share your ham radio news of interest. LIMARC members and non-members are welcome to check in with or without traffic (information).

Visit LIMARC’s Calendar | Check out our NEW Ham Radio Fact of the Day!

Please visit our ham radio sponsor page or see the blue bar below and check out their websites. They are there for when we need them to help us with our amateur radio events!

News — Read All About It!

  • Thanks to all who made HRU - Ham Radio University 2014 the great success it was! If you would like to check out the information such as the forum schedule and plenty more, go visit the HRU website. You can also go to the HRU's Facebook page and Like the page and read what's been said and write some things yourself. You might want to offer your own thanks and let the committee know the highlights of HRU 2014 so they can know for next year or you might have ideas for next year. Again, thanks to the committee, the presenters, our great Director and Keynote Speaker, Mike Lisenco N2YBB and to everyone who helped in every way.

  • Astronomy Net on 1st and 3rd Thursdays at 8:30 PM.
    Craig KD2CXK, Net Control
    W2VL 146.85 - 136.5 PL (-) negative shift

  • PLEASE CHECK BELOW THIS BULLETED LIST FOR MEMORIES OF SID WOLIN K2LJH S/K. Just click each black bar to open it up and read more; there are 2 bars. Then click the green bar to close that section.

  • Feel free to download this HRU 2014 flyer and bring it to your meetings, club events, etc. HRU 2014 Flyer.

  • We have created a Tech Net chat room. The address is www.urwebchat.com/technet.

  • We held the Special Events station at the Cradle of Aviation Museum on July 20th, from 9 AM to 4 PM, celebrating the flight of Apollo 11 and the first moon walk. Check out Special Events website at the new link: http://www.limarc.org/specialevents/

CLICK the black bars to read more. CLICK the green bars to close section.

Sid Wolin K2LJH S/K When we have shared many years with someone, we often need to write and read about the memories we shared. Sid Wolin K2LJH S/K will be sorely missed by all of us, his family and many friends. If after reading the memories in the section below, you want to write something to share on this portion of the LIMARC website please email it to Nancy N2TKA, LIMARC Webmaster and it will be added. If you have already sent something and gave your permission that it be posted on LIMARC's website, but you don't see it below, please contact Nancy N2TKA. I knew Sid for about 20 years and I only thought I missed him when he moved upstate. Now I know what it's truly like to miss him. Nancy N2TKA

The first memory I'll post was the first I saw. It was written by Diane Ortiz K2DO with help from her OM, George Tranos N2GA and was sent to those in the Hudson Division by our Director, Mike Lisenco N2YBB. As you will see Sid won the Grand ‘Ole Ham Award in 2012 but didn't hear his speech from his nominator, Diane K2DO until November 2013, shortly before he passed away. I think we are all grateful that he was able to make the luncheon and hear Diane's award speech and get to see those of us who were able to attend the Hudson Division Awards Luncheon.

The Announcement:

Iím sorry to report to the Division that Sid Wolin, K2LJH, became a Silent Key this morning after a long battle with cancer. I am so grateful that Sid was on hand last week to accept his award as the 2012 Grand ĎOle Ham, celebrating the designation one year later than expected due to the delay caused by Superstorm Sandy.

Sid was a driving force behind Amateur Radio in the Hudson Division for many years. Sid had been President of at least two radio clubs - LIMARC from 1984 to 1985 and Wantagh ARC in 2001. He was a director of at least three radio clubs - LIMARC, Wantagh and the Saratoga County Amateur Radio Association.

Sid was a technical guru who chased down RFI problems for many hams when he served as Technical Coordinator for the ARRL New York City I Long Island Section. He testified at local zoning board of appeal hearings in support of Amateur Radio. He also gave many presentations on mobile antenna installations, antenna theory and portable operating.

Sid was instrumental in collecting ads for the Hudson Division Awards journals allowing the journal to be expanded and printed. Sid was active for many years on the VE team for LIMARC and was one of the first people the new ham met when they passed their license exam. There was so much more that Sid had done. Here are some of his many accomplishments:

  • LIMARC Director 1982, LIMARC Vice President 1983
  • LIMARC President 1984-1985
  • LIMARC Director 1998 to 2001
  • LIMARC Field Day Public Information Officer and committee member
  • LIMARC Essay Contest
  • NYC/LI Section Technical Coordinator for many years
  • A volunteer organizer for the NYC Marathon since 2001
  • Ham Radio University Forum presenter since 2001
  • President of the Wantagh Amateur Radio Club (2001) and Director
  • Active member of the QCWA (Quarter Century Wireless Association)
  • Active ARRL Volunteer Examiner for LIMARC and the Saratoga ARA
  • Director, Saratoga County Amateur Radio Association
  • ARRL Hudson Division Assistant Director
  • Volunteer during 9/11, assisting Nassau County Red Cross and ARES
  • Sid was President of Azden USA Corporation
  • Sid was a familiar face at the KJI Electronics booth
  • Member, Long Island QRP group

From the Hudson Division Awards Luncheon, written by Diane K2DO and George N2GA

From Rob Fox KA2NKO, Sid's Son-in-law Announcing Sid's Passing.

Dear LIMARC, I want to inform you of the passing of my father-in-law, Sid Wolin, K2LJH. He passed away quietly in his sleep early Monday morning. Sid was a past president of LIMARC and still considered it his "home club" even after moving up here to Saratoga. Donations can be made in his name to the National Cancer Institute at www.cancer.gov - -Rob Fox KA2NKO

Second email from Rob: Ham radio meant so much my my father-in-law. The family is now all upstate, so the memorial ceremony will be at my synagogue... <snip>Synagogue and memorial service information removed as the event has passed.</snip>     73, Rob Fox, KA2NKO

From the LIMARC President K2KNB and Good and Welfare Committee

Sid was honored on November 2 as the 2012 Grand Ole Ham, of the Hudson Division, and award that had been delayed one year by superstorm Sandy. I am glad that he was able to make that event and receive his well-deserved honor. Sid was an absolute credit to amateur radio and his continued support of LIMARC will be sorely missed. - Our deepest condolences to the Wolin family!
- Good and Welfare Committee Rick Bressler, K2RB Chairman
Richie Cetron, K2KNB, President

Another Good and Welfare email to son-in-law, Rob: Our deepest thoughts go out to you and your family at this time. Rick K2RB

From Frank Fallon N2FF, Our Previous Hudson Division Director

Thanks for letting me know the sad news. Thank God we had the event in November and not December. He did not look good at the luncheon. I saw him in July at the Sussex Hamfest and if it were not for his distinctive voice I would not have know it was him. He was the financial wizard behind our string of very successful Awards events. When we met with LIMARC officers to plan the first ever event Sid insisted persistently that we must do a journal and stated that it would make money not loose it. Thanks to his sage advice we have been able to fund the event and give money to a number of great causes ever since. Mike, N2YBB, announced that he plans to continue rhat tradition.

I'll always remember the year Sid and I drove to Dayton. It was probably the late 1980's. Sid talked all the way. He will be missed.
73 de Frank...N2FF.....

Memories From a Good Friend, Al Bender W2QZ

Sad news indeed. Sid was a neighbor of mine for many years here in Merrick. LIMARC was always #1 not only in his activities but also in his heart. He was also an active member of LIMARC's VE team until the day he moved. I remember back in the early 90s when he was President of the Wantagh Radio Club, he and I organized a" no test"" upgrade day for grandfathered Techs (code requirement was reduced to 5 wpm for a General License). It was at the Wantagh Library. It started at 8:30 in the parking lot, continued for 2 hours in their meeting room and finished at 11:20 at a table in the main library. We processed 73 upgrades that morning. We both were exhausted but had a great feeling of accomplishment. That was Sid. Doing not only for LIMARC but for ham radio as well. If the family agrees, having his call as a living memorial for him is a great idea.

Memories from one of Sid's friends, Harry Gross KC2FYJ

Sid was the man who took my membership application when I joined LIMARC. He was the mile captain at mile 13 of the NYC marathon for ages, until he passed the reins over to Gary. He was a big part of this club before he moved upstate. I'm really glad he was able to be there to accept his Hudson Division Award earlier this month and wish I could have been there to congratulate him.

I also think we should do something in his honor/memory, more than a simple donation to the NCI. I just don't know what that might be. Perhaps requesting his license for one of the club repeaters (assuming nobody in his family wants to obtain it)?

Anyone have any other ideas? Or am I overreacting?
73, Harry KC2FYJ

A note from friends, Jeff N2ION and Karen Forkos KB2KQZ

So sorry to hear about Sid. He was a great guy and will be missed.

Caring Thoughts From Steven Sherman NC2NY

My deepest condolence to the family.     Steven Sherman, NC2NY [NOTE: Steven might have more to say; he sent me an email with an attachment that I couldn't open. If he is able to get his message to me, I will add it here.

If You Would Like To Add A Memory or Condolence Message

As I wrote above:
If after you've read the memories in the sections above, you want to write something to share on this portion of the LIMARC website please email it to Nancy N2TKA, LIMARC Webmaster and it will be added. You can always contact me at web@limarc.org and/or n2tka@limarc.org. Thank you to all of you who have given permission to share your thoughts regarding Sid's passing. It will always be sad to see in the future, "Sid Wolin K2LJH S/K". (For those who aren't amateur radio operators, S/K means Silent Key, a ham who has passed away, one who can no longer make amateur radio contacts. 73, Nancy Rosner N2TKA

Please remember that we lost another amateur operator...

It is with deep regret that I report the passing of William Benzeno, KD2AEW, brother-in-law of Director George Sullivan, WB2IKT. He died suddenly and unexpectedly from a massive myocardial infraction and stroke. LIMARC sends its deepest condolences, George.

Whatís New

NEW! Read the new Foxhole Radio LIMARC Presentation by Ron Milione W2TAP. It's chock full of great information, so take some time and enjoy!

Read a great article about A New Ham's Guide How to Use Ham Radio Repeaters by Don N4UJW. His website is full of other interesting articles too. Check it out! It's in the blue accordion section below, the link down. It's on this page, so you can just scroll down, to the topic just above the last topic.

Jay Marcucci KC2YSK wrote a new Power Point presentation "Chirp - Programming Portable Radios." It can be found below in the blue accordion section, 8th topic down. Read it, you'll like it!

In the same accordion section, you can find a new Power Point presentation by Ron Milione W2TAP about Antennas. It's excellent, check it out! (It's fourth from the bottom)

Please read about How To Join The LIMARCInc Yahoo! Group / Reflector.

Contact The Board

Contact the Webmaster for Any Web Comments or Queries

YourCallSign@limarc.org Email Addresses
ALL LIMARC Members Can Have One...

If you would like your own limarc.org email address with your callsign, it is yours for the asking. You need only be a member of LIMARC. If you already have a callsign@limarc.org email address, but have changed your forwarding address, you just have to contact me via the links below. Whether you don’t have one and would like one or want to change your forwarding address, contact me at the links below. 73, Nancy N2TKA — LIMARC Webmaster


Click Blue bar to Open, Click Black bar to Close.

General Meeting Schedule 2014 – (Quick Format) — 1/8, 2/12, 3/12, 4/9, 5/14, 6/11, 9/10, 10/8, 11/12 (Nominations) & 12/10 (Holiday Party - bring a friend or loved one + Toys for Tots!)

Pre-meetings: 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Most General Meetings start at 8 PM. Everyone is welcome! Bring a friend!

For more details and directions to each location, please go to our LIMARC Meetings Page.

Board Meetings start at 7:30 PM. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend!

Board Meeting Schedule 2013 – (Quick Format) —Tues. 1/7, 2/4, 3/5, 4/2, 5/7, 6/4, 9/3, 10/1, 11/5 & 12/3

For more details and directions to each location, please go to our LIMARC Meetings Page.

Created by Ron Milione W2TAP. Many thanks for letting us put this up on our website.

Foxhole Radio LIMARC Power Point Presentation by Ron Milione W2TAP — Watch and enjoy!

If you don’t have MS Power Point, just get the FREE Power Point Viewer 2007 and you will be able to see it.

Created by Ron Milione W2TAP. Many thanks for letting us put this up on our website.

APRS — Watch and enjoy!

If you don’t have MS Power Point, just get the FREE Power Point Viewer 2007 and you will be able to see it.

Created by Ron Milione W2TAP. Many thanks for letting us put this up on our website.

Military NVIS Antenna Theory & Design – NVIS - Near Vertical Incidence Skywave, or NVIS, is a radio-wave propagation method that provides usable signals in the range between ground wave and skywave distances (usually 30 to 400 miles, or 50 to 650 km). It is used mainly for military and paramilitary communications and by radio amateurs. The radio waves travel upwards into the ionosphere, where they are refracted back down and can be received within a circular region up to 650 km from the transmitter. If the frequency is too high, refraction fails to occur and if it is too low absorption reduces the signal strength.

Read this NVIS Article

Created by Ron Milione W2TAP. Many thanks for letting us put this up on our website.

Introduction to Repeaters — Watch and enjoy!

If you don’t have MS Power Point, just get the FREE Power Point Viewer 2007 and you will be able to see it.

Created by Ron Milione W2TAP. Many thanks for letting us put this up on our website.

Building a Foxhole Radio — Watch and enjoy!

If you don’t have MS Power Point, just get the FREE Power Point Viewer 2007 and you will be able to see it.

Created by Ron Milione W2TAP. Many thanks for letting us put this up on our website.

Inside Echolink — Watch and enjoy!

If you don’t have MS Power Point, just get the FREE Power Point Viewer 2007 and you will be able to see it.

Created by Jay Marcucci KC2YSK. Many thanks for letting us put this up on our website. This is the presentation Jay did for the LIMARC March 2013 meeting

Chirp - Programming Portable Radios

Created by Neil Goldstein W2NDG. Many thanks for letting us put this up on our website.

Kit Building Information

Created by Neil Goldstein W2NDG. Many thanks for letting us put this up on our website.

You can get to Neil’s presentation website about Getting Your Computer Out Of Trouble ...and keeping it that way. This is a presentation Neil did for the Long Island Mobile Amateur Radio Club (LIMARC). Here are links to many of the utilities he spoke about and links to download the presentation and handouts.


PDF of Handout: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/8320427/Getting%20Your%20Computer%20Out%20Of%20Trouble.pdf

PPTX File of Power Point presentation: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/8320427/Getting%20Your%20Computer%20Out%20Of%20Trouble.pptx

If you don’t have MS Power Point, just get the FREE Power Point Viewer 2007 and you will be able to see it.


Avira Anti-Vir Free: http://www.avira.com/en/avira-free-antivirus

AVG Antivirus Free: http://free.avg.com/us-en/homepage

Avast! Free Antivirus: http://www.avast.com/free-antivirus-download

Kaspersky Antivirus ($$$, but has free online scanning tool) http://usa.kaspersky.com/

F-Prot Antivirus ($$$. Many techs swear by F-Prot) http://www.f-prot.com/


AdAware Free (adware blocker): http://free.lavasoft.com/products.aspx

Spyware Terminator (also has clam antivirus plug-in): http://www.spywareterminator.com/

Threatfire (useful, effective, and QUIET. they call this zero-day malware protection): http://www.threatfire.com/

HiJackThis (useful but can be dangerous. use with help sites like bleeping computer.com, or an analyzer site like hijackthis.de: http://free.antivirus.com/hijackthis/

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (one of the best for trojans, and ransomware): http://www.malwarebytes.org/

Combofix (very effective but can also be dangerous. frequently used with custom scripts from helper sites like bleepingcomputer): http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/combofix/how-to-use-combofi


Download CD images (current and old versions) http://www.hirensbootcd.org/download/

Hiren’s web site (for information about what is on the disk, instructions for creating a bootable USB stick, and how to add custom software): http://www.hiren.info


Distrowatch (great site about all of the popular Linux distributions) http://www.distrowatch.com

Linux Mint LXDE (my current favorite Linux distro) http://www.linuxmint.com/edition.php?id=87


Microsoft Alternatives: http://alternatives.rzero.com/

The GIMP: (Photoshop alternative): http://www.gimp.org/downloads/

AbiWord: (MS Word Alternative): http://www.abisource.com/

Libre Office: (MS Office alternative. new all-free project forked from OpenOffice.org) http://www.libreoffice.org/download

Google Docs: (cloud-based MS Office alternative from Google) http://docs.google.com


Paul›s rule of software licensing: NEVER RELY ON SOFTWARE YOU DO NOT OWN!

Irwin›s rule of discounting: BEWARE OF DISCOUNT PARACHUTES!

Neil›s fat-finger rule: Computers do not make mistakes. THEY AMPLIFY THEM!

Jill›s helpdesk rule: BACKUP, BACKUP, BACKUP!

In New York State there are three Vehicle and Traffic (VAT) laws that are of particular interest to amateur radio operators when operating mobile. The first is VAT Title 7, Article 33, and Section 1225-c. This is the original law regarding using a cell phone while driving. This law does not contain a specific exemption for amateur radio, but it does provide a specific definition of a mobile telephone which has been ruled to exclude CB and amateur radio. Steve Bozak, WB2IQU, was ticketed under this statue and it was successfully overturned with the Judge saying “…the Court finds that the use of an amateur radio device does not fit the definition of a mobile telephone …”

The second law of interest is VAT Title 7, Article 33, Section 1225-d. This is the anti-texting while driving law. Once again, amateur radio is not specifically mentioned, this section refers back to 1225-c for its definition of a mobile telephone. This section contains its own definitions for a Portable Electronic Device. As of the time of this writing, there are no known cases where amateur radio operators have been sited under this statue for using an amateur radio while mobile.

The third law of interest is Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 397, the anti-police radio receiver law. This law is much older than the two above. This law specifically exempts licensed amateur radio operators and their mobile equipment.

LIMARC heavily stresses that safety is the number one priority while driving. If it’s not safe, don’t use your radio. Pull over into a safe location and then use the radio. It is also important to remember that there are driving while distracted laws that could definitely be applied to an amateur radio operator using his or her radio while driving in an unsafe manor.

None of this is considered a legal opinion. If you have questions about how the laws apply to you, consult your attorney or legal expert. This information is posted here to educate radio amateurs of laws that may be of interest to them. LIMARC recommends that you know your rights and the laws that apply to you. It is a good idea to keep a copy of your amateur radio license and these statues with the registration information for your vehicle. This way you can have an easy way to refresh your knowledge of the law when you need.

The links below will download PDF copies of NYS VAT Title 7, Article 33, Sections 1225c & d, NYS VAT Title 3 Article 12, Section 397, and the Bozak Decision.

Thanks to Bernie K2YO & Rich N2HH.

Created by Ron Milione W2TAP. Many thanks for letting us put this up on our website.

A Look into D-STAR Basics — Watch and enjoy!

If you don’t have MS Power Point, just get the FREE Power Point Viewer 2007 and you will be able to see it.

Thanks so much for donating to our hamfest(s). Because of you, they are so much better!

Members: We hope that you will patronize these fine companies. They were here for us when we needed them and most likely, will be there again in the future. When they help us as ham radio operators, we should help them in return.

The Swap n’ Shop Net now follows the Info Net on Monday evenings. The Info Net Controls will rotate and the Swap n’ Shop Net Control will be Bill WB2CUK. The Info Net starts at 8:30 pm on W2VL.

Computer Nets will be on the 3rd & 4th Wednesdays at 8:30 PM on W2VL.

If you have any topic suggestions or questions for LIMARC’s Computer Net control, Ken WB2KWC, you can email: .
In a month where there are five weeks, we will have an FYI Net with an assortment of information.

Photo Gallery 2 is LIMARC’s most recent Gallery. Check out the photos on the Gallery at http://limarc.org/Gallery/! If you go to the Photo Album link - the actual addy is http://www.limarc.org/album.htm, you’ll see at the top a link to the Photo Gallery and you’ll see many other photo page links to photos of the past.

Created by Ron Milione W2TAP. Many thanks for letting us put this up on our website.

RF Propagation In A Nutshell — Watch and enjoy!

If you don’t have MS Power Point, just get the FREE Power Point Viewer 2007 and you will be able to see it.

Created by Ron Milione W2TAP. Many thanks for letting us put this up on our website.

Antennas — Watch and enjoy!

If you don’t have MS Power Point, just get the FREE Power Point Viewer 2007 and you will be able to see it.

Created by Ron Milione W2TAP. Many thanks for letting us put this up on our website.

Radio Direction Finding Fundamentals, Part 1 — Watch and enjoy!

If you don’t have MS Power Point, just get the FREE Power Point Viewer 2007 and you will be able to see it.

Please read about How To Join The LIMARCInc Yahoo! Group / Reflector. It is chocked full of great information! This information is newer than what is written just below. Check out that site to learn more.

LIMARC Reflector — Go to this section to either join or find the link to read messages. The form is just a little bit lower on this page.

The default setting for the Reflector is to send you an email for each post. You don’t need to get these emails to be part of the Reflector, you can change your settings so that you can get one email a day, with the days postings - that’s called the Digest version. Or you can choose to get no emails, but to read the posted messages on the Yahoo! Groups Reflector site. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LimarcInc/ If you have a problem changing your settings, just post on the Reflector and ask that your setting be changed for you by a Moderator. It will be done ASAP.

This information, written by Don Butler N4UJW, came from the following site: http://www.hamuniverse.com/repeater.html. The information was re posted here with his permission with LIMARC's thanks. It is well written and an interesting source for the new ham operating on a repeater and a great source for those that have been on repeaters for years, but could use a little reminder. Read it, you'll be glad you did! You might want to visit the original site (with this content) and definitely go to his main antenna site (his most popular page on his site) for invaluable information: http://www.hamuniverse.com/antennas.html Try this site too: - http://www.hamuniverse.com/techniciantopics.html. Here we go!

A New Ham's Guide
How to Use Amateur (Ham Radio) Repeaters

Simple enough for even me to understand! This article will help the New Ham to be more at home on repeaters and understand the operation and procedures on Ham Radio Repeaters. It contains a basic description of a ham radio repeater, how to use it properly and is written with the NEW HAM in mind for the most popular ham band....2 meters.

What is a Repeater and Why is it Needed, and How Does It Work?

What: It's a two-way radio system that receives on one frequency, then re-transmits what it hears on another frequency; at exactly the same time. It's nothing more than a "dumb machine" with some smart people behind it.

Why it's needed: Your mobile or handleld transceiver, has a limited range due to it's antenna height with respect to the radio horizon and rf attenuating surroundings. Repeater systems are used to "transfer" your transmitted and received signals to much higher elevations electronically using large, very efficient antennas, low loss feedlines and a transmitter and receiver that is rated for heavy or continuous duty. A repeater "gets out" your signal and receives the station you are talking to with a far greater range and coverage area! You take advantage of the repeater's higher elevation to increase your effective transmitting and receiving coverage versus your mobile or hand held transceiver!

How does a Repeater work?

Here's a simple block diagram of a repeater below:

block diagram of a repeater

The Basic Repeater Components:

Most repeaters use only one antenna. The antenna is used on transmit and receive signals that are going into and out of the repeater. It usually is a high performance, heavy duty, and very efficient antenna located as high on a tower or structure as we can get it above the surrounding terrain. Lots of repeater system antennas are located on a high hill or mountain. Antenna systems for repeater use are usually very costly and have high gain.

Feed line
The feed line used on most repeaters is not just a piece of standard coax cable. A type of specialized feed line called Hard line is used. It is very similar to cable tv line that you see strung between power poles around town. The signal loss with hard line versus regular coax is much lower than in standard coax, so more power gets to the antenna and weaker signals can be received.

This device serves a major role in a repeater. The duplexer separates and isolates the incoming signal from the outgoing and vice versa. It prevents the receiver and transmitter from hearing one another by the isolation it provides. A duplexer has the shape of tall cans and is designed to pass a very narrow range of frequencies and to reject others. It helps to reject very strong nearby frequencies from other repeaters or rf producers from getting into the repeater system.

Receives the incoming signal. This receiver is generally a very sensitive and selective one which helps weaker stations to be heard better by the repeater. It is set to receive the input frequency. It's also where CTCSS (Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System) or "PL" decoding takes place.

Most machines, as repeaters are sometimes called, have a transmitter composed of an exciter and a power amplifier. The exciter modulates the audio coming from the receiver which is tuned to the transmitting stations's frequency at the proper transmit frequency, and the power amplifier simply boosts its level so the signal will travel further. Lots of repeaters use 100 watts or more. It simply takes the weaker received frequency from say a mobile and re-transmits it (repeats) at a higher power level on a different frequency.

This is the brain of the repeater. It handles repeater station ID using either CW or voice, activates the transmitter at the appropriate times, and sometimes performs many other functions depending on the sophistication of the repeater. Some also have a DVR (Digital Voice Recorder) for announcements and messages. The controller is a small computer that's programmed to control a repeater.

What is Offset?
In order to listen and transmit at the same time, repeaters use two different frequencies. One for it's transmit frequency and another for it's receive frequency. On the 2 meter ham band these frequencies are 600 khz (or 600 kilohertz) apart. On other bands, the offsets are different. As a general rule, if the output frequency (transmit) of the repeater is below 147 Mhz, then the input frequency (listening) is 600 kilohertz lower. This is referred to as a negative offset. If the output is 147 Mhz or above, then the input is 600 kilohertz above. This is referred to as a positive offset. Virtually all ham radios sold today set the offset once you have chosen the operating frequency automatically. Example: If the repeater output is 146.840 Mhz. The input, or the frequency it listens on is 146.240 Mhz ( 600 kilohertz below). If you have your radio tuned to 146.840 Mhz, (the repeater's output frequency), when you push the mic button, your radio automatically transmits on 146.240 Mhz, 600kc's down from 146.840. When you release the mic button to listen, your radio switches back to 146.840 Mhz to listen on the repeater's output frequency. Note: There are exceptions to the rule so check local repeater listings.

Standard Repeater Input/Output Offsets

6 meters
1 MHz
2 meters
600 kHz
1.25 meters
1.6 MHz
70 cm
5 MHz
33 cm
12 MHz
23 cm
20 MHz

Why do Repeaters use an Offset?
Without having an offset between the transmit signal and the receive signal frequency, the repeater would simply hear itself when it was transmitting on the same frequency it was listening on! Therefore, to use a repeater a user must use a different transmit frequency than receive frequency. Your actual transmit frequency is the exact same one that the repeater receiver is listening on. This is a form of duplex, or two frequency operation. It is known as half-duplex as you do not receive and transmit at the same time but normally use the push-to-talk button on your microphone to switch between the two. Cell phones use full duplex so each party can hear the other while the other is talking. Even with the offset, the two frequencies are close enough that some isolation is required. Again, this isolation is done by the Duplexer. So you can see why some repeater components interact with each other and without the basic system components....nothing would work.

What's all those tones about?
What is a PL or CTCSS Tone?
PL, an acronym for Private Line, is Motorola's proprietary name for a communications industry signaling scheme called the Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System, or CTCSS. It is used to prevent a repeater from responding to unwanted signals or interference. Tone Squelch is an electronic means of allowing a repeater to respond only to stations that encode or send the proper tone. In other words, if a repeater is set up to operate only when a PL tone of say, 136.5hz is heard by it's receiver, then it will allow the transmitting station access. If your station, (your mobile, base or handheld) does not transmit the tone when you key up, then the receiver of the repeater does not hear you and will not be usable by your station until you set the tone in your radio. Any station may be set up to transmit this unique low frequency tone that allows the repeater to operate. If a repeater is "In PL mode" that means it requires a CTCSS tone(PL tone)to activate the repeater. Due to severe congestion of ham repeaters in some areas, most repeaters are PL'ed. These repeaters were once called closed repeaters.


            67.0    94.8    131.8   171.3   203.5 
69.3 97.4 136.5 173.8 206.5
71.9 100.0 141.3 177.3 210.7
74.4 103.5 146.2 179.9 218.1
77.0 107.2 151.4 183.5 225.7
79.7 110.9 156.7 186.2 229.1
82.5 114.8 159.8 189.9 233.6
85.4 118.8 162.2 192.8 241.8
88.5 123.0 165.5 196.6 250.3
91.5 127.3 167.9 199.5 254.1

What Happens When You Key Your mic?
Let's "key up" a repeater and see what sequence of events are created within the repeater equipment when someone makes a transmission:

You key your mic and throw out your callsign...."This is KE5??? listening on the 146.84 machine". Then you release the mic button.

Assuming your station is within range of the repeater....The repeater antenna picked up your signal with it's antenna on 146.24 (your transmit frequency set to the standard offset and the repeater's receive frequency) and sent it down the feedline to the duplexer.

From there it was sent to the repeater receiver and converted to an audio signal (just like the sounds coming from your speaker)....sent to the controller (the brains of the repeater), then sent to the repeater transmitter and turned back into a much greater amplified radio signal on 146.84mhz (the output of the repeater)....sent to the duplexer....then thru the feedline to the antenna and out over the air.

A mobile or base station that happened to be within range and monitoring the .84 machine heard your transmission on 146.84mhz (the repeater output frequency).

Since radio waves travel at about the speed of light....at the split second that you first keyed your mic, the above events took place and the repeater was receiving your signal on one frequency and re-transmitting your signal on a different frequency at the same time!

The mobile station that was listening on the output frequency of the repeater heard your callsign....keyed his mic and came back to you starting the process all over again!

A simple way of demonstrating what is going on with a repeater is to set a scanner or a second receiver tuned to the input frequency of a LOCAL active repeater...in the case above...146.24mhz and you can monitor it's input (and the stations using it if they are local). Then with your transceiver, monitor the output on 146.84mhz! You should be able to hear both the input signals and the output of the repeater as all this takes place on the air.

How do you make a call on an Amateur Repeater?
First, LISTEN AND LISTEN SOME MORE...... to make sure that the repeater is not already in use. When you are satisfied that the repeater is not in use, set your transmitter power to the minimum and increase only as needed to make contact with the repeater, begin with the callsign of the station you are trying to contact followed by your callsign. e.g. " N4??? this is N3???". (The N3??? is your callsign). If you don't establish contact with the station you are looking for, wait a minute or two and repeat your call. If you are just announcing your presence on the repeater it is helpful to others that may be listening if you identify the repeater you are using AND your callsign. e.g. " This is N3??? listening on the 84 machine or you could also say This is N3??? listening on 146.84 Dallas or the location of the repeater if known. This allows people that are listening on radios that scan several repeaters to identify which repeater you are using. If the repeater you are using is a busy repeater you may consider moving to a simplex frequency (transmit and receive on the same frequency..... see more below), once you have made contact with the station you were calling. Repeaters are designed to enhance communications between stations that normally wouldn't be able to communicate because of terrain or power limitations. If you can maintain your conversation without using the repeater, going "simplex" (both stations on same frequency in a different part of the band) will leave the repeater free for other stations to use that can't establish simplex communications!

Repeater Etiquette and Reporting Emergencies
The first and most important rule before using a repeater is to LISTEN FIRST. Nothing is more annoying than someone that "keys up" or DOUBLES in the middle of another conversation without first checking to make sure the repeater is free. If the repeater is in use, wait for a pause in the conversation (watch your S meter and wait for it to drop indicating the repeater is listening) and simply say "Emergency, Emergency, Emergency", and wait for one of the other stations to acknowledge your call. If for some reason you are not heard, then repeat the 3 "Emergencies" again...then if you are still not heard, try another nearby repeater.

This is not CB radio!
Don't use CB lingo on any ham band such as 10-4,.....don't say BREAKER! Using the words BREAK, or BREAK, BREAK or BREAK, BREAK, BREAK or any combination of them on Ham radio can be misunderstood by an operator depending on his experience. The word "break" or combinations of it carries many different meanings in the ham community and in the English language. According to THE EMERGENCY COORDINATOR'S MANUAL Edited by Steven Ewald, WV1X and Published by The American Radio Relay League, Inc., Quote from the "General Procedures section....http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Public%2520Service/ECMANUAL.PDF

"16) The word "break" is never used UNLESS there is an emergency."

Then further down in the manual, it appears to contradict or discourage the use of the word/s BREAK in the above statement:

"Note: The practice of using "BREAK" or "BREAK BREAK" to announce distress traffic should be strongly discouraged; it has no universally understood meaning.

So rather than have confusion...use plain language!

Many hams use the wording, "BREAK, BREAK, BREAK", (the word "break" repeated 3 times in a row). This is accepted practice on the hf bands where noise may be a problem but on repeaters, usually noise is not a problem, so using "plain" language such as "EMERGENCY", REPEATED 2 OR MORE TIMES can be used to announce that there is an emergency and the frequency is needed to relay vital information....if you hear an "Emergency" call during your conversation with another station....stop transmitting, acknowledge the station calling the emergency and let them have the frequency immediately! Don't delay them by saying something on the order of "Stand by breaker" and then carry on your conversation with your contact. Seconds wasted doing this may save a life! Listen to them carefully and write down the details of their emergency. They will give you the details of the emergency. Then pause for a moment and wait before you go back to him.......many other hams who heard the emergency call may be responding ALL at the same time.

If someone "beats" you to getting back to him, let him take over. Do not break into the conversations UNLESS there is a need for a relay. Under certain situations due to distances involved with mobiles and repeaters, you may be able to hear a mobile BETTER than the repeater on the input frequency of the repeater. It is a good idea to monitor the input if possible if the station reporting the emergency is having trouble getting into the repeater. You may be closer to him than the repeater and can hear him better! Whether or not the station reporting the emergency is a base station OR mobile, try to monitor the input of the repeater if there is difficulty in the emergency transmission.

When using VOICE, use the international standard "MAYDAY" or universally understood "EMERGENCY" to announce traffic of life-or-death importance.

The procedure should be:
1.Select the repeater frequency.
2. Wait for a space between transmissions if the repeater is busy.
3. Key your mic and state..."Emergency, Emergency, Emergency" unkey.
4. Wait for a response from the repeater users. If you get no response, try another repeater.
When you do make contact, state your call sign and give as many details as to the emergency as possible. Don't panic, speak slowly and clearly so the details will be understood the first time! Always give details as exact and specific. Give the details of the exact LOCATION of the emergency using enough description of the location so it can be found easily by first responders. Don't say....on highway 60 and leave it at that. The emergency vehicles need exact locations if at all possible. Remember, seconds or minutes saved equal lives in many cases! Give number of "victims" if possible. Is there is fire involved, downed power lines, immediate road blockage due to wreckage creating further dangers? DETAILS, DETAILS, DETAILS. The person on the other end of your transmission is most likely copying the info to paper so he can relay it to the appropriate authorities. Help him help you!

If by some chance you have to use Morse code when reporting an emergency, then:
The standard CW signal is "SOS," sent as a single character--not spaced as three letters." EXAMPLE: DIT DIT DIT DAH DAH DAH DIT DIT DIT and NOT, dit dit dit SPACE dah dah dah SPACE dit dit dit. NOTE: Many repeater systems allow touch tone key pad entry of "911" DIRECT TO the 911 operators and the emergency reporting system. Check with your repeater system owners or trustees for info BEFORE YOU NEED TO KNOW. When making a 911 call direct from your station, make sure the 911 operator understands that you are calling via ham radio and she/he can not talk or (be heard by you) until you have unkeyed your radio. Use of the term "over" is very helpful between you and the 911 operator. It is not like using cell phones. It is a one way (half duplex) transmission using a repeater and not simplex as with regular cell phones or land lines. Both parties CAN NOT talk at the same time!

Use plain language on a repeater. If you want to know someone's location, say "Where are you.... or what's your location?" If you want to know whether someone you're talking with is using a mobile rig or a hand-held radio, just ask: "What kind of radio are you using?" You get the idea. Most repeater use is of a "local" nature so signals will be usually of very high quality. The use of the phonetic alphabet is very helpful at times.

Don't call CQ to initiate a conversation on a repeater. Just simply listen to make certain the repeater is not in use and then key your mic and say your call sign. If someone happens to be listening and they want to talk to you they will respond.

When you are using the repeater leave a couple of seconds between exchanges to allow other stations to join in or make a quick call. Most repeaters have a "Courtesy Tone" (a short...beep or series of beeps) that will help in determining how long to pause. The courtesy tone serves two purposes. Repeaters have a time out function that will shut down the transmitter if the repeater is held on for a preset length of time (normally three or four minutes). This ensures that if someone's transmitter is stuck on for any reason, it won't hold the repeater's transmitter on indefinitely. (Don't laugh, many microphones get lodged in the fold of car seats and keep a repeater busy until it times out. Of course if it is not noticed soon by the mobile operator.....the control operator of the repeater may have to shut down the repeater until the problem is corrected.) When a ham is talking and releases the push-to-talk switch on their radio, the controller in the repeater detects the loss of carrier and resets the time-out timer. When the timer is reset, the repeater sends out the courtesy tone. If you wait until you hear this beep (normally a couple of seconds), before you respond, you can be sure that you are pausing a suitable length of time. After you hear the beep, the repeater's transmitter will stay on for a few more seconds before turning off. This is referred to as the "tail". The length of the tail will vary from repeater to repeater but the average is about 2 or 3 seconds.

You don't HAVE to wait for the "tail to drop" before keying up again, but make sure that you hear the courtesy tone before going ahead. Note: If you don't wait for the beep, the time-out timer may not reset. If you time-out the repeater, YOUR conversation AFTER the time-out will not be heard. The repeater time-out function does not care if you are still talking or not; and the station on the other end may rib you about hogging the machine and you will have wasted all those words! What is Doubling? When two stations try to talk at the same time on the same repeater, the signals mix in the repeater's receiver and results in a buzzing sound, squeal, distorted sound or severely jumbled and broken words.

When you are involved in a roundtable discussion with several other stations it is always best to pass off the repeater to a specific person (station) rather than leave it up it the air. e.g. "W3??? to take it, this is N3???", then unkey; or.......

"Do you have any comments Fred?, this is N3???"; un key. You could also say "OK...that's all I have.....back to you Fred" or the next person in rotation... (un key)....
Failing to use this or other techniques is an invitation to total confusion. As a point of interest, a repeater will usually lock into the strongest of two FM signals. This is the nature of FM. The strongest signal usually wins.

Signal Reports on a Repeater
Lots of new hams don't understand that the S meter on their radio is only reporting the relative strength of the repeater system and NOT the signal strength of the station they are talking to unless they are in the simplex mode. When the repeater is transmitting, it may have an output greatly exceeding that of the station IT is listening to. Remember the station it hears on the input frequency of it's receiver may be on a hand held radio and only a few blocks from the "machine" or it could be a mobile radio in a vehicle out on the fringes of the repeater coverage area or a base station running a high gain antenna and 100 watts from the next county or in some cases, the next state. To a third party, (another ham), listening to the machine on the repeater output, all of these stations would have the same S meter reading on his S meter! As long as the repeater can detect the signals and is working properly as it is setup, then all stations, (to the third ham), will "appear" to have the same signal strength on the S meter. Remember, the S meter is only reporting the relative strength of the repeater when it is transmitting and not the individual stations! So all that being said, how do you give an accurate signal report to the station you are talking to?
Listen to the background sounds of his AUDIO coming from your speaker in between words and sentences. Don't even look at your S meter. (Assuming the repeater has a good strong signal into your location).

If there is no noise other than room background, road, passenger or other sounds that could be picked up by his microphone, then he would be said to have a FULL QUIETING signal into the repeater.....receiver. NOT 50 OVER S9, S9, OR ANY COMBINATION on your S meter. The term "Quieting" refers to the carrier level of the transmitter being strong enough to "quiet" the background hiss on the frequency. If some background noise such as the hiss that is commonly heard in an FM receiver is heard on the transmitter signal, then it would not be considered "FULL QUIETING". There are times when either station using a repeater may be getting into the repeater receiver with very little signal and the repeated signal will have lots of noise on it. Although the repeater signal may be full quieting when the weak station stops transmitting, the weak station can not be considered to be full quieting into the repeater so you would give the other station a report on his signal and not the repeater. Don't get confused with this. If his audio is perfectly understandable with 100 % copy and there is NO "noise" in the background other than the above, then an accurate report for him would be, "You're full quieting and 100 % copy into the repeater. Anything less than the above is usually given in various ways using an exact as possible description of his signal. "Audio" reports are a matter of interpretation by individual ears. We as hams are in the "business" of communications , not HI FI broadcast FM! We can only sound as good as the FCC will allow our transmitters to sound! If you are having extreme difficulty copying the other station, he may also be having the same problem with you, but remember he is hearing the repeater signal, not yours direct and so are you. Try to get him to go "simplex" if he is coming closer to you in a few minutes. See hint below. If the transmissions get so ruff that neither can copy the other, then just give your call sign and clear off the repeater for others to use while he gets closer or higher or changes his transmitting setup. Not all conversations are completed to the end under adverse conditions or operating situations....be patient.

HINT....If the station is in and out of range of the repeater you and he were using and is coming in your direction...try him on a simplex frequency! He may be loud and clear direct on simplex and only a few miles away and getting stronger all the time but he is getting farther from the repeater! Another situation that can happen during a new contact is that you and he did not exchange locations at the first of the contact. Both you and he are using a repeater 50 miles away. Then after several minutes you discover in your conversation with the other station that he is in the same town as you and only a couple of miles away! Time for simplex! Don't hog the repeater.

Simplex operation generally means station to station or direct communication on the same frequency between two stations and not using a repeater. Use the least amount of output power needed to carry on the contact. Simplex should be used when the two stations are close enough to carry on a conversation without the use of a repeater and will help in congested metro areas with a limited number of repeaters.

Simplex should always be used if possible rather than a repeater.

See chart below for suggested simplex frequencies. (Highlighted in gray)
Repeater input and output frequencies highlighted in yellow.
2 Meter Band Plan as suggested by the ARRL (144-148 MHz):




General CW and weak signals


EME and weak-signal SSB


SSB National calling frequency


General SSB operation


Propagation beacons


New OSCAR subband


Linear translator inputs


FM repeater inputs


Weak signal and FM simplex (145.01,03,05,07,09 are widely used for packet)


Linear translator outputs


FM repeater outputs


Miscellaneous and experimental modes


OSCAR subband


Repeater inputs




National FM Simplex Calling Frequency


Repeater outputs


Repeater outputs




Repeater inputs

YOUR FIRST CONVERSATION AND CONTACT ON A REPEATER! That most exciting day just arrived! You now have passed your Technician Class exam and have been issued your first call sign by the FCC.

You have your station all set up and you are ready for your first contact on a repeater! You chose a local repeater frequency and dial it up on your rig. You just keyed your mic, gave out your call sign and now you hear........your call sign and someone coming back to you with his call sign.....he un keys and the repeater is waiting for YOU! BRAIN LOCK SETS IN! "What do I do? What do I talk about? Will I remember all those rules, regulations, theory and all that other stuff I had to study?

The simple answer is.......probably not......but don't worry!

First thing....try to write his call sign down and if he gives his name, that too. Lots of good operators recognize a new ham instantly on the air and they will guide you with patience, understanding, maybe some fun prodding and picking at you to get you to relax and have fun with your new license.

He will WELCOME you!
A good operator will never make you feel unwanted on the air. He may ask you to repeat your call sign just to make certain he understood who he is talking to and if you forget to give your name, he will ask for it. Most hams don't like to talk to a "call sign", so getting names and also locations helps to start the conversation. If you make mistakes....he will most likely let you know what you did wrong and inform you as to the correct way in a friendly manor.

Don't be surprised if he asks you all the questions instead of the other way around. He is just trying to get you to feel relaxed on the air. As your experience grows in ham radio, always try to remember your first contact and how excited and nervous you were. Now it's your turn and you are the one responding to a new ham and his first contact! Make him feel at home and.......be a good operator.....like your first contact was! Repeater ID.....you and it! You must transmit your call sign at the end of a contact and at least every 10 minutes during the course of any communication. You do not have to transmit the call sign of the station to whom you are transmitting. Never transmit without identifying. For example, keying your microphone to turn on the repeater without saying your station call sign is illegal. If you do not want to engage in conversation, but simply want to check if you are able to access a particular repeater, simply say "(your call sign...... testing."


All ham radio stations, including repeaters AND YOUR STATION are required by the FCC to have a control operator monitoring the station while it is on the air. You are the control operator of your station.

Control operators are usually the owners, trustees or other designated licensed operators of a repeater system. They sometimes stay quietly in the background just listening to the every day operation of the "machine" for technical problems, proper use, FCC rule breaking, etc on a particular repeater.

They have complete control of whether a repeater is on the air or off and have the ability to stop it's operation at any time! Use the repeater to the best of your ability.

Report any unauthorized use of a repeater to the repeater owner or person responsible for the operation of the repeater.

It takes LOTS of money to maintain a repeater and the money has to come from somewhere. If you can't donate funds, then donate your time, assistance, equipment, knowledge, labor or anything of value to the repeater owner to help keep it on the air. It will be appreciated!

Only licensed Amateur Radio Operators are authorized use of ANY Amateur Radio transceiver including repeaters in the transmit function.




After all......it's only a dumb "machine!"

HAVE FUN....73, N4UJW !

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Make your check out to: LIMARC, Inc. &
Send To This Address:

LIMARC Membership
PO Box 392
Levittown, NY 11756-0392

Feel free to check out the web page detailing Membership Dues Info.

We also have on the web, a simple Printable Version that you are invited to use.

Membership expires December 31 of current year regardless of when you joined.

Please check out LIMARC’s Calendar.

If all goes well, committee chairs and the board will be adding events regularly. We hope you find it useful and enjoy it! To the board and chairman, remember to click on the date number first to get started. If you are not on the board or a committee chair, but would like to add events to this new calendar, just write to me at my callsign, N2TKA at LIMARC ’dot’ org and I’ll do my best to assist you if possible. Just go to the LIMARC’s Calendar.

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We’re so glad you’ve found us and we hope that someday each of you who reads this page, joins us at our monthly meetings and hopefully, become members of LIMARC and be part of our family. We have a varied membership and have great times together. If you’d like to become a member of LIMARC - we’d love to have you be part of our group! You’ll find we are active in many facets of ham radio and welcome newcomers warmly. While you’ll find more specific information from the links on the left and the rest of the page, our meetings are usually the 3rd Wednesday of the month at Levittown Hall. Please click the meetings icon to learn more about our General and Board meetings. Hope you have a nice time at our site! 73!

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LIMARC has had a website since February 21, 1998; the hits were fewer in the early years, but many more folks surf the web today than they did in 1998.

LIMARC’s Mailing Address:

PO Box 392, Levittown,
New York 11756-0392

LIMARC operates 5 repeaters:

W2VL 146.850 —
Glen Oaks
Echolink station ID:

W2KPQ 449.125 —
Echolink station ID:
IRLP node: 4969

W2KPQ 147.375 +
Echolink station ID:

W2KPQ 224.820 —

W2VL 1288.00 —

All have a PL of 136.5

The Glen Oaks and Selden sites are linked together and can be reached at IRLP node 9126.

Our Echolink station IDs are;
Glen Oaks – W2VL-R
Selden – W2KPQ-R
Plainview – W2KPQ-L

There is a FREE iPhone app for Echolink where you can talk directly from your iPhone or iPod Touch straight to the air via Echolink as long as you’re connected to the Internet either direct or via WiFi.

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Thank you to all of those who helped here in NY. 9.11 We will be forever grateful and will NEVER forget!