Diablo Peak Upgrades

The two amateur radio repeater systems at Diablo Peak on Santa Cruz Island were recently upgraded. A four man team and two pilots departed SB Airport aboard a twin engine Huey helicopter to repair a critical Public Safety SAR repeater. The problem was isolated and the system restored to service. There was sufficient time to finally install a repeater control system in the amateur radio rack. We now have control of 223.92 and 146.655 repeaters. The two SBARC systems are interconnected both ways on a trial basis.

Additional site infrastructure repair and upgrades were also accomplished including installation of a new wind sock and a rather unusual wind speed and direction indicator which I call Wayne’s Vane. The wind vane may be seen using the club’s webcam.

If we were to take a boat to the Island and climb the hill then return by boat it would be a three day journey and a logistical nightmare. Sure nice when you can load out at the airport and you’re there in 20 minutes. Thanks to those who made it happen.

Winds were high all day prompting a late departure. Thanks to Wayne Beckman, Jonah Blossom, and Matt Lechliter for a clean sweep day.

The K6TZ 223.92 repeater is a brand new commercial Tait Repeater (New Zealand) donated by Andy Seybold, W6AMS. The two-meter repeater is a commercial grade Motorola Quantar owned by SBARC and operates on 146.655 MHz. The two-meter frequency coordination is held by W6XC of the Seaside Radio Association which is an arm of the GRONK Radio Network. A new RLC Club Repeater controller was recently added to enable a cross connect and control between the two repeater systems. In addition all DC power systems from the site 24 volt solar grid and battery distribution were upgraded with 12 volt Inverters and redundant isolation.

Both systems enjoy wide primary coverage from Point Conception to Malibu along the coastline, and many areas inland. The 220MHz system has secondary coverage as far south as San Diego including inland areas of Los Angeles and Orange County. The two-meter repeater on 146.655 is co-channeled with a Los Angeles area repeater. Per agreement, two-meter repeater operations on 146.655 should not communicate with user stations East of Malibu.

Both repeaters are normally cross-connected. This can be reconfigured as needed. The two-meter repeater also supports local P25 digital communications. Contact Matt Lechliter, W6XC, for P25 operational guidance.

Information is also available on Repeaterbook for the 2-meter repeater and the 220 repeater.

Repeater access information is as follows:

Call Location Output Freq Input Freq PL
K6TZ Diablo Peak on Santa Cruz Island
Live Camera
223.920 222.320 131.8
W6XC Diablo Peak on Santa Cruz Island
GRONK/SBARC co-sponsored; open; FM & P25 supported
146.655 146.055 131.8
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About K6LCM

Levi is a member of the SBARC Board of Directors and is the K6TZ Trustee. He is also a Volunteer Examiner.

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