December 20, 2020

“Ask the Pros night “

Often referred to as “Stump the Chumps” night.

We will also touch on operating frequencies for use with your Allstar nodes and what frequencies to stay away from.

Any subject is up for grabs tonight, so let’s hear from you folks and what’s on your mind.

The Southern Nevada Repeater Council has the following frequencies listed:

446.0250 Mhz   Analog repeater test frequency

446.0500 Mhz   Analog repeater test frequency

446.0375 Mhz   Digital repeater test frequency.

Not listed is 446.075 Mhz which is used by some nodes.

There is also about 38 different sub-audible tones available as wells a 166 different digital coded squelch settings available to keep your node nice and quiet until you communicate to it.


The original concept of connecting a low power radio module to a USB Radio Interface board to allow connections to remote Allstar nodes was to allow hams an alternative way to communicate in their immediate area ( home, yard, at work locations etc.

This was especially attractive to those stations that had HOA antenna restrictions or lived in a geographically challenged location.

Like most things as time goes on changes to the original idea happened and not necessarily for the better.

People started to connect their nodes to 5 watt BaoFeng radios because they are cheap or even radios with higher power and external antennas to be able to use their node while mobile away from their house a considerable distance.

Here lies the problem…

With this higher power level and outside antennas, now other stations are able to hear traffic from this node and at times it was over powering other station nodes who were observing the local use low power idea originally instituted.

The following is the opinion of WB6AMT only and is how I feel we could address some of the issues that occur and how to solve them.

  • We should establish an active database of frequencies that nodes are operating on. This will assist with not having nodes interfering with each other or with other radio services ( repeater inputs/ output frequencies).
  • Make available all the CTCSS tones and Digital Coded Squelch settings so everyone has a quiet operating environment.
  • Knowing where nodes are located geographically, will assist with preventing interference to other nodes, by preventing frequency/tone overlap (there is plenty to go around).
  • Assure that the radio connected to your node is set-up properly so as to not tie up an entire network because your node radio is hearing interference and keying up the nodes that you are connected to. (people living near Black Mountain or other sources of high RF energy, etc).
  • NEVER leave your node connected to remote nodes while you are not physically there to act as the Control Operator in case of a malfunction.
  • Do not connect to other nodes (Example- HARC Hub) while you are also connected to other nodes. Stations have connected to the WIN SYSTEM or other wide area highly congested nodes and then connected to HARC Hub, and the left it that way! This type of operation will bring about actions to remove your node permanently from being able to connect to the HARC- Hub in the future.
  • Your personal node is just that….YOUR private node and should not have ill effects on other amateurs. It is to allow you a nice quieting signal into the network with the use of your HT on low power around your house and still be able to connect to the world.

If you want to feel the pleasures ( and headaches) of running a wide area radio system from your vehicle, then buy a repeater, duplexer, feedline, appropriate antenna, get a coordinated frequency pair and put up your own repeater.

Allstar nodes with radio modules can cover several hundred square feet with a dummy load resistor, no matter how big your house is. To keep within FCC specifications, radio modules also need to have proper filtering to keep spurious emissions under control from your node’s transmitter.

My suggestion is to get all the data you can about having an Allstar node and determine your requirements.

By using the Hotspot capabilities on your cell phone, operating a node from your vehicle is simple, so long as you have LTE service. Stations regularly travel out of state and even on board yachts that have satellite internet service and are regulars on the HARC repeater network.

Operating a node is just another way to enjoy amateur radio, no doubt!

The Tek Net audio stream file was created by Dave W3QQQ