System Fusion Info

As you might have heard, we have made a decision to buy as Yaesu DR1X repeater than operates supports the Yaesu digital mode called, System Fusion.

Obviously many things have to happen before we’ll see that on the air, but in the mean-time, here are some links (some of this is obviously Yaesu marketing driven):


Antenna Work Party

We attempted a work party at the new repeater site, but the weather didn’t cooperate.  Foggy up on that hill, colder too.  We did manage to get some things done, and we have a plan to do some more work after Christmas.  Here are a couple photos –

Repeater antenna Work Party
Repeater antenna Work Party

L to R – AA2RS, W2COP, AE2EA, K2AS, K2RAH, W3MUD.  W2HYP photographer




L to R – W2COP, AA2RS, W2HYP, K2AS, K2RAH, AE2EA   photographer W3MUD

End of an Era

Over the years, the XARC has been known for several things: Foxhunts, Field Day, our club station, and our repeater, among others.  The repeater, actually three repeaters , were located in the premier location in the city of Rochester.  The Xerox Tower, the tallest building in the city.  There were other commercial repeaters located there, but the XARC repeaters were the only amateur radio repeaters at that site.

It started in 1981, with help from member Dan Thomas KJ2E, when we got approval to locate a repeater in the building.  We partnered with Paul DiLorenzo, WB2IMT to place a 220 Mhz repeater at the site.  Sometime in the mid-80’s, a 440 Mhz repeater was added.  Pete Secrist, WB2SUN was our repeater trustee at that time.

In the late 80’s, a fairly recent ham, John Wright, KE2MK who had interest in building controllers, proposed adding a 2 meter repeater to the mix.  It was at first located in Webster, NY at the Xerox facility there, but was eventually moved downtown.

A new controller in the mid-90’s allowed the three to be linked together, and the two meter machine had excellent coverage and experienced heavy usage for many years.

By 2010, corporate support for employee clubs disappeared at Xerox.  We lost our club station, the club languished a bit, and repeater usage dwindled.  In 2013, the Xerox Tower was sold to a real estate company.  Xerox still leased most of the facility, but the roof of the building was no longer controlled by Xerox.  We received word in early 2014 that the locations of our repeater antennas were income generating space, and that they would be available only with a lease agreement.  Since the monthly cost would be higher than our yearly budget, there was no way we could afford to stay.  We would be allowed to stay rent free until upgrades were in place at the site and a paying customer was located.

Also in mid-2014, there was renewed interest in re-activating the club.  We investigated alternate repeater locations, and found something south of the city.  While plans were being worked out, a mysterious signal started to interfere with the 2 meter repeater, intermittently.  The 220 and 440 machines were shut off.  With an eviction notice not far off, we decided it wasn’t worth a huge effort to investigate the source of the interference.  Then it began to get worse.  We had some delays to getting an antenna installed at the new site, so some decisions had to be made.

With the ongoing interference issue getting worse, the repeater essentially unusable most days, we either had to shut it off, or move it.  So we are planning to remove it from the Xerox Tower in the near future, and hopefully get the 2 meter installed and running at the new location.  It may not have a permanent antenna at first, but something at least usable.

When complete, we hope to have something at an excellent elevation, though at 25+ miles south of the city.  HT coverage will likely suffer in the city and north, but we hope mobile and base access will be very good throughout the Rochester area, with increased coverage south.

With any luck we will continue to have use of the 145.29 repeater for many years to come.

Bad Day for a Wedding

After missing this years Field Day to go to my son’s graduation from the Police Academy, I was looking forward to next years FD.  Then I got an email from one of my wife’s Aunts.  Her daughter, who we are Godparents of, is getting married June 27, 2015!  In Colorado.

Looks like I’ll have to wait for the 2016 FD.

November Meeting

Thanks to everyone who attended last nights meeting.  We had a good turnout, and many good discussions.  We are narrowing in on a “permanent” meeting place (see the minutes once they are posted).  Our officers are set for 2015, with a couple of members becoming officers for the first time.  Our equipment auction  converted some of our unused assets to cash, helping give us a financial buffer.

We’re looking for ideas for meeting programs (and people willing to present) for the upcoming year.

Rochester mini maker faire…

[xarc] Rochester mini maker faire…

is Saturday November 22nd at the riverside convention center. I’m running the multi-club ham radio booth and we will have code keys for kids to build, homebrew and kit radios to show off, antennas, APRS, hidden transmitters, high altitude balloon trackers, broadband hamnet mesh, and more.
I have most of the volunteers I need but you are welcome to come hangout with us. tickets are cheaper in advance. bring kids if you have them. check out the booths about robots, astronomy, microcontrollers, arts and crafts, and 90 more.
if you have a DIY radio gadget you want the kids to see, please get it to me so we can display it.


Club Archives

I picked up the club archives from Mike Ishler yesterday.  There is some good info in there, like what we paid for the repeaters and duplexers, antennas, equipment, etc.  Old logbooks, awards, QSL cards, and various paperwork.

The most interesting find were old club newsletters and meeting minutes.  These are by no means complete, but is still a good amount.  I have to thanks all the previous club secretary’s and other officers who kept these records.  Newsletters pretty much stopped in the late 1990’s, with a couple of exceptions.  Much club business and discussions took place via email, and eventually club news via website.  The old websites are pretty much lost, though I think I’ve saved most photos, and some club meeting minutes are somewhere in the xarc@yahoogroups archives.

I hope to be able to scan our old newsletters at some point.  The 1981 ones are on the History page.  I hope to be able to add some other info from the archives as well.

For the time being, I’ve volunteered to be the home for the archives.  Until I can’t.

2014 Fall Fox Hunt


On Saturday, October 11, XARC sponsored its Fall Fox Hunt. Ned, W2NED, and Vince, W2VAB were hunt masters. We had planned the hunt to be a challenge for the most experienced hunters, but not too difficult for beginners. As usual, we all had a great time. Seven teams started and five teams found at least one fox. The top score was achieved by Jon, N2JAC and Laura, who found all four foxes for a score of 43. Second and third places were secured by Pete, W2SKY, and Bob, K2OID, who found three foxes for scores of 34 and 33 respectively. All hunters tell me that it was a very challenging hunt. Everyone was busy right up until the time we gathered for lunch at the Fruit and Salad Company in Bushnell’s Basin.


We met at the north end of the Tinker Farms Nature Park at 9:00 AM for registration and practice. At 9:30 the hunt began, and three of the four foxes could be heard form the starting location. Each fox had a unique number, frequency, tone, duty cycle and data rate. Although not advertised in the beginning, the fox numbers, tone, and data rate all increased for foxes one through three. We had hoped that this would become evident as one progressed along the path from the start location in Tinker Park (upper left) to the final fox hidden along the Erie Canal. But, alas, things were not so simple.

Fox One was located within the Tinker Farm Nature Park — less than a quarter mile south of the start location. It was a low power fox with a short, “stubby” antenna. While two other foxes actually had stronger signals at the start, Fox One actually became much stronger as one walked south in the parking lot. Once this became evident, Fox One could then be easily located in the woods in the South East corner of the park.

Foxes Two and Three were 6 watt transmitters with vertical coax dipole antennas. Both had strong signals at the start locations and were strategically located on high ridges in Mendon Ponds Park and Powder Mill Park. This caused the signals to appear to be everywhere as they echoed through the ravines and along the streams of the parks. It is just the sort of situation that makes fox hunting so interesting.

Fox Four was located on the south side of the Erie Canal within a quarter mile from the lunch location. It was fairly easy to find once one discerned which side of the canal to look.

Everyone found the hunt challenging, and it did meet the general objective of allowing newcomers to find at least one fox, while being sufficiently challenging to keep our best hunters interested. This hunt emphasized the fact that having a good hunt strategy is more important than having the best and most expensive equipment. More on this in future posts. I hope to see more hunters at the Spring Fox Hunt.


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