News & upcoming updates for GB7NR Nottingham.
We have started work on an experimetal system within the core DMR service for GB7NR. With the BM reflector system ending on December 31st 2020 we are putting GB7NR into fast forward 'Beta mode. Some of the features such as APRS, SMS, Data, private calling and some routing will be temporarily unavailble until we come out of beta. The new 'Enchanced talk-group system may replace reflectors at the end of the year but this all depends on the tests we are doing within the nominated repeater groups involved in the project. We we have fast forwarded the project and currently testing the system GB7NR, GB7IN, GB3IN, GB7EG, GB7FR & GB7MH. More information will be available in the next coming months. We will eventually have a dedicated page for the new system. GB3NF VHF repeater is also operating normally with excellent reports accross the City.
GB3NF has had some minor improvments. The receiever sensitivity is now within specifcation and balanced with the transmitter output of 10w ERP. We have found GB3NF most reliable for mobile use to the South & South East of the City. Site noise has been a real issue for GB7NR & GB3NF. We have optimised the noise floor and gained more sensitivity on both receivers for optimum performace. A few updates to the software for GB3NF has also been implemented to increase performance. GB7NR is running fine on its current configuration. In December we will be terminating reflector use on GB7NR & using a talkgroup based system on both slots for DMR. More information about talkgroups and how they will be inplemented on the repeater will be announced soon!
A major update this month! We have been busy installing a new repeater to the site. GB3NF VHF analogue repeater now share's the site so we have upgraded some of the infrastrucuture for GB7NR. Some extensive and time consuming work has gone into re-buildng both repeaters. A complete new rack has also been installed to accomodate both base stations and isolation required to run both repeaters. A new power supply has also been built to power both repeaters 24/7. We will be sharing the news feed with both repeaters and any updates will be anounced here on the news feed and twitter feed regarding the VHF repeater. We welcome back GB3NF, Nottingham's VHF repeater back to service! Visit GB3NF.co.uk for more information about the project.
This month we have done some major upgrades. A complete new mast and antenna system has been installed to replace the old collinear antenna. A SkyMasts 4 stack phased dipole array with 5% electrical down-tilt has been installed to improve coverage loacally. The antenna 17m AGL, 465ft ASL has been tested and is providing excellent results around the city of Nottingham and beyond. We have also upgraded the system software and firmware on the repeater with the latest major release from Motorola, MMDVM & Pi-Star. Some fine adjustments have been made to improve stability on the repeater while using RF. We have added the capability of using the XLX Interlink in D-Star mode so you can now connect directly to the XLX reflectors. The system is now out of test mode and is running normally in DMR & D-Star modes. Visit the GB7NR dashboard to see what is happening right now!
We have officially launched the new website. The GB7NR website is now live www.gb7nr.co.uk. We have also launched our YouTube channel, Twitter, & Instagram feeds. The new Client Domain is also getting regular updates and now has a fresh new look.
We have launched the GB7NR Support Channel on WhatsApp! and other online sevices. Please check out our facebook page and join our facebook group for more info! We also launched the GB7NR members domain where members can download code plugs & files related to using this repeater and other projects involving digital communications. We are going to be increasing our online presence over the next few months to gain support for this project. To register for an account to the members domain click here.
Due to COVID-19 the repeater and some of its services may be disrupted. Please check this area or our facebook group for updates. There may be network outages during this time. Our services are connected to the UK & BM master server for DMR & D-Star. If network services are disrupted this will not affect RF in-out communications locally.
A minor update this month. Updates to Pi-Star including some calibration to the RSSI figures. The defaults for DMR is as follows. Slot 1 TG9 (East Mids), Slot 1 TG10 (SuperLocal) Slot 1 General Talk Groups, Slot 1 Data, including digital APRS (234999). Slot 2 has not changed, TG9 Reflectors (default 4400). On weekends, Saturday through Sunday we normally change from 4400 to 4639 world wide on TG9 Slot 2 for people wanting to contact the Americas and the world. Please note that you can still use Slot 2 and change the reflector to make contacts somewhere else. It will automatically move back to 4400 or 4639 after your done. The new default reflector for D-Star is DCS005 B. You can link to anything on D-Star but you must put it back when you have finished using the repeater by UR DCS005BL. We have also added a full UPS back up for the repeater equipment. A commercial quality APC UPS will keep the system afloat during power outages. Nework services may be disrupted.
The repeater will be undergoing some minor upgrades including the installation of a SkyMasts 4 stack array to improve coverage in low-lying areas of Nottingham. The repeater now offers RSSI reports on the dashboard for amateurs using the repeater via RF. (Unfortunately due to COVID-19 we have postponed the installation of the new antenna array until further notice!)
The repeater is undergoing a major upgrade for the provision of a fibre connection. This will replace the exisiting LTE 4G connection. The fibre connection was installed this month by Openreach to provide a 300MB low latency connection to the site. The connection also maintains a 4G LTE backup incase of an outage on the fibre network. The internal networking to the site has been upgraded to improve speed & efficiency to GB7NR & its networks.
The repeater goes live at the site at Mapperley Top Nottingham. Full installation of the repeater & all of it's infratructure took several days to implement. The repeater is running on reduced output with DMR & D-Star running over the LTE 4G network. Plans to upgrade the internet side will be decided next month.
The project begins GB7NR. Back in January 2019 I had the idea to build a repeater in Nottingham. I already had a site, so the idea was surely to become a reality. I contacted our regional manager for the ETCC Midlands region. We decided to go for a multi-mode repeater on UHF 9mhz split. I wanted to build a high quality commercial grade MMDVM repeater with a very high specification which could provide all modes of digital voice communications. The MMDVM module which consists of an MMDVM sheild & a Nucleo64 board housed in a custom mount which was contructed locally by Bob M0NGT. The project was then underway. We then applied for our NoV and I was happy with the callsign GB7NR Nottingham Repeater. Soon after in mid July I started to contruct the repeater. It uses two Motorola GM360 UHF commercial tranceivers built into a 4U industrial grade enclosure with custom chasis. The repeater has a front display and touch screen for fan controllers & info display. The repeater is temprature controlled with variable automatic fan proccessors to cool efficiently for full duty-cycle. The main unit is finally finished and we are hoping to install in September/October 2019.