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Pacific, Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Thurston & Wahkiakum Counties, Washington

145.170 |  145.310 |  145.390 |  147.020 |  147.180 |  147.340 |  224.040 |  224.820 |  440.675 |  441.675 |  442.675 |  444.050 |  444.200 |  444.400 |  444.500 |  444.700 |  444.800 |  444.925 |  444.950

 

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BeachNet Linked Repeaters, North to South by County:

Thurston County

   Olympia (Capitol Peak)

444.950   +5Mhz     118.8Hz

Grays Harbor County

   Neilton (Quinault)

444.700   +5Mhz     118.8Hz

   Ocean Shores

444.200   +5Mhz     118.8Hz

   Cosmopolis

145.390   -600khz   118.8Hz

   Minot Peak (Elma)

444.050   +5Mhz     118.8Hz

Pacific County

   North Cove (Not Linked to Network)

444.400   +5Mhz     118.8Hz

   North Cove (Tokeland/Grayland)

145.310   -600khz   118.8Hz

     North Cove (Naselle Receiver)

145.310   -600khz   114.8Hz

   South Bend/Raymond

442.675   +5Mhz     118.8Hz

   South Bend/Raymond

224.820   -1.6Mhz   82.5Hz

   South Bend/Raymond

147.340   +600khz   82.5Hz

   Ocean Park

145.170   -600khz   118.8Hz

   KO Peak

441.675   +5Mhz     118.8Hz

   KO Peak (Not Linked to Network)

224.040   -1.6Mhz  118.8Hz

   Naselle

440.675   +5Mhz     118.8Hz

   Long Beach

444.800   +5Mhz     118.8Hz

   Megler IRLP (Not Linked to Network)

444.925   +5Mhz      82.5Hz

   Megler (Chinook)

147.180   +600khz   82.5Hz

     Megler (Naselle Receiver) [northeast]

147.180   +600khz   82.5Hz

     Megler (Cape D Receiver) [west]

147.180   +600khz   82.5Hz

     Megler (Warrenton Receiver) [southwest]

147.180   +600khz   82.5Hz

     Megler (Seaside Receiver) [south]

147.180   +600khz   82.5Hz

Wahkiakum County

   Grays River (KM Hill)

147.020   +600khz    118.8Hz

     Grays River (Cathlamet Receiver)

147.020   +600khz    110.9Hz

Clatsop County

   Nicolai Mountain

444.500   +5Mhz     118.8Hz










       












 



The BeachNet Story

    The Need...

At a "Y2K" meeting in late 1999 with County officials, where I was representing ARES/RACES Amateur Radio Operators, the subject of emergency communications came up. The statement was made (not by me) that, "When all else fails, the Hams will take care of emergency communications." All ey es turned to me and I was asked if that was true. I had to say, "No." At that point in time the Hams of Pacific County were not ready to fulfill this mandate. With not many Amateurs, few HF operators and mostly Technician licensees, we needed at least one or two well-placed repeaters, along with recruitment and training to pull it off.

BeachNet was born out of this desire to provide reliable Amateur Radio communications in support of Pacific County Emergency Management Agency. Due to the mountainous topography, VHF coverage out of the county with the existing repeaters and simplex was spotty at best. Even reliable communications between our two Emergency Operations Centers (South Bend and Long Beach) was elusive at times.

The project goals became:

1. Reliably link the two Pacific County EOCs.

2. Provide communications between the Pacific County EOCs and the Washington State ECC at Camp Murray.

3. Provide a means for Amateurs with typical mobile equipment anywhere in Pacific County to contact at least one of the EOCs.

    The Beginning...

At first, we received a luke-warm reception from the county government to our request for rent-free space at their radio sites. The Director of Emergency Services, herself a Ham, was enthusiastic at the idea of enhancing Amateur Radio coverage. With her help, we were able to get a foot in the door in early 2000, at the highest and most remote site, KO Peak. We established a UHF repeater with a remote base station at this 3000-foot high site on 441.675, +5 MHz, PL/118.8,. Both Pacific County EOCs are able to access the KO Peak machine, although not always as well as we would like. This accomplished goal number 1.

The remote base allowed us to join a net on the 145.370 Grass Mountain repeater, or a 6-meter net, used by Camp Murray for emergency communications. As it turned out, the Camp Murray station is easily able to access the KO Peak repeater directly. Goal number 2 accomplished.

Our third goal, of having ready access throughout the County was a bit more challenging. Pacific County is very rural, very hilly and the population is well disbursed, with verdant forest lands on steep, high ground in between, making it a difficult area for Line-of-sight VHF and UHF signals. Most of the county is not well served by the KO Peak station, especially mobile. The site is in eastern Pacific County away from much of the populated area. No one site can do the job of covering the entire county, due to geographical constraints.

A year or two previously, I'd been allowed to install a VHF repeater at the newly-developed low-level North Cove site. Originally on the Western Washington SNP Test Pair, 145.290, this repeater was eventually coordinated on its permanent 145.310, -600 kHz, PL/118.8 frequency. I now added a link to the new KO Peak repeater, extending the high site's range into some otherwise shadowed areas. The concept of a "linked network" was born. The limited coverage of our first two repeaters hinted at just how much work would be required to really satisfy our third goal.

    The Catalyst...

Shortly thereafter, on February 28, 2001, the Nisqually Earthquake hit the Puget Sound area. Although relatively moderate as earthquakes go, it did disrupt communications, and put some prominent cracks in the Capitol Building. The State Government evacuated to the Emergency Coordination Center at Camp Murray. With telephones knocked out, the Pacific County Government, in the Emergency Operations Center in South Bend, looked for a way of contacting Camp Murray, and in Ham Radio, they found the answer. For half an hour, the only means of communication between our County and the State was Amateur Radio via the repeater on KO Peak. The Pacific County functionaries noticed. During the After Action Debrief meeting, we found interest in BeachNet had increased considerably, as had the prospect of access to Pacific County's radio sites.

We were asked what we wanted to do. We put together a "Blue Sky" plan, included every available radio site, and proposed equipment to cover every contingency we could think of, while staying within a budget that the two of us thought we could manage. The rationale was that when we submitted our plan, the "Powers That Be" would undoubtedly cross lots of items off the list, and we wanted to be left with a workable system. The Plan was quickly approved, with nothing crossed off. Be careful what you wish for. Now we had to build it!

Our plan included additional repeaters and remote bases, forming a linked network with overlapping coverage. Although originally conceived as an all-UHF system, as the build-out went on (2001-2003), strategically located VHF repeaters and remote receivers were added to enhance the coverage and provide accessibility for those Amateurs with only two-meter equipment. While the UHF and VHF portions are not identical in coverage, either is sufficient to realize nearly complete utility. Strategically, there is enough redundancy built into the network that we can loose several sites and still maintain effective communications.

Along the way (2004), Grays Harbor County ARES elected to participate. At the request of their EC/RO, assistance was provided in the form of engineering advice, installation and maintenance labor, and some equipment on indefinite loan. Their three original repeaters (Cosmopolis 145.390, -600 kHz, PL/118.8; Minot 444.050, +5 MHz, PL/118.8; and Neilton 444.700, +5 MHz, PL/118.8) provided near-complete coverage in their county as part of the network. In an emergency situation, these can be disconnected from the network (and linked together) to provide intra-county communications in support of Grays Harbor County Emergency Services. There have been two later additions to their repeater system (Olympia 444.950, +5 MHz, PL/118.8 and Ocean Shores 444.200, +5 MHz, PL/118.8).

    The Five Year Mark...

Several years down the road, the network has matured. With the installation of the 440.675, +5 MHz, PL/118.8, our eighth Pacific County repeater, at Naselle, in July 2005, we have accomplished our third goal, realizing complete county-wide overlapping coverage. Multiple redundant links have been added to allow recovery from damage and provide the ability to fragment and reconfigure the network in response to changing needs.

The addition of the 444.950, +5 MHz, PL/118.8 Olympia repeater, in April 2007, on Capitol Peak, sponsored by Doyle Wenzel, the EC/RO for Grays Harbor, provides overlapping access in his county as well as extensive coverage of the South Puget Sound area. This includes most of Mason, Thurston and western Lewis Counties. It covers Interstate 5 from Tacoma, south almost to Longview. Importantly, this repeater is easily usable from the Camp Murray State ECC.

    The First Real Test...

In December of 2007, the remnants of three tropical storms combined to hammer our area for three days with hurricane-force winds (clocked at 133 mph at the coastal headlands). Trees and power lines fell, and the phone system fragmented. For days those with any phone service at all were only able to call within their local exchange. BeachNet stepped into the breach and handled traffic between the various telephone exchanges in the county. We also handled traffic with the State ECC at Camp Murray. One memorable contact was when the State RACES Radio Officer came up on our system to call Wahkiakum County. It seems they hadn't heard from our neighbors to the east. We hooked them up.

For more than five days, the power was out, the phones were in disarray (cell phones completely dead), the roads were all but impassible, gasoline was generally unavailable, but BeachNet worked. Even with the damage that winds topping 100 miles per hour caused to antennas and such, the network performed well throughout. The main repeater antennas were destroyed at South Bend (Holy Cross Mtn.) and Olympia (Capitol Peak). Link antennas were destroyed at Megler and Holy Cross. The main repeater antennas were pushed over in their mountings at KO Peak and Naselle, and although undamaged, they did require work parties to straighten them back up. At Naselle, a microwave dish departed the tower and destroyed our remote base antenna and feedline in the process. The remote base antennas at KO Peak were damaged enough to require replacement. In all, the storm caused damage to our system amounting to a bit over $1000. In spite of this, our repeaters continued to function well enough to provide the required emergency communications. Summers are for rebuilding and preparing for winters around here.

    The Expansion Continues...

In July of 2008, we added the new 147.020, +600 kHz, PL/118.8 repeater in Wahkiakum County to cover Washington Highway 4, Oregon Highway 30 and solidify BeachNet service in the Lower Columbia area. This repeater fills in shadowed spots and provides a local emergency communications focus for Wahkiakum County, which it covers well. As with all our stations this "Grays River" repeater can be disconnected from the network to provide local, stand alone service when necessary. If the AC power fails, the battery back-up kicks in, and the controller lowers the repeater output power (and therefore power consumption) and announces the change.

In September of 2008, after finishing up the last of the pre-winter repairs, attention turned to the remote receiver system that supports the Megler 147.180 Repeater. The receivers have worked well, but manual selection using PL tones was unpopular with users. A receiver Voting system that automatically evaluates the signal from each receiver and retransmits the best one started to go into place. The idea began to go from a "someday dream" to reality with a generous gift of an LDG RVS-8 eight-input Voting Panel, surplused by Grays Harbor County. Pacific County donated a stack of well-used GE Rangr commercial two-way radios suitable for conversion to VHF receivers and UHF link transmitters (and receivers) required to support such an elaborate system. This system took some time to design, install and perfect. The system coverage has been dramatically improved. With automatic voting, the receiver with the best signal is consistently routed to the repeater transmitter, even in places where it might not have been used with manual switching. The user typically has a full-quieting signal anywhere they can hear the repeater. Click here for more information on the Remote Receivers.

In November, 2008, in partnership with KB7APU, a 1.25-meter repeater was added. Located at the KO Peak site, this repeater covers a large portion of SW Washington. Reports from Vancouver on the south to Tacoma on the north are favorable. While a new 2-meter repeater at such a high site with coverage in both the Portland and Seattle areas is not a practical idea these days, because of the scarcity of available channel pairs, a 220 repeater offers similar VHF propagation, with enough elbow-room on the band to allow for interference-free operation. Normally not linked to the rest of the network, this repeater offers a place to "get away from the crowd". If you have gear for the 220 Band, dial up 224.040 -1.6MHz PL/118.8 and give it a try. During emergency situations, this repeater has become the main conduit for the EOC stations of Southwestern Washington to communicate with Camp Murray. It provides a much-needed dedicated voice link.

In early March 2009, the 145.170, -600 kHz, PL/118.8 repeater began operation from the Ocean Park Fire Hall. A 20-foot piece of 2-inch heavy-wall aluminum tubing supports a Hustler G6-270 dual band vertical. The repeater itself is in the attic above the main truck bay, with emergency power available. Normally linked to the BeachNet system this repeater provides hand-held coverage in this major population center, over a 3-to-4-mile radius, and mobile coverage within 8-10 miles.

In June 2009, an existing UHF repeater, along with its coordination, located on Nicolai Mountain in Clatsop County, Oregon, was purchased by K7GA, Geoff Morse, the EC/RO for Wahkiakum County. His primary goal was to cover Wahkiakum County and provide for communications into Longview for District Four collaboration. The new 444.500, +5 MHz, PL/118.8 repeater began operation the day following the sale and subsequent removal of the old machine. The operation is now from a different building at the site, with a slightly different antenna location. Normally linked to the BeachNet system, this repeater will be disconnected for emergency communications when needed by Wahkiakum County and ARES/RACES District Four.

    The Worst Case Scenario...

On November 7, 2009, a dark stormy Saturday afternoon, with black roiling thunder clouds filling the sky, the KO Peak UHF repeater went off the air, coincident with a particularly malevolent lightning discharge. It didn't come back on after the generator had time to start. I got a phone call later that night from a US Cellular tech, at the site to restart his equipment, "...there is smoke coming out of your repeater, do you want me to turn it off?" It was the 13th before we were able to get on up the mountain to assess the damage. With snow on the top 500 feet, we ended up walking from the last turn in the road. Looking at the tower, it was obvious that something was missing... the antenna!

On a subsequent trip, the stub of the antenna was retrieved and a few soot covered slivers of fiberglass were picked up off the ground. The antenna and half the coax jumper were vaporized by a direct strike. Also destroyed were the power supply, receive preamp, transmitter isolator, the PUD pad transformer outside the building, and several security CCTV cameras on the tower. I figure we got lucky. The lightning hit the antenna, jumped to the tower, rode it down to the ground system, and tried to go down the hill on the power line. Lucky indeed...

It took five trips to KO Peak in November and one more in December to finish the repairs, restoring the BeachNet "hub" station to full operation. The crew also visited again in May of 2010 to replace the 220-MHz repeater antenna, also a victim of the lightning strike. Although not apparent at the time, the phasing harness was riddled with cuts, slashes and fiberglass splinters from the UHF antenna blowing up like a bomb, 4-feet away.

    One More Repeater...

By 2009 it became apparent that the 224.040 KO Peak repeater, which had been intended as an intra-county intercom, had become more important as a region-wide emergency resource. A replacement was needed to perform the intercom function, and the ground work began for a new 1.25-meter repeater to fill this need. Additionally, a 6-meter radio, at an elevated location, was needed to access at least three important repeaters on that band, all at some distance. This could be addressed nicely by incorporating a limited remote base. The ability to link a 220-MHz repeater into BeachNet was also a goal. Careful planning gave way to collecting, modifying and assembling bits and pieces, one at a time. By early 2011, the new repeater was assembled, the coordination was pending, and in mid-May, the 224.820 South Bend repeater went on the air.

    And One More...

In late 2012, Doyle Wenzel, N7UJK, the ARES EC/RO for Grays Harbor County, received an invitation from the county to install a repeater in their shack near Ocean Shores, part of their 911/emergency communications. This was well received and demonstrates that there is official recognition of the public service Amateur radio can provide to the community. It also shows the trust Doyle has engendered after years of working with and for the county emergency management folks. The new 444.200 Ocean Shores repeater came on line on January 4, 2013, and as soon as some minor issues with the link system were worked out, it joined the rest of BeachNet to serve the emergency communications needs of our communities.

    "Business" As Usual...

Well, that should pretty much bring you up to date. Look for frequent updates to this web site, and be sure to hit the "Refresh" or "Reload" button each time you return, to make sure you are viewing the latest version. BeachNet is a work in progress, and it is our intention for the web site to continue to accurately document both the history and the present "State of the System". As the maintenance and repair gets caught up, we turn our attentions to system improvements, striving to make our network as reliable and useful as possible. The combined coverage (see left) of the system is now fairly good. With the exception of a couple of tiny isolated (remote) spots, we have realized Goal Number Three, not only for Pacific County but for 9000-square-miles of Southwestern Washington. I would add that the system is designed for use by Amateurs using "Mobile" equipment, typically 50-watts VHF or 30-watts UHF, and a 3 dB-gain antenna. Although, if you learn how to use the system to its full potential, your HT will probably work acceptably from many areas, I never promised hand-held coverage!

You are cordially invited to use and enjoy the network while in our area. The more familiar we all are with its operation and limitations, the more valuable it will be if an emergency situation arises.

 

More Information on Your Favorite Repeater

To make it easy to find specific information about any of our repeaters, look for the menu line at the top and bottom of every page like this:

 

145.170 |  145.310 |  145.390 |  147.020 |  147.180 |  147.340 |  224.040 |  224.820 |  440.675 |  441.675 |  442.675 |  444.050 |  444.200 |  444.400 |  444.500 |  444.700 |  444.800 |  444.925 |  444.950

Clicking on a frequency will take you to the page with specific information about that repeater, including a coverage plot, location description and equipment list. Learn about the repeaters you frequently use, and maybe some that you don't use so often.

 

Internet Radio Linking Project (IRLP)

We also sponsor an IRLP node on the 444.925, +5MHz 82.5/PL repeater, at the Megler site, just northwest of Chinook, WA. This repeater covers Astoria, OR, and Long Beach, WA, extending north to include most of the Long Beach Peninsula, Grayland and Tokeland; south to Seaside, Oregon; east to Knappa and west out to sea over 60 miles.

IRLP uses Voice-Over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) technology to connect this repeater to other repeaters all over the world on demand. The system normally "idles" linked to the WIN System, a network of over 90 repeaters in 17 states and 4 countries. Feel free to join the conversation, as with any repeater. Or you are completely welcome to take control, and instead connect it to any other node you like. All a user needs to completely control this station is a radio with a DTMF (Touch Tone) pad.

As with all
BeachNet resources, this is an open repeater, available to any appropriately licensed Amateur Radio Operator. No membership or affiliation in any particular club or other organization is required to use this repeater. Our guests visiting this area should feel every bit as welcome as the locals to use it. This station was put in place specifically to foster interest in this exciting new technology. There are no pre-codes, just the four-digit Node Address, and you do not have to contact the owner before using or controlling this machine, which operates stand alone, not linked to the other BeachNet repeaters. The simple instructions, commands, and more information to help you get the most out of this technology, are available on the web page for this repeater.



Download Our Brochure

Take it with you! For portable frequency information, click here to download our flyer (650kB .doc).


What About Maintenance

Click here to browse our Maintenance Log.


User Policies

Click here to view our Policies for use of the System.


User Tips

Click here for general use tips for the System.

 

Who Supports BeachNet?

You do!    The BeachNet repeater system receives no regular financial support from any club or other organization. It pretty much all comes out of our pockets. There is no obligation to support the network. No membership or affiliation is required to use our repeaters. This is an open system, available to all Amateurs. However, we greatly appreciate any contributions. They help us keep the network on the air. Reflect for a moment on how much you enjoy your FM radio gear, and how much of its usefulness depends on repeaters...

Support BeachNet securely
using PayPal or Credit Card

Or Snail Mail to:

BeachNet Repeaters
c/o Frank Wolfe, NM7R
PO Box 91
Nahcotta, WA 98637


BeachNet
  Please use and enjoy the system! That's why we built it.

 

 










 

145.170 |  145.310 |  145.390 |  147.020 |  147.180 |  147.340 |  224.040 |  224.820 |  440.675 |  441.675 |  442.675 |  444.050 |  444.200 |  444.400 |  444.500 |  444.700 |  444.800 |  444.925 |  444.950

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This Page Last Updated:09/02/13.