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BeachNet Remote Receiver Systems


Mountainous terrain, such as we enjoy here in the Discovery Coast region, can be challenging for siting repeaters. While the elevated vantage afforded by the peaks and ridges can be desirable for locating a repeater, providing generally good range, it is not uncommon for our users to experience multipath distortion. This is caused by the user's signal finding several reflected paths to the repeater receiver, none of which is truly line-of-sight. These combine to form a phase-distorted signal. If the distortion is severe enough, the CTCSS (PL) tone can be mutilated, not holding the tone decoder, letting the receiver squelch open and close and the transmission will "chop", making it unreadable, even with a relatively strong signal. The hilly terrain also causes users' signals to become weak when they enter shadowed "dead areas". Even when the user can hear the repeater relatively well, they find themselves unable to continue a conversation. The answer to this problem is a remote receiver placed close to the user, so that it hears the user better than the repeater site receiver.


BeachNet incorporates three remote receiver systems. The remote receiver system supporting the Megler 147.180 repeater, is the most elaborate, consisting of multiple remote receivers, with individual UHF relay links and a voting panel to automatically select the best of several receiver feeds. This generally overcomes the challenges imposed by local terrain in the south Pacific and north Clatsop county areas.

The other two remote receiver systems are much simpler. One of these supports the North Cove, 145.310, repeater coverage along Highway 101, from Naselle to Bay Center. The other supports the Grays River, 147.020 repeater. These two systems each consist of a single remote receiver in addition to the repeater itself. The user determines which receiver is used by selecting the correct CTCSS (PL) tone. This manual selection method gives our users complete control over their signal routing into the network.









Megler, 147.180 Repeater, Voting Receiver System


Highway 101, and State Routes 4 and 401 encircle the mountain on which the Megler 147.180 repeater is located. These highways are "tucked under the toe" of the hill, meaning the bulk of the mountain is blocking the signal and there is no direct path to the repeater from users on these roads. The signal path is entirely reflected, exacerbating the multi-path problem discussed above. To solve this we have installed several Remote Receivers for the Megler 147.180 repeater. These all listen on the same channel frequency as the repeater receiver. To improve the user experience, an automatic Receiver Voting System manages these resources in real-time.

The Receiver Voting System uses a Voting Panel at the repeater site to constantly evaluate the signals fed in from the receivers, and "vote" which of the five has the best signal-to-noise-ratio at the moment. The user does nothing special to select the best receiver. The Voting System does that automatically.

The Remote Receivers have overlapping coverage, virtually eliminating dead spots in the Megler Repeater's coverage area. Even in places where the repeater transmitter sounds weak, with multipath and rough copy, the signal from the user is clean and clear. The signals from all five receivers (Cape Disappointment, Naselle, Warrenton, Seaside and the main repeater on Megler Mountain), are constantly evaluated and the best of the lot is routed to the transmitter. If you can hear the 147.180 Megler repeater, you can probably work it, with a typical 50-watt mobile and a 5/8-wave vertical antenna.

The voting remote receiver system was brought on-line between September and November 2008, and has been fully operational since then. To use the Remote Receivers, set your radio to 147.180 +600 kHz, and your CTCSS (PL) tone to 82.5 Hz. The Voting Unit will do the rest.

 

The Remote Receivers:

The Naselle Receiver (2000 ft), covers Hwy 4 from Wahkiakum County to "Johnson's Landing" (Hwy 4/101 junction); Hwy 401 from the Columbia River shore (Knapton) to Naselle; Hwy 101 from the Willapa Wildlife Refuge headquarters (near south end of Long Island) north to Bay Center; and the northern portion of the Long Beach Peninsula.

The Cape D Receiver (300 ft), covers Cape Disappointment State Park and environs; Hwy 101 from Astoria north to the Willapa Wildlife Refuge Headquarters; and the southern two-thirds of the Long Beach Peninsula.

The Megler Repeater Receiver (1300 ft), covers the Peninsula from Chinook north to Oysterville, and Astoria south to Seaside and east to Knappa.

The Warrenton Receiver (30 ft), covers Hwy 101 along the north shore of the Columbia River from Chinook, east to the Astoria-Megler Bridge, south to Astoria; Hwy 401 from the Bridge, east to Knapton; the south side of the hill in Astoria; and Hwy 101 south toward Seaside.

The Seaside Receiver (100 ft), covers the city of Seaside, its environs, and Hwy 101 from the Hwy 26 junction, north toward Warrenton. This receiver offers hand-held coverage for the SeaPac Ham Convention and the Hood-To-Coast Relay.



Four UHF link receivers and Voting Unit at the Megler site


Click Here or on Map to View Megler Repeater Receiver Locations
Click here for a plot of Combined Megler Receiver Coverage
Click here for Main System Coverage Map



Cape "D" Receiver
 


Warrenton Receiver
 


Naselle Receiver
 


Seaside Receiver
 


Megler Receiver
 









North Cove, 145.310 Repeater, Remote Receiver




One particularly "rough" area for our repeater coverage is along Highway 101 from the Hwy 4 Junction near Naselle ("Johnson's Landing"), north to Bay Center. The North Cove repeater transmitter serves this area fairly well, but with a site elevation of only 400 feet, the signal received by the repeater can be marginal much of the way due to
multi-path distortion and local terrain obstacles.

To solve this coverage problem, a Remote Receiver is located at 2000-feet on Naselle Ridge to pick up users' signals from an advantageous location. This high-level site provides superior coverage to most of the area served by the North Cove repeater. Installing a 2-meter repeater here would be problematic, due to the scarcity of available frequency pairs, and the strong likelihood of causing interference to an existing out-of-area repeater in that band. The installation of a Secondary Receiver, however is not so difficult, as our receiver is unlikely to interfere with another repeater elsewhere.

To utilize this Naselle Remote Receiver to improve your signal, all that is necessary is to change your PL (CTCSS) tone to 114.8 Hz.


 


North Cove Receiver



Naselle Receiver

To use the North Cove Repeater with or without the Remote Receiver, set your radio to 145.310, -600 kHz, and your PL tone to:

118.8 Hz. to select the North Cove Receiver (400 ft. Elevation), located on the ocean bluffs above Tokeland.

114.8 Hz. to select the Naselle Receiver (2000 ft. Elevation), located on Naselle Ridge above Naselle.



The North Cove Repeater covers an area including Highway 101 from the Hwy 4 Junction, "Johnson's Landing", north to South Bend, and then west on Hwy 105 to Tokeland and Grayland. Within most of this area, the Naselle Receiver helps greatly, providing a superior receiver, assuring your signals will be picked up clearly.


Click Here or on Map to View North Cove Repeater Receiver Options
Click here for Main System Coverage Map









Grays River, 147.020 Repeater, Remote Receiver




The Grays River 147.020 Repeater is located on KM Hill, in central Wahkiakum County. This covers most of the county quite well, and west as far as Naselle. The county seat, Cathlamet, is in the eastern part of the county, near the limits of coverage. Mobile stations can work the repeater fine, but it can be a different story for hand held radios.

To solve this coverage problem, a Remote Receiver is located on Puget Island to pick up users' signals from a much better location. This site provides superior coverage to most of the Cathlamet area. The Remote Receiver picks up the signal from the Hand Held radio and relays it to the Nicolai repeater for inclusion in the network audio stream.

To utilize this Cathlamet Remote Receiver to improve your signal, all that is necessary is to change your PL (CTCSS) tone to 110.9 Hz.


 


Grays River Repeater Receiver



Cathlamet Receiver

To use the Grays River Repeater with or without the Remote Receiver, set your radio to 147.020, +600 kHz, and your PL tone to:

118.8 Hz. to select the Grays River Repeater Receiver (800 ft. Elevation), located on KM Hill, the highest point on Highway 4.

110.9 Hz. to select the Cathlamet Receiver (75 ft. Elevation), located on Puget Island, directly south of the city of Cathlamet.



The Grays River Repeater covers Highway 4 throughout Wahkiakum County. The Cathlamet Receiver provides enhanced spot coverage for hand-held operation within the Cathlamet area.


Click Here or on Map to View Wahkiakum County Repeater Receiver Options
Click here for Main System Coverage Map












 

 

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This Page Last Updated: 01/06/13.