11-10-2014          

 

Where The Money Goes ?

 

For those that might wonder were the money goes, I will try to explain !

Even though we no longer have ongoing monthly cost for phone lines that were used for auto-patches in past years, we still have costs to repair,  up-grade, & replacement of old equipment and more. 

We are very grateful for the tower site locations that have been provided to us at no monthly cost by several of the local tower site owners.  We are required to carry liability insurance to cover any damage cost our equipment might cause at a couple of the locations.  This is paid annually every December and in 2007 it was $385.00 and seems to go up every year like everything else.

We have always been a member and supporter of the Indiana Repeater Council over the years because of the work they provide for frequency coordination throughout our state.  We are the only group in Indianapolis and one of only three groups presently in good standing with membership in the state.  We have paid membership through 2020.  http://www.ircinc.org/IRCMem.pdf?&MMN_position=13:13

The W9ICE web site I maintain to help inform people about the group and systems is hosted by XO Communications.  Unfortunately, we do not have anyone who will provide us free server space for this site so we purchase a 100MB web site hosting package of which we are presently using around 61.5MB.  This is the smallest package we have been able to find that meets our needs and have been using it since 2001.  This hosting plan cost us $250.00 when paid annually.  Even though this is money not really used for maintaining the systems we feel it is a great tool to let people know what we are doing, where we have been, our future plans, and provide pictures of the equipment.

As for one ongoing expense to keep the systems on the air, some of antennas have had to be changed.  In the past we have been able to do some of our own tower work to help keep cost down at the sites, but things have changed over the years and liability issues now no longer make  this possible.  Also those of us who were able to do that work in the past are getting a little older now and no longer can do what we did 20 years ago when we were in our mid 40's !  We had the original 442.650 repeater antenna (had been up for over 25 years) changed a couple of years ago and just to have a tower crew take a replacement antenna up the tower and swap it out with one we already had, it cost us $350.00 to have the work done.  We were lucky we had the Cellwave UHF Stationmaster in our spare equipment left over from the Noblesville systems, or we would have needed to purchase a new one at a cost of about $750.00.

And then there are the RF packages.  We just replaced the 442.650 repeater output tube a few months ago with the last used pullout tube we had.  This is the last spare working tube and even though it will not make full power output, at least it works.  We purchased two used pullouts and one new at the Dayton Hamvention a few years ago for $500.00 because the prices were good and a new one cost over $600.00 alone.  So we are presently in the looking mode for a new one at a good price so we can change it out and keep the current one for back-up.  We also replaced the two output tubes in the 146.970 repeater this past summer with a couple of used pullouts we had because of low power output.  The two tubes used in this package cost around $400.00 a pair which we need to get before something happens to the ones we installed.  When we moved the 146.970 repeater to it's present location several years ago, we had to purchase a new set of TX-RX Duplexers that cost us $1600.00 and that was with Communication Servicing (Franks - WB9OPR Business) 30% discount.

I want to talk a bit about the D-STAR system that we have in service here in Indianapolis.  I have always wanted to be on the leading edge of what is happening with Amateur radio.  That is why we installed things like IRLP nodes on a couple of our repeaters years ago when that was the new thing and now moved into the digital mode with D-STAR.  All of the Icom D-STAR modules, first computer to interface the system to the gateway, routers, and antenna combining filters required for the VHF band were purchased by me.  Since the cost of this equipment is quite expensive, I didn't feel it was something we should be doing with the ICE money at this time until there was more interest in this new mode of operation !  When the Gateway operation upgraded to G2 software we needed a different computer with more horse power and Mike Blake (K9JRI) stepped up to the plate and gave us one he had to do the job.  We only spent $200.00 of the Indianapolis Carmel Experimenters money to have the two RF power amplifiers we already had available, modified for class AB operation so they would work for the digital mode.  We also used things like spare receiver pre-amps, power supplies, and duplexers we had left over from systems that were turned off in Noblesville to complete the UHF & VHF band installation.  As for the second D-STAR system (WR9AND - 441.800) I built this complete gateway package as a   portable system at my own expense so it could be moved to a needed location in case of an emergency need or loaned to another Indiana Amateur group that might have an interest in D-STAR in their area for a short period of time.  If the system is not on loan it will be operational on the Gateway at my QTH in Fishers. IN with low coverage.

As for the remote Skywarn package we installed down in Freetown, Indiana several years ago, we didn't spend a dollar of the groups money for that project.  Between Frank, Bill, Myself, and a cabinet supplied by Mark Shaffer (Indiana Skywarn) all the radios, antennas, feed-lines, tone decoders, power supplies, batteries, and tower work was supplied and purchased by us.  Again we didn't feel this was something that the groups money should be used for since it was being put in service to meet the needs of the Central Indiana Skywarn network only.

The type of equipment we use to build our systems is not your normal run of the mill ham radio equipment but is commercial grade communication equipment.  We have found that this equipment has to be used to provide the type of systems, to with stand the high duty cycle for several hours at a time day in and day out.  You can't build repeater systems out of the same equipment  we all use for our mobiles or QTH's because it will not stand up to the duty cycle usage like the repeaters do.  Unfortunately with using this type of commercial equipment, comes the $$$$$.

I hope this helps to explain where the money goes and why we need help from time to time to keep things going.  We never have required amateurs to annually donate to our group if they use any of our systems like some of the other groups in the area except back when we had $140.00 a month phone bills for three auto-patches.  Back then we had so many people sending money in to get auto-patch codes every year it was more than what was needed for monthly phone bill cost which helped provide money to maintain and build new systems.

  

 

         73's ...
            Dale (WB9YCZ)

 

 

P.S.  From now on you can check back to this page and I will list when, how much, and on what we spend the money for below !

 

DATE

AMOUNT

PURCHASED

12-03-2008 $50.00 USED 3cx400A7 Tube
( installed in 442.650 on 11/25/2008)

3-13-2009

$984.50

2=New 3cx400A7 Tubes
(first one installed 3/13/09 and above used tube pulled for back-up spare)

6-6-2009

$239.40

Annual Cost For W9ICE Web Site Hosting

9-14-2009

$408.00

Yearly Liability Insurance Cost

6-24-2010

$239.40

Annual Cost For W9ICE Web Site Hosting

7-27-2010 $344.03 TX-RX Tower Mount Antenna Coupler
(for 146.970 problem)
9-10-2010 $1375.00 Tower Work To Replace Coupler & Add 2nd Antenna to Tower
(146.970 - 927.9875 - Digi)

9-20-2010

$411.48

Yearly Liability Insurance Cost

4-12-2011 $577.00 Tower Work To Find Feed-Line Problem Ch 8 Tower
(927.9875 & Digi) -- not found !

7-8-2011

$239.40

Annual Cost For W9ICE Web Site Hosting

7-27-2011 $348.00 TX-RX Tower Mount Antenna Coupler
(fix possible problem at Ch 8 .. wasn't needed so we now have a spare !) (927.9875 & Digi)

8-28-2011

$860.36

Additional Tower Work To Find Problem and then Replace 100' Of Defective 7/8" Hard-Line At Ch 8 Tower
(927.9875 & Digi)

9-26-2011

$426.34

Yearly Liability Insurance Cost

1-15-2012

$1732.44

Tower Work For Antenna Swap & Feed-Line Checkout at Q's Tower
(442.650 & 444.125 D-STAR)

6-18-2012

$239.40

Annual Cost For W9ICE Web Site Hosting

6-20-2012

$50.00

Replacement of insulation on AC tubing outside of building at Q's Tower
(442.650 & 444.125 / 147.390 D-STAR)

8-17-2012

$120.00

Installation of New CAT6 & Fiber cables between buildings inside PVC this time after squirrel damage in spring.
(147.390 & 444.125 D-STAR)

9-9-2012 $218.00 USED 3cx400A7 Tube
( installed in 442.650 on 9/20/2012)

9-19-2012

$438.87

Yearly Liability Insurance Cost

9-26-2012 $795.00 Purchase of LD-MOSFET Pallet Amplifier
(
for NEW 442.650 repeater)
10-4-2012 $40.00 Purchase used HP-ESP 52V/57A Power Supply
(
for NEW 442.650 repeater)
12-9-2012 $53.99 Purchase of IP Camera
(
for 442.650 repeater site)
12-30-2012 $80.00 Yearly Bank Checking Account Charges
1-11-2013 $26.38 12 Band Audio EQ
(
for NEW 442.650 repeater)
1-18-2013 $67.98 Purchase 2 used HP-ESP 52V/57A Power Supply
(back-up for NEW 442.650 repeater)
1-23-2013 $148.00 Purchase 2 New Bird Watt Meter Slugs
(
for NEW 442.650 repeater)
2-17-2013 $380.00 Purchase UPS Battery
(
for 442.650 repeater site power back-up)
3-1-2013 $264.00 Motorola Commercial Mobile Radio
(
for New 224.98 Repeater Receiver build)
3-11-2013 $122.64 Purchase 2=Comet 10 meter / 6 meter Splitters
(
for New 442.650 repeater - remote base radio operation)

6-28-2013

$214.88

Annual Cost For W9ICE Web Site Hosting

8-20-2013

$150.00

Assorted Parts Needed For New 442.650 Repeater Build

9-07-2013

$428.48

Yearly Liability Insurance Cost

11-10-2013 $160.00 Purchase New Yellow Top Battery
(
for Freetown Link Package)

6-8-2014

$186.44

Annual Cost For W9ICE Web Site Hosting

7-14-2014

$35.74

New Replacement Watt Meter For Used Sticking One
(for NEW 442.650 repeater)

8-07-2014

$328.98

New Astron 70A Power Supply
(for D-STAR Repeaters)

8-28-2014

$414.52

Yearly Liability Insurance Cost

10-10-2014 $50.00 Replacement PC Board For RF Pallet Amp (burnt-up) 
(
for 442.65 repeater)
10-29-2014 $55.00 Purchase of 5 Audio EQ's For Replacements Of Defective Ones
(
for 443.90 - 927.9875 - 224.98)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
 

 

 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

 

 

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