Updates & Blog Posts
New Bailey 550 Repeater
Added: Thursday 11/3/22
A very big "Thank You" goes to Joseph, WRED603, for allowing the Front Range GMRS Users Group to use his Bailey 550 repeater! This commercial Kenwood TKR-850 with battery back-up is located near Mount Bailey and has coverage along the Highway 285 corridor from around Conifer to Grant and into the Pike National Forest. This repeater is now listed on the repeaters page so get your programming cables out!
For those that uploaded radio programming files (codeplugs) to this site, please update them with the new repeater (and the TAC channels, if you haven't already) and reupload them, when you get the chance. We are very grateful for your time and willingness to share those files. Several members have found them quite helpful.
Finally, thank you to all that have donated money, time, and expertise to help keep these systems alive. This group is much stronger because of people like you and all you have to offer. THANK YOU!
Zello has switched from Metro 600 to the Mesta 725 Repeater
Added: Thursday 9/15/22
No reconfiguration will be necessary on the Zello app.
We've been thinking about making this switch for a while, as 725 has a significantly bigger footprint than 600. The final decision was made after it went to a vote in our 725 Tuesday night net, and the vote was overwhelmingly in favor of moving to 725.
Net Changes from 600 to 725
Added: Thursday 6/30/22
On Tuesday July 5th we'll have a 6pm net on 600 as usual, AND a new net at 7:25pm on 725. After that we will likely end the 600 weekly Tuesday net in favor of the later 725 net which seems to suit more people in terms of time.
Thank you to our donors! We are almost there!
Added: Thursday 6/9/22
We would like to recognize several very generous donors this last month!
Your generosity has gotten us very close to one year's site rental on Mesta Mountain (Squaw) for the new 725 repeater!
This, currently, is our most expensive repeater site but provides our greatest coverage area.
It is because of generous donors like you that we are able to bring such an awesome site online.
Thank you all!
New Mesta 725 Repeater is up and running for testing
Added: Thursday 6/2/22
We have a new repeater located on Mestaa'ėhehe Mountain (formerly Squaw) at an amazing commercial location. We're not sure of the exact propagation yet, so wherever you are, see if you can reach it! We don't have our final hardware setup installed but the repeater is running and available for testing right now. Expect a full launch announcement in the coming weeks along with information on how you can help us keep growing.
Full details on the Repeaters page.
Thank you to our donors!
Added: Monday 4/25/22
Thank you to our donors!
The last couple of weeks, we had two very generous donors we wanted to recognize.
Running commercial equipment is expensive, and your donations will help to ensure our system stays up and running for everyone's enjoyment.
Thank you from the Front Range GMRS Users Group Admin!
New Castle Rock Repeater Status Change
Added: Monday 4/11/22
Contrary to previous announcement the group setting up the new Castle Rock Repeater have decided to limit access to the founding groups for now. We wish them well with their endeavors.
Lookout 675 in stand-alone
Added: Wednesday 3/30/22
The Lookout Mountain 675 repeater is in stand-alone configuration for a few days due to connection issues to the link. Sorry for the inconvenience! You can still use the repeater for local traffic, but there is no link until repairs can be made. You will hear the "bonk" courtesy tone, letting you know the link is down.
New - Simplex Channels
Added: Thursday 3/17/22
With GMRS it's easy to say, "Let's talk on Channel 17", or "Let's move to 725", but without tones you'll be interupted by everything from valet parking, to school pickup lines!
The reason for using tones is so you don't hear random traffic on the same frequency. Contrary to typical bubble pack marketing, tones do not create "privacy". There is nothing private about your communication even when you use tones. Anyone on the open frequency can hear what you're saying.. they just can't interupt and interfere.
- If you're using a repeater but you know you're within direct range of someone, you can switch to a named simplex channel easily.
- When we organize an event, we can state in advance which simplex channel to use when you get there.
- If you're outside of the repeater area with other members, you can easily agree on a simplex channel to communicate on.
Go ahead and get these channels in your radio!
Thank you to our donors!
Added: Monday 3/14/22
We wanted to send a big thank you to three very generous donors this past week! Your donations go to help with equipment maintenance, troubleshooting, and buildout of new infrastructure. We really appreciate everyone's involvement and support. Thank you again for being part of our group!
26th March 10AM Get Together.
Added: Friday 3/4/22
Connect locally on TAC-2
The topic of our Net on Tuesday 1st March was, "What do you do for fun?" and seems like a WHOLE LOT of people off road. That's inspired us to organize an informal get together on March 26th 10AM - 12AM.
This is an opportunity to put a face to the voices you hear on the radio, but also to bring along friends who may benefit from learning about GMRS as an addition to their outdoor adventures.
The location will be the parking lot of the Target at 1400 S Havana St, 80012, nearest Havana in the space between the McDonalds and Starbucks.
Whether you're coming to show off your radios, your vehicles, or both, see you there.
Kevin (WRMG656) and Keifer (WRJV982)
We just crossed 500 Active Members
Added: Friday 3/4/22
Yup! 500 Active members and counting. We hope you are enjoying the repeaters whether you're local, signed up because you travel here, heard about us on the linked repeater, or you're hanging out with us on Zello.
Thank you to our generous donors!
Added: Sunday 2/13/22
Thank you again to our very generous donors! We had a repeat donor this week who's donation will help pay for the equipment we need to complete the full-duplex linking on both Lookout 675 and the future Metro 600 links. Your consideration is much appreciated!
Tuesday 6pm Net on Metro 600
Added: Wednesday 2/9/22
Following the popularity of the weekly nets on linked Lookout 675 repeater we will be holding a more local oriented net on Metro 600 on Tuesdays at 6pm.
If you've never joined a net, or don't know what it is check out the wikipedia entry at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amateur_radio_net
. Our goal for this net is to promote the use of the repeaters, provide an opportunity for new users and veterans alike to say "hello". It doesn't hurt that this is great practice for the net controllers to deal with traffic in the even our network is needed in an emergency, and it's also a good experience for all to get signal reports, and get used to being part of a net controller oriented event.
Radio and Zello users are welcome to this net on Tuesday Nights. With more manageable numbers, we'll be running a more interactive net similar to what you may hear on Ham Radio repeaters, like the nightly nets on the Colorado Connection.
Net controllers lined up are Keifer (WRJV982) and Russ (WRJL584). Thanks as always to the repeater owners for keeping us all on the air and allowing us non owners to run with initiatives like this!
Thank you to our donors!
Added: Saturday 1/22/22
We wanted to send a huge thank you to two of our members for your very generous donations this last week! Since all of the funding for our projects and maintenance are paid for by the repeater owners themselves, your donations go a long way in helping offset some of these costs. Both of these donations will help build a better linked system. We are still working on bringing Vilas, CO and Wheatland, WY on to our Metro 600 repeater, and we are working to improve some of the programming and functionality of the Southwest linked repeater on Lookout 675. These donations will help pay for full-duplex capability on the Lookout 675 link, so outbound transmissions do not get cutoff if someone quick-keys the repeater before the courtesy tone. This same capability will be adopted on the Metro 600 link with Vilas and Wheatland once the other repeaters come online.
Thank you again for your donations!
Cold Weather Issues impacting Metro 600
Added: Wednesday 1/19/22
After changing out the RF deck and spectrum sweeping the repeater site and not finding anything last weekend, Mike, WQZF427, took his analyzer out this morning while it was cold and the repeater was acting up and found a lot of noise! His analysis pointed to very old power distribution equipment throwing off broad-spectrum noise.
Noisy power systems are more common than you may think-especially systems that are poorly maintained like this one. In the cold, splices and taps that are old, corroded, or loose will contract, causing almost undetectable arcing to the human eye or ear. However, on the electromagnetic spectrum, this can be quite loud. The noise coming off this suspect pole and transformer was a popping noise, heard as static on the repeater, and a hum, which we also hear. Since this noise is being fed directly into our receiver though the duplexer, there is no way to notch it out.
Mike has very graciously offered to go back out there early tomorrow morning to see if he can pinpoint the noise more precisely, as you may have noticed the noise goes away as the weather warms. Our sweep of the site last weekend did not find anything, but the weather was warmer and we did not look outside the radio room and surrounding area. If this is a power company issue, there is little we can do. We can turn in our noise profile, but it will be up to them to make any repairs.
One thing is for sure: After going through this site piece by piece, it is not any of our equipment. We have basically changed out or tested every possible combination of equipment, thinking "this will fix it," only to be foiled again and again. Spectrum analyzers will be high on my list of troubleshooting items from now on!
Please remember, if this repeater is swamped with noise, we do also have the 700 paired repeater system available for use.