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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in K6QLF Repeater

Posted by on in Main

Recently there has been concern that K6QLF is not performing as well as it has in the past.  As part of an effort to address these concerns, I have carried out s signal level survey to test K6QLF's coverage and signal quality.

The goal is to benchmark repeater signal levels at ground-level using a simple mobile setup. During the test, the repeater broadcasts a test signal consisting of of tones followed by a CW station identifier. I drive a van-mounted Yaesu FT-8800 with a mag mount antenna to each of 23 predetermined locations.  I record an S-level at each location. Note that these are "Yaesu S-units", stated as the number of bars shown on the display.  They are a Yaesu engineering approximation to "true" S-units used on HT and mobile radios.

I also make an RST estimate of signal quality. The S-units are predictive of the perceived RST readings enabling me to report them as range estimates grouped  by S-unit. This is useful for interpreting the results.  The table mapping S-units to RST estimates, along with a descriptive label, is included in the presentation linked below.

The test was carried out during  the day (11 am to 5 pm).

In general it appears that K6QLF's current coverage is "usable" to "excellent" in downtown Alameda, and it is "fair" to "good" on Bay Farm Island.  However, the West End and Alameda Point areas range from "fair", near Encinal High School, to "poor" and "unusable" in neighborhoods north and west of the Webster tunnel.

While we have no prior benchmark to compare with these results, they allow us to see what the current coverage of the repeater is.  It will help us to set goals for improving performance and for determining the best approach.

The club has scheduled a meeting to discuss improvements for the repeater at our upcoming meeting on 

  • Date: December 8th (Saturday) 
  • Time: 9:00 am 
  • Place: Alameda Hospital
  • Room: Meeting Room A, 2nd Floor. 

Here is a presentation summarizing Signal Level Survey Results.