I am a retired Senior Hardware/Software Engineer with a background in Artificial Intelligence. I have been consulting for NASA Fairmont, WV USA Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) since 2009 and my name orbits the earth on a satellite for my pro bono work as a Senior Hardware/Software Engineer.
I hold Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Lifetime General Radiotelephone Operator License from The United States of America and do Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS from the Geneva Convention) inspections of seagoing vessels from all over the world.
My FCC Amateur Radio call sign is KB4B, Amateur Extra Class. I also held the FCC Radiotelegraph Second Class License.
Jacksonville RANGE Association, Inc. is a not-for-profit tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization existing for the purpose of providing emergency communications to Jacksonville, Florida – Duval County, Florida – State of Florida – and Southeastern United States.
Incorporated under the laws of the State of Florida since early 1990, “RANGE” serves agencies such as Jacksonville Fire and Rescue, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Jacksonville Electric Authority, American Red Cross, Florida Highway Patrol, United States Navy, et. al.
W4RNG is the Federal Communications Commission licensed call sign of the many communications systems owned, operated, and maintained by the Jacksonville RANGE Association, Inc. The organization has been licensed and has been serving the community for over 40 years.
NOTE! Our new permanent meeting location is Memorial Hospital, 3627 University Boulevard South, Jacksonville, Florida 32216. The location of the meeting in the hospital is in the class room area adjacent to the auditorium at the southern end of the campus.
146.760 MHz repeater comes to life… Saturday, April 23rd, 2016, Ben Bramlett K7BEN, (our dauntless Technical Committee Chairman) and Justin Ellis, Sr., KK4GPY, President of Jacksonville RANGE Association, Inc. and technical committee member extraordinaire, worked for nine hours at the Twin Towers near I-95 and Golfair on the north side accomplishing much! 146.760 MHz is on the air transmitting with about 160 watts of power to a high gain VHF antenna and is receiving, via remote pickup, 146.160 MHz from our Dames point site.
The Orange Park remote site has yet to be tied into the system through the LDG RVS-8 8 channel voter system which apparently suffered failure of a TL084 quad op amp chip and/or failure of a 3240 dual op amp chip so that it would pass no audio at all for either channel 1 (Dames Point) or channel 2 (Orange Park) through to the CAT-1000 controller board.
Another member of the Technical Committee, Jack Driskell, KB4B, has suggested that the failed chips be replaced by corresponding chips that are used for RVS-8 voter channels 7 and 8 which are not currently in use. As all chips on the RVS-8 PCB are in sockets making the changes will not be too difficult.
We have taken out of service the 40 year old Motorola 6 meter FM repeater rack of equipment on 53.330/52.330 MHz at the Twin Towers on the north side. The old unit had many problems. The new repeater is being built from two Maratrac Motorola transceivers and, although capable of 110 watts output, the transmit unit will be programmed down to about 50 watts due to the extreme heat conditions of the environment. As no one in the area has the necessary RIB (radio interface box) tool to interface between the programming computer and the radios, we are building one from a kit furnished by Richard Miller, K4IFG, on the west side.
The Maratracs are currently programmed for our frequency and access CTCSS (continuous tone coded squelch system) tones of 127.3 MHz both on encode and on decode. The otne access will keep down the interference from out of the area signals especially during band openings. The tones chosen are in accordance with the tones used by the vast majority of analog FM repeaters in the Florida Crown District area.
This will be the fifth and last RANGE repeater to be brought back on the air since we lost our primary site in 2015.