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SDRG News/Log

Also see the subpage 'News/Log Archive' at the bottom of this page.

(Updated 23/09/18)

For Echolink Status see here: Echolink Status

There is now a separate page for general news - click the link below.

See the latest log entry at the bottom of this page - use the 'End' button on your keyboard!

GB3SD/GB3DR NEWS The current committee of the SDRG is determined that users and supporters of the repeaters should be kept fully informed at all times as to what is happening. If you want to know something about the Group and you can't find it on this site then e-mail SDRG. This page shows the most up-to-date status of the Repeaters but a full archive is available from the 'News/Log Archive'

29/10/09 - AGM REPORT There was a good attendance at the Annual General Meeting of the South Dorset Repeater Group held at the Masonic Hall, Alington Street, Dorchester on Tuesday the 20th of October 2009. The Annual Subscription was fixed at  £15.00 and £25.00 for family membership. Life membership is £150.00. The Committee Membership and Structure remain unchanged.

After the formal business, Rob, G0ECX gave a presentation with photographs regarding an alternative site that the Group has been offered. The results of computer generated coverage predictions for both the current and proposed new site was also given. This stimulated a lively and informed debate about the problems being experienced at the current site and the pros and cons of a move. Eventually, it was decided that the possibility of moving to a different location should be costed and the full implications be considered and presented to the members in due course. Any formal decision to move would only take place after it was approved at an EGM of the Group.

The usual bumper raffle with coffee and biscuits rounded off the evening.

08/11/09 - INTERNET LINK QRT - Rob, G0ECX who supplies the Internet Link to GB3SD is moving house so this facility is currently unavailable.

01/02/10 - GB3DR has an intermittent fault. Within a few seconds of transmit the power output can drop to a tiny fraction of normal for a few seconds. This might happen once or twice during the first 20 to 30 seconds of use but after that it settles down. Unless you are receiving a very strong signal it might seem that it actually stops transmitting: however in every other respect the repeater continues to function normally. We have had this problem before with this unit and one of the spares will be installed as soon as possible.

14/02/10 - Rob, G0ECX and Ian, G3ZDQ replaced the faulty GB3DR repeater with one of the spare 'G6WHI' units yesterday (Saturday) morning.

24/03/10 - The Echolink Internet Link to GB3SD is back on. Many thanks to Rob, G0ECX who provides the facility and Les, G0FAJ who provided a replacement Laptop.

28/04/10 - The GB3DR repeater was replaced this evening by Rob, G0ECX after the transmitter developed a fault and went to very low power.
Weather permitting we hope to do some work on site this coming weekend. The plan is to fit new aerials to GB3SD and install an extra aerial for GB3DR so that we can use separate aerials for TX and RX. This is to see if the extra isolation this will give us reduces the interference we have been suffering from.

02/04/10 - The planned work at the site went ahead yesterday when Rob, Les, Ian and Chris fitted new aerials for GB3SD and an extra aerial for GB3DR. Reports are of course welcome although it is still very much 'work in progress' as far as GB3DR is concerned.

11/05/10 -  Pictures of the work done have now been posted in the 'SDRG Gallery'.

11/07/10 - Rob and Les have been busy at the site recently and after a series of tests and periods of reduced power GB3DR is now back up to full power. The performance of both repeaters since the aerial changes in April is very much improved. It is also hoped that planned engineering work by another user on site will reduce the Interference that GB3DR suffers from at times.

13/08/10 - Rob, G0ECX and Chris, G6WHI were busy at the site yesterday and replaced the GB3DR transmit antenna with a high quality folded dipole. The SWR is now much better and the ERP should be up to near our licensed limit. First reports have been favorable.

25/09/10 - A lot of work was done at the site today to try and eliminate the intermittent crackling that has plagued GB3DR for so long. Also the receive aerial of GB3DR was replaced with a folded dipole similar to the one that was recently fitted for transmit.

The ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of the Group will be held at the Masonic Hall, Alington Street, Dorchester, on Tuesday the 19th of October 2010 at 7.30 for 8pm. This is the same venue as last year. We hope that all users of GB3SD and GB3DR will try to attend and support us. It is a sad fact that there are still regular local users who have never supported us! See the Newsletter (below) for more information.

20/10/10 - The AGM was well attended with some new faces and the welcome return of a few old ones! As well as the usual business there was a very interesting discussion about the crackling that GB3DR sometime suffers from. The Committee Membership and Structure remain unchanged.

12/03/11 - A fault in the 12V PSU resulted in GB3DR being off air for a few hours today. Normal service was restored by Rob, G0ECX at 1430 GMT.

26/06/11 - Work on the site today (Sunday) will result in both repeaters being off the air for a short time. GB3SD was slightly off frequency so it has been changed to Repeater 'A' for the time being. This was commissioned by Alec, G8GON in the summer of 2000 and complies with the 12.5KHz specification now adopted as a standard for all 2m repeaters in the UK. It is fitted with the GB3US Mk2 logic. It works well although the logic is not particularly user friendly and the 12.5KHz specification is not fully compatible with all users equipment.

04/07/11 - GB3SD has an intermittent fault. At times there is a high level of de-sense and while in this state some stations will be able to access but not maintain contact with the repeater.

05/07/11 - The de-sense problem with GB3SD seems to be related to temperature. By late afternoon yesterday (Monday) it was very bad but as it cooled down in the evening it got better and by this morning (Tuesday) it was back to normal.

07/07/11 - The fault on GB3SD has got worse. Although working perfectly all day yesterday, this morning (Thursday) the receive sensitivity is VERY low and it is NOT hot!

09/07/11 -  GB3SD is now back to normal! Rob, G0ECX swapped the repeater back to station 'B' today (Saturday) and it is working well.

23/07/11 - The repeaters will be off the air for a few hours today (Saturday) whilst work on the mast takes place.

30/07/11 - The repeaters will be off the air for a few hours today (Saturday) whilst work on the mast takes place.

01/08/11 - More work was carried out on the site today (Monday) and there was some disruption of service. However after months of effort and considerable expense, (hopefully) the worst of the crackling that GB3DR has been suffering from for so long is now cured.

04/08/11 - GB3SD was switched to low power (-10dB) this afternoon (Thursday) to protect the PA as an unidentified data signal was preventing it from shutting down. This might be connected with the Olympic trials that are taking place at the moment and hopefully it will only be a temporary measure.

06/08/11 - GB3SD is still suffering from interference (see above) so it will remain on low power for the time being.

12/08/11 - GB3SD is still on low power. So far it has not been possible to trace the source of the interference. Work is continuing to try and reduce the crackling/spluttering inference that GB3DR still suffers from occasionally.

16/08/11 - GB3SD is back on full power.

26/08/11 - Work is still continuing to try and completely cure the QRN problems that GB3DR still suffers from occasionally. At it's worst the repeater can be held open for long periods even though it is not in use. Because of this problem the squelch is on harder than is ideal and this results in weak mobile signals breaking up more than they should so it has been decided to change the logic to full CTCSS. Once this is implemented users will HAVE to use a 71.9Hz sub-audible tone to access and use the repeater - without it you will not be able to access GB3DR or be heard through it.

See for more information.

If you need to retro-fit CTCSS to your rig, our repeater builder Chris, G6WHI can supply all you need:

04/09/11 - Full CTCSS is now enabled on GB3DR and a 71.9Hz sub-audible tone must now be used to access and use the repeater - without it you will not be able to access GB3DR or be heard through it.

19/09/11 - As part of our ongoing tests GB3DR is using a different repeater for a few days. There is no 'K' tone and users should allow the repeater to close down between overs in order to avoid time-out! We expect to change back to our normal station by the end of the week.

22/09/11 - The Annual General Meeting of the Group will be held on Tuesday the 18th of October at the Masonic Hall, Alington Street, Dorchester.

23/09/11 - Late this afternoon (Friday) the GB3DR repeater was changed back to the usual G6WHI built unit.

30/09/11 - The 2011 Newsletter is now available to read on this website - see below or SDRG Newsletters.

19/10/11 - At the 2011 AGM of the South Dorset Repeater Group last night it was clear that our decision at last years AGM to use e-mail to distribute the SDRG newsletter this year has been something of a disaster! It seems that despite our best intentions many members and supporters of the SDRG did not receive it. Next year we will revert to posting a printed copy of the newsletter and a post 'AGM newsletter' will be produced and sent out as soon as possible.

02/11/11 - GB3DR was of the air for a few hours today. It is assumed that there was a mains power outage at the site as GB3SD continued to operate on reduced power using the battery back-up supply. By late afternoon everything was back to normal without our intervention.

05/11/11 - The minutes of the AGM are now available to read - see below or SDRG Documents.

26/11/11 - A PayPal bank account has now been set up for SDRG2000 and should be available for use soon. Subscriptions for 2011/12 are now due. The cost of providing the repeater facilities this year was almost £700.00 and if you have not already done so please consider supporting the Group and help to keep GB3SD and GB3DR on the air. It is a sad fact that there are still regular users of the repeaters that have never contributed to their upkeep.

13/02/12 - Reports suggest that the Internet Link to GB3SD has not been enabled for some time: hopefully this service will eventually be restored.

07/04/12 - Work at the site is scheduled for tomorrow morning (Sunday) and there may be some interruption of service.

09/04/12 - The PayPal account is now up and running and payments and/or donations to the South Dorset Repeater Group 2000 can now be made here: SDRG Information

Please note that although the minimum annual donation to subscribe to full membership of the Group is £15.00, it would be appreciated if a small extra payment is made to cover the PayPal administration fee. Just 50 pence (the cost of second class stamp) would help and £1.00 would more than cover it!

Thanks to Chris, G6WHI the Group now has has two new web addresses and that are shortcuts to the SDRG Information page. As these use the repeater callsigns they are easy to remember and pass out over the air so please spread the word!

14/04/12 - It is hoped that a replacement GB3DR repeater will be installed today so there might be a temporary interruption in service.

Update 1800 UTC: The above work has been postponed until tomorrow (Sunday).

Echolink: The Internet Link to GB3SD is currently under test. It was active for a while yesterday and seemed to be working well. However there are still some outstanding technical issues to be overcome. If all goes well it should be on again later today and reports will be welcome.

15/04/12 - The GB3DR repeater was changed today by Chris, G6WHI and hopefully this will cure the intermittent TX power drop that has been occurring. The control logic has been enhanced and now has voice ID 'GB3DR'. This will only be heard when the repeater is not in use and is sent without a 71.9Hz tone so you won't hear it if you have tone squelch enabled on your receiver. The intermittent crackling caused by tower movement is still present and work to try and cure the problem is still ongoing.

Echolink: Although there are still outstanding technical issues the Internet link is currently enabled. This will be (as before) in 'attended mode' only.

17/04/12 - 1015 UTC: GB3SD is faulty. Although still working it is very weak.

Update: Chris, G6WHI visited the site and found that the GB3SD Power Amplifier had failed. This has been taken out of circuit and as a result GB3SD is currently operating at reduced (-10dB) power.

18/04/12 - GB3SD is working OK but still on reduced power. Echolink is enabled. GB3DR is working normally after a period yeterday when it seemed down on sensitivity.

19/04/12 - GB3DR is on slightly reduced power as it is running on a temporary PSU whilst the usual one is being checked. Also there still seems to be some lack of RX sensitivity at times.

1400 UTC: Echolink is not enabled as outstanding technical issues need to be resolved.

23/04/12 - A replacement heavy duty PSU has been fitted and GB3DR is now back to full power. We are still trying to trace the intermittent interference which seems to be local to the site but is proving very illusive!
GB3SD is still on reduced power although it is hoped that a replacement PA will be fitted in the next few days.

30/04/12 - GB3SD is back on full power. Chris, G6WHI fitted the replacement PA to GB3SD today. Many thanks to Edward, G3VPF who provided it.

12/05/12 - Weather permitting, work is planned at the site this weekend so expect some interruption of service.

16/05/12 - GB3SD has a fault and is radiating very low power.

17/05/12 - The GB3SD PA has failed again and has been removed for service. As a result GB3SD is once again on reduced (-10dB) power.

02/06/12 - An update to the Repeater information page has added the following text:

A short Voice ID has been added to the logic as was proposed, discussed and approved at the 2011 AGM. It simply says '' and is intended for stations new to the area to know which repeater they are listening to and where to find out about it. The URL or will take you directly to the appropriate page on the SDRG web site. The Voice ID is only sent when the repeater is idle and not in use. If you enable tone squelch on your rig you won't hear either the Voice or CW ID when the repeater is idle as they are both sent without the sub-audible tone. Please note however that some older rigs might not have the ability to use tone squelch. To comply with licence regulations the CW ID must be sent when the repeater is in use but this is at a low deviation which does not interfere with QSOs.

05/06/12 - Don't forget that you can now access the SDRG website quickly by using either of these short links:

Just the repeater callsign and is all you need - you don't even have to use the usual www! Many thanks to Chris, G6WHI for setting them up.

27/06/12 A NEW GB3SD

Back in April 2012 the external PA on GB3SD failed and was replaced with an identical spare that Edward, G3VPF purchased at the same time as the original. Unfortunately after only 10 days service that also failed. Since then GB3SD has been operating at a reduced power of about 10dB down on normal.

As both units are very old and the devices used in the PAs are believed to have a limited shelf life it has been decided not to attempt an expensive repair but to replace the ageing F496 repeater with modern equipment that will not need the external PA. Chris, G6WHI has managed to obtain a couple of  Motorola GM340. These are high quality PMR units that are intended for repeater use and are also current equipment. They have already been tested on site and worked very well.

Chris has been working hard designing and building the new hardware and software control system and assembling a brand new GB3SD for the 21st century! When completed it will have full battery back-up without the need to reduce power and a number of new features. From the users point of view the new control logic will be an improved version of what we now use on GB3DR that Chris also built.

One major change will be that the new GB3SD will, (like GB3DR) require a continuous sub-audible tone of 71.9Hz to enable talk through and will not be accessible using the old and now largely obsolete 1750Hz tone burst.

Chris is going to attend the next SDRS club meeting and will be happy to answer any questions about the new system. He will also bring some examples of his retro-fit  sub-audible tone kits.

04/07/12 Chris now hopes to bring the new 'SD along to the the SDRS meeting on the 10th and says it should be ready to install soon.

08/07/12 Echolink is being tested again. If all goes well expect it to be available between approximately 0800 - 2100 UTC when the Sysop is available.

10/07/12 Echolink is working OK except for problems with the Internet connection. The Wi-Fi connection to the Laptop that controls GB3SD-R is very marginal and an alternative is being investigated. Please note therefore that the service is liable to interruption and intermittent outages.

17/07/12 Power-line Networking has now been installed to replace the Wi-Fi connection and Echolink is running well.

Users should be aware that when the new GB3SD is installed it will require a 71.9Hz sub-audible tone to access. Full details on the new station and the control logic will be available on this website once it is finalized.

22/07/12 The new GB3SD was installed yesterday but the receiver sensitivity is very poor at times. Echolink will not be enabled while this problem persists as the RF link is not reliable. GB3SD was turned off overnight.

Update: Chris, G6WHI and Mike, G8NIC visited the site today and aligned the cavity filters, and the new GB3SD is now working well. Users should notice a considerable improvement in signal as the power output is now increased. Echolink is also back on and will be enabled between approximately 0800 and 2100 UTC most days.

GB3DR is using the spare repeater (no voice ID) while Chris makes the necessary modifications to the main one to accommodate the battery back-up that will soon be installed.

01/08/12 GB3SD UPDATE: Chris, G6WHI has turned off diagnostic mode and you now get a single beep at the end of a transmission. It is deliberately slightly longer than 'DR so that if you are monitoring both repeaters you can tell which one you heard. Diagnostic mode will only be used when absolutely necessary but it is very useful tool. Full details of the logic and control system will be published when Chris is happy with the way it is all working. If you enable tone squelch you will not hear the voice or CW ID when the repeater is not in use and it never sends a voice ID when it is in use.

Geoff, G0EVW has adjusted the Echolink CW ID (GB3SD/1). The tone frequency is now much higher and the deviation has been reduced. Users should find it is much less intrusive than it was. It is only sent once every 15 mins and at a fairly high speed so it does not last long. Echolink is now on most days between 0900 - 2200 local time.

13/08/12 Echolink has been improved. The configuration of the Internet connection has been changed and users should now be able to connect to GB3SD-R from most locations and devices. It should no longer be necessary to enable Port Forwarding to connect direct from the Internet and all available nodes on the Network should be available from GB3SD-1. Reports are welcome and full details will be published on this website soon.

15/08/12 Echolink is subject to intermittent service at the moment but outages are being kept to a minimum.

18/08/12 Echolink is QRT! The elderly Dell laptop that was running Echolink has failed completely and until a suitable replacement can be found Echolink will be off line.

19/08/12 Re: Echolink. A replacement computer has kindly been offered by Ian, G3ZDQ. Hopefully Echolink will be back on-line in a few days time.

24/08/12 Echolink is back on line although it is still liable to interruption whilst everything is fine tuned. Many thanks are due to Ian, G3ZDQ and Chris, G6WHI for their invaluable help.

08/09/12 The Echolink service has been subject to frequent outages for the last couple of weeks whilst attempts were made to find a stable connection to the Internet. Hopefully this has now been achieved and the service should be available from approximately 0800 - 2100 UTC daily. See the note above (13/08/12) regarding port forwarding. Please test the system out and report to Geoff, G0EVW.

Update to above: Unfortunately, despite all our efforts it seems that it is still not working properly and continuing service interruptions are inevitable.

09/09/12 Echolink is up and running this morning with a configuration that works even if it might be liable to disruption occasionally. No further work is planned, at least for the time being.

Chris hopes to install the modified PIC microcontroller for GB3SD in the next few days. This will replace the single K tone with two pips.

15/09/12 Chris installed the new PIC yesterday and GB3SD now has two pips at the end of transmissions - please wait until both have been sent. When Echolink is in use a longer break between overs should be given occasionally to enable people to call in as the changeover from TX to RX takes longer. It is best to wait until the repeater completely shuts down before resuming.

06/10/12 Last Thursday, Chris, G6WHI changed over GB3DR from the spare to the the main repeater that he has modified to run from batteries in the event of a mains power outage. Chris also took the opportunity to slightly modify the TX audio so that it should be a little 'brighter' and 'punchier' than it was.

The AGM of the South Dorset Repeater Group will be held on Tuesday the 13th of November at 7:30 for 8pm. This year the meeting is being held at the Southill Youth and Community Centre. Radipole Lane, Southill, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 9SF. This is at the same venue as the South Dorset Radio Society holds its monthly meetings and will coincide with a normal SDRS meeting. The SDRG AGM will be held in the adjoining room or the hall depending on numbers! Since many of us are members of both organisations it seemed a good idea to both committees that we share resources. The location of the AGM can be found here.

The GB3SD Echolink facility is now running well and is available daily between 0900 and 2200 local time.

12/10/12 The 2012 Newsletter is now available from the link 'newsletter 2012' below.

29/10/12 Echolink Update. The current configuration of the Internet connection should allow the majority of users to be able to connect to GB3SD-R from most locations and devices. It should not be necessary to enable Port Forwarding on your Router and the majority of nodes on the Network should be available from GB3SD-1.

Please note that operational times are always subject to the restrictions imposed by the NOV issued to the Sysop, but GB3SD-R should be available most days between 0900 and 2200 local time.

06/11/12 This is a very short video of the current aerial system:

12/11/12 The AGM of the South Dorset Repeater Group will be held tomorrow, Tuesday the 13th of November at 7:30 for 8pm. This year the meeting is being held at the Southill Youth and Community Centre. Radipole Lane, Southill, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 9SF. This is at the same venue as the South Dorset Radio Society holds its monthly meetings and will coincide with a normal SDRS meeting. The SDRG AGM will be held in the adjoining room or the hall depending on numbers! Since many of us are members of both organisations it seemed a good idea to both committees that we share resources. The location of the AGM can be found here.

IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING READING/DOWNLOADING DOCUMENTS If you are asked to log in to Google Docs and don't wish to do so you can use the down arrow which is located on the far right of the file information line - this will enable you to download or open the file in the normal way.

14/11/12 Last evening saw the best attendance at a Repeater Group AGM for many years. The Group has three new committee members: Carl M3VWP, Chris G6WHI and Mike G8NIC. Ian, G3ZDQ is now the Treasurer. John, G0PGT and his XYL Thelma were made honorary life members.  A full report will be published on this website as soon as possible.

04/12/12 Echolink Update. The operational time of the link has changed slightly to approximately 1000 - 2200 local time. Please note that these times are subject to change (sometimes without notice) as the terms of the GB3SD/1 (GB3SD-R) NOV require the licence holder to be available to control the station.

09/12/12 GB3YS is currently off the air after the aerial was damaged by strong wind. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

22/12/12 Echolink Update. There was some interruption to the service yesterday afternoon and evening but the facility is working normally again today. Over the Christmas and New Year holidays the service should be available 24/7.

27/12/12 Echolink went off line early this morning when the Internet connection was lost. It seems that the Router might have been damaged by lightning!

Echolink Update. The Router was replaced and normal service resumed at 1400 UTC today.

Echolink Update. There is a problem with the replacement Router configuration that may stop some people connecting to GB3SD-R It will be closed down later this evening and liable to interruption tomorrow.

30/12/12 Echolink Update. The link to GB3SD-1 should now be working OK for all users. However we are down to our last Router so if anyone has a spare Netgear DG834 / DG834G please consider donating it to the Group.

02/01/13 Echolink Update. From 2200 this evening the operational status of GB3SD-R will revert to normal hours of operation from 1000 - 2200 local time daily.

03/01/13 The Echolink Service Status can now be found here: Echolink Status

21/02/13 GB3YS in Yeovil came back on air at approximately 12:30 today.

10/05/13 GB3DR was blocked for many hours today by a strong signal on the input emanating from an Amateur Station located in Ringwood Road, Poole.  Many thanks to everyone who helped track down the signal, in particular Darren, M6ZDA and Ted, 2E1EJC who together actually found it. The interference lasted all afternoon and only went off when they arrived at the location.

05/06/13 Chris, G6WHI our repeater builder has a new website: He no longer runs his Kit business but does have a supply of mag mount 1/4 wave aerials with whips suitable to cut for 2m or 70cm and also Coax and BNC and N connectors etc.

24/07/13 Both repeaters were off the air for a couple of hours this morning whilst some work was done on the mast and the GB3DR aerial system.

27/09/13 The Annual General Meeting of the South Dorset Repeater Group will be held on Tuesday the 12th of November at 8pm. After the very successful event last year the meeting is again being held at the Southill Youth and Community Centre. Radipole Lane, Southill, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 9SF where ample free parking is available. This is at the same place as the South Dorset Radio Society holds its monthly meetings and will coincide with a normal SDRS meeting. The SDRG AGM will be held in the Sports Hall as it was last year. Since many of us are members of both organisations it seems a good idea that we continue to share our resources. The formal meeting will be kept as short as possible and refreshments will be available afterwards. We hope that all users of GB3SD and GB3DR will try to attend and support us. It is a sad fact that there are still regular local users who have never supported the Group! 

Although we do have to have an AGM once a year, the formal business should not take long and hopefully the meeting will once again be a pleasant social event, where users of GB3DR and GB3SD can meet each other and also members of the SDRS. Please come along – everyone will be very welcome.

30/09/13 The 2013 Newsletter is now available from the link 'SDRG Newsletter 2013' below. You can download the PDF document to your computer by using the little down arrow on the far right of the link. It will print on a single double sided A4 sheet of paper.

07/11/13 Chris, G6WHI replaced the GB3DR repeater today with the original one that he had repaired. He also fitted a third insulator at the top of the mast to try and eliminate the worst of the crackling. At the time of this posting the receiver seems greatly improved.

16/11/13 The 2013 AGM of the Group was well attended and a full report will be published as soon as possible. 

The 2013 AGM Minutes have now been published in the SDRG Documents folder or from the link at the bottom of this page.

During the AGM the members present accepted a proposal from the Committee to investigate the possibility of installing a Digital Voice Repeater at Eggerdon Hill. The site and facilities have been offered free of charge and there was no request for funding at this stage.  The Chairman promised to keep the membership updated. 

An a application has been made for 'GB7SD' and a computer generated map of the predicted coverage, kindly produced by Dave, G3ZXX can be seen on the SDRG Gallery page.

18/11/13 An application has also been made by Dave, G3ZXX for a digital repeater at the GB3JB site. See here:

21/11/13 A new page about the proposed Digital Repeater GB7SD has been set up on this website: GB7SD

04/12/13 - 1430 UTC There is a mains power supply failure at the Repeater Site and GB3DR is currently off the air. GB3SD is working at reduced power on the back-up battery.

2000 UTC Normal service was restored by early evening.

17/12/13 GB3DR is continuing to suffer from severe QRM/QRN. This is often so bad that only the strongest stations can be heard. Every effort is being made to trace and cure the problem but this is not a good time of year to be working on our very exposed site. Fortunately GB3SD continues to work well.

26/12/13 The GB3DR Repeater was changed over at approximately 1500 UTC today and tests are continuing to try and improve the repeater performance. Please expect some interruptions to service and variations in RX and TX performance while the tests continue.

27/12/13 Tests are still ongoing with GB3DR so expect some interruption to service. GB3SD is not effected and is working well.

Update - 2200 UTC From the tests that were done over the last 24 hours it seems highly likely that the GB3DR RX aerial (a collinear at the top of the mast) is faulty and needs replacing. If that can't be done it might be possible to revert to single aerial working for a while but that will require some additional work at the site.

28/12/13 Tests continued at the site this morning to try and decide exactly what is causing the RX problems with GB3DR. Single aerial working was tried and this appeared to rule out the collinear. At the moment the repeater is on low power (about 0.5W) so expect the signal to be down by about 15dB. The TX antenna is the dipole and on RX the collinear is in use.

Update - 1915 UTC At around 1500 UTC today the configuration was changed again. It is now back to single aerial working using the dipole for TX and RX and the power level is back to normal.

01/01/14 The GB7SD page now has its own URL:

03/01/14 The new aerial configuration that GB3DR is now using is proving to be a great success! The performance of the repeater on both RX and TX seems very good indeed and all reports received have been positive. We still have some residual crackling at times but this is believed to be related to mast movement.

SDRG Gallery - There was a problem accessing the albums and viewing the pictures but this has now been corrected.

One of the most interesting pictures in the May 2010 folder shows the aerials as they were then. The two collinears used on GB3SD can clearly be seen, one mounted on the East side of the mast and one on the West side. These are the same as they are today and are still in use.

At the top of the mast is a 2M collinear used for GB3DR and originally used for both TX and RX. The lowest aerial on the mast is a 2M dipole that was the first aerial used when dual aerial working was tried on GB3DR. This dipole was replaced with a professional quality folded dipole and is now in use for both TX and RX.

05/01/14 GB3DR does not have voice ID at the moment. We have two (almost) identical 2M repeaters but the one in use at the moment and normally kept as a spare does not have voice ID.

13/01/14 Should we move GB3DR? A document has been published asking if we should move GB3DR to a new site. The document is available to read now and is stored in the documents folder.

28/01/14 There is now a separate page for news. This page will continue to log the status of our repeaters.

21/03/14 The TX aerial on GB3SD has been changed this afternoon. The aerial in use now is at the top of the mast. Reports are very welcome!

24/03/14 Echolink was offline this morning but was returned to full service by 1215 UTC.

Reports suggest that GB3SD is on reduced power. This happened mid QSO at about 1420 UTC. No other information is available at the moment.

25/03/14 The low ERP problem with GB3SD has been resolved and the TX aerial has been changed back to the original collinear that was in use before 21/03/14.

31/03/14 GB3DR will go QRT later today until it can be switched back on from the new site at Eggerdon.

02/04/14 GB3DR returned to service yesterday afternoon from the new site at Eggerdon.

05/04/14 GB3DR is working well and the coverage from the new site is excellent although obviously some people that were very close to or line of site to the old site will have a weaker signal. There is a slight amount of interference from a co-sited Digital VHF Repeater at the moment but hopefully the high quality band-pass filter that we have will cure that once it is installed.

07/04/14 The Repeater was changed yesterday and we are now using the original one that was at the Ridgeway site. The bandpass filter was tried but did not reduce the interference from the co-sited digital repeater. Other measures are now being investigated.

24/04/14 Over the Easter weekend the GB3DR aerial spacing off of the mast was changed to a 1/4 wavelength. Initial reports suggest that the coverage is now as was originally predicted to be and signals to the East are much improved.

GB3SD NOTICE OF PLANNED WORK It is hoped to carry out some work at the Ridgeway site next Saturday the 17th of May - weather permitting. We hope to carry out the promised improvements to the GB3SD aerial system and a number of other jobs. An omnidirectional stacked dipole array will be mounted at the very top of the mast and used for transmit. A pair of dipoles, one stacked above the other will be mounted on the East side of the tower and used for receive. Another pair of dipoles will be mounted on the mast so that we can undertake the test transmissions for the proposed GB7SD DMR system. This will involve dropping the tower, so GB3SD will be off the air for a few hours.

17/05/14 All the planned aerial work was completed today and GB3SD is now fully operational again after being QRT for a few hours.

28/05/14 Ongoing aerial system tests are taking place at the moment and for the last 24 hours we have been using the lowest of the dipole pairs as the TX aerial for GB3SD. This has resulted in a large drop in signal for some people and a very much reduced RX performance caused by de-sense. Normal service will be restored later today.

09/06/14 GB3SD/GB7SD compatibility tests: Yesterday evening Rob, G0ECX tried a different configuration of the aerial system using the same TX aerial for both repeaters but separate aerials for RX. This worked perfectly with no detectable de-sense to either system so we are now ready to install GB7SD as soon as the NOV arrives. Not surprisingly Colin, GW3WSU reported identical signal strength from both repeaters at his QTH in Barry. There is still some outstanding work needed on the mast and the GB7SD RX aerial but this should not delay switch-on.

10/06/14 The intermittent de-sense caused to GB3DR by the commercial repeater that shares the Eggerdon site has now been eliminated thanks to Chris, G6WHI who supplied and fitted an AFL 'beer barrel' filter to the TX output of the Commercial repeater.

17/06/14 Work on the site this coming Saturday will cause interruption to GB3SD. See the News page for more information.

01/11/14 GB7SD was switched on this afternoon. We are currently using Colour Code 1 and Talk Group 1 on both slots.

21/11/14 GB7SD is working well, as are GB3SD and GB3DR with no reported problems.

27/11/14 Echolink was off-line most of today. This was caused by a failure of the Internet connection. Normal service was resumed at 1730

01/02/15 GB7DR was switched on Around 1700 UTC on Friday the 30th January. At the moment there seems to be some teething problems as some stations are unable to access it.

07/02/15 GB7DR Colour Code is changing to 5 because of adjacent channel interference.

16/02/15 GB7SD is now connected to the South West Cluster - currently GB7AA and GB7BS.

21/02/15 The GB7DR web page now has a direct link:

03/06/15 During the last couple of days GB3SD has been crackling and at the moment is reported as being a weaker signal that normal. However it still seems OK on RX.

04/06/15 Rob, G0ECX visited the site this afternoon and discovered that the TX aerial for GB3/GB7SD is damaged with two of the four folded dipoles hanging on the coax and touching the mast. This is obviously having a serious effect on the TX signal and also causing crackling on RX.

The mast will have to be dropped as soon as possible to enable repairs to be carried out and avoid further damage. If labour is available an attempt will made this coming Saturday June 6.

05/06/15 GB3SD and GB7SD are currently QRT while the TX aerial is repaired/replaced.

06/06/15 The TX antenna is beyond repair and an attempt will be made later today to install a temporary one to try and get GB3SD and GB7SD back on the air.

The TX Antenna has been replaced and normal service was restored this afternoon at 1630 BST. Echolink was switched back on at 1730 BST. More details will follow later.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

As can be seen in the above picture the stack of 4 dipoles at the top of the mast that was in use on TX for GB3SD and GB7SD has been replaced with a single collinear. Reports suggest that this is working very well - possibly better than the original antenna!

06/01/16 GB7DR is currently QRT for repairs. There has been an Intermittent problem with the Internet connection and the link to the SW Cluster for some time and this seems to have been caused by a fault on the Repeater Internet interface. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

18/02/16 Both GB7SD and GB7DR are currently liable to interruption of service. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

20/02/16 GB7SD is now working normally and connected to the SW Cluster. GB7DR is working but NOT connected to the SW Cluster as there is a problem with the Internet connection.

05/03/16 The GB3SD and GB7SD RX aerials have been swapped over.

GB7SD and GB3SD share a single TX aerial but use separate RX aerials. The RX performance of GB3SD has been poor for some time and yesterday afternoon (5 March) the RX aerials were swapped over and it seems that the one that was in use on GB3SD has a fault. As the suspected faulty aerial is currently connected to GB7SD it is very likely that the RX performance of GB7SD will be well below what it was. It is not known exactly what the problem is but it is thought that the coax might be damaged allowing water ingress. Repairs will require the mast to be dropped and this might take a while.

12/03/16 After the work carried out on 05/03/16 GB3SD is now working well although the deviation from the 'spare' Repeater currently in use seems a little down. Also there is a slight reduction in the measured RF power output but probably not enough to make any practical difference. Strangely, we have had a couple of reports that it seems stronger!

GB7SD is fully operational but because of the RX aerial fault is suffering from reduced sensitivity.

01/03/16 After some aerial work at the site yesterday afternoon the receive performance of GB7SD has now been improved.

This afternoon Rob, G0ECX assisted by Jon, G1TGM visited the site again. On a further inspection all the folded dipoles are cracked and will need replacing! Currently GB7SD is on a single (new) folded dipole, mounted as high up on the stand-off arm as is possible. GB3SD is still on the original (cracked) pair and seems to working OK. 

Rob changed GB3SD back to the original Repeater and the audio level is much improved so it will sound louder. However the RF power output of both Repeaters is identical so there is no change in ERP.

04/02/17 All three repeaters are working normally.

12/06/17 Currently ongoing maintenance at the Ridgeway site means that both GB3SD and GB7SD are liable to service interruptions. The receive aerials for both Repeaters are being replaced and the Internet link to GB7SD, that provides access to the South West Cluster is being re-provisioned.

22/06/17 Edward, G3VPF reports that a new Mobile Network Modem was installed today and GB7SD should now be connected to the South West Cluster again. The RX aerials for both GB3SD and GB7SD have also been replaced. This restores the configuration to a pair of folded dipoles on each Repeater for receive with a a single collinear on transmit being shared by both Repeaters, as in the picture above.

19/01/18 The Internet connection to GB7SD is still causing problems and currently the connection to the SW Cluster is intermittent. Work is still ongoing to restore a full and reliable connection and eventually it hoped a microwave link will be available again.

16/01/18 GB7SD is now connected to the SW Cluster again.

26/01/18 GB7SD is currently not connected to the SW Cluster. This is likely to be caused by the continuing problems with the Internet connection.

30/01/18 GB7SD is connected to the SW Cluster but there are Network problems giving some very odd effects, one of which seems like 'one way' audio where you can't hear a station who can hear you. This is not restricted to GB7SD.

18/04/18 On April 5 2018 our mast at the Ridgeway Site suffered catastrophic damage. Although at this time both GB3SD and GB7SD are still working their performance has been effected on both RX and TX.

24/06/18 GB3DR had an intermittent fault which was believed to be heat related, causing it to shut down. Chris, G6WHI reported that he removed mice nests from inside the repeater, on top of it and in it’s fan intake slots. The bottom vent was completely blocked internally by bedding that had fallen through the top vent, and the fan air inlet was blocked!

25/06/18 Regretfully the problem persists. The Repeater shuts down late afternoon and stays off until after 0600 the following day.

13/07/18 The intermittent problem with GB3DR was fixed today by Chris, G6WHI.

29/06/19 GB3SD went off the air this morning at 1120 BST.

30/06/19 GB3SD is working normally again this morning.

20/-9/19 GB3SD and GB7SD will be liable to interruption of service during the replacement of the mast. See our front page for the latest information.

22/09/18 The replacement mast has been fitted although it is not yet at the full intended height.

Subpages (2): News/Log Archive SDRG News
Geoffrey Watts,
23 Nov 2013, 07:49
Geoffrey Watts,
5 Nov 2011, 07:41
Geoffrey Watts,
1 Oct 2013, 09:27
Geoffrey Watts,
1 Oct 2011, 01:59
Geoffrey Watts,
12 Oct 2012, 01:37