The RRRA was formed in 1971 for the expressed purpose of promoting FM and repeater operation, offering a technical base on the subject, providing a useful communications facility for emergencies, and to develop friendships through a common goal.
RRRA members participate with many local clubs and organizations to provide our organization’s resources to local and visiting radio amateurs, as well as to our communities. The generosity of our members and friends continues to contribute to the service the RRRA can offer. RRRA encourages the participation of its members in local general interest amateur radio clubs.
The River Raisin Repeater Association Inc. is an ARRL affiliated club, allowing our membership to take advantage of the many services offered by the League. The specialized nature of the Association and the intent to provide a service to all amateurs, call for only one general meeting yearly, so as not to conflict with the activity of local amateur clubs having a broader interest to the amateur community.
There are now five RRRA systems in operation to serve the amateur radio operators of the Monroe County region. Our first repeater, 146.72 (previously 146.73) went on the air in 1971, from downtown Monroe. Today, we operate from our transmitter site four miles south of Monroe, at LaSalle, for 146.72, 224.78, and our 144.91 BBS/ Digipeater. The 444.55 Repeater is located in Luna Pier, the 442.65 repeater in Ida, and the 442.825 system is in Dundee.
Amateur operators throughout the area are welcomed and encouraged to use the repeaters. System coverage of the 72- repeater extends approximately 45 miles from its 320 foot main antenna site at LaSalle for 25 watt mobiles. Receive sites at La Salle, Monroe, Newport, Ottawa Lake, and Dundee offer improved coverage for hand-held units operating in those areas.
MEMORANDA OF UNDERSTANDING
The RRRA has agreements with the Monroe, Lenawee and Washtenaw County ARPSC Organizations to allow priority use of the repeaters in case of an emergency. Users are to respect these agreements in the true spirit of Amateur Radio public service, and allow unobstructed operation of the repeaters by these groups in an emergency or drill.
Non-emergency amateur activities such as nets and drills are regular users of the systems, and other activities and special events are welcome. The Association board will be pleased to assist in scheduling such operations.
146.72 MHz REPEATER SYSTEM
The 72 Repeater System (146.72) operates with its main antenna at 320 feet, in LaSalle, and has a transmitter ERP of 200 watts. Receivers are located at LaSalle, Monroe, Dundee, Newport and Ottawa Lake. Stations must transmit 100 Hz PL to access the system. The 72 repeater reverts to restricted, members only, access during the early morning hours.
224.78 MHz REPEATER
Our 220 system is located at LaSalle, and has its antenna at the 250-foot level on the tower. The repeater ERP is 128 watts. The 224.78 can be crosslinked with 442.825 in Dundee for enhanced operations.
442.65 MHz REPEATER
The 442.65 MHz repeater is located in Ida, and transmits from a 220-foot antenna height. Effective radiated power is 154 watts and the PL code is 100.0 Hz.
444.55 MHz REPEATER
The 444.55 MHz repeater is located at the Consumers Power Whiting Plant at Luna Pier, and transmits from a 196-foot antenna height. Transmitter power is 50 watts. PL code is 100.0 Hz.
442.825 MHz REPEATER
The 442.825 MHz repeater is located on a water tower in Dundee, and transmits from a 125-foot antenna height. The repeater power is 220 watts ERP. PL code is 100.0 Hz.
144.910 MHz DIGIPEATER and JNOS Node
The 144.910 digipeater operates from the 200-foot level at the LaSalle transmitter site. The power level is 100 watts ERP. The digipeater alias is RRRA. This site serves as a wide area “hub” for regional digipeating. It also includes JNOS capabilities, and can be accessed as N8KUF/3 for traffic/mail and other bulletin board services.
The 72 Repeater maintains Emergency 911 accessibility for all users. In an emergency, simply key up, identify yourself, and dial 911. You will automatically be connected to the MONROE COUNTY, MI central dispatch operator. To terminate the call, enter #, and identify yourself upon completion of the call. This has proven to be a valuable asset in reporting highway breakdowns as well as other emergency conditions.
The 72 repeater is equipped with an autopatch which includes the local calling area of Monroe, plus Carleton, Ida, Maybee, Newport, the 313, 517, 248 and 734 areas of southeast Michigan and the 419 area of NW Ohio. The autopatch is available for use by paid members only.
The phone patch, equipment upgrade/repair, and site liability insurance are the most expensive continuing costs of operating the repeaters. The continued financial support of all association members makes these systems available.
SPEED DIAL CALLING
Members with an assigned speed dial slot may use this feature to dial a pre-programmed number. These numbers can be dialed by a three-digit code similar to dialing 911. This feature offers members the significant convenience of dialing 3 digits vs. up to 11 digits.
BATTERY POWER OPERATION
146.72, 444.55, 442.825, 224.78, and 144.91 all operate with emergency backup power. The 72-Monroe repeater will indicate emergency power operation via voice, and Dundee with a "lo-hi-lo-hi" courtesy beep. In the emergency power mode, the repeaters may reduce transmitter power and shed some of their normal features to conserve battery. As battery capacity is of course limited, the repeaters should be used conservatively when they are operating on battery power.
DIGITAL VOICE RECORDER
The 72-Monroe system incorporates a digital voice recorder to allow special news and announcements to be scheduled on the repeater. The DVR will store up to eight messages each programmable to play on command or at a preset time interval. Special bulletins and important announcements can be prerecorded for severe weather or other emergencies.
All of the RRRA systems are open to use by all amateur radio operators. However, if you are more than a “once in a blue moon” user of the RRRA repeaters, we ask you to consider joining the association. Your participation will help to insure the ability to operate, maintain and improve these systems while ensuring readiness to support any emergency communications needs that may arise.
The Association is an independent radio club and is supported solely by member dues and contributions. Dues are $20.00 per year. Speed Dial assignments may be obtained for a cost of $5.00 each. Additional Family Members (same address) are $5.00 each. Membership runs from May 1 to May 1 of each calendar year. The Association holds its annual business meeting on the first Saturday in May.
All members will receive a renewal notice in April. Dues for the upcoming year will be prorated (monthly basis), if applicable, to align all expiration dates with the May 1st date. Example: if you joined as a new member in December 2000, you receive a renewal notice in April 2001 requesting dues of $7.50 to extend your membership through May 2002.
You may join the River Raisin Repeater Association by clicking here and printing out the application form, entering the requested data, and sending it along with appropriate payment via the U.S. Postal Service.
(Checks may be made payable to RRRA)