April, 2012. A 6th repeater and 3rd site is about to go in service in Angwin, adding coverage in the Pope/Chiles Valleys as well as Lake Berryessa. Stay tuned for details.
The W6CO system
The W6CO repeater system is made up of 5 repeaters located at two sites in the Napa Valley. All the repeaters in the system are open for use by any licensed operators. Their primary purpose is to support Emergency Communications.
Mount St Helena
- 147.180 (STH) This repeater is located on the South Peak of Mt St Helena at 4,143 feet (asl) and uses a PL tone of 151.4. The primary coverage area is the Napa Valley and Lake County. Secondary coverage includes Eastern Sonoma County from Santa Rosa North to Cloverdale.
- 441.900 This repeater is also located on the South Peak of Mt St Helena and uses a PL tone of 151.4. Stand-alone coverage is the Northern part of the Napa Valley.
- 147.180 (VDR) This repeater is located on the Eastern flank of Mt Veeder near the Napa/Sonoma County line and uses a PL tone of 91.5 Hz. The primary coverage area is the central and southern portions of the Napa Valley.
- 441.800 The transmitter and one receiver is located on the Eastern flank of Mt Veeder near the Napa/Sonoma County line and uses a PL tone of 151.4. Additional receivers in a voter configuration are located on the Valley floor to enhance use by mobiles and handheld radios. This system is also equipped with a remote base to permit access into several nearby repeaters which are not part of our system. See below for details. The primary coverage area (unlinked) is the Central and Southern part of the Napa Valley with secondary coverage into parts of the Sacramento Valley (Fairfield/Rio Vista), and Southern Solano County (Vallejo). This repeater is also equipped with an Echolink node. See below for additional details
- 440.050 This is a digital system, (D-Star module-B) also located on Mt. Veeder. This repeater can only be accessed by using D-Star compatible equipment. See Icom America’s website for more information.
If you currently have D-Star equipment, or are contemplating buying it, you will need to register before you can use some administrative features of this or any other D-Star repeater. You should register with the gateway nearest your home address.
Registration is free, quick and easy and once you are registered you can use any D-Star gateway. To register send an email to the repeater trustee, W6BIS. Be sure to include your full name, address, current amateur call sign, and email address. Please note: It is important that users register with only one gateway! If you are not sure of your registration status, check status here.
A complete directory of D-Star repeaters can be found at http://www.dstarusers.org
The W6CO Dstar system uses Dplus software. We are often linked to one of the popular reflectors for extended coverage. The Western Reflector, REF014 provides nearly seamless coverage from the northern Sacramento Valley to Bakersfield. Linking functions are available to all registered users.
To enhance coverage the 441.800 repeater is normally linked full time to the 147.18 repeater located on Mt. Veeder. It is also linked to the 441.900 repeater on Mt St Helena. This is necessary because the UHF transmitters are equipped with directional antennas to mitigate interference to PAVEPAWS in the Sacramento Valley.
This architecture permits continuous coverage from all the Valley communities. The link connections can be reconfigured using DTMF codes for special operations. To manually configure the system, see the code matrix below:
The Remote Base
The Remote Base is located on the Valley floor at the 441.800 control point. Users can operate the RB to link to several nearby VHF repeaters. All functions use DTMF via the 441.800 repeater. (Locations in BOLD are linked)
|Mt Veeder 441.800 pl 151.4||Mt Veeder 147.180 pl 91.5||St Helena147.180 pl 151.4||St Helena 441.900 pl 151.4||Remote BaseOff|
Code 433 – This is the normal configuration. Use this configuration for Wednesday night nets.
|Mt Veeder 441.800 pl 151.4||Mt Veeder147.180 pl 91.5||St Helena147.180 pl 151.4||St Helena441.900 pl 151.4||Remote Base St Helena VHF|
Code 432 – Mt St Helena VHF repeater linked via the remote base for Monday Night Nets. (Santa Rosa coverage)
|Mt Veeder 441.800 pl 151.4||Mt Veeder 147.180 pl 91.5||St Helena147.180 pl 151.4||St Helena441.900 pl 151.4||Remote Base Vallejo – K6LI|
REMOTE BASE CONTROL CODES TO TURN ON A CHANNEL:
The DTMF codes listed below will link the W6CO 441.800 repeater to the indicated Repeater or Simplex Channel.
|DTMF CODE||REPEATER OR SIMPLEX CHANNEL||LOCATION||NOTE 1||RECEIVE FREQUENCY||NOTE 2|
|440||W6BYS||Sugarloaf||PL 100Hz||146.82||-0.6 mHz|
|441||W6BYS||Mt St Helena||PL 151.4||146.82|
Note: 433 Returns system to the normal state:
(441.800, 147.180 Mt.Veeder and 441.900 Mt.St>Helena linked together)
If you put up a link, please restore to normal when you are finished by dialing 433, Thank you.
Echolink node 70359 is part of the 441.800 repeater system.
This node is open to all licensed operators anywhere in the world.
This node operates 24/7 but some features are restricted during nighttime
hours (11PM until 7AM)
During the day, Conferencing is enabled permitting multiple
stations to connect at any time. This permits several operators from
other cities to talk to a visitor here in Napa. For example, Joe WB0XYZ
is visiting us from Des Moines. He can talk to his friends back home
using nothing but a handheld radio or his mobile. If he knows of an Echolink node near Des Moines he can dial it himself by keying in (DTMF) #nnnnn
where # tells the repeater to pass the following tones and nnnnn is the
actual node number he wants to enable. A list of active node numbers
can be found at
If Joe doesn’t know of a node back home, his friends can
bring up our system by enabling node 70359 from their home system, link or
keyboard. It also possible to use a smart phone such as an Android, or iPhone with an EchoLink APP. These usually sound extremely good once adjusted but use a proxy to connect. See your “setup menu” or use the echolink URL above for more information.
During daytime hours, DTMF is also enabled so remote users
can use the links shown above. When Joe is finished with his conversation he
can disconnect the link by keying #73 or he can ask his remote contact to do
it for him.
Local repeater users can talk to anyone they hear on the
Echolink system in exactly the same way they talk to other repeater users.
You may notice that when Echolink is enabled, the local courtesy tone
disappears. It is not necessary to wait for the carrier to drop to respond.
The repeater will reset when either party unkeys. Timers are set for 7
minutes so if you time it out it had better be a great story!
During Nighttime hours conferencing and DTMF features are
disabled and all connected activity is recorded.
SmartPhone users can download an APP to permit echolink use from anywhere they have wireless access or 4G service. Fairly intuitive to install and operate and the audio almost always sounds outstanding. TIP: in your setup, connect through a proxy-server. It usually makes connections simpler.
Some additional control codes. Use DTMF on 441.800/446.800
precede all commands with the # sign
|DTMF Code||What it Does|
|73||Disconnects current station|
|99||Disconnects all stations|
|86||Disables the node|
|68||Restores the node|
|*||Plays system information|
|06||Announces node number of connected station|
|07||Announces callsign of connected station|
|08||Announces status of node|
|09||Reconnects last station heard|
RACES responders: Feel free to disable the node at any time.
Keyboard users: How’s your audio? When you drop
in via Echolink will you sound good or bad? If you use the .99 cent
mike that came with your computer it will probably sound like it.
Would you settle for that kind of audio on your expensive dual band radio?
A perfectly acceptable microphone can be purchased for under $20 at a store
Please address comments or questions to N6XN (see the contacts tab)
73 and enjoy our system.