The principals of the KS-DMR group have been discussing ways to simplify subscriber unit programming for the repeaters and talkgroups that are carried on the system. It was immediately realized that we can do a better job of re-using repeater frequency pairs. As of the morning of April 1, 2019 there were 12 KS-DMR repeater frequencies and three talkgroups per repeater, which means there must be 36 channels programmed into a subscriber unit to fully utilize KS-DMR. The engineering team decided that we can probably consolidate down to five frequency pairs for the entire state. The end result is that you would only need to program 15 channels into a subscriber unit to fully use KS-DMR, which is great because many radios only allow 16 channels per zone. Yes, someday soon you will be able to have the entire statewide network (except for a few VHF DMR repeaters) loaded into one zone.
Today the process of re-tuning repeaters began. Hays West, which was on 444.000 has moved to 444.750, the same frequency as Minneapolis. Be sure to update your radios. Soon, the Hays East repeater will switch to 444.9875, which is also used by El Dorado. There will be additional re-tunes and new repeaters coming over the next year. The really cool thing about this is that once the re-tune is complete, any new repeaters that come online will also be part of the re-use plan, and you should never have to re-program your radios to accommodate a new repeater. We expect this re-tune to be complete by the end of 2019.
July 5, 2019 Edit: The following repeaters have all been re-tuned:
- Topeka (already moved to 444.9875)
- Manhattan KSU (already moved to 444.375)
- Paola (already moved to 444.475)
- Basehor (already moved to 444.750)
- Lawrence (already moved to 444.375)
- Hays West (already moved to 444.750)
- Logan (was analog, now DMR on 444.475)
- Hays East (already moved to 444.9875)
- McPherson (already moved to 444.800 Color Code 1)
- Lecompton (already moved to 444.475)
All KS-DMR repeaters will utilize Color Code 1 once this re-tune is completed.
And yes, to be quite frank, we know this process will be a pain in the ass for a while. The repeater technicians will be busy re-programming repeaters, re-tuning duplexers, and re-programming all of their radios for this change. We feel your pain, please be aware that we’re feeling it too. But when this re-tune is complete, it should be the last time you have to re-program your subscriber units for any KS-DMR repeater, now or in the future. This re-tune also minimizes impact to analog repeaters, because we will be vacating frequencies which have analog repeaters as co-channel neighbors.
The re-tune is complete as of July 5, 2019.