Going Uncoordinated in a Chaotic World – the 145.110 Repeater Coordination Saga

How relevant is Repeater Coordination when the coordinating entities fail to act in a timely manner?

As background:

A former local radio club had coordinated a 2m repeater here in Manitowoc, which had been located in their former club shack.  This 145.110 repeater had been coordinated through W.A.R. – the Wisconsin Association of Repeaters https://wi-repeaters.org/ and had been running happily for some years.  Like 10 plus years.

When the City of Manitowoc made it known that the club shack building was being repurposed the was obvious the repeater was going to be on the move, so I amended our existing coordination to a new site located where I work.  The displacement is a few blocks, elevation the same, antenna and gear the same.  Basically the repeater moved 5 football fields north.

While the new site was built-out to accommodate the club’s repeater but during this period of time WAR canceled the coordination!

They claim it was canceled because of a “lack of response to an email requesting an update.”

Eventually seeing a copy of the email it was a joke.

The “do or die” clause is at the tail end of a rambling message, none of which even seemed personalized.

Expectation is that it was actually bulk-emailed and obviously was intended to “get the matter off someone’s desk” rather than any concern that they might be working with an on the air repeater.

Zero follow up from WAR – no official mailing, postcard, or phone call. WAR never checked to see if the repeater was on the air.  They apparently didn’t feel it was worth their coordinator’s time to even do a direct email in follow up.

Simply they canceled the coordination, and they didn’t even send a notice that they did it.

In this period the club folded and I became the repeater “owner” as well as trustee.

Okay, so be it. One would think that reclaiming a just canceled coordination should be largely administrative and done in a week or so.

Because WAR had enough personnel and procedure change over, the new contact asked that I fill in an application so all the information could be updated at one time.

That was about six months ago and as of the end of July 2019 nothing has happened.

After much emailing to request an update I’ve been able to confirm that they have the application and are treating it as a “new coordination.”  Irritating as they screwed up the existing coordination, but again so  be it.

Remember they also are all volunteers, so that doesn’t always help timelines.

But in the six months the 145.110 hasn’t even gotten the status of being included in the WAR proposed list (last updated three months ago), and again they had to be repeatedly (pun intended) contacted to get any updates or even a confirmation that they had the paperwork.

Seems at last update that within six months of consideration their peer regional coordinators haven’t gotten back to WAR.

One would have thought WAR would have a deadline before they would take a default stance on coordination, presumably one that favors those hams WAR represents.

Not having a time deadline to peer coordinator’s responsive actions is inconsistent with WAR stance that if a repeater owner doesn’t respond WAR makes an assumption to drop their coordination.

So WAR takes definitive action in absence of information in one area of policy, and then all but rolls over dead with WAR inaction when their peer organizations fail to respond? Come on.

The planned upgrade of the 145.110 repeater to use the Yaesu Fusion WIRES-X system had been delayed by WAR’s inaction, as it would be easier to make any frequency pair transitions on the bench rather than while operating.

As the 145.110 repeater has been in full operation throughout the WAR coordination saga, as it had been for over a decade, and as zero reports of repeater interference had either come directly or via WAR, the importance of WAR’s letting us down may be more emotional than practical.

As soon as possible the new gear is going in place and the repeater will gain the added features.

If WAR ever gets around to approving the re-application for this repeater, great, but I do know they have been fully appraised that the 145.110 is in operation continuing to provide service to the Manitowoc radio amateurs.

If they coordinate on top of the 145.110 we will deal with it at that point.  Given that 2m repeaters are pulled out of service at a higher rate than set up new that is remote.

Back to relevance, in a day and age where a VEC group can administer licensing exams where the newly licensed receive their calls in a week, where commercial commerce licenses – even with high qualifications and review standards – typically take less than a month, where one can have their blood drawn to receive the test results later the same day, does an archaic 6-12 month process to re-coordinate an existing repeater have any relevance?

BTW at the same time the club’s other 2m repeater paperwork was sent in, as a new club had assumed responsibility for that repeater.  Because the updates were limited to internal WAR updating they were completed within two months.  So it seems the majority of my repeater’s delay is WAR’s peer level coordinating entities combined with a lack of WAR setting an action deadline for these peers.

73

Steve
K9ZW

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