Watt's New - Past Articles


The Watt's New articles serve to keep you abreast of what has been going on around the C.A.R.L.A. Network. Feel free to browse our archive of past Watt's New articles as well.

On this page:

  • CARLA 32 Reserved this Saturday
  • CARLA 32 Reserved this Saturday
  • CARLA 26 Transmit Issue
  • Internet connectivity restored at System 5
  • Carla 4 back on A/C
  • VACA HUB is Out Of Service
  • CARLA 26 On Battery Back-Up
  • CARLA 32 Repairs
  • CARLA 29 Receive Issue
  • CARLA 21 OOS
  • System 32 added to the CARLA Network
  • CARLA 7 back on the Network
  • CARLA 7 taken OFF Network
  • CARLA 7 taken OFF Network
  • CARLA 2 Main link is repaired
  • CARLA 21 On the Air
  • CARLA 14 On Battery back-up
  • CARLA 12 Issues
  • CARLA 12 & 36 updates
  • CARLA 12 Local Pl disabled
  • CARLA 4 On Battery Back-up
  • CARLA 2 Main link has been disabled
  • CARLA 13 & Shasta area back on network
  • EchoIRLP is UP
  • CARLA 18 transmitter issues
  • CARLA 14 repairs and upgrades
  • Shasta region outage
  • CARLA 2 reserved this Sunday
  • CARLA 20 Back On the Air
  • CARLA 33 Off link
  • CARLA 20 OOS
  • On Battery at System 4
  • Notice: CARLA 35 PL tones changed
  • CARLA 18 On Battery back-up
  • CARLA 18 On Battery back-up
  • CARLA 23 back on network
  • Shasta Ring back on-line, CARLA 6/36 as well
  • CARLA 6/36 OOS...
  • Link to/from Shasta Ring is OOS.
  • CARLA 23 (Reno/Tahoe) Link OOS
  • CARLA 14 Back On the Air
  • CARLA 14 OOS
  • CARLA 35 Reserved Sunday Morning 10-28-12
  • CARLA 19 / 35 Reserved for Firetrails 50 Run Saturday Oct. 13th
  • CARLA 2 Reserved for Nike Marathon Sunday Oct. 14
  • CARLA 18 on Battery Backup Power
  • CARLA 25 back on the air
  • Network noise identified & fix implemented
  • CARLA 33 Link OOS
  • Nevada ring on back-up link
  • Shasta Hub repaired
  • Shasta Hub issues
  • Nevada Ring link circuit restored
  • CARLA 14 (Cisco Butte) reserved this Friday & Sunday
  • Transmitter at 25 Shasta Bally down
  • Shasta Hub repaired
  • CARLA 2 Reserved this Sunday
  • CARLA 35 (VHF) is off the air
  • Primary Hub repaired
  • Primary Central California Hub problem.
  • CARLA 21 OOS
  • CARLA 8 Links are Operational
  • CARLA 24 back on air
  • Problems at 8 and 24
  • 2011: The Year in Review
  • Reserved network traffic for this Thursday
  • CARLA 12 Is Operational
  • CARLA 12 OOS
  • CARLA 8 & 29 Links are Operational
  • CARLA 8 & 29 Links are OOS
  • CARLA 16 Operational
  • Link audio repaired
  • CARLA 16 OOS
  • System 17 Transmitter failure (In Service)- Update #2
  • Scheduled power outage at CARLA 14
  • CARLA 5 reserved this Sunday
  • VACA HUB is back In Service
  • VACA HUB is Out Of Service
  • CARLA 2 Reserved Sunday Oct 16, 2011
  • Lee, N6MIV (SK)
  • EchoIRLP Node 1 Upgraded
  • System 18 Transmitter Repaired
  • System 9 Maintenance & Upgrades
  • System 18 Transmitter Failure
  • CARLA 36
  • CARLA 2 reserved Sunday
  • System 29 on the air
  • VACA HUB is Out Of Service
  • System 35, 146.850(-) repeater, added to CARLA
  • CARLA needs YOUR support!
  • Jeopardy of losing UHF bands
  • Carla 13 on battery power
  • 2010: The Year in Review
  • Network 'Lock-Up' issue resolved
  • Echolink audio restored
  • Controller resets at Mt. Vaca Hub
  • Echolink audio issues
  • Wireline link to Shasta is OOS-using back-up.
  • CARLA 20 OOS
  • CARLA 5 offline this Sunday
  • Nevada connectivity & audio issues >>UPDATED
  • CARLA 7 OOS
  • CARLA 28 on the air
  • CARLA 25 changes
  • CARLA 27 added to the network
  • CARLA 10 OOS
  • CARLA 20 back on-line
  • CARLA 15 Back on line
  • C.A.R.L.A. Celebrates 25 Years
  • CARLA 12 OOS
  • CARLA 26 integrated into the network
  • CARLA 20 OOS
  • CARLA 3 back on link
  • CARLA 19 Link is OOS
  • CARLA 15 Link is OOS
  • CARLA 25 scheduled power outage
  • It's that time again..for support
  • 2009 in review...what's new for 2010
  • Echo-IRLP node OOS.
  • Link to OC is OOS
  • CARLA 3 LINK OOS
  • C.A.R.L.A. 3/6/10 Restored to Service
  • CARLA 9 off line
  • Echolink changes
  • Nevada hub on back-up link to network
  • C.A.R.L.A. 3 back on the network
  • Issues with CARLA 3, 6 & 9
  • CARLA 5 Work/Testing 11/21
  • CARLA 22 Link restored
  • CARLA 22 link OOS.
  • Link to Oregon back up
  • CARLA 5 off network this Sunday (10-25-09)
  • Systems being affected this coming weekend
  • Current storm conditions; Tuesday 10-13-09
  • Recent changes, upgrades and network status
  • CARLA 6 LINK PL Change
  • CARLA 3 Link changes
  • CARLA 6 Upgrades completed
  • CARLA 6 & 3 upgrades
  • Upgrades to CARLA 8 are completed
  • CARLA 8 Link PL changes to 151.4 Hz
  • CARLA 8 upgrades
  • Echo-IRLP Node down
  • 2 new systems for beta testing
  • Network status
  • C.A.R.L.A. May/June 2009 wrap up
  • Oregon Connection testing completed
  • Update on PAVE PAWS for April, 2009
  • Spring 2009 Roundup
  • C.A.R.L.A. links with the Oregon Connection
  • PAVE PAWS and its effect on the C.A.R.L.A. Network
  • Christmas 2008 Roundup
  • How I Spent My Memorial Day Weekend - 2008
  • CARLA Comes Full Circle in 2006
  • CARLA meets Mrs. Doubtfire
    CARLA 32 Reserved this Saturday
    Last updated on June 25, 2014 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    CARLA 32 will be reserved for local use only during the Devil's Slide event on the San Mateo Coast.


    CARLA 32 Reserved this Saturday
    Last updated on June 25, 2014 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    CARTLA 32 will be reserved for local use only during the Devil's Slide event on the San Mateo Coast.


    CARLA 26 Transmit Issue
    Last updated on June 14, 2014 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The main transmitter at Carla 26 has lost its output power. It has been removed for repairs.
    This repeater links 3 into the Carla system and is still performing that function at this time.

    No ETR on the main transmitter yet.


    Internet connectivity restored at System 5
    Last updated on June 1, 2014 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The internet connectivity at the East Bay Hills site has been restored.
    Both EchoIRLP Node 1 and the Shasta Link are now working again.
    The Shasta ring repeaters can once again communicate with the rest of the Carla system.


    Carla 4 back on A/C
    Last updated on May 25, 2014 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    A recent site power outage took out the power supply at the Carla 4 site.
    The power supply at Carla 4 has been replaced and the site is now back on full A/C power.



    VACA HUB is Out Of Service
    Last updated on May 23, 2014 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    VACA HUB is Out Of Service

    The Mt. Vaca Hub controller is OOS (Out Of Service). This means MOST of the Central California & SF Bay Area systems are NOT able to LINK to each other at this time as well as to/from other hub rings in the network.

    Link paths & Hubs that are still working include:

    -All machines on the Shasta ring will talk to each other via CARLA 13's hub.
    -All machines on the Nevada ring will talk to each other via CARLA 18's hub.
    -CARLA 33 & 32 will talk to each other.
    -CARLA 3 & 26 will talk to each other.
    -CARLA 4 & 19 will talk to each other.
    -The Shasta & Nevada rings are isolated and will not talk to each other.

    More updates as they become available.



    CARLA 26 On Battery Back-Up
    Last updated on April 2, 2014 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    CARLA 26 (Geyser Peak) is currently on battery back up. The generator failed to start and PG&E is
    still trying to find the problem.


    CARLA 32 Repairs
    Last updated on March 10, 2014 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    This last weekend another trip was made to CARLA 32’s site to finish up several loose ends and work
    on the interference issue that was causing noise on the network and NB Link. We believe the problem
    has been rectified and everything is working at peak performance. All links have been normalized.
    Pictures have also been posted on the CARLA Website Picture Gallery at:

    http://www.carlaradio.net/community/pictures/gallery/


    CARLA 29 Receive Issue
    Last updated on February 26, 2014 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    Carla 29 is not responding to either local or link PL so users in the San Luis Obisbo area will not
    be able to talk into it.
    It is still transmitting incoming link traffic so users in the area can still monitor the Carla
    system. No ETR yet.


    CARLA 21 OOS
    Last updated on February 18, 2014 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The AC power to the site went off and the system has been on battery backup for several days.
    The main and link transmitters have been turned off until a site visit can determine the issue and
    get the site site power restored.

    Addendum- Site power has been restored but the battery charger has fried. A new charger is on order
    and will be replaced soon.



    System 32 added to the CARLA Network
    Last updated on January 23, 2014 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    We are pleased to announce the latest addition to CARLA for 2014.

    System 32 located on the San Mateo coast above Pacifica on Montara Mountain.

    Frequency & PL information:
    440.725+
    Local PL: 114.8Hz
    Link PL: 167.9Hz

    System 32 now offers solid coverage in many coastal towns of San Mateo County as well as much needed
    coverage into western and southern parts of San Francisco/surrounding areas and into Marin County
    along the coast up through Pt. Reyes National Seashore and parts north into Sonoma County.
    There is also some coverage in the Monterey Bay Area as well as the San Francisco Bay Area.

    CARLA 32 along with 10, 29, 33 & 3 help to bring coverage to many parts of the Northern California
    coastline. These areas can easily get cut off during natural disasters and severe weather and these
    systems will help to keep communications working into and out of those regions.

    This site is also a new relay point for CARLA 33 to access the rest of the network. The previous
    path from CARLA 3 to 33 would suffer from fading at times due to non line-of-sight between the two
    sites. Now the link path is much more solid, despite being 100+ miles long, and eventually we will
    create a ring using the original link path (CARLA 33 <-> 3 <-> 26 <-> 16) as a back-up in case the
    new path were to fail for some reason.

    We will also have the ability to link CARLA 32 with CARLA 2 and/or 33 exclusively and off the rest
    of the network for special events and situations.

    Be sure to check the system out from the San Mateo coastline just in time for the Mavericks
    Invitational surfing competition.



    CARLA 7 back on the Network
    Last updated on October 29, 2013 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    CARLA 7 (San Jose, Low level) is back on the network. It was having issues due to its PL Detect being
    stuck active causing it to behave as if it was in COR only mode, which allowed its TX to blip with any
    garbage on the COR line.


    CARLA 7 taken OFF Network
    Last updated on October 26, 2013 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    CARLA 7 (San Jose, Low level) has been taken off the network until we can determine why it keeps
    falsing out the link. ETR/Update will next week sometime (last week of October).


    CARLA 7 taken OFF Network
    Last updated on October 26, 2013 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    CARLA 7 (San Jose, Low level) has been taken off the network until we can determine why it keeps
    falsing out the link. ETR/Update will next week sometime (last week of October).


    CARLA 2 Main link is repaired
    Last updated on October 26, 2013 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The main link at CARLA 2 has been repaired. CARLA 2 is once again part of the network.


    CARLA 21 On the Air
    Last updated on October 21, 2013 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    We are pleased to announce the re-commissioning of CARLA 21 (440.750+) in Reno.

    This repeater has been off the air for almost 1.5 years and we finally ended up moving it to a new
    site on Lower Peavine Peak. The new site is at 8,000’ which is about 2,500’ higher than the previous
    site on Red Peak.

    Coverage is similar to the previous site but additionally it sees a longer way out Interstate 80 both
    to the West & East. There is some shadowing directly below the peak in the Sun Valley area and in
    building penetration may not be as good in some places as it was and yet better in other spots.

    A big thanks goes out to all parties involved with making this happen with such short notice and
    getting it installed before the snows hit.



    CARLA 14 On Battery back-up
    Last updated on August 24, 2013 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    CARLA 14, Cisco Grove, is on battery back as of 09:30 Saturday August 24th. PG&E was performing some
    work on the lines and may have tripped the main breaker. ETR: possibly Monday, 8-26-2013


    CARLA 12 Issues
    Last updated on August 20, 2013 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    CARLA 12 (Pleasanton) is still experiencing issues with the main receiver and both PLs.
    Consequently, the main transmitter has been disabled pending a site visit to troubleshoot the issues.


    CARLA 12 & 36 updates
    Last updated on August 14, 2013 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    CARLA 12 (Pleasanton) has the Local PL option re-enabled. Some adjustments were made to mitigate the
    problem that caused the temporary disabling of the local PL operation.

    CARLA 36 (Willows/Stonyford) had some repairs and upgrades performed this last weekend including
    improvements in filtering, receive sensitivity, reduction of noise from loose tower hardware, antenna
    re-alignment, Link & Local courtesy tone operation, firmware upgrades and corrected controller
    announcements over the link. Other minor repairs and adjustments were performed as well.



    CARLA 12 Local Pl disabled
    Last updated on August 6, 2013 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The Local PL operation on the repeater has been disabled until we can troubleshoot a desense/lock up
    problem. ETR: by 8-11-13


    CARLA 4 On Battery Back-up
    Last updated on July 19, 2013 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    CARLA 4 is on Battery back up as of Friday July 18 @ ~8am. Please keep traffic on the network to a
    minimum and use local PL's whenever possible to conserve battery power. Thanks.


    CARLA 2 Main link has been disabled
    Last updated on July 9, 2013 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The main link for CARLA 2 has been disabled due to operational issues that was causing it to not go
    through the main hub correctly and subsequently only being heard on nearby repeaters. A site visit is
    being scheduled to effect repairs. ETR is 1-2 weeks.


    CARLA 13 & Shasta area back on network
    Last updated on July 4, 2013 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The controller at CARLA 13 (Shasta Lake) has been replaced.
    The repeater is now operational as well as the Shasta area hub (which links CARLA 20, 25 & 28
    together) and link to the Oregon Connection.



    EchoIRLP is UP
    Last updated on June 22, 2013 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The EchoIRLP Node 1 has been repaired and audio is now working both directions on both
    Echolink and IRLP.



    CARLA 18 transmitter issues
    Last updated on June 18, 2013 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The transmitter power output has been intermittent recently and may drop to little or no output at
    times. We are planning a site visit to make repairs soon however, no ETR as of yet.


    CARLA 14 repairs and upgrades
    Last updated on June 16, 2013 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    This weekend CARLA 14 had the following improvements performed:

    -Permanent mounting of Repeater antenna and re-running of transmission line on new tower extension.

    -Replacement of older repeater controller with newer model (S-com 7330), re-programming and
    enhancements enabled.

    -Replacement of batteries with larger Amp-hour capacity.

    -Re-routing onto 'preferred power' circuit with generator back-up.

    This leaves only CARLA 9 & 33 as the last two systems in the entire network that are slated for
    controller upgrades and improvements.


    Shasta region outage
    Last updated on June 16, 2013 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The controller at CARLA 13 (Shasta Lake) is OOS (Out Of Service) which in turn has caused an
    interruption in service at CARLA 13 as well as the regional hub and the link to the Oregon
    Connection.

    We are currently trying to ascertain what equipment resources we have available to use as a
    replacement and when that can be effected. There is no ETR as of yet.

    Currently this is the state of things in the Shasta Region:

    CARLA 13- OOS
    SHASTA HUB- OOS
    Link to OC- OOS
    Link to CARLA Network- OOS
    CARLA 20,25,28- Operational with stand alone/local repeater coverage ONLY

    More details to follow as we get them.

    Sorry for the inconvenience.




    CARLA 2 reserved this Sunday
    Last updated on May 16, 2013 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    This coming Sunday, May 19th, CARLA 2 (442.075, San Francisco) will be reserved exclusively for use by the American Red Cross during the Bay to Breakers event. This will be the 102nd running of the race this year.

    Please refrain from using CARLA 2 anytime on Sunday before 6pm as they will be running a support net for the event.


    Thank you.



    CARLA 20 Back On the Air
    Last updated on May 13, 2013 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The main repeater antenna and heavy duty harware have been re-installed on the tower and tested. Coverage has been restored to the region.


    CARLA 33 Off link
    Last updated on May 1, 2013 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    CARLA 33 is off the network backbone while
    upgrades are made to the link path.
    ETR is June 2013.
    This should improve the signal quality of
    the link path.

    Thank you for your patience.


    CARLA 20 OOS
    Last updated on April 3, 2013 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The Main repeater antenna at CARLA 20 (Burney) has fallen off the tower due to the mounting pipe snapping from excessive wind and ice loading. We have shut off the transmitter but the receiver is still active. ETR: May 2013.



    On Battery at System 4
    Last updated on March 27, 2013 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    A field team is being dispatched today to resolve the power issue at System 4. Until it is resolved, we ask that all users be conscientious of any traffic between the field team and the Network Operations Center, and to please yield the air. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation.

    Sincerely,
    The C.A.R.L.A. Team



    Notice: CARLA 35 PL tones changed
    Last updated on March 6, 2013 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    Due to ongoing interference issues, CARLA has changed both of the PL tones associated with the CARLA 35 repeater. The new PL tones are listed below.

    Link PL: 162.2
    Local PL: 103.5 (also the output PL)


    CARLA 18 On Battery back-up
    Last updated on February 14, 2013 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    CARLA 18 (Topaz Lake, NV.) is on battery back-up power since 2-13-13 at 9:45am. The Nevada RRFT is en-route to try and assess situation. Please keep all link traffic to a bare minimum.

    Thanks.


    CARLA 18 On Battery back-up
    Last updated on February 14, 2013 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    CARLA 18 (Topaz Lake, NV.) is on battery back-up power since 2-13-13 at 9:45am. The Nevada RRFT is en-route to try and assess situation. Please keep all link traffic to a bare minimum.

    Thanks.


    CARLA 23 back on network
    Last updated on January 19, 2013 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The Nevada division of the RRFT (Rapid Response Field Team) made a trip to the very snowy and cold site for CARLA 23 (Reno/Tahoe) to assess the problem with the link. As suspected, the link antenna suffered a fatal blow and was so obliterated that the only thing left was the steel mounting base. A second trip was made to effect repairs that should sustain it for the rest of the winter until we can drive up there and make permanent repairs in the summer. We now have better (linked) coverage in the greater Reno/Sparks and Tahoe areas.


    Shasta Ring back on-line, CARLA 6/36 as well
    Last updated on December 23, 2012 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    Power has been restored to CARLA 13's site and therefore the Shasta Ring is back on line with the rest of the network.

    CARLA 6 & 36 are also back on line. Batteries have been charged enough from solar and/or wind generation to come back up to working voltage.


    CARLA 6/36 OOS...
    Last updated on December 23, 2012 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    CARLA 6(UHF) & 36(VHF) [Willows] are Out Of Service from depleted battery reserves due to extended periods of little/no sunshine at this solar site.

    Other systems have cycled on/off of back-up battery power during the current storms.

    PLEASE BE COGNIZANT OF THE NEED TO KEEP IDLE TRAFFIC TO A MINIMUM DURING ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS SO AS TO NOT DEPLETE BATTERY RESERVES FURTHER AND KEEP THE NETWORK AVAILABLE FOR CRITICAL COMMUNICATIONS AND VARIOUS AGENCIES/DEPARTMENTS THAT ARE MONITORING.

    Thank You.


    Link to/from Shasta Ring is OOS.
    Last updated on December 21, 2012 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    An extended power outage has exhausted back-up battery power feeding Telco/LAN facilities at CARLA 13. This has caused the associated Shasta Ring (CARLA 13,20,25,28 & OC Link) to become isolated from the rest of the network to the south.

    As far as we know CARLA 13 and Hub are still on battery back-up power.

    PG&E has no ETR as of 1pm on Friday 12-21-22.
    PG&E has no ETR as of 9:30am on Sunday 12-23-22.


    CARLA 23 (Reno/Tahoe) Link OOS
    Last updated on December 4, 2012 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The link path to/from CARLA 23 (Reno/Tahoe) is severely degraded and will be shut off until an assessment and subsequent repairs can be effected. We suspect heavy ice/snow loading and winds may have caused a problem with the link antenna. Local operation remains in effect.

    CARLA 21 (Reno) is currently still off the air.

    The only (linked) system that will cover parts of Reno is CARLA 24 (Carson City).

    CARLA 8 (Lake Tahoe/Meyers) is still up and will cover the Tahoe basin and is also currently acting as the back-up link site to the Nevada hub.

    More details as they come in.


    CARLA 14 Back On the Air
    Last updated on November 15, 2012 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    Today the tower crew was able to re-mount the primary repeater antenna for us just in time for the next snow storm to come through.


    CARLA 14 OOS
    Last updated on November 8, 2012 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    CARLA 14 is Out Of Service due to the primary antenna being removed for tower modifications. Timing on this is unfortunate due to current snow falling and the potential for restricted access. There is no ETR as of yet but we will try to make restoral a priority since it is the only system that covers the 80 corridor through the Sierra's.


    CARLA 35 Reserved Sunday Morning 10-28-12
    Last updated on October 25, 2012 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    CARLA 35, [146.850, 114.8] (East Bay Hills), will be taken off the network and used in LOCAL MODE ONLY for a race event in Lafayette this Sunday morning the 28th of October.

    Approximate time frame is from 6am to 11am. During that period please refrain from using it unless it is urgent or you are participating in the net for the event.

    Thank You.



    CARLA 19 / 35 Reserved for Firetrails 50 Run Saturday Oct. 13th
    Last updated on October 10, 2012 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    This coming Saturday Oct 13th, CARLA 19 and CARLA 35 will be in use by the Dick Collins Firetrails 50 & Golden Hills Trail
    Marathon event in the East Bay.

    Please refrain from using CARLA 19 (443.325, Hayward) and CARLA 35 (146.850, Oakland) anytime on Saturday
    before 9pm unless you are involved with their net/operations.

    Thank you for your understanding.


    CARLA 2 Reserved for Nike Marathon Sunday Oct. 14
    Last updated on October 10, 2012 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    This coming Sunday Oct 14th, CARLA 2 will be reserved exclusively for use by the American Red Cross during the Nike Marathon event in San Francisco.

    Please refrain from using CARLA 2 (442.075, San Francisco) anytime on Sunday before 6pm unless you are involved with their net/operations. The system will have the Link PL disabled for Local operation only.

    Thank you for your understanding.



    CARLA 18 on Battery Backup Power
    Last updated on September 21, 2012 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    Due to a fire near the CARLA 18 site in The Lake Topaz Nevada area,
    the grid power to the site has shut down. The CARLA 18 repeater
    will likely be on battery power for a couple of days. Please use
    the CARLA system mindfully during this time. -CARLA


    CARLA 25 back on the air
    Last updated on September 9, 2012 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    After severe damage/destruction to all antennas from previous winters was noted, CARLA 25 was shut down during the summer and new antennas, coax, hardware, etc... were installed and the site is back up on the air.

    It took a 5 man crew to complete the first phase of work which included removing all old antennas (what was left of them), their coax runs, hardware, etc... and then install brand new antennas on a different tower along with all new heavy duty mounting hardware and new 7/8" Heliax coax runs.

    The second phase of this project will consist of finishing the painting of all coax runs & hardware (per NPS specs) and some link antenna alignments at both CARLA 25 & 13's sites. The link to CARLA 25 will also be "Re-homed" to the Shasta Hub where it will be part of the Shasta Ring of repeaters (13,20,25,28). It will also act as a back-up RF relay site connecting the Shasta Hub to the Vaca Hub in case we of a wireline failure to CARLA 13's Hub and give us the capability to swing it to either Hub for special applications.

    It took a lot of planning, thousands of dollars in new equipment, a 5 man crew and a very long morning, day & evening on site in addition to at least an 8 hour roundtrip of driving for most people to get the system back up and operational in its current state.

    Coverage is back up to par (with reduced power due to the PAVE PAWS/BAFB restrictions) and currently linked into the Vaca Hub until phase two of the project is completed.

    A special "Thanks" goes out to all the individuals that helped make this happen!


    Network noise identified & fix implemented
    Last updated on September 9, 2012 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The CARLA network is in a diagnostic mode while we try and narrow down where some noise is coming from. Most systems will announce their system number over the link at the end of every key-up on the main repeater. This is a temporary troubleshooting mode which we hope to be able to turn off soon.

    Update 2012-09-07: At this time we believe that the noise issue has been identified and a temporary fix applied. Therefore we have cleared the diag mode from the system, which means that the system number announcements will no longer be heard. The cooperation of all users of the system during this time has been appreciated.


    CARLA 33 Link OOS
    Last updated on September 3, 2012 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The main link at CARLA 33's site (Gualala) has been temporarily shut off while we figure out an audio path issue at CARLA 3's site (which feeds 33). This is the new dedicated link that was recently installed but is having a problem passing audio Southbound from CARLA 3 to 33. Once we figure out what the problem is we will advise.


    Nevada ring on back-up link
    Last updated on August 22, 2012 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    Due to some problems on the new wireline circuit feeding the Nevada ring (at CARLA 18's site), there has been a lot of falsing of the PTT circuit which in turn was creating a lot of kerchunks on the entire Nevada ring (CARLA 18,21,22,23,24). We've bypassed the circuit and reverted to the back-up RF link in the interim. Please keep in mind there is some added delay on the back-up link so leave enough time after you key up before speaking so you don't cut off your first word(s). The local repeater at CARLA 18 may still experience the problem (kerchunks) but the rest of the ring should not.


    Shasta Hub repaired
    Last updated on July 29, 2012 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The RRFT (Rapid Response Field Team) has effected repairs to the Shasta Hub located at CARLA 13 today. The Hub RX link radio has been replaced along with a new fan unit. CARLA 20 & 28 are back on-line with the rest of the network.


    Shasta Hub issues
    Last updated on July 25, 2012 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The Shasta Hub is experiencing a link problem which is not allowing CARLA 20(Burney) and 28(McCLoud) to be heard on the rest of the network. Both those sites will work in local mode and can hear the network traffic but can not be heard on the link. No ETR as of yet.


    Nevada Ring link circuit restored
    Last updated on June 22, 2012 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The wireline backhaul circuit that the Nevada Hub was on in previous years has been restored. This is what connects the Nevada Ring to the rest of the network. We have switched off the back-up RF link and turned on the new wireline link. The audio is cleaner and the delays have been reduced. The RF back-up link will remain in standby mode in case the wireline circuit fails.




    CARLA 14 (Cisco Butte) reserved this Friday & Sunday
    Last updated on June 20, 2012 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    CARLA 14 (443.4750+, Cisco Butte) will be reserved for an event this Friday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm. Please refrain from using the system if possible during those days and time frames if you hear local traffic.

    Thanks.


    Transmitter at 25 Shasta Bally down
    Last updated on June 13, 2012 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The main transmitter at Carla's Redding site 25 has been turned off after it was discovered
    on a recent trip to the area that it was weak and sputtering. It is still receiving and passing
    traffic out to the system but nothing will come out the main at this time. Carla 25 will remain
    in this state until a repair crew can get up there to assess/repair the system.

    Users in the area are requested to use CARLA 13 or CARLA 20 in the meantime.




    Shasta Hub repaired
    Last updated on June 13, 2012 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    Repairs have recently been made to the Shasta Hub transmitter located at CARLA 13. The Shasta area systems connected to the hub (CARLA 20, 28) are now receiving traffic from the rest of the network.


    CARLA 2 Reserved this Sunday
    Last updated on May 17, 2012 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    This coming Sunday, May 20th, CARLA 2 (442.075, San Francisco) will be reserved exclusively for use by the American Red Cross during the Bay to Breakers event. This will be the 101st running of the race this year.

    Please refrain from using CARLA 2 anytime on Sunday before 5pm as they will be running a support net for the event.


    Thank you.



    CARLA 35 (VHF) is off the air
    Last updated on May 14, 2012 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    CARLA's VHF system in the East Bay, System 35, is currently off the air. The VHF transmitter has been causing the UHF repeater at
    the site to key itself. During the first attempt to troubleshoot this issue the duplexer and pass bottle were found to be out of tune
    and were retuned. This helped the issue a great deal but it is still falsing the UHF. The field team will hopefully get back up to the
    site soon and continue looking into the issue.


    Primary Hub repaired
    Last updated on May 13, 2012 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    Today our Rapid Response Field Team was dispatched to the Primary Central California Hub site and effected repairs. The controller was replaced with a spare unit, re-programmed, firmware was updated, levels were adjusted and other functionality tested.

    A big thanks goes to the RRFT for spending Mother's day on site to get us back up and the network fully operational again.




    Primary Central California Hub problem.
    Last updated on May 12, 2012 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The primary Central California Hub controller on Mt. Vaca is resetting itself and experiencing technical difficulties. This is affecting the entire network to some degree and will not allow communications to other regions or systems when it resets or is unavailable. The Nevada Ring Hub & Shasta Ring Hub are functioning and working within their respective areas but will not communicate elsewhere because of the primary hub problem. There is no ETR as of yet.


    CARLA 21 OOS
    Last updated on April 28, 2012 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The repeater is in the process of being relocated from one shelter to another at the site.


    CARLA 8 Links are Operational
    Last updated on March 10, 2012 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The backup link at CARLA 8, that serves as the link between the Nevada ring
    and the rest of the system is back up and working. One of our Field Team members
    was able to make a trip to CARLA 8's site and effect repairs. Two link radios needed to be replaced.

    -CARLA


    CARLA 24 back on air
    Last updated on March 4, 2012 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    One of our Field Team members was able to make a trip to CARLA 24's site on Saturday and effect repairs to get the system back on the air.

    We are working on plans for a site visit to CARLA 8 in the near future to assess and hopefully make repairs there too.

    Thanks.


    Problems at 8 and 24
    Last updated on March 2, 2012 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The transmitter at CARLA 24 appears to be down. We suspect a failed PA. A field repair team is scheduled to visit the site in the next few days and attempt to effect repairs.

    The backup link at CARLA 8, that serves as the link between the Nevada ring and the rest of the system, appears also to be having a transmitter issue. Diagnostics are ongoing at this time.


    2011: The Year in Review
    Last updated on February 22, 2012 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink


    2011 was another busy year for CARLA. As with most years there were many accomplishments both obvious and behind the scenes.

    The following are highlights and some details of what happened in 2011.


    New systems installed:

    We saw the addition of three new systems to the CARLA network in 2011 including two on VHF.

    Some of these sites required multiple trips to complete the installation and subsequent modifications and fine tuning. The two VHF
    sites were much needed to fill in parts of the CARLA coverage area affected by Pave Paws on the 440 band.

    They include the following:

    CARLA 29 | San Luis Obisbo | 2,770' | 443.500+

    CARLA 35 | Oakland/East Bay | 1,500' | 146.850-

    CARLA 36 | Stonyford/Willows | 6,700' | 146.115+


    System changes, modifications, projects:

    -CARLA 4 had a major overhaul with a redesign to include a controller upgrade to an SCom 7330 to accommodate a second link for
    a clean hop to/from the 29 site. This included adding link radios, second link antenna and another coax run up the tower.

    -CARLA 6 (Snow Mt. Range/Stonyford-Willows) saw a VHF system installed and finalized at the site. There were several trips made
    just for that installation and optimization. We have to co-channel with several other systems on the pair and several people had
    (volunteered) to do quite a bit of drive testing all through the greater Sacramento Valley, Central Valley and Bay Area while we made
    adjustments to the power and antenna pattern.

    -CARLA 7 (San Jose) got a controller upgrade from the old SCom 7K to the newer SCom 7330 controller.

    -CARLA 8 (S. Lake Tahoe) went off the air in the dead of winter and isolated the Nevada hub from the rest of the system as a result.
    It took a one man field crew several hours to hike in and out on foot to effect repairs.

    - CARLA 9 has been using a different link frequency than the rest of the system to link in, and in 2011 it had its link path upgraded
    to use the system's main link pair.

    - CARLA 10 (St. Cruz Mts.) got a controller upgrade from the old SCom 7K to the newer SCom 7330 controller. It also had some
    work done on its power supply and main circuit breaker to make it more reliable.

    -CARLA 12 got a controller upgrade to the S-Com 7330. Later in the year it got a major power supply and battery overhaul when a
    surge blew a hole in the circuit board inside the power supply. The power supply was brought to the CARLA 'ICU' ward where
    delicate surgery with a dremel and soldering iron brought it back to life. Gotta love those Astrons!

    -Vaca HUB/16 had an issue with the RLC3 controller going into a reset loop often. As this was an intermittant issue it took several
    trips to troubleshoot. We ended up swapping the controller with a DSP404 in order to put the RLC3 on the bench and T/S it. After
    much testing/repair on the bench, the RLC3 was brought back up to the site and reinstalled.

    -CARLA17 was brought back to the lab and fitted with a new MSF-5000 and upgraded to an SCom 7330 controller. Also, the battery
    bank underwent a much needed rebuild from the ground up.

    -CARLA 18 (Topaz Lake, NV) had a PA go bad and needed changing out.

    -CARLA 20 (Burney) Needed its link antenna replaced AGAIN due to ice damage from the tower. That's two antenna replacements in
    two years. On a separate trip the repeater underwent repairs after it went off the air.

    -CARLA21 saw its battery charger burn up, requiring a trip to troubleshoot and a trip to replace it.

    -CARLA 25 had a crew go to the site for pre-winter damage assessment where it was determined that the link antenna mast had
    been tilted after being struck by falling ice from the tower above it. A subsequent repair trip was turned back just a few miles from
    the mountaintop by fresh snowfall on the access road.


    Website related changes, enhancements:

    -More pictures added to the gallery.

    -New system & site information published as they came on air.

    -Back-end database and GUI improvements & enhancements


    Other miscellaneous items:

    -This year we have integrated the CARLA callsign K6LNK into most of the repeaters in the system.

    -As always, we have a concurrent agenda to the steady maintenance, repairs and new build-outs which includes all kind of special
    projects, system upgrades & overhaul, local site (land lord requested) improvements & projects, website updates, programming
    enhancements, interference and performance issues needing investigation and resolution, finding a permanent resolution for the
    performance issues with the DSP-404 controllers we have deployed, etc, etc, etc...


    Future goals/sites:

    -Our main goal for 2012 is to cut back on growing the system so that we may focus our time and energies on trimming down many
    of the projects that have been piling up during the last couple of 'build out' years. As you can imagine, the list is quite large and it
    does keep growing even though we work concurrently on several tasks each year, even while putting in new systems at new sites.

    Even though we may be cutting back on new installs this year, it is possible that we will put one or two new sites on the air, possibly
    in the Eastern parts of the California/Sierras, or parts of Nevada or the North Coast of California.

    We are also working on our 900MHz system and integrating that into the rest of the network. We have experienced some technical
    issues along the way but "we are aware of the problem and working on it".

    We're two and half months into 2012 and have already been busy knocking out projects.

    We'd like to thank those individuals who have made all the above possible during the year. There's only a handful of people
    involved but the contribution and effect has always been enormous.



    Reserved network traffic for this Thursday
    Last updated on February 8, 2012 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The CARLA network may have some traffic for an exercise on Thursday between 12:00 & 17:00 hours. Please listen before using the system and try to keep conversations brief so as to keep the network available during the exercise.



    Thank you in advance for your help.





    CARLA 12 Is Operational
    Last updated on February 5, 2012 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    CARLA field personnel visited site 12 over the weekend and repaired a faulty power supply
    as well as performed much needed battery maintenance. CARLA 12 is now operational.


    CARLA 12 OOS
    Last updated on February 4, 2012 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    Difficulties were encountered with the temporary supply so the repeater is currently off the air. Repair is anticipated this weekend.


    CARLA 8 & 29 Links are Operational
    Last updated on January 28, 2012 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The main links for CARLA 8 (Lake Tahoe) & CARLA 29 (San Luis Obispo) are back in service.



    CARLA 8 & 29 Links are OOS
    Last updated on January 21, 2012 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The main links for CARLA 8 (Lake Tahoe) & CARLA 29 (San Luis Obispo) are down and Out of Service.

    CARLA 8 is still operational and linked to the Nevada ring via the back-up RF link.

    CARLA 29 is isolated but operational. The Northbound link traffic is actually working but inbound link traffic is not. The problem seems to be at CARLA 4's site.

    No ETR as of yet. Further troubleshooting and isolating is ongoing.


    CARLA 16 Operational
    Last updated on January 15, 2012 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    A field teams visited CARLA 16's site (Vacaville/Sacramento) today and worked on the PL issue along with a couple of other items that needed attention.

    The dual PL operation has been restored (Local & Link) and the repeater is now working on a new antenna scheme.

    We would appreciate any drive test reports from the field especially compared to what it was doing previously on the corner reflectors. In particular, we could use some data from the greater Sacramento area and north towards Marysville and in particular Beale Air Force Base. If someone wants to drive out to BAFB please contact us and we'll get you the area we have done a lot of our testing from for comparison.

    Thanks,
    The C.A.R.L.A. Team




    Link audio repaired
    Last updated on December 29, 2011 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    A controller at the Primary Hub site on Mt. Vaca has been replaced and audio paths have been re-aligned so levels across the link back-bone should be back to normal.


    CARLA 16 OOS
    Last updated on December 29, 2011 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    Repeater is out of service while controller issue is being addressed.


    System 17 Transmitter failure (In Service)- Update #2
    Last updated on December 4, 2011 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    Second Update-

    CARLA 17 (Sonora) has been restored to service by our field operations team today and upgraded with a new controller and a replacement 400Ah battery plant which it is running on right now as the power in some parts the greater Sonora area has been off for most of the week. PG&E crews are working in the area but there is no ETR yet for commercial power.


    Update-

    A trip to the site has revealed that the MSF-5000 has failed. We also discovered the batteries at the site need replacing.
    The entire repeater cabinet and batteries have been removed from the site and will be rebuilt at the CARLA Labs.
    Please note that CARLA 17 will be off-the-air for an extended period while the repeater is rebuilt.

    ----------------

    Original Post:

    We have had several reports from users in the area of System 17, Sonora, over the last few days, indicating a problem
    hearing the system. Remote diagnostics indicate that the transmitter is completely offline. The receiver seems fine.
    A repair team will be scheduled to further diagnose and correct the problem. We will post an update once the problem
    is resolved.


    Scheduled power outage at CARLA 14
    Last updated on November 8, 2011 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    There is a scheduled commercial PG&E power outage set for Thursday November 10 at the CARLA 14 (Cisco Grove) site. The system
    should revert to battery back-up power and hold for the duration.


    CARLA 5 reserved this Sunday
    Last updated on October 27, 2011 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    CARLA 5, East Bay Hills, will be taken off the backbone and used in local mode only for a race event in Lafayette this Sunday morning the 31st of October.

    Approximate time frame is from 6am to 11am. During that period please refrain from using it unless it is urgent or you are participating in the net for the event.

    Thanks.



    VACA HUB is back In Service
    Last updated on October 23, 2011 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The controller at CARLA's main link site in Vacaville has been replaced and is now back In Service.
    All systems in the CARLA network are once again linked. Also, CARLA system 16 at Vaca is now back online.


    VACA HUB is Out Of Service
    Last updated on October 19, 2011 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    VACA HUB is Out Of Service

    The Mt. Vaca Hub controller is OOS (Out Of Service). This means MOST of the Central California & SF Bay Area systems are NOT able
    to LINK to each other at this time as well as to/from other hub rings in the network.

    Link paths & Hubs that are still working include:

    -All machines on the Shasta ring will talk to each other via CARLA 13's hub AND CARLA 5.
    -All machines on the Nevada ring will talk to each other via CARLA 18's hub AND CARLA 8.
    -CARLA 5 is connected to the Shasta ring & the echo-IRLP node only.
    -CARLA 3 & 26 will talk to each other.
    -CARLA 4 & 19 will talk to each other.
    -The Shasta & Nevada rings are isolated and will not talk to each other.

    More updates as they become available.



    CARLA 2 Reserved Sunday Oct 16, 2011
    Last updated on October 12, 2011 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    This coming Sunday, Oct 16th, CARLA 2 will be reserved exclusively for use by the American Red Cross during the Nike Marathon
    event. Please refrain from using CARLA 2 (San Francisco) anytime on Sunday before 6pm unless you are involved with their
    net/operations.

    Thank you for your understanding.




    Lee, N6MIV (SK)
    Last updated on August 11, 2011 by Tom, N6MVT | This article is Archived | Permalink

    It is with great sadness that we have to report that one of our avid users Lee, N6MIV passed away Wednesday night (Aug 10, 2011). He checked in regularly from "System 3 in Pt. Arena" as he used to announce. He was always monitoring and glad we brought not only the first UHF machine to the area but a wide area linked system as well. Communications into & out of the coastal areas can be critical during storms, road closures, power outages and other 'events' as facilities and resources are usually very limited and he appreciated we kept that vital link alive. Lee always promoted CARLA to the local area Hams since the time it first came on the air. We'll miss talking to you Lee and we'll certainly miss the "voice from Pt. Arena".


    EchoIRLP Node 1 Upgraded
    Last updated on July 1, 2011 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The EchoIRLP Node 1 server was replaced today with new hardware, which is faster as well as being much more power efficient. Additionally and as a result of the new hardware, the node software was upgraded to the latest version. Please drop us a line if you experience any problems with the new configuration.


    System 18 Transmitter Repaired
    Last updated on June 26, 2011 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The transmitter at System 18 has been repaired and is operating normally. Thanks to all who helped with the reporting and
    diagnostics.


    System 9 Maintenance & Upgrades
    Last updated on June 19, 2011 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    On Saturday, a C.A.R.L.A. field team visited System 9 at Mt. Oso and conducted upgrades and PM'd the system. A duplex link to the hub was installed, as well as a new link antenna. This should further increase signal/decrease noise on the link from 9 into the hub. It also is an interesting milestone for C.A.R.L.A., as 9 was the last machine on the network that used the original simplex linking scheme from the earliest days of the network.

    Thanks to everyone that helped out, both at the site and also elsewhere on the network by assisting in audio and signal checks.


    System 18 Transmitter Failure
    Last updated on June 17, 2011 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    We have had several reports from users in the area of System 18, Topaz, over the last few days, indicating a problem hearing the system. Remote diagnostics indicate that the transmitter is either partially or completely offline. The receiver and the Nevada hub both seem fine. A repair team will be dispatched shortly to further diagnose and correct the problem. We will post an update once the problem is resolved.


    CARLA 36
    Last updated on May 10, 2011 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    We are pleased to announce the latest addition to CARLA.

    System 36 located on the Snow Mt. Range above Stonyford/Willows, CA.

    Frequency & PL information:
    146.115+
    Local PL: 123.0Hz
    Link PL: 173.8Hz

    CARLA 36 is located at the exact same site as CARLA 6. That is why we skipped a few numbers to make it easier to remember... 6 & 36.
    It fills in where CARLA 6's coverage has fallen way short due to PAVE PAWS at Beale AFB. It too is on solar power & batteries and has an automatic shutdown feature to save battery power when there is inbound link traffic for more than 5 minutes but no locally generated activity.

    However, since we are co-channeled with other VHF systems, we went to great pains to customize the pattern. It is only transmitting 5 watts into a directional antenna that favors the NW and creates a Null to the SW into the Sonora area. The receive is exceptionally sensitive compared to the transmitter which helps to hear low powered radios such as hand-helds. There will be some areas that you would normally expect it to work better from its location but again, this is due to the directional pattern and low power output.

    This has been in the testing stages for 6 months and is the first of several VHF repeaters we are in the process of testing and implementing.



    CARLA 2 reserved Sunday
    Last updated on May 10, 2011 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    This coming Sunday, May 15th, CARLA 2 will be reserved exclusively for use by the American Red Cross during the Bay to Breakers event. This will be the 100th running of the race this year.
    Please refrain from using CARLA 2 (San Francisco) anytime on Sunday before 5pm.

    CARLA is proud to have helped support the Red Cross during this event for many years now.

    Thank you for your understanding.



    System 29 on the air
    Last updated on April 17, 2011 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    We are pleased to announce the latest addition to CARLA.

    System 29 located in San Luis Obispo, CA.

    Frequency & PL information:
    443.500+
    Local PL: 100.0Hz
    Link PL: 162.2Hz

    CARLA 29 is located on Tassajero Peak along the Cuesta Ridge which is located to the west of the Cuesta Pass on Hwy 101. It overlooks San Luis Obispo and surrounding communities. This system has been several years in the making.

    From the North along US-101 coverage starts at about Camp Roberts and continues south along the 101 corridor all the way to Santa Maria and just North of Los Alamos. It covers to the West along Hwy 1 from San Simeon to the North to parts of Lompoc & Vandenberg AFB to the South.

    When visiting the greater San Luis Obispo area including Cal Poly, Paso Robles, Cambria, Hearst Castle, Pismo Beach, Morrow Bay, Avila Beach and much more, CARLA System 29 should provide ample coverage.

    Additionally, several weeks ago a major upgrade at CARLA 4 was performed to allow for the back haul of link traffic from CARLA 29 into the rest of the network. Be aware that you will need to leave enough time for the links to open up from one end of the network to the other. For instance, from CARLA 29 (SLO) to CARLA 5 (Oakland) involves 4 hops. From CARLA 29 to CARLA 28 (Mt. Shasta) requires 6 hops.


    A special thanks to all those who were involved with making this project happen.



    VACA HUB is Out Of Service
    Last updated on March 28, 2011 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The Mt. Vaca Hub controller is OOS (Out Of Service). This means MOST of the Central California & SF Bay Area systems are NOT able to LINK to each other at this time as well as to/from other hub rings in the network.

    Link paths & Hubs that are still working include:

    -All machines on the Shasta ring will talk to each other via CARLA 13's hub AND CARLA 5.
    -All machines on the Nevada ring will talk to each other via CARLA 18's hub AND CARLA 8.
    -CARLA 5 is connected to the Shasta ring & the echo-IRLP node only.
    -CARLA 3 & 26 will talk to each other.
    -CARLA 4 & 19 will talk to each other.
    -The Shasta & Nevada rings are isolated and will not talk to each other.

    We are putting together a replacement controller for installation on Tuesday (3/29).

    More updates as they become available.



    System 35, 146.850(-) repeater, added to CARLA
    Last updated on March 13, 2011 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    As some of you are aware we've recently made a change to the CARLA network by adding a VHF repeater to the Oakland Hills site.

    The repeater is on 146.850(-) with a LOCAL PL of 114.8. The LINK PL will be 173.8Hz if you want to program your radios ahead of time.

    If you are new to CARLA please take some time to read our usage guidelines on the website. The network can be a bit confusing and intimidating to first time users. The more you know how it works, the less problems you and others will have communicating on it.

    Over the next few weeks & months we will make some improvements to the performance of the machine, add battery back-up power and integrate the dual PL scheme (LINK/LOCAL) like the rest of the systems in our network have.

    Having this VHF repeater as part of CARLA will be a valuable asset to our ability to continue to offer a wide area emergency communications network of repeaters covering Northern California & parts of Nevada. It will also help to fill in some of the reduced coverage we have due to CARLA 5's changes for Pave Paws.

    In the meantime, we will not make any official announcements or listing regarding the system until all the other pieces are in place and it's ready for "prime time".

    We would like to especially thank Roger, WA6AFT to allow us opportunity to integrate this repeater into the CARLA network and his generosity. This move also helps to keep the system on the air and avoid permanently losing its previous home.



    CARLA needs YOUR support!
    Last updated on March 10, 2011 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    It's that time of the year when we reach out to those benevolent individuals for any financial assistance and/or donations to help keep CARLA up and running.

    Our expenses and investment in equipment and supplies keeps getting larger as each year passes. It is way too much for us to maintain at the current level. Each year we see maybe 5% of our total expenses donated from users in the form of financial support & new or surplus equipment donations. As great as that is and as much as we appreciate it, that still means we are footing 95% of the total expenses required to run, maintain & continue to build out this network. It may come as a surprise to some but, that equates to $10-20k out of pocket e-v-e-r-y year and we simply can not sustain this level of financial obligation without more help. This means the network may not grow as much, some systems may sit in a degraded state longer and there will be larger gaps between needed visits and improvements. It may even mean giving up some sites that are costing us more than we can afford to maintain for what they serve.


    There are a few individuals who donate in other ways like use of a site, personal resources/equipment, skills, assistance on projects, etc... All of that helps greatly. You know who you are and we can't Thank You enough! Without the generous help and support from those people we'd be even "further in the hole" and unable to provide what we do now.


    We strive to keep this network as one of the most reliable and viable ones out there for those times that it is really needed. We don't require a membership fee or dues to use CARLA and it has always been an OPEN system and we will continue to keep it that way but, it is not easy to do and that's where any financial help we can solicit will help to maintain that level of service that people have come to expect (within reason of course).


    If you appreciate what we have in place and enjoy using it or just want to know it will be available to use when needed, please consider helping us out in any way you see fit. If you are unable to do anything at this time we understand. If you are able to later that's great but keep in mind we are not requiring it of anyone, but rather this is a chance for us to solicit the assistance of those that can and want to help out but could use that little nudge or reminder that we need your help.


    There is a link to the support page at: http://www.carlaradio.net/support/ . There are "suggested" donation amounts which are completely arbitrary as some people offer more and some less. It's entirely up to you. Some people have found it easier to purchase a commonly used piece of equipment for us and donate it. That's worked out very well in the past.


    This year we have plans for several new endeavors on the horizon. We hope you can be a part of it in one way or another and enjoy all that it will offer. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions, suggestions or ideas. There is a contact form on the website that can be used to get a hold of us at: http://www.carlaradio.net/aboutus/contact.php .


    If you know of any friends or people that use the system or would like to support it please forward this on to them as there are plenty of individuals that utilize CARLA in some form or fashion but aren't part of the Yahoo Group reflector and don't realize they can help out.


    Remember, "When all else fails...Amateur Radio"


    We look forward to another successful year in 2011.


    Thanks again.

    The CARLA Team




    Jeopardy of losing UHF bands
    Last updated on February 25, 2011 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    Recently there has been some chatter about a legislative bill (HR-607) that could cause the 420-440MHz band to be auctioned off to the commercial world. The ARRL is officially pulling the fire alarm to start a grass roots movement to ask as many people to send letters to their representative expressing opposition to the bill in its current form. Please read the ARRL message below for instructions on using a sample letter, whom to address it to and where to mail it. They strongly encourage, at minimum, a hand written letter vs a web-based post or e-mail due to the impact it has when tens of thousands of them are handed over all at once and will get delivered much quicker provided it is sent to the ARRL's PR office. However, it may be a good idea to contact your representative by electronic means in *addition to* a "snail mail" letter for a maximum effect.

    As a heavy user of the band and considering all of the infrastructure we have in place and the detrimental effect it would have not just to CARLA but all systems out there that use the UHF band to link, including ones in other bands like 6m, 2m, 220, 900, 1.2G, etc... , we need your help to participate in this very important effort. There are also plenty of other operations that go on in the band besides links.

    On behalf of CARLA and everything that we've built over the years and offer to the Amateur and emergency services community we ask that you participate in this grass roots movement to stop this bill and pass this along to as many people as you can think of, Amateurs or not.

    Thank You!

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    ARRL Grass Roots Legislative Program Request

    Dear ARRL Member:

    As you may have read, Rep. Peter King has introduced the "Broadband for First Responders Act of 2011" and the bill has been assigned HR 607. The story about the Bill's introduction can be found at http://www.arrl.org/news/spectrum-management-bill-threatens-amateur-frequencies.


    The League supports spectrum for Public Safety need, but opposes HR 607 because of the inclusion of the 420-440 MHz spectrum as part of a spectrum swap.

    ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, has asked that the Divisions activate the Grass Roots Program by having our Members contact their local member of the House of Representatives asking them to oppose HR 607.

    A sample letter can be found at http://www.arrl.org/sample-letters.

    Your Representatives can be found at
    http://www.arrl.org/contacting-your-congressional-representatives.

    Because of delays in mail to Congress, you should send the letters, addressed to your representative, but mailed to the ARRL's Public Relations office, Chwat & Co. Chwat will sort the mail and distribute it directly to each Representative's office.

    John Chwat
    Chwat & Co.
    625 Slaters Lane
    Suite 103
    Alexandria, VA 22314

    Or by FAX 703-684-7594

    It is imperative that the letters reach Congress as soon as possible.
    Please read about the bill and the threat of our losing more frequencies for amateur use.

    73,
    Jettie Hill, W6RFF
    Pacific Division Legislative Chair


    Carla 13 on battery power
    Last updated on February 15, 2011 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    CARLA 13 has been on battery power since Tuesday morning. No details yet for an etr.


    2010: The Year in Review
    Last updated on February 14, 2011 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    2010 was no exception when it came to having another busy year. Some accomplishments were in the forefront and obvious to those who follow CARLA's movements closely while even more were behind the scenes and not so obvious to users of the network.

    The following are highlights and some details of what happened in 2010.


    New systems installed:

    We saw the addition of four new systems to the CARLA network in 2010!

    Some of these sites required several trips to make it all happen and although each only represented by one line below, required well in excess of 100+ man-hours to prep, build, install, drive test and repair (in some cases)... yes, that's for each one.

    They include the following:

    CARLA 25 | Redding | 6,200' | 444.325+ | http://carlaradio.net/thesystem/systemdetail.php?sysid=25

    CARLA 26 | Geyserville | 3,000' | 443.475+ | http://carlaradio.net/thesystem/systemdetail.php?sysid=26

    CARLA 27 | Quincy | 7,220' | 440.725+ | http://carlaradio.net/thesystem/systemdetail.php?sysid=27

    CARLA 28 | McCloud | 3,000' | 443.475+ | http://carlaradio.net/thesystem/systemdetail.php?sysid=28


    System changes, modifications, projects:

    (in no particular order)

    - In addition to adding CARLA 26 (Geyserville) to the network it also serves as a relay point for CARLA 3 (Pt. Arena). So, one project was to visit CARLA 3's site and make all the appropriate changes and re-steer the link to CARLA 26's site. Although it added an extra hop point in the link path, it helped to improve the overall link path in general. There was also a prep for painting day that several of us attended in order to get the site ready for commercial customers. That was fun (Not).

    - CARLA 10 (St. Cruz Mts.) saw the effects of PAVE PAWS when we had to replace the primary antenna on the tower and make it directional, favoring the SW direction. We also started the first phase of an overhaul project for the system in order to upgrade the equipment and move it into a larger cabinet.

    -CARLA 6 (Snow Mt. Range/Stonyford-Willows) saw several trips to it during the year for a few projects. Some of those projects included removing and re-purposing the secondary link equipment from CARLA 13 and CARLA 3. We also added a new PV (solar) panel to the array to replace two that were cracked from falling ice. We thank the guys from the Oregon Connection with helping us to procure the panel for us to use. We also installed and started testing a VHF system at the same site. There were several trips made just for that installation and optimization. We have to co-channel with several other systems on the pair and several people had (volunteered) to do quite a bit of drive testing all through the greater Sacramento Valley, Central Valley and Bay Area while we made adjustments to the power and antenna pattern. This is still in testing mode and once things are finalized we will make the official announcement regarding it.

    -CARLA 7 (San Jose) finally saw the interference from an uncoordinated ATV station in the link band cease operation which allowed us to re-mount and re-aim the link antenna which in turn greatly improved our link path and reliability. Over the past several years we have had to suffer with a poor link signal due changing weather conditions and interference attributed to the ATV operation and the measures we had to take to try and minimize its affect on us. We also started to work on the battery plant upgrade and plan to make some RF and audio improvements this year. Additionally, we installed a camera on the tower
    for security.

    -CARLA 8 (S. Lake Tahoe) saw a complete re-build and upgrade with a secondary back-up link installed (to CARLA 18's site) in order to connect the Nevada & California Hubs together in case of a circuit failure for the normal link.

    -CARLA 19 (Hayward) had a rebuild of the rack along with new battery plant installed, new DC power distribution and other improvements.

    -CARLA 13 (Shasta lake) had its primary link circuit changed out to an IP based solution utilizing the Link Comm DSP-404 controller with VoIP/RoIP capabilities.

    -CARLA 18 (Topaz Lake, NV) Also had its primary link changed out to an IP based circuit. This one however, has been giving us some grief and we were able to switchover to the back-up RF link via CARLA 8's site in the meantime. This site also required a visit in December through snow & ice via snowmobile to deal with the problem.

    -CARLA 20 (Burney) Needed its link antenna replaced due to ice damage from the tower. The primary antenna also suffered some damage from ice buildup and high winds.

    -CARLA 15 (Coalinga) had a bad link radio replaced and controller firmware update performed.

    -CARLA 12 (Pleasanton) required a replacement of the primary repeater's power amp and subsequently we took advantage of the down time to upgrade the controller to the S-Com 7330.

    -CARLA 9 (Modesto) This system had to be dismantled and moved to a new location on the same Mt. Top. Everything was removed including rack, equipment, batteries, antennas, etc... and reinstalled just a few hundred feet away (that was a separate trip). It still needs be upgraded with a new controller, link system and battery plant. Another project for 2011.

    -Vaca HUB We replaced some of the batteries that were getting old and not performing when in back-up operation. A new heavy duty charger is also needed to replace the failing one.

    Website related changes, enhancements:

    -Rolled out a new `contact/report a problem' page and form so people can do just that. Contact the admin staff and also report a problem via the website if they have no other means to let us know.

    -More pictures added to the gallery.

    -New system & site information published as they came on air.

    -Back-room database and GUI improvements & enhancements


    Other miscellaneous items:

    -As always, we have a concurrent agenda to the steady maintenance, repairs and new build-outs which includes all kind of special projects, system upgrades & overhaul, local site (land lord requested) improvements & projects, website updates, programming enhancements, interference and performance issues needing investigation and resolution, finding a permanent resolution for the performance issues with the DSP-404 controllers we have deployed, etc, etc, etc...
    Let's put it this way, the goals & project list for 2011 is currently 5 pages long and always dynamic in nature.


    Future systems/sites:

    -In 2011 we hope to accomplish the integration of a few more sites to expand our coverage into key areas that do not currently have access to the network and subsequently can not utilize our wide area linking capabilities during `significant events'. Some areas we are working on include the San Luis Obispo area, the Eastern parts California/Sierras, more parts of Nevada and some more of the North Coast of California. Some of these new sites have been in the hopper for a year or two but this year we are determined to make several of them happen.

    We are also working on our 900MHz system and integrating that into the rest of the network. We have experienced some technical issues along the way but "we are aware of the problem and working on it".

    So, that's all we can remember for 2010. We're two and half months into 2011 and have already been busy "getting to work".

    We'd like to also thank those individuals who have made all the above possible during the year. There's only a handful of people involved but the contribution and effect has always been enormous.


    Network 'Lock-Up' issue resolved
    Last updated on February 13, 2011 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    We've been testing it for a week now and feel confident our programming changes have fixed the lock-up (dead key) problem we have been experiencing on the network.

    As some of you may remember, the problem started when we switched over to the back-up link at CARLA 8's site since we were having problems with the newly installed IP link to CARLA 18 (which serves as the Nevada Ring's Hub). Normally, CARLA 8 is a spoke off of the primary Vaca Hub. Currently it is acting as a relay between the Vaca Hub & Nevada Hub until we can thoroughly troubleshoot the IP circuit issue.

    All that being said, the problem with the lock-up's seems to have ceased so we will now revert the time out timer from Nevada to California back to 3 minutes (from the current 1 minute temporary setting) and we don't have to deal with those annoying dead keys anymore.



    Echolink audio restored
    Last updated on February 5, 2011 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The inbound/outbound audio issues we were experiencing with the EchoIRLP node have been resolved, and the node is working normally on both IRLP and Echolink. As always, we thank everyone for their patience.


    Controller resets at Mt. Vaca Hub
    Last updated on February 4, 2011 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    This week we have been experiencing resets of the repeater controller at the Mt. Vaca Hub site. Something, yet to be determined, is causing the controller to reset quite often which may manifest itself as kerchunks and/or controller reset messages. When it happens it is heard everywhere in the network.

    As the saying goes "We're aware of the problem and we are working on it". In fact a trip was made this afternoon to start the troubleshooting process. So far it is indeterminate as to what exactly is causing the problem.

    We are in the process of re-programming a replacement controller to swap out and see if that fixes the issue.

    More to come.


    Echolink audio issues
    Last updated on December 18, 2010 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The inbound and outbound audio for the echolink connection is not working.
    IRLP connections seem to be ok at this time.


    Wireline link to Shasta is OOS-using back-up.
    Last updated on December 11, 2010 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The CARLA 5 controller is having problems causing it to reset quite often. We disconnected it from the wireline link to Shasta which helped to settle it down. We have subsequently enabled the RF back-up link between Shasta and the rest of the network. This cross-connection switch is located at CARLA 25's site. Occasionally, there may be some noise on the path which could impair reception of southbound traffic. Once we get the problem repaired we will advise. Thanks.


    CARLA 20 OOS
    Last updated on December 8, 2010 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    CARLA 20, Burney CA., is Out Of Service due to an antenna issue. The primary antenna's mount has failed and the antenna is currently horizontally polarized. No ETA on restoral.


    CARLA 5 offline this Sunday
    Last updated on October 29, 2010 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    CARLA 5, East Bay Hills, will be taken off the backbone and used in local mode only for a race event in Lafayette this Sunday morning the 31st of October.

    Approximate time frame is from 6am to 11am. During that period please refrain from using it unless it is urgent. The link will be off line so that option will not work.

    Thanks.


    Nevada connectivity & audio issues >>UPDATED
    Last updated on October 29, 2010 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    >> UPDATE << The Nevada ring is back on normal mode. The audio still has occasional issues and there are dead keys sometimes originating from the Nevada Hub (CARLA 18). we are still having issues with audio and signalling on the new IP circuit.

    Recently we had to change the circuit design that feeds the Nevada ring (CARLA 18, 21, 22, 23, 24) from the rest of the network to an IP based connection.

    This created an issue with the tx & rx audio quality on that connection. It basically sounds like a Nextel or cell phone going "digital" at times or just choppy. This problem needs further troubleshooting to remedy the issue.

    More recently (Monday) there was a power outage at CARLA 5's site which also houses phone and data equipment and acts as our data hub, of which some circuits interface with the RF network at the site. Some of the digital cross connect equipment experienced a brownout and lost all the configuration files. This was ugly. Parts were replaced and the slow process of manually configuring all the ports and cross connect information from scratch started. They are not completely done and as a result we have lost the circuit feeding the Nevada ring temporarily.

    In the interim we have cut over to the RF back-up path that connects CARLA 18 to the Vaca Hub via CARLA 8 as the hop point. The only issue with this is the added delay for another site in the path. An extra 1/2 to 1 second should be added as a beginning pause so traffic to & from Nevada doesn't get chopped off in the beginning of a sentence.

    Once the permanent circuit to Nevada is re-established we will probably revert to that as long as the audio issue doesn't become intolerable. Hopefully that will happen this week.

    We'll send updates as needed.

    Thanks



    CARLA 7 OOS
    Last updated on October 25, 2010 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    CARLA 7, San Jose, is Out of Service. The exact reason is unkown but we should find out more information in the next few days.


    CARLA 28 on the air
    Last updated on October 13, 2010 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    CARLA 28, McCloud (443.475+ Local PL:100.0Hz, Link PL: 173.8Hz) has just been added and integrated into the network. The site is located between McCloud and Mt. Shasta City near the I-5 & Hwy 89 junction below Mt. Shasta. It helps to fill in some areas up there that CARLA 13 could not cover well.

    It covers the I-5 corridor through most of the canyon including Lakehead, Castella, Dunsmuir and north into McCloud, Mt. Shasta City, Weed and Grenada. There are parts of Yreka that you can work it with a mobile or base but it is on the very outer fringe of coverage.

    System 28 connects to the Shasta hub at #13's site and offers some redundant/overlapping coverage in certain areas. However, if one or the other systems were to fail the other would pick-up some of it.



    CARLA 25 changes
    Last updated on October 13, 2010 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    CARLA system 25, (444.325+ Local PL:100Hz, Link PL:173.8Hz) has been completely rebuilt from the ground up and now conforms to our new installation standards including new controller, link radios, battery system, antennas, filtering & generator back-up power. The system was originally integrated into our network last year from the Oregon Connection. It used to be their southern most site.

    The site covers the greater Redding area and south towards Corning and beyond. Although it is considered to be part of the 'Shasta Ring' it does not go through the Shasta hub. It ties directly to the Vaca hub which would offer some coverage if we were to lose our connection to the Shasta hub and the other systems running off of it. This site also acts as our back-up relay point between the Vaca hub and the Shasta hub in case we were to lose our normal connection to/from the Shasta systems. Unfortunately, the system has been reduced in power to help mitigate any signal getting to BAFB.



    CARLA 27 added to the network
    Last updated on July 22, 2010 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    We are pleased to announce the latest system added to the CARLA network, #27 located above Quincy, California in Plumas County.
    It offers excellent coverage in Quincy & East Quincy along with good coverage Westward along parts of Highway 70 and the Feather River and out Highway 89 through Crescent Mills, Taylorsville, Chester, Lake Almanor, Westwood and parts of Susanville.
    It also covers parts East on Highway 70/89 past Clio, Graeagle, Calpine and out to Sierraville.

    The Frequency & PL's are:

    440.725+
    Local PL:100.0
    Link PL: 173.8

    It ties directly into our primary hub on Mt. Vaca.

    Thank you to those who helped pull this together and make it happen.



    CARLA 10 OOS
    Last updated on May 30, 2010 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    Looks like CARLA 10 is off the air. Once someone is able to access the site and make repeairs we'll get an update.


    CARLA 20 back on-line
    Last updated on May 24, 2010 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    CARLA 20 is back-online after severe winter storms took out the main antenna and link antenna. Repairs have been made and everything is now operational.


    CARLA 15 Back on line
    Last updated on May 22, 2010 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    CARLA 15 (Coalinga) ahd the link radio replaced plus a controller firmware update and is back on line to the rest of the network.


    C.A.R.L.A. Celebrates 25 Years
    Last updated on May 15, 2010 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    Twenty five years ago, C.A.R.L.A. set out to build an open and reliable emergency communications system. Today, thanks to the many years of dedicated service by all those that have made contributions of every possible type, that goal is realized.

    With this anniversary comes an important milestone - the integration of the C.A.R.L.A. 26, which has brought the number of repeaters in the network up to twenty five. Although Skip isn't with us to celebrate, we know that he would be proud.

    C.A.R.L.A. would like to extend its warmest thanks to everyone who has used and supported the system over the years. Without you, we couldn't have done it. Here's to another twenty-five!


    CARLA 12 OOS
    Last updated on May 15, 2010 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    CARLA 12 OOS due to transmitter issue


    CARLA 26 integrated into the network
    Last updated on May 14, 2010 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    We are pleased to announce that CARLA 26 (Geyserville) has been integrated into the network of repeaters. This system is located above the Alexander Valley overlooking the 101 corridor from Cloverdale south towards Petaluma. This includes Geyserville, Healdsburg, Windsor, Santa Rosa, Cotati & Rohnert Park. This adds much needed coverage to the North Bay area. There is some coverage in other areas to the North & East as well.

    This site is also the new link hop for CARLA 3 and is much more reliable and easier to access in the winter.

    The frequency & PL's are exactly the same as CARLA 18;

    CARLA 26 K6LNK, Geyerville
    443.475+
    Local PL: 110.9
    Link PL: 167.9


    CARLA 20 OOS
    Last updated on May 11, 2010 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    CARLA 20 (Burney) is Out Of Service with no local or link service. An advance team is planning to go to the site to make a preliminary assesment this week. Depending on the outcome, we may be sending up techs to deal with the problem.


    CARLA 3 back on link
    Last updated on May 11, 2010 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    CARLA 3's link into the rest of the network has been restablished through a new min-hub located near Geyserville. This new path should be much more reliable than the previous one and not only has battery back-up power but generator back-up as well. Welcome back to the North Central Coast users.


    CARLA 19 Link is OOS
    Last updated on April 26, 2010 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The link to/from CARLA 19 (Hayward) is currently down. We suspect an issue with the link radio itself, as the main repeater and also the link from 19 to CARLA 4 is operational. We will assess the situation and conduct repairs as soon as an onsite visit can be scheduled.


    CARLA 15 Link is OOS
    Last updated on April 20, 2010 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The link to/from CARLA 15 (Coalinga) is Out Of Service. It is unclear what the problem is but it affects both tx & rx on the link. The primary repeater is operational. It has been put on the list of things to repair.


    CARLA 25 scheduled power outage
    Last updated on April 14, 2010 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    CARLA 25 is scheduled to be off the air this Friday the 16th of April for PG&E pole replacement.
    The estimated time frame is from 8am to 4pm. The site does not currently have battery back-up so the repeater will be off the air.



    It's that time again..for support
    Last updated on March 11, 2010 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    It's that time of the year when we get on our knees and start groveling for any financial assistance and/or benevolent donations for the cause.



    We know it's hard to believe but we were turned down once again for federal bailout and TARP funds in 2009. We keep trying to be irresponsible with our investments while going deeper in debt and rampant growth but it's just not enough for us to qualify.



    So, we are forced to put forth the tin cup and ask for any jingling that may rain unto us.



    In all seriousness, our expenses and investment in equipment and supplies has gotten larger as each year passes. It exceeds what a lot of commercial operators would spend on their systems that make them money and it exceeds what we are able to keep pace with. It is way too much for us to maintain at the current level and that doesn't even begin to touch the travel related expenses we incur with every trip or the yearly administrative and overhead costs, all of which as an aggregate we have to pay for out of pocket.



    This last year a few people have been quite generous with their time, skills, monetary donations, available resources and new & used equipment donations. It all helps to offset the enormous investment we make each year in keeping up with not only all the maintenance and upgrades but all of the new builds & expansions, equipment purchases and recurring monthly expenses. We strive to keep this network as one of the most reliable and viable ones out there for those times that it is really needed in a pinch. We don't require a "membership fee" to use CARLA and it has always been an OPEN system and we will continue to keep it that way but it isn't easy to do and that's where any help we can seek out is sincerely appreciated.



    We realize there are no requirements to help defray any of the operating costs or capitol investments we incur each year and we're okay with that. But, if you do like what we have in place and enjoy using it or just want to know you'll have it in your hip pocket to use when needed, please consider helping us out in any way you see fit. Some folks have always been there to help on one project or another or make a donation or allow us use of their resources or purchase/donate new & used equipment for us and that is terrific. You know who you are and we can't thank you enough for what you have done. There probably is no one quite as dedicated as the principals of this network but some select few individuals have come in a very close second. But, we know there are more of you out there that are willing or would like to help us in one fashion or another and just need a nudge or reminder that this is the season for our pledge drive. If you are unable to do anything at this time we understand. If you are able to later that's great but keep in mind we are not requiring it of anyone, but rather this is a chance for us to solicit the help of those that can and want to help out. First and foremost please feel free to continue using the system and hopefully enjoy what all it has to offer.



    This year we have plans for many new endeavors on the horizon. We hope you can be a part of it in one way or another and enjoy all that it will offer. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions, suggestions or ideas.



    If you know of anyone that uses the system or would like to support it feel free to forward this on to them. There are plenty of people that utilize CARLA in some form or fashion but aren't part of this reflector.



    We look forward to another successful year in 2010.



    Thanks again.



    The CARLA Team



    2009 in review...what's new for 2010
    Last updated on March 11, 2010 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    2009 In review:



    Sit back


    Echo-IRLP node OOS.
    Last updated on March 11, 2010 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The CARLA Echo-IRLP node has been temporarily taken off line so we can re-purpose that port on the controller for testing of the 900Mhz repeater. We hope to have it re-integrated within a few days.


    Link to OC is OOS
    Last updated on February 3, 2010 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The link to the OC (Oregon Connection) is currently OOS due to a link radio failure at their Mt. Bradley site which is the connection point for both networks.

    We can connect to that site but not go any further north. They can connect to their next site north of that but not further south.

    We'll pass on any updates as we become aware of them.

    No ETR as of yet.



    CARLA 3 LINK OOS
    Last updated on February 3, 2010 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    Although the equipment at CARLA 3's site is working fine, the hub transmitter at CARLA 6's site is OOS rendering the path to/from CARLA 3 Out of Service. This also affects the back-up link to CARLA 13 if the primary link to 13 from the network were to fail.

    A trip was made to the site recently by a radio tech and amateur to do a preliminary assesment for us. There is several feet of snow and a snow cat is required to gain access. We'll need to wait for an another opportunity to go up.


    C.A.R.L.A. 3/6/10 Restored to Service
    Last updated on January 16, 2010 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    C.A.R.L.A. 3, 6, and 10 were restored to full service on Saturday, Jan 16th, thanks to the hard work of two separate field teams.

    The faulty main link radio at C.A.R.L.A. 6 was replaced and other equipment repaired, and some programming tweaks were implemented. This has restored a more robust path to and from C.A.R.L.A. 3, which should mean much clearer audio between it and the rest of the network.

    It was determined (as we expected) that the main cabinet fuse at C.A.R.L.A. 10 had blown. The fuse was replaced, and an impulse dampening device was installed, which hopefully will keep this from happening again in the future. Also, due to further PAVE PAWS issues, transmit power for the system was reduced further.

    We would like to thank all our users again for bearing with us while we worked to solve these problems.


    CARLA 9 off line
    Last updated on January 12, 2010 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    CARLA 9, Modesto will be off line for several weeks while we re-locate and re-build the system to our latest specs. The new location will be very similar. We may change the pattern a bit to reduce coverage towards BAFB & the Bay Area.


    Echolink changes
    Last updated on January 12, 2010 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The primary Echolink node into the CARLA network had its callsign
    changed to K6LNK/R.

    The node number is still the same which is: 360571.

    This change may cause some individual echolink connections to show
    unavailable until the callsign is updated on those node clients.



    Nevada hub on back-up link to network
    Last updated on January 12, 2010 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The circuit connecting the Nevada hub to the rest of the network is experiencing some problems. This has caused the network to repeatedly key up with no audio.
    We have bypassed that link and enabled the back-up RF link which uses CARLA 8 as an intermediate hop point.
    We'll advise when things have normalized but it should be a seamless transition for the most part.



    C.A.R.L.A. 3 back on the network
    Last updated on January 9, 2010 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    C.A.R.L.A. 3's link to the rest of the network was restored this afternoon. Shortly, in fact, before the offshore quake near Eureka.

    In any event, it is using the backup link at System 6's site to connect to the network via System 13 (System 6 itself is still down). This path has a tendency to be noisy, especially during the evening, night, and early morning. This link path also entails slightly more latency than the main RF link, so as always we ask our users to make sure that when they key up, they wait a second or two before speaking.

    At this point, we don't anticipate a need for C.A.R.L.A. to be used to pass critical life & safety info in and out of the affected region, but since System 3 is a communications resource in the area, we ask that for the next couple of days our users be especially mindful of monitoring the system before transmitting, to avoid interrupting conversations, and to leave pauses so that priority or emergency traffic can be passed if necessary.


    Issues with CARLA 3, 6 & 9
    Last updated on January 8, 2010 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The following systems have operational issues:

    CARLA 3, Pt. Arena; Link to/from the network is down until we come up with a work around. The problem is actually at CARLA 6.

    CARLA 6, Willows; The main RX is not passing audio out the repeater and the main network link RX is not working. This also affects the link into/out of CARLA 3. We are still trying to assess the full extent of the problem.

    CARLA 9, Modesto; The system has been on battery power for several days now and we have taken it off line in order to keep enough power reserves until we are able to assess the full extent of the loss of commercial power.


    CARLA 5 Work/Testing 11/21
    Last updated on November 21, 2009 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    We'll be doing some work on the controller at CARLA 5 today. Thus, variously the system itself, or the link to Vaca or the link north may be down for brief periods. We will try and have as little downtime as possible, and thank you for your understanding.

    ----

    Update: The controller was upgraded sucessfully (knocks on wood) and everything is back up and running normally.


    CARLA 22 Link restored
    Last updated on November 11, 2009 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    After a 22 hour day, 13 of which included driving ~700 miles and making 3 pots of coffee on site, CARLA 22 is linked once again into the rest of the network.
    Welcome back to our Hawthorne & Mammoth delegates.

    Apparently, the site was also on battery power for several days during the last week while the link was down.

    The main link antenna shooting to/from CARLA 18's site was bent down several degrees and either had an open or short internally. This was a very stout Telewave model but most likely suffered a heavy chunk of ice smacking it from above.

    There were also firmware upgrades made to the controller (which went well) and subsequent re-programming (which didn't go so well) and suffice it to say, had a 'few snags'.



    CARLA 22 link OOS.
    Last updated on November 3, 2009 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The main link at CARLA 22 into and out of the network is out of service at the moment. We will try and attempt a repair before the snows make it impossible to access via 4WD.


    Link to Oregon back up
    Last updated on October 26, 2009 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The link between C.A.R.L.A. and the Oregon Connection has been re-established. We had controller issues on our end and the OC had site issues on their end but both sides have worked diligently to get our respective ends back up to par in time for winter. The link is not connected full time so if you want have it connected feel free to see if there is a control op available to turn it on. REMEMBER after keying up to leave an extra second or more before talking (in addition to what you already should be using on the C.A.R.L.A. network) so you won't get cut off due to the multiple links and sites involved to make it from one end to the other. Currently there is an automatic time out timer that will disconnect the link after ~45-60 minutes.


    CARLA 5 off network this Sunday (10-25-09)
    Last updated on October 23, 2009 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    CARLA 5 will be in LOCAL mode only this coming Sunday October 25th to provide communications for an event in Lafayette. It should be isolated for most of the morning and returned to normal use sometime in the early afternoon. Please give priority to traffic for the event until it's finished. Thank you.


    Systems being affected this coming weekend
    Last updated on October 14, 2009 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    This is a heads up to let everyone know that several systems will be affected this weekend by upgrades and changes.

    CARLA 6, 13 & 20 will be worked on during this Saturday & Sunday October 17&18.

    The systems may be OOS (Out of Service) for relatively short periods of time as we make changes and upgrades primarily to the links and battery back-up system(s). This is part of an effort to finish high priority projects before the snows hit and also maintain a high reliability of service during the winter months.

    Thanks.




    Current storm conditions; Tuesday 10-13-09
    Last updated on October 14, 2009 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    UPDATE; 10-14-09:

    Commercial power has been restored to CARLA 13 & 11.
    IP link from CARLA 13 has been re-established.
    Back-up links and battery power systems worked as designed.

    -----------------------------------------------------------

    Due to severe storm conditions affecting the CARLA coverage areas, the following sites are affected:

    CARLA 13- On Battery power and back-up RF link into the network (primary IP link is down).
    CARLA 11- On Battery power


    Recent changes, upgrades and network status
    Last updated on October 2, 2009 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The website has undergone some improvements lately. Some changes are noticeable and some are for administrative use behind the scenes. Some noteworthy enhancements include:

    -Updated the "At a glance" status section on the home page that shows the system(s) status but now also shows the hub & link status. This way you can see if there is a problem with the system or just the link and/or the hub that it is fed from.

    -There are new colored "LED's" that show the additional states.

    -On the interactive map there are new colors representing different types of link & back-up link paths plus their status.

    -The printable pdf fold out version of the CARLA systems & PL list have been updated. It is designed to be laminated and used in a mobile and portable settings for quick reference. You can dowload it via the system page, or by clicking here (opens in a new window).

    We are also developing a new real time status for the IRLP node that will reside on the website for quick status updates like the systems.

    We would like to thank Peter, KG6SLY for all his hard work, time and dedication on developing new databases, functionality and enhancements to the CARLA website.

    --

    We're testing a new Link PL courtesy tone on a few systems including CARLA 5 & 13. This is in an attempt to make it easier for people to identify and differentiate between the Local & Link tones while not making it too annoying or overbearing. It sounds like two quick DTMF type tones. The Local PL and inbound link courtesy tones will remain the same. We'll see if more people are able to pay attention to the tones and get on the "same page" with each other. Let us know what you think. As we replace repeater controllers in the network we will have more flexibility with what we can do with them.

    --

    We also replaced the new IP capable repeater controllers at CARLA 5 and 13's site. The connection between the two sites has been re-established and we are testing them with the new firmware and memory repairs. This has been a very long, up hill and painful ordeal dealing with all the problems these units had. We are hopeful that we'll see better performance from these as time passes.

    --

    We have been working on a new back-up RF link for connecting the systems on the Shasta hub and the Oregon Connection in case we lose our dedicated wireline link to them. We have another trip to make to CARLA 6 as well as CARLA 13 & 20 to make the final changes before the snows hit. All three of these sites required major changes to make all this happen. We recently made similar updates and changes to CARLA 8 & 18 to do the same for the Nevada hub.


    Stay tuned for more


    CARLA 6 LINK PL Change
    Last updated on September 20, 2009 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    Recently we have been hearing some noise originating from CARLA 6 over the link with the 179.9 PL. Since we were there this weekend completing other projects we decided to change the LINK PL instead of risking problems during the winter months when the site becomes buried in snow or spending numerous hours/trips going to and from the site trying to DF the noise.

    The new LINK PL is 167.9Hz. The LOCAL remains 114.8Hz.

    We tried to time this just after KF6YXQ re-programmed his radio(s) from CARLA 8's recent PL changes. Actually, this was not anticipated but he doesn't need to know that...



    CARLA 3 Link changes
    Last updated on September 20, 2009 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    After completing all the work at CARLA 6 we were able to visit CARLA 3's site (Pt. Arena) and make the appropriate changes there to swing the link over to a new path & frequency.

    Preliminary tests were very promising and the link path sounded much better.

    Two things to keep in mind:

    -The link path now consists of an extra hop via CARLA 6 so a little additional time is required to allow for the extra link equipment to come up to speed when first keying up.

    -Since we are routing through CARLA 6's site, which is 100% solar powered, it is imperative that you keep this in mind while talking in the evening hours or when there is little sun from thick clouds, storms, etc... We did make several changes at 6's site to adjust for this including 2 more batteries, lower powered link radios and additional solar panels but long, extended conversations to/from CARLA 3 via the link is not encouraged in non-sunny hours. Normal/average traffic is fine as well as LOCAL use on CARLA 3 since it is on commercial & battery back-up power.

    Once the programming info for the new controller is compiled we will re-implement the battery conservation mode to both CARLA 6 & 3 links.



    CARLA 6 Upgrades completed
    Last updated on September 20, 2009 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    This weekend we made the upgrades and changes to CARLA 6. It took about 10 hours on site with 4 people to complete most of the work. We had to deal with a broken PV panel most likely due to falling ice from the tower which slowed progress.

    CARLA 3 is also connected via the new link and is sounding much better so far. See a specific post regarding this.

    We had to change the Link PL on 6 to 167.9 Hz. Also see an additional post regarding this change.

    On to the next project(s)



    CARLA 6 & 3 upgrades
    Last updated on September 16, 2009 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    We have plans to upgrade CARLA 6 (Stonyford) this weekend which includes re-racking the equipment, installing a new controller and link radio, adding an additional link system for CARLA 3 (Pt. Arena) to improve the path from CARLA 3 into the rest of the network, adding another PV panel for the solar power system as well as other upgrades & improvements.

    The work is planned for this Saturday. If all goes well and we have enough time (and energy) Sunday, we will try to make a trip to CARLA 3 to re-aim the link antenna and re-program the link radio. However, that will not be determined until Sunday morning.

    Stay tuned.


    Upgrades to CARLA 8 are completed
    Last updated on September 14, 2009 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The upgrades to CARLA 8 (Echo Summit) have been finished and are in effect.

    This includes a new controller, link radio, back-up/alternate path link to/from the Nevada Ring and of course the anticipated (dreaded) LINK PL Change to 151.4Hz (from 179.9).

    Remember that the LOCAL PL is still 127.3 Hz and the repeater always encodes 127.3 Hz.

    CARLA 8
    442.075+
    127.3 LOCAL PL
    151.4 LINK PL

    Go program those radios and tell a friend who might need to know.

    Thanks.



    CARLA 8 Link PL changes to 151.4 Hz
    Last updated on September 10, 2009 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    It has been a while since we had to change a PL and we know that a few of you need some more aggravation so we decided it was time once again to pull out the programming cables, laptops, manuals and patience and change one PL for CARLA 8.

    The existing link PL is 179.9 Hz and the new link PL will most likely be 151.4 Hz barring any unforseen issues.

    The reason for the change is that 179.9 is a third harmonic of 60 Hz and there is a lot of electrical noie at the site from a utility pole that not only causes issues to weak signals but falses the PL decoder for the link as well.

    This can cause falsing under certain situations so since we need to go back up to tie up some loose ends, we will also make this change.

    Thanks.


    CARLA 8 upgrades
    Last updated on September 3, 2009 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    The CARLA 8 system (442.075+, Lake Tahoe) will be off the air for upgrades this Saturday, September 5th.

    We will be re-racking and upgrading the system with a new controller, new batteries, and a back-up RF link to CARLA 18 in case we lose connectivity to the Nevada hub. Expect the system to be down for most of the morning and day while we perform the work.

    Other systems in the region (21,23,18) will still be up and operational with CARLA 23 being the only other system to cover the Tahoe basin.

    Thanks for your patience during this upgrade.



    Echo-IRLP Node down
    Last updated on September 2, 2009 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    We are taking down the Echo-IRLP Node for troubleshooting and repairs. The inbound audio is distorted and hard to understand. We will send an announcement when it is back up and operational. It may be a little while however whike we juggle it with all the other projects.

    Thanks.


    2 new systems for beta testing
    Last updated on September 1, 2009 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    Recently we added two new systems for beta testing on the network.

    The first is located in the Carson City area at 7,440 foot elevation (CARLA 24, 443.325+, 127.3 PL). It is currently in stand alone mode and not linked into the network. It covers the Carson Valley very well, most parts of Reno and East into Fallon and other areas. It can also be worked in some areas of the Lake Tahoe Basin.

    The second system is located west of Redding at 6,200 foot elevation (CARLA 25, 444.325+, 100.0 PL). It is currently linked in full time to the network and was actually the southern most repeater of the Oregon Connection system. Since its original link was diverted to tie in the OC to CARLA, it has been isolated for several months. Since it is surrounded by other CARLA machines in the area (13, 20, 6) it made sense to integrate into our network and make more efficient use of it. We are considering upgrading it to a dual PL system with battery back-up and also use it as the back-up RF link site instead of CARLA 20\'s site. It covers the northern part of the valley very well around Redding, Anderson, Red Bluff, Corning, etc


    Network status
    Last updated on July 25, 2009 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    Over the last week or so the new controller at CARLA 5 Oakland/East Bay Hills (Link Comm DSP-404) has gotten progressively worse. We were attending to it daily, sometimes for hours at a time trying to revive it until it finally gave up and died a couple of days ago. It was headed for the cliff but we restrained ourselves especially for what they cost.

    Saturday we replaced it with a new S-Com 7330 which we are slowly integrating into all of the network replacing the aging but reliable S-Com 7K controllers.

    This is a temporary solution until we get a replacement DSP-404. They acknowledge the problems and have supposedly been working on fixes but certainly not fast enough for our requirements.

    Subsequently, this has cut off the Shasta Ring from the rest of the network meaning CARLA 13 & 20 are stand-alone and talking only to each other for now and our link to the Oregon Connection is disabled and only available through IRLP until the controller is replaced.

    On another note, we have re-enabled the IRLP & EchoLink node for the time being as we have another controller to allow us enough ports to run everything.


    C.A.R.L.A. May/June 2009 wrap up
    Last updated on July 4, 2009 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    There is a lot that was accomplished in May & June of 2009 for C.A.R.L.A. Here is a wrap up of what happened in brief:

    CARLA 3, Pt. Arena:

    We replaced CARLA 3 with a permanent system and linked it in to the rest of the network. It now has a dual PL scheme, battery back up, new controller, better RX & TX gain and so on. One issue we have experienced is the fading link path at times. It may be just fine when using it or it may fade into the noise usually with hot temperatures. We are constantly listening to the path and will make some changes this year to try and improve it. For now, please be patient with it and say hello to the newly connected users in the Pt. Arena, Manchester and surrounding coastal towns. This was the last CARLA system to be linked in to the network.

    CARLA 5, Oakland:

    The new CARLA 5 system has been on the air for a few weeks now but has been experiencing some technical issues with the controller. It is the same model as the one at CARLA 13`s site and we do have a way to remotely reset this one as well. It seems this controller has been acting up multiple times a day and then maybe not again for a few days or a week. There is no pattern that we can pin it down to but the manufacturer is aware of issues with them and we have been patiently awaiting a fix.

    CARLA 13, Shasta Lake:

    We installed the new IP controller and RF link to the Oregon Connection, new antennas and did a lot of work getting everything working properly. Then the controller decided to lock up and we made another trip to install a remotely controlled power management black box to reset the controller when it goes wiggy.

    CARLA 18, Topaz Lake, NV:

    We replaced the RF hub that links in all of the Nevada sites and replaced a pre-amp that was damaged. This should help with audio and link path gains.

    CARLA 20, Burney:

    We found the reason for the repeater being off link. The link antenna was sheared off most likely due to a chunk of ice falling from the tower. Since this was an `extra` field trip, we did not have a spare Yagi to replace it with. In a pinch, we used a rubber duck antenna from the service monitor and it is still full quieting back to CARLA 13. When we go up to replace out the entire system we will bring a new Yagi antenna as well. This is the last of the machines that still has a single PL and temporary repeater.

    CARLA 22, Hawthorne NV:

    The system on Corey Peak has been replaced with a permanent system. It now has a dual PL scheme, battery back up, better RX & TX gain, new antennas, RF links, new controller and so on. To date this is our highest site at 10,300 feet and covers a wide area of Western-Central Nevada and Eastern California. Anyone travelling South on 395 towards Bishop and beyond is encouraged to check in and give us some feedback on drive tests. This site will require another trip to tie up loose ends that we ran out of time to finish.

    CARLA 23, Reno/Lake Tahoe NV:

    We tied up several loose ends on this system and moved the primary antenna a little higher along with a new coax run. We still need to make another trip to finish a few things as it turned out to be a Noon to Midnight day partly due to having to hike the last 500 feet to the site carrying all kinds of equipment and test gear and making several trips doing it. There was a deep snow drift that kept us from traversing the road and made for a real fun filled, oxygen depleting couple of hours hiking at nearly 10,000 feet.

    Stay tuned for more to come.



    Oregon Connection testing completed
    Last updated on May 8, 2009 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    As some of you know we've been conducting some preliminary tests linking with the Oregon Connection via IRLP for the last couple of months. We recently completed our tests and have returned our respective networks to their normal status.

    We are still moving forward with an integrated linking solution via RF between the two systems. We expect that will take place in roughly a month or so.

    We realize that keeping both systems tied together on a full time basis doubles the traffic that either group is used to and limits the availability to use each respective network separately.

    Once that link is in place we will conduct some more testing to see what the normal connection mode will be. More than likely it will be activated by command with an automatic disconnect based on activity timers.

    Thank you for you patience during this trial test period. We'll keep everyone updated as more information becomes available.



    Update on PAVE PAWS for April, 2009
    Last updated on April 25, 2009 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    It was purportedly about a year ago (April 2008) that the USAF performed another round of testing at Beale AFB. The results from those tests didn't come to the attention of most of the affected repeater owners/trustees until sometime in the 4th quarter of 2009. It was done by a phone call from a person in the FCC that was dealing with this issue since Riley Hollingsworth had retired. When you do the math that's 5-6 months later. As you can see the sense of urgency is just not there which tells us that we really aren't causing a serious or 'service affecting' problem to their radar system. It's thought by some that they are simply scraping the bottom of the barrel as it may be to find anything and everything they can pick up whether it's really causing them an issue or not and targeting those repeaters. The FCC is not giving official orders but rather informal phone calls or e-mails. None the less we have tried to cooperate and reduce power levels towards BAFB as requested but feedback from our efforts is never immediate or forthcoming.

    When we received the results from their testing in April of 2008 it was apparent that there were still problems and inconsistencies with their data. We sent a letter to the ARRL to ask why we were getting different and inconsistent data from them. The answer(s) were numerous and basically said it is what it is and challenging it was not going to be a worthwhile effort unless it was just completely out of the realm of possibility.

    Sometime in early April of 2009 the ARRL apparently gave NARCC the information needed to run the Longley-Rice propagation tests that they had been running in their lab based on information they perceived to be tolerable levels received at the radar site from repeaters in the region. The DoD and USAF will not make that information known to us even though you could figure it out with all the information found on-line and from their reduction requirements of individual systems. Regardless, we will work with NARCC to see if our systems will likely fall within the estimated tolerances to the radar system as each repeater comes up re-coordination. All that will do is give NARCC information to begin coordinating repeaters again with the knowledge that the DoD/USAF could come back with a different answer at any point.

    As of the writing of this update the following C.A.R.L.A. systems have been targeted and their power and/or antenna (coverage) patterns have been modified either moderately or drastically.
    • System 5
    • System 6
    • System 9
    • System 11
    • System 16

    Essentially, coverage in and around the Northern & Central Sacramento Valley has been significantly reduced from all of these repeaters.


    Spring 2009 Roundup
    Last updated on April 17, 2009 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    Plenty going on at C.A.R.L.A. as we thaw out from our winter slumber and begin ramping up for our spring/summer projects. We've recently added a Interactive Coverage Map of the C.A.R.L.A. system, updated the Support page with new information, an online form to allow users to sign up and more easily contribute donations, added a new photo gallery plus a completely revamped website.

    We've also enterd into a linking agreement with the Oregon Connection to expand coverage into the State of Oregon http://www.oregonconnection.org/ and we are working on several system upgrade projects for this year.

    As always, stay tuned!


    C.A.R.L.A. links with the Oregon Connection
    Last updated on March 12, 2009 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    Posted to the C.A.R.L.A. Yahoo Group on 3/12/2009:

    We are pleased to announce that C.A.R.L.A. is in preliminary testing stages for a reciprocal linking project between our network and the Oregon Connection system based in the state of Oregon.

    We are currently performing some trial runs via IRLP to "test the waters" and make sure the two systems are compatible with each other and see how the two work together.

    Based on that, we will be working towards a more permanent RF link solution between C.A.R.L.A. & the Oregon Connection that can be brought on or off line by command.

    They also have a reciprocal link agreement with the Evergreen Intertie system in the state of Washington which is also commanded on line when needed.

    The IRLP connection is only a temporary solution until the RF paths are established.

    We are bringing two completely different yet very complementary systems together so things may sound a little different at first and there may be un-familiar call signs but we think the two will dovetail very well once any bugs are worked out. The Oregon Connection is very similar to how C.A.R.L.A. operates and they have a great bunch of people involved with their system. We are very excited to see all the possibilities and opportunities this venture can bring to both of our systems and our users.

    Now more than ever, there is a need to be conscientious of leaving pauses after first keying up before speaking and gaps between courtesy tones so every word gets through and everyone gets a chance to talk. Occasionally, during conversations try and let everything drop for a bit in order to allow any timers to reset.

    If there are any problems or questions, a control operator from one system or the other will be glad to help out or answer questions.

    Please be sure to give our neighbors from the north a warm welcome if you hear them on the air.

    About the Oregon Connection:

    The Oregon Connection consists of 47 linked repeaters in the UHF (440Mhz) and VHF (144Mhz) bands. The system started in Medford, Oregon in 1999 as the Rogue Valley Linking Association working together with the Oregon Repeater Linking Group in the Northern portion of the state. In 2006, they joined forces dissolving the two separate group names and formed the "Oregon Connection". Their system is made up of 12 owners. Most are silent partners or branch off to cover a specific area off of the main North/South links that run along the Interstate-5 Freeway. Some of their coverage extends into the northern part of California and picks up coverage where we leave off.

    They have always been an OPEN system available for any licensed user. They work with the American Red Cross Disaster Communications & Oregon Emergency Management. You can learn more about their system at: www.oregonconnection.org


    PAVE PAWS and its effect on the C.A.R.L.A. Network
    Last updated on February 27, 2009 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    Some of you may already know what PAVE PAWS is and some may not. It is not a new running shoe or tracks left by a bear in the woods. Basically, it is a radar system that utilizes around 1,700, 325W transmitters and antennas in a phased array with spread spectrum technology and is used in the 420-450 UHF band by the USAF/Department of Defense. They use it to track incoming water based ICBM's and also track the space shuttle amongst other things. There are a couple of them working in the U.S. and one is at Beale AFB near Marysville, CA which is North of Sacramento and the other in the Cape Cod area in Massachusetts.

    You might say to yourself, "Hey that's in the Amateur Radio band" and you would be correct. However, contrary to popular belief, we are NOT the primary user in that band but rather secondary to the military. That means we must not cause interference to them and can be ordered off the band by the FCC if they insist. Most people don't realize this and it hasn't been too much of an issue until recently. We do experience interference from their system generally in the form of random "popcorn" popping sound under someone's signal with mobiles that are less than fully saturating the repeater's receiver and various link paths. This is prevalent on certain repeaters that are in closer proximity to the source like C.A.R.L.A. 6 & 16 and lots of others in the greater Sacramento Valley area and beyond.

    The DoD recently approached the FCC and ARRL regarding increasing interference to their receivers on the system and have targeted over 100 repeaters in the greater Sacramento Valley, San Joaquin Valley & Bay Area as "allegedly" being a potential source of interference. A person in the ARRL has been made the point person for us and the ARRL has been the single source for the DoD to work with in relations with the Amateur Radio community and interfacing with the FCC.

    The ARRL has come up with an interim plan for ALL targeted repeaters to turn their power down to 5W. The max limit has always supposed to have been 50W within a 150 mile radius of certain included military bases like Beale AFB and is what C.A.R.L.A. repeaters have always abided by. There are other steps that the ARRL will do to try and test repeater signal strengths, coverage patterns, etc., and make further recommendations in conjunction with the DoD/USAF. Some systems may have to change antenna patterns, heights, power output, location or just simply cease operations permanently.

    In certain circles there has been quite a bit of chatter going back and forth regarding the situation and especially, but not limited to:

    • Why all of a sudden is there an issue after ~30 years of peaceful coexistence?
    • Where did they get their source of information on repeaters as it seems to be way out of date?
    • How have they determined which repeaters do make the list and which ones don't?
    • What is their criteria for "interference" and what levels would be acceptable to them?
    • What does the changing of their PAVE PAWS system contractor have to do with all this?
    • Did they make changes to their system that would affect the alleged problems and how many millions were spent?
    • Are there other sources of interference out there besides what they allege is coming from Amateurs?
    • This problem has been going on for a few years so why are they doing something about it now?
    • If the Amateurs could potentially cause them interference, what could a determined adversary do to them?
    • 5W transmitter output does not create a level playing field for everyone when considering varying system gains & losses.
    • Why haven't they targeted anything in the 420/430 sub bands?
    • If it really and truly has been disruptive then why didn't they do something more severe, long ago?

    The irony is that the repeaters they are messing with are the ones that would help in the aftermath of a real attack.

    There are a whole lot more discussion topics and revealing insight to the issue that would at the very least open one's eyes just a bit more.

    When asked questions to clarify certain things their answer has been that its "classified" When you look at some of the information they gathered (call sign, location and frequency) it doesn't all make sense and is full of holes. But again, "its classified".

    The first deadline was June 15th 2007, for turning down the power. The DoD wants all interference to be gone by August 1. Will this happen? Who knows, especially when they won't be as forthcoming with information as we need them to be. It may not solve their problem and they may look deeper into the Amateur band or other sources for the "real" reason(s).

    C.A.R.L.A. has complied with the requests from the ARRL that were sent via certified letter recently. This means that C.A.R.L.A. 6 & 9 have been lowered in power to 5W. For C.A.R.L.A. 9, it is a bigger drop in power than C.A.R.L.A. 6 which is already turned down well below 50W due to co-channel neighbors. What this means to the user is that the footprint will obviously not be as great and things will sound noisier than normal especially in marginal areas and non line of site situations. The repeater should still hear as well as it did (maybe better) and the transmitters should run cooler but it will certainly reduce the effective range of the systems. For those that are close to the repeaters you may not notice a thing except, perhaps its not full scale on the S-meter. By reducing the power from 50W to 5W it will effect about a 10db reduction in power which could equate to 1-2 s-units on a radio depending on various circumstances and relative signal strength, etc.

    As things significantly change and affect C.A.R.L.A. we will try to update this page. We truly hope that these changes will show them that the Amateur Radio community is not the sole or primary cause for their problems but we're also not so naive as to think they'll be satisfied with these changes alone. All we can do is to wait and see what else happens and hope for the best.

    Below are some links that we gathered from other sources and files that may be of further interest in explaining the PAVE-PAWS system, the intentions of the DoD/ARRL/FCC, and other related issues.


    http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2007/04/17/100/?nc=1

    http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2007/06/11/100/?nc=1

    http://www.fas.org/spp/military/program/track/pavepaws.htm

    http://www.fas.org/spp/starwars/program/eisnmddraft/uewr.pdf

    http://www.rfidjournal.com/article/articleview/1847/1/1/

    http://www.fcc.gov/oet/info/maps/us7/

    http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/2006/05/bae-gets-51m-to-maintain-bmews-pave-paws/index.php

    http://www.aiaa.org/aerospace/images/articleimages/pdf/AA_Nov06_EOE.pdf

    http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Raytheon_Helps_Ballistic_Missile_Intercept_In_Space_999.html

    http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/micro_stories.pl?ACCT=742575&TICK=RTNB&STORY=/www/story/03-21-2006/0004324260&EDATE=Mar+21,+2006

    http://www.prnewstoday.com/release.htm?cat=aerospace-defense&dat=20060901&rl=NEF01101092006-1

    http://www.pcb007.com/anm/templates/article.aspx?articleid=13628&zoneid=68&v

    Letter from the ARRL


    Christmas 2008 Roundup
    Last updated on December 15, 2008 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    CARLA 23: The Carla 23 repeater came on the air in mid-August and is located at Slide Mt, Nevada. It is currently using the dual PL scheme with a link PL of 156.7 and a local PL of 127.3. Originally, it came up on the air on 443.325Mhz but the noise floor on that repeater pair at that location was unbearable and made the receiver nearly deaf. It was then moved to a repeater pair of 441.550Mhz TX/446.550Mhz RX and it hears much better now.

    CARLA 21: The Carla 21 repeater came on the air at the end of July and is located near Reno, Nevada. It is currently using the dual PL scheme with a link PL of 156.7 and a local PL of 127.3. There was initially some problems with the link path back into the rest of the system but that has been cleaned up and reports are that its working great!

    CARLA 13: For several months the Carla 13 repeater near Lake Shasta has had a link path to the system that was at best marginal and at worst non-existent. In July, this repeater was fully integrated into the network with a permanent repeater, new controller, dual PL scheme, battery back up and a new permanent link into the rest of the network that is both solid and reliable. The local PL is 114.8 and the link PL is 167.9.

    CARLA 20: The Carla 20 repeater was replaced with a different beta test repeater in July to get it back on the air. It is now linked full time into the network via Carla 13's facilities. The full time link PL is 123.0 and there is currently no local-only PL.

    CARLA 22: The Carla 22 repeater came on the air at the end of June and is located near Hawthorne, Nevada. It is currently using a PL of 127.3 and is linked full time into the rest of the system. There is no local PL at this time.

    CARLA 18: The Carla 18 repeater has been fully integrated into the network with a permanent repeater, new controller, dual PL scheme, RX pre-amp, battery back up and a new permanent link into the rest of the network. The local PL is 110.9 and the link PL is 167.9.

    CARLA 17: The Carla 17 repeater at Cedar Ridge has recently been upgraded to a full "CARLA Spec" system utilizing an SCom controller. Its now on-air with local and link PLs. The local PL is 103.5 and you might want to note that the link PL is 151.4 so as not to interfere with the Cisco Butte system's 156.7 link PL.

    CARLA 19: The Carla 19 repeater in Hayward has recently been upgraded to a full "CARLA Spec" system utilizing an SCom controller. Its now on-air with local and link PLs. The local PL is 114.8 and the link PL is 173.8.

    CARLA 15: The Carla 15 repeater has been fully integrated into the network with a permanent repeater, new controller, dual PL scheme, RX pre-amp, battery back up and a new permanent link into the rest of the network. The local PL is 114.8 and the link PL is 162.2.After the installation, we noticed falsing on the local PL which would take out any link audio making it impossible to hold a QSO through the system. We believe that tightening the notch on the rx pass cavity and possibly decreasing the rx sensitivity slightly will help. We have disabled the local PL until we can get back to the site to diagnose and fix the problem. So use the link PL on this repeater for now.

    CARLA 16: We regret to announce we were required to make substantial changes in the power output & radiation pattern from the CARLA 16 (440.750/WA6BTH) repeater in Vacaville in mid February. Currently we have some corner reflectors pointing roughly South East and South West and have turned down the power even more to try and reduce the signal going towards Beale AFB and the PAVE-PAWS system as requested by the DoD.

    CARLA 2: The Carla 2 repeater in San Francisco came to the end of an era on Oct 8, 2008 at the benefit of newer technology. This system has been on the air since the mid to late 70's with very little change from its original equipment. Until recently, it was an RC-85 controller running a Spectrum Communications repeater and an Icom-900 Remote Base. In October of 2008, the original radio equipment and controller were removed and replaced with a new Motorola Repeater (XPR-8300) and link radios and a new Scom 7330 controller. A new dual PL scheme has now been integrated to match other repeaters in the network. The new PL's are 100.0 Hz Local & 162.2 Link. Please note that RF Power is being kept lower than when it was originally installed years ago to reduce any issues to Beale AFB and co-channel system 12 in the Pleasanton/Dublin area. The last and final phase of the overhaul process will involve replacing the antennas, masts and mounting hardware.

    CARLA 4: The Carla 4 repeater has been fully integrated into the network with a permanent repeater, new controller, dual PL scheme, RX pre-amp, battery back up and a new permanent link into the rest of the network. The local PL is 114.8 and the link PL is 167.9


    How I Spent My Memorial Day Weekend - 2008
    Last updated on June 1, 2007 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    How I Spent My Memorial Day Weekend

    or

    A Day in the Life of the C.A.R.L.A. Road Crew


    "I now have first hand knowledge of how to build an igloo." - N6QOP

    Well...It wasn't really that bad. But it wasn't that good. The day started out nice enough. We had breakfast at the Tahoe House Cafe and with coffee cups in hand we headed up the hill to repair the repeater. Now I should mention here that its about a 30 minute drive up the hill from the highway. But not today. Less than five minutes up the hill we came across the first of several patches of snow blocking the road. We tried driving the Tahoe across it but quickly dug a rut with two of the tires. Shovels out, we made pretty quick work of removing enough snow from around the tires to proceed on up the road.

    A bit farther up the road we came upon the second mound of snow blocking our way. We worked on this one for about two and a half hours before finally taking a break for some (well deserved) lunch. We managed to regroup and blasted through the rest of this mound in thirty minutes.

    We traveled quite a ways up the road before coming upon a third mound of snow. But as we started to dig, we noticed something different about this mound. It was semi-solid. Not solid enough to try driving over but solid enough to resist digging with shovels. So we got the ol' Binford 5000 chainsaw out and cut it into blocks.

    We ended up with enough blocks of ice to make a small igloo... We managed to cut a path along one side big enough for the truck to pass in about forty five minutes.

    Further on up the road, we ran into yet another patch of snow blocking our way. This time though, there was enough room to one side for us to drive around. Or so we thought. But the dirt was soft and the truck slid sideways just a little bit. Just enough to trap a fallen tree trunk between the tire and the exhaust pipe of the truck.

    Moving the truck would have sheered the exhaust pipe clean off! SO... we got the chainsaw out once again, this time to cut some of the log out of the way. That did the trick. We were on our way once again.

    With this last patch of snow behind us, we were now able to drive quite a distance towards the site. Eventually, as we had figured, we reached the snow line near the top and had to hike the last mile of road on foot. This would have been a nice afternoon hike...except for the mosquitos!! Swarms of mosquitos followed us every step of the way. And the person voted most likely to catch "west nile"... our very own N6- "Shorts" -MVT.

    After several hours we finally arrived at the site. It took all of an hour to replace a bad PA on the main radio and C.A.R.L.A. 8 was back in business.

    The trip back down to civilization went pretty uneventful, except for one snow mound which needed about 5 minutes of shoveling to make it safe to pass. We made it back to the highway just as it got dark. All-in-all, it was a full days workout for the C.A.R.L.A. road crew.

    "Snow - Nature's little Joke." - N6QOP


    CARLA Comes Full Circle in 2006
    Last updated on September 3, 2006 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    C.A.R.L.A. has come full circle. If you read the first paragraph on the "About C.A.R.L.A." page, you'll see the following:

    "C.A.R.L.A. ...was being developed in the early 80's and was revived due to the Coalinga earthquake that shook the area on May 2, 1983. Skip Hamer, N6IRF, and another Ham, Jack Ebury, W6IYY were engaged in conversation with each other about plans for C.A.R.L.A. via telephone between the S.F. Bay Area and Coalinga just before the earthquake struck."

    On Labor Day of 2006, C.A.R.L.A. came full circle with the addition of the C.A.R.L.A. 15 system on Joaquin Ridge near the town of Coalinga. This system extends C.A.R.L.A.'s South coverage well past the Fresno area and into the Bakersfield area of central California.

    And thats not all the news...

    During the Labor Day weekend, 2 more repeaters came on the air in the C.A.R.L.A. network. C.A.R.L.A. 13 is located just north of Lake Shasta with great coverage of the lake and surrounding areas. Lastly, C.A.R.L.A. 14 is on the air just West of Truckee with coverage on the I-80 corridor from Truckee to almost Auburn.

    The C.A.R.L.A. 13 and C.A.R.L.A. 15 repeaters are currently basic temporary repeaters with Link PL only. No local PL available yet. We are building up the complete permanent repeaters to full C.A.R.L.A. spec (full controllers, Link/Local PL, battery backup, etc.) to replace them as time permits.

    And there's more...

    In mid-November, 2 more repeaters came on the air in the C.A.R.L.A. network. C.A.R.L.A. 3, which has been looking for a home, is now on the air near Point Arena just West of Ukiah. Its currently standalone but we hope to link it in to the system eventually. And C.A.R.L.A. 7, which has been down for a short while, is now back on the air in the South Bay. And its now linked to the rest of the system!

    And...

    C.A.R.L.A. is now connected to the GRS Mt. Vaca Repeater on 440.750+ with a local PL of 100.0Hz and a link PL of 173.8Hz. If you're in the greater Sacramento Valley area, try C.A.R.L.A. 16 on Mt. Vaca.

    Wait! There's more...

    In mid-March, C.A.R.L.A. 17 was brought up on the air in the Sonora area. Its currently standalone but we expect to link it in to the system eventually. It provides good coverage in the hills around Sonora as well as great coverage from Sacramento to Merced in the valley. Shortly after that installation, C.A.R.L.A. 4 was moved from Fremont Peak to Greenfield. Its main coverage area is now the 101 corridor between Monterey and King City with additional coverage in the surronding areas. This system is currently standalone also but it will be linked into the system eventually as well.

    And even more...

    During the Memorial Day weekend, C.A.R.L.A. 18 came up on the air. This repeater is located near Topaz Lake in Nevada and covers Antelope Valley, Minden, Gardenerville, and can be heard in Reno. Its currently standalone but we expect to link it in to the system eventually.


    CARLA meets Mrs. Doubtfire
    Last updated on September 9, 2001 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink

    While George Hincapie raced towards a first place finish at the 2001 San Francisco Grand Prix bicycle race last week, an alert ABC reporter covering the race spotted a local Marin County native who frequents bike racing events - Robin Williams. After interviewing Robin for several minutes live at the main grandstand, someone in the vicinity invited him to pick up a nearby mic and say hello to the checkpoint communications group for the race. A moment later, a voice was heard on the C.A.R.L.A. 2 repeater:

    "Hello? Hello? Robin Williams here. Anybody got a 10-100 location out there?? I *really* gotta go now! Keep up the good work! This is Robin "Racer" Williams, over and out!"