We serve Dauphin County RACES ( Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service) and HEARS ( Hospital Emergency Amateur Radio Service )

The next CPRA meeting will be this Thursday, 7 PM, Oct 20 at the Wharf, Harrisburg.  Come at 6 PM for food and drinks.
A conclusion was reached that DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) provided the best overall path in terms of capacity, simplicity of use and expandability.  As a result of this conclusion, a vote was taken and funds collected to purchase and establish a DMR repeater on 147.375.  There were several very substantial donations that expedited this purchase process and the CPRA is grateful for the exceptional generosity demonstrated by these individuals.  You know who you are.

In late July, a Motorola SLR5700 repeater was purchased and received.  Between Chris KB3TWW and Kevin KA0JQO the station was programmed and installed on Blue Mountain.  The system was put on the air using a temporary antenna arrangement and currently serves the greater Harrisburg and surrounding area.

The 147.375 repeater is connected to the K4USD C-Bridge and is part of a group of repeaters that includes the 146.445 and 444.05625 stations at Reesers Summit and the 147.105 repeater at Cornwall.  This group of repeaters provides solid coverage in the Dauphin, Cumberland, Lancaster and Lebanon county areas.

Talk groups, by name, available on this repeater are:

Local 2 – the networked TG that networks Cornwall, Blue, both Reesers Summit as well as Fairmont and a few others.

Local 9 – the 147.375 ONLY talk group for focused use.

PA State – Expands upon Local 2 and is also full time available.

TAC310 – PTT talk group that connects to any repeater that chooses to connect.

Other talk groups are available and information is available on dmr-marc.net and k4usd.net.

In order to use this repeater and other DMR stations in this area is a relatively simple task.  A DMR radio is required and the important parameters to know are the these:

1:  Frequencies – 147.975 mobile transmit and 147.375 mobile receive

2:  Color code – Always, at least in this area, Color Code 1 is used.  The color code is sort of like a PL tone but different in that it is the gating parameter to access a repeater.  If the color code is wrong, you don’t get in.

3:  Talk Group – You need to know a valid talk group to send to the repeater so others can hear you.  If you don’t use a talk group that is recognized and listened to by others, you won’t be heard. 

In a nutshell, figure out how to program your radio, use these parameters and you can join the fun on DMR.

One major important factor to keep in mind is you don’t have to dedicate a radio to ONLY DMR unless you want to do so.  The DMR mobiles and portables are capable of standard analog 5 KHz deviated FM just like your existing radio.  So you can use your shiny new DMR as a digital AND an FM analog radio.  This applies to mobiles and portables.

The 147.375 repeater is a station with a long and storied past in the CPRA history and the Harrisburg service area.  Originally set up by John K3IBN and Bob W3PT, the .375 was the original dedicated RTTY repeater.  Many user stations had the various configurations of teletype equipment including model 15, model 28 and terminal equipment were used.  Many a tawdry character based picture was passed through the system.  Eventually RTTY passed into disuse and obsolescence.  375 was repurposed to be the “broadcast” outlet for the NASA space shuttle missions.  These transmissions originated from Goddard at Greenbelt, Maryland on 147.450.  Audio was relayed from a station midway between Blue Mountain and Greenbelt.  This station received the VHF Goddard channel and transmitted on UHF to Blue Mountain.   147.375  is a truly fitting home for new digital technology serving radio amateurs in Harrisburg.   KA0JQO

Cameras on Central Pa IP Network (CPIN)

A second camera was recently added to Waggoner’s Gap. It has sharper video and faster processing times.  The original camera at Waggoner’s Gap will be replaced with a similar camera in the next few weeks. If you need assistance accessing the camera system please email wa3cpo@arrl.net or call 717-574-0425.

Central Pa IP Network (CPIN) Phone System Update

The Raspberry PI that was running the CPIN phone system developed an issue that caused the memory to run high and frequent reboots and lock ups. The biggest issue with running the older PI as a phone system is the low memory and CPU speed. The older version of FreePBX also did a lot of caching to the SD card which has a service life based on the amount of writes before bad blocks start to plague the card.

The older PI was replaced with a new version 3 which has more memory (1 gig) and a faster CPU (1.2 Ghz) along with the newest version of RaspiPBX. Caching is set to limited to help preserve the SD card. We rebuilt all of the extensions and call routes but were unable to keep the current google number due to the password being unknown. The new number is 717-489-2035 which follows the same rules as the previous setup, forwarding into an IVR and allowing extension access from there forward.

In the works: Currently working with an HT-503 version of the Grandstream device which will allow access to a copper land line. This will allow external calling in the event the internet is down which would cut us off from Google Voice.   KB3ZJF

Central Pa IP Network (CPIN) Expansion

A new link was constructed from Blue Mtn to WA3ATV’s QTH.  This will allow on network access by Dan to the railroad system.  Also we will have another internet gateway using PF Sense.  This location may also support an alternate path to Northern Dauphin County.  The equipment for a link to the Harris Tower is onsite and ready for installation.

Silent Key

Date: Sun, 5 Jun 2016 10:04:16 -0400
From: George Harris N3GH


It is with great sadness I must inform you all that Walter Nero has passed.

It happened last night and was very sudden.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Divey at this time.


Walter was born on January 1, 1952 and passed away on Saturday, June 4, 2016.

Walter was a resident of Longmeadow, Massachusetts at the time of his passing.

He was a 1969 graduate of Cathedral High School and went on to further his education graduating from Springfield Technical Community College and Parkwood University with his Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering late Walter J. and Annette (Lawrence) Nero.

He was married to Divey Nero.

Family and friends are invited to attend visiting hours on Friday, June 10th from 4-8PM at Forastiere Smith Funeral Home, 220 North Main St., East Longmeadow, MA. Walt’s funeral service will be held on Saturday, June 11th from the funeral home at 8:30AM followed by a Funeral Mass in St. Mary’s Church, Longmeadow.’Visitation

Walter, WA1HHN, owned the contest site at Big Flat.