Welcome to the "www.n5mbm.net" web site, our little corner of the internet... You have connected to a rack full of a bunch of different servers for N5MBM and our Web Hosting Services. Located on our little retirement farm in the hills of Chappell Hill nestled between the Brazos river and Brenham, TX. I am a retired computer professional and avid electronic hobbyist. I set this system up so that people would have access to our local information. These pages let you access information about our local area, other web sites that we host, my various projects and a quick peek into my ham shack and see what's cooking.
The list of links below is of various resources that we provide, in no particular order.
About us - Some information about us Email services - Our Email server
"The Texas Repeater Network" - A web site for a network of internet linked repeaters residing on our servers
"The Texas Connection Repeater Network" - A web site for a network of internet linked repeaters residing on our servers
"Washington County Amateur Radio Club" - A local ham radio club in Brenham, TX. web site residing on our servers
"www.brenhambrewersupply.com" - A Local Brenham Brewers Supply shop
"Washington County TX ARES" - Amateur Radio Emergency Services web site for Washington County, TX residing on our servers
Community GMRS Repeaters - Our local linked GMRS repeater system
Chappell Hill TX area Ham Radio FM Voice Repeaters - Local FM repeaters
Washington County Tx area Ham Radio FM Voice Repeaters - Local FM repeaters
Back Yard Repeaters - My toys in the repeater hut
HF/VHF/UHF Band Conditions Page
Our hobbies include much more than just Ham Radio... I tinker with everything!
I fix a lot of stuff too...
Our online Weather station - Chappell Hill, TX weather 24/7/365
Lightning Tracking Project - Lightning tracking map in real time
The Listening Post - Scanner Streaming Audio Servers
BroadbandHamnetV3 - Wireless networking over Ham radio frequencies
Home Seismometer Project - Almost real time seismometer at my home
ADS-B Flight Radar Monitoring Project - I track airplanes too!
Minecraft Server info
Our other hobbies and interests
My Latest Erection - A tower erection Blog
My 1977 Porsche 924 Resto-Mod Project
"KPSM Radio" - Come listen to our little "Toe Tappin Porch Music" radio station on the farm
Chappell Hill Texas area map of LINKED repeaters
^^^^ Listen to the N5MBM nodes with a 20 second delay ^^^^
For more info, click the links below...
To listen to "almost live" (20 second delay) streaming audio from the N5MBM repeater system - click here
N5MBM Chappell Hill VHF/UHF Crossband repeater - Operational again as of 2/14/2014
Local Area Linked Amateur Radio Repeaters
Chappell Hill, TX. - 6 meters - 52.35 tx 51.35 rx with DCS 131 - AllStar Node 42413 - Operational
Chappell Hill, TX. - 2 meters - 145.150 tx 144.55 rx with a tone of 103.5 - AllStar Node 42414 - Operational
Independence, TX - 2 meters - 145.250 tx 144.65 rx with a tone of 103.5 - AllStar Node 46899 - Operational
Chappell Hill, TX. - 1.25 meters - 224.900 tx 223.300 rx with a tone of 103.5 -AllStar Node 42471 - Operational
Daniels, TX - 70 cm - 441.300 tx 446.300 rx with a tone of 103.5 -AllStar Node 43035 - Operational
KF5ZRT Brenham, TX - 70 cm - 441.325 tx 446.325 rx with a tone of 103.5 -AllStar Node 46884 - Operational
K5FLM Hempstead, TX - 70 cm - 441.350 tx 446.350 rx with a tone of 110.9 -AllStar Node 46898 - Operational
Channelview, TX. - 70 cm - 441.575 tx 446.575 rx with a tone of 110.9 - AllStar Node ****** - Under Construction
Chappell Hill, TX. - 70 cm - 441.625 tx 446.625 rx with a tone of 103.5 - AllStar Node 42466 - Operational
Bear Creek-Houston, TX. - 70 cm - 441.625 tx 446.625 rx with a tone of 110.9 - AllStar Node ***** - Under Construction
BNB Brenham, TX - 70cm - 441.650 tx 446.650 rx with a tone of 110.9 - AllStar Node 45441 - Under Construction
KF5KXL Industry, TX - 70 cm - 441.675 tx 446.675 rx with a tone of 103.5 -AllStar Node 45442 - Operational
Independence, TX - 70 cm - 441.850 tx 446.850 rx with a tone of 123.0 -AllStar Node 45643 - Operational
KG5JRA Navasota, Tx - 70 cm - 441.875 tx 446.875 rx With a tone of 110.9 - AllStar Node 46901 - Under Construction
Kruse Village, Brenham, TX - 70 cm - 441.925 tx 446.925 rx with a tone of 123.0 -AllStar Node 45443 - Operational
Chappell Hill, TX. - 33 cm - 927.150 tx 902.150 rx with a tone of 103.5 - AllStar Node 42817 - Operational
Chappell Hill, TX. - 23cm - 1287.100 tx 1275.100 rx with a tone of 103.5 - AllStar Node 45645 - Under Construction
N5FRT / WB5HVH Fayette County, TX. - 2 meters - 145.270 tx 144.670 rx with a tone of 114.8 - Echolink Node 46369 - Operational
W5TZ Kenney, TX - 70 cm - 439.150 with a tone of 141.3 - AllStar Node 40780 - Operational
WA5OSA Bellville, TX - 70 cm - 441.325 with a tone of 127.3 - AllStar Node 46177 - Operational
Global All Star Connection Map
Map of past repeater activity on the system
Please connect to our HUB on AllStarLink 43033 or Echolink N5MBM-R
Click here to see the "Real-Time" Supermon status of our linked repeater system
Common Sense Rules for using the Chappell Hill area Repeaters
Weekly Net Schedule
Status update: 02/16/2018
We updated and moved our seismometer over onto a Raspberry Pi computer out in the barn. I am using an Infiltec QM-4.5LV Vertical Seismometer installed on the slab floor in my barn, running on a Raspberry Pi 3 running Debian PIXEL Linux and jAmaSeis software - updated every 1 minute or so onto our webserver.
We have also been busy moving our server duties over to a rack full of Raspberry Pi's - retiring a bunch of Windows computers that do a great job of heating up the hamshack! The Web Server, the Email server, the File server for the farm as well as our seismometer and weather station are all slated to be moved onto more rleiable Linux computers that don't heat up the server room. Five vertical feet of rack space, full of Dell servers (room heaters) have been replaced by a little rack of Raspberry Pi's that sits in only 2U worth of rack space!
The difference in the "heat load" in the ham shack is downright noticeable!
Status update: 01/17/2018
Updated and moved our Streaming audio feeds on the 6m repeater and the Texas Repeater Network hub. Now they work better than ever with no de-sense from being on scanners in my ham shack. Now they are streamed right off of the repeater controllers!
Status update: 01/01/2018
Updated info on our new Chappell Hill Community GMRS Repeater, WRAK606 462.650 / 467.650 PL110.9
We also "fixed" some problems with our Towercam1 and our Weather Underground weather station KTXSEALY13. We also updated our Weather pages here on this web site to reflect the changes.
Status update: 12/06/2017
A Lot has happened in the past couple of months. We started the TexasRepeaterNetwork.net and have moved our resources over to it - but still maintaining the connection with the texasconnection.net. Thus improving our connectivity and making things a little bit more flexible.
Our 441.625 repeater in Chappell Hill has suffered audio problems, probably linked to failing capacitors on the transmitter board. we will be replacing that repeater soon with a new one. 100w Quantar repeaters do NOT come cheap!
Several new repeaters have come on-line to the local ARES hub! Please welcome the KF5ZRT repeater, the K5FLM repeater and the W5AUM repeater to the network! KF5ZRT covers the North end of Brenham. K5FLM expands our coverage out in the Hempstead to Houston corridor. The W5AUM repeater was installed at the Independence site and expanded our coverage out towards Navasota and Bryan/College Station.
We are also working on a new repeater installation at the Brenham National Bank building, on top of the ISP towers located there. It will be an N5MBM repeater, node 45441. It should come online soon! It will be co-located with the Washington County Amateur Radio Club's W5AUM Brenham 145.390 C4FM repeater using digital AND FM to give the HT users in Brenham an easy to reach digital repeater to use.
Now we are looking for places to put new repeaters out in the Cypress/Jersey Village area, the Bryan/College Station area and the Lake Sommerville area to expand our local coverage. The idea is, when you drive out of the coverage area of one repeater, you can switch channels and be right back into the system and continue to talk "back home" so to speak. Since a lot of us that live out here run to Sealy, College Station and Houston running errands, this will be a handy addition to our communications tool box.
We also changed up the ID's on a lot of our repeaters (not all of them) and have added announcements for nets, meetings and the WCARC Christmas party.
Yes, we HAVE been busy!
Status update: 08/26/2017
Dealing with Hurricane Harvey and its impact on South Texas. The Texas Connection is connected to the Hurricane Net full time until the emergency is over. Once the event is over, everything will resume regular operations.
Status update: 07/21/2017
The 441.625 repeater is sick... The audio on the control board has decided to flake out. I am searching for a replacement as we speak...
Status update: 07/12/2017
The 441.300 net repeater is back up! I found a guy in Arizona who will repair the final amplifier stage in R1225 repeaters for a flat fee. I sent him a couple of units to try out his services and received them back in short order. I replaced the dead radio with a repaired unit and we are back in business! All net operations shall resume as per normal.
Status update: 07/03/2017
A lot of things have happened... Not all of them good!
The cross band repeater croaked, and I do mean croaked! It smells like burnt capacitors... (And death...) It gave up the ghost, finally, after being in use (and never being turned off!) for many years, without a rest. I just couldn't revive it once more... It will be missed and given a full military funeral with honors before it goes into the dumpster, never to return. It got replaced my an AllStar driven cross band repeater built out of an old pair of Motorola Maxtrac radios. It is now an "agile cross band repeater" connected to my little network here at home - that I can control remotely! It will soldier on for years to come now, we hope! Now I can resume being able to use my HT to talk to the guys on the Brenham repeaters while on my porch, grilling steaks...
The Net Node Repeater (441.300) decided to join its buddy in the great beyond! After many years, the finals gave up after the guys on the Insomniac net kept it going into the wee hours of the morning, rag chewing. The guys on the Alaska Morning Net didn't help it either. Soon, the 25w radio will be swapped out for a 10w spare radio I had on the shelf. One of these days, when I find a new 45w radio, I will put that in, when I find one on eBay for cheap.
We swapped out the aging 25w Maxtrac based 70cm repeater (441.625) we have been running and upgraded to a 100w Quantar beast set to 80w. It should run forever, I am told. But I have noticed the difference immediately. I can talk on it all the way in to 99 in Houston, It's a wee bit better than it used to be!
We swapped out the aging 25w Maxtrac based 2m repeater running into a 100w amplifier with a new 25w Quantar beast set to 20w. It should run forever, I am told. Running into the same old Henry 100w amplifier. It seems to be more sensitive now...
The old 900 MHz 100w Quantar got a new final amplifier module and is now back up and running at full steam. The old one got too hot and gave up.
Now that I am running 3 big, fat, hairy, fire breathing, Quantars, (and some pretty hefty power supplies to run the amplifiers!) I have discovered that ONE 15amp circuit is NOT enough! (LOL) I kept popping the circuit breakers! (Giving my UPS's a REAL workout!) So I had to rearrange things and split things up that were plugged into the wall, now they are spread across multiple circuits to spread the load... NOW when the fire breathing Quantars key up, the lights in the repeater hut no longer momentarily dim...
We had to install a larger AC unit in the repeater hut! The little 4500 BTU window unit just wasn't cutting the mustard with summer coming along. Now that we have a 8000 BTU unit in the window, it stays nice and cool inside, even when it is over 100 degrees outside!
Yes, my light bill IS a nightmare every time I open it!
The new Independence site has now come fully online! With a 100w UHF quantar. It covers most of the county pretty well!
The Industry site got upgraded from a 10w UHF repeater to a 45w UHF repeater. The KF5KXL repeater now has much better range!
We added "AutoSky" to all of our repeaters that announce the time of day, the weather and the temperature at the top of the hour. It will also automagically announce weather alerts! It downloads weather info from the NWS every 4 minutes. If an advisory or warning pops up, all of our repeaters will nwo let you know about it! Tropical storm Cindy was its first trial by fire and it came through with flying colors...
We added recorded announcements at the quarters of the hour to all of our repeaters. Now that we figured out HOW to do it, I can add club announcements to the mix in the future. I see this as something that will be downright handy in the future. With text to speech applications on the web, I can make my repeaters say anything I want, at the exact times that I specify.
We setup a new website! Checkout www.thetexasconnection.net for more info!
The Washington County Amateur Radio Club's website now resides on our servers! After a lot of struggle, the web site has been ported over and is now happily running on our web servers - that are a HELL of a lot faster than their old web server! I am humbled that they have entrusted me with their data and I appreciate their trust.
We have upgraded our ability to remotely control repeaters connected to the world wide network. Now with new management consoles, it is easier than ever to control our repeaters and other repeaters connected to the network, no matter if they are here or clear across the country!
Checkout the new monitoring console for yourself...
We upgraded some of our local area network components to improve throughput and reliability. My farm network is more complicated than some small business networks! I am literally running out IP addresses... That's when you know you have a "problem". I AM a computer geek...
We upgraded, replaced and installed new cameras overlooking the farm from the main repeater tower. One of them is a new pan/tilt/zoom camera that can easily see in the dark! It's a shame Weather Underground changed their software so our cameras will no longer feed them images every minute of every day... But I have one hell of a view from the top of the tower now!
We recently went through a MAJOR project of upgrading our computers to control our repeaters. The big old PC needed to be retired - it was over 10 years old. We now have four stacked Raspberry Pi's arranged in a single rack mount enclosure with all of the URI's that hook up to everything in the repeater hut. We also installed a couple of new RasPi's to control all the others and the new cross band repeater. This does away with the ONE big PC running Linux that had gotten so old that it had started flaking out and doing weird things, intermittenly. The little capacitors just aren't what they used to be, and it was affecting network operations - so it had to go! Now that all the RasPi's are running things, things have settled down and become MUCH more reliable... May the old eMachines PC rest in pieces...
Now we have 8 RasPi's controlling everything under Linux... Soon to be 10! (Yes I AM a computer geek!)
That's all I can remember for now... More changes will come, you can count on it! As I upgrade things little by little...
Status update: 05/21/2017
Everything is all back up and working like it should!
Status update: 05/10/2017
Almost all of our repeaters are all back up! I had a problem with 441.625 and need to swap out radios and the Xband repeater died. But everything else is back up and running! The 145.15 repeater and the 441.300 repeater should work better than ever now that the antennas are up at 100 ft.
Status update: 05/07/2017
Our repeaters are all down at the moment due to the tower and antennas being worked on. We should be back on-line before the end of the week! The networked system is still up and running, only the RF portion of the system is off the air at this time.
The tower is being raised to its full height and the system should perform better than ever.
Please be patient with us as we upgrade our facilities.
Status update: 04/25/2017
We found a set of 1.2GHz duplexer cans on eBay! Now we are feverishly hunting for a suitable antenna to make the 1.2 GHz repeater work!
Several of the local UHF repeaters have changed frequencies to get them off of the "Backyard Repeater" frequencies and onto Coordinated protected frequency pairs. Please notice that some of them are now on PL123.0! Please welcome Pam KF5KXL in Industry and the Prairie Hill / Rocky Hill Fire Department repeaters to the mix!
Many thanks to Fred W0FCM for all of his help getting all this stuff working like a champ and James KB5RIR for hosting our ARES hub up in Dallas!
Now actively looking for hams to host additional VHF/UHF LINKED repeater sites in or around the Lake Somerville, Navasota, Waller and Bryan/College station areas. We have the gear, we just need sites to put them at that have full time Internet connections available.
Status update: 03/31/2017
We found an Icom IC-RP-1220 10w 1.2 GHz repeater on eBay! Now we are feverishly hunting for a set of duplexer cans and a suitable antenna to make it all work!
Status update: 03/21/2017
We changed our 6m repeater setup - we changed from 103.5PL over to DCS 131. This is Digital Coded Squelch. Most modern radios have it, although most hams don't use it. It is on the input and output as DCS 131. For scanner listeners this won't be an issue, they just leave the tone off the frequency entry. We made this change to eradicate the howling interference that sometimes comes and goes sporadically and without warning and hangs the system up. It also makes it impossible to leave our 6m machine in transceive mode on the WIN system! We are testing this new change and we will see how it goes. It should solve the interference problem. Please send any commments or signal reports to N5MBM.
The Quantar 900 MHZ repeater had a PA failure, we repaired it and it is back online as of today at full power!
Status update: 02/25/2017
We installed a new repeater at Kruse Village in Brenham, TX. It is on 441.325 + PL103.5 and it is working quite well! Range has been measured at about 15 miles. Not bad for a 5 watt repeater with an antenna mounted at 20 ft. above the ground! We also revived the W5TZ repeater down in Kenney, TX. and got him back on the air with a whole new repeater. Both are connected to the Chappell Hill HUB 24/7/365 to facilitate county wide communications. In other good news, we purchased a new spectrum analyzer with a tracking generator in it! It makes tuning cavities and filters an absolute breeze...
Status update: 08/21/2016
We revived the Scanner server from a Microsoft induced coma and added the N5MBM repeater system live audio feed to a reflector on RadioReference.com and Broadcastify.com. Now you can listen to the N5MBM repeater system via a web browser window. It is "Almost live" as there is a built in 20-45 second delay due to it all being digitized, sent across the internet and processed before being sent to you. But we have our Amateur radio streaming audio back up now!
Status update: 07/13/2016
We just replaced our 900 MHz repeater with a Motorola Quantar unit! Now running 75w on a 100 system designed like a tank. It should give us many years of service! Along with a new repeater came a new Wacom WP-687-3943 900 MHz Diplexer converted into a duplexer set up for the ham bands too! Our coverage just got tripled on 900 MHz...
Status update: 02/21/2016
Power increase project complete: We recently carefully increased the power on all systems. The 6m repeater is now running 100w into the duplexers with an amplifier. The 2m repeater is now running 100w into the duplexers with an amplifier. The 220 repeater is now running 25w into the duplexers. The 440 repeater is now running 45w into the duplexers. Everything seems to be running clean and all my interference issues have been dealt with. I am still hunting for amplifiers for 220 and 440 MHz.
The 6m repeater is now being tested by being connected to the WIN system 24 hours a day. The amplifier is running cool even with a heavy traffic load during certain times of the day. The 441.300 repeater has now been dedicated to our net schedule, thus leaving the rest of the system open for normal day to day local communications. This arrangement allows people the chance to talk all over the world on 6m and participate on worldwide nets on 440 AND be able to talk privately, locally without talking to the whole world.
Our 2m/70cm cross band link into Brenham is slowly dying. Duties are being done by an OLD 1980's vintage Icom dual band mobile rig with cross band repeat built in. It is now showing its age and becoming deaf and incredibly slow on PL detect. Probably due to old caps that just can't hold together anymore. It will soon be replaced by a cross band Motorola radio setup with the same PL tones and also be frequency agile to keep our systems flexibility intact allowing us to quickly change frequencies to link into various repeater systems outside HT range from the Chappell Hill metroplex area.
Status update: 12/25/2015
The transition to an ALL Asterisk controller based system is now complete. The Arcom has been retired to duty on our 220 repeater only. The internet connection has been upgraded and is now more reliable. Lightning protection has been installed. The 900 MHz repeater is now operational! New double shielded cables have been swapped out making 98% of our interference issues disappear. And Santa Claus brought me a new 6m/2m HT and a new tower climbing harness!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Status update: 12/13/2015
We are in the middle of upgrading and migrating away from the Arcom RC210 controller to a Asterisk based Linux machine for a multi-port controller to tie all the different repeaters together. This will add much more flexibility in how we do things and how the world wide web can connect to our repeaters and USE them. Many many thanks to W0FCM for helping me make this a reality! We have added AllStar and Echolink to our system and we are in the testing phase. We have also RE-tuned our 70cm duplexers giving us more range. We have made some small upgrades recently and will be upgrading the system even more in the near future with upgraded power supplies and MORE POWER! :)
Status update: 11/04/2015
The tower is finished (to 50 ft. at the present time) and all ports are now active! (The 100 ft. tower extension project is in the works!)
Status update: 09/03/2015
We are now officially coordinated! The new 6m repeater is now online! Antennas have been upgraded, equipment moved and we are prepping for the big tower project.
Status update: 07/04/2015
All repeaters and nodes that should be operational, ARE now operational! Everything is nominal and back on the air!
STATUS UPDATE: 5/29/2015
As of May 2015 a VERY direct lightning strike has taken out our ATV repeater, the VHF, UHF and cross band repeaters and all the associated feed lines, antennas and power supplies. We are diligently trying to get things back up and on the air, but it will take some time...
STATUS UPDATE: 4/11/2015
We have been moving and renovating our facilities. New power feeds, new UPS's, new racks and most importantly, MORE ROOM! We have been busy adding features! We have recently upgraded our routers, upgraded our network gear and upgraded multiple servers to better serve nice people like YOU. Please be patient as some options may not work every time you try them. We are working on several different facets of our network, servers and radio equipment all at the same time and chasing bugs down has been like an evil game of whack-a-mole!
PLEASE REPORT ANY PROBLEMS TO n5mbm @ n5mbm . net
This simple web page of links is under construction. It will be edited at random and is in a constant state of being updated...
Until further notice, WCARC repeaters will no longer be able to be accessed directly via this website on the Internet.
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