DMR MotoTrbo repeaters Traverse City

KC8PBX 442.2875 and N8CN 444.400 repeater update

Two items:


1 – KC8PBX DMR-MARC repeater

Well, a couple weeks ago, the PA unit fried in the XPR-8400 due to a bug in the latest firmware which causes the repeater to constantly transmit garbage if beaconing is not enabled for at least 2s every 2m.

I’ve replaced the TX PA unit twice, but serial number mismatch issues have prevented the repeater from coming online.


TL;DR version: repeater is a brick.

I’ve recently removed it from service for repair, and replaced it with a Yaesu DR-1X SystemFusion repeater.

More updates as progress is made.



2 – N8CN 444.400+ (PL 114.8 optional) is online and functional. It is experimental and has a remote base link to 146.860- (PL 114.8) and is also available as echolink node ID 288970.

The range is about 5 miles from the area of Barlow and South Airport in Traverse City. Not much, but enough for me and my experiments, which is its purpose. But, all are free to play.






Digital Radio DMR MotoTrbo Traverse City

DMR-Marc MotoTrbo Traverse City repeater status report

DMR-MARC – Traverse City MI
KC8PBX 442.2875 +5 MHz Color Code 1

Time Slot #1 – Group Call 1 = Worldwide All Languages 
                (PTT activated with 5 min inactivity timeout)
Time Slot #1 – Group Call 3 = North America
Time Slot #1 – Group Call 13= Worldwide English
Time Slot #1 – Group Call 310= TAC 310 (PTT Activated with 5 min inactivity timeout)

Time Slot #2 – Group Call 2 = Northern Michigan Local
Time Slot #2 – Group Call 8052 = MI Statewide (Mi5)
Time Slot #2 – Group Call 3169 = Midwest Regional

You Must Have [ARS] Disabled Within Your Radio
Contact Name: Joe Erlewein, N8OUZ Email:
The repeater is on a 40ft tower South and West of downtown Traverse City. It has reportedly good HT coverage of the downtown and surrounding areas. We have received reports of good coverage in all directions by mobile users with mobile radios and magnetic/permanent vehicle antennas.

Program your radios: 442.2875+

Time Slot #1 – Group Call 1 = World Wide

Time Slot #1 – Group Call 3 = U.S. / English Speaking Countries
Time Slot #2 – Group Call 2 =  Chicagoland Repeaters Only
Time Slot #2 – Group Call 3169 =  Midwest Repeaters Only

Antenna is ~30ft near Barlow and South Airport in Traverse City, MI and covers downtown fairly well on mobile or HT on high power.
The repeater will be moving to a tower just South and West of downtown when the snow is gone. Power will be increased, HAAT will increase, and performance should be much better.
FYI the repeater callsign is currently KC8PBX as it is operated by the Houghton County Communications Authority which has a club callsign.


amateur radio Digital Radio DMR-Marc MotoTrbo repeaters Traverse City

MotoTrbo Traverse City repeater goes Beta-Online!

The N8OUZ/R DMR-MARC MotoTrbo repeater is on the air on 442.2875+ (input 447.2875).

you can find more info on DMR-MARC Here.

Currently on a temporary transmitter antenna and site, and with limited receive coverage, and limited transmit power.

But, it works, and you can test it.

Program your radios:
Time Slot #1 – Group Call 1 = World Wide
Time Slot #1 – Group Call 3 = U.S. / English Speaking Countries
Time Slot #2 – Group Call 2 =  Chicagoland Repeaters Only

The current transmit antenna is a J-pole at 40ft…. but…

Current Receive antenna, plugged
into the back of the repeater
in my basement..

The current receive antenna is a.. erm.. telescopic whip style scanner antenna standing… about seven inches tall.. plugged into the back of the repeater… in my basement…

Which might seem dumb…

But I can actually use the repeater reliably from work.
… how? I’m really not sure.. but.. I know TDMA has a lot better survivability than analog voice when it comes to getting through the noise floor in a usable way.

Check this out:

On the map, B is where I work, and A is the repeater’s home in my basement..

…I can use it!
With the HT on high power.
The HT on the right, in the picture!

Note the size of the antenna compared to the Yaesu. No vertical gain there at all..

Notice that the Yaesu HT sitting to the left of it is listening to an active signal, same frequency as the XPR 6550 HT on the right.. The signal is sometimes an S2. Usually S0 or S1, sometimes not even there.

Mind you, the length of the Yaesu HT’s antenna is more than three times as long as the Motorola’s!!!

If it were an analog signal, it would be unintelligible. But it is audible, clear, and readable.

I had the same experience on the drive in to work today. Notice on the map. Between “Best Buy” and the number 37 on the map above it, I was very shadowed due to the hills near where it says Grand Traverse Crossing and East/North of that. I had almost NO signal.. on my MOBILE radio with an external antenna in the car, I could barely hear the repeater’s signal. It was not present more than it was. if it was a voice, I would no way have been able to comprehend it. .. the Motorola HT, with just the stub duck, on the SEAT of my car, inside the car, just sitting there horizontally.. I could UNDERSTAND the audio coming out of it.

It’s been a good while since I’ve seen a digital mode so easily and obviously out-perform analog modes.  I’m very impressed.

I am anxious to finish getting the StationMaster antenna on the permanent tower, hardline up, and repeater moved to the final location…

tonight: duplexer fun! Perhaps even a better receive antenna. I still can’t believe it’s … usable! with no duplexer… from across town… from a whip in the basement!!