Watt's New


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:

  • Pocket Guide PDF has been updated
  • CARLA 29 PL's back to normal operation
  • CARLA 8 TX OOS
  • CARLA 10 Back On-Line
  • CARLA 23 Back on link
  • CARLA 13/Shasta Hub back on network
  • CARLA 28 Updates
  • (New) CARLA 28 On The Air
  • CARLA 22 back on-line & CARLA 18 repaired
  • Oregon Connection Offline
  • Carla 27 Local PL Disabled
  • Welcome back the Oregon Connection
  • Interactive Map is impaired
  • PL change to CARLA 16 and upgrade to VACA HUB
  • CARLA 4 upgrades
  • Carla Pocket Guide Updated
  • More site visits this weekend
  • Recent work on the CARLA Network
  • Recent changes/upgrades and reminder about fire season
  • 2015 Tour de Nevada (the sequel)
  • Interactive Map Issues
    Pocket Guide PDF has been updated
    Last updated on May 21, 2017 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | Permalink

    The Travel/Pocket Guide pdf has been updated recently with the latest changes and updates. This is
    as of: 5-21-2017. It should match the website's home page line up as well.


    CARLA 29 PL's back to normal operation
    Last updated on May 11, 2017 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | Permalink

    The PL's on CARLA 29 (San Luis Obispo) are back to normal operating mode.


    CARLA 8 TX OOS
    Last updated on April 7, 2017 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | Permalink

    CARLA 8's transmitter is OOS. A snow cat ride to the site is the only way to access at this point.
    We have No ETR at this point.


    CARLA 10 Back On-Line
    Last updated on March 31, 2017 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | Permalink

    The main transmitter/receiver unit at Carla 10 has been replaced with a new setup. This site is now back in service. Audio has been aligned and there is no buzz on the signal as in the past.


    CARLA 23 Back on link
    Last updated on March 14, 2017 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | Permalink

    Today a couple of our Tahoe RRFT members made the trek to the top of Slide Mt. (nearly 10,000' ASL) to CARLA
    23's site via chair lift and hiking in ice and snow to assess and repair the link antenna situation. It
    turns out a guy wire from an adjacent tower broke loose during one of the bad storms this winter and wrapped
    it self around the link Yagi antenna. Then, it worked itself back and forth over time until it cut through
    the main boom and shorted the internal center feed. A temporary antenna has been put in its place until we
    can get up there with a new replacement sometime later this summer when all the snow melts. A BIG thanks
    goes out to the Rapid response Field Team for making this happen!


    CARLA 13/Shasta Hub back on network
    Last updated on February 26, 2017 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | Permalink

    Repairs were made to CARLA 13's NB Link RX on Saturday 2/25/17.
    The Shasta Ring/Hub are back on network.

    CARLA 23-On Air locally. Link OOS. We suspect link antenna is broken or iced up. No ETR.
    CARLA 22-Broken Link antenna has been repaired. System back online.
    CARLA 21-Broken primary antenna. Expect reduced coverage until we can access. No ETR.
    CARLA 10-Main Transmitter is down. No ETR.



    CARLA 28 Updates
    Last updated on November 3, 2016 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | Permalink

    There were a few updates & improvements made to CARLA 28 this last weekend.
    One that we eluded to was the Local PL change which did take place. It is now 107.2Hz.
    The antenna system went to a split design with improved filtering and an RX preamp was also put in
    line to improve receiver sensitivity.
    So far the reports have been very positive from key locations in the Redding, Shasta and Yreka areas.
    Thanks again to the Oregon Connection for all their assistance and hard work to make this project
    happen!



    (New) CARLA 28 On The Air
    Last updated on October 23, 2016 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | Permalink

    We are pleased to announce that CARLA 28 has been re-built from the ground up and resides in a new
    location adjacent to Mt. Shasta, just above Dunsmuir, CA. The frequency and PL’s remain the same
    for now (but the local PL may change soon). It’s new home is on Mt. Bradley which used to be one of
    the Oregon Connection’s California sites at 5555’.

    In fact, this was a joint effort between the OC-G2 (Second Generation) and CARLA principals to re-
    establish CARLA service in the Siskiyou County area and in a better location (700’ higher) that
    sees more than it did at the original McCloud site. This will also compliment hand off coverage
    between the two networks.

    We want to extend a special Thank You to the OC-G2 for their assistance and multiple resources
    extended to CARLA to make this happen and help us bring reliable service to the greater Mt. Shasta
    and Siskiyou County area.

    There are a few more improvements to be done in the coming week weather permitting. We may also
    change the LOCAL PL to something different due to overlap with CARLA 14 in certain parts of the
    North Sacramento Valley. We’ll make a separate announcement for that when it happens.

    The original CARLA 28 system was decommissioned the following day and will be retrofitted for it’s
    next home sometime next year.



    CARLA 22 back on-line & CARLA 18 repaired
    Last updated on August 9, 2016 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | Permalink

    We are very pleased to announce that CARLA 22, Hawthorne NV, has been successfully re-
    integrated into the network from a new location on the same 10k+' mountain top.

    The Site Development Team spent two days deconstructing, moving and re-installing/integrating
    the equipment and antennas in its new home. The new location is about 40-50' lower and set back
    to the East than the previous one so we're not sure exactly how coverage will change but at
    least we can continue to offer substantially similar service for the region.

    We had one year of a five year agreement still left to stay where we were until we were
    recently told the building was being sold and we had to vacate. This created a last minute
    scramble on our part to pull this off.

    A BIG thanks goes out to those individuals who made the sacrifice to go and tackle this project
    and procure a new site for the greater good of the network and those that rely on it. It was
    truly a TEAM effort both from individuals in/near town and those that made the 600 mile/12 hour
    round trip to the site and endured all the challenges including (but not limited to)
    significant road hazards, blown tires, intense UV rays and long days with low oxygen levels!

    A third day was spent at CARLA 18's site to repair issues with low power output and should be
    back to normal operation.

    The CARLA Team


    Oregon Connection Offline
    Last updated on July 24, 2016 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | Permalink

    Due to intermittent port issues on the controller that handles the OCG2 Oregon traffic a mutual decision
    was made to disconnect the CARLA <--> OCG2 connection until the controller can be upgraded.
    There are several steps involved in this process so a timeframe for completion has not yet been determined.
    It will be down for the foreseeable future.

    -The Carla Team


    Carla 27 Local PL Disabled
    Last updated on March 7, 2016 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | Permalink

    The local PL for Carla 27 has been disabled due to its constantly falsing itself and affecting
    link traffic on that repeater.
    Repairs will require a trip to the site once El Nino has subsided and the snow melts.

    The link PL is still functioning normally.



    Welcome back the Oregon Connection
    Last updated on February 25, 2016 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | Permalink

    The Oregon Connection (Gen 2.0)

    Some of you may remember the Oregon Connection or OC for short from several years ago. We established a reciprocal link between the OC & CARLA with a connection point in the Mt. Shasta area that linked the two networks together via an RF link.

    Several years ago the OC was superseded by a new and different network called the Peak Radio Association or PRA for short. Interest in the OC diminished while the PRA was developed and built out, finally dwindling to just a few unlinked sites left on the air.

    One of the owners of the OC and CARLA revisited the possibility of starting a new link with each other that would connect a few select repeaters in Oregon with the CARLA network. That soon turned into a renewed interest on the part of some of the remaining owners of the Oregon Connection in rebuilding the OC to what is now called the Oregon Connection Gen 2.0 or OCG2 for short.

    We’ve approached this new endeavor a little differently by establishing a dedicated RoIP (Radio over IP) point to point link between the two groups. That should greatly reduce the amount of key-up delay that each daisy-chained repeater required to connect from one end of the OC network to the other created and then back down into and throughout the CARLA network. It also does not rely on a reflector or 3rd party server for the connection. The OCG2 is also rebuilding with newer Kenwood repeaters and implementing 100% DCS instead of CTCSS (PL) on all sites for a more pleasant experience, free of the numerous squelch tails that used to be heard. The total number of sites will be streamlined and much less than what was in the legacy network.

    Since the OCG2 is essentially being built as a new UHF network from the ground up, it is expected to be quieter and will adopt most of CARLA’s operating policies, procedures and guidelines for a smooth integration of the two systems.

    We are initially expecting to leave the two systems connected full time unless either side sees a need to disconnect temporarily for whatever reason and expect most of the traffic will be generated from CARLA. We do ask everyone to please adhere to all CARLA operating guidelines to keep everyone’s experience an enjoyable one. Keeping conversations short and allowing time for courtesy tones to be heard so others can access the system if needed is greatly appreciated. CARLA remains dedicated to providing a reliable back-up source of emergency communications to select organizations and groups throughout the region.

    The initial rollout of the first four repeaters is already in effect with a total of ~10 slated for the first phase. Coverage will include most all of the Interstate 5 corridor from the Longview Washington area to the Oregon-California border. CARLA is still actively pursuing establishing coverage beyond the Shasta/McCloud area up to the Yreka area this year as well which should dovetail nicely with the OCG2’s coverage.

    Speaking of coverage, their IT team has cracked the ‘code’ so to speak and completely re-did their coverage map to work with Google maps. This has been a daunting task and (re)started by a couple of people from our side but the OCG2 guys were able to devote a very significant amount of time on it until they were able to get it working for their PRA website and then soon for the OCG2 site. They are willing to share what they’ve learned with us so we can get our interactive coverage map working again after all these years of being broken.

    You can find some more information and track progress for the OCG2 project on their website at: http://www.oregonconnection.net/ This too is a work in progress.

    Here is a list of the major players/principals involved with the OCG2 in case you hear them and are curious who these new voices are in addition to wanting to say hello. Of course, there will be other new voices and call signs that you may hear as well.

    -Chris, AB7BS, co-owner/founder
    -William, K7THO co-owner/Tower climber/IT
    -Johnny, WA6RHK co-owner
    -Carl, W7EXH co-owner
    -Jeremy, NS7R Tower climber/IT

    Please be patient with us during the testing and vetting process as new repeaters are brought on line and other adjustments are made to the link and interoperability of both networks. Please try and give our neighbors from up north a warm welcome if you hear them on the air.

    Thank you!



    Interactive Map is impaired
    Last updated on January 24, 2016 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | Permalink

    Due to some changes by Google and their Map site, the CARLA Interactive Map is not functioning as it should. We are working to resolve the problem but it has been a very slow process. sorry for any inconvenience.


    PL change to CARLA 16 and upgrade to VACA HUB
    Last updated on January 10, 2016 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | Permalink

    We decided to make a PL change to CARLA 16 (440.750, Vacaville) today. This is usually done as
    a last resort due to all of the changes that have to be made on everyone's part. The receiver
    has been plagued by a mix that includes a 100Hz component. That in turn has been triggering the
    Local PL as well as breaking squelch with bursts of noise.

    The new LOCAL PL is now 107.2Hz and that is also what the repeater now encodes on its output.

    We will monitor for the next week or so to make sure this new PL will work. If anyone notices
    problems with it falsing please let us know. If no issues come up, we will run with it.
    Unfortunately, the interference is still on the input intermittently so weak signals may suffer
    because of it.

    The website and other information mediums will be updated soon.

    Work was also performed at the VACA Hub system. Changes include swapping out of the primary
    power supply in an effort to eliminate the intermittent buzz that could be heard across the
    link. The Battery plant was also upgraded with more capacity for longer run time during power
    outages.

    THE CARLA Team


    CARLA 4 upgrades
    Last updated on October 27, 2015 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | Permalink

    The battery plant was expanded and now has close to double the original capacity. An LVD was also
    installed and the repeater controller firmware was upgraded and re-programmed to allow us access to
    the latest features and improvements. ALL audio levels were also re-aligned which improved the s/n
    ratio and overall volume level/intelligibility across that entire segment of the network both
    Northbound and Southbound. Some tower work and general preparedness for winter storms was also
    initiated.

    This site is in the middle of the path between the Bay Area and the Southland and we wanted to make
    sure it did not become the weak link during a power outage.

    Finally, a lot of time was expended trying to get an avian drop in visitor to take the same back door
    to exit the building as the one it came in through so we could go home. That helped to make a long 16
    hour day of it all. Maybe next time we need to bring a fake Cat and Owl to the site(s) so we can
    leave the doors open.



    Carla Pocket Guide Updated
    Last updated on October 7, 2015 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | Permalink

    For those who have been inquiring about the Carla Pocket Guide, it has been updated on the website
    and now has all current Carla repeaters, frequencies, locations and PLs listed in an easy-to-print
    4X6 card to throw in your vehicle's glove box for easy reference. To view and download it, go to:

    http://www.carlaradio.net/thesystem/printable_system_list.pdf

    Don't forget to refresh your browser cache so you don't get the old version!


    More site visits this weekend
    Last updated on October 4, 2015 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | Permalink

    This weekend two different RRFT's rolled to CARLA 9 (Modesto) and CARLA 13 (Shasta Lake) to make
    repairs and preparations for winter.

    CARLA 9's intermittent tx/rx issue seems to have been repaired for now. An intermittent Molex
    connector is the suspect. we are monitoring and checking the system regularly since the recent visit.

    CARLA 13's visit was a much longer one (20 hours portal to portal) and involved replacing and
    increasing the entire battery plant, installing a new LVD and replacing a blown battery charger with
    a newer 30A version. There was a lot of other work done on site and the tower for the site owner.
    CARLA 13 has been switched over to the RF back-up full time since the T1 channel we were on has been
    decommissioned.

    The CARLA Team


    Recent work on the CARLA Network
    Last updated on September 27, 2015 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | Permalink

    The last several weeks have seen various teams branch off to multiple sites for repairs, upgrades
    and hardening of systems in preparation for a forecast rough winter.

    Some of the sites that have been visited (or need to) and work performed include:

    CARLA 8- New battery plant installed and tested.

    CARLA 21- Investigate multi-day power outage and compromised circuit breaker to bldg. Service
    battery plant.

    CARLA 20- (2x separate trips) Install new battery plant and related equipment, perform a PM, replace
    P.S., perform misc. repairs, install secondary link antenna.

    CARLA 25- (2x separate trips) Install new battery plant and related equipment, perform a PM, repair
    link antenna, repeater controller f/w upgrade & additional programming, test out back-up RF link
    between CARLA 16 and CARLA 13 for full time service, testing of possible future link paths to other
    sites.

    CARLA 6/36- Install new battery plant and related equipment, perform a PM, repair main antenna,
    assess and performed repairs needed to bldg.

    CARLA 9- Site visit is slated in the next couple of weeks to t/s main repeater that is OOS.

    CARLA 32- Site visit needed to prepare for winter and test battery plant.

    CARLA 13- Upgrade battery plant, perform PM, prepare for winter.

    As always, stay tuned for more news and information.

    The CARLA Team


    Recent changes/upgrades and reminder about fire season
    Last updated on August 6, 2015 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | Permalink

    This last week/end we made it to CARLA 9's site (Modesto) for some long, overdue work. This was the
    next to the last site that needed a new repeater controller replacement to match the majority of
    others in the network plus a new battery plant upgrade and replacement. CARLA 33 (Gualala) is now
    the last controller in need of a swap out. A new LVD (Low Voltage Disconnect) & DC circuit breaker
    were also installed to protect the batteries that were put in service. Other PM work was performed
    and needed firmware upgrades and adjustments were made.

    CARLA 2 (San Francisco) was also visited for a routine PM and a new LVD was installed for the
    battery plant. Some adjustments and programming changes were made in order to use CARLA 2 and CARLA
    32 linked together, off the network for local area use/needs since they compliment each other's
    coverage of the greater San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin coastal areas so well.

    Some of you may have noticed new announcements from a few repeaters as they ID over the network
    recently. We are testing this on some key sites to see how it plays out. The response so far has
    been very positive and it seems to help people recognize from what area/region a particular repeater
    was initiated from. For those few individuals who have built and maintain the CARLA network, it is
    natural for us to know what number corresponds to what site but for the majority of users, they have
    no idea what number is coming from what area and this seems to help them figure that out as well as
    make it a bit more interesting to listen to. We will likely add some more into the mix as we are
    able and the controller's vocabulary allow.

    Lastly, you would have to be living under a rock and/or entirely off the grid to not know we are in
    the middle of fire season in the western part of the country right now. This is just a friendly
    reminder to everyone to be aware that different departments, organizations, groups, individuals,
    etc... rely on CARLA for auxiliary communications during times of need and are often monitoring the
    system in the background at various locations, incidents command sites and EOC's for possible
    traffic and relay's. Please keep this in mind when you engage in a conversation and don't drag
    things on for long periods of time, tailgate people, quick key or tie up the network needlessly. It
    is here for people to enjoy as well as have available for those critical times that people need it,
    which is CARLA's first and foremost mission.

    Stay tuned for more news, information and updates this summer/fall.

    Thanks.



    2015 Tour de Nevada (the sequel)
    Last updated on May 21, 2015 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | Permalink

    UPDATE to the info below:

    Another long, 3 day weekend was spent hitting most of the same sites including the ones we were
    unable to make it to last time. ALL the remaining work and projects were completed and are ready to
    go. Sites that have had various projects, upgrades and maintenance performed on them were: 8, 14,
    21, 22, 23 & 24. A special THANKS to everyone who participated!

    Around the first of this month a contingency of 5 people from various RRFT's, broken out in two
    groups and spent anywhere from 1 to 4 days touring as many sites on the Nevada ring as possible.
    Here is a brief rundown:

    CARLA 14, Cisco Butte: Was on battery back-up for the week prior to the visit due to a power
    incident. The power supply and battery charger were both non-responsive and the link radio was
    starting to become intermittent due to the low voltage condition. Temp repairs were made on the PS
    and a new 30A smart charger was installed. A return trip is needed to effect permanent repairs and
    transfer everything into a new cabinet.

    CARLA 8, Lake Tahoe: A trip was attempted... We made it about 80% of the way up until the white
    stuff on the ground was too deep to circumvent. A return trip is needed to install an LVD, overhaul
    the battery plant, replace batteries and do a PM.

    CARLA 18, Topaz Lake: An all day trip was made to do a number of things including replacing the
    entire battery back-up plant with nearly 600Ah of back up power, installed an LVD, integrated the
    original 4W E&M voice channel back to CARLA 5, cut it over from the RF back-up link, performed a PM
    and other duties.

    CARLA 21, Reno: A trip was made to this site to check on battery condition and perform a PM.

    CARLA 23, Tahoe/Reno: A trip was attempted to this site but the snow was too deep and slippery on
    the initial steep incline. We will need to return to the site to overhaul the battery back-up plant,
    install an LVD, swap out a PA for the main repeater TX and perform a PM.

    CARLA 22, Hawthorne: An all day trip was made to this site to replace batteries, install an LVD
    and remove the secondary link package. The battery charger was blown upon arrival so a new one has
    been ordered and a return trip will be scheduled soon to replace it and remove a spare link antenna.


    4 out of the 6 sites will require yet another trip. A big thank goes out to the various people who
    helped on this endeavor. It was non-stop and rather exhausting.

    There is plenty more to come this year. Stay tuned.

    The CARLA Team



    Interactive Map Issues
    Last updated on March 21, 2014 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | Permalink

    Due to some changes by Google and their Map site, the CARLA Interactive Map is not functioning as it should. We are working to resolve the problem but it has been a very slow process.