After careful consideration by myself and our user group as to whether to renew the NoV we have decided that the Exeter UHF Echolink gateway will remain closed.....
The long serving gateway on 430.050 MHz has been serving the City of Exeter for many years and was one of the first Internet RF gateways in the South West of England. Originally installed near Exeter barracks, the station was relocated to higher ground in order to provide improved coverage of Exeter City.
In recent years there has been a noticeable decline in Amateur Radio activity in the area, especially mobile, oddly coupled with a proliferation of new Internet Linking gateways and repeaters.
We always vowed that we would keep the gateway service open to users so long as it was needed. After a year of declining and sporadic local use, coupled with a significant increase in NON Amateur Radio traffic on the Echolink system (which we blocked from directly connecting to Exeter) our small user group have agreed that the service is no longer needed in Exeter.
We thank our loyal base of users and suggest that they can continue to make their Echolink contacts via MB7IEX in Exmouth, which is within range of much of Exeter, at least for base station use, and make use of other repeaters in the area for mobile use.
I strongly urge users to get on air and make use of the services provided for them. Continued decline in activity will ultimately result in the loss of repeaters and even frequencies. Get off your iPhone and your computer and remember why you got an amateur radio license in the first place!.
All these services are voluntary and provide at a financial cost. If you use a repeater or gateway regularly, why not donate a little something to keep it on air. Don't just leave it to the keeper to pay for site fees and electricity alone. That could be your new years resolution!.
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