Gibsonia 145.290 down

Theft and lightning bring down Gibsonia 145.290+ Reported by WA3UQD I found the source of the receive problem on the Gibsonia node 145.290+. Thieves stole the window bars (they where galvanized steel & not copper) from the base of the tower and the outside of the...

Node 27470 – K3EMM – 442.925+

Node 27470 - K3EMM - 442.925+ PL 186.2 was installed On Sunday June 5, 2011, Node 27470 - K3EMM - 442.925+ PL 186.2 was installed on the National City Bank building in downtown Warren Pennsylvania and added to the WAN Repeater System full time. The repeater is a 25...

Target Link System Connected to WANRS

Target Link System - 146.745- PL 123.0 - KK3L - Node 27690 On Saturday, March 12, 2011 the Target Link System was connected to the WAN Repeater System.  Scott Zimmerman - N3XCC, and myself installed a simplex link radio and Linux computer running XIPAR to connect the...

Blue Knob – 147.150+ Connected to WANRS

Blue Knob - 147.150+ PL 167.9 - KB3KWD - Node 27354 As many of you already know, the Blue Knob repeater is the highest 2 meter repeater in Pennsylvania.  On Friday, March 11, 2011 BK was officially made part of the WAN Repeater System.  Scott Zimmerman - N3XCC, Dan...

Gibsonia PA 145.290 Connected to WANRS

On Saturday March 5, 2011, Node 27635 - WA3UQD - 145.290 PL 131.8 - Gibsonia PA (15 miles north of Pittsburgh) was overhauled and put on the WAN Repeater System full time. Jim Hartzell - WA3UQD, Elaine Bailey, K3EMM of WestPAnet, and I did the work on the machine to...

N3YFO Announces first operation of HF remote

N3YFO - David Hunter Announces first operation of HF remote from Cambria North Tower. On Sunday February 27, 2011, N3YFO activated and used the NEW Cambria North HF Remote Base Rig to check in to the  PEMA Western Area RACES Net which is held Sundays at 9:00 AM at...

Welcome to the
Wide Area Network Repeater System

WestPAnet, Inc.
provides Power and
Internet connectivity
for the WANRS Servers and HUB

In the Stix Broadband provides some sites with Internet connectivity.

Many Thanks to our Faithful Technical Support Guru

The overview that follows explains an amateur radio linking system which has been deployed in western and central Pennsylvania which has near seamless north-south coverage from the New York State line into northern Maryland and Washington, DC.  It is the intention of the team that this link system remain fluid in its application; which can and will change in purpose, as the need arises.  The official name of the link system is “The Wide Area Network Repeater System” or WANRS.  In times of disaster, it can serve many purposes, helping agencies like FEMA, PEMA, ARES and RACES/ACS, The Red Cross and Salvation Army, but from a neutral standpoint.

The WANRS includes several repeaters located in many counties in Pennsylvania and Maryland, and Washington DC, and other cities and States.  These repeaters are linked (connected) together with a private wide area TCP/IP network connection (WAN) and Linux based repeater controllers which have the ability to allow multiple, simultaneous, high-quality duplex audio/telemetry connections.  While similar linking systems require use of the public Internet to provide the path between sites, many of our core sites utilize a Private WAN to make this connection.  This means if there is an Internet outage, the system will continue to operate over the private WAN; as it can exist without Internet bandwidth being supplied over it.  Of course, if a repeater outside our private network is connected over the Internet, and the Internet goes out, this repeater will still operate stand-alone, but will no longer be part of the system as a whole.  In other words, Internet connected repeaters will not totally fail, they will continue to operate – locally.

While many miles exist between physical tower locations, all core connectivity is over private, locally owned and operated networks.  These networks are comprised of a mix of fiber optic and wireless topologies which are all either owned or operated under the direct control of the core team.  Some of these sites have or will have redundant LAN connectivity, as it is our intention to make the system as robust as possible.  It is not within the scope of this document to detail the connectivity between sites because of security and non disclosure agreement policies.  The core system is, for the most part, privately held by members of the development team and organizations they work directly for.

The WAN repeater system uses a repeater controller which is based upon VoIP technologies that allow for very high quality audio throughput and configurability on a near infinite scale.  It is based on the Asterisk/app_rpt system utilized in the AllStar Link system and a few others, with some minor exceptions.  One exception is, for all repeater sites, we have chosen to use a special distribution of the application called XIPAR written by a mutual friend, Steve Henke – W9SH.  This distribution allows for greater flexibility and support.  It is the concern of the core team that this system not be dependent on the integrity on the public Internet; in which it has no direct control over.  AllStar linking between segments like ours is almost totally done over the public Internet, however, it can be configured so sites which can see one another over a private WAN can be connected without Internet bandwidth.  This means that systems that are connected in a private manner will not fail to be connected to one another, as long as the private WAN does not fail.  Our WANRS link system has been configured to allow direct connectivity fail-over in the event of a Internet outage.   This configuration allows our link system to be accessible anywhere in the world as long as the Internet is healthy, and will continue to operate locally and regionally if the public Internet should fail.

This amateur radio link system is the result of work done originally by Scott Zimmerman – N3XCC and David Hunter – N3YFO.  It was their desire to connect Cambria and Somerset Counties in Pennsylvania together with this technology.   The system has expanded into other Counties by cooperation of Jim Knox – N5NWC and myself, Kevin Custer – W3KKC.  Tom Brew – K3WS has enabled the system to grow at an explosive rate with donations of computer equipment, additional repeater sites in Maryland – Washington DC, technical knowledge, and enthusiasm.  Brian Burton – AB3AA is our network administrator.  While the system already provides a nice coverage area, we are hopeful it will continue to expand to enable the repeater coverage desired by the core team, and regular users of the system.

Author: Kevin Custer – W3KKC


This web site was updated March 2, 2105 – K3WS

Please report any errors or broken links to

Welcome to the

Wide Area Network Repeater System