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The Cumberland Valley Region consists of the following counties: Bell, Harlan, Jackson, Knox, Laurel, Letcher, McCreary, Rockcastle, and Whitley. To cover this terrain of mountains and valleys, our main repeater in London, KE4GJG, is linked to other two-meter and 1.25-Meter (VHF) repeaters as well as 70-cm (UHF) repeaters and various digital communication modes (see the links in the next paragraph).

Amateur Radio Station Repeater KE4GJG located at Raccoon Mountain in Laurel County, Kentucky (147.180 MHz, with a positive offset and PL tone of 74.4 Hz.) is the primary or “flagship” station for the Cumberland Valley Region of the East Kentucky Weather Amateur Radio Network (EastKYWARN) that supports the Weather Forecast Office (WFO) in Jackson [JKL], Kentucky. This repeater uses Radio-centric VOIP technologies such as IRLP, EchoLink, All-Star, YSF/WIRES-X, D-Star, and DMR that enable amateur (or ham) radio enthusiasts everywhere with a two-meter or 70-cm single band or VHF/UHF dual-band transceiver and who have an interest in providing public service support to the National Weather Service in Jackson, the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management, local emergency management, and other served agencies. This is especially important during a time of natural disasters and other emergencies where normal public safety communications involving the police, fire, EMS, and local emergency management become overwhelmed or could fail.

Radio-centric VOIP technologies of modes, nodes, and repeaters connected through the KE4GJG repeater allow amateur radio operators to communicate over a much wider area compared to analog-only repeaters that may only have a 30 or 50-mile footprint. Given the topography of the of south-central and southeast Kentucky (especially in the valleys compared to the higher elevations of the Appalachian Mountains), this is capability is essential for SKYWARN and other emergency communications (EmComm) purposes such as those used with the Kentucky Amateur Radio Emergency Service (KYARES). Station repeaters, modes, and nodes linked into KE4GJG are done so on either a full-time or “as-needed” basis. These stations include:

  1. WA4YZY at 146.835/R (+) TSQ 100 analog, ASL 42934, and EchoLink node WA4ROB-L (226820) in Bell County KY
  2. KE4GJG at 147.180/R (+) PL 74.4 analog, ASL 29891, and EchoLink node KE4GJG-R (723534) in Laurel County KY
  3. KK4WH at 224.960/R (-) PL 203.5 analog and ASL 45057 in Letcher County KY
  4. WA4ROB at 442.850/R (+) PL 103.5 analog, ASL 42898,  and EchoLink node WA4ROB-R (202878) in Harrogate County TN
  5. KE4GJG at 443.200/R (+) both CC1 DMR and D-Star in Laurel County KY
  6. KK4WH at 444.250/R (+) PL 107.2 analog, ASL 47293, and EchoLink node KK4WH-R (245197) in Harlan County KY
  7. KK4WH at 444.6625/R (+) CC1 DMR in Letcher County
  8. DMR TG 312128 linked to ASL 49840
  9. YSF Room US-AF4Y (75056) linked to ASL 49798
  10. Hamshack Hotline (HH) Extension 94031

Remember, SKYWARN needs you and other ham radio volunteers in order for this system to work! To get started on your spotter training contact the Jackson Weather Office at (606) 666-2560 or go to weather.gov/jkl/spotter, then click on the links for the FREE online classes that will only take a few hours to complete, and don’t forget, all licensed operators are welcomed and encouraged to share your weather observations each Sunday at 8 PM. This is how we practice each week in preparation for net activation whenever severe weather is forecast for our area and before any weather watches, advisories, or warnings are issued.

For additional details, email eastkywarn.cumberland@gmail.com or call (859)365-0030

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