The return to “normal”!?

The worldwide pandemic situation appears to be calming down significantly of late which means we can work our way back toward a more normal schedule of activities for BARRA.  The General Membership and Technical Committee meetings have resumed and we look forward to the annual Mobile Clinic and Picnic in July.  With the return to general meetings we would like to have topic presentations of interest to the members at those meetings.  If you would like to do a program presentation, please contact Doug, KA2WFT.

We had hoped to have a Field Day station this year as part of the return to regular activities but a few variables conspired against that, unfortunately.  At least it wasn’t because of the pandemic!

What are your ideas for some activities?  Let us know!

2022 Auction Canceled

It is with regret that after a lot of consideration the board has decided to cancel this year’s BARRA Auction.

Several important factors influenced the decision, not the least of which is the over-the-top winter weather we have been experiencing of late. This has made driving and especially walking treacherous in places and we are mindful of our members’ and friends’ safety. Things could be wonderful in a week and a half — we have had some melting the last two days — or we could be looking at another foot+ of snow; it is WNY in February, after all!

The pandemic situation appears to be easing somewhat but we know there are a number of folks who are still rightly wary of venturing out into public gatherings. Notice would also be late but the ever-changing pandemic conditions rather dictated making a late decision. With the weather and the pandemic, attendance for an event is a huge question mark at best. Considering the amount of work that goes into organizing our annual auction for an unknown, and quite possibly low, turnout, along with everything else, canceling the auction seemed to be the best option.

The New Cole Road Tower is Up!

Sunday, September 8, 2019 saw the completion of the Cole Road tower replacement project. The last of the antennas and feedlines from the original west tower were moved to the new tower and the old tower was taken down, completing a very long project that started back in January of 2017 when the top section of the original tower broke and folded over in unprecedented 70+ MPH winds.  Thanks to the efforts of our site coordinator, Jan Jarecki, WB2FXY, and his helpers a new tower was sourced – with huge thanks for its donation from Bob Schober, K2CRR – and erected. Donations from interested members and friends of BARRA helped to finance new antennas and hardware, the concrete base for the tower and physical plant improvements to the A-frame building at the site to make the systems located there more reliable than ever.

We have found vastly improved coverage on the 146.910 repeater with it being raised back to 90′. The W2BRW DMR repeater was upgraded with 7/8″ hard line and an 8 dB commercial antenna which has proven to almost give handheld coverage in Southern and Central Erie County. The N2ZDU 220 repeater suffered a transmitter problem but was repaired under warranty and will be back on the air soon. Once that is online we will get some coverage reports from its users.

Cole Road tower fund campaign update

As the 2018 construction season closes, we are happy to report that the replacement tower base is installed at the Cole road site. It is set 42 inches below grade with six yards of concrete. When the dry conditions return to the site, the tower erection project will continue. Completing the entire project this year was not possible because of the time necessary to put all of the details together and fund the many aspects of it. We thank BARRA member Bob Schober, K2CRR. Without his donation of a used 90-foot Rohn SSV tower, we would not have been able to continue to make progress with the project.

As plans continue for springtime, the tower completion will require an on-site crane to lift the new tower sections in place as well as removing the old tower. The crane rental costs can be as much as $1500.00. In addition, we may be spending $250.00 per hour for a tower climbing service to assist in the tower work. There will also be the need for additional hardware and RF cables and connectors.

As of today, the balance in our tower fund is $1,900.00. This is not enough money to fully fund the balance of the job. We ask that members that have not yet donated to consider doing so now. Thank you to everyone who has helped financially to get us this far. To all members, please consider making an additional donation. Even the smallest of donations will help BARRA to return the Cole Road site to fully operational again.

This is a major club project that will help enhance the performance of our repeater stations and maintain the value of BARRA’s primary asset in Colden. Everyone’s help is needed for this to become a success.

Donations can be mailed to BARRA at PO Box 507, North Tonawanda, NY 14120-0507. Donations can also be sent directly through PayPal at

Cole Road Tower Replacement Fundraising Campaign

To the BARRA constituency and amateur radio enthusiasts:

The club has a 100 ft freestanding tower at the Cole Road repeater site. Forty feet of tower collapsed during a winter storm in early 2017. The membership of the club has rallied since this occurrence to rebuild the tower to its former functionality. New antennas and feed lines were placed on the unaffected portion of the remaining tower, replacing the equipment damaged by the afore mentioned storm. New 2 meter and 220 collinear fiberglass stick antennas as well as numerous yagi antennas were replaced. Other critical items were added to the remaining tower as well. Hard line of 7/8 inch and 1/2 inch, their connectors, and several hundred feet of LMR-400 with connectors as well were all replaced on the structure. The tower as now being used, however, is at a fraction of its former radio coverage.

All of these renovations would not have been possible had it not been for the financial support of those donators who gave graciously to the cause. For that, the club and those who use the Cole Road repeaters and tower, thank you.

As benevolent as those donations to the tower are, this enterprise requires more financial assistance. The second part of the tower reconstruction project needs to commence. The former structure needs to be replaced with a new 100-foot tower. All of the afore mentioned equipment purchased for the partial structure is being transferred to the new one. Nothing will be discarded.

Thank you to those club members who made the building permit from the Town of Boston possible. This will allow the club to replace the old tower with a 100-foot similar structure.

As always, the budget is a consideration. Our proposed budget is as follows:

A replacement SSV 5N at the bottom and 1N at the top-used $ 4500.00

Tower base to be placed in concrete $ 747.00

Excavator for the foundation – rented $ 500.00

Concrete, nine yards, delivered, for the base $1425.00

Reinforcing rods and other installation hardware $ 200.00

Installation crane unknown

Labor unknown

This goal can be accomplished, however, only with the help of BARRA members. If all seventy members would possibly consider donating $100 each, we will come close to reaching the goal of the new tower. The club will reimburse members, who donate for this cause, should we not reach our stated goal.

Amateur radio is a hobby that is enjoyed by many hams here in western New York. Ham radio has given so many people enjoyment. Isn’t it time that we gave back to amateur radio?

Thank you for your attention and consideration.

Donations should be mailed directly to:


Post Office Box 507

North Tonawanda, NY 14120

Or, send a donation via PayPal to  (PayPal click-to-pay button coming soon!)



Doug Alderdice, President, BARRA (ka2wft)

Bob Becker, Vice President, BARRA (k2vgz)

Bill Havas, Treasurer, BARRA (wb2jqk)

Rich Poczkalski, Director, BARRA (wb2dss)

Welcome to BARRA!

Welcome to the web site of the Buffalo Amateur Radio Repeater Association, or BARRA as we are more familiarly known. BARRA is the premier repeater club in the Buffalo/WNY area, operating voice repeaters on almost every VHF and UHF amateur band, and providing linking between those machines and those of other club’s repeaters or systems. Feel free to click on a link above to learn more about our club!