History of the Kan-Okla Intertie

The Kan-Okla intertie system started out as the Stateline intertie system. It was the brainstorm of Mike walz (W5ALZ). In 2008 He wanted a way of having wider repeater coverage for the Stateline Skywarn organization for spotting storms. The Stateline inter-tie system was born.
 He first had to find two repeaters to link together and requested and was granted two GSPARC repeaters. The 443.450 bunkhouse repeater and the 147.180 repeater west of Alva. The first link consisted of an Alinco DR 610 set to cross band repeat mode linked from his QTH. Initial tests were unsuccessful causing major looping on the repeaters. So he requested the expertise of Gary Gerber (KB0HH) and Steve Walz (K0UO) to help him with this project. Both Gary and Steve told Him to drop the squelch tails on the repeaters and this would solve the looping problem. So that's what he did and it worked. But then he encountered another problem the audio coming across was degraded badly. So with the help of Gary and Steve again he changed out the Alinco with Icoms F121 and 221 in the remote base configuration. This improved the audio 100%. Now that he got the audio problem fixed he turned his sights toward coverage area. He started looking to the west for a sight to build out the coverage area toward the Woodward area since that was what his plan was in the beginning. He applied for and was granted tower space on a Pioneer Cellular tower 12 miles west of Alva They moved the 443.450 repeater from the bunkhouse to this 350 foot tower in September of 2009. Once that repeater was up and running he was faced with yet another problem. The repeaters were to close together to accomplish his goal. So he requested and was granted with some opposition the 147.30 GSPARC flagship repeater located South of Anthony Kansas on a 300 foot tower. Several of the club members weren't sold on the linking idea at first knowing that they would not have a standalone repeater anymore. It would be linked 100% of the time. But Mike was persistent and eventually got more support in his project. At one of Gary’s get togethers the Pratt hams showed interest in linking in so they could talk to us. So with the help of Jim (WB0OAO) (SK) And Mike (N0FEK) they applied and was granted the 444.125 repeater located in Havilland Kansas with a link from Mike’s house from the 147.30 at Anthony.  In 2010 The Wichita Amateur Radio Club showed interest of linking into the growing system so on Feb. 2, 2010 the 146.850 in Derby Kansas came online with a simplex link at Norwich secured by Gary Gerber. This link was tied into the 147.30 at Anthony. This gave the system the greater Wichita area which they we’re really excited about. But now they felt like they needed a repeater up north to shorten the linking path of the Havilland repeater. So With the help of Larry England (WC0X) they secured space on a gyp hills 200 foot tower south of Medicine Lodge Kansas. On March 10, 2010 the 146.880 came online. Then he encountered another problem to deal with major interference from the 147.30 site at Anthony. So he had no alternative but to look for a new site for that repeater. In 2010 he submitted the paperwork to go on another 350 foot Pioneer tower south of the current location just west of Medford. This would also serve as the south linking hub later on. On March,13 2010 Mike, Steve and Gary put up the feed line and antenna to the new 147.30 site. The elements were pointed towards Enid this was designed to bring the Enid hams into the system. He decided things were getting to big to keep linking from his house so he moved the link radios to another club tower west of Alva. But as luck would have it the 146.88 tower blew over in a storm in 2011. Mike and Steve had to look for another site and secured tower space on a 300 ft tower just about 1000 feet from the previous location. Coverage towards Enid was marginal at best so he started looking for an Enid repeater to link in. He found one with the help of an Enid ham Tom Worth (N5LWT) and the 444.825 repeater came online and now Enid was in the system 24/7. But once again problems arose at Norwich so he went looking for another site for linking he found one between Nashville and Kingman that once housed the 442.025 repeater so everything was already on the tower. He found out it was owned by the same company who owned the Havilland site so with the help of Jim Zeltner(WB0OAO) (SK-Sept 26th,2012)( the voice of the Kan-Okla which upon his death Mike changed the name of the system to the WB0OAO KanOkla Intertie System!!) and some other local hams contacted Dwight again and was granted space on the Nashville tower. And on August 28th 2012 the 442.40 came online. This would serve as a linking hub to the 146.850 in Derby, Kansas. He realized the name of the system was no longer valid so he changed it to the Kan-Okla intertie system after Kyle (KC0YOY) received a grant from the Kan-Okla networks for radio equipment. But once again he got another brainstorm and thought since we had the Wichita NWS why not have Norman NWS too. So once again he looked south and found a repeater in Kingfisher the 146.640. This happened to be owned by Richard Ruhl (K5GLD) the president of Pioneer telephone and the one who was instrumental in granting him space on two Pioneer towers. So he contacted Richard and he was all for linking on Feb 9th 2012 the Kingfisher repeater came online. This extended the coverage of the system to North OKC. But then another problem major interference at the Enid site. Mike and Tom worked diligently together to solve this issue but to no avail so reluctantly he started looking for another site to put a repeater on that would link Kingfisher in. He instilled the help of Richard to accomplish this. He told him there was an old AT&T 250 foot tower north of Enid which Pioneer cellular owned. So he submitted the paperwork and was granted tower space in 2012 the 443.20 came online. Meanwhile he was contacted by a Great Bend ham Dave (KI0NN) who showed interest in linking in his repeater and the 146.76 came online. Then the Wichita group wanted to resurrect the 146.820 repeater which served major purpose years ago. So on a Saturday morning Steve and Mike along with WARC members and Randy Smith with Randys Tower Service installed the hardline and antenna and the 146.820 came online. Since the Wichita group was on board Mike felt very confident to have their Tech John Locke (kf0m) to help him with his project.
Then he got very busy at work and couldn’t devote all his time to the project anymore. So Mike decided to step down and have John and Steve take over operations of the system. John was instrumental in Bringing Beaumont, Ponca City and Bartlesville online. And then finally Mike got his wish when the 442.050 Woodward Oklahoma repeater came online. We’ve come a long ways since that day in 2008. when a new inexperienced ham had a dream that someday two states might be linked together for emergency communications and this dream has become a reality with the help of several others too numerous to mention!!