Current ZIA Connection Status
Status Report of ZIA as of 5-09-99
Virden, NM, 9 May 99
Seventeen years ago a concept in VHF FM communications made its on
the air debut after some four years of planning, building, testing, and
In July of 1982, The Zia Connection started operation with a
nucleus of three repeaters, Guthrie Peak, Jack's Peak, and Mt. Lemmon. A
full time linked repeater system with no operator controls was new, unique,
and more importantly operated with excellent audio quality and quick keying.
During the ensuing years additional sites came on line expanding
the system to the extent that most amateurs have become accustomed to
utilizing the last ten years or so. Perhaps the only significant change
from day 1 until today was the implementation of CTCSS access in the late
It is with considerable regret, but at the same time with much
relief, that I am making this public announcement that The Zia Connection
will cease to exist and operate over the course of the next couple of months.
A number of factors have brought me to this decision. In a
nutshell, I do not have the time or financial ability to properly operate,
maintain, and make upgrades to the system. This inability has been
noticeable the last couple of years as various repeaters have suffered
considerable down time. That type of operation is not what I want for the
system and therefore the only proper thing to do is cease to operate.
At this time I want to give proper THANKS to two individuals who
have been at my side from the initial concept to this day. Joe Montierth,
WA7ZNY, and Martin Raue, WB5LJO, have been my right and left hand
supporters in word and deed for this entire period. Without their efforts,
The Zia Connection would have never appeared in the manner that you know
it, and would not have existed for this length of time.
At the same time, I must thank my ever supporting (I think) wife.
She, together with our seven children have undoubtably suffered most from
my dedication to the system. Some of my kids have never known a time when
The Zia Connection didn't exist.
There have been many others, too numerous to list, who have helped
in many ways through the years. And certainly there are a few who have
yearly sent a cash donation to assist in defraying a portion of the expenses.
THANKS TO ALL who have made this effort a rewarding experience for
me and my supporters. The Zia Connection will now become a portion of
amateur radio history and I certainly hope that all the memories will be
The dismantling of the system will begin this coming weekend. The
eastern part of the system will be the first to go. I am negotiating with
some individuals who want to retain the Benson Ridge repeater as a
standalone or possibly linked only to El Paso.
The western part of the system will go away the latter part of the
month of May. Again, I am negotiating with certain individuals who desire
to maintain the Guadalupe Mtn./Quartzsite repeater as a standalone.
The center portion of the sytem in eastern Arizona and western New
Mexico will essentially remain intact although major changes will be made
to the linking method, locations, CTCSS access, and call signs. This
system will be renamed and will operate under the auspices of an organized
club. Although the system will be open to all amateurs, membership in the
sponsoring club will be expected from anyone other than the casual
transient operator. The primary intent is to provide the highest level of
communication capability within the entire operational area. Some
additonal repeaters will be added to provide coverage where now there is
limited or no coverage.
Again, THANKS for all the memories. After 39 years of licensed
amateur radio activity, it is still as much fun for me today as it was way
Milt Jensen, N5IA
Page by Dave