As previously noted the W8UM repeater on 145.23 is off the air because of construction on the University of Michigan central campus at the Weiser Building (aka Dennison Building, aka Physics and Astronomy building). The complete gut and rehab of the space meant that all systems in that building are being torn out and rebuilt, including the space that had been used for the 145.23 W8UM repeater and for the UHF link that connected the repeater to the UMARC shack at the EECS building on North Campus.
Despite the loss of the RF link, the W8UM weekly Sunday night net went on as scheduled tonight, using the Echolink node for net control. I tried to connect but was having a hard time getting audio out of it until I realized that Echolink doesn't play well with firewalls, so I turned up a VPN connection and was able to successfully connect through that.
After the 8:00 p.m. UMARC net there is a 8:30 p.m. ARPSC net on the 145.15 repeater, and several W8UM regulars are also regulars on that emergency and Skywarn preparedness net. So after the net closed we talked for a bit - we being me W8EMV, Augustine W8AWT, Don AC8TO, Matt WS8U, and Thom W8TAM. Several of those folks had attempted to run a net on 145.23 simplex, but the consensus was that we needed a net control station with better coverage, perhaps someone operating from the UMARC shack.
Look for future weeks for more improvised operations. Stuart W8SRC who does a lot of programming of local repeaters was away and not able to provide his assistance, but there were a lot of folks with hardware that could perhaps be put to good use temporarily or permanently.