Amateur Radio Repeaters

Echolink node 87544 - Currently not operational.

IRLP node - someday - someday




My Current System

Currently, I have the 224.040 machine, the 442.000 machine and a link to Albuquerque all being controlled by an ARCOM RC-220 controller. Right now the link radio in Albuquerque is a simplex radio sitting on the repeater pair for 224.380. As money permits, I plan to make this a full blown repeater. Another set of cavities are in my future.

The link is using Bridgecom Systems Amateur Radio Linking System. The link was a bit difficult to set up due to the lack of documentation at the time I was setting things up. After the router issues were worked out and my vocabulary was increased, the link works well.

Some History

I decided to attack a project that I always wanted to do. Back in my college days, I watched a couple of guys put together a very low power repeater for W5GB. After that, I really wanted to do the same thing. However, graduate school, work, family and other interestes got in the way of actually doing anything.

While in graduate school, I was adopted by a great group of people in Tucson, AZ who owned and cared for a 222.34/223.94 repeater. The repeater started out life as a torn apart Clegg FM-76. (hey, I had an FM-76). While I was in Tucson, the gang decided to purchase a Spectrum Communications repeater and move the machine up to another fellows house who lived at a reasonably high altitude. I was invited to most of the installation parties. Great fun and a great diversion from the riggors of graduate school.

Next, I decided to put together a remote base for my dad. Well my ignorance caused problems and I floundered. The controller that I bought couldn't be set up to stop a permanent identification handshake between the repeater and the remote base.

Then I thought that I had my chance to learn all about repeaters. Due to some health problems, the owner of a 220 MHz repeater handed the machine's care and feeding over to me. I actually made one trip up to the mountain top to fix the machine. It turned out to be a loose crystal socket. The machines owner recovered from his illness and decided to take over the care and feeding of the machine without telling me. I was invited to the runs up the the mountain with him, but I couldn't sneek away from work like he was able to. I asked to be informed of any maintenance because I was still the trustee and my call was on the machine. However, that was too much of a bother for the owner and I finally gave up and had my call removed from the repeater.

After several years of talking about it, I finally put together a couple of repeaters. Through my previous experiences, I knew that I wanted to be the sole owner and repeater mechanic. Then, thanks to a well developed addiction to ebay, I snagged one of those mobile 440 duplexers, then a hard-to-obtain WACOM 220 duplexer. Okay, now what. As my ebay addiction continued, I finally obtained a Hamtronics 440 exciter. Then came the 220 repeater that I thought was a REP-200, but it turned out to be the parts in a home brew chassis. Still, it was parts. Then came the "working" 440 receivers. Fortunately, the parts were cheap to get the "working" receivers to work. Now, the stage was set.

Because I am relatively anal and I tend towards perfectionism, the 220 machine has been worked over. I have gotten the receiver shielded to the point that it doesn't hear a 500mW hand-held across the room (of course without an antenna). The exciter seems to talk to all neighbors even when running into a dummy load. The controller that I'm using is an NHRC-4. I was able to obtain a Wacom duplexer and Paul Choc (WA5IHL) was able to tune them to the required frequency.

Future plans include getting the 440 machine operational, Echolink and IRLP connections to the 220 machine.