On The Air!

Sunday night, May 13 at around 8:00pm – the final connections were made, the power switch flipped on, and the KD2SL 6m repeater went on the air!  It is an exciting milestone in the project, and this is a good time to mention the hams who made it happen:

WB2DVE – John brought his machining skills and equipment to bear on the duplexer, turning my incoherent instructions and drawings into a skillfully assembled, one-of-a-kind unit that performs beautifully.  And, I think he enjoyed doing it!  There will be much more posted about the duplexer in the next few weeks.

W2QYT – Jack is responsible for taking scattered piles of donated low-band VHF GE Mastr II radios, picking out the best parts, turning them into a repeater, and tuning it up on 53.67.  His experience with creating amateur repeaters goes back nearly 40 years, and I don’t know how I could have gotten this repeater on the air without him.

N2FMM – Clint is a fellow TV broadcast engineer.  He provided a great deal of essential information and advice from his repeater experience in Buffalo and elsewhere.

N2VZD (Tim), WA2KFV (Al), KC2VER (Tony) – Each provided significant donations of equipment and/or cash.  Also, Tim was this project’s biggest cheerleader, encouraging me to move forward when I doubted whether it was worth the effort, and he worked hard to promote interest in the repeater.

NZ5V – Gary’s research and development on 6 meter duplexer design saved me countless hours, bringing our duplexer to the finish line MUCH faster.

All of these gentlemen embody the very best spirit of amateur radio, willing and eager to help my 6m repeater project with no thought of compensation or recognition.  Thanks also to Barrington Broadcasting, the parent company of WSTM, who owns the antenna and tower, donated the filter which became the duplexer, and is donating the space and electricity for the repeater.

Early results are pretty good, with full quieting signals being heard with low power from significant distances.  However, a couple of times I have heard some sort of staticy interference, even on strong signals – that bears watching.  Please click the comment link below and let us know how it is working for you; be sure to include your QTH, information about your rig and antenna, and a signal report.

It has been a long wait, but now it’s here!  Let’s have some fun with it!

About kd2sl

I'm a lifelong geek, interested in anything electronic, but especially ham radio, radio and TV broadcasting, and computers. Employed as a television engineer for several Syracuse, NY TV stations.
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17 Responses to On The Air!

  1. Mike - W2CHN says:

    Well it’s full quieting here in Norwich, NY. The only issue is the fact that nobody was on at 4:30 am this morning to do a radio check.

  2. wx2pjr says:

    Full quieting in Beaver Falls,NY, don’t know why I can’t get in however. will play with it later.

    • wx2pjr says:

      having a tone issue….. need to tinker with it or may need to raise the antenna a bit as well, BUT EXCELLENT JOB!!!!!

      Paul, WX2PJR
      Beaver Falls, NY

  3. jim W1HRM says:

    Great! but will it make it over the hump to PLB?? I dont live on a mountain top.

  4. Bob K2FEO says:

    Full quieting at Venice Center ,called N2VZD and .67 worked great !!!!
    I am using 80 m dipole with 25 watts, will try lower power next time I can bring up .67 with 5 watts.

  5. KC2VER - Tony says:

    Kevin – Congratulations to you and your entire team! Job well done. I am now running 5 watts with the Tri-band vertical on the house with no complaints. VX-8R HT with the Diamond SRH940 worked fairly well from the hill in the back yard. Looking forward to lots more experimenting. Thanks for all your efforts.

  6. Chris Boone says:

    A RF TV3 antenna is likely more horizontal polarization than anything else..Also running a GE MII in a duplexed configuration doesnot allow the Noise Blanker to function as designed (it will work but not as good as it could…35+ yrs in twoway and broadcast engineering; W5VPQ, SK, was the original designer of GE’s NB). From the comments, it seems to be working good..intermittant noise on the rptr usually means something loose in the antenna or feed (maybe a bad bullet?)..
    Congrats on the work..

    • kd2sl says:

      Hi Chris,

      Yes, it is a horizontal antenna. That does pose a challenge to mobiles, but it performs beautifully for those who have horizontal beams.

      The general belief of those who advised me on GE Mastr II issues was that the noise blanker should be disabled. As it happens, the receiver board we’re using doesn’t even have the noise blanker.

      I believe the noise problem is related to wiring right at the radio, in the little pigtail running from the RCA connector to the SO-239. I’ll be checking on that today.

  7. David says:

    S 5 to 6 level into Kingston ON
    great to see a 6 meter repeater up and running
    David VE3DZE

  8. Rick says:

    I worked several stations 6 meter ssb on Sunday June 3 rd in the central NY area. Band was open stong most of the afternoon. I am in South Carolona grid sq EM 94. I took a short listen on 53.67
    FM mode and heard the repeator I.D. It was weak but above my noise level. I did not try and key it up on the input freq. I could not hear it on a 6 meter vert antenna, but did hear it breifly on a Horiz Yagi Cush Craft 617 boomer 6 ele on a 34 foot boom. I hope to try it again on the next good E skip opening.
    Rick ND4Z

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