N3CRK Repeaters

I am now coordinated for 224.5 / 222.9

As of 29 September 2017, The Bridgecom BC-220 repeater is now in service
and I have an application in for a 440 repeater to tie into the 220.


The radios I set up my first 220 repeater with were "System M-230" available on eBay. They are Chinese made radios. I can't really recommend them. They aren't that great.
There is only one seller. Out of four radios I bought, one was bad. To give him credit, he offered to replace it but it would have cost me $67 to ship it back.
It wasn't worth it! They are rated at 5/10/50 Watts. I measured two radios, they were 10/30/37 watts. There is one knob for a multitude of functions.
the radio is neither intuitive nor user friendly. I had to make up a cheat-sheet just for basic funcions...like volume, squelch and output power.


The new Bridgecom BCR-220 repeater

I bought the duplexer and programming kit with the repeater.
The duplexer is sitting on top of the repeater.
They set me back a bundle but, once I had coordination, I wanted to do it right!
I hope to get a backup battery on it someday. It is running a full 30 watts. Calculations show my ERP should be 50 watts.

This repeater went down in November.

It would not work on the Tram antenna nor on my 220 beam. It would lock up and squeal.
I brought it up an a low mounted discone a few days ago and had it running.
I tried it again on the 60 foot high Tram today, 9 January 2018, and it works again.
It started to squeal on 10 January 2018. I put it back on the 6 foot high discone and it works fine. I am going to leave it there for the time being.
More information on the problem.


The duplexer connected to the 1/2 inch hardline

The 60 foot hardline starts right behind the repeater and runs 50 feet up the tower.
At the top, a 13 foot LMR400 jumper connects the hardline to the antenna.


The 1/2 inch hardline starting up the tower

I had to drill a new hole large enough to pass the female N-connector.
The tilt-over hinge is visible under the tower. It is still a big job to raise and lower it with a hand winch.


The Repeater Antennas


(The big 220 beam points north.)

At the top, above the 220 beam, the Tram 1494, 220 MHz antenna is almost 60 feet off the ground (220 feet above average terrain.)

Below the beam, at about 45 feet, is a Tram 1450 all ready for a 440 MHz repeater. It is fed all the way with LMR400. The SWR is less than my dummy load.
I can just hear a Pittsburgh repeater on it. That's not bad for about 80 miles on an omni-directional antenna.

Just below the 1494 is a security camera.
About even with the bottom of the 1450 is a security floodlight.
The two 3-element beams are commercial railroad antennas. I use them to scan trains on the Loveridge Secondary.
Just below those is a WIFI access point. (Currently not in use.)


My New Antenna Test Stand

The old one was too close to the radio building. This one is about 28 feet away.
I will be putting a permanent 2-inch pipe in the ground with concrete soon.
The photo shows my old Hy-Gain V-4S, 440 MHz antenna ready for tuning.

The hill visible in the background is across the Mon river in Greene County.