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 have been reliable so far.
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.

I started having antenna problems 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 6 foor high discone a few days ago and had it running.
I raised the discone to 12 feet.

27 April 2018 - The discone is now at about 47 feet on my second tower.
I mounted my old Hy-Gain V-4S at about 35 feet. Both repeaters are now running on those temporary antennas.
N3DWT and I lowered the 50 foot tower so I can work on the Tram 1494 antenna problem.
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.

As of 12 April 2018 the 443.675/448.675 repeater is on the air
and linked to 224.5 repeater.

The 440 repeater is in the rack below the 220 repeater.

Above is a brand new Bird 28-66-02A duplexer

The Icom F221S, 443.675 transmitter is mounted in the Astron 15 Amp power supply on the left.
Channel 1 is low power, channel 2 is medium and channel 3 is high power.
It is now running a a full 45 Watts. There is an outboard fan behind the transmitter.
I am consideing a Henry amplifier which is rated for continuous duty so I can run the radio at a much safer low power.

On the right and sharing the same power supply is the Icom F221S, 448.675 receiver.
The electrical box on top of the receiver contains the interface to the Ham Gadgets ID-O-Matic IV repeater controller

I have installed a Tram 1450 antenna at about 45 feet and fed with LMR400. (See antenna photo below.)

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 the Tram 1450 for the 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 over 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 on the left shows my old Hy-Gain V-4S, 440 MHz antenna ready for tuning.

The photo on the right is the temporary discone antenna at 12 feet for the 224.5 repeater.
It also shows the pipe set in the ground and an AC outlet for equipment to test antennas.

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