I am now coordinated for 224.5 / 222.9
I am now coordinated for 224.5 / 222.9
and 443.675 / 448.675
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.
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.
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.
I now have a spectrum analyzer with tracking generator. It is an eye opener.
The Tram 1494 antenna absolutely will not tune properly! That caused the repeater problems.
The coax connector on the beam was corroded after 20 years on the tower. It is on the ground now waiting repair.
I bought a 220 MHz Ringo Ranger II antenna which tuned in easily. It has made a big improvement in the 224.5 repeater.
Now I am fighting with 224.5, during its hang time, creating a loud squelch tail on the 448.675 receiver.
The 60 foot heliax now starts just inside the wall and runs
57 feet up the tower.
A 10 foot LMR400 jumper connects the duplexer to the heliax.
At the top, a 2 foot RG8 jumper connects the heliax to the Ringo antenna.
I have a Bird duplexer for the 224.5 repeater. The tuning procedure is critical and tedious. When I get it tuned I will make the swap.
I had to drill a new hole large enough to pass the female N-connector.
The tilt-over hinge is visible under the tower. I now have an electric winch but it is still a big job to lower and raise it.
Above is a brand new Bird 28-66-02A duplexer for the 440 ham band.
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.
This spring (2018) lightning took out the transmitters in both Icoms.
I put in a spare transmitter.
My ground is too rocky to sink ground rods.
I since have buried four 50 foot ground radials for the 50 foot tower, and three for the 40 foot tower.
I plan to bury more after the weather cools off.
I have installed a Tram 1450 antenna at about 45 feet and fed with LMR400. (See antenna photo below.)
At the very top, the new 220 MHz Ringo Ranger II antenna is almost 60 feet off the ground (220 feet above average terrain.)
Below that, at about 45 feet, and on the south side of the tower is the
Tram 1450 for the 440 MHz repeater.
It is fed all the way with LMR400. The SWR is better 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 that favors West Virginia.
Just below the Ringo is a security camera.
The old one was too close to the radio building. This one is about 28 feet away.
I have since put a permanent 2-inch pipe in the ground with concrete.
I have also added an AC outlet for my spectrum analyzer.
The photo on the left shows my old Hy-Gain V-4S, 440 MHz antenna ready for tuning.
It has been broken and repaired and has about a 2:1 SWR at best.
The photo on the right is the new 4-Bay antenna for the 443.675 repeater
under test. It has a decent SWR.
On the tower I will be facing all 4 bays northeast for better coverage into Fayette County.
The hill visible in the background is across the Mon River in Greene County.