PART of Westford Repeater Antenna Improvements

PART of Westford logoTerry Stader, KA8SCP, writes on the PART-L mailing list:

Last week, I sent this message out to our D-STAR users…. I am forwarding it since it contains some information that may be helpful.

The latest information is that new antennas are up and the new hardline is installed. There is a tentative switch over to the new water tower scheduled for next week. As soon as I know what day this is to occur, I will send a message out.

There will be some downtime where all three repeaters will be offline to conduct maintenance. All three repeaters have been on the air without any down time since December of 2018. That is over 11,500 hours EACH. We expect that the switch will be seamless, but please be aware that during the changeover, the repeaters may be up one minute and then down the next. If we encounter any issue with the changeover, we will revert to the previous configuration.

From: Terry M. Stader – KA8SCP
Sent: Thursday, April 02, 2020 9:45 AM
Subject: Re: [wb1gof-dstar] antenna Change

Change is coming… so let me expand on what is existing now and what is happening soon.

Today, the VHF analog VHF 146.955 and D-STAR UHF 442.450 antennas are sited on the top of the older Town of Westford Prospect Hill water tower built in 1918. The D-STAR VHF 145.330 repeater antenna is located on top of the communications building at the base of that water tower, 90 feet below to other two antennas located on the top of the water tower, hence, the difference in signal levels.



A new, bigger water tower was built adjacent to the old tower. The old water tower is scheduled to be torn down in the future.

Three NEW commercial grade replacement antennas were ordered and are waiting for the new coax lines to run, then the new antenna to be placed (all 3 of them) on top of the new water tower tank on a pedestal that has already been built. When the antennas and hardline runs have been tested and we have been advised they are ours, I will go to the site and start making the switch to the new antennas.

The latest word I have was just this week… the hardline/coax installation was to be started this week. I was asked about the new antennas, so hopefully they are being transported to the site/installer.

The new water tower is considerably larger than the old water tower. It is about the same height as the old tower, exact dimensions are not yet known. The new tower is about 80-100 feet away from the old tower. That does mean that the hardline/coax runs to the new antennas are longer. The antennas are the same antenna models we have had previously. Because there is a little shift to the north in physical location, we expect pretty much the same coverage on the 955 analog and the 442.450 D-STAR repeaters. We do expect a significant change in coverage of the VHF D-STAR 145.330 repeater. 

This is all the information I have at the moment. I will advise of any significant deviation from what was outlined above when known.

Thanks all for your support to our WB1GOF repeaters.


Terry M Stader KA8SCP
WB1GOF Repeaters/D-STAR Admin

K1SIG, Unlimited Rover, in ARRL VHF Contest, September 14-16, 2019

Sean Waite, WA1TE writes on the YCCC mailing list:

Alright…no minute like last minute. Chris KG6CIH and I have finally decided what our route for the contest is going to be.

FN34wa – Bradford Information Center
FN33xi – Sunapee High Point
FN43fb – Quincy Mountain

FN42fg – Westborough Water Tower (we may pick another FN42 site, depends on
where we end up Saturday night)
FN41cu – Apple orchard/cell site
FN31tx – Soapstone Mountain
FN32ou – Hogback Mountain

Times for this will be fuzzy. Maybe 2 hours at each site, maybe longer on
Sunday sites as we have more time.

Our setup:
6m – IC-7000, 100W to moxon
2m – IC-910H, 100W to 7el
1.25m – FT818 w/ Ukranian Xvrtr w/ amp, 130ishW to 9el
70cm – IC-910H, 75(ish)W to 11el
33cm – FT818 w/ SG Lab xvrtr, 3W to 11el
23cm – FT818 w/ SG Lab xvrtr, 2W to 14el
13cm, FT818 w/ SG Lab xvrr, 2W to 21el
9cm, FT818 w/SG Lab xvrtr, 3W to 45el

Nothing on 6cm, I didn’t get that gear working yet. Maybe I’ll get it together. Depends on whether or not I decide sleep is important before roving.

3cm I have 10mW to a small horn if I can pull some stuff together tonight. 1.2cm I have 0.1mW to an even smaller horn that is totally untested and might actually work.

As per usual, some of this gear is used but new-to-us and we’re pretty sure it’ll work but also who knows. We’ll be running as Unlimited Rover.

Good luck in the contest and 73,
Sean Waite, WA1TE

VHF/UHF Activity Nights

Roger Coulson, WA1NVC, writes on the NEWSVHF list:

Please spread the word as we try to promote SSB activity on the VHF bands. Maybe some of the NEWS group members would like to join us for an old fashioned activity night.

Kim, WA1PBU, in Bolton MA and myself, WA1NVC, in Framingham MA are promoting the old activity nights: Monday – 2m, Tuesday – 1-1/4m, Wednesday – 70cm, Thursday – 33 cm, etc.  I have been promoting repeater activity on “220 Tuesday” and “900 Thursday”.  Now we are promoting SSB activity on Monday – 2m, and on Wednesday – 70 cm.  Our schedule is as follows:

Monday 8 PM local time 144.195 USB

Wednesday 8 PM local time 432.100 USB

WA1PBU is at a much higher location and has much better coverage than I do. I am on the northeast side of a hill with poor coverage towards CT.  I have good coverage east of I-495 and to the North, Northeast, and Southeast.  Kim can reach easily into CT where I cannot.

We have had as many as 7 people on a Monday activity night.  We have not been so luck on Wednesday activity night.

There are lots of people with multimode rigs so lets get them on the air. We have worked people on 2m SSB using a rig connected to a 6m vertical, an attic loop, a UHF mobile antenna, etc.  Blow off the dust and give it a try.


P.S.  The equipment here is a Yaesu FT-736R, a Mirage B3016 amp, and a Cushcraft 215WB antenna at about 35′.

DMR Simplex Mountaintop Activity Planned, June 17, 2018

Gene Balinski, K1NR shared this photo of a summit on the air operationon the Algonquin ARC mailing list from Tim Watson, KB1HNZ:
I just wanted to get the word out that our club is planning a DMR Simplex activity for Sunday morning, June 17th. We will be having parties travel to the summits of Mt. Washington, NH, Mt. Equinox, VT, and Mt. Greylock, in Western Mass. We’re hoping to try for a couple of summit to summit contacts, but also, in order to make it a worthwhile [Summits On The Air] activation, we’d like to be able to work a few other stations besides each other. 

From past experience, calling CQ on DMR simplex doesn’t yield much, so please help spread the word!

The party on Mt. Washington will include KC1HBM and KC1XT.

Myself (KB1HNZ) and my wife, K1GJY will be traveling to the summits of Mt. Equinox and Mt. Greylock. The first stop will be Mt. Equinox, sometime between 8:30-9:00 AM.

We will be using 145.790 for VHF, and 446.075 for UHF.