K1EQX - Mt. Equinox, Vermont :

(Updated 09/09) Mt. Equinox is located in south western Vermont near Manchester. This 3819 foot high vantage point is the location of two Amateur repeaters, one VHF and one UHF. The VHF repeater operates on 145.390 MHz with a CTCSS of 100 Hz. using the call sign of WA1ZMS. Here we will concern ourselves mainly with the UHF repeater which operates on 444.050 MHz with a CTCSS of 100 Hz.

The UHF repeater was installed in September, 1991 by K2AD, KA1PRT, N2IKZ. WA1ZMS provided technical support and most importantly also provided the repeater unit. The equipment was located in the basement of the Sky Line Inn located at the summit of the mountain. The antenna was located on a tower used by a local FM broadcast station. The repeater first operated on 447.225 MHz but was moved to 444.050 about a month later because of a frequency coordination conflict. The system at this time was, a GE MASTR II repeater station, 800 MHz cavities modified for use as a 440 MHz duplexer, combiner system and a Cellwave Super Station Master antenna feed with three-quarter inch hard line. A GaAs FET Pre-amp was used on the receiver and an S-com 5K controller provided the interfacing of transmitter and receiver and other control functions. The VHF and UHF repeaters have always operated as separate entities, but were considered "sister repeaters" with the technical crews of both repeaters consulting and maintaining either repeater as necessary.

Today this system operates about the same as before. Major modifications were made at the site in the summer of 2003. The equipment was moved into a different and environmentally better location in the basement of the Inn. This moved required a considerably longer feed line run to the antenna. The original feed line was replaced with a 320 foot length of 1 7/8" heliax cable to the base of the tower. A short run of 7/8" heliax completes the run up to the antenna.

In 2003 K2LM, this repeaters care giver, suggested that this repeater be linked into the NFMRA system. After some deliberation between all parties involved, it was decided to make this change. The excellent coverage of this system, in some case up to 100 miles, will be a most significant asset to NFMRA's goal of providing State wide UHF coverage in south western section of Vermont, New York and Massachusetts especially for use in emergency situations. NFMRA is most grateful to this group for allowing us to make this connection.

To accomplish the link connection a S-Com 7K controller was donated by W1IMD to replace the original 5K controller. A Macom model CM-2040 was obtained by K2LM to use as a link unit. K2LM also interfaced the link, controller and repeater together. The connection into the NFMRA system was completed in the late fall of 2004. As expected, combining the great coverage provided by this repeater into NFNRA's system has been a great help in providing State wide coverage and is greatly appreciated by NFMRA.

When club member and repeater trustee K2LM suggested that this station become part of the NFMRA system. Club members voted and agreed to this plan. The original owners were contacted and also agreed to this plan. There after a link unit radio was installed which tied this repeater into the Killington station thus into the State wide system. The original call sign used by this repeater was K1DF. Now that the station was under "new management", it was decided not to continue using this call so now the repeater has a new, more appropriate call for its location which ended up being K1EQX.

 

 

The picture to the right shows the cabinet containing the UHF repeater station, link station duplexer and combiner. The UHF MASTR II repeater is at the top of the cabinet with the S-Com controller right under the repeater. Next in line is the repeater power supply. The repeater duplexer and a combiner configuration, designed by K2AD, are located in the bottom of the rack. This duplexer, combining network allows the repeater and the local FM Broadcast station's local pick up or MARTI receiver to use the same antenna. This works out to be a nice trade off for a spot for the repeater. The cavities resting on the top of the cabinet are used for a VHF MARS packet station.

 

This photo was taken on the day the original 3/4 inch hard line was replaced with the 1 7/8 inch heliax. The picture to the left shows the middle section of the one hundred foot FM broadcast tower. The bottom of the UHF repeater antenna can be seen side mounted at the top of the picture. The rigging crew doing the honors this day are, KA2QYE above and N2POR below.

 

 

The picture to the right was taken on the roof of the Sky Line Inn building. The repeater and link TX and RX equipment is located three stories below this point. In the fall of 2005 the link yagi antenna to Mt. Killington, located here on the roof, was repaired and readjusted. The feed line runs from the roof down through a conduit to the basement. The communications engineer, Hi Hi, is K1BKK who assisted K2LM who took this picture and then coaxed K1BKK down off the roof.

 

 

Return to Home Page