W1JTB - Graniteville, Vermont:

The establishment of this site was the result of a combined effort between NFMRA and W1IMD. It was first put on the air in the fall of 2001 by W1IMD. Although this site is actually located in the town of Williamstown, it is referred to as the Graniteville Site because of its close proximity the borough of Graniteville which is located south of the City of Barre.

This site was originally owned and operated by AT&T and was used as a microwave relay station for many years. The site is presently owned by American Tower. The original call used at this station was W1AAK. That call was recently changed to W1JTB which previously was the call of a long time club member. Elevation at this site is 1970 feet AMSL. The antenna support structure is a 238 foot self supporting tower. With this elevation good UHF coverage is available northwest to Bolton and south to Randolph along Interstate 89. Coverage is also good easterly to East Orange and in some areas in and around Stowe and Hardwick. This station was original and remains linked to UHF system on MT Washington.

During the summer of 2002 the original Motorola MSF-5000 repeater was replaced with a General Electric MASTR II station. Why replace a newer Motorola with an older GE you ask? Well, the Motorola was destined to find a new home at a site to be established in the future. When the MASTR II was installed a link connection into the NFMRA system on Mt. Killington was also put into operation. Later the same year new linking equipment was reinstalled to get the linking system to Mt. Washington back in operation. This gives the station the capability of being linked in two directions and into two different UHF systems, individually or in a combined configuration. The repeater frequencies used here are 444.600 / 449.600 MHz. Two different CTCSS tones can be used to access the repeater depending on user preferences. The system is normally operates configured so users encoding a 110.9 Hz. tone allows repeater operation plus link access to Mt. Killington and into the NFMRA system. Receive audio from Mt. Washington will also be transmitted by the repeater in this configuration. A user wishing to access the Mt. Washington system can do so by encoding a 71.9 Hz tone. The controller switches the repeater over to the Mt. Washington system and disables the NFMRA link connection. The repeater will remain in this configuration as long as there is usage on the system. It will revert back to normal (Killington reconnected) after a period of three minutes of non use. Rather than wait for the three minute time period to expire, switching back to normal mode can also be accomplished by encoding a 110.9 Hz. tone from a user's radio. Verbal response from the controller will be "Washington link to monitor"

A Link-Comm RLC-1 Plus combined with a RLC-6 are used to interface the main repeater and both links units together. The RLC-1 controller is equipped with a "didga-talker" IC so it will respond verbally to commands that have been entered to it.

To the left can be seen a typical GE MASTR II station in an upright cabinet. Located at the very top of the cabinet is a DB Products model dB 4076 duplexer. Next, barely visible under the duplexer is the Link-Comm repeater controller panel. Under the controller is the chassis which contains the repeater receiver, transmitter exciter and power amplifier. A preamplifier is used on the receiver. The transmitter is adjusted to an output power level of about 50 watts. Next in line can be seen the GE station power supply. Located on the right hand side of the rack panel under the power supply is the link unit that connects the repeater to Mt. Killington. This radio is a UHF GE Phoenix SX mobile unit. The link unit used to connect to Mt. Washington is an Alinco DR-235 Mobile unit which operates in the 222 MHz. portion of the spectrum This unit is not visible in this picture. Under the link unit rack is a regulated 13.5 volt power supply that supplies power to both link units and also acts as a redundant supply for the repeater controller. Transmission line to the repeater antenna is 7/8 inch heliax cable and the antenna is a dB Products DB-404.

Here we can see almost all of the 238 foot tower and the roof of the building as it would be viewed looking in an easterly direction. The now unused periscope microwave antennas are still mounted on the very top of the tower. The repeater antenna is barely visible between the two microwave antennas.(Up dated 09/09) The Micro- wave antennas shown in this and the next picture have now been removed.

Here is a closer view of the very top of the tower. A better view of the repeater antenna can be seen in this picture. In another sense of the word, one might call it a lightning rod instead of an antenna.

 

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