W1AAK - Burke Mountain

Burke Mountain is located in the north east corner of Vermont in the town of Burke. The mountain is located about six miles northeast of Lyndonville Vermont and at an elevation of 3289 feet is one of he highest points in the immediate area. The mountain summit as well as the lands that surrounds the mountain are owned by the State of Vermont. The area is known as Darling State Park. The top of the mountain is easily accessed via a paved toll road. During the winter months a ski area is in operation here. The summit was used early on by the Department of Forests and Parks as a Forest Fire look out station. When two-way radio communications first came to be used by various State Agencies in the late nineteen forties, Mt. Burke became a communications site providing radio coverage to areas in the Northeast Kingdom.

Today this site remains a valuable communications site and is utilized by many as a vantage point for various radio systems, such as, two-way radio systems, paging transmitters, an FM station, a TV station and recently cell phone companies have found this site to be a spot to locate their equipment as well.

In the fall of 2003 NFMRA decided to investigate the possibility of installing a UHF repeater at this site. The use of this site would be a welcome addition to NFMRA's endeavor to provide state wide UHF coverage. After a year of negotiation with various State Entities a lease to use the site was granted in January 2005.

The Amateur equipment here is configured much the same as at other locations utilizing two independent stations, a main repeater and a link station. The repeater will provide local coverage to the surrounding area. The station is link into W1IMD's system on Mt. Wash- ington and also Mt. Killington. Because the path to Mt. Killington is about a seventy five miles hop, linking is done via a microwave link. At this point in time two Motorola MSF-5000 stations are installed at the site. The repeater went into operation on 14 June, 2005 when the installation of a new antenna was completed.

This repeater will operate much the same as the other repeaters in the system. The frequencies used on the main repeater are, receive on 444.125 Mhz and transmit on 449.125 MHz. A CTCSS tone of 110.9 Hz is also required to activate the repeater for local coverage and to link into Killington.

 

In the picture to the left you can see two cabinets stacked together that contain the two Motorola MSF-5000 stations used at the site. The top cabinet houses the linking equipment and the main repeater is located in the bottom cabinet. The RF tray is missing from the top unit and the PA is missing from the bottom unit when this photo was taken. A Pacific Research controller is used to provide all the required PTT, audio and switching configurations between all the stations. The controller can be seen in the right center of the bottom cabinet.

The two Motorola cabinets show above but from a different angle.

In the picture to the left located on the right side of the wooden telephone pole you can see the 4-bay dipole antenna used by the repeater station. This antenna, made by Telewave Inc., is arranged to provide a cardioid pattern which favors a North South direction. About 100 feet of 7/8 inch heliax connects the repeater to the antenna.

To the right is a view taken from the summit of the Mountain looking toward the Southwest. This picture was taken on a day that was quite overcast but it gives one an idea of the fantastic view from this site.

 

 

 

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