W1AAK - Monkton, Vermont :

This privately-owned site is located in the town of Monkton, Vermont. At an elevation of 1,250 feet, this site offers a commanding view up and down the Champlain Valley. Located at this site are two-way radio, cellular telephone and several paging systems, a microwave relay system and a TV translator. The amateur UHF repeater located here was first put into operation in 1993. The equipment used for this first station was a General Electric Masta Pro. In 2000 the original station was replaced by a Motorola Micor repeater, which operates on 444.650 / 449.650 MHz. Tone-coded squelch frequency is 110.9 cps. A dB Products Model 40165 band pass band reject duplexer is used. Transmitter power output from the duplexer is maintained at about 40 to 50 watts, which is fed to an old Andrew 5.8 dB gain antenna. Transmit and receive audio, keying, tone squelch logic and control is accomplished with a Link-Comm RLC-1 repeater controller.

(Update 1/03) In the process of re-engineering some of the communications systems antennas and feed lines at this site, NFMRA was invited by the site owner to move its equipment to a different building and relocate its antenna to a new and higher location on another tower at the site. Since this was a move that would enhance coverage of the repeater and also provide a location for a link antenna we jumped at the chance. In early December, 2002, the station was moved. A DB Products Model 404, four-bay antenna replaced the old Andrew "stick". This antenna was placed at the 100 foot level and fed with 7/8 inch heliax cable. A GE Phoenix SX dash mount radio was added for used as the link connection to Mt. Killington. The antenna used at this time was a single dipole antenna that was already in place on the tower. This antenna is located at the 175 foot level. From this height, although not 100 percent reliable, provides a marginal to fair RF path to the Mt. Killington hub station. Replacing the dipole antenna with a directional antenna and replacing the feed line with some low loss heliax should make a remarkable improvement on the path to Mt. Killington. These changes are planned for the future.

(Updated 11/03) A 5 dB gain yagi antenna fed with 7/8 inch helax was installed 10/03. This improvement did add considerable gain to the path but did not improve the situation as well as expected. However, a reliable path to Killington is available most all of the time.

Soon after the equipment was moved to its new location a packet station was put into operation at the site. This system operates on a UHF frequency and uses the antenna that was previously used for the link unit. More info on the packet system will be forth coming.

An APRS station was put into operation here during the summer of 2009. The intent here is to improve APRS coverage southerly down RT.116 to the Middlebury area as well as along the eastern New York border.

(Up dated 10/13) Early this year the site owner requested that the NFMRA remove it's antennas from the tower (see picture #3). Luckly, use of the location where the repeater first resided was available, so now its back at its original location. The Motorola Micor equipment was replaced with a Motorola MSF-5000 station. The antenna used, a four-bay dipole, which can be seen in the picture below about one third of the way up on the left side of the tower, was the antenna previously used by the W1EU repeater. Other than replacement of the main repeater, all other equipment remains the same.

 

(Updated 11/03)

Here is a picture of the site looking towards the south where the repeater was first located. The tower, which was at one time an old AM broadcast tower, is about 165 feet high. The repeater was housed in the small white building at the left side of the picture. This building was once the body of an old delivery truck. The antenna was located on the end of the building. It is hoped that the antenna can be relocated to a spot on the tower in the future. This decision is at the discretion of the site owner, who has been very obliging in allowing us to use this site.

 

This is a picture of the equipment cabinet as it was at it's original location. At the top of the rack can be seen the dB Products duplexer. Next in line is the Motorola Micor PA and below the PA is the Micor unified chassis, which contains the transmitter exciter, multiplier, PA control boards and receiver. Below this is the RLC-1 controller cabinet and, at the bottom of the rack, is the power supply. There was no linking equipment here at this time. The cabinet seen to the right is the WE1U repeater which has been recently from service.

 

 

Seen in the picture to the left is the building and tower where the repeater was moved to. The antenna now located at the 100 foot level has remarkably and understandably improved system performance. The link antenna is not quite visible in this photo is located at the 175 foot level.

 

Here is a picture of the equipment cabinet as seen in it's new location. All looks about the same as in the previous picture except the addition of the linking transmitter and receiver located at the bottom of the rack. The unit used for the link connection is a GE Phoenix SX dash mount radio.This station is now linked to the hub station at Mt. Killington.

 

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