On February 28th, 2015 a group of Lowell Amateur Radio Club Members met at the main repeater site to begin PHASE 1 of the project to expand receive coverage for the 145.27 repeater.
The group consisted of FRANK (N8UVI), SAM (K8SN), Nathan (N8THN) and Mike (KB8ZGL).
The team’s primary goal was to implement the needed infrastructure in order to support the addition of 4 additional receivers (Holland, Nashville, NW Kent County and portable).
Step #1 was to remove all existing receiver couplers in order to install the new Cellwave 12 port receiver coupler that was purchased by the club at the previous meeting.
With the help of Sam K8SN we successfully tuned the receiver filter, checked for insertion loss and properly configured the 12 port receiver coupler for our 434Mhz receiver links. (Pictured below)
This was a very important step as previously we only had capabilities for 4 receivers at a time.
Additionally, we split off 445Mhz-447Mhz to a separate splitter, pre-amp, filter and separate rack. This allows the sharing of the receive antenna for the KD8RXD MotoTrbo repeater and the K8SN Lowell receiver as well as future expansion possibilities.
PHASE1 required the team to entirely re-rack equipment (thanks to Nathan and Frank for the hard work on this) in order to best fit the additional 4 receivers , the coupler and the proper cabling.
As of March 4th, the team is actively working on PHASE2 of the project. PHASE2 consists of deploying the 4 additional receivers, testing sensitivity and cabling them to the new voter. Additional a cable needs to be completed to slave the Doug Hall voter to the current primary voter. The goal is to complete PHASE2 on Saturday March 7th.
PHASE3 will require visiting remote sites to install the remote receiver and link transmitter, align and install the UHF yagi connecting back to the main site. The teams goal is to complete PHASE 3 shortly after the weather breaks. Priority site #1 is Holland, MI additional receiver followed shortly by Nashville, MI.
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