History of the N8JKV 146.92 Lake Leelanau Repeater




Coverage Maps


The N8JKV repeater in Lake Leelanau was the third two meter repeater to serve Leelanau County.   

Evan, JKV, had a keen interest in repeater experimentation and this repeater has evolved many times since it was born (some would say 'hatched') back in 1991 (or was it 1990?).

Presently the repeater is on the air, albeit from an interim antenna as repairs to the permanent antenna and repeater shack are made.  The repeater normally resides atop a hill on Evans property which is particularly attractive to lightning strikes.   As with many privately owned and funded repeaters, repeated severe lightning strikes, and associated damage, can drain the resources budgeted for ham radio and cause delays in effecting repairs.  The plans are to return the repeater to the permanent antenna (and add linking to the 52.92/444.725 Glen Arbor rptr) during the spring of 2004.


When the N8JKV repeater first went on the air this is the antenna that was used, an old Cushcraft Ringo Ranger II mounted on a gable mount at Evans lakefront home.

The repeater and antenna has come a long way from such humble beginnings.

Similarly humbe was the original repeater itself.

Tucked away between the living room couch and Evans radio desk in his living room was the array of boxes that comprised the 146.92 repeater and a linking transceiver that tied it into the 442.025 Cedar UHF repeater (and then on to 147.3).  

The box on the right is a Motorola Flexar transceiver used as a remote base to link 146.92 to the 442.025 Cedar UHF repeater.

In this photo, Evan is holding the original GE mobile transceiver which was the heart of the original rig (and still works-- now the 'hot spare').  This transceiver puts out just 10w continuous duty and was likely tuned down to 5w at the time due to the home-built duplexer.  The crystals inside the transceiver cost more than the transceiver itself.

To the left you can see another of the ubiquitous 'KF8KK' style repeater controllers.

Here is the six cavity home-built two meter duplexer.  This was purchased at a hamfest as a partially completed kit from an article in an 70's issue of QST. (KF8KK has more info if interested). The duplexer was marginal at best.  As soon as Evan could scrape the money together he replaced it with a four cavity Wacom duplexer and then this 'pc board wonder' became the first duplexer for the 145.27 W8TVC repeater.  KF8KK still has this historic artifact in his radio museum.