The W8TVC repeater covers the Grand Traverse, and southern Leelanau county regions from a 100' tower in Long Lake township just west of Traverse City.
CLICK HERE for the official W8TVC/r website.
The 145.27 repeater first took to the air during the winter of 1991 as N8KWT from the very location it presently resides. The early days were modest, as the repeater used home-built duplexers and was first on the air with a Ringo Ranger on a broomstick in the back yard of N8KWT (now W8TVC).
The first transmitter/receiver was an old RCA700 series that was setup to put out 5 watts. The six cavity home-made duplexer from the original N8JKV repeater was used at one time, along with a home-made (and home designed!) six cavity duplexer built by N8OKM. Neither of the home-built duplexers proved to be trouble free-- but they did provide plenty of opportunity to tweak and tinker.
In 1993, the newly formed Northwest Michigan Amateur Radio Club (formed at a time when other established radio clubs shunned the new 'no-code' technicians as sub-human... NMARC was formed to fill the void and welcome the new hams to the hobby) was loaned the use of the W8TVC coordination for use as the clubs repeater. The NMARC group pooled its resources and a 56' tower was erected at the W8TVC site for the repeater. A home-built double J-Pole antenna was used for the repeater. During this time the club bought a four cavity Wacom duplexer, GE Mastr 100w base station transceiver, and autopatch capable repeater controller.
In 1996 the few remaining members of the NMARC decided to gift the repeater to W8TVC for its continued use in the region, figuring that by doing so it would eliminate any 'repeater politics' from it's operation. The early years of the NMARC were tumultuous at best. The group currently consists of a small group of very close friends who have been successful in keeping 'politics' out and 'fun' in.
In 1999, a 90' tower was erected for the W8TVC repeater and the original 56' tower was dismantled. The new tower provided a noticeable improvement in coverage.
In 2000, a line of severe thunderstorms passed through the Traverse City area and the W8TVC repeater antenna took a strong direct hit. Considerable damage was sustained. After a few months off the air, the replacement repeater was put in place in the spring of 2001. This replacement (a 100w Motorola MTR-2000) is currently in service and providing a valuable service to the hams in the area.
Sadly, photos of the original 145.27 repeater don't appear to be available.
|In the summer of 2003 the repeater was
relocated from the laundry room to it's present position in the 'Hat
Now known as the 'Hat Room Repeater', 145.27 is situated in a nice green rack. This rack was originally obtained by Bob N8LRU at some point in the 1990's and has been properly seasoned in a position next to the asparagus patch near the rear of the W8TVC estate. It was brought to the KF8KK paint studio and provided with the olive-drab paint before being positioned in the Hat Room.
At the bottom are six Wacom cavities that comprise the 2m duplexer. Above the cavities is the 100w Motorola MTR-2000 transmitter/receiver.
Above the Motorola is the Micro Computer Concepts RC1000v controller (inside the rack cabinet marked "Hum Notch").
Above the PC mouse is the Echolink computer and the interface that connects it to the repeater controller (in another "Hum Notch" enclosure). The Echolink node is left on 24/7 and connected to the world via high speed cablemodem.
Out of this view are the UHF control receiver, power supplies, and the VHF GasFet Preamp from Advance Receiver Research that boosts the incoming signal for the main repeater input.
|This is how the system looked in June of
The rack on the right contains the backup GE Mastr2 repeater for 145.27 and also the equipment associated with the linking to the GlenArbor/Empire 444.725/52.92 repeaters.
|This shows what's inside the rack with
the linking gear in it.
The black box at the top is the small controller that ties the various components together.
Below that is the rear view of an old RCA 700 uhf transceiver which is used as the receiver to pick up the signal from the 444.725 repeater. It is also used to provide a 50mw signal on 442.025 so that Dave W8TVC can have a nearby 440mhz signal for his use at his home.
Below the RCA are two Motorola Mitrek transceivers. One is used as a receiver for 52.42 for the voting system of the Empire repeater.
The other Mitrek has a receiver on 449.725, also for the voting system of the Empire repeater. This Mitrek also is used to transmit the signals back to the Empire repeater on the 440.05 link frequency.
The large gold colored box above the power strip is the backup 2mtr repeater, a GE Mastr2.
|This is the rear view of the GE Mastr2 'backup
Should the new Motorola rig fail, or the controller give up the ghost, there is a complete and ready to go (except for the duplexer and receive preamp) backup repeater.
This has been placed conveniently nearby so that Murphys Law will take effect and prevent any failures from occurring in the primary system.
|This is the rear view of the linking
controller and the RCA700 transceiver mentioned above.
The Motorola bandpass cavity is in line in front of the 449.725 receiver so it's GasFet preamp doesn't get swamped by off frequency RF from the other systems at the site.
|This is the rear view of the 145.27
Yea, it looks rather confused and haywired, but it's very realiable and with the longer wires connecting the components it makes it more serviceable. [All too often the very neatly wired systems are unserviceable because you cannot open the boxes to work on the gear because the wires are too short!]
At the top is a black box containing the RC1000v repeater controller.
Below the controller is a Motorola MTR2000 repeater.
A six cavity Wacom duplexer is at the bottom of the rack.
The repeater runs 100w and an ARR GasFet preamp, which combined provide very satisfactory performance.
|Here's the view of one of the other walls
in the room that the repeater is located. This is why it is
called the 'Hat Room'.
For more information please visit the W8TVC repeater web page.