wI0OK/r Repeater Controller Upgrade




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Here are some photos showing some of the new hardware for the Glen Arbor - Empire Michigan 444.725 and 52.92 repeaters at various stages of the 2004 repeater upgrade project.

The control system was radically updated to include a new Arcom RC210 repeater controller and numerous ancillary devices.  Along with the upgrade, the actual transmitters and receivers that comprise the repeater were also replaced, leaving nearly the entire former system as a 'hot spare'.

The project schedule for 2004 includes replacing the antennas on the tower.  Once the antenna work is completed, the plan was to add satellite voting receivers for both 449.725 and 52.42 MHz co-located with the W8TVC repeater near Traverse City, MI.  The voting receivers skipped ahead of the tower work and are already functional.

It's a busy year, but when done the results should be worth the effort and, hopefully, provide excellent service for many years.

Return to the wI0OK/r Glen Arbor repeater page.

After about a months work the repeater system can be laid out on the workbench and the scope of the project became evident.  Overall the process of modifying the radio gear and assembling the controller chassis took about five weeks of work.

In this shot you can see the various components while in 'bench testing'.  The power amplifiers are not shown here as they were in use on the repeater.  As it was, I ran short of dummy loads and had to run the 440 repeater into a magnet mount antenna during this test.  

The old RCA700 '144' transceiver was used as the 144.92 remote base transceiver until the upgrade and has now been replaced by yet another Motorola Mitrek. The RCA did a fine job, but the Mitrek is physically smaller and space is at a premium.  The 2mtr Mitrek has been replaced by a SyntorX-- progress! progress!

This is the control chassis holding the Arcom RC210 controller. The RC210 is quite feature laden and allows for great flexibility in the operation of the repeater.  As it is implemented here, much of its functionality is being used, which means lots of wiring!  I've added extra LED indicators to make it easier to tell what's going on at times.

At the top of the chassis in this view is a perfboard that contains, amongst other things, the PL filters for the 6mtr and 440 receivers.  Between the perfboard and the main RC210 board are two Arcom RAD audio delay boards that provide some audio delay to minimize or eliminate the squelch burst when repeater users unkey.

This is the PL and Voter chassis.

The two right-hand boards in this controller are PL decoders for both 6m and 440.

Next to the PL decoders is (in the middle front) a WB2WHC dual channel voter which is being used for the 52.42 6mtr receivers.

At the left of the cabinet is a Doug Hall 4RV voter card.  The Doug Hall board is just back from the factory getting refurbished and updated.  The board is used to switch between the various 449.725 receivers (up to four).

The remote satellite voting receiver project is on another page, as it's considered a separate project.

This chassis is called the 'FCC Legal' control chassis, and for good reason.

The wI0OK repeater uses a separate dedicated UHF receiver for control use and the output of that receiver feeds this control system which provides a means of remote control for the basic repeater functions that complies with the FCC regulations.  Many hams might think this is not needed, and for them, I recommend they get a copy of the rules and read them.

While this controller looks like a wild maze of wires, it is relatively simple to troubleshoot and it is quite reliable (which is important when you consider it overrides the other control systems).   This is the only part of the former control system that has been carried through the upgrade (though it was modified a fair amount).

This is the 'NOAA Weather Radio' for the repeater.  While the radio itself is a tiny handheld, it does decode the SAME alarms and will cause the repeater to indicate that severe weather is in the area.

Above the 'ht' style WX receiver is the helical resonator 'front end' from an old Motorola MST Motrac receiver that keeps the other strong signals at the repeater site from wreaking havoc with the small receiver that was designed for a rather more subdued RF environment.

Return to the wI0OK/r Glen Arbor repeater page.

wI0OK/r antenna upgrade

wI0OK/r voting receiver upgrade

For those who are curious, I have put online the 'prints' for what's in the boxes.   These are put on here so that they aren't easily lost, and NOT as an encouragement for anyone to build their own controller from them.  Perhaps they may inspire someone or not.


Please be aware that there are likely many mistakes in the circuits shown (like all the LED's are backwards, etc). Much of the drawings are conversions from chicken scratches on napkins and carry no guarantee of functionality.  If you decide to use any aspects of them, do so at your own risk.  de KF8KK


PS... I've also added a couple of pages showing my Mitrek conversions and another on the battery isolator.