FLAGSHIP RISES FROM THE ASHES

146.760 MHz repeater comes to life…  Saturday, April 23rd, 2016, Ben Bramlett K7BEN, (our dauntless Technical Committee Chairman) and Justin Ellis, Sr., KK4GPY, President of Jacksonville RANGE Association, Inc. and technical committee member extraordinaire, worked for nine hours at the Twin Towers near I-95 and Golfair on the north side accomplishing much!  146.760 MHz is on the air transmitting with about 160 watts of power to a high gain VHF antenna and is receiving, via remote pickup, 146.160 MHz from our Dames point site.

The Orange Park remote site has yet to be tied into the system through the LDG RVS-8 8 channel voter system which apparently suffered failure of a TL084 quad op amp chip and/or failure of a 3240 dual op amp chip so that it would pass no audio at all for either channel 1 (Dames Point) or channel 2 (Orange Park) through to the CAT-1000 controller board.

Another member of the Technical Committee, Jack Driskell, KB4B, has suggested that the failed chips be replaced by corresponding chips that are used for RVS-8 voter channels 7 and 8 which are not currently in use.  As all chips on the RVS-8 PCB are in sockets making the changes will not be too difficult.

IRS 501(c)(3) tax exempt
Jacksonville RANGE Association, Inc.
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New 6 meter repeater under construction

We have taken out of service the 40 year old Motorola 6 meter FM repeater rack of equipment on 53.330/52.330 MHz at the Twin Towers on the north side.  The old unit had many problems.  The new repeater is being built from two Maratrac Motorola transceivers and, although capable of 110 watts output, the transmit unit will be programmed down to about 50 watts due to the extreme heat conditions of the environment.  As no one in the area has the necessary RIB (radio interface box) tool to interface between the programming computer and the radios, we are building one from a kit furnished by Richard Miller, K4IFG, on the west side.

The Maratracs are currently programmed for our frequency and access CTCSS (continuous tone coded squelch system) tones of 127.3 MHz both on encode and on decode.  The otne access will keep down the interference from out of the area signals especially during band openings.   The tones chosen are in accordance with the tones used by the vast majority of analog FM repeaters in the Florida Crown District area.

This will be the fifth and last RANGE repeater to be brought back on the air since we lost our primary site in 2015.