Weekend Tower Work!

We accomplished some excellent work this weekend folks.

At the Hackleburg tower we:

  • Removed the CCECPSCO equipment from the falling-apart broadcast shack.
  • Decommissioned the CCE 911 Building
  • Moved our equipment into our shack on a fancy new rack (pictured below)
  • Upgraded the 146.740 from two Kenwood mobiles to a Motorola MTR3000
  • Put the CHBYGN APRS on its own antenna to reduce loss and eliminate desense
  • Installed a new CMEN Mi7 Packet Node for Winlink and Mi7 Chat. (Info below)
  • Organized and cleaned all equipment
  • Verified an issue with the bottom set of tower lights

At the Mackinaw City tower we:

  • Connected the Allstar controller to the MTR2000 and put it back on the link system (Please advise, it has low TX audio, this is a known issue and we plan on fixing it later)
  • Rebooted the computer to bring the AIS receiver and MACCTY APRS Digi/Igate back online

The 146.740 is now performing at its peak. We are receiving on an 8-bay folded dipole array around the 500-foot mark on the tower and transmitting around 360ft on a DB224E 4-bay folded dipole array. This gives us better separation between the TX and RX frequencies as well as removes loss on the transmit side as the repeater is feeding 100 watts straight into the feedline in the shack. We estimate about 85 watts to the antenna. We are still running cavities on the RX to give us that extra separation. This repeater was useable all the way to Alba using a 50-watt mobile on a 1/2-wave whip.

The Winlink Mi7 Packet Node is operating on 147.560 at 1200baud. The Callsign on it is W8CCE-9. Got packet capabilities? Give it a shot!

The APRS Digipeater is now around the 300-foot level on the tower. It seems to be performing as we’d expect maybe slightly better as it’s no longer being desensed by the 146.740. We do have a set of filter cavities on this to keep the 74 from causing any issues with it.

The Mackinaw City Repeater 145.110 is now back on the Linked System. We had an audio interface go bad which we replaced. It does have low TX audio so keep that in mind.

MACCTY APRS is back on the air, along with the AIS receiver.

Mack City DMR is still a work in progress. Adam will be working on getting that interfaced with a Motorola Desktrac repeater as the two PM400 mobiles have no power output anymore.

Thanks to all that helped out this weekend! We couldn’t have done it without you!


Shannon KA8SPW
Chuck N8NXP
Dave N8DWM
Cameron N9KOP
Drake N8DMH
Adam N8APX
Blane KE8DPR