The club repeater offerings have grown and improved over the years to our current collection of 3 repeaters with multiple bands and modes available.
The heart of repeaters is the 2 meter FM repeater on a frequency of 145.370 Mhz and 136.5 CTCSS tone for access. The hardware behind this repeater is a MCS Kendecom Mark 4-CR system with a PA-100 amplifier. It may be considered vintage hardware from the 90’s but has run with minimal issues for over 30 years. The receiver on the Mark 4-CR circuit consists of a 7 Hi-Q helical resonators and makes for a tight and selective receiver. The transmitter is equally as good with great harmonic suppression for a clean transmit signal. We get a little extra boost from the external PA-100 amplifier. All of this feeds into a set of Wacom duplexers and out to our beefy 22 foot ?? antenna about 15 feet above the ground. This repeater has IRLP access and is normally connected to the MARA repeater in Fitchburg for extended coverage to the east.
Next is our newest addition of a Yaesu System Fusion repeater currently operating on 70 cm at 442.100 Mhz with a CTCSS tone of 100.0. It transmits at 50 watts into a somewhat custom “duplexer pack” and out to a temporary UHF antenna. The repeater currently runs in dual mode allowing it to work as a standard FM repeater as well as in the Wires-X digital mode connected Through “N1ERA-GW” Gateway to the New England Wolf Pack Fusion Network #28941 (Wolf-Den). Being the new kid on the block this repeater still has work to be done to bring it up to its full potential.
Also on the 2 meter band is our DMR repeater on a frequency of 145.340 Mhz and Color Code of 3. This repeater is a Motorola SLR-5000 series repeater transmitting at 50 watts into a set of duplexers eventually out to a Hustler G7 antenna at about 40 feet above ground and modified for long term use and exposure. All of this is networked via the internet with the NEDECN DMR network through a cellular modem. This extensive network of nearly 100 repeaters covers most of New England via multiple talk groups for either New England area wide, state wide and even local groups. Additionally there are options for North America and World Wide communications. This repeater and network is a great option when you travel outside of the local area and still want to keep in touch.
Our coverage area for the VHF repeaters is generally north central Worcester county in MA and southern Cheshire county in NH. To the south we reach to about Holden and Oakham areas. As you round up to the west that area moves over into Barre, Petersham, Athol and Orange. Moving more to the north coverage reaches into Fitzwilliam, Troy, Jaffrey and Rindge NH. Finally to the east we cover select areas of Ashby, Fitchburg and Princeton. There is further coverage in select areas to the east along Rt 2 and the top half of Rt 190. On UHF our coverage is somewhat limited due to the hilly terrain and generally covers Gardner and the five surrounding towns.
All repeaters are operated from the top of Reservoir Hill in Gardner, MA under the authority and assistance of the City of Gardner Emergency Management department with Director Paul Topolski who thankfully is a ham.