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End of an era. 146.700

     Well folks it’s the end of an era.  146.700 will no longer be a viable repeater due to Crown Castle wanting to charge $3500.00 dollars to reestablish the repeater at another location.  It pains me greatly to end the milestone.  146.700 was the very first repeater as a club we placed into service.  It started its life on the Cross City water tower and moved to the now burned site over 30 years ago.  It has a significant history and I’ll always be proud of what we accomplished.

Scott Grant, Gary Poore, Joe Filipontia, Bill Pyle and myself we started it all.  This was our first project.  I reflect on the,process it was an adventure by a group of guys that had fun.  The radio was a big challenge quite frankly it was pretty much junk.  But we made it work.  The original controller was a 1088 that had to be programmed with a binary programmer.  Odly  enough I disposed of the programmer just a few weeks ago.  We acquired a GE master Exec. Mobile and I modified it and installed a NHRC talking controller.  The controller cost an amazing 60 dollars.  I was so impress that I put one on the 146.390 radio.  I still have the original!  It too was a GE Master Exec.

I am pretty emotional right now as it seems that I am using a best friend.  I wonder what Bill and Scott are thinking.  Joe and Glenda werevinstrumental in everything we did.  He and Glenda donated more to this club than we could ever hope to repay them for.  Gary Poore, not much can be said about Gary.  I was so amused at how our path had crossed so many times before.  For those of you who may not know Gary worked for tv repair shop in Cross City.  He was one of the most entertaining members of the klub.  His writing skills were beyond compare.

Well I degress, I just wanted to update those that might want to know.  It’s probably going to take me a couple of days to surrender the frequencies.  But we had a good run! Thanks you for allowing me to vent!


Mike, KB4MS


     Made a trip over to the 700 site to check for progress.  The mess has been moved and it appears that power has been restored. However, no power has been applied to any on the existing exterior units.  Also there is still no tower obstruction lighting.  The company contact has failed to respond to several of my emails regarding just how we are going to proceed. So the long and short of it is there is still not much to go on.  I am beginning to wonder if it is worth the time and money to continue.  I have already purchased the equipment at no cost to the klub to get it back up again.


Mike, KB4MS

Update on 146.700

     I have been is constant contact with Crown Castle about the fire.  I have assembled enough equipment to put it back on the air.  However I have been told that they may remove the tower.  That would pretty much put the repeater off the air for good.  I will start the search for another location, but due to the spacing it is grim at best.  Ill try to have another update at the November meeting.

Mike, KB4MS

146.700 Repeater

     Update on 146.700 Old Town Repeater.  Well you can see from the picture that the system less the antenna is a total loss. It was an intense fire as only the cabinet is recognizable.  I have contacted Crown Castle and asked it the cause was identified.  Also I saw somewhere the building was owned by ComCast, that isn't accurate it belongs to Crown Castle as well.  Bottom line is that I have most everything required for the repeater to be returned to the air. I am awaiting on the exterior cabinet answer which should come today. I'll try and keep updates posted as they become more clear.

Mike, KB4MS

Traders Net 5/06/17

Sorry I missed posting here for the April 26 traders net. Sometimes the days fly by faster than I realize. That week went fairly well with Mike kb4ms listing several items and John kj4ypz joining in with a few impromptu wants. That makes me feel as though I may be doing something right and needed.
The net on 5/3/17 didn't quite keep up with expectations, Mike kb4ms attempted to make contact however band conditions were not as good as the previous week as I barely caught his callsign but that was about all I could hear. His signal wouldn't even hold the repeater so he couldn't make any listings. I did read through the listings on the club website and he had put much of what he had listed the previous week so he did get at least some coverage. I will try again next week and maybe things will improve. Thanks to all who participate and keep trying.

Mike, KD4INH

Traders Net 4/19/17

       The Wednesday April 19 Traders net was another disappointment as I received no check ins. Once again I read through the items listed on the DARKLUB website and with no others on the frequency I closed the net. I hope you all know I am trying to stir up at least some traffic on our wonderful repeater however it has been very disappointing with my radio the only one active.
I will give it a few more weeks to see if there are any changes. I realize that getting people to remember something new on their schedule takes time,so I will continue for a time.
   I personally always enjoyed traders nets because I could find out much info even if I didn't buy or list, I hope I'm not alone in this. Till next week 73’s

Mike, KD4INH

Traders Net 4/05/17

     April 5th was the most recent edition of the Wednesday Evening DARKLUB Traders net. It was not encouraging as I received no contacts. I listed my "want" again and read through the items listed on the club webpage "for sale" page. I spent almost ten minutes trying to get anyone to come back to me but, was unsuccessful.

I have also been giving announcements about the net on the Thursday ARES Net, but still am not getting much traction.

I will continue to try to get this working, however, I will soon be going on a vacation and if no increase in activity by then I may have to give it up. If it does catch on before that I may need someone to take over in my absence.

Mike, KD4INH

Traders Net 3/29/17

Wednesday March 29, 2017 was the second DARKLUB Traders Net at 7 pm. Still pretty slim pickings however Mike kb4ms did get in by mobile, a little noisy but he was able to list four items. I reliisted that I am looking for a legal limit hf antenna tuner. No other stations were heard. I think it is amazing that Mike was able to hit the Chiefland repeater from his home in High Springs via mobile. Good job Mike.

I will try to continue the Traders Net on Wednesday's and hope that we will get more activity and also more use of the this wonderful repeater. Thank You

Mike, KD4INH

Trader Net

   Wednesday March 22 at 7PM was the first Traders Net held on the 147.390 repeater. We got off to a shakey start as only myself made a listing. However after the net was closed I received several calls. One was from a ham that I believe was in Cedar Key claiming my audio was almost too low to hear. Unfortunately I was unable to get back to him. Then Bob k8rag came on, he said he had nearly forgotten about the net. We both then made contact with Corey kn4bb from Old Town, he indicated he was a nearly new ham so Bob and I greeted him and welcomed him to the hobby. Somewhere in all that I heard a w4 call and when we finished with Corey, I attempted to call him back but was unsucessful. I thought I recognized the voice as being Richard w4sda, so Richard, if that was you I apologize and hope we can chat soon.

Hopefully next week we will see better results.

Thank You all!!!!

Mike, KD4INH

Traders Net

Hi everyone,

We had a great meeting last night at the church and welcomed two new members Faye and Hal to the group.  Also Mike Shaffer is going to start a traders net each Wednesday at 7pm.  Bring your stuff and give Mike a call on Wednesday.  Remember we have a for sale listing on our web site, submit your items there and mike will refer to them during the net. Lets make this a success and check in.

The 440 repeater is up and working pretty well.  We have coverage all the way into High Springs and Trenton, that is as far as I have gone around testing it. Give it a try and let me know what you think. We owe a huge thanks to Doug Baker of Baker Communications in Lake City for his above and beyond help in restoring the antenna to the transmission line.  Doug has been a faithful helper to the ham community.  Over 35 years ago Doug gave us tower space in Old Town for the 700 repeater.  He have never charged us anything at any time for his Help. Doug is a great friend to the ham community.

Hope you have a great month and we look forward to getting again at the next meeting.


Mike, KB4MS