Lowell

Lowell Antennas
K1IW Photo      442.250's Main and Link Antennas (right, foreground) with Downtown Lowell in the background

Lowell Mastr II Rack
K1IW Photo
Overview
The 442.250 repeater, K1LVF/R, is located at Saints Medical Center in Lowell. Most of the repeater was formerly the privately owned K1ST repeater, on the same frequency at the Campus at Marlborough, a business complex near rts. 20 and 495. In 2008, Steve donated the equipment to the club. The repeater was stored at the MMRA Weston repeater site until a new location for it could be found. Bob, K1IW, through a conversation with Terry, KA8SCP at the October 2010 NEAR-FEST found that Saints was looking to host an amateur repeater. Bob had a conversation with Ron (a non-ham at the time) and Ken, N1GYG at Saints and a new site was found. Shortly thereafter, Ron passed his ham exam and is now KB1UXT.

In early November, Bob delivered the antenna and cable to Saints and Ken installed them. Simultaneously, Bob set out to outfit the repeater with a new rack, controller, and link radio (see below). On December 20, the repeater was connected to the feedlines and with long time club member K1LVF as trustee, the repeater was on the air!

The repeater consists of a GE Mastr II mobile transceiver. Originally, it was installed in a weatherproof cabinet. Since the cabinet was no longer appropriate for the new location, K1IW built the radio, duplexers, and receive preselector into a Mastr II base station rack. The rack was from a commercial VHF Mastr II which Will, N1PXA, had donated to the club a few months earlier. The VHF base station was removed from the rack and kept for future use. The VHF's base station power supply stayed in the rack and is now used to power the new repeater. Previously, Steve had used an Astron power supply which the club now may use for other purposes. The Mastr II mobile is firmly bolted into the rack using some heavy-duty aluminum angle iron from Home Depot.

In addition to the cabinet transfer, Bob, K1IW, disabled the internal NHRC repeater controller and installed an "MMRA Standard" SCOM 7K controller. The NHRC still serves as a way to interconnect the SCOM controller and internal TS64P ComSpec tone encoder/decoder. Bob also added a Motorola M120 UHF link radio. This allows Lowell to link into the MMRA network.

In January 2017, the SCOM 7K was upgraded to one with a display and Vyex Digital Audio Board. Coupled with a Raspberry Pi, the Lowell Repeater can now be controlled and updated via internet.

The original antenna is a Diamond X300 which was also part of the original K1ST repeater. This antenna failed and was replaced with a Telewave ANT450D6-9 dipole array (pictured) on January 7. 2013. For the link, we chose the solid performing PCTEL Maxrad 5-element Yagi antenna.

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