Posted by: GW7AAV | February 27, 2011

GB3XD, a new Elecric Parrot on 6m

I am no lover of repeaters on Amateur Radio but they do serve a useful purpose for mobiles on VHF/UHF when the terrain is not conducive to normal simplex communications. I tend to steer clear of the ones on VHF around here as they are a magnet for morons. The lack of control is one reason I do not support my local repeater group. I am happy from time to time to occasionally use VHF repeaters in areas where the locals are a bit more civilised. Locally UHF is mostly okay apart from when the VHF ones are off the air at which point the zombies migrate and the massive interference we get from overhead pendant crane remotes that seems to emanate from the local aerospace factory. However despite my misgivings about the need for repeaters I will do my best to support any amateur endeavour that benefits the hobby in any way I can. Ask me to publicize or lend a hand, just don’t ask for money. My opinion is ‘it is your project so you fund it’ and if you put a repeater on one of the frequencies I am entitled to use then I will use it if I want to. I will not be blackmailed by being told “You use the repeater you should pay”. Sorry, but you put the damn thing there.

Maybe if I lived in another part of the UK I could be persuaded that joining my local repeater group had anything going for it, but for it is just not going to happen. Personality clashes aside the only reason for keeping our local VHF repeaters on the air is to keep all the lunatics in the same asylum.

So it will come as no surprise that I am even more sceptical of repeaters on say 10 or 6 metres. Even more so as I rarely use FM on those bands and would prefer the bandwidth was given over to other modes. The danger is it allows the chaos to spread further than on 2m with the ability to offend even more people and put them off this otherwise wonderful hobby. However in the dim and distant when I was first licenced 10m repeaters in the USA were easily picked up in the UK and I used to listen to the truckers hauling ass down the American freeways. It is a while since the propagation on 10 was that good but it could be again and I think I would rather listen to distant repeaters than blinking beacons as an indication the band is open and a cue to call CQ further down the band. So maybe I should not be so quick to dismiss a UK repeater on 6m.

The Friskney and East Lincolnshire Communications Club have been investing their time in a new 6m repeater. GB3XD is now on the air from locator IO93WH. At this stage, (27-02-2011), it is operating in CW indentifiction test mode only, (becon every 5 minuntes). The output frequency is 50.730MHz and the input frequency is 51.230MHz with a CTCSS tone of 71.9Hz. It will be a bit deaf at first, as there is still some work to be done to the filters. All reports should be sent to G7AJP via GB3XD itself or via the 70cm repeater GB3LC.

If nothing else it should be a good indicator of inter UK propagation for things like the Tuesday night RSGB 6m contest every 4th Tuesday of the month and the Post Codes and Counties 50MHz contest on 09:00-1200 on 10th April 2011. RSGB VHF Calender.

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