Anderson Repeater Club
The Club began on February 14, 1970 with a meeting of about a dozen interested hams. A Constitution and by-laws was written becoming the basis for the Articles of Incorporation that officially made the club a Not-For-Profit Corporation on November 17, 1971. Early meetings were held at the Naval Reserve building in north Anderson, and at the Madison County Courthouse. Later regular meetings were held at the Emergency management EOC, alternating with the RACES meetings every other month. In December, 2014 with the move of the EOC from Linwood to the East side of Anderson, the meetings have moved to the new EOC site on Mounds Road.
The founding club members were: WB9AZY, WA9BHV, W9CSI, W9CVD, K9CWA, WA9CWE, K9FFV, WA9HKO, WA9JWL, W9OBH, K9RPZ, WA9STB, K9TZJ, WA9AWW, and WN9WOV. These amateurs were the most active in the two meter “FM” communications mode becoming popular in the ham community at that time.
The first repeater, an old Motorola commercial tube unit, operated with the club call WA9WVC, and was on 146.340/.760 from the shack of W9OBH (on the by-pass near White River). In October, 1971, the frequency was changed to the 146.220/146.820 repeater pair. The next repeater site was a “split site” with the receiver on the Tower Apartment building and the transmitter on the Anderson City Hall with the two units connected by telephone lines. The system was consolidated at the new First Savings and Loan building in July, 1972, using separate antennas on the tower for the receiver and transmitter. In late 1972 the RF package was updated to a Motorola Motran receiver and transmitter. In the spring of 1973 homemade duplexers were installed allowing the use of the top antenna only and the ability to switch to the lower antenna to eliminate problems with rain static. In November, 1973, the repeater license WR9ACI was received. This call was used until late 1978 when repeater calls were no longer required and trustee calls became the repeater ID. A Micro-Security MS-101 microprocessor controller was added in late 1981 replacing the discrete component RTL/TTL controller. In July, 1984, a switchable receiver preamp was added. A new RF package, a GE MASTR II repeater was purchased by EMA and installed in the fall of 1986. In April, 1988, an RC-85 programmable microprocessor control package was installed. A CAT1000 controller was installed in January, 1999, to again update the control package. The RF package was moved to the building Penthouse in December, 2000 and new 7/8 inch hardline installed. A backup antenna was also installed on the sign. In September, 2001 the RF package was replaced with a Kenwood TKR-750. The CAT1000 controller was interfaced and provisions were made to switch between the upper and lower antenna remotely. The upper antenna has been replaced several times since the repeater was installed at the bank building site, the latest being in late 2010. In December, 2013, the upper antenna and the supporting tower was removed from the site and the repeater was permanently operational on the lower antenna on the building sign at 175 feet. The 50 foot loss of antenna height resulted in minimal overall operational quality.
In January, 1978, the 147.690/.090 repeater went on the air with WB9ZJR the first Trustee. In late 1978, the club call signs were no longer required, and the trustee call sign became the repeater call. In 1980 the .09 repeater was relocated to the WLHN tower site, and in November, 1981 it was moved to the Linwood EOC 90 foot tower where it remains today. The RF package was a Motorola Motran with a home brew control packaged to make the repeater portable. In April, 1988, a Micro-Security microprocessor controller was installed and the repeater made permanent at that location. In February, 1997, a GE MASTR II RF package was installed. In the summer of 1997 a new antenna and ½ inch hardline was installed for this repeater. In January, 2000 a Kenwood TKR-720 repeater package was installed still using the Micro-Security controller. In April, 2003, Internet Radio Linking Project (IRLP) was added to the repeater. This required a computer interface, but eliminated the need for a separate repeater controller. This capability increased the use of the repeater and enabled users to talk around the world from a handheld radio. A Davis Weather station was added to the 147.090 repeater station in 2004 utilizing the capabilities of the IRLP computer and internet connection. This system was upgraded to include a number of additional weather sensors in 2005. In May, 2005, a lightning strike damaged the RF package and a new TKR-750 repeater was purchased. Utilizing the internal controller and the (2) computers for the IRLP and the Weather Station the repeater provides full capability of a conventional repeater, an IRLP node and a reporting weather station. In February, 2015, the Linwood EOC site was permanently closed down and this repeater was moved to the Madison County Highway Dept. Garage on a 90 foot tower, resulting is very similar coverage.
The Club membership increased steadily over the years from an initial 17 members in 1970 to a high of 77 in 1994 (our 25th year). The club has been an ARRL Affiliated Club for most of its existence and a member of the Indiana Repeater Council and Indiana Radio Club Council. As of 2015 the Club has been continuously meeting for 46 years. There are two founding members who have maintained membership every year, WA9CWE and K9TZJ.
The Tone Alert boards for notifying communications members were designed and implemented in late 1974. The tone was automatically generated by the Micro-Security controller upon Control Operator command. This function was not available in the RC-85 control, but is again available on the CAT1000. This feature continues to support the strong public service focus of the Anderson Repeater Club.