Piscataquis ARC Net Wednesday at 7:00 PM (147.105)
ARES Net, Wednesday following PARC Net (147.105)
The 147.105 repeater exists to provide wide area coverage focusing on Piscataquis County. It is the primary frequency for Piscataquis ARES. This is an open system welcoming all licensed amateur "ham" radio operators. VOIP or wide area RF linking will not be employed. Regional RF linking may be considered in cases where doing so would provide significantly enhanced coverage to under-served portions of Piscataquis County without introducing excessive out-of-area traffic. We encourage all within range to use the repeater, but our focus will always be on providing the best possible coverage within Piscataquis County.
Historical Perspective and Outlook
This was the first amateur radio repeater in Piscataquis County. The initial system, then operating on 145.110 MHz, commenced full time operation during the summer of 1998. Today there are two other repeaters in the county but this remains by far the most popular and has the widest coverage.
There have been many upgrades along the way. Gone is the 20 foot antenna support pole, having been replaced with a 50 foot tower, later extended to 100 feet. Controller and audio upgrades have led to one of the most natural sounding repeaters around. From a tiny shelter barely large enough for one person to crawl in on hands and knees we progressed to a spacious 8 x 10 foot building. Cavities and filtering have been upgraded, allowing us to remain interference free as new systems came to the site. That is not to say there haven't been setbacks. The repeater sustained moderate damage from a lightning strike in 2001, leading to replacement of much equipment. Perhaps the most disheartening was failure of a new antenna in 2008, less than one year after its installation. Due to budget constraints the antenna had been purchased on the surplus market and was therefore not covered by any warranty. In October 2012 we installed a new antenna and improved the tower structure. This is a big step toward regaining full coverage status. The repeater was upgraded to high power (200 watts) in October, 2013.
This system is jointly supported by the Piscataquis Amateur Radio Club (infrastructure and site management), N1BUG (repeater owner) and users. Building any repeater is an expensive undertaking. That is especially true when there is no pre-existing infrastructure at the site. We started with nothing more than an empty field. Since its inception more than $5,000 has been spent on repeater equipment and infrastructure. That does not include the cost of operating the system, which accounts for some additional $4,000. This system would not have been possible without the help of land owner Tom Conklin, Piscataquis Amateur Radio Club, and numerous individual benefactors. Thank you! Contributions from those who use the repeater are always welcome and greatly appreciated.
Last update March 31, 2016