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WA1ZYX / KA1QFA/KB1QPC

WQKQ332

 

Olympic Police

WA1ZYX - KEENE, NH

       Hi, and Welcome to the Official WebSite of WA1ZYX, and the UHF Keene Machine, 443.800+ 141.3 PL. My name is Joel, and have the privilege of holding the Amateur Extra Class callsign of WA1ZYX. This is my original call, as you'll see on my original and very first license, and I have held that call since 1976 after obtaining it while still in high school. Click this link if you're interested in seeing the actual proof of my Extra upgrade. Use your back button to return to the home page.


I have two very busy little boys, well, they were little when I initially wrote this.  Big boys is more like it now.  Tyler (or "T" as we call him) is the BIG brother (The ham community knows him as K1D) and little brother is Austin (K1DO, he changed his call from B0Y right after birth).  Tyler, however has decided to change his call as of June 11, 2008.   His new call is KB1QPC!  Both mom and dad are very proud of his accomplishment in getting his license.  This naturally has now spurned little brother to get busy.....Stay tuned for his call change as well...

We are also both active in the Cheshire County DX Amateur Radio Club, and we have been active with the club ever since it began. This club is also affiliated with the ARRL. For what it's worth, I am also a VE and sort of "specialize" in the VHF Operations as well as Repeater Operations. Hummmm, wonder why....
Please feel free to check out my On-Line Repeater Operations PowerPoint presentation.
I used to be a member of the Yankee Clipper Contest Club, but after a few years of hard contesting, I got a little burnt out with that. Besides, there really wasn't much in it for me, just contest my butt off, and submit my points to the general cause.

I'm still quite active on the HF bands and still have a lot of fun contesting, as time permits, with some of the other folks from the club. I also have a lot of fun with all kinds of digital modes on HF, VHF and UHF.


WA1ZYX/R - KEENE 443.800 141.3 PL

Photo of Keene Tower

The Keene UHF Repeater on 443.800 + requires a PL of 141.3Hz for access. The repeater is an open system, although the autopatch is closed. It is located on the WEKW TV tower which overlooks downtown Keene from about 8 miles NorthWest of the City, in the Southwestern part of NH in Cheshire County, which is also referred to as "The Monadnock Region". The tower is on a ridge of mountains that also overlook the Connecticut River Valley allowing the repeater to cover portions of 4 States including; New Hampshire, Vermont, Mass and some of Connecticut.
Motorola Micor Repeater Station WA1ZYX/R KEENE first went on the air in April of 1988 - I think, maybe it was '87, anyway, at that time I was running a modified GE Mastr Pro mobile radio. I then upgraded to a Mastr Pro Base station which was replaced a couple years later with a Motorola Micor unified chassis base station. (Those Final tubes for the Mastr Pro were expensive, and hard to find!) Sometime in Nov of '97, we switched from using a single Celwave Super StationMaster to a 4 channel Wacom Combiner. We're now using the StationMaster as the receive antenna at an overall elevation of about 1960' AMSL. This antenna is at the very top of the tower. The Transmit antenna is a DB Products DB-420 folded dipole array located less than 50 below the StationMaster.
Both antennas are side mounted and fed with about 500' of 7/8" Andrews Heliax.
The repeater is controlled by an 7K controller which went on-line May 1, 1999, and a Connect Systems Autopatch controller so we can make phone calls. A Hamtronics PreAmp helps perk up the Micor's hearing a little. The repeater puts out about 75 watts into the combiner.
Listen to one of the Repeater Voice ID's here. This is a WAV file of one of about a dozen different ID's that rotate.
The month of August '99 was a busy month while I was busy interfacing a GE Phoenix-SX UHF remote base to the repeater so that we can now do linking to Cannon, Saddleback, Kearsarge and a dozen or so others. I had to do some modifications to the Phoenix to allow for remote control of the frequencies.
If you're interested in learning how to modify your Phoenix-SX, I have written a Phoenix-SX Mods page.
Also, if you want to read about the complete History of the UHF Keene Repeater check this out.
By looking at the above picture, if you see what resembles a person swinging around on the outside of the tower, it is. We had a tower crew at the site installing antennas for one of the local FM's.

I also own and operate several UHF Amateur Repeaters that are scattered around the State of New Hampshire, and "back in the day" had a TheNet Packet node. It's partially still there, but not very active and most of the links are gone now.
In fact, the user port antenna for the SWNH/SWNHU/NHDX/KEENE TheNet node stacks is at the 300 foot level of the tower. There are currently 9 TNC's, with radios operating on 3 bands with baud rates up to 9600 at the site, however, only a couple still operate. See the SWNH page for more info.

WA1ZYX/R number 2 is located on Saddleback Mountain on NHPTV's main CH-11 Tower in the town of Deerfield. This is not too far from the Coast of NH. The repeater itself is an Icom RP-3010 going to a set of Wacom duplexers, through about 500' of Andrews 7/8 Heliax to a Celwave Super Stationmaster which is side mounted almost to the top of the Main CH-11 TV tower. Saddleback is 449.45 - and requires a PL of 123.0Hz.

WA1ZYX/R number 3 lives on the summit of Cannon Mountain at the top of Franconia Notch, home of where the famous Old Man of the Mountain used to live, and the Arial Tramway.
The Cannon Machine is also an Icom RP-3010, going to another set of Wacom duplexers through about 40 feet of Andrews 1/2" Heliax to a brand new (9/98) DB-404 antenna which is top mounted on the NHPTV microwave tower. The ground elevation at the summit is 4380 feet.
Cannon is 449.875 - and also requires a PL of 123.0Hz for access.
The Cannon repeater is basically a "twin" to the Saddleback repeater. If you're interested in looking at a few more picture of this site, take a look at the new Cannon Repeater Site page.

WA1ZYX/R number 4 is a lo-band 6-meter machine on 53.73 and requires a tone of 141.3. This machine is a "split site" repeater that has it's receiver at the same site as 443.8 with the transmitter located on Hyland Hill, at the same site across the valley as the local 2m machine that belongs to the club - 146.805.

WA1ZYX/R number 5 is the newest member of the zedyx family and was put on the air on January 7, 2006, on the summit of Temple Mountain. This repeater provides outstanding coverage of the Manchester, Nashua areas as well as RT2 and 495 in Massachusetts.

I also have strong ties to another machine located on Mt Kearsarge, in the Town of Warner, NH.
Mt Kearsarge produces some very nasty weather conditions, and the icing that takes place in the winter time is really quite a sight! Actually Cannon is quite spectacular too. Take a look and you'll see what I mean. I'll post a few more pictures of all the sites when I get a chance. If you'd like to see some of the pictures that I took of Mt Kearsarge right after a pretty good ice storm, make sure you look at the Winter Wonderland page. It really is very beautiful!
All of the ZedYX repeaters are normally configured as "stand alone", and they are all open. (Occasionally, they are linked to each other, but I really don't see the point in tying up an entire state with two stations talking in the same town. Having the ability to link to the others makes much more sense to me.)


On the work side of things, I used to work full time for New Hampshire Public Television. While I was working as a TV Transmitter Tech, I had to work on several UHF TV transmitters, the three UHF Two-way repeaters that were all linked, the main CH-11 VHF Transmitters and all kinds of Microwave systems. Not to mention, tower work, feedlines, antennas, mountain-top building maintenance plus a variety of other things. 
The job had it's "moments", but for the most part, it was at times a very fun and educational job. I got to travel all over the state and be involved in a lot of "behind the scenes" things that the viewers never even knew were going on. I often wonder if anybody watching TV ever really thought about what's involved in keeping a TV station on the air, never mind an entire network with 5 transmitters. I even video taped the RF Engineering department installing a microwave repeater on the summit of Mt Washington a few years ago. (Yes, I'm in it....) At the time I taped it, there were initial thoughts that this might make an interesting documentary of just what we all do, but sad to say, after the master tape was copied back at the studio, nothing further ever came of it. Oh well, so much for my 15 minutes of fame.... And then in February of 2003, there was a fire on Mt Washington that burned up the receiver of that microwave repeater.
Anyway, by having this job, I had access to some pretty nice "hill tops", and that's why all the repeaters, nodes, and links happened. I still do work for NHPTV part-time, so this allows me continued access to them. My primary responsibilities now only have me watching over the WEKW Channel 52 transmitters outside of Keene.
I did this for about 8 years before transferring to Keene State College to run the Dispatch/Comm Center for the Dept of Campus Safety. I also am a Corporal with the department too. I do this during the daylight hours. 
On occasion I operate the Campus-Wide switchboard. This frequently produces some pretty funny stories. Some of the stories give the callers the proud distinction of winning the "Stupid Call of the Day" award. If you're interested in reading some of our stories, check out the Switchboard. As more "tails" become worthy of making the "Switchboard", I'll post them.... 

I also have a couple other jobs out in the real world, away from the college environment. I get my fill of "Real" law enforcement during the nights, working for the Town of Surry NH as a Police Lieutenant. I also am the Communications Officer and the "IT" for that town, as well as a Police Sergeant for the Walpole Police Dept. 

I used to work for the Swanzey Police Department, for about 12 years as a Police Corporal and the Communications Officer. 
Although Cheshire County doesn't typically have a large amount of major crime, (thankfully) it does have its moments and is certainly subject to the same types as found anywhere else. For example, these are just a couple of newspaper articles with calls I've been involved with. The first one is a motorcycle that actually hit me and knocked me on my butt in the middle of the road. This happened the same night there was an Officer involved in a shooting in Keene. The other is about an intoxicated (rather heavily, I might add) man with a semi-auto hiding in the woods. 


Motorcycle Chase 
Intoxicated Armed Man 

Something else that I'm very proud of is that I was selected to work as a Police Officer for the Utah Olympic Public Safety Command for the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic games back in February of 2002. 

Olympics Bound 

One more job that I finally gave up after 19 years, was dispatching for the New Hampshire State Police at Troop-C in Keene. That was a fun job, having started that at Troop-F, up north, but decided to give it up for a couple reasons.... One was that I really no longer had the time to devote to it, and was really only getting called for overnights and at times that I was already working someplace else -- hard to believe as that is... and their new CAD system (if you can call it that) really SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!

Stay tuned for more additions, changes, and links. If you have any questions or comments, you can E-Mail me by clicking on the mailbox below:



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