At some point the idea of an ATV Repeater came to mind and from the support of all my fellow Amateur playing with the mode locally I took the lead and spear headed the effort to develop a locally based ATV Repeater beginning in 1992 that involved support from a number of like minded friends to include KE2SO, KB2OPQ, N2LEZ, KB2ASG, N2JHT and others.
From our experiments with 70cm ATV and use of 2 meter FM simplex and later the 145.11 repeater at times as an intercom depending on the location of the stations in QSO we knew an ATV Repeater was need. An ATV QSO was either one-to-one or one-to-many, just like any other QSO, however one station at a time transmitted on ATV and the others were on 2m FM voice. So when the ATV Repeater idea began to develop we also planned to add a 2m FM voice repeater to the mix as well.
We developed the list of steps involved and materials needed and began to look for a suitable site to host the repeater. So Kal and I set out to find the best site and we also bought the required ATV and FM voice repeater controllers and other items and I worked the polical scene to get a site, getting donations from the local Amateur Community from industry and getting us coordinated by dealing with the frequency coordination council (at that time TSARC) and the owner of the 350 foot communications tower that we decided to pursue located in Lincroft that had recently been installed.
All the efforts made did result in the development of a coordinated 439.250Mhz in-band ATV Repeater on teh 350 high tower that provided excellent coverage when it is turned on for use, that is.
It was the choice of the tower site for the ATV Repeater that was our big mistake. You see it was located on the property of Brookdale Community College in Lincroft as some deal for Brookdale to put their WBJM college station on the tower. Unfortuantely the Brookdale ARC faculty advisor, KB2BD that we were working with to develop the system one day after he felt we were no longer needed I guess, just up and announced that the ATV Repeater is a BARC project, thanks for your assistance and oh yes, please deliver the equipments such as the ATV repeater controller that you bought to BARC as a donation immediately. Well now, isn't that a kick in the pants ? No more input, no credit for developing the concept and all work that was done and please donate the equipment that was privately purchased by us.
The ATV repeater project was supposed be so much more than it became, what a waste.
I learned two valuable lessons on this effort: "Keep control of the project" and "Never get involved with back stabbing politics".
By the way, don't look for my name listed on the 439.250 web site maintained by KB2BD as he will never give me the credit for the project that is due, he only credits those on our team that made the mistake of writting checks to BARC for the project as they have the cancelled check in hand, he wants the world to believe that this was simply a Brookdale ARC project, NOT.
Well anyhow, I still have my ATV equipment, everyone else that started in ATV with me long ago sold theirs off after the bad experience with the ATV repeater project, but I am getting refocused on ATV again, time will tell what develops, the ACC ATV repeater controller KE2SO and I bought is still gathering dust waiting to be put to use, the FM repeater controller has been running the 53.430 repeater now since April of 2001. The 23cm or 33cm bands hold good possibilities for an ATV repeater system, perhaps an FM or digital ATV repeater, I have to see to if Part 97 allows for HDTV.
Speaking of ATV possibilities, when the FCC kills off the current VHF TV system down the road, I would love to see the FCC annex TV channels 2-4 to 6 meters, channels 7-9 to 2 meters or I guess more properly the new 1.7m band, channels 11-13 to the new 1.50m band. That move, unlikely to become reality given the current $ights of the FCC, would provide for some really interesting ATV operation, especially with the ton of surplus commercial analog VSB TV exciters and other items to come onto the used market.
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Entire contents Copyright © 1999-2001 by Stephen B. Hajducek, N2CKH. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.