From the time the CVRC was reorganized in 1987, the members knew that a club repeater was on the top of the list of club projects. A loosely formed committee headed by Ken Dermon, K1BGI-SK, and Lindsay Collins, K1JY (then WB1DNJ), spearheaded the project with assistance from Warren Styles, W1LO (then WA1RLO). The first repeater consisted entirely of donated equipment, a GE Prog-line receiver, a VHF Engineering transmitter, Microcontrol Associates controller and duplexers purchased from the 146.850 repeater by K1MID and donated to the project, a power supply home built by K1BGI. The repeater was initially located for test purposes at Ken’s QTH in Henniker. With a stiff tail wind, it could be worked from Bradford and Concord.
In the midst of a snowstorm in the winter of 1987, the repeater was transported by snow cat to its current home on the summit of Pat’s Peak courtesy of the Patenaud family. The equipment cabinet rode in the back of the cat accompanied by K1JY; the hardware and balance of the crew rode in the cab. The equipment was the first to be installed in a new communications building at the summit. The antenna was mounted at the 20-foot level on the tower. The original frequency as suggested by the NESMC coordinator was 146.775, -600 kHz.
The original repeater required nearly constant attention. The GE receiver was deaf; the antenna was a dummy load; the transmitter qualified for multi-multi status (transmitting on multi-frequencies and multi-bands at the same time); and the frequency was a mess with significant overlap with a co-channel repeater in Southern Maine. In mid 1988, the frequency was changed to the current 146.895 -600 kHz with the antenna mounted on the north side of the tower to create a null towards co-channel K1HRV in Walpole, Ma. By mid 1989, the receiver had been replaced with a Spectrum Communications SCR1000, the transmitter replaced by a Melco EV1/PAV1 exciter/amplifier running 35 watts, the antenna by an Austin Ruggedized-DFQer with 3 db gain, and the transmission line by 1/2 inch foam line. To this date, the hardware remains substantially the same. The controller has been upgraded to a S-Com 6K with auto patch and scheduling capabilities, the 32 inch deep, 7 foot tall equipment rack has been replaced with a much smaller Motorola repeater cabinet (as demand for floor space in our host building increased), the power supply replaced with an Astron RS-35, and a battery charger and deep discharge battery added for emergency power back-up. The ‘.895 repeater still serves as a gathering place for Contoocook Valley Radio Club members, and is home to the weekly Merrimack County ARES net.
As original trustee of the club call, K1BKE, Ken, K1BGI, was also the repeater trustee. In early 1990, Ken expressed the desire to pass on the responsibility of trustee. The club selected Jack W1JS (then WA1ALM) as the new trustee, and the first club call sign license issued in care of Jack was on May 8, 1990.
A brief flirtation by the CVRC with a 440 repeater in 1990 lasted but a short time. Coordination was received for 442.250 and a repeater with hardware courtesy of W1LO was on the air briefly from various locations including that of WA1UKV (then KA1AUA) on Diamond hill in Hopkinton. The project died from a lack of commitment and financial support from the CVRC membership in general. However, those interested in the project went on to establish several other UHF repeaters in the area including the K1JY linked system on Craney, Kearsarge and Oak, and the W1LO system including repeaters on Mt. Uncanoonuc in Goffstown and in southern Maine.
In December of 2016, the club voted to purchase a Yeasu DR-1xe via a special program through Yeasu. It is expected to be put on the air in the Spring of 2017.
Footnote: In 2002, the antenna, mount, and connectors were replaced. The antenna is now a Antenex FG1443 with 3dbd gain.
2003 – the repeater Spectrum receiver and Melco transmitter were replaced with a converted General Electric Mastr II mobile transceiver. Telephone autopatch was discontinued during 2004 due to lack of use following installation of a UHF control receiver.
November 2009: The CVRC purchased a new Kenwood TKR-750 repeater replacing the GE Mastr II and utilizing the Kenwood internal controller.