The WRACC St. Louis Six Meter Repeater Club


Original St. Louis Six Meter Repeater Club membership 1971

Charter Membership

Members present at the first meeting of the St. Louis Six Meter Repeater Club are from left to right.

STANDING IN BACK:
Tom Fischell "KPJG", and George Mensik.

SITTING:
Jane Clark, Evert Clark "Ev" "WASCK" (Silent Key), Leo "Unknown Call" (Silent Key), Tom Bingham , Rose Jones, Paul Jones "PJ" "WAKNI" (Silent Key), Rick Harvey WBIER", David Moeller "WAETH", Paul Schlipp "KRWU", Tom Vogel "WAKGU", Bob Murray "WBFXU" (Silent Key).

The picture was taken by club member Tom Beehler "WAYWS" (Silent Key).
It was voted that Stu Barfield "WIGU" (Silent Key), Rich Riley "WAZPD", and Richard Fitzmourice "KRWW", be considered original charter members, even though they could not attend the meeting that day.


Although the club was founded in 1971, the basic repeater system had been in service for years, as my personal system.

I built the basic repeater and autopatch in 1966 to be used as a private repeater system from my home in Overland, MO.

I believe it probably was the first FM Ham repeater in the St. Louis area, with 146.94/34 being placed in service about a year or so later.


The WRACC Repeater

Paul and the 6 meter Repeater

Paul and the St. Louis six meter repeater system

This looks like one of the many fun filled days of maintenance on the old tube repeater system.There were 4 sites involved. This was a 6 meter, and 44 mhz, receive and transmit site, and the central repeater control system, located in west St. Louis County.

Downtown St. Louis, atop a building, was a 6 meter receiver which relayed to the transmitter site via 44 mhz. In High Ridge a 6 meter receiver would also relay via 44 mhz.

In Creve Coeur, there was a 44 loop repeater link, interfaced to a phone patch.

We had permission to install a receiver at Lindenwood colledge in St. Charles, but the system was rebuilt in 1975 and setup with only one receive and one transmitt locations.

There was lots of equipment to maintain, and for 1971 this was quite a complex system.


The WRACC six meter repeater transmitter cabinet

6 meter Transmitter

What's that on top? A mechanical cw id'er. Wow. That thing worked for years. On the left is a 44 mhz receiver. It is for receiving the back to back 44 mhz phone patch repeater.

To the right of the receiver is a blower to cool the 44 Transmitter, and then the 44 transmitter. To the right of the 44 mhz transmitter is the 6 meter transmitter/exciter. In the Cabinet bottom is the 4-4 6 meter power amplifier and power supply. Needless to say you could hear the 6 meter signal about anywhere.

The 44 mhz system had local omni coverage for the back to back repeater, remote receiver sites. and for Portable and home use.

You GE fans might notice I constructed a transmitter power supply on the 21 inch support rack. I also constructed the HV power supply and 3 watt 6 meter amplifier.


The WRACC six meter repeater voting receiver cabinet

6 meter Receiver

The receiver site consisted of 4 receiver modules, but only 3 were used.

In the cabinet and to the left is the local 6 meter receiver, and to it's right are the 2 44 mhz link receivers. One tuned to the downtown St. Louis remote receiver, and the other one tuned to the High Ridge receiver site.

A unique voting system using PL tones, was designed and built by me, and Tom Beehler "WAYWS".

Each of the remote receiver sites had 2 VOR switches. One set at max sensitivity, and one set at slightly over full quieting sensitivity. When a full quiet signal was received a pl tone was applied to the link transmitter.

At the control site on the switching panel seen below the receivers, the first link received would be selected, untill the first link received a pl tone which would force that link receiver to be online. This switching was fast and could not be detected. The system reception was great.


The six meter repeater radio tower

Repeater Tower

This tower was owned by the St. Louis County Civil Defense, located in Chesterfield, MO, and overlooked the west St. Louis County area.

The 1 foot tower made a great 6 meter transmitter site that we shared with the County Police Department.

Our repeater system was designed to allow the members to use 44 mhz control stations, at home, to eliminate TVI problems from and to TV Channel 2, and we could operate 6 meters mobile, for greater range than the 2 meter repeater systems offered.

We had a phone patch, and with the remote receiver sites, we had no receiver degrading or intermod at all. It was a great Idea but the old tube equipment gave lots of trouble.


The six meter repeater was rebuilt in 1974

6 meter Repeater

Notice the addition of 2 GE progressline base radios in the bottom of the cabinet. These were simplex bases with the 2 meter radio tuned to 146.52 mhz, and 146.55 mhz, and the 10 meter base tuned to 29.6 mhz, and 29.5 mhz.

We could activate any of the 4 frequencies from 6 meters, or 440 mhz, with touch tone commands. I believe we were the first repeater in St. Louis to have remote base simplex capabilities.


This new system was a much needed improvement. An upgrade to eliminate the receiver and phone patch links as well as the power amp, and now with General Electric Master Pro hybrid solid state equipment, less maintenance.

The entire repeater was moved to a FM broadcast tower located in the St. Louis Downtown area. The coverage was good but not as good as the old split site system.

Eventually a split site was tried again, but by then most of the interest in the system, and the club had declined, so in 1986 the plugs were pulled, ending a great radio adventure for me.


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