The repeater consisted of old tube type trunk mounted radios and a Cushcraft AR-2 Ringo, which was mounted on the railing at the top of the State House dome just below the "Independent Man" statue. There was a touch-tone callable link to NOAA weather radio on 162.4 MHz until the FCC declared this practice illegal. The call sign back then was W1HQV until the FCC repeater licensing came about, then it changed to WR1ADD. It changed again to WA1OZF after the FCC no longer renewed repeater station licenses.
When the '76 repeater moved from Lincoln to the new Scituate site, we moved '94 to the Lincoln site which greatly improved the coverage. Art, WA1PQX, built a small building to replace the old refrigerator that housed the repeater. The change in frequency at this site also reduced the site noise problems. A few years later, the Corning Glass plant closed, ending the site noise problem completely.
By 1985, the group found that the Phelps-Dodge duplexers both in Lincoln and Scituate were in need of replacement. Rick, K1KYI, placed an ad in the "Yellow Sheets" a Ham Radio classified ad newsletter, and sold both duplexers along with a spare back-up repeater, and some other miscellaneous repeater electronics. This allowed us to pay for a slightly used Wacom duplexer for the Scituate site, which was located by K1KYI at a ham store called TelCom in Littleton, MA. At the same time, people who used '94 organized one of only three "fund-raising" events the group has ever done outside of the auction/flea market. The other two were a dinner/dance and a walkie talkie raffle. Art Parent, W1VWN (now a silent key), led the on-the-air campaign and had the required funds in short order. Soon after, the new Wacom duplexer was in service at Lincoln.
In 1998, the repeater was replaced with another hybrid base station. A General Electric Progress Line unit was donated by Denis, KD1HA. The controller was a model ITC-32 Advanced Computer Concepts unit which was originally used in Scituate as a remote control device, an Advanced Receiver Research Corp. GaAsFET preamp boosts the receive signals, and the antenna is a Phelps-Dodge Super Stationmaster fed with 7/8" hard line. Output power was about 45 watts. Our call sign was K1KYI, which remains on the repeater to this day.
In the Fall of 2006, the '94 repeater was moved to a new site in Cumberland, RI and our frequency coordination updated. This new site will provide improved coverage, and we are now connected to an emergency generator for AC power for those times we'll need the repeater the most. When this move happened, the repeater was replaced with a modern high performance Kenwood TKR-740 repeater which was acquired through AA1PL's professional contacts as surplus. The RIAFMRS then purchased a Henry 100 Watt power amplifier, and WA1OZF donated a brand new Andrews 4-bay dipole array for the top of the 180 ft. tower. This antenna was professionally installed by Ray Stanford, N1CYX, who owns Telecast Tower Works and has been a great friend to the RIAFMRS.
Shortly after the new repeater arrived at Cumberland, it was clear we had some technical issues. Higher TX power and some less than adequate cabling reared it's head and caused what was described as a "rolling pipes" sound over the air. Basically the repeater was hearing itself and transmitting strange things. Thanks to the efforts of Steve, KA1RCI, the repeater was overhauled with additional filtering, all new Heliax jumper cables, and shoe-horned into a new cabinet that allowed all of the hardware to exist inside the cabinet, except for one RX filter bolted to the outside of the cabinet. The 146.940 repeater is now linked to the 447.425 & 443.850 repeaters.
Here is the Kenwood TKR-740 repeater, S-Com 7K controller, Astron power
supply, and Kenwood TK-830 link radio.
The Wacom 8 inch diameter duplexer cans
barely fit inside the RF cabinet.
The tower we are on has quite a few tenants, but we have the
privilege of being located at the very top of the 180' tall structure.