June 2, 2011 - The new antenna on the 146.760 repeater has FINALLY been installed!!  The signal reports on the machine are very impressive and the repeater is running stronger than ever!  The W2DAN-14 APRS Digi has been moved to the old repeater antenna, and it is providing substantially improved APRS coverage throughout the area.  We hope you enjoy the wide area coverage both systems are now providing to the area.  The 2 Meter repeater is consistently seeing 50+ miles of coverage in all directions.

May 15, 2010 -
The Henry power amplifier for the 223.760 repeater has been repaired and finally put on line to stay!  Enjoy the new coverage of the 220 machine.

January 25, 2010 -
Our old e-mail list that has been hosted by Brown University is going away.  This week N1JOY will be migrating all of the old e-mail list members to the new Yahoo Group, which will give us some new features that will hopefully promote a little more participation in our online group.  Please join our new Yahoo Group at:  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/76_Repeater/

January 15, 2010 -
AA1PL has turned down the TX power on the 2 Meter repeater as a temporary measure to mitigate the intermod being generated by the antenna system.  This has substantially improved the usability fo the repeatewr, and appears to be a good stop gap measure until the full repair work can be completed.

January 9, 2010 -  In the last week the new "Big Mutha" Duplexer was dropped off, and a couple of days later the Kenwood repeater was installed.  Today Peter (AA1PL) and myself (N1JOY) went to the site to try to figure out why we still had receiver issues.  The good news is all of the new equipment is functioning great and the receiver performance is amazing when connected to the service monitor.  The bad news is we have a problem up at the top of the tower which is causing a significant amount of intermod whenever the transmitter keys up.  This causes the RX noise floor to jump way up essentially causing us to have ~20 dB of desense.  Your 50 Watt mobile will seem like a 0.5 Watt mobile while using this repeater until we get this resolved.

 Thanks to everybody for being so patient and understanding while we work through the technical issues.  Unfortunately working on this tower requires professional help, so we'll need time to arrange and schedule the repair work.  It will be amazing once it's fixed, and we're already discussing how to proceed.

December 20, 2009 -
The New "76" (146.760) repeater project is finally coming along.  AA1PL has the Kenwood repeater, 12 Volt Power Supply, and repeater controller racked and cabled.  N1JOY has put together a great set of duplexers from a pile of Donated TX/RX Vari-Notch duplexer cans.  The new duplexer will give us superior performance over the aging set of Wacom duplexers the 2 Meter repeater has utilized for so many years.  The duplexer is cabled with all new 1/4 Andrews hardline jumpers perfectly cut to the exact electrical length, and all held together with a custom bracket to keep all 7 of the "cans" held steady.  KA1RCI is performing his magic and should have the duplexers perfectly tuned with his service monitor utilizing a Return Loss Bridge to squeeze every last Decibel of performance.  We still need to transfer the GaAsFET preamplifier and Circulator/Isolator from the old repeater to the new one, and that will probably be done the day the new repeater gets installed.  When the new repeater is deployed to the site in Scituate, it will be capable of utilizing a PL, but will not be activated until we have made every attempt to notify the local Hams of the change.

September 19, 2009
The 2009 "76 Auction" was very well attended, and the weather was a perfect cool and sunny September day.  Many generous Hams from all around the area donated their "stuff" to help support the 5 RIAFMRS repeaters.  Thanks to everybody who came and supported the group!  A major announcement was made that our group founder and auctioneer, Dick Bouchard WA1HQV, and two other very long time Directors, Steve Anthony WA1POX, and John Laramee WA1OZF, have also stepped down.  The current BOD wants to thank them for their decades of thankless dedication to the local Amateur community.  Rick Fairweather, K1KYI, has appointed newcomer Lee Lemoine, N3LEE, to the BOD, and Dave Neal, W2DAN, is the new treasurer.  The new structure now gives the RIAFMRS an odd number of Directors, which is more desirable when things need to be voted on.

September 1, 2009

  The dreaded day has come and the both the AA1PL (443.850) and (K1KYI) 447.425 UHF repeaters were mandated by PAVE PAWS to turn down our TX power.  443.850 had to reduce power by 6 dB and 447.425 by 14 dB!  To immediately comply we have reduced the power.  For the time being the footprint of both repeaters will be substantially reduced, but we will evaluate other solutions such as modifying the antenna pattern and possibly get the TX power back up.  

September 20, 2008

The "76" Auction was held at its usual location.  The weather cooperated and the turnout was exceptional!  Thanks to everybody who came, especially those who donated equipment for the auction, and purchased 50/50 raffle tickets for another record breaker prize: $417!  Congrats to K1OCD for winning the 50/50 raffle, and honestly, his son pulled the ticket out of the box and it wasn't rigged! 

  We all had a moment to say thanks and farewell to the RIAFMRS founder, and president for nearly 4 decades, Dick Bouchard W1HQV.  Dick has lead the group for so many years, and is now traveling the country helping those in need while carrying out his duties at his position in FEMA.  Dick promises to come back to run the auction if at all possible next year.  After the auction, a new slate of officers were voted on board.  Long time RIAFMRS member and former Rhode Island ARRL Section Manager, Rick Fairweather K1KYI, will be the new president of the RIAFMRS. 

October 8, 2007

  The Cumberland 146.940 repeater is back on the air!  Thanks so much to the efforts of Steve, KA1RCI, the "94" repeater was completely overhauled, re-cabled, retuned, and packaged into a new rack cabinet.  The newest addition is the ability to link the 146.940 machine into the Scituate 447.425 and Exeter 443.850 repeaters!  For the time being the 2 Meter link will stay activated.  Please take a few minutes to check out the web page that Steve put together documenting the entire project.  It will give you some insight into just how much work goes into constructing a linked repeater, and just how complicated it can be at times.
Click to see the 146.940 repeater overhaul: http://ka1rci.net/projects/146940.htm

   Also keep an ear open for the Scituate 223.760 repeater to return to the air waves.  The dead PA is still at Henry getting repaired, but we're hoping it will be back in service very soon!

  Did you know the RIAFMRS now has an APRS digi-peater?  In the coming weeks we'll be repairing the bad antenna at Chopmist and we'll see what the digi can do when it's on a proper antenna.  Even still, the digi is working fairly well considering it's currently on an antenna that is only about 12 feet off the ground.

September 17, 2007

  Thanks to everybody for their incredible support at the annual RIAFMRS ".76 Auction".  Even though it was a drizzling out all morning, we had a fantastic turn out and was able to raise a substantial amount of cash to help fund the RIAFMRS through the next year.  The 50/50 raffle prize was the highest it has ever been, and the $370 winnings went to K1JJJ.  Congratulations James!  We also raffled off 3 1-year subscriptions to World Radio Magazine, which went to Mike - N1PZD, Rick - KB1MLA, and Fred - KC1XF.

  At the auction the RIAFMRS displayed a poster board that described our 5 repeater systems and all of the hard work that has been completed, or nearing completion in the previous year.  We hope you found it informative.  An HTML version of the poster board can be viewed here.  Thanks to our ARRL Section Manager, Bob Beaudet W1YRC, for donating a set of ARRL books towards the cause, and so many others who donated items to the auction.  We even had to do a grocery run as we ran out of hot dogs during the event!

  We also had on display our brand new Telewave duplexer schedule to be installed on the 223.760 repeater very soon, along with the newest addition to the RIAFMRS hardware list, the Scituate APRS Digi-Peater.  The APRS Digi was installed at the Scituate site later in the day, and is handling a substantial amount of APRS traffic from our Scituate repeater site on Chopmist Hill.   

  Stay tuned as the 146.940 repeater will be back at it's new Cumberland site very soon.  The newly rebuilt repeater is currently being tested out from KA1RCI's QTH, and when time permits, it will be back in Cumberland providing it's best coverage ever!  Thanks to Steve KA1RCI for his hard work installing the repeater into a new cabinet and resolving some self-interference problems we were having.

June 17th, 2007

  The 146.940 repeater is currently being reworked to help finally resolve the "rolling pipes" noise it periodically transmits out.  The repeater cabinet has been upgraded, all of the RF cabling is being replaced with Heliax, the additional receive filtering permanently mounted, and an external controller is being added so the repeater can be better attended to by remote control.  Stay tuned as it should be returned to the site soon, and running even better than it was before from the new repeater location in Cumberland, RI!

February 22, 2007

  The 146.940 repeater is now operating at full power with the new repeater, new antenna, new amplifier, and new location in Cumberland RI.  The initial signal reports have been fantastic, and coverage so far seems to be significantly improved from our old location in Lincoln, RI.  Enjoy!!

February 11, 2007

Message from AA1PL:

  This is an update to everybody on the status of the Fire Relief Fund for Don Dorson, W1GBO.  As most of you know, his home in Exeter, RI suffered a very bad fire on January 24th in which not only his home but also his home-based business were destroyed. .  
  I am very pleased with the generosity of those who contributed to the Don Dorson W1GBO Fire Relief Fund.  The first week was just unbelievable, bringing in $3,155.00 in donations from the ham radio community.  I personally delivered the checks to Don and his wife Lenore on Saturday Feb. 3rd.  They were extremely grateful for the generosity of the ham radio community.  The second week brought in $350.00, bringing the total (as of today) to $3,505.  I sent the other $350 to them yesterday.  Roland Daignault, N1JOY and myself retrieved W1GBO's Collins S-line HF radio equipment from his burnt out home and delivered it to Chuck Hurley, N1TLI who specializes in restoring old Collins equipment.  He was going to do what he could to get the equipment cleaned up and operational again for Don.  Many have offered clothing and computer equipment.  All of these offers, as well as all emails containing well wishes, were passed on to Don and Lenore. They have salvaged as much as possible from their home, but have lost most of their belongings and have lost everything from Don's business.  Don's focus right now is getting his business back up and running.  They are doing fairly well and are grateful for the outpouring of support from the community.  I thank everyone who has contributed and ask those who are not able to contribute to please keep Don and Lenore in your thoughts and prayers.
  Anyone who would still like to contribute may still do so.  Please send a check,  payable to Donald Dorson.  Please mail it to my home address and I will ensure that it gets to Don and his wife.  Any amount, no matter how small,  will be very helpful and is greatly appreciated.  My mailing address is below.
Thanks again and 73,
Peter Harrison, AA1PL
24 Forest Glen Drive
Hope Valley, RI 02832

Note from N1JOY: Chuck K1TLI tells me the Collins rigs were beyond repair. :-( 

February 5, 2007

  Thanks to the generous donations of the local Amateur Radio community, Peter (AA1PL) was able to deliver $3,100 to the Dorson family to help them get back on their feet.  The Dorson family is very grateful for the generosity of the local Hams.  Thanks so much to everybody who has donated so far!!!

Update 2/01/2007 - So far Peter has received nearly $3,000 for the Dorson's, and the donations are still rolling in!!  Many offers have been made to assist this family with just about anything imaginable from local Hams, including an offer to try and repair & restore Don's Collins S-line rigs!   We would like to report that AA1PL & N1JOY visited with the Dorson's, and the entire family is doing well.  Everybody is safe and in good spirits considering the traumatic circumstances.  Fortunately there was a vacant and fully furnished home directly across the street available, and they will be staying there indefinitely.  Thanks to everybody who have made such generous donations to assist this wonderful family!!

January 25, 2007

Dear Fellow Ham Radio Operators,
  One of our ham radio brothers, Don Dorson W1GBO and his wife Lenore, suffered a tragic house fire on Wednesday afternoon January 24, 2006.  They lived on Gardiner Road on the Exeter/Richmond, RI border (the town border actually goes through their property).  Don has a connection with the RIAFMRS (the "76 repeater group") because he has a large commercial tower on his property which he has graciously allowed us to utilize for our 443.850 repeater.  The repeater is off the air right now because the electrical power to the tower site went through the house and the power to the house has been disconnected. He working on getting the tower site power restored. I visited Don Thursday morning.  I visited him again Thursday night to deliver some winter coats, boots, gloves, etc.  (ed. - Tower power was restored 1/27/2007 with a portable generator.)
  Their historic 1700's farm house is still standing (barely) but suffered extremely heavy fire damage throughout the structure.  There are huge burnt out openings on the second floor and a large portion of the roof has collapsed. It does not look salvageable to me. To make matters worse, Don lost his entire business in the fire since he was self employed and his business was based in his house.  Don's business developed specialty electronic hardware/software technology used in Oceanography.  He has lost everything - all his equipment, computers, files, furniture, personal belongings, everything in the house is basically a loss.  He and his wife basically have the clothes on their back and their faith in God.  They do have a place to stay (a vacant but fully furnished house across the street was made available to them by the owner).
Here's a link to the WJAR-TV news report:
  Don was not very active on the VHF/UHF repeaters. He was primarily an HF CW operator. So most of you may not know him. But he is still a brother ham. I know if a tragedy like this happened to me (or any of us for that matter), I know that our brother/sister hams would be there to help out in any way possible. 
  The 76 repeater group would like to take up a collection for Don and his wife.  Therefore on behalf of the Rhode Island Amateur FM Repeater Service (RIAFMRS) I would like to ask you all to please consider a financial gift to Don Dorson to help out with their immediate financial need at this tragic time in their lives.  I believe if we rally together that we can deliver a very generous gift  that shows the true spirit of ham radio (serving our community first) and the compassion we have for our fellow human beings.  Please send your best gift possible, whatever the amount.  No gift is too small.  Please send a check payable to Donald Dorson and mark  fire donation on the memo line.  Please mail  the check to me and I will gather them all together and hand deliver them to Don.  I know that Don and his wife would deeply appreciate it.  I will keep track of the total amount that we were able to gather together and will report back to all of you via email with the final number. 
Please mail your checks to:
Peter Harrison, AA1PL
24 Forest Glen Drive
Hope Valley, RI 02832
Thank you for your time, compassion and generosity. On a personal note,  please pray for them and may God Bless you all.
Pete Harrison, AA1PL

January 11, 2007:
  The web page is FINALLY being updated!  Please be patient as the design and content gets cleaned up and updated!

Coming Soon To a Repeater Near You!

The 146.94 repeater will soon be getting a new Andrews 4 dipole array antenna, and a new 100 Watt power amplifier.  Combined with the newly acquired Kenwood TKR-740 high performance repeater, we should really see a coverage improvement!  We are now operating from our new location in Cumberland, RI atop a 180 foot tower!  We will also have emergency generator power to help keep us on the air during those difficult times.  We are currently operating on a lower antenna (~105 feet) which we are borrowing, and only the basic 5 Watts out of the repeater.   

The 223.760 repeater will also be getting a new 100 Watt power amplifier to improve it's talk out coverage.