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The WRAV - Decmber 2

We are currently seeking donations from members and support from area citizens and local businesses.

Scott Martin

History of the WRAV

The Waynesboro Repeater Association of Virginia (WRAV) is the sponsoring organization of the 147.075, two meter FM amateur repeater located near Waynesboro, Virginia. This repeater was first placed into operation in 1979. This effort was coordinated by Dee Almquist, W4PNT, with assistance from Ken Wooley, WA4EGW, Bruce Gordon WA4CJX, Bill Bowman, KA4UFI, Hugh Martin, WD4HJK, Charlie Menk, W4BKP (silent key), Bill Day, N4AOP, Neil Buckingham, WA4KKL, and others. Technical assistance was received from Pete LaScelle, W4WWQ, Joe Moomaw, W4XD and Bob Kerby, W4BLD.

The initial repeater was coordinated on December 19, 1978 through the Carolina Virginia Repeater Association (CVRA) that is now the SouthEastern Repeater Association. (SERA) The initial repeater equipment was a Motorola unit located at the home QTH of W4PNT on Rd. 612 in Crimora, Virginia. This repeater utilized two Phelps Dodge vertical antennas separated vertically by about 30 feet on a short tower. This repeater was equipped with a home built controller and CW-ID unit. After much debugging (blood, sweat and tears) and late night checking out, the equipment was moved to a location atop the former Holiday Inn in the gap at Afton mountain. A 60-foot tower with three sets of guys was installed on the roof of this three-story building to support the antennas. The radio equipment was located near a boiler room on the top floor. This site was a very windy, cold location when working on the roof or antennas. The mechanical survival rate for the antennas was limited due to the extreme winds through the Afton gap.

After a short period of time a set of Phelps Dodge duplexers was obtained which allowed the repeater to utilize just the top antenna. The repeater provided very good two-meter coverage East to Richmond and North beyond Harrisonburg. For several years the repeater was operated with a "touch tone on/off" RF link with the WB4JBJ (147.105) repeater in Lynchburg through an intermediate site in Amherst, Virginia. This intermediate site is no longer available and the link has been discontinued after several years. In 1986 a new repeater was assembled with a UNIDEN and a GE MASTR II amplifier. A new Sinclair duplexer was purchased. This new equipment was equipped with a Advanced Computer Controls (ACC) model RC-85 repeater controller and the equipment was debugged and checked out. (More blood, sweat and tears!)

The repeater was relocated to a spot on top of Bear Den Mountain about three miles north of Waynesboro Virginia. This site is adjacent to (within 20 feet) the Appalachian Trail. The equipment is located in a leased portion of a small building and the antenna is on a 60-foot heavy-duty tower (ROHN 55). The elevation at the base of the tower is 2840 feet above Sea Level.

The antenna was changed to a Decibel Products model DB222E-D which proved to be much more able to with stand the high winds experienced at this mountain top location. In 1987 a linked RITON TELENEXUS phone patch was installed to serve the Staunton and Waynesboro local calling areas. The telephone end of the link is located in Staunton at the home QTH of Joe Pehan, W4LIG. In 1990 a set of six large station batteries was purchased and installed at the repeater site. The repeater and a battery charger are connected to the battery to allow for operation in the event of a power failure. In the mid 1990's a packet station (W4BLD-4) was installed to serve as a node for the relaying of packet traffic.

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