The Woodbridge Amateur Radio Club (WARC) operates three full duplex repeaters located in the Woodbridge VA area. The operating frequencies are 147.24 MHz Tone 107.2 with plus offset, 224.78 MHz with minus offset and 444.90 MHz Tone 127.3 with plus offset. WARC began using these frequency pairs over 25 years ago when the first repeater on 147.24 was installed. All radios identify using the call W4IY. These repeaters provide amateur radio coverage for the entirety of the eastern end of Prince William County for local communications. The club provides use of these repeaters to the Prince William County Emergency Operations Center in coordination with the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) as an integral part of the PWCARES emergency communications capabilities.
The repeater antennas are installed on top of a Prince William County Service Authority water tank located near the intersection of Old Bridge Road and Hedges Run in Woodbridge, Virginia. This site is 310 feet above sea level and the center of radiation of the antennas is 110 feet above that. The heavy duty antennas; Celwave PD220-2 (147.24 MHz), PD220-8B (224.78 MHz) and PD455-5 (444.90 MHz) antennas have gains of 5.25, 5.25 and 10db respectively. These antennas are 20 to 22 feet long and are connected to the equipment in WARC’s 10’x16’ repeater building at the base of the water tank by lengthy runs of 7/8” foam dielectric hard line. Located in the repeater building are devices unique to each repeater called duplexers which split the transmit and receive frequencies allowing full duplex operation using one antenna and one feed line per repeater. The associated repeater radio equipment and controllers installed in the repeater building are equipped with heavy duty power supplies and lead acid battery backup to sustain several days of operation without power during an emergency.
While the repeater complex has performed admirably over the years (including service during the 9/11 emergency), the time has come for the Service Authority to perform maintenance on the water tank to include sandblasting and re-painting the exterior of the tank. WARC, along with public service carriers AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon, has been notified that we are to temporarily remove our repeater equipment prior to the re-painting activity during the summer of 2018 and relocate the repeater building to a different location on the water tank site prior to re-installing the repeater equipment, hard lines, and associated antennas on the water tank.
The public carriers are well-funded for this activity; however, WARC is a small volunteer association and must raise the funds needed to complete the effort, which is expected to cost as much as $20,000 or more.
Donations are sought to assist in funding the relocation of the repeaters and antennas and are tax deductible.
- Dan Mouer
- Mark Redlinger
- John Thomason
- Paul James
- George Corron
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