Back on May 13th 2012, CNY Hams had the opportunity to become part of a 6 meter repeater experiment. That was the day the KD2SL 53.67 mhz repeater came on the air with a unique antenna! The former Television Channel 3 Turnstile antenna (a casualty of the analog TV shutoff in 2009) had come back to life supporting amateur radio in Upstate NY. It was an interesting time on 6 meters as many of us played "can you hear me now" from various locations around CNY.
Things changed this past week, (June 27th, 2019), the 53.67 repeater was switched from the “Batwing” Turnstile TV antenna to a lower communications antenna mounted at approximately 700’. The change was necessitated by the FCC mandated television frequency repack (read more about the repack here: https://www.multichannel.com/news/fcc-frees-up-more-money-for-tv-station-repack ) which is driving major changes to TV transmitters and antennas all over the country.
This very unique Channel 3 analog TV antenna has resided at 850′ above the ground on a tall hill south of Syracuse since 2001. The “batwing” Turnstile antenna is over 100 feet tall, weighs 7 tons, has six stacked bays (more than 6dB gain over a dipole). It is fed by 3-1/8″ rigid copper line, which has loss of about .7 dB for 1000′ length! The Turnstile antenna will be removed from the tower by helicopter in the coming weeks. More antenna background at: https://kd2sl.wordpress.com/2012/03/18/the-antenna/
Over the years this repeater has been a lot of fun for us 6 meter enthusiasts. When out and about, I personally would try to bring up the this repeater from all over the Upstate NY area. For many years, this repeater has supported early morning commuters, nets and most recently the addition of linking capabilities. All of those things will continue, just with a slightly different coverage pattern from the vertically polarized antenna at approximately 700’. Testing so far shows very little, if any degradation of signal to the west of Syracuse, we'll be trying other directions and looking for signal reports from other folks this week.
A big Thanks to Kevin; KD2SL for providing this and several other excellent repeaters for us Hams here in CNY! Learn more about the history of the 6 meter KD2SL repeater and antenna on Kevin’s blog at: http://kd2sl.com/
|The Turnstile antenna before install in 2001|