A brief history of
146.940 repeater is the oldest and original repeater on the air
in the Middle-East Tennessee area. After consulting several
long-time amateur radio operators, and compiling information about
this repeater's history, it has been determined that
the 94 machine went on the air
in 1967. George Shaver, K4HXD, placed it on the air at a State of
tower site on top of Chilhowee Mountain in Blount County. It remained
on the same mountain top (moving to an adjacent tower site) site until
George sold the repeater to Tim Berry WB4GBI in 1985. Tim moved the
to the now-146.625 site in 1986 where it remained there until 1998 when
it moved to its present home at the WIVK-FM transmitter site. Incidentally...
Tim's first experience with 146.940 repeater was accompanying George
on a repeater maintenance trip... that was waaaay back when Tim was
only 16 years old!
2 - Meters
Computer Automation Technology
Andrew LDF 7/8" Heliax
Middle East Tennessee Emergency Radio Service (METERS):
Sunday Evenings 10:00 PM
Monday Evenings 7:30 PM
Wednesday Evening 9:00 PM
Hospital Net: Last Friday of Each Month
DISTRICT 5 SKYWARN:
As needed during severe weather events or training
MHz and 444.300 MHz repeaters are dedicated to the memory of their founder:
George W. Shaver, K4HXD, 1943-1995
OPERATIONAL STATUS: ON THE AIR!!
NOTE: THE 146.940 REPEATER MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE A 118.8 Hz
TONE ACTIVE. IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO ACCESS THE REPEATER,
PLEASE VERIFY THAT YOU ARE TRANSMITTING A 118.8 Hz TONE. IF THE
REPEATER HAS THE TONE DECODE ACTIVE, IT WILL BE RETURNED
SQUELCH AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. 73 de Tim WB4GBI
For 50 years, one of the most widely used 2-meter repeaters
in the East Tennessee area is the
146.940 (-) repeater, located on
Bluff Mountain, also known as "Greentop," just outside Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
From Tim, WB4GBI: " For those of you who are recent additions to our great
hobby, you might not know that the 146.94 repeater was the very first
2-meter repeater in East Tennessee. Its history is that of great
and continuous service. I am VERY proud to be carrying on the tradition
started by George, K4HXD, who was the creator and founder of this repeater.
We lost George in 1995. He was of my mentors."
The 146.940 repeater is the
oldest "continuous service" 2-Meter Amateur
currently on the air in East Tennessee, and celebrates its 50th Anniversary in 2017!
In addition to our in-depth investigation into the history of
this machine... we have uncovered a few tidbits of this history.
You can see the fruits of this effort on the newly created HISTORY
PAGE of the 146.940 Repeater!
Simply click HERE to check
out the History Page!
The 146.940 Repeater, located on Bluff Mountain (Green Top) in
In addition to the coverage
benefits of being co-located with it's "Tower-neighbors"... this
repeater site also has many other benefits as well. Since
WIVK is the primary EAS Station in east Tennessee... there is ample
emergency power for use during power failures, for whatever reason.
This makes the 146.940 machine a very important part of the emergency
communications infrastructure, regarding amateur radio.
| This wide
coverage repeater is located on the same tower as the commercial
FM station WIVK, 107.7 FM. This radio station, licensed to
Knoxville TN, has a very wide coverage area, which encompasses
the majority of Eastern Tennessee, from Bristol to Chattanooga.
So, if you can hear this frequency on your regular FM Broadcast radio,
you can most likely also hear this repeater!
As everyone knows, it isn't
how far a repeater can transmit a signal that makes it a good repeater...
it's how well it can copy a low power station, to repeat it's
signal that makes it a great machine!
In the photo to the right, you
will see that the '.940 machine's antenna shares the tower structure with
many other primary service antennas, including public safety systems, commercial
repeater systems, and of course, the 7-bay FM antenna of the radio
station take up the very top of the tower. The .94 repeater is in the tapered
red section of the tower
Many thanks to WIVK for their use of this facility!
This repeater is the primary
relay for SKYWARN
in east Tennessee, where weather spotters can contact the National
Weather Service, directly, during inclement weather, to officially
log in unusual weather observations. It is also used as the primary
repeater for METERS, an EMCOMM group
serving the Middle East Tennessee area. It is also used by other groups
for emergency communications, due to it's wide coverage area, and
EQUIPMENT LIST FOR THE 146.940
MTR-2000 100 watt VHF commercial-grade repeater (Thanks to Todd,
KA4OAK, for making this equipment possible!)
- CAT-260 repeater controller (newest of the CAT controller series)
- Phelps Dodge (now Celwave) six cavity duplexer
- UHF Motorola CDM 300 UHF control
- 7/8 foam heliax from duplexer to antenna
- Commander Technologies (formerly Phelps Dodge/Celwave) "Stationmaster" antenna
(@ approx. 265 feet up the 330 ft tower) - Newly installed in 2012
repeater combination was placed in service in February 2014. It
replaced a Motorola "Micor" repeater which George, K4HXD,
had constructed in the 1980's. The Micor repeater is
refurbished, and may return to the air again soon!
146.94 repeater celebrates its 50th Anniversary of service in 2017! The
Front cover of the November 2017 SERA Repeater Journal features the
146.94 tower site. The 50th anniversary article is the "Guest Column"
inside. You can read the entire article here.
photo on the left is the actual 146.940 repeater (from top to bottom):
is a full-length photo of the 146.940 repeater. From top to bottom: The
Computer Automated Technologies CAT-260 repeater controller. Just
controller is the Motorola MTR-2000 100 watt VHF repeater. At
the bottom of the cabinet is the Motorola CDM-300 control receiver and
its associated power supply.
The photo to the right
shows the repeater and duplexer to the left of Tim, WB4GBI. The
six-cavity duplexer is to the right of the repeater cabinet. The WB4GBI
444.300 repeater is shown in the far left of the photo.
This repeater location is probably
one of the best sites in all of Eastern Tennessee, as you can almost
see every inch of the Tennessee Valley - which makes up the majority
of the eastern third of the state.
The footprint of this
repeater is absolutely unbelievable, as folks have been known
to converse with hams all the way from Virginia, Kentucky - and in
some cases parts of northern Georgia - all from this machine!!
Below, is a view from near the repeater site,
looking back toward Knoxville.... Below, is a postcard from around 1915 that shows Bluff Mountain (Greentop)
Seymour community in the lower-right... with the city of Knoxville
in the Distance) Thanks to Todd, KA4OAK, for the use of the postcard!!
Click on the photos for a
The 146.940 MHz and 444.300 MHz repeaters
are dedicated to the memory of their founder:
George W. Shaver, K4HXD, 1943-1995
OPERATIONAL STATUS: ON
THE AIR! New repeater receiver installed 4-25-2018.
PLEASE NOTE: CTCSS decode tone
of 118.8 Hz is now active. Please program your transcievers to ENCODE a 118.8 Hz tone.
SOON: Allstar is coming to 444.300! Allstar Node 49616 has been
assigned to the 444.300 repeater. The internet interface and audio
interface have been purchased and are being programmed. Please check
back here or on WB4GBI's social media pages for updates.
Below, is a view from near the repeater
site, looking back toward Knoxville....
2 - Meters
444.300 machine is a combination of Motorola Micor and General Electric
(GE) MASTR II equipment, and a Vocom products commercial grade
100 watt continuous duty power amplifier (PA).
|Also located on Bluff Mountain (Greentop) just outside Pigeon Forge,
TN. is the
444.300 (+) repeater .
the photo on the LEFT, you can see a close-up view of the 444.300
machine. The power supply is installed at the bottom of the rack.
The Motorola "Spectra Tac" receiver is mounted in the rack,
above the Simrex receiver preamp and the hombrew controller. The CW
ID unit sits on top of the receiver. Next up, is the GE MASTR UHF
exciter in a homebrew enclosure built by K4HXD. Closer to the top of
the rack is the Vocom Products 100 watt UHF continuous duty power
amplifier. The Celwave PD-526-4 six-cavity duplexer is at the top of
the rack cabinet.
In case you're interested, here's a photo of
the "other" transmitter in the building...the 40KW Harris
transmitter for WIVK-FM
Below is a photo of the rear of the repeater cabinet.
the Seymour community in the lower-right... with the city of Knoxville
in the Distance)
Click on the photo for a larger version!
Also located on
Bluff Mountain (Greentop) just outside Pigeon Forge, TN. is
927.0625 (-) repeater (CTCSS-151.4
OPERATIONAL STATUS: TEMPORARILY OFF THE AIR. The
repeater was damaged in a storm on January 12, 2020. It has been
removed for repair. I will post an update here, and on the WB4GBI
social media pages as soon as there is more
73 de Tim WB4GBI
2 - Meters
Motorola Quantar repeater
Decibel Products 2-cavity duplexer
Commercail grade 900 Mhz paging antenna (brand unknown)
This repeater is a Motorola quantar
machine, with the internal
high stability oscillator.
It has been
installed on the same tower as the 146.940 and 444.300...
station WIVK-FM 107.7!
The repeater was purchased from a
Ham Operator in Northern Ohio,
and just recently
made the trip from just south of
the great lakes
area, to East Tennessee!
It requires a tone-squelch access of 151.4
as all 900 Mhz repeaters
are tone-squelch machines.
The duplexer on this machine is a
2 cavity decibel products unit,
and the machine
delivers 80 watts out of the duplexer to the antenna.
The antenna, by
the way, is installed at about 120 feet up the tower, and was a
leftover gift from a paging company when they moved
to a different location.
The WB4GBI 927.0625 repeater was placed into service
on Tuesday, March 8th 2011,
and is currently
available to all licensed amateur radio operators
who have the proper
Photo of the Repeater being tested before installation.....
This is the inside-rear of the repeater cabinet
The inside-front of the cabinet.
Note the 900 Mhz duplexer in the bottom of the rack