This is the Campion Center in Weston, MA, home of the MMRA 146.79, 224.70, and 442.70 repeaters and the receiver for our 10m repeater. 442.70 serves as the MMRA's HUB #2. The Campion Center was originally built as Weston College, but is now a retirement center for Jesuit priests. In addition to being on a tall hill, the building is 4 stories high with a tower on the roof!
The original Weston repeater was constructed by the Marlboro FM Association
back in the late 1960's. In 1971, the association was incorporated as the
Minuteman Repeater Association (MMRA) and it moved the system to its present location.
With continual technical improvements, the Weston repeater has been on the
air for 25 years, and is the flagship station of the MMRA.
Since its inception, Weston operated on 146.820 MHz. However, in
September 2005, MMRA moved the 146.820 frequency pair to its new Brookline
location, and changed Weston's frequency to 146.790. Brookline's high location necessitated
a clearer frequency. '82 was superior to '79 in this regard.
|April 24, 2014 Update: MMRA is taking part in Yaesu's "System Fusion" trial. The 146.79 repeater is now a Yaesu DR-1 repeater and operates both traditional FM as well as Yaesu's C4FM digital mode. The repeater will automatically repeat the type of signal present on its receiver.|
Some additional work is needed to make the DR1 work with an external controller, in the meantime, 146.79 is operating standalone (no linking available). Work is expected to be complete by June 14th.
The 2m and 222 repeaters are contained in right side rack. The 222 repeater is
located at the top: copper duplexers, aluminum transmitter and receiver.
Below this is the 222 power amp. Next is the Yaesu DR-1 Analog/C4FM repeater, and
below that is the SCOM 7K controller which currently controlls the 220 repeater and
link radio. It will control the 2m repeater in the near future. Currently the
Yaesu is running on its internal controller.
Underneath the 7K is the controller interface panel. This panel breaks out the signals found on the two DB25s on the rear of the 7K into four nine-pin radio ports and a set of terminal strips for the 7K logic ins and outs. One of the 9-pin ports links over to the 10m equipment in the left rack. The other ports are for the 2m and 222 repeaters, and for the HUB link radio. That link radio is directly below the panel. The brass cabinet is the Mastr II 2m backup repeater, followed by a power meter,and the Astron 50A power supply.
In the left rack, from top to bottom, you will see the 442.7 duplexer. Below that is the 10m receiver controller and power supply. Continuing, next is a Mastr II chassis which holds a 29.58 MHz 10m receiver and UHF auxliary link transmitter. Below that is the SCOM 7330 Controller for 442.7, followed by its link transceiver to main HUB (behind blank plate, you can see the MastrII mobile), the 447.7 main receiver (another MastrII mobile), and 442.7 transmitter: a Motorola M10 transceiver used as a 10W exciter into a Henry Radio power amplifier(at the bottom of the rack).
HUB2, 442.700, went on the air on December 16, 2006. The UHF 4-Bay antenna was installed many years earlier, but no one can quite recall its original purpose.
The 10m repeater's receiver system is also installed in this rack. This system receives signals on 29.58MHz and transmits them via a UHF link to our Marlborough East facility.
The main tower is on the left in the photo. The 146.790 DB224 is at the top. Below it and on the right side-arm is the 224.7 antenna and below it on the same side-arm is an ancient dipole array which we use for the HUB2 to HUB1 link system. On the left is the black fiberglass antenna which the main antenna for HUB2. Out of sight, even lower on the tower is a UHF corner reflector used for the 146.79/224.70 link to the main HUB.
There is a smaller 21 foot mast on the corner of the building which has
the 10m receiver antenna on the top and the UHF link (not visible) for it below.
On March 30th, 1996, an MMRA work crew descended on the site to put up a new antenna. Shown here is the view of the site with the old Station Master antenna, with the work crew on the tower.
This photo, and the photos that follow, were taken by Chris Conti, N1NVL, during that session. Shown here are the MMRA's own tower monkeys: Bob Feltmate, WA1ZJE (on top) and Bryan Cerqua, W1BRI (down below).
Also in this photo, behind the work crew, is the side-mounted 222 MHz repeater antenna.
The site is linked back to the hub of the MMRA network, the W1MRA/R 449.925 repeater in Marlboro, MA, via the 440 MHz corner reflector antenna.
In this photo, work begins on prepping the new antenna, a Decibel Products
DB-224 4-bay open-dipole antenna.
The coax jumpers between the antenna elements are securely taped to the
Unlike a typical fiberglass antenna, this antenna will withstand years of flexing, which it will encounter mounted at the top of the tower. The antenna is 21.5' long, weighs 32 lbs, rated for 100 MPH winds, and gives a 6 dB omnidirectional gain.
|In the photo to the right, Al Kunian, KA1AL, a former repeater trustee, looks over the new antenna prior to its installation. David Croll, KT1X, is shown walking in the background.|
|Here, tower monkeys (WA1ZJE and W1BRI) successfully install the new antenna at the very top of the tower. From there, they can look due East right into Boston!|