VK5RMG/UHF Mt Gambier

VK5RMG/UHF (was VK5ROH) is our Lower South East 70cm repeater and is located on The Bluff between Millicent and Mt Gambier. All repeaters on the site share the same callsign.

UHF voice and Yaesu Fusion repeater 439.825 MHz output, 434.825 MHz input.

The repeater can be used as either a standard FM repeater or as a digital repeater and switches mode depending on the input signal.

The story as of October 2021

The site is 200m ASL and gives good mobile coverage for around 40km, and much further for home stations.

Digital system: On the 10th October 2021 the existing UHF repeater was replaced with a Yaesu Fusion DR-2X device and moved to The Bluff. It is mains powered via an external power supply, and battery backed.

The digital mode is fed from the Clubrooms in Mt Gambier where a node has been installed. The data is conveyed by accessing the digital unit direct with on signals.

The Digital WiresX system receives its Internet access through Honorary Member Brett Pittard’s company TDRS at no cost to SERG. Thanks Brett.

The VK5ROH digital repeater is the black box below the TAIT power supply. The touch screen allows setting up and status. The screen times out after some minutes to preserve the display. John, VK5DJ as repeater coordinator checks over the installation.
The VK5RMG dipoles for the UHF repeater.
The two cabinets showing the 70cm repeater in the right hand cabinet with power supply (top right), next down the Yaesu Fusion repeater, the UHF filter cavity on the RX. The battery at bottom is back up for the 2M system.
The left hand cabinet houses the 2M repeater, its three links and 4 sets of filters.
Updated 17/10/21 with new power supply from Leith. Norbert has also installed a backup battery (behind the other batteries – again 2*6V * 200AmpH). Slight re-arrangement of rack.

Past History

Originally installed in 2000 on the water tower adjacent to the Old Mount Gambier Hospital (hence the call-sign VK5ROH for Old Hospital) overlooking the city of Mount Gambier. It suffered from regular interference, and the activation of a 118.8 Hz CTCSS tone still did not overcome the problem until a frequency change on May 28th, 2005.

Circa 2005, it was relocated to the top of a disused water tower on a hill on the northern side of the city of Mount Gambier. The repeater was solar powered with the repeater tail indicating the status of the battery.
At a height of approximately 100m ASL the range was not specified although some hear it from about 50km. CTCSS was NO LONGER turned on as the change of frequency had overcome the LIPD problem.

In 2018, the repeater equipment & solar power controller & batteries were relocated from the top of the water tower to an equipment rack at ground level to allow much easier & safer maintenance. At that time, VK5ROH was linked to the Mt Graham 2m VK5RSE repeater to extend its coverage for members in the Millicent area until VK5ROH’s move to The Bluff.

In June 2020, VK5ROH (a TAIT based system with VK5DJ controller) was relocated from Mount Gambier, to The Bluff, 25km west of Mount Gambier and housed in the new hut made available by Gambier Electronics.

In March 2021, the separate Tx and Rx folded dipole antennas were installed on the Hutchesson tower at a height 8m & 12m respectively. There was no CTCSS tone required, though could be enabled if needed.

The site is 200m ASL and gives good mobile coverage for around 40km, and much further for home stations.

In October 2021 the Yaesu Fusion Repeater was installed at The Bluff which provided worldwide digital coverage.

VK5ROH is also used to relay the VK5WSR IRLP/Echolink installation in our clubrooms.

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