Pacific County, WA
145.310 -600kHz 118.8Hz
North Cove VHF Repeater
The North Cove VHF
repeater was refurbished
in August 2015, upgrading
antenna, feedline, chassis,
RF deck and linking radio.
Location: The North Cove site is
on the ocean bluff,
overlooking North Cove, WA, near
Tokeland/Grayland, WA, above "Washaway Beach" on the north side of
the mouth of Willapa Bay. The tower is visible on the headlands
driving south-east bound on Highway 105, after making the turn to the east,
about 3 or 4 miles west of the Tokeland turnoff. This web-page covers the VHF
repeater installation at this site. For information regarding the UHF repeater
that shares this site, please follow this link.
Coverage: The North Cove 2-meter repeater can be easily
accessed north along State Route 105 to
Westport, WA, and south along the ocean side of the Long
Beach Peninsula, especially the beach area.
Looking due south from
the repeater site, the tip of the Long Beach Peninsula
is only six miles away, with the repeater looking down the
beach. The Surfside community is only 12 to 14 miles away.
to the east overlaps with that from the South Bend, Naselle and Megler
repeaters. The North Cove repeater can be particularly useful along
Highway 101 while driving the eastern shore of Willapa Bay.
The over-water path to
most of Highway 101, from South Bend (Milepost 53) to
the Bear River area (Milepost 20) provides nearly spotless coverage.
The "Nemah Repeater:" One place
that might be a little
problematic along Hwy 101 is between Milepost 26 and
Milepost 34 (the so called "Nemah" area), where
the highway dives into the woods and winds through some low hills. To cover this
particular area, we have installed a
remote receiver at the Naselle site
for use with the 145.310 VHF repeater, providing very good coverage
in this area, and usable from Bay
Center (Milepost 40), south along Highway
101 to the Highway 4 junction at "Johnson's Landing", and
for several miles east or west from there.
To use this high-altitude receiver, shift your CTCSS (PL) tone
from the usual 118.8 Hz to 114.8 Hz and your transmissions
will be picked up loud and clear in this area. Please note that the
remote receiver only works when the North Cove repeater is linked
to the rest of the
system. If the Nemah repeater link doesn't seem to work, please discontinue using
the 114.8 Hz tone, and shift back to 118.8Hz. Some users install this as a separate
memory in their radios, labeled "Nemah", as if it was a separate
Linking: The 2-meter repeater
is normally linked to
and like all of our repeaters, the link can be dropped to make this
repeater stand-alone when that is desirable, or an alternative
link can be established with one of several other
repeaters to provide tailored linking for area-specific activities or
to recover from equipment losses in a disaster situation.
of a GE
with PLL Exciter, and factory option UHS receiver preamp.
The CAT-200B controller is housed inside the
repeater chassis, on the control
shelf. A custom-built plug-in card interface
supports the GE Rangr transceiver,
mounted to the top of the repeater chassis,
used in conjunction
with a tower-mounted multi-element UHF
Yagi for system linking.
duplexer is a 4-cavity Sinclair
originally used at the historic 146.760
Nicolai repeater in Oregon.
Mice had chewed the cable harness,
destroying the device, and the Sunset
Empire club sold me this unit
as surplus. With careful
reconstruction of the
complex and dimensionally very critical
this unit once again performs well.
to the ceiling well away from
equipment rack to conserve
space in this small building.
The VHF repeater runs 40-watts
and shares the Diamond X510HDN dual-band
antenna (8.3dB VHF/11.7dB UHF) with
the UHF repeater using a diplexer.
The Amateur antenna is
sheltered from the weather
inside a Stationmaster radome shell
(from a retired commercial antenna),
at the 100-foot level on the tower,
fed with 120-feet of
LDF5-50 7/8-inch hardline.
History: The North Cove VHF machine was the first
repeater, installed in 1998, in a cabinet before there was
much of any other equipment or infrastructure, in the building.
The original unit had
been in service as the W7RDR repeater in Ilwaco,
purchased new before 1980.
That club had switched to a Motorola rig, in the mid-1990's.
The GE machine became available and I adopted it,
putting it on the air in 1998 from Pacific County's brand new
North Cove radio site. In fact the site was so new,
my repeater was one of the first pieces of equipment
installed there. To start with, this repeater
operated on the
Western Washington Shared Non-Protected (SNP) frequency pair of 145.290.
The SNP pairs are considered test pairs, open to anyone on a
not-to-interfere basis. At
the time, it was linked to the 146.660 W7FBM repeater in Astoria.
Later the frequency
was changed to its permanent pair, 145.310.
Still later, in the 1998-99 timeframe, the KO Peak UHF repeater/remote base
went on the air, and this North Cove repeater was linked to that.
In 2010, after more than a decade of continuous faithful
service (two decades, if you count the W7RDR chapter)
in support of Amateur radio,
I replaced that
particular unit with a newer duplicate model, and the original was
completely refurbished and returned to the Pacific County ARC. That machine
is now, once again, the W7RDR 146.860 Ilwaco repeater.