Ham Radio in Unalakleet

Repeater Tower
Unalakleet City Hall

February 28, 2014

This is the picture of the windmill tower at the Unalakleet City Hall. The windmill is inoperative and the tower is used for antennas. The Unalakleet repeater was installed there. A temporary unit on a different frequency on February 14, 2015. A permanent repeater (identical make/model) on its coordinated UHF frequency replaced it in July 24, 2016.

The antenna is on the tower, and the equipment on the little hut at the base of it.

Our thanks to the City of Unalakleet and City Manager Scott Dickens for allowing this facility there!

Picture Copyright 2014, Ramon Gandia

Detail of Antenna

Here you can actually see the antenna. It is the whip at the center of the picture. The antenna is about 35 feet above ground level.

Harry Nielsen (a future ham!) welded up the antenna mount and actually made the trip up there in the bucket truck to mount it.

Picture Copyright 2014, Ramon Gandia

The Permanent Repeater

This is the Kenwood TKR-820 UHF repeater. The Duplexer is internal. This repeater unit belongs to RAM, Inc, in Nome, AK and has been permanently placed in Unalakleet. Presently the repeater parameters are:

  • Repeater Transmit: 444.900
  • Repeater Receives: 449.900
  • Repeater PL Tone: 103.5

Picture Copyright 2014, Ramon Gandia

The IRLP computer Node Unit

IRLP appears on the Unalakleet repeater thanks to this Embedded Node produced by David Cameron, VE7LTD in Vancouver, BC. Contained in this little case is an Intel motherboard, and the various ports such as parallel, serial, USB and ethernet. It uses a solid state drive and is fanless, so it has NO moving parts.

Users in Unalakleet can steer the IRLP node 3289 to whatever reflector or node they wish, *BUT* it will revert to reflector 9006 -- the Alaska Bush Channel on the hour and half hour. This is done so if someone moves the node, and they forget to set it back, it will come back to 9006 automagically. Of course, it announces when it does this, and can again be changed by the user if she so wishes.

The Node and Repeater belong to RAM, Inc; the radio club in Nome, AK., who have very graciously placed it in Unalakleet.

The IRLP backbone network enables Unalakleet to access the *Entire* world with nothing more than a handheld radio. It is a marvel.

Currently the City of Unalakleet is providing the internet connection and space for the equipment. Thanks and Kudos to the City Administration and officials!

Picture Copyright 2015, David Cameron

Picture Copyright 2014, Dennis Weidler

Succesful Testing Session

Here is a picture of the group that tested -and passed - at the testing session held in Unalakleet Feb 27, 2014. From left to right:

CVE Ramon Gandia AL7X;
Reid Tulloch KL3VI;
Leona Grishkowsy KL3VG;
VE Rolland Trowbridge KD8JOU;
Allen Sagoonick KL3VH;
Jeff Erickson KL3VF;
and Keith Crawford KL3VE.

Not shown is VE Dennis Weidler KL1OE, who took the picture.

Subsequently, Talon Erickson, Aged 15 and a student at the Unalakleet High School, came to Nome on 3/31/2014 and passed his Technician Class examination. His call sign is KL3WE, and his testing score 100%, which is quite rare ...