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GMRS / FRS - Discussions related to GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) and FRS (Family Radio Service) communications

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Old 09-10-2016, 6:17 PM
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Default GE High Power Repeater!

I just bought a full-sized GE MASTR II repeater for $199.99. If nothing else, the two power supplies and two 100 watt continuous duty amplifiers are worth far more than the entire unit, so I don't think I got a bad deal...

...especially if I part out the 2nd amp and power supply. I plan to keep only one amp and set it for 50 watts continuous duty.

I already have a Decibel DB4076W-A copper duplexer that should work well with this.
Quote:
This is the high power version of the GE MASTR II repeater, it has the typical rack mountable MASTR II with two additional RF power amplifiers and power supplies. The Combination Number is VCS5TAD88B. The repeater is currently on 454.650 R / 459.650 T, and was used for a short time as a GMRS repeater. The RF output was recently measured at 160 watts continuous output.This is a large floor mounted cabinet that measures 69" H, 23" W, 21" D, weight is 400 lbs. Operates from 120 VAC single phase power.
Now I just need to make arrangements for a friend to drive me up to Milwaukee in his pickup truck to haul this H U G E monster back down to Hammond, Indiana.


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Last edited by N4GIX; 09-10-2016 at 6:34 PM..
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Old 09-10-2016, 6:29 PM
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The RF amps are not linear, but Class C for RF. There is a splitter from the first PA that feeds the two PA amps and the outputs are combined going to the antenna / duplexer. You may get 40 to 50 watts from the PA in the RX/TX shelf. So there are three PA's in that combo..
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Old 09-10-2016, 6:40 PM
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Originally Posted by cmdrwill View Post
The RF amps are not linear, but Class C for RF. There is a splitter from the first PA that feeds the two PA amps and the outputs are combined going to the antenna / duplexer. You may get 40 to 50 watts from the PA in the RX/TX shelf. So there are three PA's in that combo..
Thanks, I've corrected my post. It's been nearly 30 years since I sold my GESS so haven't been around or touched a MASTR II for a long time. Fortunately International Crystal is still in business, so once I have it in hand I can send them the 2C ICOMS for re-crystaling to my frequency pair.

The company I bought this from says they have another, identical repeater for liquidation. I'm seriously thinking of buying it while I'm already there with a pickup truck.
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TK-840(N), TK-880-1, 2xTYT-7800, 2xUV5R v2+, HP1, BCD436HP, TMV7A, 2xRitron RRX-450 Repeater, MD-380, XPR7550, 2xCS800, BCR-40U Repeater, IC-7300, G5RV-JR
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Old 09-11-2016, 11:05 PM
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That frequency pair seems backwards. Was this used for an IMTS telephone base station?
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Old 09-12-2016, 12:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RFI-EMI-GUY View Post
That frequency pair seems backwards. Was this used for an IMTS telephone base station?
Likely. That would have been channel "QF" for UHF IMTS. Well designed high duty cycle repeater like this would have been a good choice.

I've got a VHF version similar to that up in an attic space at work. 350 watt PA. Used to feed crossed yagis on the roof pointed at a satellite over the Pacific for beaming remote classroom audio to/from south pacific islands. Long since shut down. Had to pull the yagi's off the building for reroofing, went to a couple of local hams. The repeater is still in the attic. As far as we can tell it was placed up there and the original roof built around it.
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Old 09-12-2016, 1:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmckenna View Post
Likely. That would have been channel "QF" for UHF IMTS. Well designed high duty cycle repeater like this would have been a good choice.

I've got a VHF version similar to that up in an attic space at work. 350 watt PA. Used to feed crossed yagis on the roof pointed at a satellite over the Pacific for beaming remote classroom audio to/from south pacific islands. Long since shut down. Had to pull the yagi's off the building for reroofing, went to a couple of local hams. The repeater is still in the attic. As far as we can tell it was placed up there and the original roof built around it.
Those telephone company stations reminded me of the time (1982?) I traced some VHF Public Safety interference to a telephone office in Rockford Illinois. They had some very ancient Motorola VHF base stations (Pre MSY?) (with bad PS filters) located right inside the CO. The stations looked like they were waxed and polished every week like the rest of the equipment. Quite unlike the LMR gear I was used to seeing installed at awful PS and commercial sites back then.

Would that have been the ATS satellites? I got into listening to one of those (ATS-6?) back in the late 80's using an AOR MX3000 receiver and a discone with preamp. I have some recordings of Baha'i' Faith-ful operating a round table amongst all the islands and state side. That and fleetsatcom got me pretty interested in AMSAT.
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Old 09-12-2016, 9:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RFI-EMI-GUY View Post
That frequency pair seems backwards. Was this used for an IMTS telephone base station?
I honestly do not know the history of this specific repeater so don't know what those frequencies were used for.

So, what are your opinions about this purchase? Is it worth the $199.99 I paid for it?

The reason I ask is that they said they have two others in as good condition as this, one UHF and the other VHF. If they will sell the other two for the same price each, I might just as well buy them and haul 'em back home while I'm there with a truck!
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Old 09-12-2016, 9:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RFI-EMI-GUY View Post
Those telephone company stations reminded me of the time (1982?) I traced some VHF Public Safety interference to a telephone office in Rockford Illinois. They had some very ancient Motorola VHF base stations (Pre MSY?) (with bad PS filters) located right inside the CO. The stations looked like they were waxed and polished every week like the rest of the equipment. Quite unlike the LMR gear I was used to seeing installed at awful PS and commercial sites back then.

Would that have been the ATS satellites? I got into listening to one of those (ATS-6?) back in the late 80's using an AOR MX3000 receiver and a discone with preamp. I have some recordings of Baha'i' Faith-ful operating a round table amongst all the islands and state side. That and fleetsatcom got me pretty interested in AMSAT.
I believe it was called "PeaceSat", but that's from documentation I found when I took over this job. A few years before my time. Actually, when I took over, I found this thing still plugged in and running in the attic. It wasn't keyed, but it was on. The audio feed to it had long since been cut elsewhere. I went up and unplugged it and probably saved us a chunk of change on our electric bill. Capacitors likely cooked, so I doubt it would power up again without copious amounts of smoke.
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Old 09-12-2016, 9:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N4GIX View Post
I honestly do not know the history of this specific repeater so don't know what those frequencies were used for.

So, what are your opinions about this purchase? Is it worth the $199.99 I paid for it?

The reason I ask is that they said they have two others in as good condition as this, one UHF and the other VHF. If they will sell the other two for the same price each, I might just as well buy them and haul 'em back home while I'm there with a truck!
The amplifiers might have value to the amateur radio crowd, and I'm sure there's someone who'd love to have a high power 70cm repeater.
Other than that, scrap value, the weight of steel alone, would be worth something. If you scrapped out the useable parts you might be able to make some money off of it. Then again, that isn't figuring the cost of transportation.
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Old 09-12-2016, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by mmckenna View Post
Then again, that isn't figuring the cost of transportation.
The transportation cost will be a single trip in a V6 Chevy pickup truck about 300 miles round trip, plus sore back from helping load and unload them...

As stated in my OP, I plan to pare down the one I bought to use as my primary GMRS repeater, and sell the left over parts on fleaBay. If I buy the other UHF repeater, I will likely donate it to the NSEA (North Shore Emergency Association) to replace one of their aging GMRS repeaters, of which they have four currently operational.
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Old 09-15-2016, 5:42 PM
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I had my handyman drive me up to Milwaukee, WI today to pickup the "monster" repeater. Good grief that bloody thing is heavy. Between us though we managed to get it loaded onto his pickup truck and secured, then trundled back down to Hammond, IN.

It was a major PITA to get the bloody thing up the front steps and placed in it's temporary home in the front area of my living room. Just the perfect accessory for anyone's dÚcor!

Eventually I'll get the 2C ICOMs re-crystalled on my GMRS frequency, tune the receiver and transmitter, and find a more appropriate home for it...
...like at a tower site!

Oh yes, Terry had quite a few 50 amp GE power supplies so I snagged another one for $20 while I was there. One can never have too many power supplies, especially those really well-built transformer GE units.

He also has a couple dozen Motorola Motrac mobile units he's giving away for the taking, but I have no use for them. I've got enough junk already!
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Old 09-15-2016, 5:55 PM
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Nice station. I'd say you made out OK. We still have M2's in service for a few of our local GMRS machines. We use them on high RF sites because they actually have a real front end, not a funnel like newer repeaters.

We can't kill them. But, that's a good thing!

Built like a tank for sure. Enjoy, they're great stations.
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