W1BUR repeater range tests

This is for a record of which repeaters could be reached using the omnidirectional J-pole antenna ~ 40 meters elevation. Distances are estimated using the RepeaterBook app. Test done with Yaesu FT-5100, which is an ailing old radio subject to intermod due to receiver overload. It’s an old design that needs to be replaced.

Although range is strongly a function of terrain and repeater elevation, using numerous repeaters to verify “not working” gives an idea of system performance.

Currently (Nov 2017), the maximum range to repeaters from W1BUR omni J-pole VHF/UHF antenna is approximately:

70cm: 10 miles 2m: 5 miles

This seems to be very limited range. I tried to segment receiver issues from transmit issues. I think the Yaesu receiver is not bad (though it’s not too good either). This points to a coax or antenna problem.

Further diagnosis would require wattmeter & dummy load at antenna to test.


freq (MHz) callsign distance (mi) notes
145.23 W1BOS 2.7 very strong, Boston, MA
145.43 W1MRA 4.9 very strong, Belmont, MA
147.03 W1TKZ 5.3 strong, Newton, MA 50 watt kerchunk
146.64 W1MHL 6.9 moderate, Waltham, MA
146.67 W1BRI 8.5 moderate, Quincy, MA 50 Watt kerchunk
freq (MHz) callsign distance (mi) notes
449.725 W1XM 1.2 very strong
446.325 W1CLA 1.4 very strong
444.7 W1KRU 2.4 strong
444.6 W1TKZ 5.3 weak, fluttery, kerchunk @ 35 watts
449.075 W1MHL 6.9 moderate signal, 5 watts
442.7 W1MRA 10.1 very weak, kerchunk @ 5 watts
442.5 AE1TH 11.1 very weak, kerchunk @ 35 watts

GMRS repeaters were also tested.

freq (MHz) location distance (mi) notes
462.625 Fenway 1  
462.625 Cambridge 3  

Not working

These repeaters were not reachable even at full power. When I get time I’ll try to verify with HT at top floor (in case repeater was just off-air or not reachable due to terrain or interference.).

freq (MHz) callsign distance (mi) notes
147.36 W1LJO 5.3 Newton, MA
146.91 K1SVP 9.4 Saugus, MA
146.79 N1BE 10.1 Weston, MA
147.015 W1DVG 11.4 Lynn, MA
146.715 KC1US 11.7 N. Reading, MA
147.12 W1DC 16.7 Billerica, MA
freq (MHz) callsign distance (mi) notes
442.75 WA1GPO 5.3 Newton, MA
443.05 KC2LT 6.9 Waltham, MA
449.825 N1OMJ 9.3 Woburn, MA
447.025 W1CLA 11.7 Burlington, MA
446.775 W1DYJ 11.7 Burlington, MA
446.525 WA1RHN 12.2 Reading, MA
449.125 W1CLA 13.3 Natick, MA
449.425 K1BFD 13.3 Canton, MA
441.9 K1KZP 14.2 Wilmington, MA
443.975 W1ZSA 16.1 Walpole, MA
freq (MHz) location distance (mi) notes
462.55 Quincy 8