A huge repeater upgrade is coming for the Southwest Missouri Regional Skywarn Repeater Network. It has been a few months since they updated the status of the Buffalo, Missouri Skywarn Repeater at 147.180 MHz. You may remember that a little over a year ago they began asking for donations to help pay the expenses to relocate the repeater from its present home atop a water tower which is slated for demolition. With thanks to the many generous hams who pitched in, $5,000 was raised in a little more than 6 months. This funding was needed to replace the existing equipment including the coax hardline and the antenna as well as to pay for a professional tower climber.
As they continued to wait for word from the city as to when the new water tower would be built, a very exciting new door was opened earlier this year. The Southwest Missouri Regional Skywarn Repeater Network is thrilled to announce that television station KRBK Fox 5 has graciously opened their doors to to them by offering tower space atop their 475-foot-tall transmission tower in northeastern Polk County near the unincorporated community of Polk, Missouri!
What does this mean, and how will this affect their repeater coverage?
A true measurement of the usability of any antenna site is something known as Height Above Average Terrain (H.A.A.T). H.A.A.T. is an industry standard measurement when it comes to determining coverage of VHF and UHF signals.
Height Above Average Terrain is calculated by determining the exact height above sea level at ground level of a tower site compared with the height above sea level of surrounding terrain extending away from the antenna site in all directions. You then add the height above ground of the antenna into the mix, and you get your H.A.A.T. Antenna sites located at the bottom of a valley can sometimes have a negative Height Above Average Terrain value. Sites located atop precipitous mountaintops can have a H.A.A.T. value of several thousand feet. The higher the H.A.A.T, the further a VHF or UHF signal’s ground wave will travel.
The Height Above Average Terrain of the current Buffalo repeater’s antenna atop the condemned water tower is 190 feet. With its new home atop the KRBK-DT Polk, Missouri tower, the new H.A.A.T. will be 371 feet! This will essentially double the Height Above Average Terrain and help Skywarn to fill coverage gaps toward the northern and northwestern portions of the Springfield, Missouri County Warning Area.
When will the repeater move to this new site?
Ground has already been broken on this project, but a lot of work is still needed. Early last June the brand new antenna (pictured to the left side-mounted onto the KRBK television tower in Polk, MO) and coaxial hardline were installed by a professional tower climber. Due to space limitations inside KRBK’s transmitter building, Skywarn is required to construct their own small building in which to house the repeater equipment. Unfortunately, when they calculated the budget for this project last year, they did not know that they would need to build a small building for their equipment. That is because the opportunity to operate from the KRBK tower did not exist at the time.
Thanks to the folks at Meek’s in Springfield, MO they were able to purchase the lumber needed for this structure at cost. They also thank the folks at Rite-Way Concrete Products in Springfield, MO for donating the concrete footings needed. However, despite these generous donations by these companies, they are still over budget.
While they are working on constructing this small building to house the repeater at the new site, they do not have an exact timeline as to when they can get it completed.
To help defray the unanticipated costs of having to construct their own repeater shack, Southwest Missouri Regional Skywarn is turning to you, the amateur radio community, for help. They are hoping to raise an additional $1,000 to help close this gap in our budget. You can donate online via PayPal by clicking here. Or you can make a check or money order payable to: 49 Repeater Group.
Then mail it to:
49 Repeater Group
P.O. Box 246
Willard, MO 65781-0246
Southwest Missouri Regional Skywarn thanks everyone who has contributed in the past, and they thank all of you in advance who are able to help them pay for this new and exciting opportunity to take the Buffalo Repeater at 147.180 MHz. to an exciting new level. This will bring Skywarn coverage into new areas and improve coverage in existing areas that the current repeater serves.
Southwest Missouri Regional Skywarn thanks you for your support!