The UARC 146.62 Repeater System

Scott's Hill
Linked to the 146.62 repeater on Farnsworth Peak


GPS Location: 40 deg 37.75'N by 111 deg 34.08'W

Approximate altitude: 9996 ft (3047 m)

Winter on Scott's Hill, early 1999.  (Photo courtesy Norm Anderson, KC7YCA)
 An aerial view of Scott's Hill from March, 1999.
The UARC building is the second from the left.
Click on the image for a slightly larger version.

(Photo courtesy of Norm Anderson, KC7YCA)

The Scott's Hill repeater is linked full-time to the 146.620 Farnsworth Peak repeater with the two functioning together as a single, wide-coverage repeater.

This system combines the coverage of the Farnsworth Peak repeater with that of Scott's Hill, acting as a single repeater!  The two repeaters are now linked and operating on the same frequency so you can seamlessly go between Farnsworth and Scott's Hill coverage without having to change frequency!  For a few more details about the way the system works, go to the 146.620 Synchronous/Voting Repeater System page.

The Scott's Hill 146.62 repeater of one of several repeaters that UARC maintains, located on Scott's Hill above Brighton, Utah at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon, not too far from Guardsman Pass.

Repeater coverage and operation:

Repeater coverage - Farnsworth Peak:

Note that this repeater is also linked to the 146.62 repeater on Farnsworth Peak.  The two repeaters operate as a single repeater, on the same frequency, providing coverage from the Nevada, Idaho and Wyoming borders in northern Utah and beyond.


Building on Scott's hill - looking toward the north and east
The Scott's Hill site, looking toward the north and east with the lights of Park City visible in the background.
Click on the picture for a larger version.

About the Scott's Hill repeater:

In the mid-late 90's, UARC decided to investigate a small, cinder-block building on Scott's Hill that had been long-abandoned:  It's roof was leaking, a wooden generator shed on its south side was literally falling to the ground, providing access to the interior of the building, and the door was often noted to be swinging in the wind.  After some string-pulling and formalizing of agreements with the appropriate government entities, the club secured the permission to rehabilitate the building and install the radio gear.  For reports on the initial work to improve the building, see the Scott's Hill 1998 work party and the 1999 work party pages.

Almost from the beginning we decided that an "interesting" possibility would be not just to provide yet another repeater - or even one linked to other repeaters - but to provide, at this site, a repeater linked to the existing 146.620 repeater on Farnsworth Peak - on the same frequency as that repeater - and have the two work together to function as a single, large-area repeater.  For the signals from the users, the one transmitted from both sites would be the best of the signals received at either site.

Little steps...

Alas, while the building itself was rehabilitated fairly early on, work on the actual gear to complete the system languished for several years.  The problem?  Producing a synchronous, voting repeater system can't be built by just putting together gear in the same way that one would for a typical stand-alone repeater:  Quite a bit of the gear had to be built from the ground up.  The original plan called for a full-duplex microwave link between the two sites providing both signaling, frequency references and telemetry and while some of that gear was eventually completed, it was largely being done by very few people.  As often happens, the initial enthusiasm wanes over time as the enormity of the task becomes increasingly apparent - so things just didn't happen.

In the intervening years the building hadn't gone completely unused:  Around the time of the 2002 winter Olympics the site was home to some of the gear used to provide communications for security at several of the venues and it has seen intermittent use for other purposes as well, but we never actually completed the bulk of the gear to bring the original plan to fruition.  In 2005, UARC acquired a GE Mastr II rack-mount base station and there were some plans to install it as a stand-alone 2-meter repeater (not on 146.620) on site to assess the coverage, but with the onset of the winter and the sudden illness of one of those working on the project, this never happened.

Flash forward:

In 2005, Clint, KA7OEI, who had been working on the original concept gear, had the opportunity to construct a UHF synchronous and voting repeater system for his employer.  For that project, a different approach was taken using minimally-modified commercial radio gear, GPS frequency references, and constructing from the ground up only a few critical pieces.  With the success of this project, lessons had been learned and the concepts behind the more "minimalist" approach had been proven.

It wasn't until the summer of 2009 that serious discussion had gotten underway to finally complete the original project, building on experience gained in 2005.  As with that earlier project, instead of building the majority of the radio gear from the ground up, serious efforts would be made to use as much of the original gear already installed on Farnsworth as possible and use modified commercial gear for the new site on Scott's, building only those pieces that were necessary to make the entire system work together.

The Scott's Hill repeater and installation crew
The crew of the October 10, 2009 Scott's Hill repeater installation, with the repeater itself in the background.  Left-to-right:  Bruce KI7OM, Clint KA7OEI, Gordon K7HFV, and John K7ALA.
Click on the picture for a larger version.

With these more-definite goals in mind, a flurry of activity ensued:  The GE repeater that had been "almost" installed in 2005 was re-worked, UHF link radios were obtained and modified, additional cavities and filters were acquired and/or built and antennas were constructed.  At the same time, the various pieces of additional gear - such as the frequency controllers and the receiver voting system were being constructed and tested as completed.

The first major work party to Scott's Hill to complete the system occurred on August 29 and this effort saw the installation of the transmit and receive 2-meter antennas plus the installation of a 70cm Yagi for the link to Farnsworth.  This was followed later by a trip to Farnsworth on September 9 to make initial preparation for the installation of the gear at that site in the existing 146.62 rack and to make some minor modifications to allow the existing repeater controller to be interfaced with the new receiver voting controller.

On October 10, 2009, another work party was assembled and the radio gear was installed at Scott's Hill for the first time.  Initial testing with the repeater in a "stand-alone" mode (that is, Scott's Hill acting as an independent 146.62 repeater) showed that its coverage was more-or-less as expected, including the Park City and Heber. 

Over the "3-day weekend" of October 16-18 (and into the early-morning hours of the 19th) the rest of the gear was installed at Farnsworth Peak - with a minor tweak at Scott's - completing the system and making it fully operational.  As with any new system - especially one as complicated as this - we expected that some bugs will pop up and adjustments will be required - and some where!

In 2010, once the winter snows had melted and we could again drive to the site (which didn't happen until July!) some additional modifications were made to Scott's - notably:

Upon arriving for our first 2010 visit, we were pleased to note that not only had everything on-site survived and was still working properly, the "up-time" on the controller indicated that it had been running - without interruption - since our last visit in mid-October 2009!

We encourage reports from those using the system - especially in those areas east of the Wasatch where the coverage will be via Scott's exclusively!

The Scott's Hill portion of the system provides coverage of the Park City area and the Heber valleys and should have good coverage of many areas in the south and west slopes of the Uintah ranges.  Additionally, it is expected to provide some coverage into Southwest Wyoming and along the I-80 corridor to Evanston, Wyoming.

Go back to the UARC repeater information page...

This page last updated on 20110110