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GB3FC England flag England

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GB3FC :- Serving Radio Amateurs in Blackpool and the Fylde coast, It's located at the NORBRECK CASTLE HOTEL Queens Promenade BLACKPOOL since 1981

LATEST info added :-August,N.A.R.S.A  RALLY 2018  - new date Sunday April 29th 2018 Please be shure to up date your dairy. TOWN CENTRE COVERAGE ISSUES EXPLAINED (PLEASE SEE BELOW). June, GB7FF  & MB7IBP FUSION REPEATER IN BLACKPOOL OPERATIONAL, April, WORLD AMATEUR RADIO DAY 18 APRIL, Voice ident question answered, Rally update (towards the bottom of the page)

NARSA RALLY 2018 , Corrected Date. is now 29th OF APRIL 2018  PLEASE BE SURE TO CORRECT, IT IN YOUR DIARY!



The question Is there a problem has been quietly growing for some time, with the popularity of portable radios its highlited the problem, but thrown up another question.

That being "Is there a BLACK HOLE that is quietly growing bigger and bigger"

Due to repeater location, and antenna's there appears to be issues with users in and around Blackpool town centre, and beond. Please understand with construction work since the 2005 site move of the repeater and local geography coverage problems are getting worse. Large buildings directly north of the Winter Gardens, and the land mass riseing up around Cocker Square Parts of both the town centre and south shore are difficult to impossible to get thro to the repeater with hand portable equipment.

For digital users GB7FF & GB7FO are located close by and east of the town centre, and are not affected by the problem.

Analogue users MB7IBP on 145.2375 is co located and available for use (thanks to Alan G0WDA)

While trying to find a fix for the coverage issue with GB3FC many hours trying to figure work arounds trying to find a lasting realistic workable fix have been considered.

Trying to get a clearer understanding of all the issues only resulted in more questions / problems:- land mass of the town centre and south shore are at low levels the ground rises up quite noticably fromNorth Pier up talbot road and north, the east side of the black hole along park road - land mass dips down towards the coast even though street maps dont give much information, consider the following roads all have quite a slope Adelide street, Albert Road , Charnley Road, Read's Avenue. All have large buildings, makeing matters worse.

Futher South:- Condor Grove, Cunliffe Road rise sharply. Large structures the new football stadum & complex.

All roads have quite a slope riseing up as you travle east, With looking futher trying to understand with Tall buildings, multy story car parks, The new council offices Completed recently, the conclusion that the black hole has got bigger, the repeater is not located on Blackpool tower but futher north With Both land mass and buildings causing large obsticles.

Further south and possibly a futher cause of historical problems in south Fylde, runs the old marton Elevated railway route, cutting east west from southshore to the helter skelter roundabout (near the end of m55) due to the local terrain the Elevated Route is between 20 and 40 feet high, in places with Trees growing to the side some easily reaching 20 feet above the level of the elevated road. Stations South of the elevated route have prooved it again is all but impossible to get a clear signal into the repeater without use of a high antenna lifting signals out of the Rf shadow from Yeadon way.

With considering and attempting a suitable fix, with constraints of what would be allowed no practical (workable) answer has yet been found, Blackpool tower is a grade 2 listed building and additional antenna have been a issue in past years. one solution may be to connect GB3FC to the internet allowing local connects, this could be the only practicle fix that will work and keep working, while other RF type fixes could be only limited and subject to issues of new construction projects and other limitations / constraints.

Hopefully this has been of some help to explain as to why FC has a problem, sadly it does not fix anything. But finding an answer that would suit everyone will take a little longer. Please keep checking back to the Page for updates as (hopefully) things start to happen.



ANOTHER DATE FOR YOUR DAIRY:- Please Make note, just days after the rally and a good reason to get to the air, In 2025 it will be the Centenary!

for more info please see :- http://iaru.org/world-amateur-radio-day.html

3102+ hits THANK YOU, up to September 24 (2016) from October 2014 the number of hits on this page, has averaged 1550 /per year ,  Hopefully users / viewers have found the info / help useful.

Since I started this page in 2010 viewings this year are almost x5  of that first year.

Thanks for your interest...


NARSA 2014 Rally  (L to R) Rob 2E0FFS  John M0JFE & Toby  Steve G6AOS  Peter  G0VXN

GB3FC IS ON CHANNEL RU 68 THAT'S 430.850 TX + 7.6 mhz -  82.5 ctcss tone, there is NO 1750 TONE ACCESS NARROW DEVIATION (is required)


Firstly a very big Thank You FOR 35+ YEARS. To our Site owners, GB3FC is sited at the ever popular NORBRECK CASTLE HOTEL, who have kindly allowed us to use their excellent site over the years.

GB3FC is sited at the North end of the building (Looking East) Carlton Polton-le-Fylde (Looking North-west) Cleveleys & Fleetwood (Looking south-east) Layton flats (Demolished in 2015/6) and the tower

THE FYLDE COAST REPEATER GROUP came to being on 24th of April 1981.

Permission for the site was granted to use the NORBRECK CASTLE HOTEL on July 10th 1981, and with obtaining a suitable Nov * [ see below] to allow setting up of a repeater Gb3FC's transmissions commenced on 4th of October 1981 and GB3FC was reborn with founding members from the THORNTON CLEVELEYS A.R.C. THE FYLDE COAST REPEATER GROUP'S first AGM was on 16th July 1982 with 30 members. FC previously was sited on Mowbray drive, Layton but that site was lost, due to the site owners going into receivership and the site locked up by the receiver, GB3FC aerials and Hardware were almost lost it then was part of another repeater group responsible for GB3RF.

From 1981 to 99 GB3FC Was located on the high tower on the north wing of the Norbreck Castle Hotel, its since been moved to the south tower In 2005 the repeater was moved again to a different part of the building due to site refurbishment, as result antennas are much lower than before and located futher north on the building resulting in coverage problem's south, to affect a cure to this problem In mid 2006 GB3FC became a wide spaced repeater it's coverage is Primary for Blackpool and the Fylde m55. It can be heard / used on the m6 between junctions 29 thro 36 It may be heard / used on parts of the m61 / m65 also, Coverage depending upon terrain and conditions and more importantly your mobile configuration. A fair test with a mobile is with a ERp of 25 watts, but please remember vehicle size (height) is important.

In Late 2015, the Pye repeater was retierd after 19 years service, it has now been replaced by a KEY (Kyodo) KF450 Repeater with voice announcements

(with thanks to Tim G4WIM - for his help with testing and alinement of the gear)

Coverage:- Users have told me its getting heard better than the old Pye unit, and with good results.

Thanks to Brian 2E0TOG, John M0JVW for the reports while out and about & with fedback  from locals and visitors Fc is being heard / used.

Im told coverage NORTH with the extra power & the antennas in the clear has improved noticably.

SOUTH, has improved with the extra power, but as expected with terrain there can still be some issues the computer plot for FC suggests Lytham and StAnnes Seafront can be a problem due to the height of buildings and the topography, (it's below the horizon)

EAST towards Kirkham & Freckelton, Has improved the road from Wrea Green south was particularly bad previously.

West / South West, No new reports yet.

At one time FC was workable from the seafront on the isle of man, Additionally from Llundudno & Anglesey.


There were a number of black spots in parts of Blackpool, South Fylde and Preston but unlike some repeaters GB3FC is not located on top of a 1000 ft hill or Blackpool Tower as sometimes assumed.

Blackspots and coverage does very much depend on your operating conditions in addition to band conditions.

Please see gallery picture(s) on page to give you a better idear of site take off for coverage. Thease were taken in 1996 and has been pieced together - picture's were taken from prints and has been quite difficult to piece together from what was on file while not perfect but is not easily replaced as the high vantage point from where pictures were taken is no longer accessable.

GB3FC - Location = North shore Blackpool just north of Bispham its on the coast. Look Slightly north of center of the fylde coastline. FOR A BETTER VIEW PLEASE SEE GB3FC COVERAGE map available from uk repeater.net

Coverage map Key :- Blue = Predicted Good / Useable siginal area Violet = Poor areas (expect some drop out) - COVERAGE IS ALSO AFFECTED BY BAND CONDITIONS - COVERAGE AREA IS A COMPUTER PREDICTION BUT IS NOT GARUNTEED, Like all repeaters GB3FC DOES have limits, from the topography to the antenna is all of relevance to overall performance. You need to Listen on 430.850 and transmit on 438.450. The repeater needs a 82.5hz CTCSS

there is nolonger any 1750 access.

GB3FC Key repeater

With Inbuilt mains PSU (shiney anodised box center rear)

White units (LEFT TO RIGHT) :- Tx Exciter, RX unit, Media Player

Black Switching control unit (center)

NOTE:- Additional led's and switching (main panel - left)

Black panel (above repeater) is the duplexer

Repeater Output stage is at rear (not visable in this picture)

For a Slightly clearer photo - Please see futher down the page.

Echolink - Other modes, NO PLANS at present

GB7FO and GB7FF are both located in the Blackpool area (Dmr & Fusion)

GB3LF and GB3OA & GB3RF Are also internet linked - please check The ETCC repeater page for current status.


My Thanks to ALL Amateurs Past and Present who have given their time, help & support keeping GB3FC alive - while other repeaters are no longer operational AND SOME GROUPS NOLONGER EXIST (for various reasons)

Thank You.

 (other pictures available on request - as trying to keep page to managable size!)

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND WHAT AND WHY A REPEATER IS OPERATIONAL not only as a voice repeater but a propigation indicator for other users - GB3FC has a great sea path across to Anglesey and is useful to others near and far, please see the Repeater section of your RSGB Yearbook as It gives both predictions for coverage of most UK repeaters and how a repeater works.

WHILE USEING ANY REPEATER PLEASE OBSERVE THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF YOUR LISCENCE As directed by part 2 of your liscence document YOU NEED TO GIVE YOUR Call Sighn(s) REGULARLY when useing any repeater. Please leave GAPS it gives others a chance, ie mobile's and somone else wishing to perhaps call in.

V.O.X   A  Reminder to users with shack in a box type rigs

Please ensure your VOX is turned off while monitoring the repeater channel, as simply with CCTSS engaged, any noise in your shack of 0.5 second or more will either be relayed, or cause the repeater to be triggered, every time. Causing annoyence to others and possible embarrasment!.. thanks.

Amateurs Code You mite like to try this link, for some words of wisdom written some time ago :- W9EEA (please click the link) Many of which still have relevant today.

PLEASE REMEMBER TO GIVE YOUR CALLSIGHN REGULARLY WHEN USEING THE REPEATER. You have earned your callsighn, remember " to use it.." Your callsighn should be given with sufficent frequency to identify you. Advice on this from RSGB previous years was:- you should give "your" callsign at beginning and end of each transmission. however the CURRENT RSGB Repeater operation Page suggests this & imedietly contradicts its self. saying "Though it would not be given on every over!" SADLY THIS SITUATION IS MORE CONFUSED BY THE 15 MINUTE RULE WHEN ON SIMPLEX. A PERSON GIVING A CALLSIGN ONCE EVERY 15 MINUTES ON A REPEATER IS INSUFFICENT. To make matters simple for all to give YOUR CALLSIGN " ONCE" with each transmission would make sence FOR ALL, should you have a problem with this please think of me... Everyone gets my callsign wrong (well at least once) and I never got the choice of callsigns years ago- ITS A TOUNG TWISTER with too many vouls and consinents!

PLEASE NOTE GB3FC IS AN AMATEUR REPEATER -ITS NOT A CB CHANNEL Should you hear strange noises on the repeater, Please stand by or check later when normal service is resumed, ITS NOT YOUR PRIVATE CB CHANNEL EITHER, KINDLY REMEMBER THIS, As GB3FC Has all kinds of listeners, Liscenced and unliscenced it's located on a public building we have been allowed us to use their site. GB3FC USERS MUST REMEMBER THIS AND ACT ACCORDINGLY As I have Told users over the years

"You Never Know WHO'S LISTENING"

Well it happened to me in 2016 - While in Victoria Hospital (of all Places!)

A Police Officer  "I know your Voice..." he said, Not only did he come out with my Callsign but my Name as well.

ACTIVE SOUND SYSTEMS, buisness radio and other on site services with the site, there is a real possability GB3FC could come thro as unnessicary breakthro on speakers or thro other equipment. Why chance loseing the site, because of careless talk alternative site's are not readily available and could result in a perminant loss of service to the local amateur community. relocation would take months if relocation is at all possible. Rag Chewers and club nets are well advised to use a simplex frequency where ever and when ever possible.The RSGB rightly point out when someone is using a repeater "IT IS NOT ONLY RADIO AMATEURS, BUT MANY OTHERS WHO LISTEN TO VOICE REPEATERS" I fully endorse this as both repeater keeper and Nov holder and all users MUST remember this when using GB3FC as its Notice of Variation [N.o.v"] is on MY LISCENCE Kindly keep your dialogue of both a light hearted and sensible nature as NOT TO OFFEND Sadly this fact is sometimes forgotten by users new and old who sometimes should know better. please DO leave a gap else as discribed by a user (thanks -  chris nzn) "sounds a bit like Monty P as stations were talking over each other! - Again"

The Best list of do's and dont's I ever saw was on a American website in 2011, and titeled the 10 commandments, stateing precisely what you could / should not do and in VERY Clear No Quibble term's, as FC is located on a public building with ACTIVE SOUND SYSTEMS (24 / 7) please BE AWARE. It shouldn't happen but "please be aware" AND err on the side of caution, As I did at the 2012 Blackpool rally the echo in the main hall while I was haveing a quick word on the repeater from radios running round the hall while it was not excessive it was quite disconcerting - if it does via the sound system IT CAN AND HAS echoed across the carpark it's something else, but with Deregulation and LPD's on 70 cms kindly remember this when using the repeater. if you need more information about repeaters additionally please see :- http://www.ukrepeater.net/operating.htm


However lets hope unwitting repeater users don't end up on the "sound stage" as there is serious potental of you being overheard, and even being the Cabaret for the evening. People ask IF they can book tickits.

As for OTHER REPEATERS users cought out already on youtube! kindly remember this when using the repeater, please DO use the repeater sensibly as it is a valuable resource of 35 plus years standing service and imposing a curfew defeat's the object of having a repeater.

DONT TRY THIS AT HOME (or on the repeater - thanks) Altitude sickness anyone?

Click for demo :- THE HAMBAND

If one wants to put the world to rights,,, please do so  "but use a SIMPLEX frequency " 

As it allows others chance to use the repeater AS NEEDED.

If your tranmitting for 5 minutes  kindly leave a GAP(s)


LET THE CARRIER DROP or  THE REPEATER WILL TIME YOU OUT!   and so anyone wishing to join / use the repeater can join in.


WHEN CALLING ON THE REPEATER:- Kindly remember GB3FC is not for just calling one's friend's - W H Y NOT CALL C Q

But please  - Call just once do you really expect an answer? (yes people still do it and no they dont get a answer!)

why not call several times then someone with a scanner MITE hear you! (giving the scanner time to lock on the repeater.

give it a fair crack, WELL CALL AT LEAST THREE TIMES (a longer call gives better chance for someone to hear you) PLEASE CALL AND LISTEN ! and perhaps call again just incase as happened to me, someone calls - I cant always answer straight away, then when I am able to answer "TOO LATE THEY WENT!" as happen's, You never know who might pop up why not give it a try? ! Why not use FC as a meeting / calling point, IF you can QSY Simplex please do so Leaving FC Clear and available for others to use. Listening is great, but with 6 listeners and no one calling, who knows your all there?

For more information were amateurs help people / emergency services and on events you mite like do a search for RAYNET Do you remember Lockerbie ? RAYNET members from this and other areas were all called in for emergency communications as Emergency Services Radios could not cope. (Click highlight's for more info on raynet)

NARSA RALLY  BLACKPOOL,  The Norbreck Castle Hotel Has been the location for many years now GB3FC IS LOCATED upstairs (why not come along and bring your handy with you and see who you may meet there)

NARSA RALLY 2018   APRIL 29th.. (See you there ?)      --- PLEASE TELL YOUR FRIENDS - Dont forget APRIL 18th is World Amateur Radio Day

HELP AND ADVICE by STEVE    photo of sunny Blackpool (with the seasiders Quartet) Always there ready to lend a hand / Foot.

Sometimes, things dont quite work as expected, Here is a little help with questions that I have been regularly asked.


DO IT ONCE AND ITS DONE!  but save it to 3 different memory slots. (just incase)

some of these rigs a long button press and its gone!

In the case of my friends (left) lots of help and advice, just ask!

The 7.6 shift:- The reason's why we are running a wide spaced repeater is because single aerial working was essential due to the repeater's previous antennas and their resited locations, to make the repeater viable it was suggested by RON G8CXR/ M0FWD to go Single antenna / wide spaced and has since proved worthwhile, additionally its helped reduce Blackspot's, it caused a lot of people problem's of how to program the shift and use both 1.6 and 7.6 shift easily without having to reset every time. The Good news the Coverage problem due to previously a very low tx antenna shielded by the building has been overcome.

The Replacement duplexer and the repeaters increased power without de-sence of the receiver.  Has given good service improveing coverage helping reduce blackspots, and Thanks to A kind benifactor (with Thanks to Adrian GM1FML)

The Simplest way to use the 7.6 shift in most radios is to program that and the relevant CTCSS tone (82.5hz) to a memory and then simply use FC from the Memory in your radio (but Easier Said than done as People tell me!) Kindly refer to your handbook, why not ask at the local radio club if your having problem's? However GB3FC will ONLY work with CTCSS now. With Older equipment you may find it nessicary to reduce your transmitter deviation - GB3FC is NARROW FM, memories are Useful for presetting repeater and to "simplify" operation pre-set CTCSS tones, any shift as required. any relevant band. to simplify user operation at any time why not program a memory? While some radios are hard to program, others are quite easy, Once you have mastered the basics, why not program ALL the channels (favorites even) your likely to need into memory, FOR VHF and UHF, The Benefits, Simple, ease of use, you get to the frequency or channel you want and its all there pre-set. Handy while out mobile or portable or at home, by using Memory as simple mode all you need to do is to scan memories, and where it stops your ready to transmit, if one can break down programming into simple steps, or program via a PC, having difficulty why not ask a friend?

CRACKLING NOISES ON THE REPEATER they dont just affect GB3FC but similar noises can be heard during bad weather periods on other repeaters, BUT IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU AS WELL. After some debate & futher investigation. I concluded the problem to be the way the elements are put together MOST GLASSFIBER ANTENNAS have Crimped elements inside  the construction of said elements, under crimping can be a problem (aerials vibrateing in the wind) loose sections causeing problems. I soldered several LOOSE joints then varnished over them to seal joints that would / could fail.Others have grub screws as well to consider as they could shake loose but question being which solder - Electrical or Plumbing type solder?

(PLEASE NOTE:- All new WHITE STICK "GLASSFIBER"antennas should be checked for this BEFORE FITTING! grub screws should be varnished to stop them vibrateing loose)


CTCSS DOES NOT WORK :- This is a regular (SOME RIGS default IS 88.5) Please SET 82.5 hz, We are in tone zone "D"

CTCSS still does not work :- Some radios not only have a tone setting option but also a on off facility. Please ensure your equipment encode is turned on. The Repeater needs to receive 0.5 seconds of CTCSS tone BEFORE it latches the transmitter,

CTCSS works once then it stops working :- This has even caught me out, on Yaesu equipment.(ft 817) If you catch the dial accidently, and bring it back to the correct frequency it wont re access the box. Please realize by moving the dial it can reset both repeater shift, and CTCSS tone. Sadly this fix is a little more complex but it usually is the answer. You need to program it into memory once this is completed simply for different tones and shifts memory programming makes operation easy. Sadly easier said than done, some equipment is darn hard to program.

CTCSS, Works but I cant hear the repeater pip's. You de-key and theres this strange silence!, THATS CORRECT NOW,  as theres no pips!...


IT DOES NOT WORK STILL I CAN HEAR THE REPEATER, BUT... Please check, by chance are you transmitting on the output? Yes you will hear it and try and try, getting the pip from the old girl.. NO sorry it'll never work

But please be aware, various rigs (yaesu 726 / 736 for example) you can set the CTCSS and nothing happens... Be sure the CTCSS panel is fitted! The gear looks and accepts the tones as if a tone panel is fitted.

Please do not be fooled different manufacturers use different names :- CTCSS, PL tone, TSQ, QT (Quiet Talk) are all the same thing.

Weak and watery audio :- Is there something wrong with my audio? Yes Please speak up!, talk into or across the mike not at it, unless your audio settings are set to a maximum for gain and sensitivity, you should speak in a normal voice 3 inches from the microphone. Audio levels, please understand good audio correctly set can be adequate for most, there are exceptions when LOUD AND PIERCING AUDIO can be helpful to a mobile on the edge of coverage and gets thro, however EXCESSIVE AUDIO can be difficult to hear / understand on a speaker mike on a handy.

Please try to keep audio clear and "Clean!" without going over the top (thanks) GB3FC NEEDS The FM NARROW setting engaged.


Too much AUDIO, also causes GB3FC [ and other repeaters ] several other problems, Kindly ensure your Audio settings are set correctly and within sensible limits.

a LOT of background noise (mobile on the motorway - with road noise) Can be a problem as the built in AUDIO A.V.C can and does make the background noise worse. (if there is a PMR engineer with a fix for it, to work and not compound the problem, please let me know how!)

Too much WILL cause the repeater to close down as your transmission is excessively wide. TOO MUCH CTCSS TONE WILL ALSO GET THE SAME RESPONSE, (the repeater receiver Squelch opens briefly and then closes due to any transmission with EXCESSIVE DEVIATION)

High levels of compression on the audio settings on radios like the icom 706's when inadvertently left on having switched from SSB to FM can be a problem - you may find resetting audio levels for FM helpful. IF YOUR AUDIO IS TOO HIGH you will appear noticeably louder than others, through the repeater, some times it may help while other occasions it may be a problem particular if the listener is using a small speaker mike.

Local Analog Repeaters and links Info supplied (in good faith repeaters and links working at updated as info becomes available) for visitors and locals alike. :-

Local to Blackpool and Fylde - likely workable from different parts of the Fylde Coast are the following repeaters and links.

--- CALL --FREQUENCY---------TYPE------------------------ CTCSS- LOCATION / SHIFT / KEEPER--









Lytham (G4WIM)















































145.675 R AND LINK 110.9


GB3OA 145.612.5 R AND LINK 82.5


Other VHF and UHF repeaters in locality workable depending on operating conditions and power / ant and location and mode.

GB3GO 145.787.5 REPEATER 110.9 GREAT ORM
GB3RF 145.775 R AND L 82.5 EAST LANCS    DM / DMR
GB3MP 145.750 R 110.9 NORTH WALES
GB3TP 145.725 R ? KEIGHLEY
GB3EV 145.700 R 77 APPLEBY
GB3MN 145.650 R 82.5 STOCKPORT
GB3GD 145.625 R 110.9 ISLE OF MAN
GB3PP 433.375 R 82.5 PRESTON
GB3LF 433.350 R AND LINK 110.9 KENDAL
GB3WP 433.275 R 82.5 STALYBRIDGE
GB3LI 433.250 R 82.5 LIVERPOOL
GB3AN 433.200 R 110.9


GB3CR 433.150 R 110.9 CHESTER


GB3IM -R/ -C






110.9 / 71.9


-R = RAMSEY / -C = CARNANE ****

audable under lift conditions

GB 433.000 R 82.5  













Crick  Widespace


Fishponds (North East Bristol) Co-Channel under Lift conditions up to s9 !

See www.gb3bs.com for info  -







1750 TONE




for latest up to date status of the above repeaters (and any CURFEW LISTING's) please see http://www.ukrepeater.net/repeaterlist1.htm For full list.



DSTAR USERS :- Please see.. ukrepeaters D-Star Maps and List at www.ukrepeater.net/d-star.htm

the Local d-star unit is GB7LF ON DVU43 ITS OUTPUT IS ON 439.537.5 - IO84OA Repeater Keeper BOB G3VVT See www.slrg.org.uk for details



for details see  http://gb7fo.co.uk / http://www.gb7ff.co.uk  / http://www.gb7ff.co.uk/mb7ibp

for information about+-

Wires-X  see   www.cq-uk.com/wires-x

System Fusion  see  https://systemfusion.yaesu.com/what-is-system-fusion

Phoenix  see  www.dmr-uk.net/index.php/layout/


for details see http://mbars.co.uk


CQ PORTABLE RADIO USER AND INTEREST GROUP.. while beside the seaside, why not take a radio with you get some Sea Air, and work the world.. an up coming radio pass time, (somewhere between contesting and the Mountain goat award!) now appears to be fishing for world wide contacts while cooling them heals at the beach.. http://www.cqportable.webs.com

The above link takes you to the opening page with useful links and gallerys


For radio AMATEUR and CB, an interest group has started, for more details please see :- http://www.fleetwoodradiogroup.moonfruit.com/

With Meetings in Fleetwood Tuesday Evenings

OTHER POINTS (Advice on radios) Please note with today's technology radio and the face of ham radio HAS changed

As the hobby is "communications" incorperating both Analogue and digital Radio, With internet use (Linking & Chatrooms)



N.A.R.S.A. RALLY 2017 - Firstly a big thank you To Both Mr Dave Wilson and the NARSA comittee, for all their time trouble and efforts to make things go smoothly on the day... thank you one and all. Additionally to all Friends Old and New on the Day, DONATIONS on the day raised a total of £121.50 up on last year - it will go to help cover various costs incurred with the new repeater, Like all things yes there is a cost involved due to the changes, a tamper proof cover was needed in addition to field service spare boards, and other replacement items needed to complete the installation with the other duplexer, shortly the site insurance is also due, for another year.

Thank You Its been great to see so many folk on the day, I hope you got what you were looking for at the rally and netted that elusive bargin on the day.

With visitors from far and wide,my day chatting to rally visitors from Ireland, Scotland, The North East, midlands, Newzealand. As well as old friends giving help and advice (where needed) its good to put a face to that voice.

Thank you one and all for your support.

I hope visitors found the 'Vintage!' display (the Very old repeater) of interest, I'm proud of its milestones thousands of hours run time.

I'd be happy to see it go on permanant display a museum locally.

So how was the rally for you?.

I hope to hear your Rally news on Fc some time.


New diary date N.A.R.S.A 2018 -  APRIL 29th,  - PLEASE UPDATE YOUR DIARY!


GB3FC is currently funded by DONATIONS at the rally for the repeater kitty to keep the old girl running Its been mentioned several times now " There's nowhere to donate funds for the repeater upkeep" Kindly note There is a box for donations on the GB3FC stand at the Blackpool Rally. Please come along and say hello next time. While there is costs with all repeaters, as for the kindness and generosity of site managers it makes the difference as to the question, If we can countinue with limited funds, and options availble? Missed the rally but wishing to make a donation? kindly email (g6aos@blueyonder.co.uk) for treasurer details to mail your cheque to.... Thank You.



With Thanks to TIM (G4WIM) for his help with testing and alinement of the repeater and duplexer.

Photo Left (Top view of repeater) - showing the main modules (L) Tx exciter (center) Pa compartment, power supply, RX unit & control circuits (R) Voice announcer

Photo Right (Lower View of repeater) (L) AUDRINO switching modules (x2) (centre) Mother board (R) CTCSS unit

Voice announcements.

The GB3FC  beacon is set to run approximately every 15 minutes - Short and sweet (causing least disruption to users) It runs at a lower level, when the repeater is in use.

System announcement:- There is a service announcement, advising users of the changes with TONE ACCESS / PIP'S ect. Once the service message is running, please do not transmit over it, as its there for all users to hear. THIS IS ONLY ONLY SENT WHEN THE REPEATER IS IN STANDBY MODE (and users should note its NOT 24/7) If someone is transmitting when the logic goes into this announcement mode, the message IS locked out) - discontinued at present

Leaveing gaps, Timeout is set at around 7 minutes  there is a 5 second hang time, before it drops key.

(This gives other stations chance to call in should they wish)


Photo Left (view inside the receiver)

Photo Right (view inside of TX Exciter)

Plots of Receiver Passband (thanks to Tim G4WIM)

Things Users need to Know:-

1/ THERE IS NO CW IDENT [Replaced by voice announcements - after 34 years!]

2/ THERE IS NO PIP TONE Theres NO provision - Sorry!,

Please give others a chance to join in, the repeater has a 5 second hang time and then the PTT latch drops.

3/ THERE IS NO 1750 ACCESS You will need to use a CTCSS tone 82.5hz tone zone D


[You may need to reduce your deviation] the replacement GB3FC Is narrow filtering! Exessive audio will appear very broken or may not get thro, with perhaps reports of distorted audio .



Someone Asked at the 2017 Rally:- "Why  does the Repeater give a toneburst BEFORE the voice ident?"

Reason why:- So users are aware the voice announcement is automaticly generated and not a live transmission.

It has caused some confusion, with users and Tourist's alike (sorry!) its not intentional (we just moved GB3FC into the 21st Centuary)

GB3FC  uses a commercial radio system, that does not have, piptone or a 1750 access tone and it's NARROW  deviation due to the filtering used. But there is advantages with useing this type of gear. (more transmitter power, better heatsinking of the transmitter, Better filtering of the receiver, This type of receiver uses a double balenced mixer for sensativity, ITS LESS SUSCEPTIBLE to wide band noise sometimes heard on the band from other sources, There's audio AVC (Automatic Volume Control) helping to give a better thro audio for (most) users..

Being a commercial repeater, with built in Timeout timer (Tot) and Tx Hang (theres no need for pips) already, This ment the conventional type of repeater logic was either duplicating functions (or unused)  Hence a different approach has been employed with putting the Key repeater in service.

The Replacement Repeater consists of a Key KF450 Radio unit, With changes to theReceiver, and the Transmitter (cooling) and mods to the rack case and terminal board., with a inbuilt switchmode power supply. The voice announcer and additional control boards (PCB's for the Audrino Shield!) A Celwave Duplexer (Thanks Adrian - GM1FNL ) with a Shurcom-digital Media Player and additional main panel controls.

Key Radio's & Repeaters, have been used in various Amateur radio applications for some time, and have given good results, with other repeater and Raynet groups.

With Commercial users like the BBC and Channel 4 using haveing used Key radios on various broadcasts for some time, they were definately worth consideration but were not available due to cost.

Until 2014 the KF450 types has only been seen surplus with the Nokia / BSR Badges, While these use the same basic radio gear they dont have such a complex main panel. with push buttons and enhanced metering.

Mid 2014, the KF450's started appearing regularly in online auction's, going for as much as £120 each without any modifications and The CTCSS may not have been fitted. The inbuilt Mains Power unit was retro fitted to many repeaters, but its NOT the MANUFACTURERS  standard.

When the CTCSS panel is fitted there's potentally 5 eproms in the equiptment, Eproms being a Black art programming them back from the days of the 1980's and 90's, some folk have kept away from these radios (can you blame them?) I've used the eprom chip from the Key mobile (KG107 version of the radio) with a small mod the base station will work off the mobile chip, but still allowing use of the origional type chip if needed. So fitting 2 identicle mobile chips one for each radio unit, 2 other eproms are now redundant and the last is to do with the function buttons on the main panel.

I came across the KEY (also known as kyodo) mobile KG series 20 years ago with 3 versions for VHF & UHF. Being impressed with its construction & receiver proformance and the double balenced mixer it had potental, Similarly looking at the Base station Handbook the Spec and the construction, all looked very good. Looking at the modular receiver I soon realized it had better filtering than the mobile sets. Its old technology (NO surface mounted devices here AND you can work on the thing!) With Plug in modules and availability of spares the KF450 already covering the Amateur band ment to bring it on our frequency was straight forward. I modified the Recever, Tim Told me with What I had done Sensativity was at around -124 on the service unit (thanks Tim) With Future proofing the thing I tried adding privision for a Preamp but thats for the future, As tests with the Modded RX and a mutek preamp were a bit much, The preamp with a stock receiver may be a better answer With Tim's help He told me inital tests had shown a sensativity of -130.

Useing a COMMERCIAL repeater rack has caused a different problem, with already haveing some repeater control functions fitted what amateur logic do you use that does not conflict? (I started fitting An amateur logic and abandoned the idea very quickly after a week of trying)

The next thing was to find something suitable to give the repeater callsign, With Limited choice I found a less expensive option after some test and developement work, came the task of  how to fit it. Due to the Media player's unusual functionality (1 amateur logic and 3 attempts to install the media player I had a talking repeater on the bench.

Due to illness and other priorities all told its been better part of a years work, with mod's and refurbishment but thats only the story so far.

In the meantime I've written my own handbook on the work done From Fitting additional Case Bonding and Screening of RF leads, and If you recall I had said about the built in logic not argueing with the amateur control, Well it was fine on the bench. but from going on site within the first hour clearly there was somthing wrong, the Timeout timer was chopping people off mid sentence for no reason.After a weeks pondering, and a second site visit to iorn out this and another problem, The only thing I could understand on the Time control circuit was there was too many possible combinations (5 settings and a 16 position time duration switch) There was One link allowing control of the Transmit PTT for the mike socket on the main panel should a mike be fitted, so I changed the setting (what difference that mite make - I've no Idear, but it works for me)

So here we are..

## Anyone interested in the more technical side of the thing please EMAIL for more info (Please see details at the bottom of the page)

As I think Ive said enough here, without getting over complex.



Site visit (19th November 2015)

The Antenna has been replaced with a diamond x50 (thanks to Peter G0VXN)

I've already Seen a difference, with a Handy (short stubby antenna in my Jacket Pocket)  in the car on the journy home, Fc was audable all the way.

Tests from on my Base station (direct comparson) The Diamond antenna with NO RF gain GB3FC here is S2 - 3, The new antenna with No Rf gain FC was not there. AS THESE GLASS FIBER STICKS MITE ALL LOOK THE SAME, but its whats inside that counts.

The Timeout timer issue.

(New repeater - new set of Problems! - I'm just Glad theres not Two sets of logic control causing all kinds of problems)


Thanks to users who have passed their thanks & helpful comments of how the coverage has been enhanced, Im pleased to say that overall blackspot and problem area's locally appear to have been improved noticablly.

Im regularly seeing a steady siginal from the repeater, and on occaision its reaching parts even I had not expected.

GB3FC (narrow) programmed into memory.

Heard on the repeater the other day, someone mentioned they were going to program GB3FC back in with the new NARROW setting.

May I remind all users unles you have already made the nessicary adjustment to memory settings it would be advisable to do so, as soon as you change to a different memory and on your return your back on the origional wide setting.

(as it too cought me out just last week - another job for the 'to do list!')


THANKS TO GB3FC USERS FOR ENCOURAGING COMMENTS, the repeater has lived up to expectations, mostly with good reports the aditional power has ment its got a better siginal in places that were poor previously.

May I remind users to please "LEAVE GAPS"  as the repeater will time you out, and additionally for someone wishing to join / call in.

more news as things progress......

GB3FC  on  2m

Years ago (1980 > 1983) GB3FC COULD BE HEARD ON 2M. The then equipment used a power tripler in the transmitter, 20 watts of drive at VHF giving about 7 watts at uhf in a high power frequency mutplyer, as every word could be heard over 2m over a short distance. The TX was replaced FOR ONE OF A DIFFERENT TYPE.

IF YOUR HEARING SOMETHING LIKE THIS, "NO NEED" TO RESET YOUR RADIO, feel free to contact  steve IF its of any concern.  The repeater hardware is tested and built to Approved MPT Standards for land mobile / Buisness radio which was relevent at the time of the repeater manufacture as this type of equipment had type approvle, for commercial use.

How to prove its not breakthro or bad desighn of your equipment , simply disconnect your antenna inject a test signal  at UHF (and its gone from the vhf spectrum)

THE BOTTOM LINE the last word's of advice "IF IT AIN'T BROKE - DON'T FIX IT! If its not working AS EXPECTED - please check your handbook ! for everything else Theres an APP for that"

If ita a Baofeng (stuck in alarm mode) to SILENCE IT "INSTANTLY" Simply press the BATTERY RELEASE CATCH to shut the thing up (oh - dont forget to "catch the BATTERY " as it drops to the floor)

Thank you, for taking the time to look up GB3FC here on QRZ.com hopefully you have found information here to help you be it use the repeater or solve a problem.

(SUGGESTIONS FOR POSSIBLE PAGE ADDITIONS :- If you have a suggestion or useful Addition you can send them to g6aos@blueyonder.co.uk )

regards from Steve

G6AOS (keeper GB3 Fylde Coast) EMAIL to g6aos@blueyonder.co.uk

8259734 Last modified: 2017-08-07 16:47:08, 56679 bytes

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