Purposed Mud Bay Remote Site Repeater  KL7SRK  [Sitka Ham Amateur Radio Klub]

Note [This project was dropped, as there is already a repeater at the Mud Bay site belonging to the USFS, which can be accessed for emergency use.]
This document however contains useful data. 7 - 21 - 2018

Sitka Ham Amateur Radio Klub [SHARK]

SHARK, is a non profit organization, which promotes Amateur radio services in Sitka Alaska, administers testing for license, and conducts monthly meeting.
SHARK was organized in 2016 and has grown fairly fast. We have had 33 regular members and a board of 7 members. 8 hold Extra Class licenses.
We maintain a local net on two fixed UHF VHF frequencies each week, and participate on HF Nets all over the state.
We have a membership base of diverse people spread over the town in multiple locations, most with UHF VHF hand held radios, and two repeaters for local network communications.

One of our goals has been to establish the Amateur Radio Emergency Service [ARES] in Sitka which can facilitate communications with our Alaska ARES command centers to the North in a timely manner.
The Northern ARES centers have established connections with support agencies, such as the State DOT, USCG, NAVY, Air force, National guard, Red Cross, Forest Service, FEMA, and other agencies that can respond as necessary during disasters.

Beyond this, we are also working to expand our "local backup network" of members with UHF VHF hand held and mobile radios to support any local needs during such times of diasaster level events where main stream communications are down.
These local systems are supported with either battery back up, small generators, or both, which can operate when conventional wired services are down.
All such Amateur Radio participation is on a voluntary basis.

During times of normal operations each operator must be licensed. During times of emergency anyone can use these systems.


Sitka lies very near open ocean to the West, with a major fault line passing just some miles off shore.

Many studies have been done to asses the risk to the communities in Southeast Alaska for possible Tidal Wave damage, and Sitka has been consistently listed as the highest risk community in Southeast, due to the open ocean access from the North West side near the SeaMart area. Any mariners will tell you if there is a swell off the ocean this is a nasty area as the waves cross broadside to your travel path towards the North inland passages. Halibut point road, and the areas on that side of town are most at risk of loosing communications. Evacuating to the school zones on that side of town should also be reevaluated if possible, as this is a personal choice at present.

All of Sitka's major support and utilities are approximately at sea level and very near the ocean, airport, FAA tower, Police, Fire Hall, USCG base, power generation stations, telephone switching, long distance carriers, fiber optics feeds, cell service feeds, NOAA weather radio feed, both radio stations, ATT site, and all City of Sitka local radio communications repeaters.

It is likely that if Sitka experienced a severe Tsunami Tidal Wave event, many if not all of these services may become non functional for extended periods of time.
It is noteworthy, a repeater site at 900 feet up may become the best chance for maintaining a radio communications network locally during disasters such as Earthquake or Tsunami events.

It was noted during the last land slide blocking Halibut point road access, which also took out power and telephone services, that several of the responding hams, were not able to set up communications with the end of Halibut point road rapidly, as would be desired during such an event. Temporary relay had to be set up at points between which took valuable time. While hams were the first to get communication with the isolated area, it was a slow, labored process.

This project is aimed at reducing that lost time, and being more prepared for such unexpected events.

Purposed is the placing of a repeater at the Mud Bay "sender cone" site. Approximate Lat Lon 57° 9'10.22"N  135°38'46.68"W
Increasing the range of Amateur Radio Emergency Services [ARES] coverage to the end of Halibut Point Road, surrounding water access routes, and inhabited islands to the North, South, and West of Sitka.

Mud Bay is an ATT remote microwave site on Kruzof Island, elevation approximately 900 feet, at 14 miles from down town Sitka.
For many years it served Sitka as the only backbone route for long distance services and circuits into the area.
Now there is also a GCI underwater fiber route, which has gone out for extended periods on at least two occasions since it was constructed, during severe weather conditions.
The ATT site was again used during these times to maintain the only Long Distance connection with the outside world. The wireless microwave backbone has proven itself most reliable.


The City of Sitka has adopted the NIMS organization methods, and aligned itself with the ICS [Incident Command System Organization Structure].
Sitka Amateur Radio Emergency Services ARES may act as a "resource" for the Incident Command System, and within the Logistics Section as a "Communications Unit."
LEPC [Local Emergency Planning Comission], has been working with diasaster planning for Sitka and meets once a month.

The SHARK Sitka Ham Amateur Radio Klub was approached and queried if we could begin taking the ICS courses and also build our systems with the goals of wider more reliable coverage.
The SHARK group responded with a very strong turn out for the first classes and certifications for ICS courses 100, 200, and 700, having several of our local members already experienced in this.

We are thus now prepared for the possibility of locating a repeater for this service at the ATT Mud Bay site as it would approximately double our present coverage area for the 440 MHz band.
As our first repeater at higher elevation, we expect this to make us a more valued resource for emergency services.

Since ATT owns and maintains this site, they will become an essential partner, to accomplish our goal, and this will hinge on their decision to allow our repeater presence there.
Amateur equipment is privately owned, and operated as a voluntary service during times of emergency, for which all Amateurs will observe this as priority traffic.
Many Radio Amateurs today, are well trained in supporting local authorities in such situations.

Propagation Map

Area Propagation Map


Mud Bay to Sitka  Downtown     14  miles
Mud Bay to Ferry Terminal         10  miles
Mud Bay to Peril Straight            32  miles
Mud Bay to Kanga  Bay              22  miles

Technical :

Block Diagram

This diagram outlines the basic equipment needs, as used in many remote communication sites and was used to obtain the components below.

Repeater Equipment:

The following equipment is located in Sitka at 711 smc, and ready to be installed [5 - 3 - 2018] Dave Lowrance 747 - 8348.


Motorola Radius GR1225  ~ 45 watts ERP
444.000 Mhz +       Tone  167.9
Power 120 vac 5A Fuse

Why use a 440 mhz repeater and not a 2 meter one?
The duplexer cans are very small fitting inside the unit, and the noise floor here in Sitka is much better on 70 cm  then on the 2 meter band.
From local testing over distances in our area the 70cm band comes up as a best choice. The 2 meter band has a history of interference from other marine sources.

This simple Analog unit has been reliably in service for several years without failures to date.
It recovers reliably from power outages, although it has not been configured for battery operation.

Repeater Dimensions

Rear View

Front Pannel Settings

GR1225 Specifications PDF

Unit contains a duplexer slid into the left side from the rear with the cover removed.
An AC power unit, converting to 12 vdc, a cooling fan, and a UHF radio unit.

Rack Mounting Hardware

1)  GR-1225 Rack Mounting Hardware - 19 " rack mounting solution.

Relay Rack Shelf

1 ea 19" Relay Rack Shelf
2 ea  4U extenders
10 ea  1/2"  12 - 24 rack mounting screws

The extenders are optional and can be used to set the equipment forwards if necessary for space management or stability.


2)  Antenna  Type and Model      Diamond X50NA  [5.6  feet tall,  3-5/8 wave, 7.2 db gain,  rated for 135 mph winds, Type-N connector]  

X50NA Specs

Antenna Photo

Antenna Mounting Hardware for mast.

X50 Resonance Graph

Transmission Line

3)  Feed line - LMR 400 - N Male ends  

200 feet LMR400 here on site coiled with N male ends.
5 each - N connectors with crimping tool, for custom lengths.

Photo crimping tool and N male ends

4)  Lightening arrestor     PolyPhaser   N connectors  

PolyPhaser Photo

AC Power Surge Protection

5)  AC Power Filter -Tripp-Lite  Isobar 2-Outlet Surge Protector, with 6 foot cord.

Photo Surge Protector

Misc Support Equipment

6)  Laptop with Windows XP for GR-1225 programming, with backup run file, will remain in Sitka.

7)  Maintain data and photos of remote equipment for technical support.


Sitka Techs:

Todd Dokey   KL4EL   907 - 623 - 7266      justcallmebuddy@gmail.com  [ARES command]
David Lowrance    AL5X    907 - 747 - 8348    libra_spirit@hotmail.com  [Staging of Equipment 711 SMC Sitka, ARES support, Technical support]
Benjamin Downing KL2UF  907 - 747 - 8636  aikiben@gci.net  [Technical support]

ATT Tech Juneau:

Jeffrey Deaner  KL7JVD    907 - 723 - 8689  alaskaboy07@ak.net  [Site Logistics]

Sitka SHARK Officers:

President   Darryl Ault  AL7BW  907 - 738 - 4539  darrylault@yahoo.com [KL7SRK Repeater License Trustee]
Vice President   Benjamin Downing  KL2UF  907 - 747 - 8636  aikiben@gci.ne
Secretary    April Ault  AL1V  907 - 738 - 4559 aaault@earthlink.net [Club Records]

Web Page Admin -   David Lowrance    AL5X    907 - 747 - 8348    libra_spirit@hotmail.com

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