We just completed antenna repairs on our 146.640 linked repeater at Benton after a lightning hit a few months ago destroyed the fiberglass antenna and two radios. Fortunately, the 7/8″ feedline was not damaged, just the antenna. So we purchased a new Diamond dual band antenna and hired SimplexQ to climb the water tower and install the new antenna.
It had to be a dual band antenna because the UHF link radio uses the same antenna to receive 443.200 while transmitting on 146.640. Sound complicated? It is, actually. This repeater is on the Adrian Street Water Tower that is located on a high hill, just off Highway 88. This is not one of the two landmark water towers that you see on Military Road as you drive through downtown Benton. The cost of repairing this repeater was almost a thousand dollars–all the more reason to pay your dues on time or even donate a few extra dollars to the club treasury whenever you can. The club sincerely appreciates the hard work and expertise contributed by Joel Echols, N5QLC, Mike Porter, N5UZT and Kelly Hester, W5RHS for getting 146.640 back on the air. Also, Mike donated two Motorola GM-300 radios to replace the ones damaged by lightning.