Martello Tower Group: December 2017 Update

The following update was sent by Keith G6NHU, Secretary of the Martello Tower Group to our Email Discussion Group. Thanks to Keith for allowing us to share this on the website:

GB3CE (70cm Colchester)

You’ll be pleased to hear that we’ve just replaced the current repeater which was very old with brand new hardware. This is exactly the same type as we’re using on the new GB3CL and GB3TE. We’ve already demonstrated at TE and CL that the receiver on these repeaters is far better than the old equipment so the repeater performance will be improved.

Heres a photo of the new GB3CE, which was installed on Boxing Day 2017:

The new GB3CE repeater, installed in December 2017
The new GB3CE repeater, installed in December 2017

Fusion Repeater

Unfortunately, we’ve run into some technical difficulties with our plans to install a dual mode analogue voice and digital Fusion repeater at the GB3CE site. The problem is specifically related to the internet connection which means it simply isn’t possible for us to put a Fusion box there so because of this, we are changing our plans.

We will still provide an internet connected Fusion repeater in Colchester but at a different site. Marc, 2E0EMZ has kindly agreed to host the repeater for us at his home QTH. The Martello Tower Group will supply all the equipment including repeater, cavity filters, aerial, etc and will help to get everything installed. We’ll also be providing Marc with a tuned filter so that he’s still able to use 70cms from his main station.

We’ve done a coverage plot for this new location and it’s attached to this post. Red and green are handheld radio coverage, yellow is excellent mobile coverage, blue is good mobile coverage, purple is usable mobile coverage and the outside ring is good/usable home base coverage.

Plot of proposed Fusion repeater for Colchester, courtesy of the Martello Tower Group
Plot of proposed Fusion repeater for Colchester, courtesy of the Martello Tower Group

Obviously, this is all pending the issue of an NoV for a new Fusion repeater but we don’t foresee any issues with this procedure. We can’t give a timescale for the new Fusion box to come on air because as well as the NoV, we’ll need to get a new aerial installed at Marc’s QTH.

I’d like to say a massive thank you to Marc, 2E0EMZ for his help getting this project off the ground.


On the subject of the Colchester site, our APRS node, MB7UH went off air three weeks ago following a PSU failure. That node has been active since around 2001 and this is our first outage since then. Many people use MB7UH without even realising it – Anyone driving around the local area with APRS in their vehicles will be digipeated by the node and there’s a massive hole at the moment due to it being off air.

MB7UH currently consists of a PC running Windows 2000, UI-View, BPQ and a Tiny-2. We’re going to replace it with a single standalone digipeater which fully supports the New-N paradigm. The hardware for this has been ordered and is due to arrive soon.


Finally, on behalf of the Martello Tower Group, I’d like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2018.

73 Keith G6NHU

Secretary, Martello Tower Group

Handy links

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *