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The LRS meeting on 10th February 2016 turned out to be a double-bill, with Crawford Ross GM8HBY(L), Chairman of the Central Scotland FM Group talking about Central Scotland Repeaters, and Allister Watson GM7RYR (R) describing the two new 70cm repeaters GB3ED and (digital) GB7EE located at Edinburgh Napier University. 

Crawford GM8HBY started with a brief history of the Central Scotland FM Group and then described recent developments, the current deployment of repeaters and plans for the next year or so.

The Central Scotland FM Group was founded in 1974 by the aptly-callsigned James "Shank" Shankland GM8FM. The first repeater GB3CS was established in 1977 with its antenna on the IBA television mast at Blackhill. GB3CS is now located in non-OM premises but not masts because of H&S concerns for farmers etc.

The CSFMG now has10 licensed FM repeaters and 2 D-Star digital repeaters, plus 7 beacons located in the Kilsyth Hills. APRS is now supported, with a NoV obtained for MB7VN.

There are several Linked projects, using RF-linking and  Internet-linking although some disapprove of the latter as not being "pure" amateur radio and the risk of deliberate interference by "squeakies" / "numpties"! Currently Echolink capability is in development for GB3FF (Forth). IRLP-capability is available for GB3CS but not yet for DG, SL, FF or HI. 

Crawford then briefly described the status of current repeaters and beacons:

REPEATERS

GB3HI (Toresay, Mull): equipment will be replaced around Easter 2016 as the previous gear was not up to the 100% duty cycle required!

GB3CS (Blackhill): now moved as mentioned above. Photo showed the 4 large cavity filters, 2 for Rx and 2 for Tx.

GB3PA (Paisley): solar and wind power.

GB3LG (Lochgilphead): antenna blew away.

GB3HI (Torosay, Mull): antenna blew away.

GB3AY (Dalry, Ayrshire): located on a farm

GB3WA (Dalry, Ayrshire): 70cm licence application; to be co-sited with GB3AY.

GB3FF (Fife): antenna now mounted on a telephone pole!

GB3LA (Lowther Hill): photo showed 2 sets of 3 filters (Tx/Rx).

BEACONS: GB3CSB project (Kilsyth Hills):

- 1296.985MHz operational.

- 2320.985MHz in preparation.

- 3400.985MHz in preparation

- 10386.985MHz  operational.

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Allister  Watson GM7RYR, standing in for Repeater-Keeper Ellis Simon GM4GZW, gave a brief description of the status of the GB3ED 70cm repeater and the GB7EE digital repeater located at Edinburgh Napier University.

The GB3ED 70cm repeater 0n 433.31MHz was started in 1979 using a Pye Pocketphone by Roy ... , now SK. The location on top of the tall Napier University building in Colinton Road near Holy Corner is a great site apart from to the south.

The next generation "ED-2" used an old Storno transceiver which eventually developed problems, particularly frequency drift. It has now been replaced by a Motorola unit which is working well on 433.350MHz with 94.8Hz CTCSS audio tone. 

"ED-3" is now in preparation by Ellis. It will run 12W output, with filters taking the ERP down to 6W.

Allister then demonstrated several DMR rigs via GB3ED including activating Regional Talk-Group 850 covering Edinburgh and Dundee.

GB7EE, also located at Napier, is a comprehensive digital repeater capable of working through all 47 digital repeaters in the UK in various regions / zones e.g. Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the English regions.

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The evening ended with LRS President Andy Sinclair MM0FMF thanking both speakers for their very interesting presentations.

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