The WD8MKG repeater was a joint project between Bill, WD8MKG, and Jim, K8COP. The first coordination was on 147.330 in 1980. The old 146.940 repeater owned by the Muskegon Area Amateur Radio Council had been struck by lightning, and given to Jim for parts. By taking a few usable parts and a lot of other parts the 147.330 repeater was born.

The transmitter and receiver was an old Motorola mobile unit. The first controller was built by Bill using 555 timers and a reel-to-reel tape player. Jim worked on the radio end and together with a couple antennas (Ringo Ranger Two's) and some old hand-made filters the repeater started its long life. Over 50 hours were spent the first week (besides working at their real jobs) to make things happen.

Linda, N8DWZ, began providing the many hours of test signals from all over the county using a hand-held radio (HT) and a lot of tolerance as Bill and Jim did the tweaking to get things working. In addition, she, too, worked a real job besides feeding Bill and Jim as they kept the old equipment going in the late night and early morning hours.

The 147.320 repeater was the first repeater in Western MI. to incorporate a PL (Private Line) for the purpose of eliminating interference with other systems.

It was one of the first area-wide systems in the state that was not club owned.

The 147.320 repeater is privately funded and supported by amateurs in the Western Michigan area. WD8MKG and N8DWZ have kept the system going with the help of many local hams. Since 1980 the 147.320 repeater has suffered many lightning strikes, fire, and electrical breakdowns, yet has not been off the air for more than several hours at a time.

At the end of 2006, we entered a bold new era of technology, thanks to Ed (KC8LBZ) and his new DStar digital repeater, the first in the state of Michigan. This enabled us to provide true digital voice (on 145.360 -offset), incorporating better communications quality, less bandwidth and using less power, in addition to the old analog repeater (at 147.320 +offset, with PL of 94.8) in the true amateur radio tradition.

The first WD8MKG website was created by Chris, N8CUH, in 1997.  In 2001, Jerry, N8TIK, took over as Webmaster, until 2004. The site is now controlled by Skippy Pulaski, dauntless Webmeister and singular genius.


Skippy Pulaski, lion-tamer and kraken-whisperer, approved this content.

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