New 900 MHz Machine in Boston

There’s an oft-neglected ham band up on 900 MHz. A few Boston area groups have been making a big push to try to revive ham radio activity in our allocation up there, especially GEMOTO. They’re a club of GE and Motorola commercial radio aficionados, so it’s no surprise that the new machine is looking really impressive.

They say they’ve got a 130 Watt repeater, with split antennas: 9dB gain on receive, 12db on transmit. I’m not normally excited by coaxial cable, but at high frequencies like 900 MHz, attenuation through cables can be magnified; they’re using 1-5/8″ Heliax on receive, and transmitting into 3-1/8″ solid copper “plumbing.”

It’s going up on One Financial Center in Boston. It’s a 46-story skyscraper in Boston; Wikipedia puts it at the 7th-tallest building in Boston, but, if you include the towers on top, the third-tallest. They posted some photos of the ‘radio room’ on the top, which looks more like a high-end colocation facility than a room filled with radios. The towers seem meticulously planned, with a designated receive-only zone.

130 Watts into an extremely high-gain antenna on top of one of the tallest buildings in Boston? Something tells me this repeater’s going to have some range! Now I just need to pick up a 900 MHz rig.

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