the most frequent questions we are asked is why aren't there more 2
meter repeaters in the NI4CE system?
The simple answer is that available frequency pairs, coordinated
by the Florida Repeater Council on a first come - first served basis,
are not available in the NI4CE Service Area. The West Central Florida Group, Inc. operates a pair of 2
meter repeaters, the original Big Stick repeater on 145.43 MHz at
the Verna site in Central Manatee County and 145.29 MHz at High
Point in central Pinellas County.
lack of available two meter frequency pairs has shifted our focus to the
development of 70 centimeter UHF repeaters.
The NI4CE system currently operates four 70 centimeter UHF
co-located with 145.43 in Verna (Central Manatee
443.45 MHz co-located
with 145.29 in High Point (Central Pinellas
442.825 MHz at
Pebbledale in Western Polk County
442.550 MHz at
Riverview in Hillsborough County
development of these communications resources now provides the nearly
ten thousand licensed Amateur Radio operators in our area with a
seamless, linked communications system that blankets Florida's West
Coast from Hernando County to Lee County and extends inland as far East
as Orlando. The NI4CE
system provides excellent mobile coverage along the I-75 corridor from
Brooksville South through Charlotte County and along the I-4 corridor
from Tampa to Orlando.
NI4CE's use of 70 centimeter UHF repeaters provides area Hams with
several unique communications opportunities.
The shorter wavelength of the 70 centimeter UHF band allows more
fluent access from inside steel and concrete structures, including
office buildings, warehouses and houses. This shorter wavelength allows users to achieve higher gain
with shorter antennas. This
better enables the use of handheld, portable transceivers when weather
conditions make the use of external antennas dangerous.
living in highly Deed Restricted communities will also find it easier to
operate on NI4CE 70 centimeter repeaters, enabling them to remain active
in the Amateur Radio Service. 70
centimeter antennas can be easily mistaken for over-the-air television
antennas. 70 centimeter
antennas can also more easily be located in attics, if external mounting
is not an option.
NI4CE repeaters, both VHF and UHF, utilize a CTCSS tone of 100Hz.
Our use of CTCSS (both transmit and receive) enables operators to
configure their transceivers to eliminate squelch crashes and errant
intermod signals that are prevalent in high RF locales.
NI4CE system is on the air for all licensed Radio Amateurs to use.
We hope you will plug it into your VHF/UHF transceiver(s) and use
it often. We also encourage you to participate in the many
informational and emergency Nets conducted on the NI4CE system.