VK6RMW History


Mt.William VK6RMW was WARG's first repeater outside the Perth Metro area and as such was a big step forward to establishing repeaters that were maintained from Perth.

The repeater went into service during the Easter weekend of 1976.

The call sign was originally VK6RBY, as Bunbury was a primary service area, all be it 50km away. A few years later when the Bunbury amateurs installed their own repeater in Bunbury WARG offered the call sign to them and Mt.William changed to VK6RMW

The licence came as a surprise. Obtaining a repeater licence in the 1970s was a difficult process. The licence authority (at least in VK6) were nervous about amateurs putting repeaters anywhere, let alone at a remote location like Mt.William. Even though the licence took the better part of a year to be approved, it was unexpected to be granted at all.

A local Amateur Graham VK6GN(?) was the Philips site manager for the commercial site on top of Mt.William and had gained us access to the site. This was of great help, as securing a site is the most difficult part of any repeater project.

Work had already begun on a repeater for Mt.William using the VHF Group's 2 metre FM transceiver. Two of these repeaters had already been built for use at Roleystone. The physical layout was changed to allow easy front access to all parts of the repeater.

VK6RMW original repeater

The first VK6RMW Mt.William repeater, know as channel 6

First switch on

The first evening after being installed the audio failed through the repeater...! Luckily we had decided to camp over night at the base of Mt.William and were able to put a hold on the evening fireside meal and drove the short distance back to the site to find the audio problem. A wire had been pinched when the center cover was replaced and this wire was the audio feed to the transmitter. Wire re-positioned and all was working again.

The physical layout was great for access but took up a lot of rack space. When more commercial equipment was installed VK6RMW was moved to under the bench as shown below.

VK6RMW moved

VK6RMW under the bench