Working GB3IW repeater on the Isle of Wight using my Baofeng GT-3TP MK3

In August 2016 I had the pleasure of visiting the Isle of Wight for a two-week family holiday.

I’ve visited the Island many times since being a small child and love coming here as it is such a beautiful island and there is so much to see and do. There was one difference with this holiday though – I took along my new Baofeng GT-3TP MK3 multi-band 2m / 70cm handheld transceiver.

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Before leaving for the Island I researched Isle of Wight repeaters and found it had a single 70cm repeater, callsign GB3IW.

The repeater is located on Arreton Down, which is slightly east from the centre of the island. GB3IW has an input frequency of 434.825 MHz, output of 433.225 MHz (1.6 MHz offset) and requires a CTCSS tone of 71.9 Hz.

When I arrived on the Island I configured my Baofeng and immediately heard stations working the repeater. I listened for the first two couple of days and couldn’t help but notice how well the repeater was used and how strongly it performed.

Although I had listened to VHF and UHF a lot in the past I had never operated on these frequencies – mainly because the repeaters local to my QTH are so quiet. You’ll generally find me on the HF bands; mainly 40m and 20m.

Over the two weeks I put out a number of calls via the repeater from different locations on the island and managed a number of QSO’s across the island and mainland whilst portable and mobile.M0NWK at Robin Hill Isle of WightThe repeater is Echolink enabled, so another first for me was working John (M6WYD) in South Yorkshire, John (MW6HDV) in South Wales, Richard (KI4NZJ) in Missouri, Andy (G6OHM) in Cambridge, Richard (G0EWH) in Shropshire, Steve (MM0STN) near Lockerbie and Rob (LU7DMZ) in Argentina using this method of communication.

The weather on the island was amazing with temperatures reaching 23-30 degrees Celsius each day. Lots of good food, visits to the beach and attractions, family time and a bit of amateur radio made this a brilliant holiday.

I really enjoyed working GB3IW and UHF so much that I purchased a second-hand Yaesu FT-736R together with MH-1B8 fist microphone, MD-1B8 desk microphone and SP-102 speaker from the Internet whilst on holiday so arranged to pick this up when I got home.

I will now look at getting some antenna’s sorted for 2m and 70cm so I can join the LSWC club nets, work my local repeaters and try my hand at some VHF / UHF contests.

Thanks to Paul (G4IKI) who installed the repeater and is the repeater keeper.

BAOFENG GT-3TP MK3 2M / 70CM HANDHELD TRANSCEIVER

The Baofeng (I call it my beach bag radio) is a fantastic little transceiver and for £30.99 you can’t go wrong. I received excellent audio reports and having talked to several people using mix of Kenwood, Yaesu and Baofeng handhelds, I nor anyone else I spoke to could hear any differences in the audio between them.

Since returning home from the Isle of Wight I have used the Baofeng GT-3TP on a regular basis. I usually join in on the weekly Lincoln Shortwave Club net, quite often accessing Lincoln’s GB3LM 2m repeater up to 15 miles away whilst walking my dog.

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GB3IW DETAILS

Repeater keeper: Paul (G4IKI)
Location: Arreton Down
Latitude: 50° 40′ 56” N
Longitude: 1° 13′ 36” W
Grid square: IO90JQ
Input frequency: 434.825 MHz
Output frequency: 433.225 MHz
CTCSS: 71.9 Hz

MAP SHOWING LOCATION OF GB3IW

 

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