The JSCARC supports an open 2 meter repeater (146.64r/.04t – no tone). The repeater is located in the rooftop penthouse (equipment room) of the 9-story JSC Project Management building, Building 1, at the Johnson Space Center.
The Spectrum Communications SCR-500 repeater has a power output of 25 watts. The antenna, a Diamond G7-144, provides approximately 6db gain, giving an effective radiated power (ERP) of 100 watts and providing coverage to a radius of approximately 30 miles (downtown Houston-downtown Galveston). The antenna is mounted atop the Building 1’s penthouse roof (effectively, the 11th floor).
The repeater has survived two hurricanes, tropical storms, and numerous Texas-sized thunderstorms. It has a back-up battery system designed to provide repeater operation for at least 36 hours. The repeater ID changes to “W5RRR BAT” when it is on battery power.
The JSCARC repeater carries the International Space Station (ISS) air-to-ground audio for local hams and non-hams. During shuttle flights, the mission audio is given over to the space shuttle mission audio. On landing, audio is switched back to ISS audio.
Because of the repeater’s wide-area coverage of the NASA-Clear Lake area and the JSCARC’s commitment to fulfill its public service obligation, the repeater is frequently used to provide communications for the many and varied public service events.