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442.900 Schaumburg

442.925 Gilberts

442.950 Joliet

442.975 Chicago

146.925 Gilberts

Serving Chicago since 1974
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This meter was made possible by WB9WLS & WD9BBE




Was your membership check returned by the post office? If you sent a check to the FishFAR PO Box and it was returned to you by the postal droids, please resend it addressed as follows:

FISHFAR Radio Group
C/OKen Burns KC9BXA

1640 Mallards Cove
Beecher IL 60401-3427

The FishFAR repeater system has served the Amateur Radio community in the greater Chicago area since 1974. Our 4 UHF and 1 VHF repeaters are linked to provide coverage from Belvidere to Kenosha to Valparaiso to Kankakee to Joliet to DeKalb and beyond. The majority of this coverage area is accessible by portable radio.

Frequency PL Location
442.900 114.8 Schaumburg
442.925 114.8 Gilberts
442.950 114.8 Joliet
442.975 114.8 Chicago
146.925 100.0 Gilberts

Our website contains some technical information about this system, as well as information about the FishFAR Radio Group, the primary users of the FishFAR system who have banded together to help with the infrastructure and operational requirements of this vast network.

Please browse our site, which is constantly being updated as we include new content, and consider becoming a member of FishFAR.



Message from the president

Hi, and welcome to one of the best amateur repeaters in Northern Illinois.
My name is Keith Warner KA9MYG, and I am the president of the Fishfar Repeater system. I first became associated with the repeater in the early 80’s, when I was talking on a Chicago UHF repeater, and after talking to someone, he suggested that I come over to a “good” repeater. Later that day we met, and after some conversation, we went over to meet WA9VGI, and see the repeater hub. I was suitably impressed, with both the system and Steve, and have been around the repeater ever since. Back then the repeater had 6 receive sites, mostly at hams houses, and only transmitted from Schaumburg. It definitely heard better than it talked. I have been instrumental in many of the advances the repeater has made over the past quarter century, including a complete rebuild of the Schaumburg hub, and transmitting on 5 frequencies simultaneously. My professional career as a broadcast radio chief engineer has given me experience in both RF and system design, which has been put to use for the repeater. I bet we are one of the few repeaters in the country that use a professional studio audio processor to balance levels! 

            This repeater had always been owned and managed by WA9VGI, as a “labor of love”, and was never a club. It was always understood (and discussed on the air) that if you frequented the system, it was expected that you would contribute to it somehow, to offset the huge amount of money and time that were expended by WA9VGI to keep the system running, growing, and improving. Times change, and Fishfar is no exception. WA9VGI has some health issues, and can no longer fund the bulk of the repeater, as he had for decades, and the repeater costs also keep raising, as do everyone’s. I don’t think most people who used the system had any idea how much it cost to keep it running. These issues caused the repeater to start to fall into disrepair, and some of the core users realized that something had to be done, or what was once the best, would most likely disappear!

The only solution possible was to form a club, and let the club members and dues support the club, which is exactly what we did. This is not a club that happens to have a repeater. The club is here for the repeater, not the other way around. Therefore there will be only one membership meeting per year. I hope you will attend. The repeater is now funded by your dues, and the board of directors is actively working at reducing the operating costs, while keeping the repeater quality up. The board and tech committee are also taking on the huge job of bringing the system back from its state of disrepair, and have made great strides at fixing all of the problems in a few months time. We are also not just fixing but expanding, and have many plans and ideas for future improvements. All of this takes a great amount of time and money. I bet most users don’t realize that when you use the repeater, you are usually keying 7 or more transmitters on every transmission!  We would like to fix any coverage area problems, and we want to keep the repeater the best that it can be. If you have any areas that you would like to see coverage expanded into, please let me know. We have the capabilities to expand, but it takes money and time. I personally think that it’s cool to use a portable and talk to someone else with a portable that is over a two hour drive away. I hope you do too.  
To all of the members, I thank you for your contributions of all kinds, and for making this a great group. If you are not a member I urge you to join, and use the system. Together we can make it even better

You can contact me with comments, questions, or suggestions at KA9MYG@fishfar.org

Keith Warner


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