About the Upper Rio FM Society, Inc.
Although existing under different names for several years before then, the Upper Rio FM Society, Inc. was incorporated as a New Mexico non-profit corporation in 1984. In 1992 it was granted section 501(c)(3) status by the Internal Revenue Service. A ten-member board (nine elected by the membership and one elected by the repeater trustees) manages the affairs of the corporation. A President, one or more Vice Presidents, a Secretary and a Treasurer are elected by the Board for two-year terms.
History of the URFMSI (as written by Joe Knight, W5PDY, SK)
On October 3, 1968, Phil Dater MD, WA5JDZ, and ten other amateurs interested in advancing the use of the two-meter band formed a club which later became The Upper Rio FM Society, Inc. The club's first repeater use the 146.340/146.940 frequency pair and was installed on Sandia Crest. This site proved to have too much intermod so the repeater was relocated to Capilla Peak some months later. However, the Capilla Peak locations did not allow access to the repeater from the NE Heights (Albuquerque) and the repeater was moved to La Mosca Peak (Mt. Taylor) locations where it is still located. Note: The Navajos call this peak "dzil dotlizi" which is their ceremonial name for "Turquoise Mountain."
Hams monitoring the 146.340/146.940 as they drove through northwest New Mexico were familiar with the female voice which announced "WA5DJZ..Repeater..Mt. Taylor." The voice had the characteristics of the sound track of the TV show "Star Trek" -- which was the intended effect.
In 1972 Dr. Dater designed and installed a two-meter linking system connecting repeaters at Mt. Taylor, Alamo Peak near Alamogordo and Penal Peak in Arizona. This system worked for a while but maintenance was high and reliability with the tube type equipment was poor.
On December 14, 1978, the FCC issued the repeater call "WR5ACM." The female voice was then changed to announce "WR5ACM..Repeater..Mt. Taylor." That call was in effect for several years until the FCC no longer licensed repeaters. The club voted to change the call to honor the repeater trustee, Ken King, by using his call "WB5EKP." This remains the call of the La Mosca, Mt. Taylor repeater -- one of the best repeaters in the world.
In 1974 Larry Scott, W5TIG, was elected Club President. He installed the first phone patch on the 146.310/146.910 repeater, which was located at his home. The 146.340/146.940 repeater on Mt. Taylor was linked to the 146.310/146.910 repeater.
By 1980, the club had grown to approximately 30 members. In November 1980, Dr. Bob Fugate, W8GY, was appointed head of the Technical Committee. He outlined plans for a great expansion of the system. These plans included a "Hub" at Kirtland Air Force Base, with repeaters at Mt. Taylor, Capilla Peak, Green's Peak in Arizona, and El Capitan near Roswell, an air-dropped remote for SAR activities, and some remote receiver sites for the repeater at Kirtland AFB. The proposed system included linking any combinations of repeaters with all repeaters having a phone patch capability. There would be taped messages on all repeaters via touchtone, a voice clock and ID at the end of a QSO, with a fully synthesized two meter remote. There would also be interconnect status signals.
The proposed features were implemented along with many more in a system that was designed by Bob Rogers, KD5TU, and Dave Luz, WB9ERE, in 1986. More repeaters and features have been added since that time.
In 1989, Bob Rogers, KD5TU, left. Dave Luz, WB9ERE, and Bobby White, KG5VG, took over the job of maintaining and adding features to the linking system and software, and Dave Luz, WB9ERE, was elected chairman of the Technical Committee. This pair, with the help of many others, put together the system that is most likely one of the best amateur repeater systems in the world.
Although only a few amateurs have been mentioned here by name, it would take a book to list and describe all of the wonderful peoplewho have worked to make the Upper Rio FM Sciety, Inc., what it is today. Our sincere thanks to all of the members and past members who have made this organization the success it is today.
---- Joe T. Knight W5PDY (SK)
© 2006 Upper Rio FM Society, Inc.