History of the Gary Diamond Memorial Repeater, K5FSB


Shy when he was a teen-ager, Gary Diamond, K5FSB got his Novice class ham radio license in high school, built a Heathkit DX-35, and found a world of new friends on the ham radio bands. His interest in ham radio led to his career in broadcasting both in front of and behind the microphone. For years he was the late afternoon air personality on Albuquerque’s then #1 rock’n’roll station, KQEO.

His interest in the technical side of both amateur and commercial radio pulled him away from the microphone in his ’40’s toward broadcast engineering. He received his Radio-Telephone Operator First Class license when in his ’20’s and moved into the Chief Engineer’s chair, first of 5,000 watt Albuquerque radio station KRKE, then to 50,000 watt KOB and finally 100,000 watt (equivalent) KOB-FM.

Gary Diamond was a fixture at KOB’s annual coverage of the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta and at University of New Mexico Lobo Sports broadcasts. He always took great pleasure in making certain that all the remote broadcasts the stations carried were “loud and clear,” as well as keeping the stations’ studios and transmitters performing perfectly.

Gary Diamond built what is believed to be the first 70cm amateur radio repeater in New Mexico — certainly the first 70cm repeater in North-Central New Mexico. His 70cm handie-talkie was always at his side. When retirement came, Gary Diamond returned to pouring his full energies into amateur radio, which continued to be the most important thing in the rest of his life.

The Gary Diamond Memorial Repeater is located atop Sandia Crest at 10,680’ ASL and operates on 442.6 MHz. with a 100 Hz PL tone and the standard 5 MHz. offset. It is an open repeater and is available for use by all licensed amateur radio operators within its range. The repeater includes four voting receivers, three with Yagi antennas arranged 120° apart and a fourth vertical monopole. The transmit pattern is omnidirectional. The repeater is connected to the Upper Rio FM Society Linking System and is available for link control by all the members of the Society.

The current trustee of the repeater, Mike Langner, K5MGR, was the first ham radio contact Gary Diamond made “way back when” then teen-age Gary Diamond came running from the mailbox with his newly-minted Novice amateur radio license eager to get “on the air!” Mike and the members of the Upper Rio FM Society are pleased that they can commemorate Gary’s many years of activity and service in the amateur radio community by operating this repeater in his name and with his call sign.


Here is the original announcement made by the Upper Rio FM Society


January 22, 2014: The Gary Diamond Memorial Repeater, K5FSB was placed in operation this morning by Mike Langner and Larry Goga.  This returns the Upper Rio FM Society to Sandia Crest after an absence of many years.  Initial reports from Don Wood and Jim Hunter indicate that the repeater is operating well.

The repeater is now in a testing phase and we will be gathering signal reports and comments for the next 90 to 120 days.  That will help us to determine our next course of action.  The linking system remains to tested, but that is the next order of business.

Here are the particulars on the repeater:

  • Tx: 442.600 MHz.
  • Rx: 447.600 MHz.
  • Offset: + 5 MHz. offset.
  • PL Tone: 100 Hz.

There is a voting receiver with 4 inputs to a voting controller.  Three of the antenna are Yagis pointed to the South Valley, Bernalillo and Santa Fe respectively.  The fourth antenna is a vertical monopole.  The transmitter output power is 20 Watts.

Our thanks to Jim Gale and Dan Zillich at KNME and Paul Choc for their assistance in helping us to get this repeater on the air.


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