GB3FC History

GB3FC was originally part of the North Western Repeater Group, this information was taken from the Spring 1978 Newsletter of Mike G4BLH website

GB3FC was the second of the NWRG UHF repeaters, GB3PF being the first. It was still in the planning stages in Spring 1978 and the to be located at the Blackpool Technical College with separate TX and RX 3 element yagi antennas mounted about 100 feet ASL and pointing inland, probably East but the exact direction hadn't been decided.

The original repeater was based on a Pye F9U with an output of 5 watts. It was a solid-state unit with TTL logic built by G8HED. The repeater would use a 1750Hz tone for initial access but be carrier reaccessed until a time out timer required the 1750Hz tone again.

The following information was taken from the GB3FC QRZ page. 

GB3FC was located on Mowbray Drive, Layton but that site was lost due to the site owners going into receivership. the site was locked up by the receiver and the equipment was almost lost.

GB3FC was granted permission to use its current site, The Norbreck Castle Hotel on 10th July 1981. After obtaining an NOV the repeaters first transmission at its new site was on the 4th October 1981.

From 1981 to 1999 GB3FC was located on the high tower on the Hotels North wing, it was then moved to the South tower due to building refurbishment works and moved again in 2005.

In 1996 Steve Pilbeam G6AOS, now sadly silent key, became the repeater keeper and NOV holder for GB3FC.

Originally GB3FC was a 1.6MHz narrow-spaced repeater using vertical antenna separation to isolated the transmitter and receiver. In 2006 GB3FC changed its frequencies to become a 7.6MHz wide-spaced repeater with a single antenna and duplexer to isolate the transmitter and receiver. This improved the coverage of the repeater partially by allowing it to operate a higher ERP and by reducing receiver interference from the transmitter.

In late 2015 the Pye repeater was retired after 19 years in service. It was replaced by Steve G6AOS with the assistance of Tim G4WIM testing and aligning the equipment. The replacement was a Key (Kyodo) KF450 Repeater with a media player for voice announcements. The new repeater was reported as having better coverage than the old Pye unit.


In January 2022 Dave Austin M0DKR took over the NOV and running of GB3FC and it rejoined the North Western Repeater Group as one of our affiliated repeaters..


Below are some pictures of the Key Repeater

KEY (Kyodo) KF450 Repeater KEY (Kyodo) KF450 Repeater

KEY (Kyodo) KF450 Repeater KEY (Kyodo) KF450 Repeater

Below is a picture from the 2011 NARSA Blackpool Rally at the Norbreck Castle Hotel of Steve Pillbeam G6AOS

G6AOS 2011 NARSA Rally