The North Western Repeater Group was formed on the 23rd January 1975, some of those present at the original meeting are still members as of 2022. The new committee decided to progress installing a 2m repeater in the Rossendale Forrest area to serve North West, Central, and East Lancashire and Northern Greater Manchester.
The original proposal documents for GB3RF were submitted to the RSGB to vet them before passing them onto the Home Office in April 1975. GB3RF first went into operation at 17:00 on the 23rd December 1976 at its original site on the BBC tower on Hambledon Hill near Burnley. The original repeater was a Storno valve unit with a MK 1 logic system designed by G8HED, this was only ever intended to be a temporary repeater because a newer, smaller solid-state unit was being built and tested.
The replacement was based on a Pye L150 with a logic design by G3RXL modified by G3XAD. It was installed on 23rd February 1977. The repeater and logic fitted into a 19" rack assembly and the cavity filters mounted in a small wooden rack stood on top of the unit. The receiver was connected via two cavity filters to the J Beam commercial folded dipole 175 feet up the mast at 1480 feet ASL. The transmitter was connected via a single cavity filter to another J Beam folded dipole 115 feet up the mast at 1420 feet ASL. Some TX/RX isolation was achieved by the 60 feet of vertical separation between the TX and RX antennas. The transmitter had an output of 13 watts on mains power and 9 watts when running on its 24v battery backup system.
Information about the early days of GB3RF was found on Mike G4BLH website
Below is from the March 1978 edition of Radio Communication magazine and was found by Group member Clive G6EYS