The Cambridgeshire Repeater Group (CRG) provides a number of voice repeaters and one television repeater. These repeaters service users in the Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, North East Hertfordshire, North West Essex, West Suffolk and South West Norfolk areas. The group’s repeaters are currently installed on former Philips towers at Madingley and Barkway, both are now owned and maintained by Cellnex, and on a tower near Washingley, just west of Peterborough.
The group was formed out of the PYE Telecommunications Radio Club, to allow non-PYE employees a chance to join, and add their skills to the group.
The very first radio telephone voice talk-through repeater was developed by the radio amateurs at PYE, and became licensed as GB3PI in 1971. In May 1972 it was moved from the PYE factory site to their aerial mast at Barkway to provide a much wider coverage area for mobile and portable users.
The group developed the first UHF (433MHz) voice repeater, the first amateur television repeater (1300MHz), the first SHF (1297MHz) voice repeater, and the first high speed (as it was then) 9600baud data repeater (439MHz).
The CRG gets most of its income through a Radio and Electronics Rally which is held annually at Foxton Village Hall.
The services provided for all radio amateurs are also available for emergency communications in the event of a major incident, and we are now working closely with the regional RAYNET groups to document these facilities in line with the Civil Contingencies Bill. An example of their use relates to the heavy snowfall we suffered in 2002 that caused chaos in the region. Thanks to the use of our VHF voice repeater (GB3PI) at Barkway, users were able to relay messages for people stuck on the roads throughout the evening, where the Mobile Telephone Network was unable to cope with the traffic.