Sit down a spell, and fix some coffee or hot cocoa and read on..
How the repeater got off the ground is one interesting story all to it's own. In 1987, I was working at radio station KAWW-AM/FM in Heber Springs. Since law enforcement knew and loved the station, they knew a lot about the superb staff there. (I just had to rub it in!) One day I received a phone call from a fellow nearby in Pangburn who due to disabilities wanted to become licensed as a ham, as the police referred him to me. Years ago, Heber Springs had a ham radio club, but had nothing active at that time as many residents would travel nearby to Greers Ferry for their meetings. I decided to begin arrangements for an exam session through my VEC and due to the fellow's difficulty in locating another ham to be examined for his first license, I decided to pose the question to other hams if a local club was warranted.

 The first meeting was at the First Electric Cooperative building where most of the early meetings were held. To my knowledge, I coordinated the first VE exam session in Heber Springs where all exam elements were offered. The initial club treasury consisted of $98 which I received as a tax refund, and others in the early stages of the club donated funds to the point that the amount when the club went inactive in 1990 was around $160 which has since been invested into the current repeater as promised to the people who helped me make this into reality. I envisioned the possibility of having a repeater which would serve Heber Springs as a whole very well. Greers Ferry had a system near Diamond Point on 147.33(+) but it couldn't serve the downtown Heber Springs area since downtown is in a valley. Two repeater locations at that time could cover it adequately, "Evans Mountain" at Alread (Van Buren Co.) and Fox in Stone County. When the Air Force dismantled the county's two "Titan-2" missile silos, I was offered one of the self-supporting 65 foot towers. The tower I received was from the site less than 2 miles east of me. I used to recall all the blue Air Force vans which traveled up and down Highway 16 when I had first bought my property in late 86' and the occasional sonic BOOMs (which soon ceased) due to my location in the heart of a Military Operations Area. I never erected the tower. A man from Pangburn bought it from me in the early to mid 90's after I had moved to Russellville, and he used it to construct an observation platform on his property. I never had a real reason to erect the tower at that point anyway, although my property had a sign for many years for a road which didn't exist at that time! Towerspace Road had a new sign installed by the County and I had finally built road access to it. The property was fully purchased when I fulfilled my contract during 8/96, but I sold it in 2005 at the height of the real estate boom, reinvesting the funds in various gold, silver and uranium investments.

 I submitted a request for a 2-meter repeater in 1987 to the frequency coordinator in Little Rock for a frequency which I knew would be available! I submitted the club's initial name of Lake Area Amateur Radio Club, but the name had changed to Heber Springs Amateur Radio Club, of which Presley and several others in the HSARC were original members, reorganizing the present club in 1993. A promise I made to Presley and the original group is one I still follow to this day. I pledged to any properly licensed ham who is a Cleburne County resident of continued access to my system, and that any ham club which sponsors it cannot force repeater dues on any Cleburne County radio amateur since the frequency pair was originally coordinated in Cleburne County, and that coverage of the county was a primary consideration in locating my repeater in Stone County, not necessarily to leave the machine to near-exclusive usage by hams in another county. Much credit is owed to both Stone County ARC and Clinton ARC for their continued and past support, maintainance, equipment insurance, and other matters over the years as the machine has been of good use even with its difficulties during the first 10 years of operations, 9 of those with me residing outside the general coverage of the machine. It's my hope that more Cleburne County residents over time will make more use of "Fox" as is possible, especially when the power and receive capabilities are both maximized. I'm happy to have assisted with suggestions which led to coordination of the 145.43(-) N5XUN repeater which is again situated near the top of Heber Mountain, and it's my hope that the system will do well for Heber area hams for years to come. At one point in the past, it was requested that I consider allowing the repeater to be housed on any tower I constructed next to Towerspace Road, but that is no longer possible.
 The nearest operations on the frequency at that time were 257 miles at Cleveland, OK (near Tulsa, which is now the infamous 51/11 repeater serving Tulsa) and 217 miles away in Ackerman, MS. I was granted the frequency pair of 144.51/145.11 after coordination was made with MO, OK, TN, and MS. A friend in Mena, Arkansas gave me a tube-type repeater, and using dual-antennas, the WD5C Repeater went online in December, 1989 at Fox. I got the offer from Jack Oyler, transmitter supervisor at KEMV-TV Channel 6, operated by the Arkansas Educational Telecommunications Network at that time known as Arkansas Educational Television Network, to consider moving my repeater there from the original coordination at Heber Springs. I accepted his offer since:

 I had to recoordinate the repeater for Fox, but it took a short while before the change made it to the ARRL Repeater Directory. In 1995, I requested a recoordination when it was discovered two years before that my system was coordinated a mere 15 W ERP. A 100W ERP allocation was approved along with one of only 5 special designations for "X" or extended area coverage protection in Arkansas for that time. You can view that document.
 The next year, Arkadelphia was granted usage of 145.11 by the AR Frequency Council and set up a system on the pair but at 125 air miles away, I had some concern about it. MACC (Mid America Coordination Council, an organization of frequency coordinators servicing amateur spectrum needs in most of the Central and Western U.S.) recognized a 120 mile on-channel separation of repeaters. When I discovered the natural barrier of the Ouachita Mountains in Saline and Perry Counties would block my signals from theirs and vice versa, I voiced no objections provided they didn't construct their system too great in height due to my high power allocation (which had not been fulfilled to that point.) I'm not certain if the 97' tornado which struck downtown Arkadelphia destroyed the repeater, as it was off air for a while and came back strong. It was during 97' that I purchased my duplexers to make Fox a very good single-antenna system. I did that in conjuction with a special request from Jim Collum, N5YU (N5YYU at the time) whom I've supported the Clinton ARC in the past, in part due to his Holley Mountain linked system project.

 Jim wanted to expand his linked system of participating repeaters which the National Weather Service links with during periods of severe weather, and my extended coverage further northwest has at times proven a valuable addition to what is called the "Holley Mountain linked system." Today, an important part of ARLinks.
I agreed to his proposal for these main reasons:

 When y2k arrived, it appeared that NN5NN/R would finally receive the full upgrade in power and linking. I initially disliked the idea of using 114.8Hz systemwide PL tone for Fox to access the link since Arkadelphia had already been using it. Remember earlier that Arkadelphia and I "share the pair" now. The Arkadelphia group agrees I'll be better served by using the 114.8 tone to keep consistent with Holley's systemwide linking, and will change (or have changed) their tone when I begin using it to prevent keying by distant remote stations who make contact with them, since Fox was initiated as a open-carrier machine. A local tone was later inaugurated and initially 151.4 Hz.. The repeater operated with carrier access for local operation for a short while with 110.9 to link, then Jack decided to force continuous tone on the squelch. The 151.4 tone became history either in 2004 or 2005, becoming 114.8 for systemwide access and 110.9 became local access to match the other active Holley link machines. As of 2007, the Arkadelphia machine, at a low elevation, operates with 88.5Hz PL.

This history is being updated as events with the NN5NN Repeater change. The system is still undergoing evolution with time, and I remain committed to improving "Fox" as I can to maximize its range and usability so hams throughout the coverage area can make use of this valuable resource. You can get the status of both the Holley Mountain Link System and my machine by the Flash link.

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