|Date Founded||5 February 2001|
|Current Owner||Richard Akehurst|
|Transmit Frequency||476.450 (Chan 2)|
|Receive Frequency||477.200 (Chan 32)|
VMB4 is a UHF Citizens' Band Radio (UHF CB) Repeater located one kilometre from Mount Sugarloaf on the Sugarloaf Range in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. VMB4 is Newcastle's fourth repeater to go to air in the Hunter Region.
The repeater is used by CB hobbyists, four wheel drivers, truck drivers and families as a free form of communications between vehicles and homes. Because the repeater site is self-powered it is capable of handling emergency communications should the power or telecommunications network fail.
The repeater is located on the Auzcom Communications tower which also hosts the Newcastle Node of the VKS-737 Four Wheel Drive Network, Radtel Outback Telephone Service and a Coast Guard service.
The voice ID plays every 30 minutes which is a recording that identifies the callsign and location of the repeater.
When the suggestion was put forward to install a new repeater in Newcastle it was deemed impossible and the idea was criticized by many Radio Communications Industry professionals. At this time Newcastle already had 3 repeaters which was regarded sufficient for a region of this size.
As time went on, increased traffic on the existing repeaters often caused conflict and the need for an additional repeater was apparent. Also, Channel Six was not providing sufficient coverage to certain areas due to its northerly location on the Sugarloaf Range.
Ignoring the criticism local Radio Communications enthusiast Roderick Breis commenced negotiations with Australian Communications Authority (Now ACMA) and after 3 months an apparatus licence was granted. Breis also negotiated the rights to install the equipment on CityRail's Newcastle to Sydney Microwave link tower at Mt Sugarloaf.
VMB4 brought new light and excitement to the Newcastle UHF CB scene as it provided better coverage and clearer audio than Channel One and Six. The repeater's image was enhanced by a voice ID played every 15 minutes which was voiced by Sydney CB personality "JD" who previously owned SYD01 in Hurstville.
In 2003 Roderick Breis had moved onto other projects and he donated the old equipment and signed over the rights to use the CityRail site to Newcastle CREST. The rights to the VMB4 licence was sold to Richard Akehust who purchased and installed his own repeater equipment on the Auzcom Communications site south of the CityRail site. Richard Akehurst has found an alternative location to reduce the cost of operation of the repeater and is awaiting ACMA Approval. Due to the owner of the Auzcom Communications site passing away Richard Akehurst has chosen to re-locate VMB04 to Nelson Bay and is now licensed as ELS02. This site is now active, with very good reports heard from all over the Great Lakes and Port Stephens areas, right out to Raymond Terrace, Maitland and some of Newcastle
Other Newcastle Repeaters
- CHT01 - AAMI Building Charlestown (Former AMP Building)
- CHT05 - AAMI Building Charlestown (Former AMP Building)
- NEW06 - General Communications Radio Tower Sugarloaf Range