Category Archives: Repeaters

Repeaters

APRS Telemetry scripting

Rob VK6UFO has been busy working on a script to configure the reporting of telemetry data from the Argent OT2 APRS units at WARG sites. The telemetry reports and graphs information such as battery voltage and temperature. With minimal ancillary hardware, other information can also be ‘beaconed’ such as RF output, SWR, Current etc. These additional features will evolve to our sites where the existing repeater hardware supports it.

Many thanks to Rob VK6UFO for his work on this.

Roleystone Working Bee – 18th Feb 2012

Another productive ~5hr working bee at Roleystone on Feb 18th. Tasks carried out were:

New Cavities swept, tuned and tested on 146.700
Old Cavities swept and tuned (then returned to service – new ones will now go to Tic Hill)
Foliage under Guy Wires removed
Foliage around Shacks removed
Foliage around HF Beacon Antenna removed
Foliage along driveway removed
Mute levels adjusted
re terminated 23cm coax connector
took measurements in preparation for cable tray between mast and shack.
Took several photos
Consumed Coffee
Consumed Muffins
Consumed Smartie Choc Chip Cookies
Suffered many prickles/thorns/splinters from bushes.

Thanks to those who gave signal reports at the time. We’d appreciate if everyone could give an indication of access coverage since the changes.

Sweep plots were captured and will either get published on the WARG website or emailed out on this list. (please contact me if you would like me to send you a copy directly)

We will require another working bee at some stage in the near future to:

Install cable tray
recover coax/ethernet cables from Mast
Possibly swap main antenna (pending changes to coverage reports)
Commission 3rd run of LDF5-50 (already installed)
remove foliage around perimeter/fire break
Level checks on audio interfaces (repeaters and news link)
Sweep DSTAR 2m Cavities
General tidy up of cable routing within shack
Possibly recommission VK6BBR
Document cables/connectors/interfaces for all equipment (for site database)

Many Thanks to VK6TWO, VK6FMON, Bruno, VK6AIF, VK6ZRW, VK6DB, VK6AXB, VK6LV, VK6JAH, VK6ZMS

Roleystone – Q1 2012 Working Bee

The Roleystone Repeater site requires another Working Bee to do a bit of a tidy up and make some improvements to the installation.

With the installation of 3 new LDF5-50 up the 80m mast, the old rigid line needs to be removed and sold/disposed of.

Cable tray is required to tidy up the coax runs between the Radio Shack and the Tower. Ray VK6ZRW is looking into a source for materials.

After a prolonged ‘Mains Failure” around August 2011, two spare 80W Solar Panels were placed flat on the roof and connected to the main batteries by Heath VK6TWO. These will have to be mounted in a more robust and efficient way. Some redesign of the DC power/Batteries would also be worthwhile.

Warradarge – New site for coverage to Geraldton

In November, Martin VK6ZMS, Heath VK6TWO and Monique VK6FMON traveled to a potential new site in Warradarge to assess the suitability for extending 2m Voice and APRS coverage up to Geraldton.

Warradarge is aproximately 260km north of Perth along the Brand Highway, and about 180km NLOS SSE of Geraldton.

A 10m mast was raised to enable some propagation/coverage testing from the 290m HASL Warradarge Hill.

The VK6RPT  2m APRS Digipeater was installed, along with 4.5dB antenna, deep cycle battery and 80W solar.

APRS packets from Warradarge have been received by VK6RCT, VK6RTH, VK6REX and VK6RAV.

Performance from the site has been much less than expected so a higher gain antenna will replace the current one to better assess the site for suitability.

Great thanks goes to Craig VK6FLAM who did a lot of the prep-work for this trip, but unfortunately had a last minute emergency which stopped him from attending.

It’s expected that 2012 should see permanent APRS and 2m Voice in this area, enabling coverage from Geraldton through to Cateby.

WARG Shop – LDF4-50 and LDF5-50 DIN connectors for sale – CHEAP

We currently have a very large supply of NEW DIN connectors suitable for LDF4-50 and LDF5-50 Coax.

We are looking for a Commercial / Bulk purchaser who may be interested in purchasing these connectors.

DIN connectors are used for high power coax connections in many commercial installations such as Telstra/Optus/Vodaphone base station sites, FM and TV broadcast sites etc.

All connectors are NEW, sealed in individual plastic bags, with instructions and individual boxes.

We also have many NEW mast/tower feedline securing brackets to suit LDF4-50, LDF5-50, LDF6-50, LDF7-50.

Lengths of LDF4-50 may also be available for purchase.

If you know of a company or individual who may be interested in purchasing some or all of these connectors, please get in contact with us for a list of model numbers and quantities.

Thanks to Bob VK6KW and Heath VK6TWO for the aquisition.

Fremantle VK6RFM – Lightning Strike & New QTH

There has been an ongoing effort by many to find a new site for the Fremantle Repeater VK6RFM. Don VK6UT has hosted the Fremantle reapeater for many years at his QTH, however due to unfortunate circumstances, wouldn’t be able to host it for too much longer. WARG is very greatful for Don’s hospitality.

Several letters were sent to site owners around the Frementle area by Anthony VK6AXB, Craig VK6FLAM, Ian VK6SKY in an attempt to find the repeater a new home.

Bob VK6KW who lives in the vicinity of the existing repeater location, offered to host the repeater at his QTH, however it was preferred that the repeater went to a more suitable and permanent location.

December saw a lighning strike to the repeater which took it off air. Fault finding by John VK6JAH and Bob VK6KW resulted in the repair of the repeater back to operation, though it’s suspected that there may still be an issue with the cavity filters.

Once the repeater was returned to an operational state, it was installed to it’s new home at Bob VK6KW’s QTH.

Thanks to John Don VK6UT, Anthony VK6AXB, Craig VK6FLAM, Ian VK6SKY, VK6JAH, Bob VK6KW.

VK6RTH Tic Hill – Break-in

Late November 2011 during a routine site visit to Tic Hill by Ron VK6ZRW and Mitch VK6FLEX (WAFN), it was discovered that there had been a Break-in at the site.

It appears that a portable angle grinder was used to cut the two padlocks on the outer gate and were nowhere to be seen. The hinges on the main door had also been cut.

Entry to the shack had been gained and the tools from the site toolbox had been stolen. No other items appeared to be missing. The offenders were even nice enough to close the door/gate when they were done.

Some of the barbed wire on the ‘windmil’ tower had also been cut but no other damage was noticed.

Temporary replacement padlocks were installed to secure the shack.

Cameras were installed to remotely monitor the site for future unauthorised access.

Thanks to Ray VK6ZRW and Mitch VK6FLEX for their attendance.

VK6RTH Tic Hill – 70cm Voice Repeater

VK6RTH Tic Hill 70cm Voice Repeater was removed from site in 2011 due to LIPD interference.

Anthony VK6AXB has now installed a CTCSS board to cobat the problem.

An issue with the audio circuitry was also found and being investigated.

The repeater should be retruned to site/service early 2012.

Thanks to Anthony VK6AXB for his benchwork.

Cataby VK6RCT Working Bee – APRS

December 2011 saw a working bee at the Cataby repeater site.

Party consisted of Craig VK6FLAM, Graham VK6LV, Heath VK6TWO and Monique VK6FMON.

Activities consisted of:

APRS installation – Antenna/Coax/TNC/25W Radio/Lightning protection

2m Voice – Cavity Sweep/tune, Lightning protection, 5w handheld into antenna to reach VK6RAP.

Batteries – voltage/charge monitoring

Mast – Inspection

The Batteries were identified as requiring replacement. APRS voltage beacons indicate that overnight the voltage is reaching as low as 12v, then rising during sunlight hours.

Foliage in the area has increased significantly since the last visit so some fire prevention maintenance may be required.