Cateby has recently had a couple of site visits. For quite some time the batteries at Cateby have been in a poor state and the 2m voice repeater went ‘off air’. APRS data showed that the battery voltage (particularly overnight) was very low. Thanks to Ray VK6ZRW who donated a 180Ah battery for the site. The battery was installed by Matt VK6MRG on his way through to Parabardoo. After a Low Voltage Cutout reset, the voice repeater came alive again and was usable for aproximately 50km north on the Brand Highway. Within a couple of days, it was noticed that the 2m repeater wasn’t accessible again. Ray VK6ZRW called in to the site on his way back from Canarvon to find that a coax lead from the Cavities to the Rx had failed. Since the cable was replaced with a new purpose built one, signal reports indicate 2m voice ‘back to normal’. Many thanks to all involved.
The Fremantle repeater VK6RFM now has it’s new antenna installed thanks to Bob VK6KW.
Coverage and Signal reports so far show a significant increas in the repeaters coverage compared to the temporary discone antenna.
Some have reported that the signal is better than the previous repeater location, whilst others have reported that it’s slightly lower. This is to be expected as it’s physically in a different geographical location, as well as using a new antenna with different gain and radiation pattern.
We plan to do some more testing/tweaking on the Cavity Filters to improve on the repeaters performance.
Please let us know any signal/coverage reports.
Echo/IRLP is also back online. It was ofline for a short period as the Echo/IRLP ‘node’ couldn’t access the repeater with it’s temporary antenna.
WARG is changing the way meetings are run to include more informational/practical sessions. We’re considering bi-monthly General Meetings, where the alternate month will involve informational/practical sessions. We’re also looking at the restructure of formal General Meetings to ‘compress’ the formalities to enable simular informative sessions to follow.
Please let us know any topics you’d like to learn about related to Repeaters/AR.
Some Ideas we have so far…
Radio measurements – Bring along your mobile/HT radios and we’ll test things like audio levels, deviation, power output, frequency shift etc.
Learn how/why different stations sound different via the repeaters
Roleystone site visit – Come along and see what a repeater site looks like.
Learn about all of the devices required for a repeater, how they connect, and what they look like.
WARG network and features – Learn what repeaters are out there and what features they have availabale to users.
APRS network – Learn what APRS digipeaters/gateways are out there and what features they have availabale to users.
sweep/tune a complete set of new cavities for Tic Hill
sweep/tune/test other cavities in container
test/refurbish spare antennas in container
Repeater theory – Learn how a repeater works, what parts there are, what functions are available
building up spare repeaters
Program up APRS digipeaters x3
Manufacture/mount APRS enclosures x3
presentation on APRS graphs/monitoring
Brainstorming/presenting smart controller features for smart linking
old network design
current network design
future network design
System Expansion planning
System refurbishment planning
Build new DC distribution boards x3
testing of old Walliston Batteries
The Fremantle repeater VK6RFM has now settled into it’s new home.
Coverage from the new QTH i currently limited due to suspected cavity issues (thanks to a lightning strike) and being run off atemporary discone antenna.
March should see the cavities either retuned or replaced, and see the installation of a new co-linear antenna which should see the repeater back to full operation.
Due to current coverage limitations, the Echolink/IRLP access node hosted by VK6DN can’t get into the repeater so use of this service is currently ‘out-of-order’. It’s expected that with the work on the cavities and the new antenna that Echolink and IRLP services will return to operation.
Thanks to Don VK6DN, James VK6FJA, Bob VK6KW, Anthony VK6AXB, John VK6JAH and Heath VK6TWO for their wok on the relocation and getting the repeater back into service.
Perth now has 23cm DSTAR Digital Voice coverage from the Roleystone repeater site thanks to the purchase of a 23cm diplexer.
Coverage on 23cm from this site is yet to be field tested but computer generated coverage plots show that it is quite healthy.
Members are encouraged to purchase Icom ID-1 23cm DSTAR/FM mobile radios or an Icom IC-9100 (with 23cm and DSTAR options fitted) to utilise. DSTAR home brew is also becomming quite popular so perhaps give this a try too.
Thanks to Rob VK6LD for spotting the cavity purchase opportunity, and VK6TWO for the purchase and installation.