Anthony here, gradually getting back on deck. A quick update on my visit to Roleystone site a few days ago, plus a few other things:
Firstly, I will be unable to attend the WARG meeting this Monday coming, please put me down as an apology. I should be on the net this Sunday; my contributions there and via this email will have to suffice as a technical report in my absence from the meeting.
Roleystone: following the net last Sunday 26th when problems with VK6RAP 2m RX performance were widely reported, I was able to attend the site after work on Tuesday 28th. I checked for intermod/interference but did not note anything specific at the time. I then opened & checked all coax connectors in line with the repeater diplexer/TX filters/RX filter & preamp – I tightened two connectors which were somewhat loose on their coax, and cleaned others as required. Antenna SWR was also checked and no problems were noted. At the conclusion of this work on air checks with VK6’s MRS/CS/PMY & others seemed to indicate the repeater performance was improved, and to date I have seen no reports to the contrary. (Please let me know ASAP if there are still problems – some urgent investigations/repairs may be possible before Sunday’s news broadcast).
This is very much an interim fix – the poor state of some coax interconnecting leads at Roleystone has been discussed before, and I have previously mentioned the desirability of upgrading all these cables (using RG214 double-screened low-loss coax, we have a qty of this kindly donated by VK6MS) and tidying/re-mounting the various cavity filters in the repeater rack. As more problems could occur or be worsened due to the continuing poor state of these cables, I suggest this work be organised sooner rather than later – although not immediately, as we need to obtain connectors for the RG214 and do a little pre-planning. I suggest we aim to organise a working bee in late September/early October, would appreciate any comments people have on this proposal, what times you are available, etc. (I still have to confirm my availability for these weekends, on-call work schedule could interfere…)
News TX: just before Hamfest I repaired a WIA news TX (which I got from Dennis) and returned it to Neil. It tested OK on my bench, but I see a reference in the August minutes that there is still a problem with it, maybe I overlooked something? I am happy to take the unit back for another look, unless the problem has been solved already? if anyone has more info on this, please let me know.
Mt William: Mac VK6MM has advised he has fitted a temporary Yagi antenna to Mt William to get the digipeater back on air (following the failure of the main repeater antenna, the main digi antenna was swapped to the voice repeater to keep it on air). Also note the problem with Mt William is not simply finding a climber – the Mt William mast has a large antenna/cable load, and the whole structure is aging to the point where there is an increased risk of structural failure – anyone proposing to climb Mt William would have to have sufficient experience to weigh up the risks to their own safety – makes it a tricky problem to solve, we need to investigate further and see what is possible. Mac is the one most familiar with the site.
WARG test equipment (the IFR1500) – last I heard, VK6XRE had our newly obtained communications service monitor? (If not please let me know where it might be). It would be useful for the Roleystone working bee proposed above, to enable checking of cavity filter/diplexer tuning. I would like to have it for a short time beforehand to refresh my memory of IFR operation. I can collect it if required, with a bit of notice beforehand. Please let me know.
There are a number of other things I promised to do before I went away – if they aren’t mentioned here, I haven’t done them yet! Watch this space for more info…
BR & 73,