Category Archives: Working Bees

Working Bees

VK6RBN Busselton Repeater – Working Bee

Jan 2012 has already seen a visit to Busselton VK6RBN site by Anthony VK6AXB and Phil VK6SO.

The DC Distribution system has had an overdue upgrade/replacement.

Fire protection of surrounding foulage got a bit of a cleanup but ther’s more still required

Thanks to Phil VK6SO and Anthony VK6AXB

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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VK6RAV – Hoddy’s Well (Avon Valley) – 2m + APRS

Hoddy’s Well, ~100km East of Perth now has APRS and 2m FM Voice repeaters.

Coverage ranges from Perth to the East right through to Kellerberrin.

Voice Repeater consists of the old VK6RAV from Northam.

APRS equipment consists of an Argent Data OT2 Digipeater coupled to a 25W radio.

The VK6RAV 2m Voice repeater can be accessed on 147.275+

APRS on 145.175

Both services were fully operational as of Aug 2011

Many thanks to Jim VK6CA, Craig VK6FLAM, Rob VK6UFO, Heath VK6TWO, Martin VK6ZMS, Monique VK6FMON.

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Kellerberrin VK6RKN – On-Air!

Kellerberrin, ~200km East of Perth now has APRS and 2m FM Voice repeaters.

Coverage is approximately a 50km+ radius, from Cunderdin to the West, through to the East of Meerredin.

Voice Repeater consists of two PRM80 25W radios controlled by an NHRC repeater controller.

APRS equipment consists of an Argent Data OT2 Digipeater coupled to a 25W radio.

The VK6RKN 2m Voice repeater can be accessed on 147.325+

APRS on 145.175

Both services were fully operational as of Nov 2011

This sites extends the coverage from Perth to the East for almost 300Km.

Many thanks to Bruce VK6LAW, Craig VK6FLAM, Peter VK6FUN, Heath VK6TWO, Martin VK6ZMS, Monique VK6FMON.

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WARG Practical – Cavity Modification and Consolidation

The long weekend in March will be a WARG Practical – Cavity Modification and Consolidation day. All are invited to get involved with commercial cavity modification for use on 2m repeaters. Please bring along any drills, holesaws and basic tools you may have. Learn a thing or two about cavitiy filters and how to modify them for AR use. Time permitting, some of the older existing WARG cavities will be inspected/tested/tuned for future works.

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