VK6RTH – Tic Hill – Site Working Bee – Wed 11th July

A successful working bee at Tic Hill was carried out on 11th July.

Work carried out consisted of:

APRS antenna stand-off replacement (to keep antenna vertical)

INOX placed in batteries and placed on high charge (via 2KW petrol Generator)

Reconnection of all 6x Solar panels (total 350W) with each pair isolated

Current measurement of all/individual equipment at site (Standby, power-up and TX)

WAFN antennas/cabling/equipment replacement/tidy up and new solar pannel/batteries installed (not independant power system)

Thanks to 6POP, 6JAH, 6TWO,6ZRW, 6FLEX,WAFN

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Pogo-Stick Antenna Working Bee – Saturday 14th July

Saturday morning 14th July will saw a club working bee to manufacture our famous ‘Pogo-Stick’ antennas for sale at the Anual Perth Hamfest.

Mass production of all of the ‘parts’ took off quite quickly, however the assembly hit a ‘road block’ when it came to optimising/refining the design. Several hours were spent ‘tweaking’ and testing with very expensive test equipment till we came up with a final build which enabled the antenna to be usable across the entire 2m band.

Along with several saussages in bread, the assembly line was back in full swing.

~20 antennas were completed and individually tested.

Thanks to 6HRB, Dot, 6ZRW, ZRW-Jr, 6AXB, 6JAH, 6FMON, 6TWO, 6LV, 6FLEX, 6BDO, 6FJON, 6KMC, 6ZMS,TOM.

 

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Anual Perth Hamfest – 5th Aug 2012

WARG will again be attending the Anual Perth Hamfest.

As usual, the ‘WARG Shop’ will be selling Coax (213 & 58), connectors and antennas.

WARG welcomes any members to bring along any gear you wish to sell on the WARG table  (please let us know how much you intend to bring so that we can manage table space).

As always, the WARG Membership Officer will be present which will be a great opportunity to join the club, or renew your membership.

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New Perth Repeater Site – VK6RLM

Negotiations are in place for a new WARG repeater site. Coverage is expected to be the majority of the Perth are.

It’s expected that the site will be used for hosting VK6RLM after a long period without a home. Once installed, Echo/IRLP is expected to be connected up to the repeater to enable a broader coverage Echolink/IRLP round Perth.

Bringing RLM back on air will enable all of the regular ‘nets’ to relocate back to 146.750, allowing VK6RAP to be free for general/mobile voice traffic.

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Video Webconferencing Trials

In 2011 Heath VK6TWO started researching the use of ‘WebConferencing’ for use at committee and planning meetings. This was brought on by several key active members often working away from the Perth area which made attending/arranging meetings rather difficult.

Given recent discussion and interest in the idea, further research has been done and the committee have trialed several solutions for suitability for GM’s, Practical sessions, Committee meetings and planning meetings.

It’s expected that we may end up with two soltions aimed at differnt uses. First being a featureful and interactive solution to enable effective planning and committee meetings, and the second being for general meetings so that members can ‘attend’ via webconference.¬† This should enable more time to be spent on ‘making progress’ instead of driving in the car to/from meetings.

Further testing will continue by the committee, potentially for some initial ‘planning’ and once the best solution is decided on, the GM preferred solution will be sent out to enable members to remotely attend meetings.

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VK6RCT – Cateby has new battery power

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.

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Fremantle (VK6RFM) has a new antenna.

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.

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MAY AGM

We have the AGM comming up on May 12th.

The AGM is also WARG’s ‘financial year’ which means that anual membership subscriptions are due.

Get your payments in early to enable you to nominate for a committee position and/or vote for who you want on the committee.

The Anual Newsletter formally detailing the AGM will be going out in April so keep an eye on your mailbox.

Ask all of your HAM buddies if they are a WARG member and encourage them to support a good cause.

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WARG Practical and Information sessions – Meetings

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…

Meeting:

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

Meeting:

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.

Meeting:

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.

Meeting:

sweep/tune a complete set of new cavities for Tic Hill
sweep/tune/test other cavities in container
test/refurbish spare antennas in container

Meeting:

Repeater theory – Learn how a repeater works, what parts there are, what functions are available
building up spare repeaters

Meeting:

Program up APRS digipeaters x3
Manufacture/mount APRS enclosures x3
presentation on APRS graphs/monitoring

Meeting:

Brainstorming/presenting smart controller features for smart linking
old network design
current network design
future network design
System Expansion planning
System refurbishment planning

Meeting:

Build new DC distribution boards x3
testing of old Walliston Batteries

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Fremantle VK6RFM’s new QTH – Echolink/IRLP

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.

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