On Sunday 19 February 2017 a digital repeater build day was held in Stellenbosch at the QTH of Jan (ZS1VDV). The result was that there is now three home brew (MMDVM based) repeaters running in the Western Cape.
In June 2016 the first build process started. Jan(ZS1VDV) and Paul(ZS1V) reached out to Ronald(ZS6RVC) and Johan(ZS6JPL) for some help and learnings. Johan provided ZS1VDV with a single PCB for an SP8NTH v6 shield. The orders was placed for Raspberry Pi’s, Arduino Due, SP8NTH v6.1 PCBs, components and Nextion screens. ZS1VDV started to collect duplexers and radios.
10 complete SP8NTH v 6.1 PCB was assembled and 7 was shipped up country.
In September 2016 the first proof of concept repeater was build by ZS1VDV. The next step was to design an produce a case that can be used on a highsite. This was completed early November 2016.
In January 2017 the finer setup and software configuration was resolved.
The next step was to build more repeaters.
ZS1MTF, ZS1BSD and ZS1VDV was involved with the build day. It started the morning at 09:00 with a quick recap of what digital repeaters are, what they are made of and how they work. Then two repeaters was build and configured. The are on temporary wooden bords to keep costs down.
Currently there are three UHF repeaters running in the Western Cape that are DMR and DSTAR capable. The WCRWG is in process of moving a VHF DSTAR repeater and a UHF MMDVM repeater to a high site. This will improve the current coverage area.