Good evening! The latest status report, for your reading pleasure, is available here.
The UHF link radio at George was damaged during a lightning storm.
This resulted in the UHF radio keying up the 145.700 repeater continuously. For sometime this radio was switched off.
Chris ZS2AAW, who has lots of experience with the Storno radios, suggested that an op-amp in the linking interface be replaced.
On Wednesday Francois ZS1Q and Daan ZS1DBJ from George visited the high site and replaced the op-amp. Tests were confirmed afterwards and the George to Cape Town link responded positive.
The standby battery water is also regularly topped up by Francois.
Thanks to Francois and Daan for walking the extra mile to keep the western Cape Repeaters in proper shape.
During June and July reports were received that the linked system from Riversdale –Danabaai-George were only operating in the East to West direction but not West to East.
Mike ZS1TAF did some tests during August and Rassie ZS1YT also followed up with some tests when mobile in the area.
It was concluded that the Storno UHF link radio from Riversdale to Danabaai had no audio when in TX.
Rassie contacted Chris Scarr ZS2AAW in PE and he confirmed that this issue is as a result of a blown capacitor on the TX board.
A trip to site to replace the cap was the only solution.
Wednesday 28 /10 at 4h30 Mike ZS1TAF left home to David ZS1DDK. At 5h00 they left to pick-up Rassie ZS1YT and hit the road to Klipkop.
The trio left the Strand at 5h45.
Arrived on site at 9h00.
Whilst David replaced the blown capacitor, Mike climbed the tower and checked the 3 antennas and their connections. Some cable ties were added where needed.
Rassie only went along to show the route and open and close all the gates on the dirt road!
A test was done to Trevor ZS1TR and the report was that the link radio was working fine but the deviation was a bit low. With telephone assistance form Chris Scarr the deviation was corrected as best as possible.
At 11h30 work was completed and the group returned to Cape Town.
Distance travelled +- 600 km.
Jan ZS1VDV reprogrammed the Allstar link radio to the Hawequa UHF repeaters frequencies 438.800 Mhz.
Paul ZS1V and Jan ZS1VDV did some maintenance on site. This was the 3rd attempt to go to site. The previous attempts failed due to a GSM failure on site preventing de-arming of the alarm. Last night a remote was used to de-arm the alarm. For a few while the alarm did scream inside the hut (an unpleasant experience that is not recommended).
Left for site: 16:30
The WiFi based site internet link device firmware was updated and the link reconfigured. The Multimode Digital UHF repeater and VHF DSTAR repeaters are back consequently back online.
Some power maintenance was done and monitoring equipment installed.
The Allstar link node was installed. It is currently running on 433.500 MHz simplex. This node is linked to the WCRWG hub node, which has a permanently linked node to the Gifberg 145.7375 repeater. Once testing is complete, the link node radio will be switched to link to the Hawequa 438.800 UHF repeater, bringing Gifberg onto the main link network.
Some general network maintenance was completed.
The weather on site was foul and the wind made the walk out with equipment in the dark treacherous.
Home and unpacked 20:30.