Onrusberg visit

On Sunday 4 November, a team consisting of David ZS1DDK, Jan ZS1VDV and Paul ZS1V visitted the 145.725 repeater site at Onrusberg with the intention of returning the repaired Tait repeater and retrieving the Kenwood TKR-750 which had been put there as a temporary measure.

David collected Jan at 06:45 and Paul at 07:15.ย  The team reached the site at around 09:30.ย  The Tait was re-installed and the Kenwood removed, but despite introducing a bandpass filter to the receive path, the Tait’s front-end was not suited to the high noise on the site.

Consequently, the Kenwood was returned to service.ย  The bandpass filter was left in place.

Photo: ZS1DDK

Piketberg Visit

On Saturday 3 November, Jan ZS1VDV and Paul ZS1V left Stellenbosch at 06:00 to visit the 145.625MHz repeater site at Voorstevlei near Piketberg.

Towards the end of October the UHF radio for the link from Piketberg to Hawequas locked into transmit.ย  The link repeater at Hawequas had to be temporarily disabled to prevent the rest of the link network also locking in transmit.

The team arrived at the Piketberg site at around 8am.ย  The problem was narrowed to a faulty buffer chip in the link controller.ย  The chip was replaced with a spare and the fault cleared.ย  The link controller was also updated to the latest firmware.ย  A bandpass filter was also added to the receive path.ย  That eliminated interference from a nearby DMR repeater.

At 09:45 the team packed up and departed Piketberg for Hawequas.ย  There, the link controller settings were adjusted and a damaged connector seal on one of the antennas was repaired.

The exterior temperature sensors at both Piketberg and Hawequa have not stood up to the elements and are faulty.

The team arrived home just after noon.