Maintenance Bottelary 20200929

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.

Bottelary repairs 20200530

On Saturday 30 May, John ZS1EQ, Paul ZS1V and Jan ZS1VDV visited the Bottelaryberg highsite that hosts the 145.575 DSTAR and 438.300 multimode digital repeaters. While both repeaters were operating correctly, the internet link to the site had been down for several months, limitting the utility of these repeaters.

The internet link was re-established and a general health check of the site was performed. The gateway unit for the VHF DSTAR repeater was found to be faulty and removed from the site. As a consequence the UHF multimode repeater is now fully functional, but the DSTAR repeater is not linked to the internet.

A battery switch over and low voltage cutout unit on the backup batteries was installed.

Bottelary Maintenance 20180629

View from top in mist

Mast in mist

ZS1SCI (Ohan) and ZS1VDV (Jan) went to site around 17:00

UHF repeater ZU9DMR running DMR, D-Star and YSF

The reconfigured UHF repeater ZU9DMR was reinstalled on site.

A new gateway was installed for the VHF D-Star repeater.

Last view of site, with alarm activated

The site was left around 18:45.  The drive down in the dark and mist was a big challenge.

Maintenance Piketberg, Hawequa and Bottelary 20180113

Jan (ZS1VDV) and John (ZS1EQ) did a round trip to service 3 sites.

Started to load the bakkie 07:00.

Left Stellenbosch around 08:00 and reached Piketberg by 09:45

At the end of 2017, the Piketberg VHF repeater was removed.  The repeater was serviced by Verstay.  The final transistor was replaced.  A replacement duplexer was prepared during the week. The duplexer was swapped out and VHF repeater reinstalled.  SWR between duplexer and VHF radio was 1.2 and between the duplexer and antenna 1.3.

Left Piketberg 11:15 and was on Hawequa at 12:45.

The 10 amp battery charger was swapped out for a 7 amp battery charger.  The 10 amp is designated to go to Hanskop.

Left Hawequa 13:45 and reached Bottelary at 14:45.

Removed the UHF DMR repeater for service.

Back in Stellenbosch and unpacked by 16:15.

Repeater Installation Bottelary 20170319

Panoramic View

The first digital repeater high site in the Western Cape was installed on Sunday.

ZS1VDV and ZS1DDK completed the main install on Sunday 19 March 2017.

UHF MMDVM Repeater and ICOM VHF DSTAR repeater and controller

The install on site started around 08:30. All equipment had to be carried a few 100m up the hill.

Uninstalled old equipment from rack.
Cleaned out all dead animals and dust.
Installed power supply unit.
Automatic transfer switch with low voltage dropout on battery side.
Power pole distribution block.
Installed networking router.
Did all network cabeling.
Installed MMDVM UHF repeater (DMR and DSTAR configured)
Installed ICOM ID RP2C controller and ID RP2000V repeater.
Installed VHF duplexer.

Equipment Rack

Made up coax fly leads.
Installed UHF HD 400 antenna.

ZS1VDV installing antennas

Did a final cleanup.

Returned home by 14:30