This should have gone out yesterday, apologies. I was occupied with an operation with the local NHW and SAPS until late.
On Sunday a team of four consisting of David ZS1DDK, Mike ZS1TAF, Markus ZS1MTB and Rassie ZS1YT left home at 7h00 to meet at the site gate at 8h00. The purpose of the visit was to replace the 3 cable stays on the tower with new Stainless Steel cables, clamps and turn buckles.
A 6m dipole was also fitted to the tower for future linking of a 6m simplex radio onto the repeater system.
Although quite a strong wind was experienced, the temperature on top of the mountain was a very cool 18o C. Work started immediately with Mike and Markus climbing the tower and David and Rassie fixing the cable stays on the bottom anchor points. The team returned home by about 12h30.
The 6m Webb-antenna and Stainless Steel cable was donated by Rassie ZS1YT
The antenna clamps, cable ties and other hardware was donated by Mike ZS1TAF
Travelling to the site by ZS1TAF, ZS1MTB and ZS1YT was also donated.
After an uncomfortably extended period without any personal computer (my Toshiba laptop gave up the ghost), and not being permitted to use work resources for private purposes (people were fired for this recently), I am finally back online after purchasing my old Mecer mini-tower from the company that was leasing them to my employer. It’s a nice enough machine, similar in spec to the laptop that it replaces (Core i5, 4GB RAM, 250GB HDD) and performs quite nicely now that it has my laptop’s SSD inside.
I’m sure there have been several updates that I’ve not been able to catch up on so the attached report will be no surprise to anyone. Regular updates will commence from next week, as and when I receive them.
I offer my sincere apologies for the lack of reports since mid-February. All seems to be back on track now.
For your reading pleasure! 🙂
Another repeater was brought online last week – details inside the report and here on the website, below. 🙂
Hardly any change in the report this week, unlike the weather forecast. Keep warm, dry and safe should the predicted storm come to pass. 🙂
On Sunday 19 February 2017 a digital repeater build day was held in Stellenbosch at the home of Jan (ZS1VDV). The result was that there are now three homebrew (MMDVM based) repeaters running in the Western Cape.
In June 2016 the build process first started. Jan (ZS1VDV) and Paul (ZS1V) reached out to Ronald (ZS6RVC) and Johan (ZS6JPL) for some help and lessons. Johan provided ZS1VDV with a single PCB for an SP8NTH v6 shield. Orders were 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 were assembled of which 7 were shipped up country.
In September 2016 the first proof of concept repeater was built by ZS1VDV. The next step was to design and 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 were completed.
The next step was to build more repeaters.
ZS1MTF, ZS1BSD and ZS1VDV participated in 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 were built and configured. They are on temporary wooden boards 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.
Here’s the latest report which, owing to a lapse in memory by yours truly, still doesn’t contain details of the George or Dana Bay repeaters. We’ll have all that for you next week 🙂