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. The team reached the site at around 09:30. 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. The bandpass filter was left in place.
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. 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. The problem was narrowed to a faulty buffer chip in the link controller. The chip was replaced with a spare and the fault cleared. The link controller was also updated to the latest firmware. A bandpass filter was also added to the receive path. That eliminated interference from a nearby DMR repeater.
At 09:45 the team packed up and departed Piketberg for Hawequas. 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.
Last report for the month, enjoy! 🙂
For once, the distribution of the report via email and on the website differ. This mainly because I crashed out last week (exhausted) and failed to post it to the site. So, here we have two for the price of one 🙂
On Thursday 11 October, Mike ZS1TAF and Paul ZS1V took a day off work to take advantage of an opportunity to access the Constantiaberg Sentech site, home of the 145.700MHz repeater.
The site was last visited by Sean ZS1BSD and Paul ZS1V during mid-2017. At the time, they diagnosed a problem with the antenna/feedline, but there were no Sentech personnel on site and so, despite being certified to climb, Paul could not attend to the antenna problem. Since then, there have been numerous changes to the management at Sentech and communication has been difficult. Gustav ZS1NZ, who works for Sentech, alerted the WCRWG to an upcoming Sentech maintenance run earlier in the week and so plans were hastily put in place for Mike and Paul to take leave and visit the site.
The team met the Sentech technician at the security checkpoint at 9.30am and proceeded up to the site. Despite the warm weather at the bottom, a cloud on the mountain ensured cold and wet conditions at the mast. The SWR at the bottom of the antenna feedline was measured at 2.5:1. The high SWR presumably caused damage to the repeater which was transmitting well below 1W.
Despite the unpleasant climbing conditions, Mike headed up the tower to open and inspect the connection point between the feedline and the antenna, but this was found to be well sealed and dry inside. He swapped out the antenna for another and the SWR was measured at the bottom at 1.3:1. Paul swapped out the repeater and removed the bandpass filter for re-tuning.
The team left the site just after noon, to enjoy a cold one in a warm and sunny Tokai.
For your reading pleasure, the latest report.
New month, new report… enjoy both! 🙂
Latest report for you, with fresh electrons. 🙂
New Status Report! Get it right here! 🙂
Here’s your latest edition, jam-packed with news and information! No pushing, now, there’s plenty to go around… 🙂