It was an early and crisp morning of 7 degrees when Mike Kellet, ZS1TAF, and Mike Taylor, ZS1MJT, met in Tableview and departed for the 145.625 repeater high site in Piketberg.
The plan for the day was to replace the dipole antenna and try see where the problem was with linking the 70cm and 2m systems.
The planning started a few weeks before the 18th. New equipment needed to be purchased and a plan was put in place to get access to the Sentech site. On Monday 17th, ZS1TAF collected the new dipole and ZS1MJT got a crash course on how controller and laptop interface worked, or didn’t.
We left Tableview at 07h00 and enjoyed the beautiful sunset en-route.
09h15 we arrived at the high site and started preparing equipment for the climb up the tower. Trying to identify the antenna from the ground was rather challenging, but ZS1TAF eventually made it to the 2m 4 stack and started work on cable checking and testing (SWR was around 1.5). He found the old joint to the antenna to be damaged and brittle and water had found its way into the socket.
At just under 80m up the tower, the wind proved to be a bit of a contender, but Mike, as resilient as he is, trudged on relentlessly and eventually got the job done. The old antenna was put back and the SWR retested, reading around 1:1.
While Mike was working on the antenna, Mike ZS1MJT, did software checks on the controller. Software was updated and the programming was reloaded.
We tested signals and got positive feedback from fellow Hams in Cape Town.
We departed site around 12h45 and headed back to Tableview. We were back at Tablwview around 14h15.
A huge thank you to Jan ZS1VDV, Rassie ZS1YT, Sybrand ZS1SJ and Paul ZS1V for arranging and coordinating the successful visit.