Maintenance Klipkop Riversdale 20201028

During June and July reports were received that the linked system from Riversdale –Danabaai-George were only operating in the East to West direction but not West to East.

Mike ZS1TAF did some tests during August and Rassie ZS1YT also followed up with some tests when mobile in the area.

It was concluded that the Storno UHF link radio from Riversdale to Danabaai had no audio when in TX.

Rassie contacted Chris Scarr ZS2AAW in PE and he confirmed that this issue is as a result of a blown capacitor on the TX board.

A trip to site to replace the cap was the only solution.

Wednesday 28 /10 at 4h30 Mike ZS1TAF left home to David ZS1DDK. At 5h00 they left to pick-up Rassie ZS1YT and hit the road to Klipkop.

The trio left the Strand at 5h45.

Arrived on site at 9h00.

Whilst David replaced the blown capacitor, Mike climbed the tower and checked the 3 antennas and their connections. Some cable ties were added where needed.

Rassie only went along to show the route and open and close all the gates on the dirt road!

A test was done to Trevor ZS1TR and the report was that the link radio was working fine but the deviation was a bit low.  With telephone assistance form Chris Scarr the deviation was corrected as best as possible.

At 11h30 work was completed and the group returned to Cape Town.

Distance travelled +- 600 km. 

Welcoming us!
Basic Storno Repair 101
Mike going up the tower.
The culprit
The Trio
It was very early start!

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.

Maintenance Jonaskop 20200912

It was a challenge to predict the correct maintenance slot for Jonaskop. The weather changed a few times in the week.

David ZS1DDK picked up batteries, which was fetched from him during the week by Jan ZS1VDV. Rassie ZS1YT facilitated all payments.

John ZS1EQ delivered the automatic switchover and LVD (Low Voltage Disconnect) / OVD (Over Voltage Disconnect) box to Matt ZS1MTF on Friday evening.

A team consisting of Matt ZS1MTF, Nic, James ZS1RBT, Paul ZS1V and Jan ZS1VDV went to Jonaskop to upgrade the emergency battery capacity, install the automatic switchover and LVD/OVD box, replace all cable ties (lasted about 8 years in the sun) and tension the tower stays.

Replacing cable ties and working on stays

Saturday morning started at 06:00 packing the vehicles.

Left home around 06:30.

08:30 stopped at site. The weather was not cold with a moderate breeze, which turned into a strong breeze as the day progressed.

Vehicles parked n top and mast (left)

11:30 done and left site.

13:00 safe home.

Maintenance Jonaskop 20200719

Matt ZS1MTF, JP ZS1JPM and Jan ZS1VDV investigated the power outage at Jonaskop. The sun was out, some wind was blowing and some left over snow was visible.

An upstream Eskom breaker was reset.

With the storms, the hut took a bit of a beating. The one air vent cover needed to be replaced and the outside temperature sensor wire repaired.

The backup battery distribution was upgrade and fuses installed. The site is now ready to take an easy install of 2 more batteries.

Maintenance Piketberg 20200627

Michael ZS1TAF did a quick on site diagnosis on 26 June 2020 and found that the controller needed reconfiguration.

Paul ZS1V and Jan ZS1VDV went to Piketberg on 27 June 2020.

The controller was reinitialized, firmware reloaded and reconfigured. (Last done 3 November 2018)

The VHF antenna system was found to have a 2+ SWR, and needs servicing.