Anvil – Sunlight Link Restored

Kevin and I made a trip up to Sunlight today to fix the link between Anvil Points and Sunlight Peak.  Turned out to be a controller issue, and was quickly resolved.

So everyone should be back to normal.

Chuck – n0nhj

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Anvil Work Day Postponed!

Though the forecast for tomorrow (Sunday) doesn’t look too bad, we’d be lucky to get 3 hours on site.  Also the last couple of days of rain is likely to have made the road slimy & very muddy, with little chance for it to dry out before the morning. (More rain forecast through 7 PM this evening).

So, we will postpone the work day until Sunday September 11th.   Same plan meet at City Market in Rifle at 8AM.  (I’m out of town the next 3 weekends).   September is typically a bit drier so hopefully we’ll have a larger window.

Thanks     Chuck n0nhj

Anvil Points Site NWS Forecast

Cell that rolled over Anvil an hour or two ago

Satellite

Work Days – Sunlight & Anvil

All plans are weather dependent!!   Keep an ear on the repeater for last minute changes.  I’ll also try to post any changes here if time allows.

Tuesday, August 2nd – after breakfast the VI.  We will leave the Village Inn in Glenwood Springs for Sunlight Peak about 9:15 AM.   Early forecast calls for the possibility of showers in the afternoon, so it will probably be a 1/2 day, but it never hurts to pack lunch.

I hope to tackle some tower work to better secure the antenna feed lines.   Depending on the time available we may also swap out the UHF Hub repeater (447.6 MHz) with the new (to us) Motorola MTR2000 repeater, this will increase our transmit power and should have slightly better receive sensitivity.

Other general labor projects to be accomplished include some weed pulling/trimming around the building.    We’ll plan to be headed down by 2PM if the storms don’t arrive earlier.

Anvil

Sunday, August 7th – Anvil Points.  We will meet at City Market in Rifle at 8AM.  It’s 25 miles each way to the site via the JQS trail, and will take us about 90 minutes.   The road is in good shape as of yesterday (7/28), but is narrow in places. (My jeep liberty does fine, a full size vehicle will make it, but the pucker factor will be higher).  The last 150 meters is through the sage brush, and there is limited parking on top, so some folks should expect to hike the last section.    We will try to get as much time on site as weather allows, so pack a lunch.

The major project will be to dig and install mounting poles for our new solar panels.   Bring your post hole digger, and spade shovels.     Other projects that would be nice to accomplish:  Clearing/trimming the brush along that last section of ‘road’, clearing some down trees on the main road.  We’ve got some tower work to do, removing some old antennas and feedlines, installing a new antenna, and feedline for the UHF link.    There is also general cleanup and weed removal that needs to be done.   If you’ve got tools that would be helpful for any of these projects please bring them along.

Any questions, offers or suggestions please contact  Chuck  n0nhj  email is my call sign at yahoo.com or 970 930 1296.

Thanks    Chuck  – n0nhj

Fox Hunt Tools

Couple of folks were asking about the variable attenuator I was using at the Picnic Saturday.   Here’s the link to the Offset Fox Hunt Attenuator on the Arrow Antennas page.  http://www.arrowantennas.com/main/4ofha.html

Thanks Pat for hosting another great Picnic, and thanks to Brent for providing and hiding the fox!

Chuck   n0nhj

Labor Day Monday DX opportunity on 2m/440

Just got this off an email list I subscribe to.

Chuck  n0nhj

 

 

The LSU HASP (High Altitude Student Platform) project expects to make a launch attempt in the early morning on Monday Sept 7 around 7:30 AM MDT.
See http://laspace.lsu.edu/hasp/  for details.
This is a pretty big payload platform, using a 12 million cubic foot zero pressure balloon lifting about 2000 pounds to an altitude of about 125,000 ft.
Jack (W7JLC) and Bryan (W7BNW) from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University have installed a cross-band repeater along with the assortment of science payloads.
   Uplink: 145.560 MHZ, 162.2 tone access
   Downlink: 445.525 MHz
   When crossband is not active, APRS on 445.925 MHz
Launch is from Ft. Sumner NM, and the balloon will drift generally westward.
When it reaches its float alitude of 125,000 ft the radio footprint will be almost 1000 miles in diameter, reaching roughly from Dallas and San Antonio to Phoenix and up past Denver to Ft. Collins, and down to Chihuahua in Mexico.
The flight duration is expected to be 15 to 20 hours.
They invite hams to try it out. If you do and want to report back to me n5ib@juno.com I’ll collect reports to forward to them.
Have fun, 73
Jim, N5IB

Sunlight Peak – attempt #2 Saturday July 25th

Once again weather dependent
(Sunlight Peak Site Forecast)
we’re going to try another attempt at some tower and other work at the site on Saturday. Will be leaving Glenwood Springs about 8 A.M.

No specific meeting place but you should be able find us on the 146.880 repeater, or just head on up.

If the weather holds we’ll likely take advantage of it, so I’d recommend packing a lunch, or some snacks.
Feel free to come up even if you can’t stay the entire time.
Chuck n0nhj

Work Morning – Tuesday July 7th 9AM’ish Weather Dependent

DSCN7387Chuck & Kevin are planning a small work party on Tuesday to work on the tower, securing hard line cables, and checking antennas at the SCARC home QTH for 148.88 – our clubs Main Repeater site at Sunlight.    Planning for the power system upgrades, and other minor tasks in the building.   Will leave from the Village Inn after the Tuesday, July 7th 2015 Breakfast.  Probably a 3 to 4 hour project.  And as always will depend on the the weather forecast and loud noises in the sky.   If you have your own transportation (Jeep or 4-wheel drive recommended), you can spend as much or little time as you want.

Chuck  n0nhj

SCARC – Tuesday Morning Breakfast Meetings?  Yes, every Tuesday at the Village Inn – in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

Sunlight Peak Trip – Improvement on the noise issue.

Well, everything came together and I was able to make a trip up to the Sunlight site today (Thursday 1/29).    Much thanks to Jon Banks who went along to assist and provided the transportation.   Jon is the technician for the radio station that we’ve been hearing.  He was up on the hill a couple of weeks ago and had checked their equipment and unable to find any problems.

In contemplation of the problem – we knew that the audio from from 88.9 transmitter about 1/2 mile away which broadcasts about 4,000 watts.   During Jon’s first trip and testing we discovered that both that transmitter and the 90.5 MHz transmitter both had to be on, if either was off then we could not detect the noise from the repeater.

It was also evident that the interference was not an RF Receive issue at our site.  The noise would be there even when all the receivers were quiet, and the controller was sending an ID or other message.    It was also pervasive throughout all of the SCARC transmitters.

So, the two things that are common to all the transmitters are power and the repeater controller.    The controller is a shielded and grounded case, and all the audio cables connecting to it are also shielded.   The small battery that was connected to the controller was bad, and only read 5 volts.

When I first arrived, I checked that all the shielding and cables were in good shape, and there was nothing obvious.   In preparation I had scrounged a couple of RF Chokes and some capacitors that I used to build a perf board power filter to use on the Controller power feed (sorry I didn’t think to take a photo on the bench, and didn’t have my camera with me on the hill).       Power from the fuse panel enters, is fed through a couple of diodes to a contact for a new small battery (prevents the battery from trying to feed all the equipment), is then parallel with the 7 Amp Hour 12 Volt battery.   From there it’s fed through several capacitors, and a pair of RF chokes.  The power cable from the perf board to the controller is wrapped around two small toroids and plugs into the back of the controller.

It seems to have removed the problem audio noise getting into the controller that was then getting repeated onto the audio lines to all of the transmitters.

So, for the moment it appears we are good.  Bob K9MWM was unable to detect any discernible noise from the broadcast stations during our test.     For the project list this summer we need to take a look at the DC Power system and see what we can clean up.   We should probably also looking at installing backup batteries.  Not only would that keep us on the air during power outages, it would provide a fair bit of capacitance across the DC power system to help keep the noise out.

Was a great day for the trip, just light overcast, and mostly calm.   Jon’s argo snowcat made good time, and the snow conditions were good.

Chuck  n0nhj