PM – Thursday, August 3rd 2017
Appears we have had a hardware failure on the link radio, or the controller up at the 146.67Mhz Aspen/Snowmass Repeater site.
I did some troubleshooting today and determined that it was not in any of the controller configuration that I could identify, so the most likely problem is hardware.
Previously the link was transmitting into the UHF hub, but not receiving. Rather than have a one way link operating that can create all sorts of havoc, I’ve turned off the link at Snowmass until we can make a site visit and attempt to make a repair.
Stay tuned. Will probably be a couple of weeks before I’m able to make the site visit.
Chuck – n0nhj
So I planned on making a recon trip to see how far the road was open up Sunlight on the way home this afternoon. Surprised that it was in really good shape and was able to drive to within 30 feet of the gate (still 1/4 mile from the SCARC radio site). Since it was 70°, Sunny, and I had my hiking boots with me, I did the hike in, but wasn’t able to carry much test gear with me – just a watt meter.
Was able to determine that 88 was only putting 10 watts out of the duplexer to the antenna. No reflected power on the antenna. Checked at the radio, and it was putting out 20 watts. No amplification from the Power Amplifier.
Just looking through the vents revealed some serious heat, a small copper tab that looks like it’s designed to dissipate heat was out of place. Probably indicating that we heated up the board enough to flow the solder. Good news is that there was no obvious damage to the board.
You can see that the upper one is horizontal, the circled one is at an angle.
I was able to carry the PA down with me, and have it here in Glenwood Springs. I’ll be calling the manufacturer Monday and making arrangements to get it repaired. Hopefully we will be able to get a quick turn around.
Meanwhile removing the PA and a jumper brought the power out of the Duplexer to the Antenna up to 12 Watts. Enjoy that extra power 😉
Seems like the word didn’t get around much, but the Annual Tailgate in Delta is Tomorrow. Starts at 8 AM at Confluence Park in Delta (to the west of City Market) Map is accessible from the link – http://www.arrl.org/hamfests/montrose-arc-tailgate-party-1
They usually have coffee and donuts available, usually runs until noon, though the crowd will probably be pretty thin by then. Free admission, tables for sale items are $5.
See you there. Chuck n0nhj
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
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
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.
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
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!
Interesting article on a grander scale about RF noise levels and the impact on not only radios, but other devices as well.
Just got this off an email list I subscribe to.
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.
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 email@example.com
I’ll collect reports to forward to them.
Have fun, 73