Repeater Update 9/16/2017

Hello all,

Just a update on this weekends antenna projects.  Although there was a couple hang ups on u-bolt sizes for the mounts of the antennas we were able to improvise and get things done.  We got two new antennas on the tower, one at 80′ and another at 20′.  The 80′ is now our main repeater antenna and the 20′ it the APRS Digipeater-control receiver antenna. We also removed the old main “North” antenna and the old feed line to old North and south antennas.

So a recap, there is a “main” antenna at 80′ that the repeater uses normally.  A antenna at 40′ that we can remotely switch to if needed and our just to see the difference in coverage because of elevation. Also we still have the backup repeater that is still a completely independent system with its own antenna at about 15′ off the ground.

We also removed the old EchoLink link antenna off the tower to be “reconditioned”.  Once that is done we will use that one to systematically remove and recondition the north and south link antennas for the Evergreen intertie.  As we do that we will also be relocating the antennas to kinda group all of our antennas together and also replace the feedline going to them.

All this work will help the repeater group in the future keep thing going at top notch performance easier hopefully.

We have already in around the first 24 hours of the 80′ antenna being in service gotten contacts with stations that have already noticed a improvement in signal.  The main thing we have noticed is that we have better coverage within about a 20 mile radius in know “shadow” spots.  A example is the Mud Bay Area on 101 and farther out towards Shelton in the lower dips of the terrain on that highway.  We haven’t had any long distance stations in King county or to the south yet but hopefully we will also be surprised with that too.

I would like to thank personally and for the repeater group all that was able to come up the hill Saturday and Sunday and help with this project.  Everyone contributed and made this major project go pretty smoothly and get many man hours done in a short amount of time!

 

Jeremy Prine

 

Antenna switch install

This is the latest of upgrades, as told by Jeremy KC7VCG

I installed a “relay driver” and antenna switch into our system on the main repeater.  The relay driver is in place because the controllers output circuits can only take a very low amperage less then a ¼ amp (150milliamps).  Almost all normal relay coils take more then that. So the relay driver I found uses far less then that with the help of transistors that actually drive small relays that can handle up to 10 amps of current. The pictures show a small circuit board with 4 blue cubes (the relays).  Right now we are only using one to turn the antenna switch on and off but we have 3 more open for other expansions like door alarms, fans controls, and AC power loss alarms.  I also have another relay driver board if the need arises in the future

With the antenna switch installed the we are able to compare the “old” north antenna verses the “new” North.  The old north has not been moved and is still on its old feedline.  The new north is on new feedline and the true north leg at 40’.  After installing the switch I did analyze both antennas  threw the switch to make sure it didn’t compromise anything.  With the weather as nice as it was both antennas looked great.  After playing on the way down the hill and with our “traffic net” guys it is pretty apparent in my observations that the old north antenna is a “horizon antenna” meaning its pattern is to go long distance not close in coverage.  Not saying it doesn’t do good close in 15-30miles but the new antenna seems to be able to get into valleys better like Nisqually and Puyallup valleys along with highway 3 in Shelton.  I think this response will do nothing but get better with a antenna at 80’ on the tower.  Ether way I was talking to one of our newest members while he was on Moclips Hwy going home in Pacific beach switching between antennas and was making the repeater fairly well, that is a rough trip over the coastal foothills of the Olympics to get to the repeater.  One thing I did notice when I got home on my base station is the old antenna does not peg my analog meter like the new one,  the highest it goes is 60 “over” and swings down to 9 with a “waving” sound on the audio.  I am line of site to the repeater and can actually see the tower on clear days.  I have not seen this on any of my digital read out radios as like a multi meter they just don’t react as fast as analog meters but can hear the wave.

Also installed hinges on the relay driver plate and punch down blocks to make it easier to access the back of the controllers and repeaters in the future.

Pictures can be viewed here.

New antenna install

To see pictures of the newest antenna being installed at the 40 ft mark please click here.

New pictures

There are new pictures posted in the Repeater upgrade set. Please click here to access the new pictures. The pictures are of the crew installing the new hardline. Photo credits go to Don Prine KD7AVI

2017 Annual Picnic

CPR Picnic 2017

CPR Picnic 2017