Repeater Progress Report

There’s been progress on the W4MT repeater installation. As you may recall, the antennas went onto the tower a few weeks ago. Yesterday, we were able to check the feedlines and both the main and backup antennas were well within tolerance. Later this week, we’re going to clean the equipment room at the site, move in the equipment, and get everything connected up and on the air.

Maybe by next week both repeaters will be on the air (fingers crossed)!!

W4MT repeater site
Our antennas on right side of tower

It’s Aliiiiiiive!!!!!

Interesting evening … just when you’re sure that JT9 is dead and gone … killed by the FT-modes … you work a bunch of them!

Last night I saw K9ZIE spotted on a 40 meter JT9 POTA activation, so I popped on down and worked him easily. There was actually quite a bit of JT9 activity there, so I worked a few more successfully. Maybe I just haven’t been noticing, but I thought that JT9 was pretty rare nowadays … Guess not!

It’s been a pretty good week for POTA contacts. I’ve put about ten new parks in the log since Monday. Propagation has been pretty good … even a couple of Canadian parks.

Tomorrow, weather permitting, we’re putting our two repeater antennas on a 300-foot tower. We’ve had thunderstorms most afternoons this summer. Hopefully all goes well … out repeaters have been looking for a new home for far too long.

73 de Dick N4BC

PARC Repeaters

Finally! We’ve got some serious action going on for our two repeaters – W4MT VHF and UHF (145.23.& 442.9 MHz). We have secured permission to use the site of old Fire Station 3. There is a 140-foot free-standing tower there, and an equipment room with power and environmental control.

We’ve been searching for a few years now (ever since we lost our last site), and all other prospects have fallen through. This one is a firm offer, though. Antennas should be going up soon!

73 de Dick N4BC

Catchup

It’s been a week or two since I last posted. Life got a bit chaotic. A very dear friend was killed in a tragic industrial accident, and ham radio and blogging had to take a back seat.

There’s not actually much to report about. I’ve only been on the air a couple of times during this period, and those were mostly FT4/8 contacts. I don’t think the bands have been too stellar this past week.

I did spend a bit of money on radio things. I bought a yellow reflective vest for when I assist with public service events. I know … I know. Stereotypical self-important ham prepper, right? Actually, it does help with visibility if someone needs to locate you quickly during the event.

I also ordered a new toy. It’s supposed to be here around the 9th of September. I’ve read several blog posts and seen several YouTube videos about this low-cost vector network analyzer that piqued my interest. Less than fifty bucks on eBay.

NanoVNA

It covers 50 KHz to 900 MHz … does Smith Chart and antenna analyzer functions … and more. It’s about the size of a credit card, but maybe 5/8-inch thick. I’m going to enjoy playing with it, I think.

I just signed up for my next public service event. It’s a marathon, a 50K, and a marathon/50K relay run simultaneously. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? It’ll be a bit cooler then … October 13th. The race is so long, we’ll be covering it in two shifts.

Well, that’s about all I have to report. Catch ya’ later!

73 de Dick N4BC

So True …

Saw a great quote today that I’m sorry to say really applies to me!

Speaking about antennas …” The one that works best is installed, in the air, and connected — always better than the one in the carton in the garage.

I’ve had an MFJ Cobweb antenna for several years now … still in the box. I always have an excuse for not getting it assembled and in the air … too hot … too cold … too busy … etc. I promise to get it up “real soon now”, but later, OK? It’s too hot right now 😀 .

73 de Dick N4BC

:)