It’s Baack …

As of yesterday afternoon, the W4MT UHF & VHF FM repeaters were back on the air. We got the repeater cabinet moved to the new site and connected everything up and threw the power switch to ON!

As usual, it was not without its hiccups. Although everything had checked out before installing, the reflected power was high. That was resolved to a bad connector and remedied. Then we found that the control receiver was not working … that was a bad 1-amp fuse.

Finally, everything was up and working properly. We left well enough alone and wrapped up our endeavor for the day. We’ll go back and take care of grounding and cable dressing shortly.

It’s really nice to hear the repeater back on the air. Actually, it has been operational, but with limited range due to compromises with the antenna height. Now, with the antenna at a decent height, it sounds great.

TBC

73 de Dick N4BC

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

Storms and Parks

Wow … in less than an hour this morning, lots of parks to work if you’re interested in Parks on the Air.

After a couple of days of a power outage, I just turned on the radio this morning to see what the bands were like. Nothing spectacular, but certainly fruitful.

About a block from my QTH is a beautiful wooded street … the trees formed a green canopy over the pavement … great for scenery, but not when coupled with the high winds and heavy rain of a tropical storm. The falling branches took out most of the power lines, thus my lack of power at the house. I could have gotten up on battery power, but it was HOT as well, with no air conditioning.

We had our first radio club meeting in person (other than virtual), since March, last night. Attendance was pretty sparse, but that was to be expected. Non-essential meetings are not a priority right now. Also, missing was the social get together for a meal beforehand. Next month, we’re planning a hybrid meeting, with both physical and virtual attendance provided for.

Well, I’ll close this for now and see what else I can find on the bands, and then see about finding some lunch. Most of the food in the fridge was a casualty of the power outage … got to look into a new generator soon.

73 de Dick N4BC

Upgrades

I upgraded to the latest revision of Windows 10 last night. Everything went well, and all seems to be working well. The upgrade took a significant amount of time, but I could have continued to work while the install went on in the background.

I also upgraded WSJT-X to the latest version 2.2.1. That too was painless and no issues noted.

Tonight is our monthly radio club meeting on our repeater. We also do a monthly meeting via ZOOM, but this is for those that don’t use computers. In any case, it’s a nice monthly net and actually gets people to use the repeater.

That’s a rare act nowadays.

73 de Dick N4BC