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

Thoughts on the Hobby

I worked a few FT8 contacts this morning … around 6 AM … and decided to check out their bios on QRZ.com. Most had more than the stock entry of name, address, and FCC info.

One thing I noticed about most of them is that their station pictures all showed computers … most with multiple monitors. That really emphasized to me just how much the hobby has changed (and benefitted) from technology.

My computer basically controls most aspects of my operating. Logging, equipment control, instant information … all are under computer control. With the touch of a key, I can pull up your QRZ page and get a pretty good idea of who you are and how you operate.

BUT … more importantly … I can still operate without all that stuff, if necessary. I can fling a wire up into a tree and be working stations on battery power with a moment’s notice.

The technology has advanced the hobby immensely, but the roots are still there. The naysayers preach that we are irrelevant in today’s world. BUT, as has so often been demonstrated, all those sophisticated systems have many points of failure, and WE have been the only means of communication.

Sure, we’re not needed as often as we were in the past, but when all else fails, we’re still here.

73 de Dick N4BC

“Interference”

I’ve been going crazy trying to track down an interfering signal that showed up recently on my FLDIGI waterfall.

Finally, I connected the RSP1A to the antenna and lo and behold, there was nothing there! It had to be something with the radio. Not only that, but it was there when changing the frequency and band … never moving on the display.

What could it be? DING DING DING !!!!! Operator ERROR!

Somehow I had fat-fingered the Notch on the IC-7300. Don’t remember doing it, but I sure did! Deselect the Notch and back to normal..

73 de Dick N4BC

Mea Culpa

I used to think that people that complained about the fan being annoyingly noisy in the Icom IC-7300 were real whiners. I never found it very noticeable.

My apologies to anyone who I thought poorly of … since I got hearing aids and now have my higher audio frequencies back, I can see what you mean. It’s really LOUD, isn’t it?

But still … it is what it is. Some smart engineer decided this was the best fan for trouble-free operation, so I’ll defer to him (or her). You DO learn to tolerate it.

AND … you SHOULD be wearing headphones anyway, shouldn’t you, to keep out distracting noises?

p.s. I still LOVE my IC-7300 and wouldn’t give it up for anything (except maybe an IC-7600! HA HA!!

73 de Dick N4BC