Since the statewide power blackout last year, AREG has been assembling replacement parts for the battery backup system on our VK5RSB repeater system. Now that this last weekends excitement is over, I am now able to compile and present a detailed report on the working bee at the VK5RSB repeater site at Summertown.
Working bee members,
- Ben VK5BB
- Colin VK5ACE
- Paul VK5BX
- Adrian VK5ZBR
- Rod VK5UDX (both Rod and Adrian were on an official task at the site in their employment but were able to spend time assisting at the site)
- David VK5MDF (invited visitor from NERC)
The aim of the working bee was to replace the cavities on the 23cm repeater, reinstate the battery backup system for the 70cm repeater (disconnected several years ago when the repeater was replaced with one requiring 24v input) and install (finally) the permanent replacement 6m repeater antenna (delayed multiple times in the past due to weather).
Work completed successfully included
- 23cm duplexer fine tuned (thanks to Paul VK5BX and his Specan/tracking generator)
- the old 23cm removed and the new one fitted, tested into the antenna and live on air, all good
- the 12 volt to 28 volt inverter installed into rack and wired in,
- RF power out of 70cm when on battery backup has been set to 30 watts (normally 75 watts whilst mains power is active)
- repeater tested on battery backup, draws just on 8 amps and puts a “beep” every 60 seconds to identify unit running on battery backup.
- whilst on site, Paul took the opportunity to “Sweep” the VK5RSB 70cm antenna, return loss was good BUT it was identified that there IS a problem, a ringing or ripple on the return loss sweep, possibly due to a faulty connection in the line. We believe that the problem is most likely the coax connector on the top end of the LDF 450 coax, as this was not serviced or replaced when we changed and fitted the new antenna a couple of years back.This means another working bee, when the weather for working at the top of the tower is conducive.
- during the above work activities, Adrian and Rod were able to swap out the old 6m repeater antenna and install the new antenna. Once the new antenna was connected, a return loss sweep was done and all looked very good.
- with the the 6m repeater reconnected to the antenna, it was still “going nuts” keying up very regularly on “spurious” Checks of the spectrum could not identify any specific signals the could be causing this other than the high noise floor. So Adrian wound the mute setting a bit higher and this fixed the regular intermittent keying of the repeater. (subsequent observations and reports are that the 6m repeater seems to be working very well and is generally quite when not being worked)
A big thank you to everyone who contributed to the work at VK5RSB. I am sure it will improve service for all amateurs in the greater Adelaide Metropolitan area.
Photo of downed powerlines courtesy ABC News
AREG’s VK5RSB Summertown repeaters have been off air since Tuesday evening’s violent storm which has taken out power lines that feed the site. The restoration work according to SAPN is still progressing. The latest estimate for restoration is now 1.00pm today (31st December)..
We apologies for the outage on these major Adelaide repeater services, and are looking to see what can be done to reinstate the battery backup at the site which has failed.
The VK5RSB 70cm and 23cm repeaters may be off air for a period today whilst the mains power wiring at the site is worked on. Apologies for the short notice!
The 6m repeater should remain active as it is connected to the battery backup system on site.
The VK5RSB 23cm repeater is now back online.
After a couple of hectic weeks Colin VK5ACE has made the necessary repairs to the 23cm repeater and put it back on the hill.
If any users observe the repeater doing something odd please contact us on the email addresses (here).
Many thanks to Colin for all the hard work getting this service back on the air again.
73, Matthew VK5ZM
Regular users of the VK5RSB 23cm repeater may have noticed a deterioration in audio quality when the repeater is in use for an extended period. As of the 15th of June, the repeater has been removed from service so repairs can be affected.
Many thanks go to Colin VK5ACE for building and continuing to maintain the best coverage 23cm repeater in VK5!
Meanwhile, the VK5RSB 6m is now back on the air thanks to the efforts of Rod VK5UDX and Adrian VK5ZBR. The new antenna has been installed and the repeater has been repaired. Thanks guys for your efforts!
In the last week, AREG members have teamed up with the Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society (AHARS) to help bring the Crafers VK5RAD 70cm 439.925MHz repeater back to life. Temporary equipment has been loaned to the site while repairs continue on the original repeater.
VK5RAD 70cm Repeater Access Details:
- Repeater Transmit: 439.925MHz
- Repeater Receive: 434.925MHz (-5MHz offset)
Thanks to everyone at AHARS and AREG for restoring this valuable service to amateurs in the greater Adelaide area.
NOTE Regarding IRLP Node 6214
The 6214-IRLP node currently is still on the VK5RSB 70cm repeater on 439.900 (contrary to what was broadcast on the WIA Sunday News this week). AREG is discussing the plans for its move currently with AHARS and the AREG membership. We will advise when the IRLP gateway does move.
UPDATE: April 17th 2015: Users of the VK5RSB 6m repeater will be pleased to learn that AREG has finally received the new antenna from Polar Industries.A big thank you to all of the donor’s who have helped fund the replacement antenna.
The club is still happy to receive additional donations so that the maintenance funds can be replenished, so if you are a regular user on VK5RSB 6m, please consider making a contribution! Donations can be made via the PayPal button on the left hand side of the screen.
Planning for the replacement antenna’s installation is now underway as well as the repairs to the 6m transmitter amplifier. We will advise when the system has been restored!
The repair of the 53.750 MHz VK5RSB 6m FM repeater is one step closer with the order finally being placed for the replacement antenna.
Members will recall; that the site suffered what appears to be a lightning strike before Christmas. The temporary antenna that was installed shortly after the strike hasn’t worked out so well. Due to excessive VSWR, it has damaged the transmitter PA which Adrian VK5ZBR will lovingly reconstruct (again) as part of the repairs.
A big thank you to all the members who made donations towards it’s purchase. We have been advised that the antenna is only 1-2 weeks away from delivery into Adelaide. Once it has arrived, plans will be set for the repair to take place.