September 25, 2017 - Trip to SilverStar for Proactive Maintenance

Summary:

Everything was going well with proactive pre-winter maintenance at the VE7RSS site at SilverStar. And then the controller for VE7RSS and related repeaters failed. The controller is with Terry VE7TRZ who is now aggressively working on a solution to get VE7RSS and related linked repeaters back on the air.

Please see the frequencies page for alternate repeaters to use in the meantime while we work to get VE7RSS back on the air.

Attendees:

Terry VE7TRZ, Mike VE7KPZ

Access:

The old short route to the top of SilverStar via the back of Attridge is now blocked off. As the mountain was now in pure maintenance mode (no mountain guests/users), we were allowed to go the main route to the top via the Pinnacles run (which starts from the end of the road just above the Hostel-turned-employee housing). After checking in at the main office on the third floor of the building above the rental shop, we were given a HT by operations staff (channel 1) and guided up the mountain. On the way up, we were instructed on how to call on the mountain roads (similar to RR-style). We were then free to get our work done with the promise to call each km on our way down and return the radio to the patrol building once our day was complete.

Battery Load Testing:

13.29 volts at arrival on site
13.25 volts under slight load (all repeaters powered but not transmitting) after 1 minute

Battery Voltages:

Battery A - 6.65 volts
Battery B - 6.67 volts
Battery C - 6.69 volts
Battery D - 6.67 volts
Good battery balance in the 2S2P pack (4 x 6 volt batteries).

Battery Maintenance:

Slight corrosion on battery C's terminal cleaned up. Replaced one slightly corroded battery cable between battery C and battery A. Topped up water for battery C (with distilled water) as plates in all 3 cells were almost showing. All other battery water levels were acceptable.

VA7RVN - APRS Digipeater - Notes

Kantronics PacketCommunicator3 via a Maxon radio
Scan via RigExperts AA230-Zoom shows (from back of radio with 1 filter in line before antenna) SWR of 1.02 at 144.405, SWR of 1.1 at 144.390 (operating frequency for TX and RX). Good.

VE7RSS - Notes

Daniels TN440 30 watt PA repeater with Micor 100 watt PA when on mains power, Link Communications Inc. RLC-4 controller (failed)
Scan via RigExperts AA230-Zoom shows SWR of 1.5 at antenna across the HAM VHF band (4 bay collinear antenna). Odd? Expecting 1.2 or less.

LIME Link - Notes

Motorola Radius GM300, Link Communications Inc. RLC-4 (failed)
Scan via MFJ SWR meter shows ch1 434.850 SWR of 1.3 at antenna. Good. Scan via MFJ SWR meter shows ch2 442.825 T 447.825‎ SWR of 1.3 and 1.3 respectively at antenna. Good.

VE7RVN - SIRG Link - Notes

Motorolla MSR 2000, Link Communications Inc. RLC-4 (failed)
Scan via MFJ SWR meter shows at back of radio 449R275 SWR high 4.0, best at around 447.50 with SWR of 1.3. At back of radio 444T275 SWR of 1.5, best at around 444.0 with SWR of 1.4. Scan via MFJ SWR meter shows at antenna for 449.275 a SWR of 1.2 and at 444.275 an SWR of 1.1. Duplexer/filters need adjustment?

Outstanding

1. Get RLC-4 controller fixed/replaced. Terry VE7TRZ aggressively pursuing solutions with multiple parties.
2. Get all config from RLC-4 controller. This was one of our prime goals for this maintenance run... but with the controller failure we'll see if we can save the NVRAM chip or else we might need to re-program from scratch.
3. Get comments and plan of action (if required) from knowledgeable club members on high SWR values observed on RSS' antenna and VE7RVN's duplexer/filters.

FYI,
Mike VE7KPZ