August 9, 2018 - Trip to the VE7EGO Site on the Commonage for various activities


On this hot day in August we moved the IRLP node from Brad VE7WBM's QTH to the VE7EGO site. We also setup remote control for the 2 x Yaesu DR-2X repeaters we have at this site.


Terry VE7TRZ
David VE7SZ
Roy VE7IS (remote IRLP tester (Penticton))


The usual route was taken to access the VE7EGO Commonage site. The road was quite dry and rutted so it was a bit of a challenge to make it to the site.

Just before heading up to the site, Mike telephoned Kevin at 250-744-0732 who is in charge of exploding/disposing of WW2 munitions still in the hillsides. Upon departure from the site, Mike texted Kevin to notify him of our departure. Kevin likes to know both the ins and outs of our visits to the site.

Tasks Undertaken:

Our very first task was to install some new rack bolts to hold our equipment in place. We were down to 2 bolts per repeater - not cool. So this was the first task accomplished by Brad with bolts sourced by Mike.

Next Terry, Brad and Mike setup IRLP node 1050 at the site. With the gear installed in the shack and the antenna installed to the front edge of the roof, testing began. Tweaks were made by Terry and Brad was soon having an IRLP QSO with Roy, our remote IRLP tester.

Then David arrived and he and Mike attempted to determine the best location for the DR-2X remote control antenna, finally installing it in a temporary location low on one of the legs of the tower.

Terry installed the very-cost-effective passive RX-only antenna splitter Mike had found on Ebay (at Fred VA7UN's recommendation) and hooked up the feed lines to the B-channel receive of each DR-2X. Mike then reconfigured the DR-2Xes for control receive and got the repeaters ready to learn radios (security feature). Brad's FTM-400XDR and FTM-100DR were soon registered as allowed controllers, as was Mike's FTM-7250D. Brad proceeded to test the controls and the repeaters obeyed all commands.

There is now quite a bit of UHF RF at our shack at this site, with one of the DR-2Xes on UHF, the IRLP node on UHF and now the DR-2X control frequencies on UHF. It will be nice to relocate the DR-2X UHF antenna to the top of the tower on a future visit.

Lastly, Terry, Brad and Mike attempted to install the plaque on the tower, recognizing the donor of the tower and Kevin VE7EGO SK whom the site is in memory off. Unfortunately, the holes in the tower were too far apart and we did not want to drill any new holes (potentially weakening the tower). So, we will need to build a backing board for the plaque, install the plaque to it and then the board to the tower on our next visit.

As it was darn hot out (37C+) our remaining planned tasks were postponed until our next visit. 

Next Steps:

On our next visit our top priority will be to check all antennae, feed lines and duplexers for the site's repeaters. It would also be good to adjust squelch settings on the DR-2Xes in order to accept slightly weaker signals from remote stations.

We also need to finally get the plaque installed on the tower. Mike will create the interface required.

And then there are the other outstanding items. We have new antennae to swap in. We have to setup the HAMwan linkage. We have to setup IMRS to link into the Okanagan C4FM network of linked repeaters. We have to further seal the cement at the tower legs (as there are a couple of tiny cracks that we don't want to develop into actual issues).

FYI and 73,
NORAC Vice President