Technical team members went to the VE7EGO repeater site to power cycle and test the UHF Yaesu DR-2X repeater. David VA7SZ performed an assessment of the site for a potential HF remote listening station.


David VA7SZ


The usual route was taken to access the VE7EGO Commonage site. However, this time we snowshoed the 1.7 km in and 1.7 km out with all gear carried on our backs. Fortunately it was cool at 1.5 Celsius and the skies were foggy so sunscreen was not required. We observed both deer and fox tracks. Snow depths ranged from 2" to 8" with approximately 6" of snow on the ground at the shack.

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:

First the UHF DR-2X repeater was power cycled. We then did full testing on the unit to confirm that the issue (likely a bad packet that confused the digital side of things) was resolved.

Next, David inspected the HF vertical antenna that exists permanently at the site. It was in rough shape. A scan of the antenna with Mike's RigExpert AA-230 Zoom confirmed David's visual inspection. The antenna will need to be brought down in the spring and rebuilt before it can be used.

David then setup an EFHW wire for 20m while Mike setup his Wolf River Coils TIA vertical for 40m. On this afternoon 20m showed a noise floor of S3 while 40m showed S7 (a little high but not abnormal with the current solar conditions). Very little QRM was observed on both bands. 20m was quite busy with active QSOs, while 40m was a lot quieter, however, both David and Mike checked into the Aurora Net on 7.100 MHz at 3PM using a QRP power level (10 watts RF output). Why QRP? Well, the DC power supply in the shack is very small. That was as high a power setting as we could run for Mike's FT-891 without overloading the power supply. Normally this power supply just powers a 5 watt UHF link radio for the IRLP node.

Next Steps:

Mike will work with Brad VE7WBM to move the WIRES-X node back to the UHF DR-2X repeater - done!

David will digest his observations from the site and create a detailed proposal for his remote HF listening station project.

FYI and 73,
NORAC Vice President 2018/2019


The site upon arrival: