Technical team members went to the VE7EGO site to troubleshoot EVERYTHING. A recent electrical storm was thought to have wreaked havoc with all systems at the site. Fortunately, both DR-2X repeaters were fine, just needing reboots. The only casualty was the IRLP 1050 node computer. We may want to discuss finally replacing this patched-up hardware with a PiRLP4 at the next club meeting. Finally, bringing a smile to our faces: the internet connection has been re-established via our internet service provider iSpeed and their shack provider Omega. We thank both for their continued support of NORAC.


VE7TRZ Terry


The usual route was taken to access the VE7EGO Commonage site. All in attendance drove to the site in Jane VE7WWJ's Jeep.

Just before heading up to the VE7EGO 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 VE7EGO site.

Events Leading Up To The Visit

A couple of weeks before this visit, the UHF DR-2X repeater had stopped working. A couple of days before this visit, the VHF DR-2X repeater also stopped working, right around the time of the large electrical storm in the area. That storm was mostly sheet lightning, but there were also some ground strikes.

Additionally, we were still waiting on our ISP iSpeed and facilitator Omega to re-hook-up the internet connection.

Actions Taken:

All parties inspected the shack equipment and noted that visually all was looking good.

Terry went to work on checking the PiEGO while Brad and Mike checked out and tested the repeaters.

The UHF DR-2X was showing 17 watts output at the antenna port with a 1.17:1 VSWR.

The VHF DR-2X was showing 17 watts output at the antenna port with a 1.11:1 VSWR.

Repeater traffic tests with FM voice (to ensure local only) worked perfectly.

PiEGO needed a full reset and once done, was working again as expected.

Mike went to inspect the demarcation box on the Omega shack for the internet connection. Inside the box was a new patch cable leading into the shack and iSpeed's ethernet switch. Terry tested the connection from our shack and all appeared ok but IP settings on our end needed adjusting.

With our internet gateway adjusted, the PiEGO came online - yay!

Last was to check IRLP node 1050, but the computer was dead. It would not pass POST.

Terry troubleshooted further on-site and it appeared to be a motherboard issue. So, we pulled the machine and brought it back down from the mountain for bench testing and a decision about it's future.

We've been talking for years on replacing the old IRLP node 1050 computer hardware with a new PiRLP4 setup. Maybe this is the year to do it.

Next Steps:

Brad will move WIRES-X back to the UHF DR-2X and test.

Terry will do an initial check of the IRLP node's hardware and see if it's an easy repair, else we'll put together a proposal to purchase a PiRLP4 setup for the next club meeting.

Update 2019/09/20: at the last NORAC club meeting members voted yes on the purchase of a new PiRLP4 as Terry deems the old computer hardware to be at end of life.

NORAC Vice-President 2017-2019, Technical team member