July 24, 2020 - Merritt, BC

On Friday, July 24, Lee VE7FET Woldanski and Myles VE7FSR Bruns spent the better part of 20 hours getting the "new" VE7IRN installed and on the air, and linked to the internet through BCWARN, TPARC, and VE7CHW.

The existing antenna at VE7IRN was checked, and found to not really be an antenna in the ham band... so a temporary one was installed.

The duplexer still needs some work, but it is on the air, putting out about 20W after the duplexer.

The controller is part of the AllStarLink network, and is Node 435454.

Remote connectivity from Android/IOS/PC is available, for BCFMCA members only.

Still a bunch of tweaking to do, but at least it is alive! You should be able to work it from Larsen Hill to Helmer on the Coquihalla, and from Merritt to Penask Summit on the 97C.

Also note that VE7IRN is now on Broadcastify, hear the live stream here

You can also check the AllStarLink page for the current Node Status.

For more updates as they come, please visit http://www.bcfmca.bc.ca.

November 12, 2020 - Merritt, BC

Lee VE7FET and Myles VE7FSR made a trip to VE7IRN yesterday, for the last maintenance trip in before winter completely blocks access until the spring. About 2-3in of snow already on the ground.

Replaced a faulty UPS control card, restoring monitoring of the UPS.

Replaced the duplexer. The old Q202G looks like it was probably a "high band" duplexer that was re-tuned, but never had the harness changed. As such, it had excess loss (>2dB) in the ham band. It was replaced with a Sinclair Q3330E (equivalent), with about 1.2dB HP IL and 0.9dB LP IL. A definite improvement in coverage was noted during testing on the way home.

Installed security cameras on site, to monitor site and weather conditions.

NORAC members would like to express big thanks to Lee, Myles and the members of BCFMCA for injecting new life into this the key repeater for the Merritt area.

This repeater is normally used lightly by locals and then one weekend a year, it is depended upon (read: worked hard) for radio support for the Pacific Forest Rally. A properly-functioning repeater is a critical element in the rally's safety strategy.