Technical team members went to the VE7EGO site to sort out the power issues for the DR-2X repeaters. They discovered a malfunctioning PiEGO (likely due to a recent extended period of extreme cold). The call was made to pull it out of circuit. The repeaters were plugged into AC-power directly. The PiEGO will be delivered to Terry VE7TRZ for analysis, fix-up and future issue mitigation.


VE7JAR Jerome

VE7TRZ Terry (remote via phone)
VE7AM Mike (remote tester)
VE7WBM Brad (remote tester)


The usual route was taken to access the VE7EGO Commonage site. Mike drove his Unimog and picked up Jerome and Jake at the parking lot by the baseball diamonds, just across the street from the Emmanuel Baptist Church. Mike then buried the Unimog in the snowbank just outside the regular gate. The team proceeded on snowshoes to the site. On return, some digging and a couple of pairs of Maxtrax made easy work of the Unimog's snowbank recovery. Then back in the Unimog to the parking lot where everyone split up to head home in their own vehicles.

Just before snowshoeing in 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. He prefers a call when inbound and a text when outbound.

Events Leading Up To The Visit

It was really cold (-24 C) for several days. The PiEGO, the device that controls power for the DR-2X repeaters at the site, malfunctioned and in doing so switched all of it's controlled power outlets off. This meant that the DR-2X repeaters stayed powered off.

Actions Taken:

Once at the shack, the team inspected the situation. Jake had a pretty good understanding of the PiEGO's Raspberry Pi component and noted that a green light was out. This likely meant that the BIOS that is stored on the Pi's microSD card was corrupt.

With Terry on the phone, the call was made to bring the PiEGO down to Terry's QTH bench.

Jerome was very resourceful in sorting out how to physically remove the PiEGO from the site (he used some pliers as a screwdriver as we were missing the specific screwdriver type for the job).

The repeater power cords were moved back to direct AC power instead of being plugged into the PiEGO's power bar.

Mike proceeded to test the re-powered repeaters with the help of Mike VE7AM and Brad VE7WBM.

Next Steps:

Terry will inspect the PiEGO and determine the root cause of the failure. He'll bring recommendations to the next club meeting to mitigate future issues with the system.


NORAC Vice-President 2017-2020, Technical Committee Lead 2020 and Avid Snowshoer


Ps: we were quite busy getting the Unimog stuck, putting on snowshoes, snowshoeing, sorting the issue, snowshoeing and then getting the Unimog unstuck, so we only took one picture:

Here you see a happy Mike, Jerome and Jake just before locking up the shack and heading back down the hill.