Technical team members went to the VE7EGO site to do the following:

  • reboot the VHF DR-2X repeater
  • collect and deliver the IRLP node 1050 hardware to Brad VE7WBM's QTH for temporary relocation
  • skookum-up the shack roof



VE7WBM Brad (remote)
VE7UIH Ted (remote)
VE7TRZ Terry (remote)


The usual route was taken to access the VE7EGO Commonage site. Jane and Mike travelled up and down from the site in the Unimog.

Just before heading in to the VE7EGO site, Mike telephoned Kevin at 250-744-0732. Kevin 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.

Events Leading Up To The Visit

The VHF DR-2X repeater was exhibiting the same odd behaviour that had previously been seen with the UHF DR-2X repeater.

On a previous visit to the site, it was noted that the roof tin was not looking so good in the northwest corner of the roof. Also, many of the roof screws were looking a little loose.

Brad had offered to host the IRLP node 1050 hardware while we sorted out internet for the mountain-top site.

Actions Taken:

Mike opened up the VE7EGO shack and went straight to the DR-2X VHF repeater. With a quick power cycle, the issue was fixed.

Mike re-enabled the VHF DR-2X repeater and tested first with Jane monitoring the repeater's display screen. This was followed by a true analog FM QSO test with Ted.

Mike disconnected the IRLP node's various connections and loaded the hardware into the Unimog for later transport to Brad's QTH.

Mike installed a new piece of roofing tin in the questionable northwest corner of the shack roof. He then proceeded to tighten many of the existing roof screws. The screws that were still loose were removed and replaced with bigger roofing screws. Then, additional large screws were installed in key areas of the roof as per Jane's instruction. In total approximately 100 screws were installed. Special thanks to Brad for donating the roofing screws. Special thanks to Jane and Mike for donating the roofing tin.

Jane and Mike then delivered the IRLP node hardware and the Sinclair folded dipole 3-element UHF yagi antenna to Brad's QTH. Special thanks to Mike for donating a PL-259 end for the yagi's coax. Brad will cut the existing end from the coax, run the coax through a hole in the wall of his QTH and then install the new PL-259 end. He'll point the yagi up towards SilverStar so that the node can again be accessed via the SIRG network.

After the visit, Terry and Mike discussed possible causes for both DR-2X repeaters malfunctioning at the same time. The current theory is that AC 120 V mains power may not be clean enough, especially given the wild weather the repeater site sees. 

Next Steps:

While we wait for the 5.9 GHz WiFi CPE order (so that we can setup our own P2P internet connection via Brad's QTH), Terry and Brad will setup the IRLP node at Brad's house. Thanks Brad for offering to host it again for a bit. Fortunately the setup is much smaller and quieter with the fanless PiRLP doing the computer work.

Mike has an APC SmartUPS 1500 and an APC SmartUPS 750 sitting around sans batteries (both picked up at an OCARC club meeting - thanks Gordon VE7GFH and donating party). Terry will pick one of the UPSes and find a suitable replacement battery, test the unit to confirm proper function (output voltage, sine wave, etc.) and then configure PiEGO to work with it. PiEGO can then automatically shut itself (and the PiRLP) down if the UPS battery runs low. The PiEGO can also monitor power events via either the USB or serial communication connections the UPS provides and send emails when critical events such as spikes, brownouts or electrical noise are observed. Even if the PiEGO has to wait until we revive internet connectivity at the site, we can configure the UPS to run with high sensitivity to power events and then install it at the site running in standalone mode. Having a UPS to cover short power events with a quick switchover to batter backup should ensure that the repeaters observe a cleaner AC 120 V mains supply.


NORAC Vice-President 2017-2020, Technical Committee Lead 2020