Improvements to the 146.90 Repeater

The 146.90 repeater has been plagued with problems for quite some time. Recently thanks to a grant the club received we were able to replace several key components and alleviate almost all of the old problems that have been around for years.

The original Kenwood TKR-750 VHF repeater was found to be damaged and was only able to output around 20 watts on high instead of the 50 watts it should be capable of. This problem combined with a duplexer that was physically damaged, possibly by lightning, we were only seeing a mere 8-12 watts out of the duplexer. Inside one of the cavities the adjustment rod had become unattached from the tuning rod. We attempted to repair this but later found that the beryllium material inside the tuning shaft had also been damaged as well.

IMG_0425

The repeater has since been replaced with a Yaesu DR1-X that is operating in both analog FM and C4FM digital modes. The duplexer was replaced with a brand new Telewave 4 cavity model since the old duplexer could not be repaired or tuned. The feed line and antenna were also checked. After the upgrade the repeater’s coverage expanded greatly and is now covering the majority of Jackson County and being used and heard in two other states and at least 9 other counties. Below are the before and after simulations of the repeater’s coverage. The current simulation is very much on par with real-world tests and reports.

Before Upgrades (pre-2016)
Before Upgrades (pre-2016)
After Upgrades (2016)
After Upgrades (2016)
146-90_current_sat
After Upgrades Satellite View (2016)

Shortly after completing the new hardware replacement JCAR has installed internet at the site to facilitate the return of Echolink, IRLP, and other internet linking capabilities. Along with the internet Jackson County now has an APRS Digipeater and iGate once again running under the JCAR callsign K4SCO. Currently work is underway to add an Arcom RC210 controller to the repeater which will allow the addition of the internet and VoIP services along with RF linking to other sites and a remote base radio.

APRS Digipeater/iGate running through an FT-2900
APRS Digipeater/iGate running through an FT-2900

 

147.36 Power Supply Damage

I finally had a chance to open up the 147.36 repeater’s power supply that failed a couple of weeks ago and didn’t have to look far for the reason of the failure. The cause is still undetermined but the damage is easy to spot. The power supply was still functioning and could support the repeater however when the link radio and UHF amp were brought up it couldn’t handle it. ~K4NHA

IMG_0547

Duplexer Repairs at the .90 Site

Saturday we attempted to tune the duplexer that was currently installed on the 146.90 repeater. For a long time now there was an apparent issue that was severely limiting the amount of power the repeater could run. Ben, K4QF, began tuning and quickly found that one can was completely unresponsive. The issue became apparent once we removed the bottom of the can. The tuning rod had broken loose from the bottom of the tuning tube:

IMG_0425 IMG_0426

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A quick repair was attempted with 2-part epoxy but because of the coating on all the metal inside the can the epoxy wouldn’t hold at all. The duplexer will need to be sent to Telewave for repairs. Not all was lost however and the repeater is now operating on separate transmit and receive antennas running at full power, a 9.5dB gain over the previous power level. Coverage has been drastically improved at this time however coverage may have changed due to the positioning of the receive antenna on the tower. More repairs and tuning will occur in the coming weeks.

IMG_0424 IMG_0423 20160604_141854 20160604_141321 20160604_140825 20160604_140736 20160604_140627 20160604_140356 20160604_140350 20160604_140335 20160604_140331 20160604_135938 20160604_135926 20160604_135923 20160604_135914 20160604_135901

Repeater Site Repairs

Thanks to Brad Ivey (KK4UWF) and Richard Arnold (KB4RMA) repairs have been made to the building at the 146.90 repeater site. The door was in bad shape and the A/C unit was no longer cooling. Saturday they repaired the door by replacing the damaged wood, re-hung the door to ensure the locks worked correctly, and sealed the opening to prevent and water from getting in. KB4RMA also cleaned the A/C unit which is now cooling the building properly and keeping all of the radio equipment nice and cool.

JCAR would also like to thank the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office for graciously allowing us to use this building for our equipment alongside theirs, it is very much appreciated!

IMG_0382

147.36 K4SCO Repeater Relocation

The 147.36 repeater has been relocated back to the Section area in preparation for the severe weather season. This new location will be it’s home for up to a year while work continues on finding a permanent home and tower site in the area. Below are pictures taken from both days showing the tower construction and installation. Click an image to see the full-size version.

K4SCO SKYWARN Linked Repeater
147.36 + / 123Hz PL

 

20160305_092219 20160305_101753 20160305_101803 20160305_101809 20160305_124631 20160305_124658 20160305_124712 20160305_124716 20160305_125358 20160305_125411 20160305_125425 20160305_130341 20160305_130349 20160305_140406 20160305_140449 20160305_140517 20160305_140602 20160305_142209 20160305_142228 20160305_142230 20160305_142240 20160305_142248 20160305_142257 20160305_142307 20160305_142319 20160305_142408 20160305_142413 20160305_142430 20160305_145925 20160305_152403 IMG_1128 IMG_1131 IMG_1132 IMG_1134 IMG_1137 IMG_1139 IMG_1140 IMG_1149 IMG_1151 IMG_1152 IMG_1153 IMG_1154 IMG_1156 IMG_1157 IMG_1158