It's official! After 14 months of near SK living Ralph is back on the air with his new Stepp-IR antenna. 10 club members and 2 neighbours were on hand this afternoon to help Ralph raise his new tower with the Stepp-IR antenna into place. The whole process went very smoothly and fit together perfectly. The new beam looks great now that it is in place. Ralph now needs to fine tune the unit to his location and soon should be picking up South Africa with little difficulty!
Our repeater's cavity filter was transported to the work bench of Bryan (VE7BFY) who gave it a serious touch up. He even adjusted some of the critical coax lengths. In the end he reported that it is giving a 90dB notch of the frequency with a 1dB insertion loss. We are not sure of the de-sense level but initial field tests show significant improvement in receiver sensitivity. It now seems to be a workable repeater!
The White Rock club met for the first time in our new home at the Centennial Arena in White Rock. This site houses the ESS radio equipment as it is the designated reception centre for White Rock. The city has provided use of the meeting room at no cost as a courtesy for our support of the City's emergency program. Here are a few photos from our first meeting on October 12, 2008.
We now have our repeater's controller card properly mounted in a rack unit and mounted in the vertical rack along with the power supply. The next step is to attach the actual radios to a bracket and to get the cavity filter tuned up.
Tuesday eveining, September 30, Dave Powell-Williams (VE7MQ) came over to do some testing on the repeater. He spent around an hour running the system through its paces. He found the receiver to be quite sensitive better than .2 micro volts, he found the receive side of the cavity to have good performance. He determined that the antenna was doing a fair job though the coax was somewhat lossy. He then checked over the transmit side of the cavity filter and determined that it was not in tune. We are getting about 53dB of seperation rather than the 80+ that the unit can deliver.
This morining Eric, Ralph and Jim met with the White Rock City Fire Chief and Deputy Chief at the construction site of the new Bosa Towers. Our goal was to test the communications link between the future reception centre on the ground floor with a proposed location for the repeater on the roof. Jim & Eric went to the top with their hend helds while Ralph went inside the building's ground floor. We were able to confirm solid communication with low power through the many concrete floors. We also reviewed possible locations for equipment placement.