RNH Repeater Maintenance

RNH Service August 23, 2015
The West parking lot at Piccadilly Mall was the meeting point for a small army of SARC members at 1000 hours on Sunday, August 23rd. Nine of us – Robin/HMN, Phil/BPU, Mike/LOG, Ron/RLE, Simon/SLG, Dave/HDY, Darrell/IU, Patrick/FAT, Bill/WTT – two Ford 350 crew cabs and a small Jeep assembled in preparation to mounting an expeditionary force to the RNH site on Granite Peak to re-install the radio equipment that had been damaged in the break in last fall and repair the recent round of vandalism. The drive to the site took about an hour, over some rough gravel sections of road going up the face of the Fly Hills. Once we were at the site we set up two Honda generators to provide power for lights and electric hand tools. A plywood panel had to be removed from the porch wall so that we could move the radio equipment in as the stairs were unsafe. Robin took charge of getting the radio equipment back in place while Phil and Patrick got on with putting up the new UHF antenna and running of the co-axial cable. While the technical aspects were being taken care of the remaining crew got on with putting up a steel plate over the new hole in the wall and tearing out the wreckage of the old stairs. Using scrap lumber, that Ron was only too anxious to get rid of, we rebuilt the outside stairs and repaired the interior stairs. Repairs to the framing around the door and the door frame itself were also necessary in order for the door to be closed. As an added touch we crafted a new locking mechanism to keep the door closed. (See attached pictures) It is important to note that none of this carpentry work would be featured in a Homes and Garden magazine, nor would it meet the building code.
Normally aligning the UHF antenna with the AHR site would be a simple visual effort but due to the heavy smoke haze I understand that Phil had to do some guessing and used marks from the previous antenna on the mast to make the alignment. Other technical work involved re-installing the Daniels radios, duplexer, a new SRMT 2430 charge controller, a new UHF antenna and new co-axial cable from the antennas to the radio equipment. The equipment was then calibrated, battery voltages checked and batteries topped up with water. RNH is once again operational and went through an inaugural test for the Sunday night net. Unfortunately there is some variable background “noise” that seems to be linked to the UHF antenna. This is causing some head scratching and discussion as to the reason for the noise which, hopefully, will lead to a quick solution.

Thanks go to VanOmen Construction for the loan of a crew cab pickup as well as Bill/WTT and Mike/LOG for the use of their vehicles to transport people and materials to the RNH site.
Submitted by: Dave Hadley, VA7HDY

Loading second pickupOne pickup loaded upCrew shot 1

Crew shot 2

The new hole Inserting the anchors Inside RNHThe new plate in place Patrick checking the test meter Lunch break     Simon inspecting the exterior stairs Dave making new pieces for the stairs Darrell fastens the last tread in place Phil and Patrick - antenna monkeys Phil and Patrick preparing the cable end for a connector Mike, removing the old stairway while Darrell, Simon and Bill lookon The Tech crew hard at work Ron, Simon and Darrell checking the newly crafted lock Darrell tests the new stairs Phil checking the transmition unnamed[6] New charge controller Back at the Mall New UHF antenna point to AHR


ARRL Field Day 2015

Well, what a scorcher of a Field Day 2015. Temperatures reached 36 degrees late Saturday afternoon and Simon and Patrick were sweltering at their rigs, one in the trailer and one in the tent. I suspect that these conditions would meet the ARRL’s objective of learning how to operate in abnormal and less than optimal conditions. The setup crew, consisting of Simon/VE7SHG, Tom/VE7AMM, Eddie/VE7ETE, Bill/VE7KDK and Dave/VA7HDY, got the trailer parked on the service road behind the gazebo and the antennas up. Bill proved a stellar marksman with his compressed air gun to launch the line over the tree tops so that we could pull the antennas up. We put up the 80 metre and 40 metre antennas on Friday afternoon but the 80 metre was swapped out for a G5RV on Saturday morning. The tent, generator and radios were deployed Saturday morning by Robin/ VE7HMN, Mary/VA7MCH, Patrick/VE7FAT, Tom/VE7AMM, Simon/VE7SHG, Bill/VE7KDK and Winston/VA7WLH. Fortunately there was a tree handy to provide shade for the tent but as the sun moves so did the shade and so did the tent on a couple of occasions. Saturday night security was provided by Robin and Mary, secured in Bruno their trusty Winnebago LeSharo motorhome. Overall, the site at the Marine Park in Salmon Arm worked well. Thanks to the City of Salmon Arm, the Salmon Arm Recreation Society and Twin Anchors houseboats for their support and cooperation. Thanks also to Robin for stick handling the complicated process to get permission to use this site.
Taller trees would have helped to get the antennas higher but the Club did get good public exposure. Although there weren’t a lot of people using the park over the weekend, due to the heat, we did meet a few of the early Sunday morning dog walkers at least. The Yaesu FT900and FT920 radios were used for this event. Operators were Tym/VA7GE, Tom/VE7AMM, Simon/VE7SHG, Patrick/VE7FAT, Robin/VE7HMN, Darrell/VE7IU and, very briefly, Dave/VA7HDY. From the dupe sheets at the two rigs I counted six contacts made on 15 metres, nineteen contacts on 20 metres and sixty-seven contacts made on the 40 metre band. More operators would have enabled us to extend our operating time and more contacts could have been made. Band conditions were good considering the recent solar activities.

  VE7SHG KDK and his air gun Darrell/IU early Sunday morning on 40 metres Patrick/FAT logging a call Station in the tent Sunset in the Shuswap SARC SARC trailer Robin/HMN flying a kite? Testing the antenna IMG_2327 SARC trailer at the Marine Park in Salmon Arm KDK checking antenna SWR HMN & SHG at the tent station Simon, Robin and Mary Sunday morning Checking the SWR AMM & ETE helping with antenna setup


Sicamous Safety Fair

Kids, Parents, Grandparents and Critters enjoyed their visit to the Sicamous Safety Fair in the Recreation Complex on Saturday, May 30, 2015 in 28 degree sunshine.

Note the CKXR remote radio coverage, drone operated by Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, Shuswap Amateur Radio Club communications trailer, Shuswap Emergency Program Communications Vehicle [MO], Shuswap Emergency Support Services
Recruitment, Sicamous Fire Department Vintage Apparatus, water safety, bicycle safety, home fire safety, Eagle Valley Road Rescue [Jaws of Life], and the final two shots showing an airbag with dummy deployed in the field.

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AHR Service Call

Six of the Club’s members met at the Fas Gas station at the north end of the Squilax bridge at 1100 hours on Saturday, May23rd before heading up to our AHR repeater on the nearby Adams Hill.  Phil/VE7BPH, Dave/VA7HDY, Mike/VA7MK, Bill/VA7WTT, Darrell/VE7IU, Richard/VE6DSF departed the service station for the trail head located at the intersection of the Loakin Bear Creek Road and Holding Road.  We unloaded the quads, three of which were generously provided by Bill, and once all gear was loaded up we were on our way up the mountain.  The ride was on an old, unmaintained access road so progress was cautious and took nearly an hour to reach the repeater at the top.  We saw reasonably fresh bear tracks and scat on the way but felt we had safety in numbers.

We replaced the damaged battery and a cable, topped up the water in all the batteries and checked the voltages. Phil also checked the VHF and UHF telemetrics and the duplexer insertion loss.  All were good.  Richard and Mike modified a length of ABS plastic pipe so that it would cover the open top of mast through the roof so water and snow will not get into the repeater shack.

The weather was warm and sunny, the view from the repeater stunning and the drive up was through varying types of forest growth.  All in all the service trip to AHR was a great outing.

Submitted by Dave Hadley





Richard and Mike work on cap for pipe through roof

Richard and Mike work on cap for pipe through roof

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View from AHR

View from AHR

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Capped pipe

Capped pipe

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Darrell and; Bill, superivising

Darrell and; Bill, supervising

Terminal corroded away

Terminal corroded away

Phil opens up the shack

Phil opens up the shack

Ready for Sicamous Safety

On Thursday, May 28, David VA7HDY, Simon VE7SHG, and Ron VE7RLE
prepared the Shuswap Amateur Radio Club Emergency Communications Trailer
for its participation on Saturday May 30 at the Sicamous Safety Fair.

The Safety Fair at the Recreational Complex open to the public
from 1000 – 1300 hours will showcase a number of such emergency
providers as the Sicamous Fire Service, BC Ambulance Service,
Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, Sicamous RCMP,
Shuswap Emergency Support Services, Enderby Volunteer Rescue Society,
Canadian Pacific Police, and Shuswap Search and Rescue, to name a few.

More of that sunshine and 25 degree weather is forecast for Saturday.

Come out to browse the displays and take this opportunity to
get to know the volunteers and career First Responders who are always
there for you in times of emergency.