AARC repeater update 7/31/16

Early in July, I was quite pleased with our repeater status after getting the 146.925 power back on, then getting our original Fusion repeater back on the air at 444.250. Then in the middle of July, the repeater at Heard Mountain (146.760) went into a solid transmit on mode. We had a problem making sense of the symptoms, and were not able to remotely disable the transmitter. As soon as we could, Jeff, K4OLW, and myself Bill, N0WP, traveled to the site. The visit was problematic on two fronts. First off, near the top of the mountain, the road was blocked by a large tree. We had to hike the rest of the way to the site, taking only the minimum of equipment, and water. Second, some wasps had taken up residence in the doorway of the shack, and were not happy with our presence. We did gather some symptoms and get the repeater and controller disconnected from DC power which temporarily corrected the issue. We plan to make a return visit soon to deal with the wasps, swap the controller out, and install a remotely controlled power relay that we can control via the UHF control receiver.

Late in July, we made a visit to Marshall Manor (146.925) to disable the internal time-out timer in the link repeater that was causing link audio to drop during Monday evening nets. This meant net audio dropped out if listening on the 146.895 or 146.760 repeaters. During this same visit while testing, we discovered an intermittent interference type noise on the link audio. Sometimes, it’s crystal clear, then later is covered up with a terrible grinding noise. The day was hot, and we were not prepared to analyze this noise, so we left the site after 2 or 3 fruitless hours. (We did get the time-out timer issue corrected though.)

At this time, it seems the best approach is to leave the repeater(s) unlinked to minimize the possibility of this noise being propagated. We’ll continue to work on this issue as time and weather permits. We should have the remote power control mechanism installed at Heard Mt. within the next week or two which will return the 146.760 to normal operation.

As always, thanks for your patience, and feel free to share your comments or suggestions.
Bill, N0WP