Shafer Site Maintenance

Completed the first Shafer Butte repeater site visit in June.  Routine maintenance inside and out.  Vegetation cleared from outside of building to reduce fire hazard.  APRS digipeter was off the air.  Cause was a failed coax connector, probably from falling ice.  Cable repaired and APRS back on the air.  Thanks Rick KL7BR, Alex KJ7KIN and Jay W6JVW.

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Banner Day Dec 4, 2020

Friday, December 4, 2020 was been another banner-day for the Voice of Idaho Amateur Radio Club.

During the roughly three-hour session Rick, KL7BR, and Simon, KC7WF, replaced a failed diplexer, improved our ground connection point, made final adjustments to our rack/cabinet (permitting door closure), added some ferrites to power leads, labeled connectors, checked SWR and power output for both repeaters, started an onsite activity logbook, and took some pictures.

Here’s a bit of refresher information about the two repeaters:

2M Repeater — FM voice 146.700- MHz (100Hz) — operating in stand-alone mode, at least for the winter. Our standard controller is there and inline so this repeater has the same sort of voice announcements and courtesy beeps as 146.840. We are considering what path we should take regarding possible linking of this machine to our other repeaters. Such changes will be planned for late Spring of 2021 at the earliest.

70cm Repeater — (Full-time digital) Yaesu Fusion 443.700+ MHz — also operating in stand-alone mode within the VOI system, but connected via WiRES-X to the Yaesu worldwide VoIP-based linking system. This machine by default maintains a connection to the State of Idaho Digital Fusion Network hosted by the Magic Valley Amateur Radio Club in Twin Falls.

Next is some ‘caption’ info for the pictures I’ve attached from today’s adventure:

The tower/building picture shows our dual-band vertical antenna and our control-link antenna up at about the 40-foot level on a 150-foot tall commercial tower. We are at the northern-most tower site at the “top” of the Squaw Butte complex at approximately 6,000 feet above sea level.

The rack picture shows both VOI repeaters, their duplexers, and the control systems. The D.C. power supply is just out of the picture at the bottom of the rack. All of our equipment for the two repeaters is contained, with room to spare, in the one full-size rack.

A close-up of our antennas. A bit difficult to get the scale since our dual-band vertical antenna is 8-1/2 feet tall!

Finally, the copper bus bar on the wall near the Heliax entrance point showing the Polyphasers and the lines to our radios and the grounding wire.

2020 has really been a great year for VOI technical operations; we completed the 2020 wish-list and moved into the 2021 list by installing the 4-bay antenna at War Eagle — much of what was accomplished was done after the virus-related restrictions were put in place. As far as I know nothing we have done in accomplishing our technical missions has contributed to virus-spread.

I plan to announce the repeater activation with Andrew, NA7MS, at the beginning of The OTHCG Net Monday morning and I have posted it already on the Facebook Idaho Ham Radio Operators Page.

Thank you all very much for your on-going support of our efforts to expand the VOI communications network!

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