Club News

2 Meter Repeater Update

The BRAARC 2 meter repeater once again has battery back-up capabilities.

2 meter repeater

2 meter repeater

On Tuesday, June 11, 2019 the technical department (KC8BAR & KD8DIB) made the trip up the access road to the repeater site.  Conditions were not the best but were passable.  A new battery shelf was fabricated off site prior to the visit and installed on the cabinet.  The new battery and battery box were delivered and placed on the new shelf.  The original battery charger was extensively cleaned and tested prior to returning to the site.

The team attached the new shelf to the cabinet to keep the battery off of the floor of the radio shack.  This is to prevent any condensation formed from impacting the floor and causing rot-out as was experienced in the old shack.  Everything looked great at the site.  The conditions in the new shack are a world apart from the prior site.  The only issue is the carpenter ants milling around the shack trying to determine where to build their next nest.

After completing the install and testing of the new battery back up system, a quick clean up of the shack took place.  An old mouse nest in a box of light bulbs was removed. Looked like it was brought over from the old shack in that condition.  As the new site is still quite sandy, the shack floor was swept to remove any sand tracked in.

Happy Hamming!

KD8DIB

January-May 2019 Meeting Location Change

ATTENTION! ATTENTION! ATTENTION!

The meeting location for January through May 2019 has changed to the Mecosta-Osceola Central Dispatch Conference Room in Paris, Michigan.  http://mcd911.org/

Oh such fun we’ll have in Paris.  This will allows us to focus on some hands on activities and get some time in the ham shack.  We look forward to seeing all of you at the meetings.  The January meeting will include a program on net etiquette.  We hope you’ll join us for the fun.

February – canceled due to severe weather and poor road conditions.

March – tape measure yagi and radio transmitter “fox” hunting. Visit the Library for construction details.

April – ARES and emergency communications.

May – ARRL field day

Happy Hamming!

KD8DIB

440 Repeater Project Update

UPDATE 2/3/2019: The BRAARC Technical department made the climb 110 feet to the 440 repeater site to install a temporary feedline and antenna.  Early reports of repeater performance are not hopeful.  However, the SWR is much improved over the original antenna and feedline.  We look forward to your signal report.

440 Temporary Antenna

440 Temporary Antenna

440 Temporary Antenna SWR

440 Temporary Antenna SWR

FSU Cramer Hall

FSU Cramer Hall

The BRAARC Technical department is busy working on adjusting a set of new duplexers for the 440 Repeater.  Good progress is being made on the Decibel Products, Inc. model 532-4001-004 Transceiver Duplexer salvaged from a commercial repeater.  Club members enjoyed a tech-corner presentation during the January meeting that reviewed the function and construction of duplexers.  As discussed, careful adjustments are necessary to block and pass the appropriate frequencies to allow for proper repeater operation.  Highly specialized equipment is used to adjust these characteristics of the duplexer.  It appears the duplexer is in fair condition and is able to be adjusted after extensive cleaning.

440 low-pass filter

440 low-pass filter

 

440 high-pass filter

440 high-pass filter

The band pass and block adjustments are visualized and measured using a spectrum analyzer with a tracking generator.  The low and high band pass and block adjustments are made in the same fashion.  The manufacturer provides detailed instructions to aid in properly adjusting the duplexer.  The club expects to install the duplexer soon.

Happy Hamming

KD8DIB

W8OWN Silent Key

W8OWN - George and Helen

We have lost a dear friend. George Rouman born January 23, 1924, died on January 15, 2019 (Age 94). The funeral service will be held at 11:00 A.M. Tuesday January 22, 2019 at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 330 Lakeside Drive. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.  Visitation will be on Monday at the church from 6-8pm with a Trisagion Service at 7pm and from 10-11am prior to the service on Tuesday.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans or to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church.  Obituary

BRAARC Antenna Relocation

UPDATE:  Special thanks to the club members who contributed more than 56 ham hours over four days and to those who provided many valuable donations.  The club cost to relocate the equipment was $1000 (US) to move the two antenna to the new WDEE tower thanks to the generosity of John, Ray and the crew from J.T Towers, Inc.  If you need tower work these are the guys to call.  WDEE and Steve are due an extra special thank you for hosting the BRAARC repeater on their brand new tower.  WDEE provided all of the infrastructure including the tower, a new radio shack and site power utilities at no cost to the club.

The club members and friends keep the repeaters on the air.  Your membership dollars and donations are vital in the maintenance of these systems.  Without you, the repeater would soon be QRT.

UPDATE: As of January 13, 2019 the BRAARC 2 meter repeater is fully operational in its home at the new tower site.  Early reports are exceptional and club members are ecstatic about the lack of static.  There are some reports that the propagation is better than ever.  Have you checked into a net yet?  Better yet, command this new power as net control.  Find the net preamble at the Repeater page or Quick Links page.

Towers on the ridge

Towers on the ridge

WDEE Tower

WDEE Tower

The Club along with WDEE and the IRA link system are in the process of moving to a new tower home. The process of relocating the multiple amateur antenna on the old tower started bright and early at 9AM on Friday and was substantially completed Saturday at 5PM. Both Club transmit and receive multi bay antenna were removed from the old tower, inspected, reconditioned, and transferred to the new tower. The 7/8 inch hard line feeding each antenna were also removed, inspected, reconditioned and transferred. The IRA also had multiple antenna that received the same treatment.

The repeater cabinet will also be inspected, cleaned and prepared for installation at the new site once WDEE is ready. There is more work to be completed before the repeater is back on the air. Expect the 2 meter repeater to be down for a week or two. Club members are working hard to get everything back operating. Thank you to those who have helped and to those who have donated funds.

Happy hamming.

KD8DIB