Maintenance

Pacific, Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Thurston & Wahkiakum Counties, Washington

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BeachNet Maintenance Log





I was asked, in 2004, when our repeater count stood at 7 (all in Pacific County), how much maintenance a repeater system like ours takes, and I didn't have a good answer. So, I decided to compile a running record. This is not complete. It only attempts to track actual "hill time" spent visiting the various sites. It doesn't include all the long hours spent puttering at home in the shop, fixing broken components and preparing new ones. Nor does it include the hours spent engineering the system or pondering problems in, or enhancements to, the network. It doesn't include the miles and hours picking up "free stuff" or "great deals" that, after many hours of modifying, testing and fixing up might (or might not) be useful. It also doesn't include the time spent updating this blog, or the web site. Significantly, there are no dollar figures for all this equipment, test instrumentation, supplies, clamps, brackets, antennas, cable, hardline or connectors. The amount of gasoline alone to cover all those miles adds up to quite a bit. I've always said, if you think $100 is a lot of money, you shouldn't play with repeaters. Even so, this will give some idea of the kind of time it takes...

BeachNet began building "officialy" in 2000. I didn't start this compilation until July, 2004. Times include driving round-trip to hill and back. Miles are what I put on my venerable 1996 Subaru. If someone else drives, I do not usually record their mileage. Although not generally noted, each site visit includes a fairly complete visual inspection of antennas, feedlines, and equipment. If time permits, a quick check of output and reflected power, and receiver sensitivity may be performed as well. It may seem like a lot of repair time, but repeater sites are subject to high winds, heavy rain, snow, ice, and lightning. The power supply to the mountain tops may fluctuate quite a bit. And remember too, most of this gear is over 20-years old when we get it. It will run for a long time if treated well, but nothing lasts forever.      -- de NM7R



07/17/14    4 miles, 16 hours; Ocean Park to pick up the 145.17 repeater and move it to "Rental Ridge". Prospects for reinstalling it at the Fire Hall were not looking very good. Rental Ridge looked like a better location. The site plot looks a bit more promising for coverage, with little lost. NM7R.

Moved the repeater (70 pounds), power supply (60 pounds), duplexer (not heavy but bulky and awkward), antenna (10-feet long with 19-inch radials), and mast (20-feet long with 40-feet of hardline attached) from Fire Hall attic, over HVAC unit, down hallway used for storage, down a five-foot drop without stairs, down a 20-foot staircase, across a large meeting room and into the Subaru (alone). After the workout, unloaded same at Rental Ridge garage. Removed existing 2-meter antenna on 10-foot 1-1/2-inch mast from side of Rohn-25 30-foot tower, and replaced it with the Hustler dual-band antenna on the 20-foot 2-1/2-inch mast. Hardline made it just to the cable entrance, so spliced on 20-feet additional half-inch hardline, snaked it in through the entrance conduit and installed connectors. Once reassembled, the machine lit off like new. The idea of reinstalling the repeater at the Fire Hall, now that the south wall has been restored and with no convenient passage to the roof for the antenna cable, didn't look likely any time soon.


07/01/14    20 miles, 2 hours; Long Beach to investigate report of repeater 'acting wonky since yesterday'. NM7R.

As I drove south toward Long Beach, I tuned to 444.800 and noticed the repeater was continuously keyed, with apparently no audio. Remotely commanding the controller to 'Macro One' reset the controller to normal operation. I continued to the site and checked the receiver, finding normal sensitivity and all adjustments optimally tuned. The transmitter was likewise in perfect shape, running 75-watts out, to the duplexer, and about 60-watts 'up the stack'. The Z-match voltage is just over a very acceptable 0.4 volts. No unusual 'wonkyness' was noted.


07/01/14    130 miles, 6 hours; Holy Cross to investigate suspected antenna problem, with plan, parts and equipment to replace antenna. Ed did the climbing. K7WAT & NM7R.

The 224.820 repeater, and the HOLYX Packet Node (145.630 MHz) were off the air, as well as the UHF link for the repeater. These all use the 3-band antenna on the south tower leg at the 50-foot level. Ed climbed the tower to investigate and found the antenna cable had become disconnected. Substituting a dummy load showed the cable was fine. Reconnecting the cable to the antenna restored service. This antenna went up 4/18/11 to replace a 2-meter mono-band vertical. Reduced packet performance was noted in March and April. The cable connector had backed out of the antenna connector and was no longer attached. Reconnecting the cable to the antenna restored service.


06/17/14    220 miles, 5 hours; Minot to investigate lack of receiver sensiti vity and odd noise. Checked tuning on receiver, fining it adequate. Checked crystal trim for on-frequency and found it very close. The noise appears to be desense. Will need a replacement PA for next attempt. N7UJK & NM7R.

Desense whenever the transmitter is operating. The Power Amp was recently replaced, pointing to that as the probable issue. Will have to contact Ed and dig through the spares inventory to find a likely replacement.


06/11/14    70 miles, 3 hours; Naselle to investigate lack of receiver sensitivity. Checked tuning on receiver, fining it adequate. Checked crystal trim for on-frequency and found it several kHz off. Once back on frequency, sensitivity was better than GE spec. NA7Q & NM7R.

My original suspicion, based on symptoms (noise and lack of sensitivity), was possible tin whiskers. However, rapping on the helical resonator block made no difference. In checking the tuning, found the receiver crystal considerably off frequency.


05/06/14    152 miles, 5 hours; Cosi to troubleshoot new repeater. Removed the plug harnesses and used point-to-point wiring to connect repeater to controller. Replaced power amplifer (with 40-watt unit) and set levels. Repeater sounding very good. Doyle stayed to dress wires and wrap up installation. N7UJK & NM7R.

Doyle had done an excellent job of installing the repeater, duplexer, link radio and controller. The 'plug-n-play' plan to wire a mate for the existing plug-in connection from the previous mobile chassis (something I did successfully with the Long Beach repeater when that one was changed from a mobile to a station) did not work as I had hoped, so abandoned that concept in favor of point-to-point wiring. There are fewer than a dozen connections to be made and this worked well in the confined space available. During this activity, I discovered the CAS signal and 13VDC power were not carried through the plug system correctly. Pretty sure I would not have found these without actually trying it.


05/04/14    152 miles, 4 hours; Cosi to troubleshoot new repeater. The receiver was working fine, and didn't even need the tune-up I gave it. The transmitter exciter worked, but we had problems with the power amp. I started troubleshooting the wiring, but didn't have the reference material I needed to be effective. Decided to quit and try again later. N7UJK & NM7R.

The repeater chassis was responding well. the receiver worked as did the transmitter when keyed manually, but the controller appeared dead. I was frustrated to find I had pulled the wrong controller manual by accident, bringing a model CAT-300 book instead of one for the CAT-200B. Rather than poke around blind, decided to try again later.


03/24/14 & 04/20/14 & 04/25/14    Holy Cross Mtn., Made several trips to work on the packet system. Pulled the original station off the hill, returned later with the new system. It didn't work right and troubleshooting was frustrated by lack of instruments. Returned with instruments and determined the antenna was at fault. Ordered a new antenna. Will need an antenna party soon. NM7R.

Couldn't get the new packet station (VHF, VHF, UHF) to work, so took it back to the shop and repackaged it. Returned with test gear and determined the three-band antenna that supports the original packet signal, along with the 220-repeater and its UHF link, was in poor shape. Will add this to the (at least two) other antenna projects on the list.


02/21/14    70 miles, 2 hours; Naselle to investigate repeater-off-air. Everything working except the controller, which had no power. Pulled power plug from back of controller and reinserted it. Problem solved. NM7R.

I pulled the coaxial power plug for the controller and stroked it in and out a few times to clean any corrosion. The controller came right up. No other problems noted. This same thing happened in June of 2010, and December 14, 2013. No other problems with the stack. Next time this happens, if it happens again, I'll make up a new power plug assembly or remove the socket assembly and install an external plug set on soldered wires.


01/30/14    60 miles, 6 hours; Megler to investigate why the IRLP repeater went off the air. Found the 10-Amp slow-blow fuse on the front of the power supply had blown. Quick fix. While there, decided to swap out the PA on the VHF repeater, which has damage and was only running about 5-watts output. NM7R.

Hauled tools, service monitor, spare Power Amps (two VHF and one UHF), GE manuals, project binders, and two spare mobiles (one each VHF and UHF) for parts. The UHF repeater ran fine once the fuse was replaced. The power amp is partly failed on the UHF machine, although it is putting out 40-watts as is. I decided to leave it for now. The VHF repeater has a DCI filter and Rangr link radio hung off the power amp behind the repeater to save rack space. I spent almost an hour disconnecting (and labeling) cables and pieces of equipment in order to get to the power amp. After replacing the amp, I tested it, and got no output. It lit off with 500 mW drive, but not with the 200 mW the exciter was supplying. Replaced it with the second PA and it worked fine.


12/22/13    170 miles, 7 hours; KO Peak to investigate why repeater is off the air. Found no smoking gun. Everything checked out just fine. N7ONG & NM7R.

Hauled tools, service monitor, spare repeater, spare controller, GE manuals, project binders, two spare power amps and two spare exciters. Although the repeater was off-air when I arrived, with the exciter audible from inside the building, opening the receiver/exciter drawer for service brought the power amplifier to life. I looked for any loose or shorting wiring, found none. The RCA plug from the exciter was a little loose, so I tightened it up a bit making for a snug connection. Checked power out while moving all cabling, no problems. transmitter back to life. I hate it when things fix themselves.


12/14/13    70 miles, 2 hours; Naselle to investigate repeater-off-air. Everything working except the controller, which had no power. Pulled power plug from back of controller and reinserted it. Problem solved. Paul W, NM7R.

I pulled the power plug for the controller to check for presence of voltage. There was normal voltage present. Reinserted the plug and the controller came up. No other problems noted. This same thing happened in June of 2010. I suspect corrosion on the power plug or socket. Checked Receiver, Exciter and Power Amplifier, all working normally.


10/31/13    170 miles, 6 hours; KO Peak to investigate station off air. Replaced Power Amplifier which was not functioning. N7ONG, NM7R.

PA was dead, so pulled and replaced with spare off the replacement station. Upon inspection, found the positive power supply lead had come loose. Once on the bench, found the wire lead on the feed-through cap had fractured flush on the outside. Replaced Feed-through and re-soldered power cable. PA now works normally. Replaced on spare station for next time.


10/25/13    170 miles, 6 hours; KO Peak to investigate buzz. Paul W., NM7R.

Attempting to find the buzz that has materialized on the KO station's signal. Swapped power supply previously, but buzz still there, indicating it's probably not a power supply issue. Tried keying transmitter directly and watching signal on station monitor. Buzz still there, indicating it's not a controller issue. Buzz appears to be 60/120 Hz based as compared to the 118.8 Hz PL tone. Buzz is a very fast, hard 'tick' waveform, not unlike fluorescent lights, but not changed by turning lights on or off. Still looking for a cause.


10/13/13    180 miles, 6 hours; North Cove site to look at putting up a temporary antenna. W7HGA, NM7R.

With the weather beginning to fade for the year, and it looking less and less likely that the climbing team will be available before winter hits, I decided to try a temporary antenna rigged on the ice bridge. The install went fine, but the antenna is too close to the building and desense is a problem. Hopefully a spell of good weather will come along and I can get the permanent antenna up.


09/11/13    60 miles, 1 hour; Megler site to return three wires to their original locations on the back of the voter. NM7R.

In troubleshooting the audio drop-out problem earlier, I had moved the three wires for the Cape-D channel to an unused channel on the receiver voter. Now that the problem is (hopefully) resolved, I wanted to move the wires back to their original slots. During the original set-up process, the levels for both a full-quieting and full-noise signal were set up in the voter for the five slots I intended to use. Note to self: in future, set up all available slots. It's worth the extra bench time.


08/04/13    170 miles, 6 hours; KO Peak to replace power supply. Picked up Ed in South Bend on the way. Replacement went very well, but didn't fix the problem. K7WAT, NM7R.

The KO repeater has picked up a hum on the audio. It is on the signal even when the audio is muted, meaning it must involve the transmitter or power supply. Replacing the power supply was quick and easy, and seemed to work (in the very noisy environment of the building), but once away down the hill, the hum is still there, although somewhat different in character.


06/07/13    60 miles, 4 hours; Megler to work on the receiver voting system for the VHF repeater. Moved the three leads for Voting Channel 3 to the empty Voting Channel 6. Rerouted the RF cables for the transmitter and filters, checked power output finding it low. Will need to replace power amp. NM7R.

Channel 3, Cape D receiver, has a problem where the audio blanks, but the COR signal is still present. This keys the link with no audio, which is always selected due to being the quietest channel, but supplies no audio to the repeater. This could be a problem with the remote receiver package, or the link receiver, or the voter. This was an experiment to confirm/deny that the voter itself was the problem. Time will tell. The RF cabling was changed to run the transmit signal from the circulator to the pass cavity first, before the duplexer cans, to remove harmonics earlier in the chain. The power amplifier has a burned equalizer resistor, indicating a blown transistor. It is putting out 20-watts and will have to be replaced. No spares available this trip.


06/04/13    Capitol Peak to repair the damaged coaxial jumper on the main antenna. Ed climbed to the 100-foot level on the tower, inspected, replaced/repaired the jumper cable, and waterproofed the connections. Damage appeared to be consistent with falling ice chunks. K7WAT and N7UJK.

The antenna circuit had failed during the winter, and a temporary antenna had been rigged. This repair should restore original range. Also, Doyle reinstalled the 145.01 channel elements in the second packet station.


04/28/13    180 miles, 6 hours; KO Peak, drove up with little trouble. One small patch of snow on the last pitch, with one downed tree. Chainsawed the tree to clear the road (mostly). Replaced power amp. Touched up receiver. N7ONG & NM7R

The first PA replacement was the spare I built up for this job. It would not go over 20-25 watts output. Pulled the amp off the working repeater (KO Replacement) and installed that. It worked as intended, and was set to 75-watts.


03/03/13    180 miles, 5 hours; KO Peak, drove up to see the road condition. As suspected, there is snow blocking the road about 1.5 miles from the top, 24-inches or greater in depth. Last time this condition happened, it took a month for the snow to melt. N7ONG & NM7R

Was able to hear a very weak return signal from the repeater, indicating the likelihood of a transmitter power amplifier failure as the cause of the outage.


02/23/13    8 miles, 0.5 hour; North Cove site to investigate weak signal. found what appears to be coax cable pulled out of antenna.

I was in Tokeland to teach a Technician license class for the Shoalwaters, and having arrived a little early, took a short side trip. What appears to be a coax cable, not entirely sure if it is ours, is hanging loose on the tower. Both repeaters (which share the antenna) are operating but with large return losses (reflected power).


01/12/13    Geoff, K7GA, announced at the Pacific County ARC meeting that he was handing ownership and control of the Nicolai repeater over to Doug, KC7MFN.

Doug has been doing a lot of the work, and lives at the foot of the mountain, making it a lot easier for him to get up there when needed. Geoff lives across the Columbia River from the mountain, which required catching a ferry ride each way (hourly schedule), not to mention a lot more mileage. He and his wife are also planning to move, which will take him well out of the area.


01/04/13    200 miles, 7 hours; Ocean Shores (new site) to install the new 444.200 repeater. Typical BeachNet GE Mastr-II repeater with GE Rangr for the link radio, CAT-200B controller, and Sinclair BpBr duplexer. N7UJK, K7WAT, NM7R

Doyle was contacted by the county and offered a berth in the 911 shed on Saddle Hill, just north and east of Ocean Shores. This site promised to provide some fill-in coverage up and down the ocean beach area, and hand held coverage in Ocean Shores. The repeater was assembled in the three weeks it took for the crystals to be made, and a few days after they arrived, it was installed and operational. The link needs some work, and we are watching carefully for any problems. The repeater itself works just fine, covering the beach as it was hoped.


12/09/12    120 miles, 6 hours; Nicolai to check on an unresponsive generator. Of course, once we were there and wiggled a few connectors, it ran flawlessly. K7WAT, NM7R.

I hate it when things fix themselves...


12/02/12    180 miles, 6 hours; KO Peak to fix a low-audio problem in the repeater receiver. Replaced the receiver drawer using a working spare. N7UJK, NM7R.

The audio level on all the links abruptly dropped to a point of near-inaudibility. I finally found a free day to run up the hill to look at it, and found the problem was on the IF/AF board in the receiver. Tapping or flexing the board brought the audio back to normal, but it wouldn't stay. I suspect a faulty solder joint somewhere on the module. May attempt repair at a later time.


Summer/Fall 2012    Many trips to Nicolai. During the "repair season" of 2012, Geoff, K7GA and Doug, KC7MFN, occasionally aided by others, including Jerry, the CEO of WCLA, the Landlord (who hauled batteries in and out of the shack when Geoff was just out of arm/shoulder surgery) spent countless hours solving several problems as they arose. The generator was maintained, repaired, hauled off the hill and replaced with a new one; a load of 18 "used but good" batteries was hauled to the site, later to be swapped for a second set of "used but good" ones, and finally a brand new set of golf-cart batteries. Changes were made to the wiring, and controller programming. The charging system evolved dramatically. This was much more than Geoff had signed up for, but he stuck with it, and by the time the rain started again, the system seems to be running will. With luck it will make it through the winter. K7GA, KC7MFN and others...

The generator is remotely operated, to keep an 1800 AH battery bank charged. Voltages and temperatures can be remotely read and the generator system can be completely controlled using the UHF repeater. One of us (there are now 4 control operators) takes the "duty", manually operating the generator remotely to provide about six hours of charging per day. This is enough to keep the battery at a voltage high enough for all the radios to operate. There are two 100-watt low-band and one medium power UHF commercial repeaters in addition to our 6-meter and UHF machines. The landlord pays for the propane.


05/08/12    190 miles, 11 hours; Neilton to change out the original 2-channel Phoenix link transceiver for a 4-channel Rangr. Required rewiring the link connections to the controller, adding one new channel-change wire and rewiring the plug to match the Rangr, which had the new standard wiring. K7WAT, N7UJK, NM7R.

The replacement of the link radio facilitates EmComm linking. Previously, the only two link options were KO-Peak (normal) or South Bend (in case KO goes down). With the new scheme, these two choices are supplemented with links to Minot and Capitol Peak, allowing Doyle to link the Grays Harbor machines together without 'borrowing' the South Bend repeater as a hub.


04/07/12    Naselle to fix the link antenna. The single bolt holding the link antenna in its mounting tube had come out and the wind had blown the antenna over against the tower leg. Ed wanted to take advantage of a break in the weather to fix it. Lashed the antenna back into its mounting, and assessed the damage to the mount. K7WAT, KE7LTH

Ed had responded to my request to make a run up the hill to see if something was amiss with the link antenna. Poor performance had made me suspect there might be a problem. He had snapped a couple of pictures that showed the antenna leaning over against the tower, out of its mount. Ed volunteered to fix it temporarily, at least until the summer weather makes permanent repairs more comfortable. Noted missing quarter-inch nuts on the mounting bracket.


04/01/12    Nicolai to pull generator and refuel the Clatsop diesel generator to keep the site alive. Jim VanTrojen's snow cat was perfect for the job. K7GA, WA7DOB, Jim VanTrojen

Geoff liked the snow cat much better than the snowmobile, not to mention the practicality. Snow still feet-deep, and in fact falling while they were on the hill. Hauled 70 gallons of fuel for the generator (3 weeks) and pulled our generator to take home for inspection/repair.


03/26/12    Nicolai to investigate possibilities. K7GA, Brad and Mike of Complete Wireless.

Geoff hated the snowmobile ride. Hauled new batteries up to power our station, loosing a pair to a snowmobile accident (no one hurt). New batteries are in much better shape than old one. Could not get generator to start, although it turns over. Started Clatsop generator, but it is low on fuel and will probably last only a few days.


01/03/12    125 miles, 7 hours; Nicolai to finish working on setting the generator up. Removed the DB-9 connector pair that brought the control wiring into the generator control box, and connected the wires directly. Replaced duplexer, removed diplexer, calibrated temperature and voltage sensors. Discovered the 12-volt sense circuit that told the automation that the generator was running was inoperative. The 12-volt DC relay that buffered the controls had an open coil. Repurposed the line-voltage (Mains AC status sensor) and remapped the associated macros. Charged Main Battery for 4 hours at 35-40 Amps. K7GA, NM7R

Noted on last visit excessive loss in repeater antenna filtering. Brought a replacement duplexer along, but once installed noticed the loss was still unacceptable. Traced it to the diplexer used to combine the repeater and packet station. Shut down the packet station and removed diplexer. Geoff will install a separate 2-meter antenna temporarily for the packet station. Eventually we will move both antennas to the ODF tower. Removed the DB-9 connector set in the control wiring thinking that a bad connection was causing our loss of generator running/failed status information. The circuit that senses the generator running is critical to the automation, and senses the generator producing 12-VDC with a relay. After discovering that the 12-volt regulator had failed on the generator, with a 27-volt DC source causing the loss of the coil in our sense relay, decided to repurpose the 120-VAC coil relay that was included to sense presence/absence of Mains line voltage. It is now excited by the production of AC by the generator. Reprogrammed the appropriate macros to use this alternate source of information, and the generator operates as intended. I am still not able to work the Nicolai repeater from home, but can satisfactorily control the generator through the link system.


12/30/11    125 miles, 5 hours; Nicolai to find cause of unresponsive repeater. Found a damaged RF connector in antenna circuit, and replaced. K7WAT, NM7R

Checked all controls at site and everything working as it should. Wind, rain and snow on hill. Temperature and voltage sensors require better calibration.


12/29/11    250 miles, 12 hours; Nicolai to diagnose extreme desense. Found failed transistor in power amplifier. Replaced PA. K7GA, NM7R

The LP Gas tank arrived today and was permanently installed. Although the PA was toast (burned balancing resistors, at least one dead final) and the new PA solved that problem, the repeater had another problem that turned out to be a loose control cable connector. Finally got it working perfectly, operating the generator as it is supposed to. Once away from the site, however, the repeater would not respond. It was late, and the weather was terrible, so we continued on home. Plan to return tomorrow.


12/24/11    260 miles, 8 hours; Capitol Peak to look at audio drop-out problem. Traced it (I think) to the controller, but it was hard-wired into the repeater. Decided to build a complete replacement machine and swap out to minimize hill time. It's just too hard to work at these sites. N7UJK, NM7R


12/23/11    160 miles, 9 hours; Nicolai to replace repeater controller, and install generator, which the new controller will allow us to operate remotely. K7GA, K7YFP, NM7R


08/26/11    Capitol Peak to replace exciter. N7UJK

An intermittent audio problem showed up almost as soon as we changed the power amplifier. This should fix the audio, unless the problem exists in the controller or wiring.


08/23/11    60 miles, 3 hours; Megler to adjust the outgoing link audio level. N7ONG, NM7R

With the Hood-To-Coast Relay coming up this weekend, I wanted to bring the audio level up to where it should be. I also mailed a replacement exciter off to Doyle for the Olympia repeater.


07/22/11    260 miles, 8 hours; Capitol Peak to replace the power amplifier on the UHF repeater. N7UJK, NM7R

As is all too typical it seems, almost as soon as we returned from installing the 6-meter antenna at the same site, the UHF repeater started to act up, with the transmit signal going intermittent. Finally, it died altogether and I met Doyle in Montesano to go take a look. Upon arrival, it was apparent that the transmit signal was audible within a half-mile of the building, indicating a PA failure but the exciter was working fine. Measured the output from the transmitter at "a meter needle wiggle".


06/24/11    Ocean Park repeater off air due to dead power supply. Ed replaced fuses, and finally replaced the entire power supply to get the station back on the air. K7WAT


06/12/11    260 miles, 8 hours; Capitol Peak to install a single-bay folded-dipole 6-meter antenna for the W7SIX 53.570 repeater. K7WAT, K7KID, NM7R

This is not a BeachNet repeater, however, it is one of the 6-meter repeaters used by Camp Murray for Emergency Communications, specifically for District Three, the same area covered by our system, and one of the intended "targets" of the recently established 6-meter remote base at the 224.820 South Bend repeater. Helping to get this repeater on the air furthers the Emergency Communications mission of our system, and therefore is closely related. The day was perfect with sun and little breeze. The rain even held off until we were half way down the hill.


05/23/11    130 miles, 5 hours; Holy Cross Mtn., the South Bend site, to reinstall the receiver drawer into the 224.820 repeater. Added a 222-225 MHz DCI Filter in the antenna line to make sure spurious emissions are under control. W7TAI, NM7R.

I had found a charred resistor on the Oscillator/Multiplier board, and the associated transistor (Q2) was also dead. No evidence of other problem or a reason for the failure. This is the final LO amplifier and is one of the two transistors recommended to be replaced as part of the 220-conversion. After replacing the two parts, the receiver is as sensitive as it was previously (0.15 ÁV/12 dB SINAD at the receiver). In testing, I noticed some interference between the repeater and 440 radio, so added a 222-225 MHz DCI Filter in the repeater antenna line to ensure spurious suppression. I'm a little suspicious of the single-stage harmonic filter recommended by the conversion notes.


05/20/11    130 miles, 6 hours; Holy Cross Mtn., the South Bend site, to investigate the apparent loss of sensitivity of the new 224.820 repeater. Discovered that the receiver took 20 ÁV for 12 dB SINAD, instead of the 0.15 ÁV previously seen. Unable to find or fix a problem, I pulled the receiver drawer and took it home. Also cemented the foot of the ice bridge leg that supports the 6-meter antenna, using a tube of 3M 5200 marine adhesive. NM7R.


05/13/11    130 miles, 8 hours; Holy Cross Mtn., the South Bend site, to install the new 224.820 repeater, and the 6-meter antenna. The check-out was made somewhat more difficult by not having a working 220-MHz radio with us, but the installation went well. W7TAI, NM7R, K7WAT.

This repeater has been in the planning stages for well over a year. It should provide a reliable link between our two County EOCs, and the 6-meter remote base should provide a path into the emergency nets on that band.


05/10/11    120 miles, 8 hours; Seaside, Oregon, to install the fourth (and final) remote receiver supporting the Megler 147.180 repeater. Ed did the extensive tower work required to install the antennas, and the remote receiver package worked perfectly once installed. The VHF receiver uses a Hustler G6-144B 6-dBd vertical, and the UHF link a Diamond A430S10 430-440 MHz 10 element, 13-dBi Yagi. The antennas are mounted on a heavy steel tower side-arm and fed with two runs of LMR-400 coax about 40 feet long. The receiver and transmitter are GE Rangr commercial radios. NM7R, K7WAT.

Most of the remote receivers, part of the voting system for the Megler repeater, have been operating since 2008. With the installation of this last receiver, the system is complete. The hunt for a good location has been underway since the system was first envisioned. The present site was identified and permission secured a few months ago. The wait has primarily been for weather.


04/18/11    130 miles, 4 hours; South Bend (Holy Cross Mtn.) to install the antenna for the soon-to-be-installed 224.82 repeater. Ed did the climbing and the new antenna went in fairly easily. NM7R, K7WAT.

The original antenna was a Hustler G6-144 2-meter vertical used by the HOLYX packet station. This was replaced with a CX-333 three-band, 2-meter, 220 and 440 antenna. The 2-meter portion will continue to be used by the packet station. The 220-MHz part will support the 224.82 repeater and the UHF link radio will use the remaining band.


02/11/11    60 miles, 4 hours; Megler to replace the Phoenix link radio with a Rangr. This required fabrication of metal support pieces and rewiring the controller connections. The new radio has 8-channels (upgraded from the 2 offered by the old radio). This lends flexibility we didn't have before, including being able to link to the IRLP repeater for the upcoming Hood-To-Coast relay.


01/26/11 Nicolai, Geoff and Ron visited the Clatsop County site to investigate the failed link. Replacing the Rangr radio did the trick. On his previous trip, he found deep snow and a frozen lock, but this time the conditions were more pleasant, and so was the outcome. K7GA & AK9E


01/26/11    130 miles, 4 hours; South Bend, to troubleshoot the link antenna system. Replaced the coax which turned out to be the source of the high SWR. The antenna checked perfectly good on the new cable. Also waterproofed the feed point gamma match on the antenna to avoid future water intrusion. NM7R


01/23/11    Cosmopolis Hill; Doyle drove up to the site to reset the link audio level that had dropped off over the past weeks. It is now back to a normal level, although the pot is at the stop. N7UJK


01/20/11    180 miles, 5 hours; North Cove to install a new receive crystal, this one cut for high-side injection. Retuning spruced up the receiver noticeably. Taileen serendipitously arrived at Highway 105 turnoff from the north at the same time I arrived from the south, so she went along to help. W7TAI, NM7R


12/18/10    0 miles, 2 hours; For once I didn't have to go anywhere; the IRLP computer in the Ham shack refused to "relight" after the power outage last night. I suspect the power supply, and have ordered a replacement. NM7R

We had a particularly strong wind storm last night, from the southeast and east, an unusual direction and one we are wide open to. No significant damage. The lights went out around 10:15 PM, and were out until 3:30 AM. In the morning, I tried to re-link the IRLP repeater to the WIN System, and it refused to accept commands. Investigation showed the computer was not restarting. I ordered a power supply in the hopes that would cure the problem. Unfortunately, the power supply was not the problem. Dan, N7DRD, provided a new HP computer, into which I swapped the old hard drive. As of 01/07/11, the station was back on the air and working normally.


12/03/10    180 miles, 8 hours; North Cove to replace the 2-meter station. The receiver had gone deaf, and I wanted to upgrade the link capability, so a whole new replacement station was the way to go. On the way home, stopped at the Holy Cross (South Bend) site to investigate a noisy 2-meter receiver. NM7R

The last trip to North Cove was in 2007, and only for an inspection. The last real work visit was in February 2004 to repair the transmitter. Both the North Cove and South Bend receivers appeared to have the same "tin-whisker" problem. The receiver sensitivity abruptly becomes very poor, and a sharp rap on the Helical Resonator casting with a screwdriver handle instantly brings the sensitivity back. Here is a picture of what I found on opening the receiver. I will have to start carrying a can of clear Krylon spray to doctor the receivers as they fail. They must all be reaching a point in their lives where this becomes a problem. The North Cove repeater actually pre-dates BeachNet. It went in as a stand-alone repeater in the late 1990s. In early 2000, we constructed th e KO Peak site, and linked North Cove to it, as the beginning of BeachNet.


11/27/10    130 miles, 4 hours; Holy Cross (South Bend) to replace the link receiver which had failed. The replacement receiver helical resonator compartment was cleaned and protected with a layer of clear Krylon spray paint. It will be interesting to see how well this one lasts. NM7R, W7TAI


11/16/10    Changed scheduler setpoints to have the AB7F nightly link come up from 9:30-10:30 PM instead of 8:15-10:00 at John's request. His solar-powered sites become a bit power-critical during the winter.


11/08/10    130 miles, 5 hours; Holy Cross (South Bend site) to rejuvenate a dead link receiver. Banging on the front end helical resonator block brought the receiver back. This strongly indicates "tin-whiskers" are again a problem. The building is heated, but well ventilated, so moisture is a factor. As the receiver front end was replaced on the last visit, we will watch the present "repaired" receiver to see how it fares. NM7R


10/22/10    180 miles, 11 hours; KO Peak to change the battery charger arrangement. Tapping off the power supply had the small (12AH) back-up battery for the controller floating at 14.7 volts, way too high for long life. Replaced the simple circuit with a commercial "Battery Minder". Also did a small favor for the County Telecommunications Department while there. Always nice to help the landlord. NM7R, KF7APN


10/07/10    230 miles, 10 hours; KO Peak to reinstall the repeater, controller, digital voice recorder and FC-900 remote base interface. The control receiver required rewiring to match the new wiring harness. The rebuilt station is working better than ever. Accompanied by Casey and Josh of Total Electric, going to the site to meet Randy of OPB to bid on a generator for the TV building. NM7R


The audio through the receiver input of the RC-850 controller always had an underlying hum and buzz. The buzz was from the digital circuit switching noise coupling into the audio. The controller has separate grounds for the digital and analog circuits, carried all the way back to the power supply to minimize coupling. I spent a day in the shop looking for any place the two grounds were connected, and found one on the computer interface board. The mounting screws connect to the case, which is at analog ground, and mount to isolated pads on the PC board. Isolated that is, except one of them has a trace to the digital ground on the board. Opening that one trace cured the digital buzz problem. The hum, almost a growl, was in the audio delay board. It had been a problem from the start, but seemed to have gotten worse after last year's lightning strike. I tried changing out the caps and fiddling with the board, but nothing got rid of the hum, so I replaced the board. ACC has been out of business for quite a while, but an Arcom RAD board was easy to wire into place where the ACC board had been. The shop visit also let me clean up the layers of wiring, added piecemeal as changes and additions occurred over the years, building a new wiring harness with real connectors and labels. Neatness always counts. The RC-850 is now operating "good as new", sounding great. The FC-900 Remote Base interface does not strip off the PL tone from the audio passed through to the repeater. An incoming PL shows up on the signal transmitted by the repeater, and since we transmit a PL tone, the two beat together. This causes problems because neither PL tone is reliable. I installed a Communications Specialists TS-64 Encode/Decode board in place of the stock PL encoder chip. The TS-64 strips the PL from the incoming signal, and functions identically as an encoder. In addition, this arrangement will decode tone, at least on "Link Channel One" of the FC-900. I used one of the recovered User Function Switches, available inside the FC-900, to remotely enable this capability when desired. Also added a temperature sensor for the 220 repeater heatsink, and a voltage sensor line for the newly-installed back-up battery for the controller. Call it a once-per-decade tune-up.


09/23/10    Ocean Park repeater back on the air. K7KID, K7WAT


09/21/10    170 miles, 8 hours; KO Peak to pull the repeater, controller, DVR and FC-900. Taking these home to do a complete tune up. Installed spare repeater, RC-96 controller and FC-900. N7UJK, K7MHC, NM7R


Trying to troubleshoot several long-standing problems, not to mention redoing the rat's nest of wiring, one site visit at a time had proven too frustrating. I decided the only way to get the station working to my satisfaction was to take it home for a couple of weeks where I had light, space, parts, instruments and documentation beyond what could be dragged along in the car. The work needed was well beyond the nominal two-hour window available on site.


09/18/10    Ocean Park to investigate an intermittent link problem. Several things were looked at and finally the unit was pulled and transported to "the shop". K7KID, K7WAT


09/14/10    220 miles, 8 hours; Minot Peak to install 7/8-inch hardline, replacing the LMR-400 coax originally used. The new cable was installed using mounting cushions, and grounded top and bottom to the tower, and led to a poly-phaser arrester at the common ground inside the building. A noticeable improvement in station performance was noted. N7UJK, K7KID, K7WAT, NM7R


07/19/10    170 miles, 6 hours; KO Peak to again look at the intermittent loss of transmitter. Replaced the Power Amplifier. Chances are either the PA or the exciter is responsible, and this will either fix the problem, or eliminate the PA as the problem. Also fixed the OPB TV translator receive antenna. K7WAT, NM7R


07/14/10    170 miles, 6 hours; KO Peak to fix intermittent loss of transmitter and receiver. Pulled the Molex plugs from the backplane and cleaned, burnished and reformed (bent tighter) each pin to ensure a good solid connection. Time will tell if this fixed it for good. W7COP, NM7HK, NM7R


06/29/10    Olympia repeater (Capitol Peak) to reinstall the packet dual-TNC. N7UJK


06/29/10    170 miles, 5 hours; KO Peak to investigate dead transmitter and receiver. Found a loose Molex multi-plug on the rear of the Mastr-II chassis, one wire being the Regulated 10-volt supply to the exciter and receiver. Kevin found the bad connection while wiggling the wires while I watched the meter. K7KID & NM7R


06/24/10    Olympia repeater (Capitol Peak) to attempt to connect laptop to dual-TNC for reprogramming. Unable to do so, and brought TNC home. N7UJK


06/22/10    260 miles, 10 hours; Olympia to find audio problem in repeater transmitter. Replaced controller to eliminate its audio circuits as the culprit. Later replaced power amplifier when a burned trace/jumper found, and exciter when low output could not be corrected. Basically, the entire transmitter was replaced piece by piece. N7UJK & NM7R


06/20/10    70 miles, 2 hours; Naselle to investigate repeater-off-air. Everything working except the controller, which had no power. Jiggled the power connector and it lit off. Pulled and inspected the controller for good measure, finding nothing further. Must have been a spot of corrosion on the power connector. W7TAI, K7WAT & NM7R


06/11/10    South Bend for RACES Volunteer Appreciation and Award Presentation. Received a Certificate of Appreciation for Amateur Radio efforts related to Emergency Management, including the repeater system maintenance. Lunch was provided, along with a nice presentation by our Sheriff.


06/10/10    Capitol Peak to replace exciter and look at apparent reduced output power. N7UJK


06/09/10    170 miles, 5 hours; Cosmopolis to troubleshoot power supply. Replaced defective unit. N7UJK & NM7R


06/07/10    130 miles, 4 hours; Holy Cross (South Bend) to fix link receiver. Banging on front end block brought it back, so suspect "tin-whiskers". Replaced front end. Also handed off a UHF exciter to pass to Doyle for Capitol Peak. W7TAI & NM7R


06/07/10    Cosmopolis to replace a failed power supply. Found more problems that will require an additional visit. N7UJK


06/06/10    170 miles, 8 hours; KO Peak to replace Power Amplifier. I heard it blink off the air, and N7ONG and I headed up the mountain. Later found and fixed a bad solder connection on the old Amplifier. N7ONG & NM7R


05/24/10    250 miles, 12 hours; Olympia Station to replace link antenna. Found same high reflected power as last visit. Attached dummy load in place of antenna and reflected dropped to near nothing. Replaced antenna along with a new coax jumper and SWR is nearly perfect, and performance is very good. Ed did the climbing. N7UJK, K7WAT & NM7R


05/20/10    320 miles, 12 hours; Capitol Peak (the Olympia Station) to troubleshoot an intermittent link. Found a bad 90-degree elbow fitting in the isolator cabling. Also noted very high reflected power. Will return to replace present damaged link antenna and check hardline. Also made a stop at the Minot site on the way home to adjust audio levels. While there, surveyed and measured for planned feedline upgrade. The repeater antenna is presently fed with half-inch LMR-400 coax and the plan is to replace it with LDF5-50 7/8-inch Heliax. N7UJK & NM7R


05/16/10    10 hours; KO Peak to replace the 220-MHz repeater antenna. Also found a bad connector on the duplexer harness. N7XAC, W7TAI, K7WAT & KB7APU


05/05/10    250 miles, 12 hours; Capitol Peak (the Olympia Station) to replace the UHF Link Transceiver and re-crystal one of the packet radios to 145.05 (from 145.01). We found the UHF link radio had been switched off at the control panel, by person or persons unknown. It is troubling that anyone would shift a switch on the face of a piece of equipment at a busy commercial site. This is definitely "Not Done" in the industry. We had intended to replace the link antenna, but there was ice falling from the tower, so that will have to wait. On the way home we stopped by Doyle's home station to help get the new IRLP base station fully operational. NM7R, N7UJK, K7WAT


04/23/10    A trip to KM Hill site in Wahkiakum County to look over the recent security improvements and pick up a new set of keys. The site is now surrounded by a fence with locked gate and barbed wire. The building sports a heavy duty security door. There are preparations in place for a generator. Day Wireless installed a grounding system which looks very well done. The trees have been cleared back from the tower. NM7R, K7GA, AK9E


04/01/10    A quick trip to Megler after a report that the 444.925 IRLP repeater was not as sensitive as normal. Actually found the receiver was not too bad at a bit over a microvolt, but a little tuning brought it down to under half a microvolt. I then checked the VHF repeater receiver and it was fine. Then a quick power check showed low output on the UHF transmitter, but a quick adjustment put that right. Then a check of the VHF transmitter and it was down to 5-watts output. Hmm. The adjustment worked to bring it down, but not up. Of course, I had brought spare parts for the UHF repeater (the reason to come), but nothing for the other one. I see another trip to the hill in my future... NM7R


01/24/10    The Ocean Park 145.170 repeater was once again off the air, so Kevin and Ed looked at it and found the same 10-Amp power supply fuse blown that had failed before. This seems to be related to storm-caused power line fluctuations. Station back on the air. K7KID & K7WAT


01/22/10    160 miles, 7 hours; Nicolai to do some work for the landlord and also look at the 444.500 ham repeater. Found the UHF machine putting out nearly zero power and traced it to a bad 90-degree coaxial elbow fitting in the antenna lead. This was affecting both transmit and receive with an intermittent open circuit. Removed the offending fitting and normal operation was restored. W7TAI & NM7R


01/21/10    160 miles, 7 hours; KO Peak to investigate why repeater abruptly went silent the day before. Ed found the +10-volt power supply wire to the exciter was loose. Also installed an audio card, re-routing the repeater receive audio path, and replaced some capacitors in the controller. K7WAT & NM7R


We arrived at the site and it was immediately apparent from the indicator lights the power supply was healthy. That was possibility #1 checked off the list. Next it was time to determine if the exciter or PA had failed. If the power amplifier fails, then the exciter can still be heard locally, but if the exciter fails there will be no signal at all. I keyed my HT and there was no signal coming back, pointing to the exciter. So I opened the door on the front of the repeater and suddenly heard... the repeater finish its ID. I hate it when a problem "fixes itself". I had a couple of other things to do, so asked Ed to look over the wiring harness on the door for any skinned insulation, pinched wires or kinks. He found the +10-volt supply wire to the exciter unsoldered. The wire was stripped, twisted and bent over the eyelet where it attaches to the feed-through plug at the side of the exciter enclosure, but had never been soldered. This must go back to the early 1980's at the factory. The technician missed soldering the connection, the inspector didn't catch it, and the wire has been loose ever since. This unit was in service with the County for 20 years before being passed on to us, and we have been running it for nearly ten years. That's a long time for the main supply line powering the exciter to be just bent over the lug.


01/20/10    180 miles, 6 hours; Nicolai to straighten the UHF repeater antenna and work on landlord's repeater. Heard the KO Peak repeater drop off the air while on the way up to Nicolai, but can't do anything about that now. K7WAT & NM7R


01/18/10    175 miles, 6 hours; Cosi first, to install a DCI bandpass filter and replace the exciter. Then on to Holy Cross (South Bend) to change the PL tone from 118.8 to 82.5 Hz to suppress the kerchunking caused by cable TV interference. KF7APN, W7TAI, N7UJK & NM7R


01/15/10    130 miles, 6 hours; Holy Cross (South Bend) chasing the intermittent key-up problem. Added a bandpass cavity and tightened the squelch. While listening on local speaker heard an interfering signal that replicated the key-up problem. K7WAT & NM7R


01/14/10    180 miles, 6 hours; Nicolai site to look at the landlord's low band Micor. AK9E & NM7R


01/06/10    60 miles, 4 hours; Megler site to install a replacement 220-link receiver for the IRLP station. Originally set up with a transceiver, in case a two-way link proved desirable, the transceiver has only ever been used as a receiver. I converted a Mastr-II Auxiliary receiver from High Band to 220, and installed that. Removed the transceiver. Also balanced the audio levels on the VHF repeater. KF7APN & NM7R


12/31/09    Doyle made a quick run back up to Cosi to throw a DIP-switch on the controller. I had neglected to turn the little switch "off" when replacing the link radio, and with it in the "on" position the link CTCSS was disabled. Thanks to Doyle's help, the new link works as planned. N7UJK


12/30/09    190 miles, 11 hours; Cosi and Neilton. The Cosmopolis station got a new front-end helical resonator "block" with the later-model flat finish to eliminate the "tin whisker" problem. Sensitivity improved almost 3dB in the bargain. Also replaced the Phoenix link radio with a Rangr for improved shielding from the co-located FM broadcast station. Then on to Neilton in Doyle's Jeep to give the station a once-over. The last time we were there was July of 2006. And a minor tweak to the audio levels was all we really we needed to do. Receiver and transmitter were both well-tuned and on frequency. Antennas, feedlines, equipment all in good order. One good check out every three and a half years is not asking too much. N7UJK & NM7R


12/17/09    150 miles, 7 hours; Nicolai to troubleshoot link and set packet TNC telemetry up to report supply voltage. Found two wiring errors with link, one was a selection line being inadvertently grounded instead of open, and the other was the omission of a wire to bring the "valid PL" signal to the controller. The latter was not discovered until a couple of miles down the road leaving. Added a voltage divider inside the TNC to scale the supply to the 0-5 volts allowed by the A-to-D converter. Noticed the antenna is leaning due to a slipped clamp but no climbing gear so that will have to wait. W7TAI, K7GA, K7YFP & NM7R


12/16/09    60 miles, 6 hours; Megler to replace failed power amp on UHF IRLP repeater, with a spare I brought. Replacement went in and fired up, but as I was lacing the wiring, I smelled a whiff of something hot. Looked inside just in time to see some smoke getting loose. Shut down the repeater and replaced that amp with a second spare I had brought. This one required some moving of parts to make it work. Finally had it back together and working once more. NM7R


12/15/09    195 miles, 8 hours; Cosi to look at low receiver sensitivity, and the link dropping to one-way occasionally. The Grays Harbor PUD and County radio techs were busy working at the site. "Plan A", to replace the receiver and link radio did not look like the tactful thing to do with limited room in the building. We reverted to "Plan B", and found a "tin whisker" in a receiver LO chain helical resonator, and a loose plug in the link radio control cable. This, and a quick tune up of the audio levels, brought the station back to normal in about a half-hour, and we beat a hasty retreat. On the way home, I dropped a couple of donated power supplies at the "Warrenton Storage Facility" and made a quick trip up to Megler to see why the IRLP repeater is off the air. N7UJK, W7TAI (ex KF7CWO), & NM7R


12/10/09    160 miles, 9 hours; Nicolai to install the link radio, check the controller wiring and look at the packet station. At the last logging road branch an ODF crew was installing a large heavy duty permanent gate. We drove back down the hill to have lunch and give them two hours to finish what they were doing. Returning at 2:00 we got through and up the hill. The TNC was changed out in the packet station that had been unresponsive, the Rangr radio was installed for the link and seemed to work fine. Later we figured out that the controller was not able to switch link channels properly. Replaced the link antenna. K7GA, KF7APN & NM7R


12/04/09    125 miles, 3 hours; Nicolai to install the link radio and check the controller wiring. At the last logging road branch the ODF had just recently installed a new cable across the road with a new lock. Of course, we were told nothing of this ahead of time, nor provided with a key. Will investigate on Monday. I turned around and came home, accomplishing nothing. NM7R


12/02/09    160 miles, 10 hours; KO Peak to address the antenna situation. First order of business was to disconnect the antenna and hook a dummy load to the hardline and coax jumper. The SWR was nearly flat with a bit more than 50 watts forward power and less than 2 watts reflected. Hooking the present antenna back up gave a reflected reading that was higher. Significantly, the reading was fluctuating with the wind gusts. So the next step was to change out the antenna for a different replacement. This yielded an SWR comparable to the dummy load and it didn't shift with the antenna movement. Hopefully, this antenna will last for a long time. K7WAT, K7KID & NM7R


11/29/09    160 miles, 8 hours; KO Peak to replace the isolator with a single-section circulator (all I had on hand at the time). Although the station would operate without one, I feel it necessary as part of being a "good neighbor". I spent some time checking every component of the station, looking for the apparent loss of power out and receiver sensitivity. Everything is in apparent good order, leaving either the hardline or the antenna as the problem. We came and went by the Grays River route. Although 20 miles shorter over all, the off-pavement portion is 16 miles compared to 12 miles for the northern route, making this route at least as long in terms of time. N7ONG & NM7R


11/27/09    170 miles, 8 hours; KO Peak to investigate loss of power out of the repeater. Discovered the isolator had died, probably saving the rest of the station from the lightning strike. Removed the defective isolator until I can obtain a replacement. The station is now working fine. While on the site I took a few minutes to re-orient the KGW TV receive antenna that feeds the translator in the other building. The wind had turned it about 120-degrees around the tower leg. We took the "back way" home down the road that comes out the Grays River drainage. Turns out to be a good 20-miles shorter than the regular way. N7ONG & NM7R


11/25/09    185 miles, 8 hours; KO Peak to install antenna. Tower work went well with Ed and Kevin doing the honors. Station was working perfectly when we left, but within an hour the Power Amp seemed to have failed. A return trip will be necessary. KF7APN, K7WAT, K7KID, KE7JMC & NM7R


11/24/09    150 miles, 8 hours; Nicolai Ridge to extend tower. Added one section of Rohn-25 tower. Moved antenna to top of the section. Checked link radio and found problems with the wiring in the repeater, which will require an additional visit. K7GA, K7YFP, AK9E, K7WAT & NM7R


11/21/09    185 miles, 8 hours; KO Peak to replace main antenna, and inspect, repair, or replace the station electronics as necessary. Three inches or more of snow from a mile below the gate. Due to rain, the snow was slushy and we made it to the last switchback. Weather not safe for tower work, windy and raining with ice sluffing off tower. Stashed antenna inside building. Replaced power supply and inspected each component of the station. The repeater receiver preamp needed replacement but surprisingly, no other deficiencies were found. Will need a day with acceptable weather to replace antenna. KF7CWO, N7KUH, K7WAT, KE7DOV & NM7R


11/19/09    Noticed the Ocean Park repeater was off the air. Kevin and Ed checked the machine out and found a blown line fuse. Apparently when the power went out the night before, and the emergency generator came on line, it popped the fuse. The repeater seems good as new. K7KID & K7WAT


11/13/09    180 miles, 7 hours; KO Peak to inspect and investigate the damage caused by a lightning strike the previous week. The repeater, remote base, and links have all been off the air since the event. Found the main antenna had disappeared above the mounting base, and coaxial cable jumper appeared severed. Power supply also dead which precluded any further testing. Plan to return with work party when weather permits. Three inches of snow on the ground from well below the gate. KF7APN & NM7R


I had been talking on the network on the afternoon of 11/07/09, when the KO Peak station abruptly went off the air, during a particularly malevolent thunderstorm passing over the area. The KO Peak tower had taken a direct lightning strike a couple of years previously, with no damage to our equipment, however the county's closed circuit TV cameras had not fared well. I continued home hoping at first that the emergency generator was going to kick in at any moment, and then that it was a fuse blown when the emergency generator came on. Later that evening, I received a phone call, "This is the US Celular tech up at the KO site, restarting our gear. There's smoke coming out of your repeater. Do you want me to turn it off?" He also indicated that the PUD pad power transformer had exploded. Of course, I was heading out of town for a week the next day, so we were not able to visit the site until I returned. Our repeater antenna had taken a direct hit, vaporizing the antenna itself. We also lost the receiver pre-amp, power supply and transmitter isolator. All-in-all we got off v ery lucky. It took six trips over the next couple of weeks to find and repair all the damage. The repeater, duplexer, remote base, controller, digital voice recorder and control receiver all came through more or less undamaged, along with the hardline and connectors. The entire 224.040 repeater in the rack next over, and with an antenna only a few feet away from this one was unscathed by the incident.


10/29/09    250 miles, 10 hours; Olympia site to replace failed Power Amplifier on repeater. Also found a bare wire end in PTT circuit and taped it up. Antenna looks great and everything else normal. Met a DNR employee who let us peek in the downstairs room in the building. N7UJK & NM7R


10/08/09    377 miles, 12 hours; Drive to a meeting at the Oregon Dept. of Forestry in Salem. Meeting concerned the power situation at the Nicolai site. K7GA & NM7R.


10/01/09    120 miles, 4 hours; KM Hill repeater to check out deaf receiver. Found the receiver banspass/notch cavity 5-turns out of tune(?). Not sure how that could have happened on its own... Retuned for best sensitivity (from 200 micro-volts to 0.17 micro-volts for 12 dB SINAD and no detectable desense. NM7R.


09/21/09    250 miles, 9 hours; Capitol Peak to add a support strut for the top of the antenna. Kevin and Ed did the tower work, with Frank and Doyle as ground pounders. Found the antenna slightly off vertical with a clamp turned and set it back straight. Then into the building for a pre-winter check, and found the power amplifier putting out 3-watts. It would go to 60-watts maximum. Found a burned resistor, indicating a blown power transistor. Swapped out the entire amplifier assembly for a spare, and set power out at 90-watts, at the PA, 40-watts after the dual-isolator, bandpass cavity, low-pass filter, duplexer and diplexer. Judging from the results, the amp must have died in December, along with the old antenna and was not noticed until now. N7UJK, K7KID, K7WAT, NM7R.


07/16/09    120 miles, 4 hours; KM Hill to install door switch and reprogram alert messages to switch on transmit PL. NM7R.


07/07/09    80 miles, 5 hours; Touched up the tuning at Long Beach to bring receiver back up almost 10 dB. It seemed to be in the LO first multiplier tuning. Checked everything while I was there since it has been a while. Then on to Discovery Heights to look at the battery (fine) and check the receiver. Then on to Megler to set the audio levels so the repeater receiver is the same as the remotes, and bring the receiver master level up a bit. NM7R.


06/30/09    150 miles, 9 hours; Nicolai Mtn in Clatsop County (Oregon) to work on the 444.500 Nicolai repeater. Replaced main power breaker at entrance panel (AC Mains were once again down), rearranged DC supply wiring from battery. Finished up a number of anti-rodent measures to seal the building, started by Geoff and Ron during a visit last week, including Ron's new carpentry around the door and a cable entrance boot. K7GA, AK9E, NM7R.


06/12/09    130 miles, 6 hours; Nicolai Mtn in Clatsop County (Oregon) to help install new 444.500 repeater. K7GA, K7YFP, W7CAT, KD7RYY, NM7R.


06/08/09    150 miles, 3 hours; KM Hill, Grays River repeater to adjust power level, check battery voltage and orientation for Geoff. K7GA, KE7DOV, KE7WFO, NM7R.


05/28/09    Cosi, Minot; Doyle (N7UJK) made 2 trips to Cosi. A new alarm has been installed, so he had to abandon the first attempt, go into town and pick up a card key (which didn't work) and return to set the audio levels. Cosi has been too low on the audio for a while. Now audio is as it should be. Also installed a low-pass filter at Minot. N7UJK


05/12/09    Doyle (N7UJK) attended the DNR inspection of the Minot site. Once again, our station passed quickly and with only positive comments. Low pass filters were discussed, and are likely to be required within a year or two. N7UJK


05/09/09    Ken (NM7HK) and Jody (K7IEU) investigated an outage at the Holy Cross station. The UHF repeater was off the air, while the VHF station was working normally. They found and replaced a blown fuse in the power circuit to the UHF repeater. NM7HK, K7IEU


05/05/09    Doyle attended the DNR inspection of the Capitol Peak station. As previously the inspectors approved our installation. N7UJK


04/24/09    Doyle visited the Minot site to install a dual-section isolator and a DCI filter on the UHF link transceiver, and add a second single section circulator to the VHF packet transceiver in anticipation of the upcoming DNR inspection. These required isolation devices had all been promised by the Grays Harbor DEM, but when funding issues all but closed that department we started looking on our own for suitable units. N7UJK


04/22/09    60 miles, 3 hours; Megler site to look over one of the repeaters and orient Sam to the site. NM7R & KC7BFU


04/20/09 Received the Governor's 2009 Volunteer Service Award for designing, building and maintaining the BeachNet repeater network, maintaining this associated informational website, and other Amateur Radio related activities including emergency communications support and training. The award was presented at the Governor's Mansion on the State Capitol grounds in Olympia. I handed off a VHF circulator to Doyle on the way home for Minot.


04/19/09    60 miles, 3 hours; Megler site to change PL on IRLP 220 up-link, set levels on VHF repeater and waterproof 220 up-link antenna connections. NM7R, K7WAT & WA7PIX


04/14/09    100 miles, 4 hours; KM site to install high/low output power mod on PA, and set up repeater to drop to low output when on battery back-up. tried duplexer and found it unsatisfactory compared to present two-antenna system. NM7R


04/09/09 Attended the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency Council Meeting, and was presented with the Sheriff's Department Outstanding Service Award. My name also appeared in the Sheriff's weekly column in the local newspaper, the Chinook Observer, under the heading, "Caught doing Something Good".


03/27/09    60 miles, 4 hours; Megler site to balance the audio levels on the IRLP machine. Also helped with OPB channel 23 TV translator. NM7R


03/17/09    60 miles, 4 hours; Megler site to replace the 220-link antenna for the IRLP UHF Repeater. NM7R


03/01/09    6 miles, 2 hours; Ocean Park to install the repeater itself. Mounted and cut hardline, installed connector, installed power supply in cabinet and hooked everything up. NM7R, K7KID, K7WAT


02/28/09    20 miles, 5 hours; Kevin, K7KID, Ed, K7WAT, and Sam, KC7BFU, erected the mast & antenna and ran the hardline for the new 145.170 repeater at the Ocean Park Fire Hall. K7KID, K7WAT, KC7BFU


01/22/09    250 miles, 9 hours; KO Peak to untangle and straighten the 220 repeater antenna and help OPB crew with preparing the TV translator for the digital cut-through. On the way home we stopped by Naselle to straighten the repeater antenna and repair one of the link yagis (smashed by falling ice) there. That should complete the winter damage repairs up to date. NM7R, K7WAT


01/20/09    180 miles, 10 hours; Capitol Peak with Doyle to remove the stub of the snapped-off antenna and install new antenna. NM7R, N7UJK


01/14/09    60 miles, 3 hours; Recon flight to check for damage at the KO Peak, Holy Cross, Megler, Naselle, and North Cove sites. Assessed snow on KO, and antenna damage at all sites for planning future repair work. NM7R


01/13/09    Doyle was able to bum a ride up Capitol Peak and was greeted by a mostly missing antenna. He shut off the station, and we are now working on a more rubust replacement. N7UJK


11/26/08    250 miles, 6 hours; Minot to fix link transceiver. Replaced IF board in the Mastr-II. NM7R, N7UJK


11/24/08    140 miles, 5 hours; Holy Cross to fix transmit PL on UHF repeater. This is necessary for some alternate links. Picked up nail in tire.


11/22/08    170 miles, 5 hours; KO Peak, to move power supply plug from control receiver as the socket I had moved it to during the 220 repeater install was dead (tripped breaker). Made sure it worked before leaving this time. NM7R, N7ONG


11/20/08    190 miles, 10 hours; KO Peak, to install the new 220 MHz Repeater. Got most of the way up F-line when we came on dozens of trees across road. Doubled back down and took A-line to the top. Repeater went in well and early reports are promising. NM7R, KB7APU


11/17/08    290 miles, 12 hours; Capitol Peak to repair packet transceiver. Found receiver sensitivity way down but as soon as I tweaked one helical resonator it came back. Suspect a "whisker". Installed new radio and left old one with Doyle as a spare. On to Minot to install replacement link radio (Mastr-II mobile) in place of Phoenix. New radio is modified to accept Isolator. NM7R, N7UJK


11/12/08    120 miles, 3 hours; KM Hill and Discovery Heights to check batteries.


10/30/08    150 miles, 10 hours; Installed the new repeaters at South Bend. New machines are in individual 30-inch cabinets. Station now comprises base station chassis for both VHF and UHF repeaters and a Mastr-II Mobile for the link radio. The contoller is now a three-port one to allow the repeaters to be split apart when desired. There is also a control receiver.


10/15/08    130 miles, 6 hours; Installed the Warrenton Remote Receiver to complete the original plan for voting system. Unit located in back room of Warrenton Police Department, courtesy of W7LEO. Has stand-by power, antenna on roof. Also went by Grays River site to check batteries on the way home.


10/14/08    100 miles, 3 hours; Grays River (KM Hill) site to install battery back-up. Two 90 AH batteries from W7TOM, charger from W7FBM. Wired into repeater power supply through blocking diode. Repeater speaks 'Emergency Power' locally when battery powering station.


10/10/08    150 miles, 9 hours; Naselle (2 trips) to install voting receiver, change frequency of old remote receiver to work with North Cove repeater, move control receiver antenna & hardline, install Megler link antenna & coax, and re-route remote base hardline away from County microwave waveguide. KE7SEV, NM7HK, NM7R.


10/08/08    150 miles, 6 hours; Holy Cross to analyze the audio distortion on the South Bend repeaters.


10/02/08    60 miles, 4 hours; Megler to install a DTMF decoder to control the channel disable function on the voter panel. Mostly for testing, this will allow remotely shutting off any/all receiver channels at the voter.


09/24/08    80 miles, 6 hours; Ilwaco, (two trips) to install the Cape Disappointment remote receiver package (Mark-Two) to go with the Voting system. A Mastr-II base station power supply was installed, since this station will now be working full time. A 90 AH battery (from W7TOM) installed as back-up power. Will try to fit a second battery into cabinet at a later time. Original charger used and old battery removed. I was able to get in full-quieting, from the campground at Cape D, low power on an HT inside the car. One voting remote receiver done, two more to go.


09/23/08    80 miles, 3 hours; Naselle to repair hardline and mountings. This is the last of the damage from last winter. K7KID, K7WAT and NM7R.


09/18/08    60 miles, 2 hours; Megler to change the repeater receiver 'COS' signal from PL-decode only to an AND product of CAS and PL to remove the obnoxious squelch crash from PL-only switching. You'd think I would learn...


09/17/08    60 miles, 4 hours; Megler, to install rack shelf with four UHF receivers and LDG voter panel. Wired in repeater receiver as fifth receiver. For the moment, it is the only receiver with an active COR, so it is the only one that will be voted. As the satellite receivers are converted from the old (PL switching) system to the new (Signal-to-Noise voting) system, the Megler end should be ready to receive and incorporate the new signals.


This was the first step in installing a true, automatic voting system to manage the remote receivers associated with the Megler VHF repeater. The previous sys tem had used remote receivers, each with a unique PL tone. Selection was done manually by changing the PL tone transmitted by your radio. This new system will make manual intervention unnecessary. The voting unit will constantly evaluate the signal-to-noise ratio of the incoming audio streams from the various receivers, and use the best quality one for retransmission. This had been a "blue-sky" idea until two fortuitous events. First, I received from Pacific County several GE Rangr transceivers, suitable to be used as remote VHF receivers, UHF link transmitters and link receivers. Second, I received from Grays Harbor County, an LDG voter unit. Putting these together made a reality of the plan. This also proved to be the ultimate answer to the TV intermod at the Megler site. By using three alternate receivers, each in a relatively quiet location, two with high-gain pre-amps and all with overlapping coverage, the repeater site receiver is only used when it has the quietest signal and the other receivers provide great quality audio the rest of the time. Of course, like all Amateur projects, this became a "work-in-progress".


09/10/08    180 miles, 10 hours; KO Peak, install 220 MHz antenna, hardline, and check APRS station. NM7R, K7KID, WA7RW, KB7APU and K7WAT.


08/07/08    259 miles, 10 hours; Capitol Peak to tune and check; Minot to rehab link receiver N7UJK, NM7R.


07/10/08    248 miles, 9 hours; Capitol Peak to replace Power Amp, tune and check, N7UJK, NM7R.


07/08/08    120 miles, 8 hours; KM Hill, Install 'Grays River' antennas, hardline runs and set up new 147.020 repeater. K7KID, KE7SEV, W7FBM, KD7UEB, N7YBZ, NM7R.


07/07/08    120 miles, 4 hours; KM Hill, Haul equipment and take measurements for Grays River repeater install.


06/20/08    167 miles, 8 hours; KO Peak for tower work. Straightened main antenna, checked all connectors and dressed mountings. Removed old remote base antenna collection and rusting mount. Installed new side arm and tri-band antenna for remote base. Installed tri-plexer at radio station for 140/220/440 modules. K7KID, KE7JMC, KE7SEV and NM7R.


06/13/08    75 miles, 6 hours; Long Beach to remove temporary repeater and reinstall original unit with remote base, and Megler to install filter on DC line to Exciter/Receiver.


06/09/08    75 miles, 4 hours; Naselle repeater, reinstalled remote base after modifying it to have receive PL decode in FC-900 remote base controller. The squelch has been occasionally opening with DX repeater signals. It's the start of summer ducting season, and this will allow us to silence the noise without losing the linking capability with KO Peak. It works perfectly. Decode function is remotely controllable.


05/31/08    25 miles, 1 hour; Long Beach to replace link transceiver in temporary repeater.


05/30/08    75 miles, 6 hours; Naselle and Long Beach.


05/29/08    140 miles, 6 hours; KO for antenna work. Kevin, Thatcher, Ed and Jody along. Stopped by snow a bit over a mile from the top. Kevin and I stopped at Long Beach on the way back to fix cable mounting.


05/15/08    75 miles, 6 hours; Naselle & Long Beach repeaters, took remote base package from Long Beach machine to Naselle site and swapped out with the remote base package there. Brought the Naselle package home to diagnose the problem with the link receiver 'blowing squelch'.


03/26/08    25 miles, 4 hours; Long Beach repeater, pulled entire station and installed temporary replacement.


02/26/08    75 miles, 5 hours; Naselle antenna work (with Kevin), replaced remote base antenna and replaced crushed remote base antenna coax with LDF4-50 1/2-inch hardline.


02/25/08    75 miles, 7 hours; Naselle antenna work (with Kevin), straightened main antenna. Weather closed in.


02/18/08    200 miles, 12 hours; Capitol Peak (with Doyle) in Bruce's SnoCat to replace antenna.


02/15/08    150 miles, 8 hours; Holy Cross (with Kevin) to replace broken antenna.


02/14/08    80 miles, 6 hours; Took up the airplane on the first good-weather day after the Big December Storm (with Doyle). Surveyed all the BeachNet sites and were able to see all of them. Most accessible, except KO Peak and Capitol Peak still had lots of snow. Discovered missing antenna at South Bend.


12/29/07    75 miles, 4 hours; Megler with Bob Frost and his Spectrum Analyzer.


12/18/07    75 miles, 6 hours; Megler intermod chase.


12/16/07    75 miles, 5 hours; Megler with Bob Frost.


12/15/07    75 miles, 6 hours; Megler intermod chase


12/01/07    A major winter storm event struck the region. It began with cold temperatures and snow, followed abruptly by hurricane-force winds, warmer temperatures and heavy rain. At the coast, this meant trees down blocking all roads, power out and telephone and Internet service out for days. Inland, the snow, followed by warm rain, meant serious flooding. The BeachNet repeater system was heavily used, in spite of heavy wind damage, both during the storm and the recovery phases. It would be months before most of the damage to the repeaters could be attended to.


11/21/07    75 miles, 6 hours; Megler antenna adjustments.


11/19/07    75 miles, 10 hours; Megler IRLP receiver replacement to improve sensitivity. Curious that the five 1 KW TV translators are all UHF, and yet they bother the VHF repeater and not the UHF one. Or, could it be leakage from the Chinook cable TV system?


11/18/07    75 miles, 8 hours; Megler VHF circulator install.


11/17/07    75 miles, 8 hours; Megler antenna completion, mounting and dressing hardline.


11/16/07    75 miles, 10 hours; Megler antenna relocation of dual-band Hystler from building roof to top of tower. This will be VHF receive and UHF Tx & Rx antenna. G6-140 2-meter antenna installed on the building roof is now the VHF transmit antenna.


10/06/07    KO; 170 miles, 8 hours; install & activate control receiver.


09/25/07    KO; 170 miles, 8 hours; replace receiver.


09/24/07    Megler; 60 miles, 4 hours; change PL tone to stop repeater keying itself up. Installed a line to a controller remote switch that changes the PL remotely from 118.8 to 82.5 Hz. I later decided that continually changing the tone to avoid the TV buzz was more confusing than just changing it permanently. So, unless some magic bullet comes along to fix the buzz, the Megler tone is now 82.5 Hz.


09/24/07    KO; 170 miles, 12 hours; troubleshoot receiver failure. Replaced receiver.


09/20/07    Megler; 60 miles, 6 hours; Duplexer touch up and site maintenance. Jay, W7FBM, also along. Still trying to get the TV retrace buzz out of the repeater. Tried pass cavity on transmitter, no difference. Moved it to receiver, still no difference.


08/??/07    Hood-To-Coast again accommodated with the 147.18 Megler and 440.675 Naselle repeaters tied together and then linked to a Columbia County 146.88 repeater to provide Medical and Administrative circuit for race committee.


08/??/07    170 miles, 12 hours; Cosmopolis repeater site to change antenna and hardline (replaced half-inch hardline with 7/8-inch).


08/??/07    160 miles, 5 hours; North Cove to inspect duplexer move from floor under repeater to ceiling. John & Joe did a nice job!


07/??/07    825 miles, 36 hours; Three (3) round trips to Capitol Peak to work on the packet gateway station. Finally figured out the four transmitters keyed together pulled the power supply down and reset the packet TNC.


05/22/07    130 miles, 4 hours; South Bend equipment retrieval.


05/12/07    250 miles, 10 hours; Capitol Peak, general minor gremlin removal...


04/29/07    250 miles, 16 hours; Capitol Peak install; antennas, hardline, cabinet.


04/23/07    80 miles, 3 hours; Naselle, change out power supply.


04/07/07    220 miles, 10 hours; Minot; Frequency change to 444.050. This is to free up the 444.950 frequency for Capitol Peak. WWARA has agreed to the plan. Capitol Peak will be a high site with long range coverage. Finding a suitable pair would be difficult if not impossible. Our existing 444.950 pair is not used anywhere else in Western Washington, so moving it to CP makes sense. The 444.050 pair will probably work fine on Minot, because it is blocked to the north, shielded from Puget Sound.


03/30/07    120 miles, 8 hours; KO Peak, 10m antenna install. Antenna is a vertical dipole suspended off side of tower.


03/10/07    260 miles, 12 hours; Capitol Peak, Site Survey. Doyle wants to sponsor a station with packet gateway and UHF repeater. My first close up look at the site. Nice new building and tower.


01/24/07    170 miles, 12 hours; KO Peak, replace PA. This one has a Z-match.


12/27/06    140 miles, 6 hours; Holy Cross Packet transceiver replacement.


12/22/06    140 miles, 6 hours; Holy Cross Packet failure diagnosis.


12/05/06    140 miles, 5 hours; Holy Cross audio repair and balance. Audio was overdriving on VHF side. Rechecked all combinations with each of the three receivers and three transmitters so a 1 kHz tone at 3 kHz deviation going in any port comes out all ports unchanged.


12/04/06    140 miles, 6 hours; Holy Cross Audio repair and balance. VHF and UHF receivers not the same level. New scheme has them mixed on a modified audio card.


09/29/06    330 miles, 12 hours; Weatherwax repeater replacement with very-low-current-draw unit and Minot packet node repair.


08/27/06    190 miles, 8 hours; Minot for link repairs and replacement of the packet station.


08/25-26/06    24 hours; Hood-to-Coast relay public service support; Megler 147.18 repeater was tied to Naselle 440.675 repeater. These were disconnected from BeachNet for the two-day event, and the Naselle remote base connected to the 146.76 Nicolai repeater, allowing the Race Committee in St. Helens to communicate effectively with the last few stages and the finish. The circuit created was used for medical and emergency traffic, while the Astoria linked system was used for Operational matters.


08/24/06    28 miles, 8 hours; Discovery Heights & Ilwaco FM station, move batteries and 146.86 PCARC repeater from DH to the FM tower, and install my Cape D remote receiver (Mark-One) at DH.


08/22/06    190 miles, 8 hours; KO Peak, finish up remote base antennas. Cut 20-feet off the main hardline and moved connector. Fitted remnant of LMR-600 cable from hardline to repeater. The book says the difference between 100 feet of LMR-600 and LDF5-50 should be about 1 dB, but the change has made a far bigger difference anecdotally.


08/14/06    180 miles, 12 hours; KO Peak, Straightened antenna and replaced original LMR-600 coax with 100-feet of LDF5-50 7/8-inch hardline in mounting cushions. Hardline was 120-feet long, so we ended up with 20-feet wrapped around the inside of the building on the cable tray when it came time to leave.


08/11/06    75 miles, 3 hours; Megler, UHF link retune. Locks are back in proper order with new hasp.


08/08/06    52 miles, 2 hours; Megler, IRLP PL change to 82.5. Lock hasp had been cut by County Telecom Manager. Timber company lock not in chain now.


08/07/06    44 miles, 1.5 hours; Megler, Gate locked (skunked again).


08/06/06    44 miles, 1.5 hours; Megler, Gate locked (Locks rearranged but ours still not in chain). Again advised County Manager.


08/05/06    44 miles, 1.5 hours; Megler, Gate locked (our lock not in chain). Called Timber Co. They said they would fix right away. Called to advise County Telecom Manager.


07/17/06    270 miles, 8 hours; Neilton install. Problem turned out to be a single broken finger in the center conductor of an N-Female connector on the duplexer. It took hauling it home and going over the entire machine with a flashlight and a fine tooth comb to find it. The other three fingers had overheated and lost their temper, causing an intermittent connection on the transmit side of the duplexer.


07/10/06    75 miles, 2 hours; Megler change PL to 82.5. This cured the problem of the spontaneous key-ups, but the buzz is still there on weak signals just above the squelch threshold.


07/06/06    75 miles, 4 hours; Megler troubleshoot of intermod. Bonded and grounded everything I could.


07/05/06    75 miles, 4 hours; Megler to diagnose intermod problem. TV retrace buzz is bad enough to false trigger the PL decoder on 118.8 causing repeater to key up spontaneously with loud buzzing noise.


06/18/06    270 miles, 8 hours; Neilton to repair repeater. After several hours not able to pin-point problem, pulled entire repeater to take home.


06/13/06    313 miles, 13 hours; Weatherwax install and Neilton PA replacement. Neilton had been intermittent for some time, going from full power to barely readable or off-air, and then back. New PA seemed to cure the problem, but a few hours later the problem returned.


05/28/06    75 miles, 8 hours; Megler several little upgrades.


05/27/06    225 miles, 12 hours; Minot link antenna upgrade to dual phased yagis. Link path is directly through the phone company tower and horns across the road. This antenna design 'burned through' and gives good performance.


04/28/06    225 miles, 11 hours; Minot antennas, repeater antenna moved to tower and link antenna moved to mast on building.


04/21/06    185 miles, 10 hours; KO finish up. Brought new exciter cable and secured in place. Dressed cabling on repeater that had been cut loose and disturbed previously. Tested and checked everything. No discrepancies noted.


04/20/06    75 miles, 4 hours; Replace Megler Repeater with upgraded version. It is far more efficient to build and test a complete new replacement station at home, and then change it out on the hill, rather than do extensive work on site. This is my normal policy with extensive work. Whenever possible, minimize time on the hill. It is always easier to do the work at home and it turns out looking and working better.


04/14/06    184 miles, 11 hours; KO for transmitter troubleshooting and repair. Found bad cable from exciter to PA. Jerry rigged a temporary repair.


04/13/06    181 miles, 8 hours; PCEMA Meeting in SB, Trip to Shoalwater Reservation, North Cove, and Holy Cross for inspection and minor maintenance. This side trip lead to a successful Technician class and a dozen new hams in North County.


03/31/06    65 miles, 4 hours; Megler, local link antenna replacement after falling ice had destroyed the old one.


03/30/06    175 miles, 6 hours; replace VHF receiver Holy Cross.


03/27/06    230 miles, 8 hours; abortive trip to KO, and Holy Cross troubleshooting stop.


03/24/06    175 miles, 6 hours; install wx station on Holy Cross.


10/29/05    175 miles, 12 hours; Visited Neilton to reprogram and modify Phoenix link transceiver for link Rx PL and 2-channel link.


I added CTCSS decode on the link receivers to suppress out-of-area signals on 441.675, especially during the summer ducting season. The links were originally carrier squelch to make the switching times as fast as possible. The GE Phoenix radios I used for linking require reprogramming the X2212 EEPROM and a minor hardware mod.


10/25/05    125 miles, 6 hours; Modify link transceivers at Megler and Holy Cross for link Rx PL and 2-channel link.


10/24/05    10 miles, 3 hours; ARES Meeting at Bob Cline's house re: BeachNet.


10/22/05    187 miles, 14 hours; Visited Minot, Neilton and Cosi sites. Replaced Power Supply and reprogrammed and modified Phoenix link radio at Minot for link Rx PL, reprogrammed and modified Phoenix link radio at Cosi. Locked out of building at Neilton.


10/21/05    193 miles, 8 hours; Visited KO Peak, Holy Cross and Naselle sites. Hooked up transmit PL on KO repeater as first step in implementing PL on the links, reprogrammed Phoenix link radio at Holy Cross for PL on KO Frequency, and replaced (upgraded) Power Amplifier at Naselle. This one has Z-match.


10/18/05    120 miles, 4 hours; Visited Holy Cross to get repeater back on air.


07/31/05    140 miles, 6 hours; Holy Cross Repeater Site; Repair 147.940 receiver and add PAR filter to notch out paging intermod.


07/29/05    75 miles, 9 hours; Naselle Repeater Site; Finish cable mounting install on tower.


07/28/05    75 miles, 2 hours; Naselle Repeater Site; K7KID along, Weather not cooperative so no tower work. Finished repeater install inside the building.


It is probably appropriate to point out here that this completed the construction of a new UHF repeater, with 3-band remote base, on a 2000-foot mountain that had not seen an Amateur repeater for almost 20 years. Rents on the site were prohibitive. A comment by an acquaintance led me to believe a rent-free billet might be possible. This required soliciting permission from the site owner, obtaining the cooperation of Pacific County Emergency Management Agency and it's oversight Council. It meant assembling, fabricating and testing the station components in my shop, followed by installing the equipment at the site. On the paperwork front, there was finding a likely frequency pair, ordering crystals, negotiating with the co-channel neighbors by email for letters giving conditional permission to share their pair for testing, and filing with WWARA toward repeater coordination a nd a permit to build and test. All this was accomplished (from twinkle-in-the-eye to finished working repeater) within three weeks. The station includes a 110-watt continuous-duty GE Mastr-II base station with ACC RC-96 controller, FC-900 remote base on 140/220/440 MHz bands, Sinclair duplexer, Sinclair dual section isolator, DCI 440-450 pass filter, 100-feet of LDF5-50 7/8-inch hardline, mounted in cushions, and two GE Mastr-II auxiliary receivers, one associated with the Megler repeater and the other a dedicated control receiver. The Power Supply is a GE. The antenna is a Comet X510 dual-band (UHF for the repeater and VHF for a remote receiver augmenting the Megler repeater coverage) mounted inside a Stationmaster radome shell, at the top of the tower. This repeater fills the last remaining "hole" in the Pacific County coverage. On the air 28 July 2005.


07/27/05    75 miles, 6 hours; Naselle Repeater Site; Finish dressing cable in building.


07/26/05    75 miles, 9 hours; Naselle Repeater Site; also Kevin (K7KID) and Shane (N7XAC), Antenna and 7/8-inch hardline install.


07/22/05    140 miles, 4 hours; South Bend to swap keys and Naselle for recon, planning and measurements.


07/21/05    120 miles, 2.5 hours; South Bend to pick up key for Naselle. Turned out it was the wrong key...


07/19/05    25 miles, 1.5 hours; PUD Commissioners Meeting; Seeking permission for new (Naselle) repeater installation.


07/14/05    30 miles, 1.5 hours; PCEMA Council Meeting; Seeking permission for new (Naselle) repeater installation.


07/14/05    Received Certificate of Appreciation for BeachNet activities from Pacific County Emergency Management Council in recognition of contribution to Public Service and Disaster Preparedness. It's always easier to ask permission for something after they have handed you an award.


07/12/05    52 miles, 3 hours; Megler adjust PL and install Tx PL on 147.180.


07/11/05    52 miles, 4 hours; Megler install COS/PL logic board in IRLP repeater.


07/08/05    175 miles, 7 hours; Cosi replace receiver.


02/14/05    150 miles, 10 hours; Trip to relocate Raymond site equipment to Holy Cross. The VHF station was originally located at the hospital in South Bend. A UHF repeater on Holy Cross Mountain was necessary to make the system link to KO Peak operable. To improve coverage, the VHF receiver was moved to the Holy Cross site, leaving the transmitter at its coordinated location. Eventually, it became desirable and practicable to move (and re-coordinate) the transmitter, co-locating the VHF repeater transmitter at the Holy Cross site.


02/09/05    160 miles, 8 hours; Two (2) Trips to install IRLP repeater at Megler.


This new UHF repeater will function as an open IRLP node. It uses a 220-MHz uplink to bring the audio from my home station to the repeater site. The home station has a receiver listening to the repeater output, and I am gating a PL tone on the repeater output to provide CAS signal to the computer at the home station. This arrangement allows the IRLP Node to share the DSL line at home, and have a full-duplex control channel.


02/04/05    165 miles, 6 hours; Trip to North Cove to repair transmitter.


02/03/05    80 miles, 6 hours; Trip to Megler to consolidate equipment to make room in the rack for the 444.925 (IRLP) repeater.


10/??/04    175 miles, 7 hours; Cosi change frequency to 145.39; swap out crystals and retune duplexer. This was to solve the co-channel problem on 145.170.


08/13/04    160 miles, 6-1/2 hours; Install the 145.170 repeater at Cosmopolis Hill.


08/07/04    200 miles, 14 hours; Swap frequencies; 444.700 to Neilton and 444.950 to Minot. Picked up duplexer and crystals from Minot, took to Neilton and swapped with the ones there, returned to Minot and installed duplexer and crystals from Neilton. Also relocate link antenna at Minot. We had a co-channel issue with the 444.700 frequency in Puget Sound area, and the 444.950 frequency is not in use there. Swapping the two pairs between the sites solved the problem.


08/04/04    160 miles, 5 hours; Repair controller problem at North Cove.


07/31/04    240 miles, 12 hours; Install 444.700 Minot Peak repeater (Elma).


07/25/04    120 miles, 11 hours; Tech class and VE exam South Bend.


07/24/04    200 miles, 13 hours; Technician class South Bend and Cosmopolis repeater site visit.


07/18/04    168 miles, 8 hours; KO Peak; Install 220 remote base antenna and mount repeater coax, upgrade power supply and retune repeater.


07/17/04    120 miles, 7 hours; Technician Class in South Bend


07/10/04    168 miles, 7 hours; KO Peak; power amp noise problem.


07/09/04    168 miles, 8 hours; KO Peak; duplexer replacement (Motorola 4-can-pass went to Long Beach/Phelps-Dodge 6-can pass-notch installed) and station tune-up. The Phelps is certainly a superior filter. Installed 2 temperature sensors, heatsink and outdoors.





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