VE7RVF upgraded to heavy-duty gear

Posted in news; tagged with news, readiness

On 2022-03-26, a surprising change interrupted the VECTOR check-in-and-chat net. Technical volunteers switched over from the previous Motorola XPR 8400 unit to a Motorola Quantar.

Quantar repeaters are more robust than XPR 8400s and fit as a suitable upgrade for long-term service.

Dave VE7LTD, Anthony VE7XAK and David VE7ET visited the VE7RVF site on the North Shore to work on many equipment upgrades and changes at the site (which we share with other organizations and companies). The team worked together on the repeater radios for VE7RVF, VE7NSR, and VE7RNV; upgraded the DC power plant; installed an APRS digipeater; and performed various duplexer, cavity filter changes, and so on.

VE7RVF is now running on the new Motorola Quantar at 125W. The old Motorola MotoTRBO XPR 8400 still sits at the site idle and disconnected. CTCSS setting remain the same (i.e. 100.0 Hz uplink and downlink). We chose to leave off the unpleasant Quantar courtesy tone (maybe we can add an external controller). Repeater should now identify itself every 30 minutes.

Please report any issues, observed problems, to David VE7ET. We need to know if you find any interference or desensing on it. We intend to use the next few months for testing and optimizing the system and settings.

Please send any test results, problems observed, and odd and out of ordinary behaviour from this new repeater radio. Please email me directly for any of that info.

Follow-up


  • David VE7ET apologizes for forgetting the timing for the nightly net and not advising the nightly net team

  • We plan a few more trips up before this work is done. Expect a stronger downlink signal (125 W > 30 W) under the new settings

  • Compare how the 147.300 MHz NSARC repeater performs, which is also now a Quantar 125 W.% We are curious what you might notice about differences in performance between the two

  • Try the new APRS digipeater (by others) running on 144.90 MHz. It might need some configuration optimization but it’s running now on 144.390. IT is strictly a digipeater and not an iGate. For now, expect only a 5 W right now and capable of 30W. It should repeat most if not all APRS packets, but might need some adjustments on the config to miss even less of them.

  • This repeater site holds many challenges, including: it’s set up so that more than one radio can use the antenna simultaneously (rare in amateur radio without complex cavity filter systems or combiners and multi-couplers).

  • Four Quantar (almost identical) VHF repeater radios now run at the site. The 4th one will be a cold spare unit, available to cover for any of the 3 repeaters when problems arise.

  • NSARC’s 444.950 MHz repeat returns on air after a minor eleld

  • By the way, in case anyone has noticed, the 444.950 repeater, also owned by NSARC, was also repaired this evening. The fuse was blown on the AC - DC PSU. So 444.950 is now back on air.