Over the past weeks, we have been making a lot of changes at the Skyloft site and we would like to thank you all for your support, either financially or by volunteering. It has been so great, that we have not captured all those that have actually dropped in and we have failed to capture your name or callsign. If you have, can you please drop us an email so we can recognize you all accordingly.
What has happened so far:
The old and very trusted 6809 micro controller was removed from service last Sunday after literally decades of amazing service. There isn't much electronics that runs that long in today's world. It is a credit to those that designed her in the first place and how great a job they did starting from scratch. This innovation was so great in its time, that it was written up in IEEE magazine. We also thank Nigel VE3ID who has been one of the key surgeons who has kept her running for the last 10 years including recovering from a very major lightning strike over 10 years ago. The back of the rack is no longer off limits. 🙂
With the 6809 gone, that allows us to clean out the back room and remove everything. In order to do that, we have to turn off all the repeaters on Sunday at Skyloft. This didn't include the 2 repeaters at the CN Tower.
Chris Wilson from Yaesu will be at the hamfest on Saturday to talk about Yaesu products. This will also include System Fusion, which as you may or may not know is installed on VE3TWR 444.400 repeater. TFMCS will also be installing another System Fusion repeater on 442.100 shortly. Feel free to drop by and talk to Chris about Yaesu products.
Mike va3mw, Nigel ve3id, Neil ve3sst, and Nathan va3nxp spent the day (October 19) working on mostly antennas. There was lots of tower climbing by Mike and Nathan while Neil and Nigel had to deal with digging up the 1 5/8" feedline and changing the connector.
The 2M 4 Bay was moved to the East tower to become the new 2M DSTAR antenna
2M VHF vertical was installed on top of the west tower. This should improve VE3RPT's coverage
2M DSTARs coverage should be much more improved as the antenna is installed 60ft higher (Ramesh --- this is for you!!! 🙂 ) 145.250Mhz - Let us know how it works in Mississauga now.
The entire 1286Mhz feedline was inspected, cut, drained. The coverage still has issues so that leaves issues with the antenna, duplexor, top connector or the repeater itself. We will figure this out, it is just going to take more time. About 3M of feedline was cut off and the bottom connector remounted.
The 220 repeater is still stand alone. We couldn't find any antenna problems (yet), but I did notice that the RF out was only 3 watts from the radio. This will limit its coverage. We will up this to close to 50w with the new repeater installation.
I have started to remove hardware to integrate into the new controller, so in doing so, I have been removing hardware from the hill. With that, the hub is offline and IRLP is offline.
1 new repeater has arrived from Yaesu. I expect the other one today.