On Wednesday 22 July, our technical team spent the day going around each repeater site to do the programmed maintenance. The maintenance team consisting of Jean Marc (3B8DU), Clive (3B8CW), Ismet (3B8DM), Patrick (3B8GF) and Francois (3B8GZ) started early morning around 8am finishing late 6pm.
For the past month the repeaters had been plagued with QRM on the UHF frequency so the team proceeded to make adjustments to the UHF repeater frequency. Other tasks included replacing the two Alinco rigs with the Yaesu FT9800R, one at Grand Bassin and the second at Bar le Duc. The Audio quality with the FT8900R seems much better than with the Alinco’s but further monitoring is required to confirm this. The removed Alinco equipment will be modified by Jean Marc and Clive and then replaced at Signal Mountain and Trou aux Cerfs sites to improve overall network audio quality. At each site other routine maintenance carried out was SWR measurements, checking of power supplies and fans, no problems found in these checks.
Users should note that the link between Grand Bassin and Signal Mountains is weak, this was already known from the initial system installation. However, a possible solution to this has been discussed and implementation testing will be done soon. In the meantime it is recommended for QSOs to the South to avoid using Signal Mountain.
Our thanks go to the maintenance team (click on below photos to enlarge) and also the many who contributed as a on-the-air monitoring team during this day.