The last year has been pro-ductive for our repeater site, with several notable up- grades. The biggest up- grade was the replacement of our main VHF antenna. We were using a 5/8 wave- length amateur-grade verti- cal that had been in place several years, but the per- formance was degrading. Inspection revealed it was full of water! We have re- placed it with a dual folded dipole array. This has re- stored the performance of the antenna system and, being commercial grade, should last for many years to come. Shortly after this up- grade, we had reception reports as far away as Jervis Bay (Dave VK2AWJ). Par- ticular thanks to Tim VK2BT and Yves VK2AUJ for their assistance.
APRS also received a big upgrade, our iGate now uses a single folded dipole at the top of the tower. The previ- ous iGate antenna was a magmount on the repeater
hut roof! With the relocation of our antenna to the top of the tower we are now cap- turing more packets directly and compensating for the loss of VK2US-1 in the CBD. A 3-fold improvement was immediately apparent when we moved the antenna, and some fine-tuning of the audio levels improved reception even further.
Our analogue VHF repeater now has a MicE interface. By interfacing an APRS transmit- ter with your normal mobile radio, you can send MicE packets on the tail end of your over. The MicE inter- face will receive these (and mute the retransmitted audio to save our ears). This is a great alternative to having a second transmitter, second antenna etc on the car. Credit to Mal VK2TMF for the MicE project.
There has been renewed interest in getting our 6m repeater back on the air. Work has been going on
behind the scenes in resur- recting our 6m repeater (Steve VK2KFJ). We are also designing a new an- tenna for the tower, most likely a 1⁄2 wave flowerpot.
On the DSTAR side, Matt VK2RQ has recently installed IRCDDB to improve callsign routing, and a new linking module allowing us to con- nect to DCS and XRF reflec- tors in addition to the Dplus support we had already.
Finally, we are still chasing an interference problem that happens when our VHF ana- logue and DSTAR are used concurrently. It does not appear to be an issue either for this kind of work. Thanks again to all who donated so that our club could own this great measurement tool.