Monday, October 12, 2009

Repeater antenna installation day

For a change the photos in this blog post are not completely off-topic - we were installing new antennas on the OH2RCH repeater and igate site on Saturday. The operation was very well planned, all the required bits and pieces were there, the weather was excellent, and the execution was professional (like the components).

An FM broadcast antenna, which was used as the 145 MHz repeater transmitter antenna (together with a circulator and dummy load to handle the SWR), was removed and replaced with a proper 2-element stacked dipole for 145 MHz. Also, a 432 MHz repeater antenna with 4 stacked dipoles for RX and 2 dipoles for TX was added. And an extra 145 MHz dipole on the side of the mast. The 145 MHz RX antennas on the top of the mast, which are shared by the 2M repeater and the APRS igate, were not touched at this time. The new single dipole could be used for a transmitting igate to support 2-way messaging. There's another igate handling that in the area already, though.

The work happened at 70 meters above ground level, right above the second guy wire attachment point. Here is Antti, OH2MNI, attaching the 145 MHz dipole pair to the mast:

And here you can see yours truly, holding the braking rope which keeps the 2M antenna far from the mast while the antenna is being pulled up, so that it doesn't break all those microwave link antennas on the way up. On my right side is one of the guy "wires" - there are 6 of these on three sides of the mast, a total of 18.

And here, on the left side of the mast, are the completed antennas. On the top right side of the mast is a fancy new wind turbine, which is generating 48V DC to help power the commercial network equipment on the site. Green energy, global warming, you know the story. It was installed this summer, and it's already broken - the bearings are making so much noise that the neighbors are more than slightly annoyed.

Thanks go to: OH2LAK (the brains of the operation), OH2FDA, OH3GMZ, OH2MNI, OH2GLG, OH3GMZ and Markku V (the mast pro). More photos by OH2LAK and OH2MNI...

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