12-AUG-2020 – Saddle Peak

On Wednesday 12AUG20, members of the PAPASYS TECHTEAM visited Saddle Peak (P4) to install a Motorola MTR-2000 in place of the aging legacy repeater. This is the latest upgrade as part of a System wide program to address reliability and longterm serviceablilty of the network. This effort has been supported by the generous contributions of PAPA members and countless hours of work by a dedicated PAPASYS TECHTEAM.

Led by Cecil, WD6FZA, the team of Matt, K3MAT, and Mike, N6JVH, skillfully removed the legacy hardware from the cabinet and rearranged RF, DC, audio, and control wiring to speed future preventative maintance activities. In addition to the new repeater, a new controller was installed. The new repeater controller will allow us to configure the system from anywhere on the network with a common protocol. A few more trips to the site are required to finalize the rebuild/upgrade of Saddle Peak. As this is a prime coverage site for Los Angeles, considerable resources are being put into this effort to insure that the site will provide reliable service for years to come.

Some time was also spent looking at recent issues that developed with the DMR repeater as the site. The DMR repeater was upgraded to a current production Motorola unit last month. In the weeks following this installation, Bob, KJ6UVT, reported that the repeater was not always staying connected to the BrandMeister network. With support from Michael, AF6FB, and Ira, KI6TPX, we attempted to characterize the issue during the site visit. Due to the intermittent characteristics of the problem, none of the attemps to isolate the problem were successful. We removed the new repeater and installed the backup DMR repeater which is an older version of the same model. Testing indicated that BrandMeister network performance was reliable with the backup. The newer repeater was brought to the TECHLAB for further investigation.

After the upgrade at Saddle Peak is complete, there will be four more sites in the system queued for upgrade. When you hear a 1kHz tone on the System, you can bet that some important technical work is being done to improve System performance and reliability.



Author: Chris AA4CD

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