On Saturday, 22AUG20, members of the PAPASYS TECHTEAM visited the repeater site at Mt. Woodson above Poway in San Diego County. The main purpose of the trip was to add a high-current DC relay panel to the rack to enable the remote reset of the DSTAR repeater when it locks up. A lockup occurred a few weeks back forcing Tom, W6JFC, and Cecil, WD6FZA, to drive to the site simply to remove and reapply power to the repeater to reset it.
The custom DC relay panel is used in conjunction with the IP AC power strip at the site. Since the D-STAR repeater relies on the main rackmounted DC supply for it’s power, we actually have to cycle power at the DC level rather than the AC level to effect a reset. There are many other AC powered system components plugged into the IP AC power strip that can be reset remotely. The DC relay panel uses a small wall-wart plug-in power supply that is connected directly to the IP AC power strip. When the power outlet in remotely activated, the DC relay is energized and DC power to the D-STAR repeater is interrupted. The outlet is turned off to reapply power to the repeater. The repeater is powered through the normally closed contact on the relay.
This mixed control approach is used at other PAPA repeater sites where a combination of control of AC and DC powered equipment is required. In this era, where almost all of the components of the repeater system have a microprocessor, a power-on-reset is a necessary luxury. While Mt. Woodson is accesible year round, other key PAPA repeater sites are often inaccesible during the winter months making remote control a critical element of our technical strategy to improve site reliability.
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