ATTENTION: All MARC Members,
This evening Kevin - N2AM and myself visited the repeater site. Owen - KEØNOF joined us shortly afterwards. The initial readings on the machine was showing a mere 9 watts output, and 2.8 watts returning which confirmed that we have a problem. Upon running the antenna analyser on the feedline it was evident that there was a drastic problem and a horrendous mismatch at a point 253' up the feedline. This means that the club is going to have to hire a climber to go to the feedpoint of the antenna and see if the problem is in the short jumper near the top, or in the splitter that feeds the elements.
To get us by until we can do something Kevin installed a circulator in the feedline between the cans and the repeater. This will re-route the reflected power from the mismatch into a dummy load rather than it coming back int the finals of the repeater and damaging the finals. The repeater was also set to high power (50 watts instead of 25 watts).
Tomorrow (Sunday) Kevin will get in touch with the climber and see if he can get him to give us a deal since he has several other tasks for him in other locations as well. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but we all knew there was an issue, we just didn't know it was going to be at the top of the tower!
The status of the gelcell backup battery is not good either. According to the date on the battery it is over 3 years old. We are probably going to have to replace it.
Now for the good news. The repeater has been upgraded to the latest and greatest firmwars and it should solve the issues with glitches and shutdowns that we have been experiencing.
Scott - NØMRZ - MARC Repeater Trustee