The Merrill Hotel AREDN Hub back On-The-Air
After a time off the air, the AREDN hub that resides on the very top of The Merrill Hotel and Convention Center has been rebuilt and re-installed. The hub took a lot of damage in a wind storm, when it was ripped off the roof of the Equipment Room atop the Hotel, and crashed down on the main roof approximately 12' below.
One of the 120 degree sector antennas was badly damaged and had to be replaced. The other radios seemed to survive, but were re-loaded with the most current firmware before being re-installed. There are (3) 5.8 GHz radios hooked to (3) 120 degree sector antennas that provide 360 degree coverage from the downtown Muscatine area. This hub also has (3) 45 degree radio on 2.4 GHz that provide coverage to the downtown area as well as the Island area South of Muscatine. Atop this installation is a PTZ camera that is controllable remotely via the AREDN network.
Additional weight was added to the base, as well as (3) Mastraint guy ropes with turn-buckles to help hold the unit on the rooftop. This setup should also hold the camera so the images are better, even in windy conditions.
This unit will link to the main AREDN hub that is at the 263' level of the MCC tower on top of the bluff in Muscatine. That location is scheduled for renovation the end of October and will be using the newer Ubiquity Rockets with the higher gain 120 degree sector antennas. The ethernet cables that feed these (3) units will have their 300' ethernet cables replaced, as will the PTZ camera that is also at this same location. Look for great things to happen once the main hub is back online.
Thank you to WØPCD, WBØGAG, and WBØTSG for their help on getting this very essential piece of equipment back in service.
Scott - NØMRZ
MCARES - Muscatine County Amateur Radio Emergency Service