Updates & Additions!
As of approximately 1:00pm today the MCARES AREDN network is online and operational. During antenna maintenance on the
MARC 146.910 repeater, which consisted of removing the CommScope 8 element vertical and replacing it with a new Hustler G6-144B ground plane. This resulted in just as good a coverage (better actually), and the addition of an 8 element CommScope UHF antenna which replaced an old 800 MHz antenna on the top of the tower. This will be the future home of the Muscatine DMR repeater. Both repeater antennas are at the very top of the tower at 270’.
While the climbers were up there, they also installed (3) TP-Link AREDN mesh nodes that Patrick - W0PCD programmed. These nodes are 263’ up the MCC tower. This hub should provide the Muscatine area with a great hub for computer to computer communications. The original plan was to re-utilize (3) CAT cable runs up the tower that had been abandoned. Once we arrived at the tower today it was evident that they had been removed from the communications room. We found them cut off at both ends of the pass-through. We purchased a 1000’ roll of CAT5 and we now have all new cable to the 263’ height. The climbers found the old cable on the tower and said that it would have been useless anyway. The outside jacket was totally cracked and the wires were exposed.
Now we can work on adding stations to the network that can provide internet service, file servers, and a multitude of other services such as chat programs, VOIP phone or even video conferencing. If you are not in the coverage area, don’t fret. Unlike the old mesh network, I am told that tunneling into the network over the internet is much easier and more reliable. Get your nodes programmed and on-the-air... it’s time to try this new system out!
Thanks for the help of those that showed up for the tower climb today, and those that have put time in this project.
C Scott Richardson - NØMRZ