The past week has seen quite a bit of activity related to the K5NSX system on Shinall Mountain!
Last weekend Luke, AE5AU, and I worked on the grounding at the site. We ran a length of #4 solid copper wire between the electric service ground and the tower base adding two new ground rods along the way. We managed to get a new 4′ ground rod in at the electric meter and an 8′ ground rod into the “ground”, more like rocks with some dirt mixed in at the half-way point. While completing this work, we discovered that the cad weld attaching the tower to its ground rod had fractured, so we repaired it by bonding it while we were there. At some point we will have to go back with the proper equipment to replace our grounding clamps with cad welds, but as it stand, the grounding situation is drastically improved and so is the receive sensitivity of the system!
It appears that we also have a group of red wasps that have taken up residence within one of the walls of the shack. Thankfully they have not found their way inside, but at this point we have both been stung once. We took it upon ourselves to exact some revenge and thus far have used up 8 plus cans of “Stinging Insect Killer” and have killed over 30 of them!
Tonight we completed the somewhat temporary installation of a 100w PA on the system. The PA is from a Motorola MSF5000 UHF repeater but seems to be working just great on the Kenwood driven at somewhere around 2w. I call it temporary because it looks like a mess and uses a temporary power supply. We have plenty of cleanup work, reconfiguration of cabling, and power system design to do but it functions very well.
We enlisted some folks to help us test it after our work was completed and the system is no longer a rabbit, meaning it could be hear far better than it could be heard. One of our testers was nearly 50 miles away and can access the repeater with as little as 1w from his HT and can hear the repeater full quieting. This test two weeks ago would have provided very different results!
Thanks go out to everyone who assisted with the work and testing of the changes, namely Luke, AE5AU, and Tim, K5TEL.