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The DCARA W5NGU Voter System Installation

On January 31 2004, the DCARA brought to completion the long awaited voter repeater installation. The DCARA extends its thanks the hard efforts of Gerald Marchant, WB5NZV, Denise Jackson, AD5MY, Don Jackson, Guy Story, KC5GOI, Henry Tucker, KD5JOY, Ken Morelos, AD6OP, Don Thompson, WA2MAD, Brent Willcox, KD5WYU, Marion Blanton, KC5DPC and Stewart Rabinowitz, KE5UT.

Installation started at 9:00 Saturday morning with a gathering at TWU. After all equipment was taken upstairs, some cleanup and rearrangement of equipment and the repeater room had to take place. While the cleanup crew was working on the room, antenna assembly had to take place for the link towards Justin. Upon installation of the antennas, it was found that the hardline run for the Sanger link had been severely damaged. Replacement of the N connector at the antenna end had to take place. The 70 cm ATV antenna appears to have taken a partial lightning strike. We had planned to use that run of hardline for the Sanger link since the 70 cm ATV was no longer in use. Beyond the connector being broken and some what burnt, the feedline checked out ok based on DVOM measurements.

When it came time to connect the link radios to their respective antennas, it was found that the Justin link LMR400 also had a damaged connector. Since we did not have any LMR400 N connectors, it was replaced with a hybrid of a PL259/N connector with excellent results. At that point, both remote link site receive setups were completed.

The path towards Justin still needs some review and testing but is contributing to the voter system. At this time, the Sanger site has out performed our best expectations. Testing shows that the previous holes in coverage that the 146.92 machine was suffering from have been eliminated. For example, near the I35 and FM 156 overpass ( a known coverage issue) a mobile with 5 watts can now get into the repeater. The hole at Clear Creek near the south of Sanger has identical results.

For stations that are marginal into the voter site and main 92, people listening can expect to hear changes, minor at that, in the audio of the transmitting station. This is a function of the voter controller and is to be expected. The voter controller samples each input once a second. It has a tendency to favor the main site slightly.

Pictures of installation day

Click on the thumbnail image and the fullsize image will appear.



On the left is the Motorola MFS5000 32/92 repeater. The bay to the right, starting at the top is the RLC controller, digital voice recorder, and relay panel for remote control of voter and other devices. The shelf in the middle has the voter card to the left side. The four Motorola Maxtrac radios in the middle of the shelf are the Lewisville link transceiver and the voter receivers.

Don Jackson, AD5MY's OM sewing cable on the voter and controller bay

Front View of voter & control bay

Denise Jackson, AD5MY and Stewart Rabinowitz, KE5UT working on the installation of the equipment at the repeater site.

Voter picture

RF connector rework

This was the LMR400 connector that needed replacing

Henry KD5JOY

Guy working

Gerald Thinking

Brent KD5WYU assisting Guy in the assembly of one of the link antennas. The link antennas at the dorm are made by Arrow Antenna. They are 5 element yagi base station antennas.

Basic Hardware layout

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