Next Year (2016)


Previous Year (2014)


A record of trips to/work at various repeater sites by PEARS members or helpers (reverse time order)









18 December 

Kareedouw Mountain 


Link re-instated, and tested faulty again!

Jacques kindly offered to re-install the repaired UHF link towrds Lady's Slipper.  When on site and doing tests there was no audio twards PE, so he brought it back home AGAIN for further tests.  Investigation showed an exploded electrolytic cap in the audio board.

Exploded cap - can you see it?

7 November 



Site dead

Fearing a theft problem we rushed out to Grahamstown to investigate the lack of VHF repeater signals form site....  Only to find THIS:

The stay wires had failed and so the mast came down, fairly gently thanks to the trees cushioning its fall.  Antennas all mostly OK.  They were stripped off and the single steel leg pole was erected using new galvanised rope stay wires, as a temporary solution

 Temporary pole erected

6 November 

Lady's Slipper 



The repeater was being held open with Squelch noise permanently.  On arrival at site both Kyodo receivers had full scale signals if ANY antenna was connected to them.  Commercial FM radio reception was blotted out on the car radio except for one specific station.  Turns out they transmit from right next door to us.  Many users including the Municipality and ZS2DL were experiencing total VHF block-out on Slipper.

ICASA was contacted and they cleared the problem with our neighbours on site later that day

Also noted was the extractor fan not working.  Opening it up showed the DC connections burnt off.  Not great to be going into summer without the fan...

Fan failure

12 October 

Lady's Slipper 


Site almost dead

AC mains had not failed but yet there were strange symptoms from the site.  Investigations showed that ALL five Tait Dual Power Supply/Charger units had fasiled on the battery charger outputs, adn the battery supply to the VHF repeater and VHF Packet services had all but failed.  The Tait UHF links were all still running perfectly on the dual Power Supply part, but the Kyodo units rely on the battery charger parts for their power via the DC circuit breakers.

Had to temporarily charge the battery using another Jippo method of back feeding the Battery from the UHF Tait module power rails (and remove the modules to prevent overload).  Extra loads were turned off and the majority of the units were removed for repair.

Problem was identical on all units - the PCB 4-pin connector that supplies battery charge current to the rear conntectors was burnt due to sustained 15A charging current after mains failures when AC power returns and the battery is low.  All connectors were removed and the wires soldered directly to the PCB.

Jippo trick to charge the batteries from the module power connector

14 August 



Install Temp Digi at Veros

Temp Digi box on the Left, Breaker box in the middle, Powerline strucures on the Right

Temp Digi box on the Left, Breaker box in the middle, Powerline strucures on the Right



Temporary Digi Installed at Vero's near Check Point 1

13 August 



Add batteries for Trans-Baviaans MTB Race

Because this event runs right through the night, and because the tracking data is relayed through this digipeater to the internet, extra batteries were required to ensure service stays up.  The ZS2GV batteries were removed by ZS2WG as they were high impedance.

Two additional 170 Ah 12V Batteries were used, on loan.

Capacity doubled

30 July 

Cradock Repeater 


Site dead  

Cause was the surge damage to the Charger board, and damage caused to the AC Surge Protection.  Also damaged was the UHF Link Colinear antenna

Damaged AC Surge Protection


UHF Link Colinear antenna radom disintegrated

17 July



VW Rally tracking

A pic showing the PEARS magnet-mounted RF tracker installed on one of the official Vehicles.  Not being waterproof ;lead to the failure of one of these units because it was mounted with the controls facing forward :(

Mag-mount Tracker



Moisture ingress....

2 June

Uitenhage Wifi


Investigate missing service

A failed Power Supply/Battery Charger was found to be the reason the site was down and the battery completely discharged.  A temporary jippo trick was done to provide power directly to the Tait Modules from one working power supply while the other unit was removed for repair.  The battery was not being charged however, so a return to site is urgently needed

New site rebuilt by the landlord.


Uitenhage Wifi Access Point and link to Lady's Slipper.


Temporary power supplied through clip-leads...

5 May

Lady's Slipper


Site visit

A general site visit to check on things.  Container is noted as having rot in the floor...


24 February

Mt Shepstone (Queenstown)


Complete site re-build

The old Portcamp container had exp[ired and the complete site was being rebuilt into a new container, with new tower and fence etc.  The Storno equipment was moved into the new equipment room into a re-used old 19" equipment cabinet, complete with filters and Dc-DC converter to run the site off the available 48V Battery bank.  The Storno's previously ran off the 24V battery bank which was also decommissioned.

Unfortunately the DC power connection and antenna feeders could bnot be completed on the day so will need to be commissioned at a later date.

New site rebuilt - old one on the RHS which was later removed from site


Circuit breakers, DC-DC converter and VHF Repeater


UHF Link (towards Cradock) below, with VHF RX and VHF TX filters behind the VHF Repeater


VHF RX Filter and 3x Feeders earthing bar

30 January

Mount Road 145.650


Herald Cycle Tour prep

Mount Road Repeater had two 100Ah batteries installed (in parallel) to see it through any possible loadshedding during the Herald Cycle Tour.  The linking channel was also manually changed to Ch2 to link 650 and 700 for the duration of the event.

2x New batteries


Next Year (2016)


Previous Year (2014)