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Heliograph Maintenance Update

The Heliograph GMRS repeater had a brief maintenance outage this Sunday (12/17/23); the repeater itself was swapped out with an identical unit and a new linking controller. The new controller also simplifies linking and configuration management by effectively connecting the repeater directly to the SWCRS network servers, and was also properly tuned for the repeater itself so audio levels should be improved. The Heliograph repeater was the second “big” Arizona repeater installed by the SWCRS, and was previously tuned by ear as we didn’t have the proper testing equipment on hand to do it any other way. While it didn’t sound bad, the audio levels were lower compared to the others machines that we’ve been tuning with proper service monitors over the past couple years. The adjusted levels should make the repeater’s audio more clear, especially in noisy signal conditions.

The SWCRS volunteer team consisted of:

  • David WQVS960 / K6DSA
  • Owen WQVS960, Unit 3
  • Darren WRCU527 / K7VLL

While on site, the team also made repairs to the Heliograph amateur DMR repeater which had been offline for some time, an antenna connector had pulled off the feedline, effectively disconnecting the transmit antenna from the transmitter. A new connector was installed on the tower, and the connection re-secured and weatherproofed.

Weather conditions were beautiful on site; mid 50’s and clear skies, with only a slight breeze – a pleasant change from other recent trips. With that said; it looks like non-stop snow in the forecast for the next 10 days – so this was probably the last time we can get to site until spring.

1 thought on “Heliograph Maintenance Update”

  1. Yeah Dave, super day up there and the ideal weather was awesome! So much gear up on Helio!

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