Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Hit by Vandals, Club Relocates APRS Digipeater and Gets Improved Coverage

Police are investigating who might have scaled multiple fences in a remote area of northern California to cut the guy wires supporting a 200-foot radio tower that supported a variety of commercial, public safety and amateur radio repeater systems. No one was injured in the tower collapse that followed, but initial estimates put the cost of repairing the damage in the neighborhood of $1 million, according to the ARRL Letter.
One of the antennas on that tower was connected to the Mount Diablo Amateur Radio Club's heavily-used packet/APRS digipeater on 144.390 MHz. The club decided to relocate the repeater to the north peak of Mount Diablo, co-located with an amateur television (ATV) repeater it was already in the process of installing. Result: the digipeater is now 1000 feet higher in elevation with a much greater coverage area than before -- up to 150 miles in each direction, according to club officials. They hope the new coverage area will encourage greater use of APRS in the area.