Sunday, July 21, 2019

Phase II - EJ7IBD Inishbofin Island DMR On Air

On Sunday the 21st of July EJ7IBD, the Inishbofin DMR Repeater located on the east end of Inishbofin island, was installed and appeared on air making it the first repeater to be established on an offshore Island. This Repeater will cover the western side of Connemara, including the coastal roads. There would be no way of covering this area from the Galway side of the mountains.

The 4-Stack directional antenna system, supplied by Radio Structures Ltd, plus feeder was installed on the mast on Saturday by Des, EI5GT, and Ronan EI8HJ. The antenna was fitted the 10m high tower beaming east towards the mainland. The antenna is solid and will last the weather conditions on the western coastline.

The 4-Stack Vertical Array

View to the Mainland

Steve, EI5DD, sailed out on the Sunday with the Repeater and ancillary equipment. Aengus, EI4ABB, fine tuned the PROCOM Filters into the antenna system before the Repeater was connected. Ronan EI8HJ, and Des EI5GT, set up the Internet prior to connection of the Repeater.

The Repeater CPS was fine tuned, loaded, and interfaced into the Brandmeister System via the Internet. On power up, the repeater came to life and immediately connected into the Brandmeister Network. The initial transmission, on boot-up, did not indicate any feedback into the receiver and no desense was detected.

All systems worked well and the connection showed up on the Brandmeister Dashboard. A Few Calls were made through the system with Ronan EI4KN as our first contact. Final checks were made before increasing the power to 40 watts. A few more Calls were put out to prove that there was no desense with full power output. Finally all the gear was tidied up and the remote GSM switch installed.

The Repeater fitted in well with the Wireless Internet system and didn't take up too much space.

Special thanks to Aengus EI4ABB for his assistance with the Cavity Filter tuning and to Ronan, EI8HJ, and Des, EI5GT, for Their assistance with the Networking and for the use of their mast and hut for the Repeater.

L - R - Des EI5GT, Aengus, EI4ABB,  and Ronan, EI8HJ

The map above shows the coverage of the Inishbofin Repeater bringing in a substantial area of coastal road. The coverage maybe better than illustrated as the worst case scenario was programmed in to obtain the coverage. 

       The combined coverage of EI7RHD - Galway, and EJ7IBD Inishbofin Island

The combined coverage of Inishbofin Island - EJ7IBD and Galway City - EI7RHD are only the beginning. EI7LRD - Loughrea and EI7AKR will follow fairly soon thus completing the Galway DMR Network. Inishbofin and Galway City are the two westerly Repeaters and the addition of Abbeyknockmoy and Loughrea Repeaters will complement the coverage. Uniform coverage with saturation of the majority of the county will be possible along with coverage into neighbouring counties.

Roaming between repeaters will be possible so constant contact with the network will be possible. The Loughrea Repeater will be the next one to be placed on site.