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Saturday, April 1, 2017
OCAPA announces 80-meter repeater
Thomas Webb WA9CFM/5, announced today that April 1, 2017 marks the first transmissions from OCAPA’s brand new 80 meter repeater project in Oklahoma City. The intended use of this recently completed project, shown here, can finally be released to the general public.
While the stated cause has always been that this is one of the required 2% local art expenditures for federal highway funds, the true nature of the project can now be disclosed. ODOT Director of Operations, Paul Green said, “this whole project started with a rather severe reinforcing bar (rebar) accident. We signed the delivery slip for about 80,000 pounds of steel, before the truck driver unloaded his truck. One of those tornadoes snuck up on us, and blew the rebar into a terrible pile. It sounded like a train, just like Mike Morgan said it would.” ODOT left the pile lay, until the OCAPA Special Projects team came up with the master plan.
Webb said “the pile of rebar was stacked perfectly to make a Lazy L dipole. It appears the twin verticals increase the Q factor of the array”. Since we’ve been in a solar minimum for years, their first thought was to build the world’s first 80 M repeater. As you can see in this photo, a custom 80 meter duplexer had to be built to allow repeater operation. After a few quick calls to Wacom, they calculated that the can needed to be 50 stories tall.
Gordon Jones, W5OU, of the Honor Roll Ranch, just a hoot and a hollar south of Norman, said “this will be a great help to those that need something like this. However, with just my 80 M walkie talkie I’ve been able to obtain WAS (Worked All Stations).”
Famed QRP operators Kenn Goodson KA5KXW, and Ed Hatch AG5DV, made a confirmed QSO each other using a homebrew TX/RX setup of Kenn’s design. Their initial contact was made using transmitters that they thought were in the milliwatt range. It wasn’t until later that they realized their watt meter was rounding up from 502 nanowatts.
Once the news had traveled regarding the Goodson/Hatch success, Peter Khor, AG5DB, hurriedly downloaded an 80 M transmitter app for his Android phone. Peter will be attempting the first SSTV contact using the repeater, sending an astronomy selfie photo from here, back to JU5PITER, located on the moon Io.
When helping to obtain the needed permits, Phil Sinnett KD5UGO said, “Well, if that thing can keep my chicken wings warm from 22 miles away, I guess it probably could help with the climate change process. Let me do some calculations.”
The good people of OG&E have offered to provide their excess power from the wind farms popping up across the state. While the input power of the repeater is classified, the output power runs right up against the legal limit of 1,500 watts. Or is that megawatts?
A recently added Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) lighting system will indicate the operating status of the device. While there are numerous conditions transmitted by the colored system, the most important one is the color RED. ODOT chairman Mike Patterson states “the color red is used to signify RF transmission emissions that exceeds normal operating conditions.”. While it happens frequently, ODOT is hopeful that only out-of-state vehicles will be near, and under, the structure when this color is displayed. Patterson continued “Driving at full speed through the area should minimize the effects of the radiation upon the passing motorists. We hope.”
Nationally known DX’er, Normanite Victor McDaniel K5VL, has already commissioned a new version of the Golden Thumb award trophy. This trophy has been scaled up to match the fundamental wavelength of the 80 M repeater. The normal suspects have already filed for building permits with the City of Norman to construct a room large enough to hold this new trophy. When asked, Harold Black W5IFN, stated “This room addition has been in the works for some time, and I don’t have any expectations that I would be guilty of timing out the new repeater. For example, once when I was in the Navy, we had to add a larger engine room into a destroyer. The press initially thought that this addition would let this WWII destroyer carry more fuel for an upcoming future project. It was simply a coincidence that the minute the addition was complete…” and then the mighty 147.060 MHz repeater went silent. Denny WA6DKD, was seen exiting the Slaughterville public works complex, with a signed building permit in his hands, and would only respond “No Comment” to any question asked.
The Boathouse District Association has been an integral part of the cooling projects for the repeater transmitter. Mayor Mick Cornett says, “We’re so proud that MAPS project 385 will be able to provide multiple uses for the Boathouse district”. Damming up the river has provided the required thermal dissipation to allow intermittent operation. Cornett also said, “The Riversport Adventures project is really an offshoot of this collaboration. So much energy was generated from the cooling system for the 80 M repeater that the entire complex is powered from this waste heat, and we can now handle a 100% transmitter duty cycle.”
At press time, the Gulf Coast Hurricane net was trying to negotiate the use of the W5MEL/80 repeater to provide an Inland relay for the upcoming hurricane season. The famed net was hoping that this could put an end to their QRM issues.
So, the next time you think the bands are going south, turn on the HF gear, grab an FM modulator, dial up CTCSS tone 141.3, tune the dial to 3.935 MHz, and wait for the repeater id beeping; .- .–. .-. .. .-.. .-.. — — .-.. … !