D.A.R.E.N. News 2010

DAREN of WV News May 16, 2010 (.931]
Kenneth Harris WA8LLM (304) 679-3470 wa8llm@yahoo.com
P.O. BOX 3328, PARKERSBURG, WV 26103

DAREN News, are articles and information about the Digital Amateur Radio "Emergency" Network of WV, which operates on 145.69 MHz.  Anyone having any information about DAREN, or Amateur Radio in general, and would like to share it with others, may send it to WA8LLM @ PKBGWV on 145.69 MHz, or to my E-Mail: wa8llm@yahoo.com.  A State Wide DAREN NET is operated every Saturday from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm, and lately, before and after those hours.  The DAREN Net Announcement, showing the MAIN NCS, ALTERNATE NCS, NODEs accessible to both, and the previous week's check-ins, are posted by Thursday on most of the Main county DAREN PBBS'.  The DAREN News can also be found on the wc8ec.org website.

I hope everyone who went to the Dayton Hamfest enjoyed it.  I haven't gone to the Hamfest for a couple of years.  I usually go for the parts to re-supply my parts cabinets, but I haven't needed much to refill.  Some of the local Amateurs who didn't go to the Hamfest helped the Second Annual Chic-Fil-A Road Run, which is a part of the Relay for Life participation held on the same weekend.  The Amateurs provided the race officials with Safety Communications and Stop Watch coordination.  They also helped spot the runners as they approached the finish line so the Public Address operator could announce their names.

There was a problem with the Wood County Emergency Communications voice repeater on 147.255 MHz, and the Ritchie County DAREN NODE/PBBS of RITCWV/HRVLWV, which are the same tower site.  Sometime in the last week or so, the ground lead of the 12 Volt, 75 Amp Power Supply burnt into at the power terminal.  Both of these radio systems, as well as, several commercial UHF Repeaters, Public Safety radios, and a Paging Transmitter had been running on battery power only.  By the time Jerry Wilson, WV8HAM, and I got to the repeater site, the battery voltage was only 8.8 volts.  Some of the radio systems had already shut down, and some were running very low power.  Wood County Emergency Communications provided the heavy duty batteries several years ago to provide back-up power for the voice repeater and DAREN station.  After a couple of years, the owner of the tower site wanted to use the batteries for back-up power for several of the commercial and Public Safety systems, so they changed out the smaller power supply with the 75 Amp Supply.  The power system has been working very well for about 10 years.  This past winter all of the radio systems were operating fine for about four days while the commercial power was off, so we know the system works.  When the commercial power goes off the 147.255 repeater changes its courtesy Identifier to a different tone frequency which allows us to know when the commercial power is off.  We then contact the power company to let them know.  We also notify the Two Way Radio service to let them know about the power outage.  That way they can either take a generator to the site, or just wait for the power to come back on.  This past winter they weren't able to make it to the site due to the snow, so we just kept our fingers crossed.  It looks like we need to come up with a way to allow us to know when the 75 Amp Power Supply is no longer charging the batteries. If any of the DAREN operators were using the RITCWV NODE, and had a problem getting into the State Wide DAREN Net this weekend, now you know why.

There were only 47 check-ins to this week's State Wide DAREN Net.  I know there were several DAREN operators who went to the Dayton Hamfest, and may not have made it back in time to get checked into the net.  Buford Lemon Jr., KB8QLG, needs only one more check-in to make 500.  Well, I didn't get the certificates mailed out like I had planned I got busy with several projects over the weekend and didn't get the mailing labels printed up.  I am going to get them printed in the next day or two, and they will go in the mail the next time I go to town.

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