The Wireless Society of Southern Maine held another work detail for the UHF repeater we’re putting up for the Cumberland County EMA on Wednesday. I’ve been attending these to lend a hand and learn, and it has been educational! It’s a saga of what can go wrong did go wrong. It’s been a series of bad connectors, coaxial cables, an old tower run out the building that ended up clogged, and rain causing standing water to rest on the antenna producing fluctuating and poor SWR – making it less effective.
Allegedly, working on antennas in the rain produces better results than a sunny day. Unfortunately, the occasionally torrential rain didn’t help any, this time. We had to work with the weather we got, while we had the tower truck available, and the results – while better, still aren’t perfect.
We removed the jumper from the hardline to the antenna, making it a solid run of hardline from repeater to antenna, and rotated the antenna’s arm away from the monopole tower in hopes to improve its reach. We tried putting it on a longer mast, but the pipe ended up being the wrong size. The results were around a rating of 2 SWR.
So far, it works, providing a local area footprint for Cumberland County EMA communications on 449.225 MHz, with a negative offset and 103.5 CTCSS tone.
Another time, perhaps, we’ll try to get the antenna up higher.