Daily Archives: January 9, 2019

Raising a minor ruckus

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[Today’s run: 3.4 miles]

My minor ruckus about the repeater in West Point is settling down a bit.

I took a two pronged approach: I used the internet wayback machine to find an old copy of the Clay County Amateur Radio Society (CCARS) web site. And from that I gleaned a list of members in 2008. I found some email addresses for some of them using the QRZ.com website and sent off a group email. Two of the addresses bounced back. I heard back from one fellow.

Then I went through the membership list and worked against QRZ.com to see if any of the rest might still be alive and kicking. I made a phone call to one gentleman. He referred me to another gentleman (who happens to be an acquaintance of my in-laws). Neither of them are interested in maintaining the repeater.

I received an answering email, and that fellow also was the name which I received from phone call #2 above . So I’ve replied with another email and I’m waiting on that to see what happens.

On the other hand, I called around and found that the repeater is mounted on the top of a large feed-mill structure. The mill company had a website so I sent them an email. I heard back from the site manager, and yesterday I went over to the site. He was very friendly. We went up in the mill building to the roof (which is a flat plain of concrete). On the roof is a concrete blockhouse and against the blockhouse wall is a wood and tin shack which has the repeater in it. Actually it appears there are both 2 meter and 70 centimeter repeaters.

from Google Street View – the repeater shack does not show from this angle

The site manager said it had been a long time since anyone had been there, and you could tell. The plywood floor of the shack is completely deteriorated. He told me there is frequently standing water on the roof, which explains the rotting from the ground up. The rest of the shack looked ok. It was a nice set-up at one time. And a really sweet deal: free electricity, a good high spot, and a short run to the antenna.

I was hoping I wasn’t stirring up trouble, and the site manager didn’t seem to be negative about the situation. He just wants someone to maintain it.

So, I’ve seen the site and I’ve dredged up some of the old members of the club that built it. I’m not sure what will happen next. If the old members all take a pass on maintaining it, some of the guys from the Lowndes County club or the Starkville ham community probably would be willing to step in. It really is an unusually nice spot for a repeater.

I think I’m going to give them a rest for a few days. I’m an outsider making all this noise and I don’t want to get so pushy as to be offensive. I may already have done that.

Lots of wasps too.
Filed under Ham Radio
Jan 9, 2019
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