A few short days and it will be Bike MS 150 over on the Eastern Shore, Va. Spent Monday getting radios programmed and then taking a drive over to check the repeater that I had installed earlier last month at the tower site in Cape Charles. I was hoping to run the repeater with an external 100 watt TPL amplifier but learned to my dismay that this amp did not have the relay option to allow rx to pass thru. So going to be the usual 35 watt repeater this year.
Then took a drive up to Belle Haven to verify that our assigned DPL code is active. This repeater is owned by DelMarve Two-Way and air time is donated for our event every year. The line, antenna and use of the site in Cape Charles is also all donated to the cause. The line was abandoned by a paging company, so I asked to the site manager if I could use it. The antenna was donated by CR Services and Global Tower Company donated the labor to swap out the antenna.
Took a quick drive up to Camp Silver Beach, where the 150 mile cyclists stay Saturday night and where the 60 mile cyclists start and end their route, to see if there was any improvement in cell phone coverage. Not really much seen. Past two years I have attempted to use a cellphone BDA to boost the signal so that at least in the Med Center we would have reliable coverage. It was finally determined after last year that there was not enough signal for the BDA to even operate. So now we just walk around and find the “sweet” spots.
It is projected that there may be over 800 cyclists on the route this year. And it is because of this growth that now we are entertaining the idea of setting up a Command Post to better handle to flow of radio and phone trafiic and handling any emergencies as they arise. Due to change in staff this idea has been tabled for another year.
This will have 48 HT’s, 15 mobiles, and a base station for the Med Center. Still got to get a few more mobile radios programmed and ready plus got to get my own radios programmed and checked out as well….yeah, a little behind this year but it will all come together.
Friday morning will be installing the mobile radios in the three supply trucks while they are all together and getting loaded. Learned this lesson years ago that this is the best time to get the trucks done. In the earlier days used to try to do this the morning of the event at O’ Dark Thirty at the Suffolk Airport when the route used to go to Chowan in Murfreesboro, NC.
Any interested in more information or would like to come volunteer (still need volunteers) you can visit the local chapters website at: www.fightms.com
I will be running APRS (n4trq-7) as well as Instamapper on my BB which will show here via the @geoloqi map. Unfortunately the map is only a snapshot and not a live map. (embed code not allowed here on WP for security reasons) Also have my Google Latitude tied to aprs.fi with call n4trq-2.
Hope everyone has a good day!