Mystery at VK5RMG

The 2M repeater has an indicator if volts are getting low. A decreasing frequency set of 3 tones on the tail indicates that voltage is low at the controller (i.e. it’s working from the battery). A quick test using the telemetry remote control indicated the volts at the controller were down to 11.9V under TX load (probably about 12.4V at the battery). Strangely the beeps  would disappear and power was apparently restored after 1.00 pm and for the rest of the day.

The SA Power Networks did not indicate an outage and yet this puzzling pattern repeated for a number of days. What’s going on?

So on Wednesday 29/5/24 an intrepid group of Maxwell VK5AC, Jack VK5EBA and John VK5DJ made the trip. On site at 2:00 pm there was no sign of the beeps re-occurring. All the meters read correctly. The battery was being charged, the repeater was using the correct amps and volts from the 230V AC power supply. The mystery deepened.

Then Jack with his extra bit of height said “What’s this?” and pointed at a timer above his head that was used to shut off 230V AC and cycle the battery between midnight and 6 am.

That was it, the power outage last Sunday lasted about 7 hours and the mechanical timer stopped ticking during that time, so when power was restored following the completion of the SAPN work the timer was about 7 hours slow and thought it should cut off power between 7 am and 1.00 pm.

If only all problems could be fixed as easily.

Maxwell and Jack looking pleased with the result
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