|The UARC 146.62 repeater
1999 Workparty news
This is a historical page detailing some of the work, effort and people involved in the rehabilitation and restoration of the Scott's Hill building. Unfortunately, it is not possible to give credit to everyone that was involved in this project, but we believe that we have covered the high (and low) points!
We have also chronicled work parties at the Scott's Hill
site that occurred in 1998
- go here to see and read more
those work parties.
Scotts Hill Project Update 3 July 1999
Today five of us ( Clint Turner, Gordon Smith, Gregg Smith, Randy Finch and I) visited the repeater site, examined the building, towers, and grounds, discussed our options, and made a number of decisions. Issues such as locating the cable penetrations, nature of single point ground, tying in the electrical ground, method of insulating, were discussed in depth.
The following committee/project assignments were either handed out/accepted/defaulted or extended from previous work last year (no railway assignments here ;-) ).
Work for July 5:?
Work for July 10:
Randy to obtain:
Miscellaneous items to bring:
Scotts Hill Project Workparty Report, July 10, 1999
I would like to extend a big Thank You to all who took part in the work party yesterday on Scott's Hill.
I am currently tending a nice crimson sunburn and aching muscles, as I am certain are some or you. The weather was great as well as the vista.
Accomplished, in no small part under the professional supervision and hard work of Gregg, an Don were the following:
Our next trip to the site, which will likely be scheduled for either July 31st or Aug 7th will involve the following projects:
First, verify that the roof has not leaked since the July 10 work - if no rain in the interim then test with lots of water on the roof.
Scott's Hill July 30th , 1999, Workparty Report
The small (six) workparty accomplished a great deal on the 31st , though it was a very long day. We gathered at the Park-n-Ride at 8:00 AM and were on the site about 45 minutes later. Don Rawlins - N7YUQ, Fred Westergard - KB7VIL, Gregg Smith - KD7APW, Preston Brooksby - KC4GTL Clint Turner - KA7OEI, and myself made up the party.
We had two primary objectives:
There was a minimal (a few teaspoons full) amount of water on the floor, stored building materials, and wall insulation when we arrived. When we began tearing off and removing the old roofing materials though we found large puddles of water under the roll roofing and the entire roof substrate was generally saturated. In addition there was minimal bonding between the roofing material and the underlying substrate. It is our best guess that because the existing gravel embedded tar roof had not been removed, it left the roll roofing subject to easy penetration by the rock chips from even light foot traffic. Anyone there while we placed the towers last September will recall that we had as many as four or five people on top of the roof at times.
I have had many suggestions over the past few weeks regarding solutions to the leaking roof. I would like to thank all those who took the time to send me their ideas. The were several overriding considerations which led us to the decision to use the cold application of fiberglass reinforced modified bitumen material (bitchathane - sic).
While the work was going on up on the roof, inside Allthread was installed for hanging Unistrut. Corner flanges were installed and all the studs were soldered along with two copper strips leading out the cable passage to be ultimately connected to the cable bulkhead/single point ground. This will make the inside framing into a low frequency Faraday cage. The metal ceiling joists were installed and electrically bonded to the rest of the framing. Insulation was installed in the ceiling and then the sheetrock went on. Gregg fire taped the sheet rock and finished up at about the same time as the roofing was finished. It really looks great.
Remaining building details are as follows:
Beyond these details the other remaining items are dependent upon what happens on Farnsworth, completion of the modules for the repeater, and availability of manpower and materials.
Radios, power supplies, antennas, and feedlines are a separate part of the project and will be dealt with separately.
73, Bruce, KI7OM
Report on Scott's Hill Site visit 14 August 1999
Randy Finch, K7SL, and I visited the Scott's Hill site today. You all will be pleased to know that even though we have had substantial rain at the site there were no signs of leakage.
Even though Randy is planning on coming (maybe) on the 21st he detailed to me how he would like the ground field laid out. It is apparent that we will need the help of every able body person who can wield a shovel or pickax for this part of the project. I would guess that twelve on this part of the project would be an optimal number.
In addition we both feel strongly that those XYLs and YLs or old OMs, for that matter, who are not able to participate in this part of the labor should nevertheless support the heavy labor crew by providing hot food and cold drinks on the site. We really don't have time to cook while we are there, and tuna sandwich, powerbar, and warm water don't quit provide inspiration to work hard. Any volunteers??
I will be posting, in a few days, additional information on tools you should plan on bringing. In the mean time please make plans to come and help - we do need you. I will also be making a posting on the Utah-Ham list with a general appeal for help.
Scott's Hill, 21 August 1999, Workparty
Thought you'd like an update on what took place today on Scott's:
The WX, a grave concern to us, started out just fine, then it got to looking a bit threatening around noon but cleared up to relatively warm and dry in the after noon - really a perfect day for what we were doing. The soil was still quite moist so the digging went rather quickly. So quickly that I think everyone was rather surprised at how much we got done. We had a total of five in the work crew. I guess everybody is either burned out from volunteering on Mudslide/Tornado duty that one more Saturday away from home was not an option with the significant other or delayed projects needing to be done. What ever the reason we understand and appreciate those who did come and help.
We got a ring of copper around the outside of the building buried, and four straps installed and buried, going out varying distances (35 to 56 feet) with two for each tower. We still have enough copper for at least two good additional radials. These are not really radials for RF purposes but are part of the lightening dissipation and grounding system.
Randy and John will be going up and silfos/brazing the connections to the ring and towers some time in the coming days.
We have not run anything up the wall to the opening for the single point ground feed through not at this time do we have anything specific to be bonded to either the ring or the towers.
Alan applied a thick PVA primer to the inside so that it actually looks like it was painted with a white eggshell finish. He also touched up the outside giving the outside south wall another full coat. We saw some evidence of leakage (not from the roof) which apparently was from wind driven, rain last nite, pushed through the whatever small cracks in block walls on the south side. There was evidence of sever rain fall in the area from last nite.
Don did the finish electrical along with installing the T-Stat for the heater - really works great - and looks great. I may talk to my old friend Steve Ogden, to see if he'll donate wall to wall carpeting ;-} and then when the XYL throws we out for never being here (always up on the mountain) I'll have someplace comfortable to move. he he!
The single major item not accomplished today was the reassemble, wiring, and clean up of the cabinets. It was decided that could be accomplished just about anytime, even in poor weather.
Scott's Hill Report for 6 September, 1999
September 6th, Labor Day, found another group back up on the site for half day work party. This group included Clint Turner, KA7OEI, Dick Abbott, K7MZ, Derek Sheehan, W7REX, Darryl Hazelgren, AF7O, Bruce Bergen, KI7OM who in the spirit of the day brought pick and shovels to the site to labor.
The additional two ground straps were laid out from the two southerly building corners, with one measuring about 40 and the other 45 feet. Again recent rain had properly moistened the soil so the digging went without much difficulty.
The dual cabinet was reassembled and with some minor electrical work, yet to be done, will be ready to accept equipment.
Clint had left a small temperature data logger in the building at the end of our July 31st work party and was able to download the information to his notebook PC. From a quick look at the data, the temperature seems to stay within about a ten degree range with the notable exception of the time during our visit of August 21, when we ran the heater. Clint indicated that he will be posting this information on the Scott's Hill web site sometime in the next few weeks.
Details needing to be accomplished before snow makes the site inaccessible for wheeled vehicles is to silver solder the ground straps together and bond the tower bases to the ground field along with the single point bulkhead/feed through plate. Randy Finch, K7SL has assured me that he and John Clark, N7SFN, will get this done within the next few weeks.
Additionally an insulation system for the steel plate door need to be devised and installed, along with a ventilation system. A folding shelf /workbench will be installed on the inside south wall. These last items are not critical to the installation of any radio equipment bu will make working there much easier.
This brings up the big question - when will the repeater be up and operating? Much work still remains to be done on the radios, microwave links, power supplies, feedlines, towers and antennas, much more than will or can be accomplished between now and the end of October which is generally the absolute latest we can get into the site. The unsettled nature of the Farnsworth site has compounded the issues and cut into the available manpower.
Finally, though some good news. Only some of you have
though the Forest Service, on whose land the building sits, gave us the
go ahead a year ago in June, 1998, we have been operating on the good
of the Forest Service personnel with nothing in writing. We
were continually reassured that it was a done deal and "not to
I worried. I have
been working on this project for over four years, and two years ago we were told "NO"! An order for the State of Utah, the last occupants, to demolish the site was given and it was only through my persistence, the coming of the Winter of ‘97-‘98, the intervention of Congressman Cooks office, and some changes in the Forest District office, that we had finally arrived at
this point. On September 4, I received a signed permit from the Regional office in Ogden. There will be no fees due for this year, with the first fees payable for 2000, next year, of approximately $100 for the year. Sigh!!!
73 - Bruce - KI7OM
Report on Scott's Hill October 23 Work
The day was a beautiful cloudless, windless one with the temperature in the high 50s. As usual the vista was spectacular. On the eastern skyline one could identify most of the major peaks in the Uintahs.
Several important tasks were completed today. First, due to some missed phone calls and busy schedules, Randy, K7SL, John, N7SFN, and Dave KD7FQE met at the Park and Ride and proceeded to the site. As most of you are aware most of the ground system silver soldering was completed last Sunday. They were able to complete the remaining silver soldering of the grounding system straps to the tower bases before Dennis, KC7KCW, and Bruce, KI7OM arrived. Fortunately, since no one at the site was answering radio calls, the gate had been left open, probably because of the cell site construction going on nearby.
Randy and John, their job well done, left to return home since they apparently had only a few hours of sleep. Dennis, Dave, and Bruce stayed and bored three two inch holes in the 1/4" plate steel door. These were covered with two inch round screened aluminum soffit vent plugs. Don, N7YUQ, and Myron, KC7AWW, arrived about the time Bruce's electric drill had cooled down.
Myron had fabricated, at home, a 12"' x 12" x 3" hood out of 3/16" plate steel to go over the vent holes and brought his buzzbox arc welder with him to attach it to the door. The hood was expertly attached to the door and will provide a level of protection against vandalism at the same time it keeps rain and snow out of the vents. Since we had the welding capability and some extra one inch angle iron available, Myron fabricated a much needed inside handle to the locking mechanism. Unfortunately after all this was done we noticed that the heat from the welding of the hood had warped the top of the door causing it to bow out top center. It seemed that no amount of pounding with a small 4 pound hammer would make any difference. Weather permitting (meaning anything short of a 18 inches of snow) Myron will be bringing a ram press up next week to true up the door. At the same time he will attach angle iron stiffeners to top, bottom, and latch sides of the door.
Don installed a small ventilation blower near the ceiling of the East wall. It is controlled by a line voltage humidistat, also mounted near the thermostat on the same wall. The blower is vented to the outside by 2" ABS pipe. Don noticed a lot of moisture in the cement blocks while drilling for the vent pipe. There are several potential explanations for the presence of moisture which perhaps could be discussed separately. It is hoped that these measures will remedy the humidity problem in the building, which if not dealt with now could have disastrous consequences.
Don also installed the large MOVs on the outside of the meter base
breaker. They are aluminum cans about 3" in diameter and about 4" high.
These will be wired in, along with fuses, on our next visit to the
Some large ferrite loops will also be installed on each of the main
legs. Both these measures will provide a good level of surge and spike
protection on the power coming into the building. We have a
electrical box next to the inside breaker panel designed to accommodate
MOV/ferrite or gas tubes for each of the individual electrical circuits.
Randy has commented that we have by far the best lightning ground field of any facility on the mountain. We are confident that with the combination of measures we have taken: the lightening absorbing ground field, the bonding of the metal studs, and the MOVs/ferrites our equipment will have a much better chance of surviving the harsh mountain top electric storm conditions.
The agenda for next week is the following:
73 - Bruce - KI7OM
Report on the Scott's Hill October 30, 1999,
The day was another beautiful, cloudless, windless one with the temperature, midday in the high 40's, in spite of the skiff of snow on the ground around the site. We did encounter some icy spots on the paved and dirt roads where they are in the shade all day long now, but had no difficulty getting up there.
Dennis, KC7KCW, Don, N7YUQ, Fred, KB7VIL, Myron, KC7AWW, Myron's son, and Bruce, KI7OM were in what probably will be the last work party of the year.
We are happy to announce that our efforts last week to provide a method of dehumidifying the building were quite successful. With the inside temperature around 70 degrees the relative humidity was around ten percent as measured by the humidistat. (I purposely left the heater on for the week). This after what had been the first real wet storm in weeks. My best guess as to the major source of the original humidity problem was that a great deal of water became entrapped in the block and concrete roof following a year of a leaky roof. With the epoxy paint on the exterior and interior of the walls and on the floor and a relatively well sealed door it was like a big sealed jug of water which never really got to evaporate in spite of the relatively few hours during the summer when it was opened while we were up there this summer. There was also good evidence from this summer that wind driven rain was able to easily penetrate the seal around the door which had been good at keeping air changes to an absolute minimum but apparently allowed water seepage.
As you will recall when we installed the exhaust ventilation system last week we managed to warp the steel plate door while welding the intake vent hood to the door. Myron brought along his ram press with a jig allowing us to straighten out the top of the door. While the press was in place we welded in angle iron stiffeners across the top and then trued up the sides and did the same there.
Six quarter inch studs were welded to the door and an inch of blue Styrofoam was applied between the stiffeners. This was covered with a quarter inch of Masonite and secured with fender washers and nuts. The old foam weather stripping was removed and replaced with a waterproof foam weather stripping. I'm still not satisfied that this is the best weatherstripping solution but it will do until I find a better one.
Don and Fred worked on the racks installing the plug strips and wired in heavy duty cords and plugs out the top of the cabinets. These will plug into outlets installed in the ceiling eliminating most of the cords going to wall outlets which are normally put there just for us to trip on. The cabinet fans, which had been removed earlier this year, were reinstalled, primarily to get them out of the way and to account for loose nuts and bolts. They also got the Unistrut installed on both the west and east sides of the ceiling.
Almost as an afterthought, while checking the stiffness of the door
and finding that it still lacked the desired stiffness and at the same
time noticing that the latch side was bowed out about a quarter of an
out of true near the latch arm, a solution came to me. Since an inside
latch arm had been welded into place last week, we welded an extension
wedge to the jam end of the arm and a matching angle stud to the frame.
It exceeded my expectations both in sucking the door in and making it
amount of tugging against the lock box by several men would cause it to budge or bulge.
Don, in the time frame available to him this last week, had been unable to find any fuse holders to install in line with the MOVs he had attached last week. So the MOVs are in place but not electrically installed. The purpose of the fuses is to take the MOVs out of the circuit following a lightening hit or other large surge in the case where they might fail in the closed circuit state. I'm assuming these would be of the slow blow cartridge variety.
The cabinets still need some work, such as fixing the door latching mechanisms and finding or fabrication a replacement side panel. We now have a broom, dust pan, and a rubber door mat in the building. Eventually we would like to replace the "workbench" that came with the building.
With the exception of a few of these small details, the building is ready for power supplies, equipment, antennas, cavities, and feed lines.
I would like to make one final visit, via 4WD, sometime in the coming weeks - WX permitting, just to make some final seasonal checks. I did retrieve Clint's, KA7OEI, Dallas Digital recording Thermometer for him to down load and reprogram. So if Clint would like to put one back up there this might be the time.
Thank you everyone for your generous contributions of time, money and material this last summer. Though I am disappointed, in that we still have no radios installed in the building, I am pleased with the quality of the work which has gone into this project thus far. I hope you are aware that a great deal of thought and planning by members of this group and myself has gone into the project to keep costs to a minimum, yet not compromise unnecessarily on materials or workmanship. I feel that the work done will both make what we put it there more reliable and less subject to the whims of nature and make our brief stays there much more pleasant. I would also like to acknowledge that a significant portion of those who have so generously given of themselves are not UARC members, some not even Hams, but have freely given to the good of this project.
73 - Bruce - KI7OM
Editor's note: Bruce and Clint did go up there a week later to inspect the building and re-install the Thermochron (temperature logger.) When we get up there next spring/summer, we expect to be able to get a picture of the internal operating temperature of the building over the course of a winter and spring. The data accumulated previous to that trip may be found here in space-delimited ASCII format. The temperatures are in Fahrenheit and the time stamps are mountain daylight time. Please note that there are some gaps in data resulting from the Thermochron being removed from the site for download/programming. Also note that there are a few seeming temperature anomalies due to the on-site heater being activated during a workparty.
The entire Scott's hill complex, from about a mile south of the site.
The building is just visible - in the center and above a tree.
This is a panoramic view at the Scott's hill site.
The UARC building is the brown building just behind the power pole and slightly to the left.
Go back to the Scott's Hill page: http://www.utaharc.org/rptr/scotst1.html
Go to the UARC Home page, or to the Repeaters of the Utah Amateur Radio Club page.