WA6YLB-4 144.39 APRS Wx digi

In April of 1998, I took a trip out to the Mojave desert, south of Ridgecrest, to install a new APRS Digi. This digi includes a weather station, to allow for remote weather readings currently experienced in the area. Kurt, KF6HJO and I ventured out to a hilltop called Government Peak, about 18 miles south of Ridgecrest. APRS location 3521.07N 11740.38W
When I was installing the digi, I listen on 144.39 and could hear WA6JJA-3 (now off the air), about 3 out of 10 on the meter.
This DIGI hears WA6YLB-5 as well as other digi sites providing connections to the San Joaquin Valley on 144.39.



View of site from the south looking north

Here is a view to the north outside of the building on top of Government peak. The digi antenna and wind instruments are located on the south west side of the tower in the center of the photo [left side]. The dish below the antenna points to Breakenridge Mtn, east of Bakersfield.



click to see table this is setting on

Inside the vault is a small stack of equipment, including a Alinco DR1200, A Kantronics KPC3 with version 8.2 software, a West Marine Weatherbase 10 weather station (custom labeled for West marine by Peet Bros.) and an 7Amp Astron power supply. The TNC reads the weather string in "Peet packet mode", and beacons the real time data via two different paths about every 5 minutes. You can see this station on the internet when you log into http://www.findu.com/cgi-bin/wxpage.cgi?wa6ylb-4 with a Web browser.



View of face on Weather base 10

This current wind speed on 4/10/98 may not impress you, but just a few days after the install, we saw packet weather reports from this station showing the current wind speeds around 36 Mph, and the gusts were up to 54 Mph. Hams watching these reports via 2m radio and the internet asked if the station was sending incorrectly. You might believe that this is a mistake, but it isnt. This site is basically east of Tehachapi, where they have many hundreds of wind generators are installed on the local hilltops. The wind is a real powerful force in this area of the Mojave desert. Update - I checked the max values in November 1998 and found a max reading of 116 Mph! By the way, this weather station typically costs $179.00, but when I bought it, it was on sale for $159.00. Check with them, as I have just recently seen it go back on sale. Phone number is 1 800 BOATING. West Marine just came out with a Weatherbase 20 which is a Peet U2000 minus the humidity sensor I believe. The schematic for the data cable is shown here.

Sadly, this station was hit by lightning in Oct 2005 and has burned up. I think I can repair it if I can see a layout of the PC board,( can you email me a picture? Peet Model 100) as one of the chip caps shorted and burned a dime size spot on the PC board where the cap was. The station is still on, but no data is seen. Maybe if you have a Peet 100 (older) and can forward me a picture like this, perhaps with a closeup of the area where the black spot is, I can repair this one.




View of rain gauge mounted in rocks

This is a view of a home made 1/100 of an inch rain gauge. I have documented this gauge in another web page showing how to make a weather station out of a single board Z80 computer. I stacked rocks up along the gauge so the wind couldnt knock it over. Make sure you have a screen inside the funnel area, as on a recent trip to the site, I found a lizard in the funnel, tail first!




view of building and antennas
view of antenna and anemometer on tower

Here is the antenna, an Antenex FG1443 [3db fiberglass omni], cut by the factory for 144.39 Mhz. The anemometer is the typical Peet Bros wind speed and direction sensor.


If you have any corrections, please email me.



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Photos by
WA6YLB license plate on my truck
4/10/98.
Photos were recorded on VHS tape, and scanned with a ZIPSHOT video converter
[like a SNAPPY].




Page made by Byron, 4/20/98. Revised 12/21/05