It’s been a rough winter for the DBIUA. Along with the normal power outages that happen from time to time, we also had some radio’s in some hard to reach areas go down.
Specifically one of the radio’s up at the top of the tree at my house. This was one of the first relay points we installed, and is the one you see in the banner at the top of the site. As usual, things end up breaking the second I got out of town on a business trip. In this case, I was in Montana, and Chris Brems and Brett Marl had to schedule a tree climber to deal with the radio that was down. The weather was also really crappy and there was not a great window to do the climb.
The connection that went down was the one that went from my house down to Nelson’s and there were a number of people downstream of that, so this was affecting a bunch of members.
As a fallback plan for replacing the radio in my tree, we also came up with a plan to put another powerbridge over at Patton’s that pointed over to Blakely just in case. And Mark Prosser was able to modify the network so that we could service those people via this connection as a backup.
Well, it was a good thing we had a plan B, because when we went up the tree, it turned out that the little tab on the cat5 connection broke, and there was not way to re-mod the end up in the tree. So, they came back down the tree. But before they did, they noticed that the top part of the steel bar was not connected to the tree any longer. This little piece of information probably got lost in translation.
So, those down at Nelson’s and downstream limped along for a while via the new Patton link while we waited for the weather to calm down.
Then a few weeks later we got an alert that the connection to Hickey went down. I wrote this off as maybe being a power outage there. But, around the same I noticed that my connection back to the tank was not that great, which was sort of strange.
About a week after this we scheduled the tree climbers (Ian and Pheonix) to come back. By this point I had purchase all new radios for the top of the tree. We switched out the old rockets for new Prism Stations, and an Iso Station to point back to the tank. On the tank side, we also upgraded that old rocket to a newer Rocket AC.
Before they climbed up the tree I decided to fly my racing drone up to check out the radio’s just for fun. And, guess what I found. The whole radio group had fallen over and was laying on it’s side. Check out the video below.
That would explain why my connection was bad, the radio was 90 degrees from where it should have been, and the other radio that should have been connecting to Hickey was pointing up to the moon!
After about an hour, we had all the old radio’s down, and the new radio’s back up in the tree, and everything connected back up again. Here is another video of the drone flyby of the new setup.