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Author Topic: Noise burst CAT 1000  (Read 8424 times)
WD8DK
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« on: February 24, 2013, 01:41:15 PM »

Anyone using a CAT 1000 controller have any cold weather issues? Such as below 40F? We are experencing a noise burst during cold weather that keys the machine and holds it open for about 2-3 seconds, sounds almost like an electrical arc. Have heard what I thought was an AM modulated signal during this issue, which brings up a question of mixing with an area 5kw AM station about 10 miles from here on 570 khz. We have a MSR 2000 repeater.
Any ideas?
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WB5ITT
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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2013, 12:40:44 PM »

I take it the rptr is NOT on COS access but PL/CTCSS access???
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K4JJL
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« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2013, 08:13:53 AM »

Try re-seating the cards, including the TX and RX modules in the MSR.  Tin pins do weird things in extreme temperatures, especially when you might have condensate problems.

Do you have another controller you can try?
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WD8DK
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« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2013, 02:06:25 AM »

I take it the rptr is NOT on COS access but PL/CTCSS access???


No, it's on COS.

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WD8DK
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« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2013, 02:07:42 AM »

Try re-seating the cards, including the TX and RX modules in the MSR.  Tin pins do weird things in extreme temperatures, especially when you might have condensate problems.

Do you have another controller you can try?

No, no other controller, but I have thought of reseating cards. What would be a good contact cleaner for the pots?
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K4JJL
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« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2013, 05:53:24 AM »

I suppose you could use Deoxit, but I'd say it's probably not the pots.  If you can catch it in the act, try poking around with a diddle stick, bumping some of the cards, not actually adjusting anything, until you find something that temporarily fixes it.  I had to do that with a Mastr II that kept losing TX audio.  A technical tap to the whole cabinet would fix it for a couple days, but it kept coming back  Turns out the pins were corroded on the audio processor board that plugs into the exciter.  I just removed and reinserted the board a few dozen times.  No sprays or solvents used.  Haven't had a problem since.
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KA5IPF
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« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2013, 11:00:14 AM »

I take it the rptr is NOT on COS access but PL/CTCSS access???


No, it's on COS.



If you put it on PLL access and it's internal it will probably still do it, if external it will probably go away...

Clif
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WD8DK
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« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2013, 02:21:56 PM »

I take it the rptr is NOT on COS access but PL/CTCSS access???


No, it's on COS.



If you put it on PLL access and it's internal it will probably still do it, if external it will probably go away...

Clif

No PL card in it. It's the only open repeater in the county. It's open due to club wishes and Skywarm activity.
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NA4IT
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« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2013, 06:55:01 AM »

If the repeater shack is not temperature controlled there may lie your problem. May be as simple as a correctly placed light bulb to add so heat to the repeater.
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WB5ITT
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« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2013, 12:07:40 PM »

I take it the rptr is NOT on COS access but PL/CTCSS access???


No, it's on COS.



Then it is likely NOT the controller..sounds like a heater thermostat or possibly an arcing lightning arrester outside on the transformer. This can happen when the temp gets low with a dry wind and dries out loose wiring connections, etc. You could stand outside the building at night and look for any flashes of light or look for signs of arcing on the electrical system...The conditions you mention all point to those two possible sources..I doubt it is a problem in the rptr itself with control card pins, etc...

However running a rptr in COS mode will allow such problems to happen. For 2m and UHF rptrs, running in PL/CTCSS mode these days is no big deal...all modern radios can encode PL so I dont see why they insist on COS..I could see 220 or a 6m rptr in COS (though COS on a 6m box is just asking for trouble from noise which is worse than on 2m)...with the advent of more 220 synthesized radios, even that is not a problem on 220 anymore (running PL)...the argument for keeping it in COS mode is a poor one at that.
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WD8DK
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« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2013, 02:36:53 AM »

Well, from my QTH across town (1.5mi), I can hear some noise on the input during the keying. Not strong, but definately there. S1 or less. I know this is something else, more like a very weak carrier, it isn't the arc noise that holds the COS open for a second or two with noise. I am looking at the commercial power transformer next time out at the shack, it's been in the back of my mind. It's a newer set up so wouldn't expect it to be noisy, but you don't know. Maybe a good rap with a sledge hammer at the base of the pole will make the noise reappear. If so, then problem solved, next problem getting Ohio Edison to fix it.
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K4JJL
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« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2013, 10:03:46 AM »

FPL here in FL has a crew dedicated to tracking down and getting things like this fixed.  Most of the noise issues like that caused by the power company are from blown lightning arrestors.   Their website has a place where you can file TVI/RFI complaints.  Ohio Edison might have the same.
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K1ZJH
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« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2013, 05:02:38 AM »

A CAT-1000 can be run in PL and still allow open access. The user can be allowed to use a touchtone STAR key to open the machine, and it will stay open until the tail drops.

BTW, I've used several CAT-1000 controllers, and never had a cold temperature issue.

Pete
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WD8DK
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« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2013, 10:46:02 AM »

Update:

Ohio Edison to check area and service pole transformer and lightning arrestor, very co-operative with me.

Also called Comcast, what a joke, as the signal is ac arc/rf/analog video in sound.  Huh

FYI, there is an intermittent signal on the input with the above mentioned sound.  Angry


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WB5ITT
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« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2013, 10:46:12 PM »

I used to do Telecom for Entergy-Gulf States in Texas and was the RFI/TVI guy for our territory north of Houston...Once in Huntsville, TX (60m or so N of Houston), got a complaint from a resident that our lowband two way was interfering with his FM reception of a station from Houston (actually, the main FM sites in Houston are in Missouri City, SW of downtown; 2000ft towers)..swapped Micor base stations and could not find a problem with the main unit..yet he was still having issues with the backup online..(he was a mile or so west of the tower)...Spectrum analyzer showed both units clean on the dummy load..however, 2x the freq of the base station was almost dead on the FM channel)...had my 220 HT with me and at the tower site, noticed a lot of RF noise on 220..found there was a BIG cable TV line leak right there...and our signal was overloading their amps..creating the second harmonic which rode the cable to his house and wiped out the FM station....A call to the cable folks and a friend at the Houston FCC quickly got things fixed...ingress with CATV systems can be a pain!
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