SCTO (Senior Communications Technical Officer) Dan set off on the 12th of Feb for a nine day journey down-island to finish off the upgrade and repair works at the Mt Jeffreys repeater site.
The CH21 Marine VHF Radio Repeater, located on top of Mt Jeffryes, services the southern end of Macquarie Island providing an important radio link between field parties, hunters and field huts back to station.
The renewable energy systems powering the site have been struggling to keep up with the power demand after the main wind generator unfortunately lost half a blade during high winds back in October last year, and two of the three solar panels suffered failures during the winter.
It has been a three month, marathon effort to get all the necessary parts manufactured and transited down to Mt Jeffryes, to enable an attempt to upgrade and repair of the site, with a huge team effort from all the station staff and MIPEP field crews.
It all started back in November when, with the help of the IRB boat crews, Dan and Wayne physically carried two solar panels and an assortment of tools up to the site from Four Water Falls Bay, located just under Mt Jeffryes on the coast — a grueling 384 meter accent.
Over the next few months brackets were constructed to seat the solar panels in, and a make-shift wind vane was designed and constructed in an attempt to get the wind generator back online.
With all the parts ready to go in late January, IRB and MIPEP crews slowly transited all the necessary hardware and tools down to Windy Ridge, some of the way by water and the rest by foot.
With Tony’s generous and much appreciated help, Dan completed the works up at the repeater site, installing two additional solar panels and the make-shift wind generator vane, which has now restored the renewable power generation system to full capacity.
Dan would like to thank all the people involved in the construction, transit and organisational support who made the project all possible.