on air again!

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Travel stop near Mombo Usambara Mountains

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New Church Morogoro town

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Our transmitter box Morogoro Diocese

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Problems with battery and power supply

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New sub meter Diocese

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Moving WLAN antenna from diocese ...

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... to church building as originally planned

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clear contact to Bondwa

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Deviding load to carry

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Finally we reach the transmitter site after 3 hours and 20 km of walk getting up 1500m higher !

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screws of transformer got loose

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Up there are the antennas of the Lutheran Radio centre

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STL and telemetry antennas

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Transmitting antennas

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replacing transmission cable

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Our new rack

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Reading the electricity meter

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Starting safari back

We left Moshi on Tuesday June 18th after we picked up Deo in the diocese at about 9:30 in the morning.

We had lunch break near Mombo and arrived Morogoro around 17:30 in the evening at the ELCT Junior Seminary. We got accommodation there.

On Wednesday we called pastor Paulo by phone to make sure we won´t miss him. Then joined the workers of the Diocese with the morning devotion at the new church in town. The old one had been taken down now. The roof is ready but not the walls now. We greeted the diocese staff and went to the chaplains office to pay for the electricity we have used as pastor Paulo told us.

Since there were still some objections from the workers to move our dish up the church we went to town first to get a new buffer battery. We are very thankful the driver of the diocese helped us with it not to pay a too high price.

When we returned we found the workers continuing on the church. We asked them about fixing our antenna up on the church and they had no objections. Even the chairman of the new building did not see any problems with the dish mounted on a long stand allowing them to do the finishing without any trouble. He told us we should go ahead moving the WLAN up. He will talk to pastor Paulo as soon as he will be available.

We have just finished to fix the antenna when pastor Paulo arrived telling us to take the antenna down again.

We had a meeting with the assistant Bishop, the general secretary, pastor Paulo and the Treasurer of the diocese. We are so glad a compromise could be achieved that all electricity used by the diocese is paid to the congregation, and all the electricity used by the Lutheran Radio Centre is paid to the diocese. The Diocese will get a own electricity meter and not use the electricity of the town church any more.

On Wednesday night we prepared the new antenna feed cable. The old one showed bad readings the last time we went up. May be water came into the cable or bad contacts on one ore more connectors made the trouble.

The next morning before dawn we went up to the last village towards Bondwa. The Evangelist had chosen two porters helping us to bring up the transmitter and tools together with the new antenna feed cable.

This time we were very fast since we had a break just once just above the generator house. We managed it to get up in three hours only. About 20 km distance and 1500m difference in altitude are bringing every one to the edge of the physical ability.

When we arrived we noticed that the transformer was loose in the transmitter and we had to fix it first before we could test it again.

Then I went up to the antennas, fixed the telemetry antenna and started to bring down the new antenna feed cable. I had to fix it all few meter to prevent the strong winds to cut the insulation on some of the sharp bolts. The could wind really blows through all clothing. Fortunately it did not rain, just the clouds were passing through the antenna mast quickly.

When I came down to the shelter Deo received the cable inside and passed it along the cable trunk just below the ceiling.

When we switched the transmitter on everything was working. We read the electricity meter and were glad we could start our descent before it was dark!

Our TTCL DSL line gave us some problems unto 16:30, but uninterrupted listening was possible thereafter. All the night and the next morning the reception was fine. But nevertheless we decided to return to the TTCL and ask for a solution the next morning. "We can not do anything here in Morogoro. It all controlled by the head office in Dar Es Salaam!" Deo, the engineer of the TTCL replied. Since the reception was still fine we just left the small transmitter at the diocese on in case the other on Bondwa should fail again.

Travelling back to Moshi reviled another picture however: It seems that when may computers use the internet during office hours the transmission speed of the DSL line is no longer sufficient. So the buffer of the transmitter runs empty periodically all few minutes the broadcast gets interrupted.

What we have to test now is whether that is a problem of our subscriber line only. If so may be the speed is being reduced deliberately to reduce the traffic. If so it may help to switch off the second stream at the diocese. We also may consider buying a faster package from TTCL.

If however the hole trunk is overloaded improvement is only possible if TTCL will improve its service.