|New Antennas for our||
Transmitter on Bondwa
The new antennas are made ready and loaded on the carrier of the car.
Even the Amplifier and its power supply are made ready and packed without extra packing load.
We take off in the last village on Bondwa.
Every one has enough to carry!
We try to get new strength half way up.
We made it!
We are taking down the old antennas.
And fix the new antennas
The new cable to the transmitter
A short opening to Morogoro
The new antennas are ready!
Hurrah! We are on air again!
We are collecting the old antennas to be carried down.
Town church Morogoro next to the diocese. Up there is our link up to Bondwa!
Unfortunately the thunderstorm at night brought a lot of water even into the diocese!
Our link box in the diocese. Now the battery and the charger is replaced.
On te way up again to Bondwa. Last possibility to get water.
The transmitter failed. Now it works again.
Unfortunately even the amplifier failed.
Hlf way down again.
We are very tired when we return to the car.
Good food in the ELCT language school
Ready to return to Moshi
I prepared the new antennas and the power amplifier under high time pressure. I wanted to have it up on Bondwa on Easter! And it also made very much sense to increase the power with our latest amplifier. Since the power amplifier failed at Kidia again and again I asked for help from HCJB engineers. They prepared for me a manual for many modifications and sent the necessary spares to me. It took 5 afternoons to learn what has to be done, disassembling the unit, disassembling even the PC boards and do the modifications. They said it is a problem with the frequency we use and other units do not show the fault!
Finally I prepared the telemetry cable for the transmitter on Saturday to enable us to identify transmitter faults through the internet as I did in Tanga. On Sunday afternoon we loaded the car and took off to Morogoro on Monday moring after passing the studio.
After arriving in Morogoro we had supper in the Language school and met with "Michael" at his house at night to talk about climbing Bondwa the next day. He assured me he has talked with the evangelist of his parish up Bondwa and that porters for a reasonable price would be available! A volunteer coming from Germany and he would help to carry up items needed to replace the antennas. I was very happy since they reduced my load to be carried up for 2 times 15 kg without charges!
After taking off ELCT Junior Seminar before 6 o'clock in the morning we could start our safari up to Bondwa shortly after 7 after negotiating the price to bring up the power amplifier, its power supply, the antenna cables with splitter and the 4 new antennas. The evangelist also negotiated the old items being taken down afterwards. The lowest price possible was 20 000 Tsh for one trip for each of the 6 porters.
Arriving after more than 3 hours I started to take down the old antennas immodestly replacing them with the new one. Them we had to replace the heavy feeder cable running down to the transmitter and connect the new ones, take down the old cables and fix the new cable and water prove the connections.
All porters and even the watchmen Elisas helped us with all the work on different places of the antenna mast. Since the antenna mast is getting smaller to the top you can not simply lower items or pull them up. They get stuck at every floor again!
Now I could mount the power amplifier in the hut taking the filter and old telemetry system out. Then came our best moment: We switched it an and everything worked with 1000 Watts. We were so glad and thankful that we didn't mind going down to the car by night! We had to pay all the porters and they divided the sum even among the additional one not agreed on. Caring for the car the evangelist did not charge us anything!
We were so glad there were no dropouts at all even in the shadow of the junior seminary, and Michael reported that many people from Morogoro called in. In the morning I left for the diocese to check our internet connection there. I could not hear the transmitter on air, but there could hae been a power cut after the thunder storme! Even the office rooms of the diocese were under water! I found our connection working. But examining it more closely I could confirm what Jonathan already reported: The battery charger was broken overcharging the battery badly. One of the cells shortened an the battery needed to be replaced. But without repairing the charger the new battery I came with would end the same way. I wanted to replace it by the charger we took down from the transmitter site. But it had the very same fault and I could not get even a spare transistor to repair the old one. Then the rewound transformer was heating the cabinet badly meaning additional energy costs. The power supply I came with did not work. I had not tested it before we took off! Finally I went to town to look for two computer power supplies I could modify and use there. And that worked!
I could pay our electricity costs in the diocese and got a receipt.
I thank the diocese staff helping me to lower and getting our internet connection box back on place! However they asked us to come with a stronger wall mount for it the next time!
In the afternoon I got a call from the watchman at the transmitter side: "When the electricity returned the transmitter did not work any more. The power amplifier is on again!" That ment I had to go up again to the transmitter and see what happened!
Back in the junior seminary I prepared everything needed to repair the transmitter the next day. I was glad when the volunteer Jonathan agreed to go up again with me, so I did not need to go alone. Up at the transmitter site I tried to find the problem: All fuses of the transmitter were burnt out and two resistors. After replacing them and finding another lose contact the transmitter was on air again with the power amplifier! But not for a long time since the power amplifier got very hot! During the thunder storm the power supply for the Fans broke as well. I traced the mistake but I could not repair it due to missing spares and because my new soldering iron burnt out as well. I returned with the faulty board and left the transmitter working without amplifier. On the way home we had excellent reception all the way through Chalince up to the boarder of Tanga region, when the signal started to dissappear in lower areas. We heard it again before Korogwe up to Mombo on many locations. Increasing the power from 200 to 1000 Watts again will surly help reception at those far locations, but the electricity cost will go up to 800 000 Tsh from the present 150 000 Tsh.