Eversource to the Rescue – W1MA/R has power again

The [Barnstable ARC] W1MA wide-area repeater lost commercial power last week following the loss of a 4000 volt private line feeder.  After several days of BARC repeater committee members backing up the W1MA BARC repeater’s batteries with a generator,  Eversource has repaired, at its own expense, a failed insulator on a pole feeding 4000 volts to the repeater site in Dennis on Cape Cod.  The insulator failed after a snow  storm but had likely been in service for 70 years. The repeater is a primary Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) facility on the Cape and is used for a variety of other purposes as well, including a 6 AM weather net that many public service officials listen to.

The BARC repeater committee also determined that the affected lines were in contact with some evergreens on the property and those trees had to be trimmed before the line could be re-energized.  It was also determined that the failed component was unable to be serviced with a man-lift and there was only one contractor, not employed by Eversource,  who was qualified to climb the affected pole and perform the repair.  Eversource has those qualified people and no additional Eversource or other inspection is required for Eversource work.

Long-time BARC member and past President Steve Boyson, N1VLG, used his contacts with Eversource to arrange for the repair at no cost to the ham community (saving thousands of dollars) and also arranged for the trees to be quickly trimmed.  With Steve’s quick action and the work of the BARC repeater committee, the repeater has been returned to full service after only a week on battery/generator power.

This is the second time Steve has enlisted Eversource to help the ham community.  Eversource donated the installation of three poles to support the antenna at the Scout Camp Greenough where BARC is installing an amateur radio station using an ARRL club grant.  Eversource showed by its quick response and willingness to help that it supports the ARES mission of amateur radio.

Thanks to the repeater committee work together with the outstanding individual  contribution by Steve, N1VLG, the BARC repeater is again performing its work on Cape Cod.

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