It was discovered that on Wednesday, September 8th at approximately 10:30am, lightning struck SEMARA’s property causing damage to several equipment both at the SEMARA clubhouse and at the repeater site. Until further notice, the SEMARA 900 MHz repeater is off the air and the club’s internet and phone service are also down. Because there is no internet, the 2m repeater IRLP node, APRS station and scanner feed are also not functional.
Dave, W1DJG and I have been very busy with work commitments this week and have been unable to check things until this evening. A check of the repeater site found that the 900 MHz repeater and controller were both powered up, but unresponsive. There appears to be possible lightning damage and the repeater may be in need of repair.
Additionally, there are burn marks on the CAT-5 Ethernet punch block that exits the repeater site and runs underground to the clubhouse. The lightning arrester which is supposed to protect against surges, is partially cracked and the copper pins on the punch block are burned. This could indicate possible lightning damage at the clubhouse itself, including but not limited to the Comcast internet gateway modem. I was unable to gain access to the clubhouse for further investigation, as it also appears the keycard system is also dead.
The SEMARA Repeater committee will post an update to this initial damage assessment in the upcoming days.
Richard J. Cabral, W1RJC
SEMARA Repeater Committee