UN Headquartersâ€™ 4U1UN Making Slow but Steady Progress in Returning to Air
From ARRL de WD1CKS@VERT/WLARB to QST on Tuesday, August 27, 2019 17:45:03
Responding to inquiries noting the lack of 4U1UN activity, the United Nations Amateur Radio Club (UNARC)˙indicated˙on its Facebook page this week that it's making slow but steady progress in its efforts to get the station back on the air from UN Headquarters.˙The main difficulties in getting 4U1UN up and running again following its displacement by renovations at UN Headquarters have been administrative and organizational, the UNARC team said. The club explained that as a result of UN Headquarters renovation, the room on the 41st floor housing the 4U1UN radio equipment was reallocated to the UN Broadcast and Conference Support Section (BCSS) and is now off limits.
"Please do not think that UNARC members gave up and are doing nothing," the club said in its post. "After the successful activity of 4U70UN back in 2015, with the support of the UN Administration, we were able to secure a tiny 20-square-feet room for the club's needs on the ground floor of the building." With no opportunity to run a feed line from the ground floor to the top of the building and the tenuous hold even on the tiny, bottom-floor shack space, the club is in the process of installing a remotely controlled station on the 41st floor. The BCSS is responsible for security of all UN communication systems, and only authorized personnel may be there, meaning club members must be accompanied by representatives when they are permitted access.
Over the past weekend, several UNARC members, representatives of UN services, and guests had an opportunity to continue equipment configuration. An assembled 19-inch rack and part of the equipment were disconnected during delivery to the 41st floor so that BCSS personnel could hand-carry the equipment up several flights of stairs to the top floor. "After 4 hours of work, the connections of the SteppIR BigIR vertical antennas were restored, a new SDA-100 controller was installed, and a RemoteRig 1216H was connected for easy remote access," the club post said. "The antenna was tested and configured."
UNARC says remote access from the 1st floor now works, thanks to a separate Ethernet cable run up the entire height of the building for UNARC's use. Operation of the ACOM-2000A amplifier also was tested with an antenna. The station's Elecraft K3 transceiver had to be pulled from service and sent out for repair, however, after it was discovered to have suffered earlier static discharge damage.
"We really hope that in the very near future, after debugging and setting up all the equipment, we will finally be able to proudly look at the work done and begin to appear steadily on the bands," the club said.