Booster Kibaya on Air again !
We have reched the Junction to Kondoa, Dodoma and Kibaya. Another 100 km on the rough, stony. bumpy roard!
People digging for water
digging for water and transporting it far with a donkeys car!
Way up the Posta mountain
Antenna bowing in the strong wind
No problem visable!
There are still 587 kWh available on the meter!
And the transmitter was on air again!
We had supper together before the work began
Deo Refilled the batteries
Then we moved the broken cells together in one bad battery bank making the others work again
and back to Kondoa
Until we got a puncture
After another 90 km we finally reached the tormak road!
How lovely! The car and we feeled happy again!
Actually we wanted to drive to Kibaya after reparing the transmitter in Morogoro. But unfortunately so much other important work was waiting. But after the new internet streaming server was finally on air again we could take of to Kiba on Wednesday 13th to get the transmitter on service again. I had been ther 2 years ago, but Jonathan had been there last year for service.
We used the road passing Arusha, Babati and Kondoa. The pice Arusha to Babatri is presenty built newly, and we had many detours until we could use the new tormak sections in between.
But 10 km after passing Babati the tormak stopped and we had to drive on the earth road. Unfortunaltely on many portions the top soil had been washed away and the car has to cope with the big stones coming up.
After another 90 km heading for the capital city Dodoma we turned left to Kibaya at the junction of Kondoa.
We had another 100 km rough roard up to our transmitter site close to Kibaya. We saw that there are bus lines comeing from Dar passing Korogwe, Kibaya going to Kondoa! They have to cope with the rough roard as well!
Then we noticed under what conditions the people have to live there. In the dry rivers they have to dig big holes to collect a little bit dirty water transporting it far often using donkey cars!
Shortly before sunset we climbed the mountain with our car. You have to use all your hart and all power of the engine and tires to climbe up the rocs and stones because the rad hardly is a way to drive any more!
We looked around our transmitter container. No watch man there any more! Just like a ghost town with a hard cold wind blowing. But we could not see any problem from out side! The antenna not broken, nothing destroyd willingly! No bushfire had eaten the grass and the fence poles again as before! There was even still enough electricity left on the meter!
We opend the container and- just the fuse had dripped! After switching it on again we were on air again! But wht had caused the fuse to drip?
We had supper first before we continued with the work. I checked the chargers and Deo filled the batteries with destilled water. He found two broken Cells now totally dry because all acid came out! We tried to glue them using packing tape. But it is no longer realible. Some one must have stepped on the battery or they had cracs before from Transport and because the plates are giving pressure the cracked compleately.
I found another 2 cells shotened inside. So we have 6 cells not working again! Well- the batteris had been used with the solar system since ......... years. But even now the batteries come in as soon as the power fails! So we tried to exchange the cells repaing the other battery banks and leaving one bad bank with all the broken cells we have to replace.
I also found 2 of the 8 chargers not working again. Opening them I found no way getthing them to work again right now. I replaced them with a 24V charger we had and we took the broken ones back to Moshi. They may have caused the fuse to drip!
One hour before midnight we went to sleep, Deo in the container and I in the car to watch everything. We continuied to measuring and writing the booster Log the next morning after 6 o´clock in the morning. We left around 8 o´clock after having something to eat and drink out of the kitchen box Lore had prepared for us.
The way down was nearly as exiting as climbing up! Shortly before Kondoa we got a puncture with a big nail in the tyre. But because we had a second spare tire we just continued driving home. But we were so lucky when we finally reached the tormak road again after 190 km of bumpy roard working hard to break the car!
The transmitter serves many people living under extreem conditions, and there is no other radio available! So we have to make sure it stays on air whenever possible. But it only works if Kidia and Same transmitter is on air as well. Kidia and Kibaya had batteries already when the power fails. But giving the Same transmitter a battery backup will help the only radio in Kibaya to continue if the power fails as so often!