Repeater

Discussion in 'Search, Rescue and Technical Skills' started by Jeff Randall, Aug 28, 2020.

  1. Jeff Randall

    Jeff Randall ESEE Knives / Randall's Adventure & Training Staff Member

    Messages:
    5,179
    Likes Received:
    11,414
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Alabama
    With the constant endeavor of making something lighter and more portable, I’ve been testing a 9AH battery box that I built for the portable repeater, as well as a new J-Pole tuned antenna from Ed Fong. So far, the power requirements seem to be fine with this lighter weight battery even with heavier than usual traffic on the repeater. Antenna hasn’t been fully tested but from what I’ve researched and been hearing, the J-Pole works exceptionally well strung up in a tree. Complete system is now 15 pounds and contained in two Pelican cases that will easily fit in a single backpack. The J-Pole rolls up and fits in the repeater box. Battery box is made to be field charged using a folding solar panel (not shown) if needed for extended operations. We plan on testing this system soon with the Lawrence County Multi-Agency SAR team.

    IMG_6031.jpg

    IMG_6030.jpg

    IMG_6029.jpg
     
    JV3, erik, Caleb O and 5 others like this.
  2. Strigidae

    Strigidae Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    11,821
    Likes Received:
    14,102
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    United States
    Sweet!!! Even lighter than V1.0!
     
  3. Jeff Randall

    Jeff Randall ESEE Knives / Randall's Adventure & Training Staff Member

    Messages:
    5,179
    Likes Received:
    11,414
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Alabama
    If I could find some old school popcorn cans and a good string I think we can get the comms package even lighter
     
  4. ASH

    ASH Member

    Messages:
    976
    Likes Received:
    1,251
    Location:
    Outer Space
    That's cool, I have a baofang hand held radio, but I need to find someone local to help me learn. I had friend right up the street that I know was into ham but he has moved to Florida. Hmm I need to check with my neighbor I remember him having a tower in his yard when I was a kid. A friend of mine's dad had a big radio setup in his shop up the street, but he died about 12 years ago when he crashed his crop duster.
     
  5. Kylemeister

    Kylemeister Member

    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    205
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Oklahoma City, OK, USA
    There's all kinds of things on Facebook and Reddit for amateur radio. But, if you can find a local club, it can be a great experience. Lots of different personalities, so don't let a single grumpy old guy ruin it for you.

    SurvivalTech Nord on YouTube does a lot with DIY portable power and amateur radio.

    Looking forward to hearing how the J-pole works in S&R terrain.
     
    TerryD likes this.
  6. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Moderator of the Century Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,267
    Likes Received:
    10,512
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Australia
    ....I have maybe five or six UV5Rs. Great little radios !! I am out bush now and there is one attached to my pack and one on the table in the hit. Running them on UHF for coms here but they are also ham programmed.
    I
     
    Strigidae likes this.
  7. Jeff Randall

    Jeff Randall ESEE Knives / Randall's Adventure & Training Staff Member

    Messages:
    5,179
    Likes Received:
    11,414
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Alabama
    I don't know a lot about amateur radio but I am that one old grumpy man you speak of.
     
    Twoody88 and Strigidae like this.
  8. Kylemeister

    Kylemeister Member

    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    205
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Oklahoma City, OK, USA
    I am that grumpy old man before coffee (which should be strong as death, black as night, and able to defeat a plate of bacon & eggs).
     
    Strigidae likes this.
  9. Strigidae

    Strigidae Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    11,821
    Likes Received:
    14,102
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    United States
    Im stealing that.
     
  10. Wisdom

    Wisdom Member

    Messages:
    616
    Likes Received:
    831
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    South
    Ed Fong has mastered the J pole. Nice setup you’ve got! I’ve been using a Signal Stuff antenna. They are the most durable I’ve found.
     
    TerryD likes this.
  11. McKROB

    McKROB Member

    Messages:
    460
    Likes Received:
    985
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    St John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
    What sort of radios and controller are you using in your pelican case setup? I’m liking the idea of that J-pole antenna, let us know how it’s been working for you.

    I’m currently in the process of building a VHF repeater for work using two Kenwood TK-7302H mobile 50watt radios connected with a crossover cable, a Comprod six cavity duplexer, and a Tram-Browning half-wave antenna, it will all be mounted in an ammo box with a Morningstar solar controller, this will compliment the ten TK-2402 handhelds and TK-7302H base we use on the survey crew and greatly extend our working range. I’ve also just ordered a fancy field programmable 50watt Kenwood NX-5700 for the truck, it’s a combo analog and digital unit that will allow me to have all my analog work frequencies in the same radio as my SAR team encrypted SAR/EMS DMR frequencies.
     
  12. McKROB

    McKROB Member

    Messages:
    460
    Likes Received:
    985
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    St John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
    After a fair bit of messing around with the programming this week, and building a DB15 crossover cable , I was able to successfully bench test the repeater system, so today I mounted it in the ammo box for a test in the field later this week!

    B3C8C01A-DFE2-4D98-9570-BCB2A7ABDD60.jpeg 0B4377CF-E8DC-497B-84C0-933B4AF76F0B.jpeg 4156DA3D-4D2C-45F6-9B21-61716EA4D261.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2020
  13. Jeff Randall

    Jeff Randall ESEE Knives / Randall's Adventure & Training Staff Member

    Messages:
    5,179
    Likes Received:
    11,414
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Alabama
    That's awesome. What are your plans to power it in the field?
     
    Strigidae likes this.
  14. Strigidae

    Strigidae Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    11,821
    Likes Received:
    14,102
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    United States
    Excellent!!!!
     
  15. McKROB

    McKROB Member

    Messages:
    460
    Likes Received:
    985
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    St John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
    I’ve got a bunch of 35aH and 48aH AGM gel cells in Husky tool bags that I use for other survey equipment. I’ll use one of these, they connect to the ammo box with standard two pole SAE connectors, and I have a solar input receptacle on the outside of the box as well, connected to the solar controller. The controller distributes power from the battery to the radios and also charges the battery while connected to the panel.

    5BD5CB13-A7BD-464F-8382-4206F3B3B610.jpeg D186B23B-041D-4845-A5B3-81A3CB1BB739.jpeg
    230F3329-4865-486D-8BD5-FE3C355295C1.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2020
  16. McKROB

    McKROB Member

    Messages:
    460
    Likes Received:
    985
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    St John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
    Have you had a chance to test your system? I’m curious about your repeater controller, and how that LiFePO4 battery has been performing. I’m thinking about upgrading some of my 7aH batteries to LiFePO4.
     
  17. Jeff Randall

    Jeff Randall ESEE Knives / Randall's Adventure & Training Staff Member

    Messages:
    5,179
    Likes Received:
    11,414
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Alabama
    The 9AH LiFePO4 will easily run our system 16 hours + with 15 minutes of traffic each hour (which is a lot of traffic). You will need to buy a solar controller for these batteries if you decide to do that since they charge at different rates than AGMs. Weight on the LiFePO batteries are way, way under the AGMs though so it saves you a lot of work toting them in

    https://www.bioennopower.com
     
    Strigidae likes this.
  18. Jeff Randall

    Jeff Randall ESEE Knives / Randall's Adventure & Training Staff Member

    Messages:
    5,179
    Likes Received:
    11,414
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Alabama
    Here are the battery boxes I built with the 9AH LiFePO4 battery. 4 pounds total.
    IMG_6029.jpg

    IMG_6034.jpg
     
    JMick, JV3, Delkancott and 2 others like this.

Share This Page