2019 COMM PLAN THOUGHTS AND IDEAS
|UHF COVERAGE||RACE REPEATER||GAZEBO||HQ|
- RACE RPTR
- GAZEBO (Simplex)
- HQ (simplex) (combine w Gazebo?)
- DIRECT (work channel)
- 10-12 on VHF?.
- Eliminate X-Mit side of duplexer and use vertical antenna separation
- Use receive preselector
- Increase freq spread.
- Place a vehicle at the Gazebo area with a in-band extender from Repeater <-> Gazebo to be a simplex extender with a base antenna.
- 10-13 uses HQ direct UHF
- 10-12 VHF simplex via Gazebo operator.
- Advantage is power level availability.
- Operator hike up with portable base antenna for VHF and UHF to relay manually.
- Alternative is rollup J-Pole and throw-rope.
2018 POST RACE NOTES
Chuck hiked up to the Gazebo and worked as a communications troubleshooter and relay station. A great success and certainly needed!
The portable Motorola repeater has a temperature related de-tune problem. At 6am the temperature is about 50-55F. As the morning and the repeater heats up the duplexer goes out of tune resulting in a poor sensitivity and a mixing of transmitter and receiver. This is audible in different forms depending on the signal strength from crackling to intermod. Peak problem around race start +/- 30 minutes.
2019 idea may be to eliminate the duplexer and use vertical antenna separation instead. 25′ separation is in theory 70db. Using different PL in and out, and potentially larger freq split may also help.
Battery power available was 64 a/hr. After about 5 hours the battery level was 12.56 V or according to my smart charger 92%. Receive load is about 1.1A including the continuous fan. Transmitting about 11a.
In general – worked really well. May expand, but limited quantities available.
COMM PLAN – TERRAIN NOTES
Chuck (NC7R) was located at the Gazebo as a troubleshooter and relay. This worked extremely well! 2019 goal would be to bring a mobile station (vehicle) to this area for a remote operation. Some discoveries:
- 10-13 cannot reach the repeater, but can go simplex to HQ.
- 10-12 cannot hear anyone due to terrain. Located in a gulley. Could be a VHF to Gazebo??
HQ area is in RF saturation due to Dispatch and numerous HTs on the premises. Area could be on VHF w/ crosswind to REPEATER.
2018 IDEAS AND NOTES – PRE-RACE
If you are a Ham Radio Operator and can help with the event, please contact me at knutfinn @ gmail.com We can really use some ham-ops help with some testing during the event for possible alternative solutions. Please feel free to get involved.
We will use any tool required to make this work. Ham Radio Ops knowledge and experience puts everything in to a higher league and “simplifies” this drastically. For now, these are notes and will be placed on the Comm Plan as they formalize.
The good news is that we have both portable ham-repeaters and commercial repeaters available for the event.
Cell coverage is weak around Race HQ. Appears HQ WiFi is improved and usable data connection is available.
Another idea is to place a X-Band at HQ (sanctuary) providing VHF simplex coverage as a fill-in.
RADIO COVERAGE PLOTS
|2017 Repeater site.||2018 Potential site at 100′ higher elevation, but 1/4 mile further SSW. Hum?|
This is a new race for me (and N2KTO Dave) consisting of a 5K and 10K off-road race. It is a young race started in 2016. Not a lot of formalized information is available. Radios will be on commercial frequencies at least until we get some more ham participation.
- Race Director
- Sanctuary Director
- Volunteer Coordinator
- Parking (1 from us + own net)
- Traffic Approach (1 from us + own net)
Race Course Radios:
- 13 Stations / Radios
- Poor cell coverage at HQ
- ATT Better
- Verizon Worse
- Poor Internet at HQ due to slow DSL
- Untrained operators
- Challenging terrain
- If Gator/UTV – APRS
- APRS coverage is nil without K1FFK. Place I-Gate at Repeater Site.
- Portable 20w (45w max) Motorola repeater + 40′ mast place on crest of Reservoir Road. 2018 add APRS Digi with telemetry for battery and repeater temperature.
- 2 AGM Batteries with auto switchover. 2017 battery 1 maintained and never switched to battery 2.
Remote Repeater Diagram