A Listeners Project: Ham Radio Field Portable X-Band Repeater

K0JFC, John recently posted:


I was listening to an episode of Fo-Time(ed. Ep1) with a gentleman who had responded to the tornado in Joplin, MO. One thing he said struck a chord with me. He said that if you can’t carry it in on your back, then it’s not field-deployable. This radio (and I’m sure others) would make a great one-box repeater that could easily be carried into a disaster area and set up quickly. One potential benefit of using the Wouxun instead of a real ham radio is that the Wouxun will transmit on public safety frequencies without radio mods. YES, permissions, coordination, yada yada yada would be needed, but it COULD extend first responders’ range very inexpensively.
I decided to box it up to see how it might work. If this were for real, I’d use a slightly larger box and use weatherproof connectors, but this will work as a prototype.
This project was done to address a specific challenge related in the Fo-Time episode. The guest talked about having dead spots where the operators could not reach a central station or repeater. The solution was to set up a repeater in the dead zone. The other statement was that if it can’t be carried in on your back, it’s not field deployable. That got me thinking about what it would take to build a field deployable repeater. Short of buying new gear that would be specifically designed for that purpose, I decided to try to build a box that could serve the purpose in a pinch.
*ed: 25 Interweb points for the CD Tower in the background

Here’s the final stage of my project. It certainly could be improved, but I’m now convinced that if there’s NOTHING else available, I could do it with gear on hand.

The mast could be made much taller at the expense of some portability. A solar panel and/or bigger batteries could be added for longer term operations, etc.


Great Job! I’ll update as provided-

73, K4CDN


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