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Sunday, 27 January 2019

An APRS black hole to fill?

Perhaps, looking on ukrepeater.net shows that MB7USD is no longer licenced, so as soon as I have my full licence this may be an opportunity to fill in a gap in APRS coverage and packet access to and from the APRS-IS.

My plan is to run an igate or digipeater, whichever, to cover the area once covered by MB7USD, using a self-contained setup of a Raspberry Pi 3 B+ (or whatever will be the highest performing Pi by that time), with solar power, a reasonably high capacity battery (probably a leisure battery), and my Leixen VV-898 for an output of about 10 watts, hopefully linked to my home WiFi and kept in my shed to start with until I can find a suitable place elsewhere.

The VV-898 being a 10 watt radio should more than suffice for this job, and being a cheap radio to get hold of should it fail I can swap it out for another one, and being low power draw it is suited to this ultra green setup.

I need to fit a shelf in the rear of my shed which means moving some of my antenna mounting hardware up to the shack, there are already mounting points to do this and a convenient air vent at the rear, though I suspect I ought to tread carefully as I did see a wasp nest near the vent and therefore there could be wasps but the nest may be derelict or all wasps in it dead due to this very cold snap we've had lately, the air vent is convenient as that will serve as a path for coaxial cable to feed through, RG8-mini preferred as that is small enough in diameter and low loss compared to RG58, the vent will also serve as access to solar panel power cables.

The need for GPS is not required for this setup as it is fixed, it's precise location will, for its and my security, be off slightly (appearing on the map on the roads near to my home QTH.

As a temporary antenna I could use an off-the-shelf mobile antenna on a magmount on top of a suitable piece of metal, I have an old magmount that I got with the Team RoadCom-FS that I don't plan to put on a vehicle, I just need to change the coax (with RG8-mini) as it needs a coax change anyway

I've not even started my training for my M0 call and I am already planning on what NoV to get when I am able to, and when this is done I hope to restore local APRS-IS access in the local area.

73 de 2E0EIJ

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