by John Nee ley K6YDW
During the forest fire season, California has many major tires, some raging for several weeks. A call to amateurs for assistance in communications by various local, state and federal agencies is filled by the volunteers. During these disasters, the agencies involved need more portable packet stations and portable digipeatcrs, Some locations arc not accessible directly from rhe stations at the remote fire camps due to mountainous strain or other obstacles. The need for highly portable, battery-operated digi-peaters is obvious. Packet stations are used to pass logistical messages to and from the camps, along with health and welfare messages from the firefighters.
The August and September 1987 issues of CTM Magazine contained a two-part article by Robert Hoover KA6HZF titled "Captain Kirk's Lunch Box,,h which was about a totally self-contained, battery-operated, solar-charged portable digipeater. Mr, Hoover's article dealt with a complete package housed in a single Gi ammo box. It included a Yaesu FT-23 2 meter HT, an MFJ-I270 TNC and a single 14 amp-hour motorcycle battery, along with an external solar panel.
I thought this was a great idea, but I didn't have the liny HT that Mr. Hoover had. I did have an older Kenwood TR-2500 2 meter HT as a spare, and a spare TNC, the MFJ-1270. Since theTR-2500 is much larger than the FT-23, I had to rethink how I could get this all into a compact package. The answer was to use two boxes; one for the HT/TNC and the other for a duai battery pack which also included the solar controller circuit board (Photo A). The following article is a guide to building your own unit, no matter
Continued on page 18
Photo C. Inside the battery box\ The solar controller board is in the upper right corner
Photo B. Inside the HT/TNC box
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1 Never Say Die
4 The Ubiquitous Coaxial Connector
5 Portable Packet Digipeater for Emergency Sen/ice
6 16 Tips For Using PCS Layout Software
7 Dealer Directory
8 Buiiding and Using N7APE's NiCd Zapper
9 Backup Battery Monitor/ Charger/Alarm
10 Review: HF/VHF Digital MFJ SWR Analyzer
11 Review: US Digital Company's DVR 501A Simplex Repeater System
12 Packet & Computers
13 Carr's Corner
15 RTTY Loop
16 Homing In
19 Special Events
20 Hams with Class
23 Above and Beyond
24 73 International
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27 Barter *n' Buy
28 Random Output
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