[aprssig] flying digipeater?

Keith - VE7GDH ve7gdh at rac.ca
Mon Apr 18 20:25:02 EDT 2005

Chris KB8UIH wrote on 18/04/2005 4:50:14 PM PDT

> We have a voice repeater at 930' on a commercial radio
> tower near Saginaw Bay, MI.  I am not sure what the
> size of the hardline is but...

An alternative to running hardline up a tower would be to have the equipment (repeater, digipeater, etc.) in an enclosure right at the antenna. This would require getting power to the equipment. Sounds good in theory, but dunno what the "regs" are on having 120VAC or 240VAC running up the tower, but the towers have power right to the top for the "clearance" lights so the tower can be seen by aircraft, so there must be a safe way of doing it.

Going back to the original suggestion of a flying digipeater, this concept of having the equipment up the tower is the same as having the equipment in the balloon or kite or whatever. Kites would work if you had a steady wind. Balloons would work if you had no wind or very light wind. Much more than a breeze and it would be pretty low to the ground.

For SAR, from time to time there are operations where a plane just keeps circling a mountainous area with a repeater onboard for voice communication. There's no reason (OK, maybe a bit of de-sense from time to time, but the packet bursts are pretty short)  it couldn't have an APRS digipeater onboard as well, as long as it was in a remote area so it didn't cause congestion for a hundred miles on each side. An alternative to a plane circling would be to have a helicopter just transport the equipment to a hilltop and leave it there for the duration. A "one day" operation could run on a single deep cycle battery. A solar panel could help out, but the battery may still need to be replaced from time to time. However, the person asking about sending the equipment up on a balloon probably doesn't have the luxury of hilltops to use.

73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
"I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"

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