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A safe, deliberate, scalable, robust, and redundant DC power distribution system for Field Day

    For a more in depth discription of this power distibution system, Click Here

    15 July 2017: The Morongo Amateur Radio Club had another successful year during Amaterur Radio Field Day. This year we worked as a 5A group, meaning that our group consisted of 5 HF stations all of which were operating on off-grid power. One of the challanges that that we faced was how to effectively distribut 12 volt(DC) power from a community battery bank that was outside of our building to the stations that were inside the building. Each of the member stations are all more than capable of providing for their own power, however, moving 12 volts of DC power any respectable distance requires a very heavy gauge cable, that is by no means inexpensive. As always, we found an acceptable solution on the fly. What follows below is an overview of a deliberate and scalable and high capacity power distribution system for any number of stations that allows the cost of what would be a very expensive power distribution system to spread across a number of users with a minimal expense borne by each individual.

    Field Day Power Distribution:

      This photo highlights a battery and extension cable, that when combined with others create a scalable and robust power distribution system. This is built around a common connector system of Gray SB175 connectors and Anderson PowerPole Connectors:

        Picture of battery with a common extension cable.

        Each unit of power distribution enlarges the scale of the power that can be provided. Each battery adds to a battery bank. Each extension cable increases the length and the number of stations that can tap into this community power distribution system.

On July 23, 2017, Logan (KJ6RIF), aims a yagi antenna in the direction of the [moving at 28,000 kph] International Space Stationi (ISS) in order to receive the Slow Scan Television (SSTV) image being transmitted by ISS crew members. Sheri (KJ6BER) was working the radio and SSTV application when images were received.

      This event was documented in more detail: Here.

        ISS SSTV Photo 23 July 2017

This was a vertical whip that was cut for 40 meters. It has 1/4 wave ground radials and a coax choke. The radiating element was made from 3/4" & 1" copper pipe:

Picture of 1/4 Vertical Whip

Photo of Balun with ground radials:

Picture of Ugly Balun

8 Nov 2015: Conducted some testing over the weekend. Using 2.4GHz BroadBand Hamnet equipment, data was able to be transfered between Donnell Hill and both: City Hall (29 Palms) and the Morongo Basin School District office. When operational, this network has the ability to provide digital phone service, email, and file sharing between several agencies during disaster emergencies when normal forms of communication and power may be down.

This was the portable node that was on Donnell Hill during the testing:

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A link between Donnell Hill and my home was also able to pass data as well as open web pages from my home ISP.

This is the view of Donnell Hill from my garage roof (approxamately 4 miles distance):

View of Donnell Hill from my roof.

Soon to have a companion 5GHz Ubiquity Bullet with a respectable antenna and AREDN Firmware, this is a Linksys node with BBHN Firmware and a TP-Link 2.4GHz, 24dBi antenna. We will see how this holds up in the Mojave Desert heat next summer-- I may have to add a bird house to add some shade to the node equipment. (Due to the high loss in this band, the coaxial cable is limited to 6 feet.):

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Inside the box, sits an archaic Linksys WRT54GL router with a Raspberry Pi. The Pi hosts both a file server and a webserver. The node is currently wireless and simply requires 12 volts of power to run both the Pi and the Router. The Raspberry Pi draws its 5 volts of USB power from an after market vehicular USB socket (from O'Rileys Auto Parts) that also is powered by 12 volts. These devices are also set up to be run via Power Over Ethernet (POE) with a CAT5 connection to networking device:

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