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Old 02-10-2014, 1:53 PM
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Default Portable Repeater Build/Install

One of my past activities over the last year has been working on and off on building a portable UHF repeater. I've tried a few different enclosures and a this point in time, some suggestions would be nice as I can't really decide where I want to go from the current fork sitting at.

Here is the basic rundown of the system.
It's an Icom mobile based repeater with a Celwave duplexer. I've been debating about what to band it as for a while now but still I can always change my mind (why the radios remain programmed for 70cm from when I was testing the physical programming on two antennas) and the duplexer is still untuned. The idea is for a solar powered, 20W low duty repeater that can be plugged into a different source if need be.

I was going to mount it in a big case with a few more batteries and then add the solar gear but for the last year I've grown fond of using that case for storage of some of my other radio gear. Earlier today I was playing around on google and found this thread:
GMRS in an Ammo Can

It gave me an idea and next I found myself in the garage rummaging for a new 50 cal can I had laying about.

Here is what I'm currently thinking about. Originally it was gonna be something along these lines.


Then I started thinking about using a bigger box with everything inside.

Then I cam to something along these lines earlier today (w/the duplexer mounted externally).


The solar charger controller is pretty small and will actually fit in that small space (might even be able to add a tracker as well).

Any thoughts/suggestions?

I like the idea of using a metal enclosure better butI'm just fiddling around until I actually get serious about building the repeater.
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Old 02-17-2014, 10:10 PM
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Seems a little small to me. I'd think you'll have a heat problem in a box that size, even with the lid off when in service.
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Old 02-18-2014, 1:40 AM
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Depends on the duty and power output. Only going to be pushing 20W and it's not built for much more than a 10% duty. I have been playing around with ways to give the TX radio more space though.
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Old 02-18-2014, 3:56 AM
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Regardless of how you end up mounting it, the cables you use should be your main focus of the operation. The choice of coax will effect how well your package operates.

The use of double shielded cable will be a requirement here. Stay away from LMR type cable. In the long run, it will bite you by causing all sorts of intermod issues and scratchies. It is a well documented problem that can be avoided right from the start.

Getting the duplexor tuned will be your next problem. You will need some good test equipment and the skills required to be able to tune the cavities correctly. You may or may not get the desired results from the mobile duplexor.

Heat, as was already mentioned will me a major factor here. You say "low duty", but in a jam, that goes out the window.

Have fun.
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Old 02-18-2014, 9:43 AM
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I've had the repeater running. I build small packaged repeaters a lot. Already have the double shielded feedline made. At one point the duplexer was tuned (poorly I might add) previously in the ham bands.

You actually don't need expensive equipment to tune a notch duplexer, a good antenna analyzer will do the trick if you know how to use it.You can even get away with a watt meter and couple of handhelds of you're in a bind.

Sent from my ME173X using Tapatalk
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