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Wednesday
Jul252012

VK5REX 70cm Home Brew D-Star repeater is on the air!

At 0930 on Saturday 21st July 2012 I installed the completed 70cm home brew D-Star repeater at the VK5REX comms site.  It's mounted in the rack beneath the Simoco SRM9000 based home brew 2m D-Star repeater and the IRLP Node 6510 PC and link radio. The home brew repeater is connected to the existing Icom ID-RP2C D-Star controller in place of the Icom ID-RP4000V repeater. No changes were needed to either the ID-RP2C controller or the gateway PC.

While I was on site testing the repeater out, I had it connected to XRF021 B for the Canadian D-Star net. This allowed me to test the repeater out in a real-life high duty cycle situation. The transmit radio was on high power (25W) and got quite warm, but the fan kept the temperature under control.

I decided to connect this repeater directly to the existing duplexer (notch duplexer & cavity filters) without the additional 1 MHz DCI bandpass filter and the 70cm ARR preamp to see how it would perform.   So far so good... the Motorola MCS2000 radio seems every bit as sensitive as the Icom ID-RP4000V + ARR Preamp + DCI filter + duplexer combination.

I hope to perform some proper sensitivity and desense tests soon.  I need to add a discriminator output socket to either the DV Node Adapter or make up an adapter cable to let me listen to the raw discriminator audio output from the MCS2000.

I will update the photo gallery soon... but for now, check out this video I shot on the morning of the installation.

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