Recently, I’ve been more and more interested in APRS. I’ve been doing frequent tests on both 2m and 6m, with fair results. However, an idea has been growing in my mind, to do something to extend the range of the APRS system in Iceland. As of beginning of 2012 we have one high level digipeater in Reykjavik, and two to three smaller ones in Reykjavik and one in Keflavik. There have been plans to expand the range and install a digipeater in Bláfjöll, mountain near Reykjavik which could give a good coverage to the east of Reykjavik, past Hellisheiði.
DiP-M is a mobile digipeater, self powered by solar energy with a huge battery buffer. I went off with few main points that I would want to see it succeed at:
- Long battery life
- Long range
To success at these goals, the device would have to be highly energy efficient, low power consumption, strong enclosure, the ability to charge the batteries, and located in a very high spot, i.e. on a high mountain top. I’ve started gathering resources for the basic testing. An almost waterproof box; a not so great 1/4 wave antenna; durable Kenwood TH-25AT ham radio; TNC (which I haven’t still decided what type); 12V car battery with high capacity; and a cheap 1.5W solar charging cell.
I have started the construction of the test box and hopefully will start to execute the tests in the following week. The callsign will be TF2SUT-3 for now. More news in the following days.