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Author Topic: Repurpose HF gear  (Read 4380 times)

vwflyer

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Repurpose HF gear
« on: December 31, 2014, 02:42:01 AM »
Happy New Years eve gang. Since you all have your thinking caps on from PuJo's question I figured I'd slip one in myself. About 3 years ago the mission I fly for decommissioned all of its HF stations. We used to use them to keep in touch with the missionaries living in the mountains of Mexico. We had a morning sked with them and they'd let us know that they were all right and if they needed supplies flown to them or if the plane needed to go out there for some other reason. After all of them got satilite Internet and determined it was reliable enough the mission finally decided to quite paying for the use of one of the mexican commercial HF freqs and the radios were taken out of service. They have let me do what I will with the radios. They are simple single channel 100 watt radios that are currently crystaled just below the 80 meter band.

So, what do I do with them? Is there a market for single channel radios like these? I thought they could make nice digital stations for a preppers digital network. I'd have to re-crystal them and figure out how to turn down the power. I doubt they can handle digital duty cycle at 100 watts.




KK0G

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Re: Repurpose HF gear
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2014, 08:46:19 AM »
That's a good question, I have no idea what to do with them but they sound kind of interesting. It's kind of hard to see from the photo; what is the brand/model?
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

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gil

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Re: Repurpose HF gear
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2014, 01:09:03 PM »
I'd put them on Ebay.. You won't get much for them, but if people can convert them to 75m, they should sell.

Gil.

vwflyer

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Re: Repurpose HF gear
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2014, 02:07:47 PM »
Well, the radio in the photo is a Macromex, S.A. Macro-25 Movil. I think they are made in Agua Prieta, Sonora which borders Douglas, AZ. I've got two or three of this model and a few American made radios as well. I'm sure the ones made in Mexico are not FCC certified which wouldn't be a problem for hams wanting to convert them but it makes them unusable for commercial operations that might want one. I can't find anything online about any of them, the American made ones or the Mexican ones. I've never come across anything like them on eBay and have no idea what one would bring. Like Gil says, probably not much. That is why I was hoping they could be put to good use in some prepper function. My brother is a prepper in the Seattle area and he has his Tech license and is working on his General. I would like to set up some kind of a sked with him when he gets it but he needs a radio as well. He doesn't have a lot to spend on one so I thought that if he took one of these and we could recrystal it for the 20 meter band or something we could have a fairly reliable digital sked. The 80 meter band would work too if I had any prepper buddies that lived closer to me but unfortunately I don't.
 
I haven't started using Winlink yet because I don't have a Window PC but I plan on getting one soon or installing Window on my Mac so that I can start using it. (why can't someone make a Mac client for Winlink?) Could a person use a single channel radio for Winlink if he found a good reliable gateway?

KK0G

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Re: Repurpose HF gear
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2014, 03:00:32 PM »
The fact that they may or may not be FCC certified doesn't make any difference for amateur use, doesn't apply.


I'm just guessing here since I know practically nothing about these specific radios but I highly doubt you'll be able to re-crystal them to the 20 meter band without doing other significant modifications. Re-crystaling to the 75 meter band would likely be relatively easy though.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

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vwflyer

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Re: Repurpose HF gear
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2014, 03:11:29 PM »
I have my doubts about going as high as 20 meters myself but I just noticed that while most of these are at 2.525 MHz one of the Mexican ones was at one time at least crystaled at 5 MHz so they apparently can go up a couple of bands at least.

gil

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Re: Repurpose HF gear
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2014, 03:50:43 PM »
Those radios seem like a good solution for a group to keep in touch in a TEOTWAWKI situation. Turn them into 75m with a cheap crystal change and install a dipole, which most likely will be low enough for NVIS, and you're all set... At least on 75m you can test them and set-up a sked...

Gil.

Lamewolf

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Re: Repurpose HF gear
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2015, 01:16:30 PM »
Happy New Years eve gang. Since you all have your thinking caps on from PuJo's question I figured I'd slip one in myself. About 3 years ago the mission I fly for decommissioned all of its HF stations. We used to use them to keep in touch with the missionaries living in the mountains of Mexico. We had a morning sked with them and they'd let us know that they were all right and if they needed supplies flown to them or if the plane needed to go out there for some other reason. After all of them got satilite Internet and determined it was reliable enough the mission finally decided to quite paying for the use of one of the mexican commercial HF freqs and the radios were taken out of service. They have let me do what I will with the radios. They are simple single channel 100 watt radios that are currently crystaled just below the 80 meter band.

So, what do I do with them? Is there a market for single channel radios like these? I thought they could make nice digital stations for a preppers digital network. I'd have to re-crystal them and figure out how to turn down the power. I doubt they can handle digital duty cycle at 100 watts.

Oh, those are of no use to hams.  Just pack them up and ship them to me for proper disposal !

Really though, I could see them in use on 75 meters as some sort of regional network.  Looks interesting !

vwflyer

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Re: Repurpose HF gear
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2015, 01:42:36 PM »
Yeah, that's basically what they were used for, just not by hams on the ham bands. I was looking again at them and it actually looks like most of them are set to 4.5MHz-5MHz. I'm thinking it may be just as easy to make them work on the 40 meter band. It may prove to be a better band depending on how they are used. One of them has a five position channel selector switch making it almost as versatile as a real ham radio ::)

Lamewolf

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Re: Repurpose HF gear
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2015, 11:20:20 AM »
Yeah, that's basically what they were used for, just not by hams on the ham bands. I was looking again at them and it actually looks like most of them are set to 4.5MHz-5MHz. I'm thinking it may be just as easy to make them work on the 40 meter band. It may prove to be a better band depending on how they are used. One of them has a five position channel selector switch making it almost as versatile as a real ham radio ::)

The 5 channel model could be crystalled for 60 meters if it uses upper side band !

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Re: Repurpose HF gear
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2015, 11:20:20 AM »