The group has a a very wide variety of equipment at its disposal, including fixed, portable and mobile facilities. This article describes some of these facilities with pictures of some of the group equipment.
We are able to provide a wide range of communications systems such as point to point links, base stations talking to mobile and/or portable units, radio coverage of a wide area, or a particular course or route. We can also provide mobile asset tracking and have both mobile and handheld Direction Finding capability.
As well as voice communications we are also able provide data links.
In addition to members’ personal equipment, the group owns a substantial amount of equipment including generators, portable aerial systems and spare radios etc., plus the fixed and mobile facilities detailed below:
Major Group Facilities
Group Control station (Callsign G1SEH).
Our permanent control station is located at one of the hilltop forts on Portsdown Hill just to the north of Portsmouth There are two separate operator The left position has a dual band radio for the 144MHz and 433MHz bands with talkthrough, plus a separate 50MHz band radio. The right position has a multi band radio for the 50MHz, 144MHz and 433MHz bands with talkthrough between any two of these, plus a 70MHz radio.
The main operation desk – Fort Widley
Both positions have networked PC facilities including a connection with a printer and a further two terminals outside the radio room. (These terminals allow for other activities to take place without disturbing the actual radio operators). In addition to the usual applications, the left terminal in the radio room is the server for the group’s APRS digipeater (part of our vehicle tracking system; Callsign MB7UP) and the right terminal has Internet connection.
A number of aerials are available on the mast and these are cabled to a patch panel within the room for connection as required.
The station can be accessed at any time day or night and has generator back up in the case of mains failure
The Group has recently acquired a communications trailer to replace the Landrover that unfortunately reached the end of its useful life.
Conversion work is still in progress on the trailer but it ts is now operational.
The Trailer will have all of the functionality that was provided in the Landrover with the benefit of extra space and comfort.
The trailer is fitted with radios for the 70MHz, 144MHz and 433MHz, and APRS, and can accommodate other temporary radios (such as User Service sets or CB) if required. In addition to the rooftop aerials for short-range work, aerials can be mounted on the 40ft mast. The vehicle carries a 2.5kVA generator plus spare fuel and water in addition to necessities such as tools, cables, safety equipment, floodlights and facilities to make hot drinks.
There are two operator positions each having access to all radios via a CAIRO (Common Audio Interface for Radio Operation) system.
Other facilities available to the group
In addition to the Group facilities above, we also have access to equipment installed specifically for RAYNET use at a number of locations in the Group’s Area
Local Authorities in the SE Hants RAYNET area
The following local authorities have facilities for RAYNET operation:
The Borough Councils at Gosport, Fareham
The City Councils at Winchester and Portsmouth
East Hampshire District Council. (EHDC)
In most cases the equipment is stored on site for deployment into the appropriate room when required. A permanent dual band aerial for 144/433MHz is available at all locations.
At EHDC the installation is permanently installed in their emergency centre communications room.
A RAYNET installation is also provided at the Hampshire County Emergency Centre which is a shared resource for all Groups in the County.
APRS (Automatic Position Reporting System).
There are 3 Raynet APRS Digipeater Stations located at highpoints in Hampshire, linking into the national network. One of these stations GB7UP is located at Fort Widley. These digipeaters provide the ability to track and report the position of mobile stations over much of Hampshire.