Grant: Infrastructure Improvements of the PAPA System

Date: November 2021
Amount: $157,425

PAPA is a member-supported wide-area amateur radio network of inter-linked analog FM, D-STAR, DMR, and P25 digital voice repeaters, providing extensive coverage of the Southern California region and beyond. In addition to facilitating regular amateur communications for its members, PAPA supports a multitude of organizations that provide emergency and non-emergency communications for public safety, charity, and civic events. Unfortunately, commercial power failures have become commonplace in Southern California over the past few years as utility companies institute programs called Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) designed to reduce the threat of wildfires during high temperature or high wind events. The remote and rugged terrain of typical communications sites makes them vulnerable to frequent PSPS actions.

PAPA will use the ARDC grant to sustain off-grid operations during commercial power failures. PAPA intends to construct a purpose-built microwave backbone network with an independent source of Internet connectivity to provide digital IP connectivity between repeater sites. Finally, modern digital test equipment will allow PAPA to test, optimize, and maintain its’ Digital Mobile Radio (DMR), APCO Project 25 (P25), and D-STAR. digital repeaters.

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