Grant: System-wide DC Power Backup

Date: January 2023
Amount: $9,328

The ECE Repeater Group, Inc. manages a digital microwave network on amateur radio bands spanning from San Francisco to Salinas, CA; a 441 MHz simulcast/voted repeater system; and in Salinas, a 147 MHz repeater. Additionally, they hold many site leases for other uses, including a lease for the ham shack on San Bruno Mountain that hosts several microwave and repeater systems. Their previous grant allowed for upgrades to the aforementioned repeater system. However, it was not anticipated that the system would require a different backup voltage (currently 12V, but 48V are needed), and increased use of the system has resulted in multiple interruptions. Furthermore, two of their key sites do not have an on-site generator; this created the need for additional backup capacity to run until they can add a portable generator to the site.

This grant will provide funding for purchasing a used power system to be integrated with their current repeater hardware (that includes dual AC/48VDC power supplies). This will keep them operational through generator startup without having to perform a system reset. Additionally, power problems during winter storms and summer rotating outages will be reduced. Their systems will be able to be readily utilized by CERT and ARES organizations with minimal or no periods of unstable power.

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