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Networking GB3JV!

GB3JV progress is being made! I’m expecting the new Rx antenna to be delivered this week, so then I should be ready to get the contractors in for the antenna installation!

Modern Repeaters need a connection to the Internet, so I’ve just ordered a Cisco Meraki Z1 Teleworker “Gateway Router” to form a LAN-LAN VPN Connection to the home QTH from the repeater site. The Z1 is entry-level product and only supports 10Mb/s VPN throughput, but this will be quite adequate for the remote management of the repeater system. The heart of the management system will be an Intel “NUC” running Ubuntu 18.04, Home Assistant and VLC for the media streaming. I might add some interesting logic and web pages later on.

As an alternative for the networking back to the home QTH I was in two minds about setting up a 5GHz (license free) link vs. LTE cellular. For now I’ve opted for LTE cellular, but I might go for the fixed 5GHz link at a later date. For now LTE cellular is the most simple method with minimal work and risk.

The network operator is “SMARTY” (a new brand owned by H3G). It’s a bare bones product but provides unlimited everything (Data, Calls & Texts, EU Roaming etc.) and a fairly decent data performance and a 30-day contract with no significant “fair usage” policies, at least from what I can see. I’ve managed to get the -25% for life discounted introductory offer, so I’m paying £18.50/month, including the “Vodka and Tonic”. If you are interested and want a £10 Amazon voucher and a month’s free rental this is the referral link, that will also get me a free month to offset the cost of the repeater networking.

https://referme.to/rfRHCue

The repeater site is line-of-sight to the local cellular tower, with a sector antenna pointing straight at us about 500 yards away, so the connections should (hopefully) be reliable. If you want to get a cellular internet connection to your repeater site, I’d recommend looking at the Cisco RV130 or RV130W (Wireless) teleworker gateway. These firewall/routers have L2TP and IPSEC VPN capability, 4 LAN ports, a WAN port and a USB socket for a Cellular Modem. They are easy to set up using a GUI (you don’t need to be a CCIE and familiar with the IOS command line!), they are also end of sale, so can be picked up brand new for around £100, or even less. I’ve used the Cisco Meraki Z1 because I can easily add it to my existing Meraki home network and firewall and I get the benefit of the cloud management and the annual license of £20 includes next day hardware replacement, the RV130 is probably a better alternative if you’ve not already got a Cisco Meraki network.

Best Regards, Justin G8YTZ

BATC MiniTiouner Case

Want to give your BATC MiniTiouner a professional finish? I’m pleased to announce that a anodised aluminium front and rear panel kit will be available for shipping on 1st July to fit the Hammond 1455N1202 Enclosure. The kit includes:

Front Panel (as shown), Rear Panel including cut-out for an OLED display, OLED Display and pre-made cables.

Front Panel (Alpha, final version has spelling mistakes corrected and additional legends)

Press Release: GB3JV – NoV Received

Petts Wood, 3rd June 2019

Justin G8YTZ is delighted to announce that the NoV has been issued approving a new Digital Amateur TV Repeater located in Petts wood, Kent. The repeater output will be on 3404MHz, the input frequencies will be confirmed later. The transmitting antenna is a slot type made by Bert Modderman PE1RKI and the receive antennas are WiMO planar types. Justin hopes to have the repeater on test transmission in August 2019.

The Digital TV repeater is based on SR-Systems modules will initially use the bandwidth efficient DVB-S2 format with a future upgrade path to DVB-S-X2 when suitable receiving equipment is freely available. The 8PSK modulation format will be used @ 2000 kS/s; though more complicated to transmit, does have the advantage of requiring simple receiving equipment. A DVB-S2 Satellite Receiver, or better still a BATC Minitiouner, a small dish and an C-Band LNB is all you need to receive GB3JV and therefore encouraging the up-take of Amateur Television. Coverage predictions show reception possibilities across the heavily populated area of South-East & East London as well as parts of Essex.

If you are interested in Amateur TV, why not join the British Amateur TV Club and receive the excellent quarterly club magazine? Details at www.batc.org.uk

Justin would especially like to thank Noel Matthews G8GTZ for his help in obtaining the license NoV for this exciting new repeater, Bob Dunne for his help in acquiring the site and members of the Bromley & Distract Amateur Radio Society, Gareth G4XAT, Andy G4WGZ, John, G8MNY for technical construction, advice and support as well as the site owners who made the whole thing possible.

Information and updates are published on the repeater web site www.gb3jv.co.uk  

Justin G8YTZ