Tacos Digest, Vol 31, Issue 3

Glenn Baumgartner gwbaumgartner at erols.com
Sat Sep 3 23:23:22 CDT 2005

Some planning info on Solar power if we get more serious on this overall 
effort.  Solar panels cost  about $5 per Watt  of RATED power.  In truth you 
get no more than 75% of RATED power from a solar panel.  EVER.  Also 
remember you only get about 5-6 good full sun hours per day plus about 4 
more of half sun or less.  Second cold hard fact (and I have built many of 
these things for the govt)  it takes at LEAST five to six TIMES the actual 
DC load in the installed bank of solar panels.. IE.  if you need 100 watts 
you have to install at least 500 watts of panels,.  Better yet 600. if you 
are serious about keeping your system on the air.  Ok now we have a $5 x 
600W =$3000 bill so far and we haven't bought any batteries, wire & cable, 
racks for the panels, charge controllers, backup battery charger (part time 
power can be assumed some of the time) ,  or  inverters (there is ALWAYS 
something that demands 110 AC)  It can be done but it is not as simple as 
most people think is. By the way you also MUST add a generator also.  It can 
be as small as the little 1 or 2  KW Honda but you still MUST have one 
sooner or later. In a best case situation you can keep about a 200 watt load 
alive during extended cloudy periods with a little Honda and about 1.0 to 
1.5 gallons of gas per day assuming you have a battery bank on the solar 
system and you have efficient battery chargers connected to the Honda. 
Essentially no solar power system ever build can actually sustain a 24/7 
constant load with out a generator sooner or later.     Sounds bleak doesn't 
it.  In truth there are many successful systems operating every day but they 
take care and management, AND an on-site system owner/operator unless you 
have a very simple system like an FM repeater or one heck of a lot of money 
for a grossly oversize system.Oh yes and an auto-start generator with a 500 
gal gas or diesel tank.  Having said all that lets get on with it and at 
least try to find a practical solution.  Interesting challenge. Glenn b. 
----- Original Message ----- 
From: <tacos-request at amrad.org>
To: <tacos at amrad.org>
Sent: Saturday, September 03, 2005 1:01 PM
Subject: Tacos Digest, Vol 31, Issue 3

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> Today's Topics:
>   1. Spam ? - AMRAD efforts on  Gulf Coast project  (Frank Gentges)
>   2. BPL at ARRL Hqs (Andre Kesteloot)
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message: 1
> Date: Fri, 02 Sep 2005 15:23:52 -0400
> From: Frank Gentges <metavox at earthlink.net>
> Subject: Spam ? - AMRAD efforts on  Gulf Coast project
> To: Tacos <tacos at amrad.org>
> Message-ID: <4318A6C8.3000109 at earthlink.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
> Gents,
> Samudra, N3RDX, has gotten together some assets from Bangladesh and they
> are currently on their way to the US.  They can provide broadband
> connections over a distance of at least 30 kM.  The owners of these have
> agreed to divert them from the original purpose and to make them
> available for use in the disaster.  His pearler email provided more 
> detail.
> He has been in contact with the Red Cross and they are interested in
> deploying the system.  The concept is to connect to the Internet via a
> T1 circuit on one end.  On the other end, we at AMRAD need to think
> through just what we can connect to be useful in the disaster relief.
> My first thought is to connect in a number of VoIP telephones.  We could
> use the little VoIP adapter that Maitland used at the AMRAD van demo at
> the VWS Winterfest.  With several of these we can connect each to a
> Western Electric 2500 telephone.  These telephone instruments are old
> and not too fancy but they are really rugged and will do the best job of
> functioning in the heavy and harsh use we can anticipate.
> We should also provide at least an Internet web browser so telephone
> users can search Anywho.com or other sites to find telephone numbers of
> people they want to call.  We need to look into options for the computer
> and display.  Additional computers would be very useful for web browsing.
> The BMSTDRA units Samudra is providing need 24 volts at 3.4 amps.  We
> could use a pair of deep cycle 12 volt batteries.  We will need to power
> up an Ethernet switch, the telephone adapters and the computers so we
> need to think through how we would do this.  We will need to provide
> charge to the batteries so we also need to figure out how to do this.
> The Red Cross will consider funding some of the parts of our setup so
> don't just think of stuff out of our own personal stocks.  We should
> show them a resourceful approach that does not spend a lot of money.
> We also need to come up with a deployment, training and support approach
> so the system will go down and be setup and operated.
> We will meet after tacos tomorrow, Sep 3rd to go over all this.
> Normally we would gather at ARRL office but Paul is out of town.
> Instead, the best option is to meet in Samudra's apartment which is only
> a few blocks from tacos.  He will arrange for us to park as guests.
> Frank K0BRA
> ------------------------------
> Message: 2
> Date: Sat, 03 Sep 2005 09:58:57 -0400
> From: Andre Kesteloot <andre.kesteloot at verizon.net>
> Subject: BPL at ARRL Hqs
> To: AMRAD Tacos <tacos at amrad.org>
> Message-ID: <4319AC21.3030503 at verizon.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii; format=flowed
> BPL has come to ARRL Headquarters, and preliminary indications are that 
> the
> newly installed Motorola Powerline LV system will prove Amateur
> Radio-friendly. Motorola approached ARRL last fall seeking input on a BPL
> design that could avoid many or most of the interference problems that 
> have
> plagued some other BPL systems. This past May, Motorola introduced its
> Powerline LV wireless-to-low voltage BPL solution at the United Telecom
> Council's "Telecom 2005." The ARRL said at the time that it was 
> "encouraged"
> by Motorola's approach but reserved judgment until it had the chance to 
> see
> a system up close. A Motorola Powerline LV system was put into operation 
> at
> Maxim Memorial Station W1AW in late August.
> "Theory is great, but the final proof is in how things work out in
> practice," says ARRL Laboratory Manager Ed Hare, W1RFI, who's been working
> with Motorola Principal Staff Engineer Dick Illman, AH6EZ.
> Motorola says its Powerline LV system, which unites its Canopy wireless
> broadband Internet platform with enhanced ham band-notching HomePlug
> technology, drastically reduces the potential for widespread BPL
> interference. Illman says it does this by restricting the application of
> high-frequency RF to low-voltage (220 V ac) power lines instead of to
> medium-voltage wires that line many residential streets.
> In addition, Motorola took the HomePlug modem concept to the next step by
> adding tunable hardware filters to deepen the notches and improve the
> immunity of the system to nearby ham transmitters.
> At ARRL, a Motorola Canopy wireless link was set up between ARRL
> Headquarters and W1AW across the parking lot. The system's connected into
> the League's local area network on the Headquarters side and into a 220 V 
> ac
> power drop on the W1AW end. Hare and Illman then spent several days 
> checking
> whether the system affected reception on the Amateur Radio bands at W1AW.
> "Although more testing needs to be done over the coming weeks, the initial
> results for Amateur Radio were positive," Hare said. "While it would be 
> hard
> to envision a BPL system closer to more antennas and receivers, we found
> only a few dB of BPL noise on one ham band using the highest-gain antenna 
> at
> W1AW aimed right at the W1AW building."
> Hare and Illman also looked into the Powerline LV system's immunity to the
> interference from nearby transmitters. As they were testing the system, 
> Hare
> recounts, W1AW fired up its bulletin transmissions, putting out with more
> than 1000 W simultaneously on seven bands.
> "I could hardly imagine a more difficult environment, with part of the
> BPL-system wiring 30 feet from W1AW's antennas," Hare remarked, "but the
> system continued as if the station wasn't even on the air."
> Hare says that based on what he's seen so far, Amateur Radio operators
> should be able to operate fixed and mobile in close proximity to a 
> Motorola
> Powerline LV installation. The Powerline LV system will remain at ARRL 
> while
> Hare continues to test the system.
> ------------------------------
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> End of Tacos Digest, Vol 31, Issue 3
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