RAM Radio Experiments



March 23, 2022 - Newton Visit


Benjamin Weitzel and I made a snowmachine trip up to Newton Peak. We found the site in perfect order.

Here is Ben opening the door. Check out the Anvil Mountain old White Alice site, straight behind his butt.

The Northeast tiedown is shown. Vertical from the corner straight down to a duckbill anchor. Chains to another duckbill about 6 feet away.

The building had shifted about 1/4 inch. Probably the wind shaking let it find its natural state. Come summer, will secure it to the wood base.

Snow Inside

Upon opening the door we found a tiny amount of show. This is from snow blowing past the door seals in the four 80 mph windstorms we had up there. Not bad. Radios may not need to be snowproofed inside.


About a week before, I had 'scoped' the solar panels, the east pair were iced. However, upon visiting the site, we were pleasantly suprised that ALL the panels were snow and ice free!

The sun warmed up the panels, and the ice sloughed off. You can see the accumulation beneath the panels, on the ground.

Better yet, the red bank (only one hooked up) was at full charge.

March 21, 2022 - Cell2Jack and Repeaters

Update: Cell2Jack has been operating flawlessly since October 10. 5 months continuous. Draw is 100 ma at 12v.

The ARCOM RC-210 refuses to work. The first one would not take programming and was sent back. It was repaired by Arcom and sent back. He said the bootloader had gone bad.

The second ARCOM was connected up. It started locking up. One morning I woke up, and the PTT light was on. It would not release. I had to reboot the RC-210. Next day, the COS on port 3 was lit. There is nothing hooked to port 3. It would not take programming, and would not work as a controller. Rebooted.

Day three, the COS on port 2 lit up. Again, everything locked up.

I am not sure I want to use an RC-210. But will try the repaired unit soon. In the meantime, I found out that MCC, Micro Computer Concepts still makes and sells their 1000V controller. RAM had one of these about 12 years ago on a GE repeater. It worked for years without a hickup, so I ordered two of these controllers. They shipped today. We shall see.

December 2, 2021 -- Daniels Repeater

In preparation of making Newton the new Hub site, with regular VHF split, we ordered a VHF MT-3 Synthesized Daniels Repeater from K7DOU, in Utah. He is the foremost expert on Daniels.

Daniels MT3

Copyright © 2021, Ramon Gandia, AL7X

This repeater has been programmed with all the repeater pairs in the 146-147 range, so if we need to move frequency....

Along with the Daniels, the whole caboodle is on its way:

  • Daniels MT3, initial channel 146.76 Standard -600 kHz split
  • Arcom RC-210 controller. With GPS Clock and Phone Patch
  • Sinclair Q2330 6-cavity Res-Lok VHF Duplexer
  • Sinclair Q3220 4-cavity Res-Lok UHF Duplexer
  • Spectra MX921 UHF Repeater (for Hub)
  • Cell-2-Jack for phone line
  • Incredible number of doodads, gahickeys and franistats.

Note there is no UHF link to the hub. Since both the Hub UHF repeater, and the VHF Daniels are in the same building, we just tie them together with a wire.

Over the next few months all will be tied together, tested, burnt-in.

Now, the exciting part! Since the present 147.15 Newton repeater works well, and is inside a watertight container and has a UHF link. It can be deployed to any site we want as as long as is in UHF range of hub.

The Cell2Jack

Cell2Jack on my desk

Copyright © 2021, Ramon Gandia, AL7X

November 5, 2021 -- Cell2Jack

The Cell2Jack was put on test mode October 10. It has run flawlessly since then: no bluetooth interruptions.

When hooked it up to a 12v/USB adapter, I get:

  • 100 ma quiescent (this is long term draw)
  • 180 ma during a call. Once call ends, about 2 minutes
    to return to quiescent

Picture shows the Cell2Jack, cell phone and a desk phone. Long term tests are being done with a Samsung Galaxy S4 with as many apps as possible disabled, and the screen brightness dim, but useable. Screen timeout 15 seconds.

I tested the setup for radio noise; all quiet VHF and UHF.

The idea here is to replace the HUB site phone line with a cellular connecton. Since the HUB site is solar powered, this unit would allow us to place the hub at ANY location that has cell service.

No more wires! Maybe move HUB to Newton?

November 5, 2021 -- One more comm shelter obtained.

One more comm shelter building obtained. Picture shortly.

November 3, 2021 -- Spotting Scope

Since the Newton site is in view from my house, I got a 20-40-60 power telescope with tripod. It is so strong, you can read a newspaper headline from my house.

Picture as as soon as I figure out the scope-to-cell-camera adapter. Perfect to observe icing, solar panels, etc!

October 24, 2021 -- Can't get to Newton

Tried to Jeep up to Newton, snow too deep. We could have made it by snowmachine, but they are not ready yet.

This is not fatal. Newton ran for years with 12 batteries and a 65 watt solar panel. Right now, 12 new batteries, and 200 watts of solar panels connected. Will try later in the season.

October 24, 2021 -- Voltage Check at Hub

Drove out to the hub site by the VOR. All secure. Building dry inside.

  • GREEN bank: 12.9 volts. 9 Batteries, 2 solar panels.
  • RED Bank: 2 panels, 12 batteries, nothing connected.
  • Radio voltage after diode combiner, 12.1 volts.

All within spec. RED bank will be worked on soon. No rush.

October 13, 2021 -- Arcom RC-210 Controller

Rack Mount RC-210 controller

This controller appears ideal for our ham radio purposes, regardless of what repeater radio we hook up to it.

Power draw is only 70ma

Can connect three radios, or two radios and IRLP.

Any port can be connected to any other port as needed.

Located at the Hub, only one radio to port1

Located at the proposed hub location on Newton; the Newton VHF repeater would be on port2, the hub UHF repeater on port1. The present linking UHF transceiver on Newton would not be needed as the connection is by wires from the VHF unit to the Arcom.

Temperatures and voltages can be read on demand by sending touch tones to it. Switch sensors like Door open, etc. are available, and relay controls such as "Turn on the Solar Panel Deicers for one hour" is available.

Phone autopatch, of course.

I am currently digesting the manual to learn more of its features.

PS: Ordered two on 11/7/2021. Each with real time clock and phone patch. One with voice delay module. Expected early December.

Stay tuned!

October 10, 2021 -- Cell2Jack

This units enables a conventional desk phone to work out via a cell phone. No landline needed.

All wired up and under test for reliability and current draw.


  • Q. Power. Is it excessive for solar?
  • A. Tests indicate about 0.2 amperes at 5 volts for both the Cell2Jack and the Cell Phone.
  • Q. Low Temperatures?
  • A. Touching the unit, feels warm. If the unit and cell phone were on an insulated pouch, both would stay warm.

  • Q. Bluetooth?
  • A. The wire going to the phone is for charging only. The actual voice calls go from cell2jack to phone via bluetooth.


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