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MSF5000 repeaters in 900mhz - any interest?

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motor59
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MSF5000 repeaters in 900mhz - any interest?

Postby motor59 » Wed Dec 06, 2006 8:00 pm

I mentioned this about a year or so ago, and now it's come to fruition.

My local power company in NJ has just completed a statewide upgrade of their 896 trunked radio system, and they have about 100 MSF5000's to sell.

I know the Motorola tech that has been servicing them for the last 10-15 years, and he tells me that they're complete except for the 5mhz reference oscillator, and in good condition.

Sale price on these units hasn't been announced yet, but he expects them to ask $100-200 each.

Of course, that won't include shipping, which is the b!tch here, because I'm told that they weigh about 350 pounds apiece.

Is this something you guys would have an interest in? I can get more info is anyone wants it.
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Postby rodell » Wed Dec 06, 2006 9:06 pm

I would certainly be interested, but, if they are that heavy it might be out of reach. Maybe if we have ten or so headed around the country, we could get a freight rate.

If it is just me, it probably wouldn't be worth it.

Rob
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Postby kcbooboo » Thu Dec 07, 2006 4:30 am

Unless these are 350w stations, they should only weigh about 150 pounds each, which means you need two people to handle them.

I'd be interested in one or two. Even if I have to come down to NJ, it's not that far for me. Otherwise they could be shipped via truck.

A full model number would be very helpful to have.

Whatever happens to them, if they DO get shipped, make sure they're packed properly - on a pallet. Someone I know had a VHF station shipped from California - via UPS. The sender brought it to his local UPS store, and they just wrapped some cardboard around it and manhandled it onto the regular UPS truck. Needless-to-say, when it arrived, no one saw the damage until it had been opened. Besides being dropped, the cabinet was severely bent as were several assemblies inside. The front door had been pushed in, so that broke all the knobs and switches on the control tray. The VCOs had NOT been locked down for the trip. Why UPS even took this 150 pound item as one piece is still unknown. I haven't heard from the guy who received it since he ordered a bunch of parts to fix what got damaged.

Bob M.

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Doug
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Postby Doug » Thu Dec 07, 2006 4:32 am

I may have an interest as well. Anybody else from the midwest have an interest? We may be able to get creative with some shipping arrangements. I'm around the Chicago area.
Doug
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Postby W4WTF » Thu Dec 07, 2006 4:41 am

I am very interested in one or two.

What does it take to put one of these on a 902-927 split?

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Postby kcbooboo » Thu Dec 07, 2006 4:51 am

I hope you just have to program it and ignore the warning message about it being out-of-band. Normal receive would be 896-902. Normal transmit would be 935-941. It should receive fine and hopefully can be adjusted to transmit down at 927. Probably the VCO is the only thing that would complain.

Bob M.

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Postby n9upw » Thu Dec 07, 2006 6:43 am

I would love to have one...and I'm in the Midwest....about 90 miles east of Chi town in N. Indiana so maybe we can get a midwest shipping coalition together!

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Postby Vcom » Thu Dec 07, 2006 7:39 am

Pending more information per Bob's post, I would be interested as well.

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alex
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Postby alex » Thu Dec 07, 2006 7:53 am

Hrm. The batboard ham 900 mhz smartzone omnilink system is born. :)

IF you all drive down to NJ to pick up repeaters - we all might as well have dinner.

-Alex

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xmo
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Postby xmo » Thu Dec 07, 2006 9:10 am

What we need are some IP linking widgets to tie them together and we can have a nationwide Bat system!

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Postby HumHead » Thu Dec 07, 2006 10:38 am

I was sort of thinking the same thing. I could be definitely interested in somewhere between one and several. I even have a couple of sites in mind...

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Postby alex » Thu Dec 07, 2006 10:42 am

We would probably get the ny/nj area pretty well covered around nyc/westchester area I'm sure with the number of random people who can find us space :)

Gotta find a MTX9000 now I guess, and a mobile for the truck :-P

Who's gonna get the IP linking goin?

If they are 350w stations - i could see us having a lot of coverage fun depending on where we can squirrel one.

-Alex

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Postby HumHead » Thu Dec 07, 2006 1:56 pm

I'm dead serious about doing an IP linked linked Batlabs 902 network. There's always Echolink, or maybe /\/\y 2 Cents will want to jump in...

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Postby mam1081 » Thu Dec 07, 2006 3:20 pm

I'd be interested in one - we'll have to see about the freight charge!

A 900 batlabs net - that'd be pretty neat-o...
mam1081

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Postby rrfd43 » Thu Dec 07, 2006 3:34 pm

Hey, if anyone gets close to Rochester, NY with one the same could happen here.

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Postby W4WTF » Thu Dec 07, 2006 6:28 pm

Hey my repeater site has DSL, so linking is possible.

I alreday intent to blanket western NC with enough 900mhz machines to have the best coverage of any system.

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Postby SlimBob » Thu Dec 07, 2006 8:20 pm

Interesting. Weight is an issue, as is cost (for me at the moment).... Perhaps a rented truck to Dayton and disperal there...
An armed society is a *polite* society.

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Postby Jonathan KC8RYW » Thu Dec 07, 2006 9:32 pm

SlimBob wrote:Interesting. Weight is an issue, as is cost (for me at the moment).... Perhaps a rented truck to Dayton and disperal there...

And if you have extra space, you can lug off the Micor base that was in the 40 yard dumpster on Sunday last year. :-?
73 DE KC8RYW
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SYN1894B - V3m Sprint-branded Battery Cover

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Postby kswanson71 » Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:23 am

I'd be interested in 3...

Kevin - N8WHG

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motor59
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Postby motor59 » Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:53 pm

I'll try to get more data (complete model number, for instance) and some pics by the end of this week.

kcbooboo - I'm about 95% sure these are not 350w units, unless they're running in low power mode. They were licensed for 150w output, so I can't imagine they would have been much higher power than that. I can tell you that they're damned heavy, and top heavy at that.

I may have posted this a little early - due to the typical end-of-the-year rush to get projects completed, the majority of these units are still in shelters throughout the state, and not yet at the distribution center. But I expect them to start arriving no later than mid-January.

Will keep y'all posted, and I'm trying to work on 'special batlabs pricing'. :D
"We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm. "

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Postby SlimBob » Wed Dec 13, 2006 9:30 pm

motor59 wrote:I may have posted this a little early - due to the typical end-of-the-year rush to get projects completed, the majority of these units are still in shelters throughout the state, and not yet at the distribution center. But I expect them to start arriving no later than mid-January.

Will keep y'all posted, and I'm trying to work on 'special batlabs pricing'. :D


Excellent, please do.
An armed society is a *polite* society.

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Postby kcbooboo » Thu Dec 14, 2006 12:51 am

Oh yeah, they're definitely top-heavy. A 110w UHF station has both the power supply and power amp (each weighs about 40 lbs) mounted at the very top of the station. Maybe that's great for the little bit of heat they throw off, but horrible for stability. The depth of the stations - 10 inches- doesn't help the stability either. I'm always working on the RF tray which is placed WAAAAAAAAY at the bottom. If you happen to have a second person around to help move it to a bench to work on, that's great, but if you're at the site where it's sitting on the floor, I can tell you that it's no fun lying on your belly to look at anything down there.

Merry Holidays. Let us know what becomes available next year.

Bob M.

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Postby SlimBob » Thu Dec 14, 2006 11:00 am

kcbooboo wrote:Oh yeah, they're definitely top-heavy. A 110w UHF station has both the power supply and power amp (each weighs about 40 lbs) mounted at the very top of the station. Maybe that's great for the little bit of heat they throw off, but horrible for stability.


I've been told this is good for moving air by convection as you have all of your heat the top. Whether it's best to have the amp above the power supply or the power supply above the amp, I have no idea.. I just know when those caps dry out, you have a problem. I've been trying to figure out the best placement for this in my own 900MHz repeater cabinet.
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Postby W4WTF » Thu Dec 14, 2006 7:37 pm

For those of us without a lot of MSF5000 experience, how hard will the missing part (5mhz reference oscillator) be to find and install, and will these do a 25mhz split on 902-927 easily?

If anyone from the NC/SC/TN/VA/GA area is interested if the sales come down, let me know and maybe we can work a deal on moving them.

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Postby MSS-Dave » Fri Dec 15, 2006 5:02 am

KF4PEP wrote:For those of us without a lot of MSF5000 experience, how hard will the missing part (5mhz reference oscillator) be to find and install, and will these do a 25mhz split on 902-927 easily?

If anyone from the NC/SC/TN/VA/GA area is interested if the sales come down, let me know and maybe we can work a deal on moving them.


They do 902/927 perfectly (at least the CLB station I had..). Programming requires the R1800 series suitcase, Andy Brinkley should be able to burn a eeprom. As to the reference, I was able to come up with one from a PURC paging station. I don't have the book here but I think the reference board will take other frequencies like 100 kHz, xmo or kcbooboo may ring in on that. It took about +10dBm of external 5 mHz to get it to lock by the way. The MSF is a great station to work with, lots of parts and docs out there, they are a beast though. If you move one, make sure to remove both of the PA assemblys to avoid dropping a nut.. :wink:

Enjoy!

Dave

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Postby SlimBob » Fri Dec 15, 2006 10:51 am

KF4PEP wrote:TN/VA/GA area is interested if the sales come down, let me know and maybe we can work a deal on moving them.


Include AL in the the list... ;-)
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Postby motor59 » Fri Dec 15, 2006 5:04 pm

OK - lets see if this works...

Pictures!

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
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Postby kcbooboo » Fri Dec 15, 2006 5:38 pm

Observations and comments from the photos:

Two PAs means two power supplies behind them. These are 300-350 watt stations guys. Well, at least the one in the photo. This also translates to almost one pound of weight per watt of power.

The unit at the very bottom is the high-stability oscillator (HSO), or part of it. Doesn't look like anything's in it.

The junction panel has two N jacks for the RX and TX connections plus one BNC jack for the adjacent stations to get the HSO signal. Or this could be a reference input for this station's HSO. I don't know if the HSO needs an external reference, or if there's a vesion that just has the buffers in it and it requires something to lock on to.

These are analog-plus, which means they program with a PC and RSS.

The fan deck is used on stations over 150 watts. Above it, but below the lower PA, you can see the dummy load heatsink for the built-in isolator, followed by a low-pass filter (the tubular thingy) and most likely an external wattmeter.

Hope this helps. If anyone has additional knowledge, please throw it into the fire. I've only worked on 450 MHz stations so far.

Bob M.

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Postby xmo » Fri Dec 15, 2006 7:44 pm

"...These are 300-350 watt stations guys..."
-----------------------------------------------

Not.

C85GSB RF Power specification 75-150 Watts.

Right on about the 2 PA's, 2 power supplies = 340 pounds station weight.

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Postby MSS-Dave » Sat Dec 16, 2006 6:56 pm

xmo wrote:"...These are 300-350 watt stations guys..."
-----------------------------------------------

Not.

C85GSB RF Power specification 75-150 Watts.

Right on about the 2 PA's, 2 power supplies = 340 pounds station weight.


There you go, 150 watts all day. The IPA runs the 8-9 watts of the exciter up to 135-140 max (variable) into the final PA which is only 3 dB gain or so. Also, the GSB in all intents is just like a CXB station except there is no secure module and I don't think you could use one unless you were to do some hacking in the RSS to allow it. Since this was in trunking duty, odds are 99% that the external reference needed would be 5 MHz. The only things missing in the bottom tray are the HSO and the regulated
power supply for it, there is another board which is used for digital modulation in there, just sits.

Dave

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Postby RWhite » Mon Dec 18, 2006 5:48 pm

This is almost exactly the same MSF5000 I recently acquired (MSF5000 C85GFB5203AT, Type GFB), almost to the date it was built!. Mine puts out a minimum of 125 watts. Tuned to 939.xxx/900.yyy MHz, set up for trucked operation. I also have the Wildcard option box sitting on top of the SSCB.

I finally got the software from Motorola last week and now am trying to find a slow computer. I probably will use my old Sony laptop, but it may not be old enough. Won't hurt to try, though. The manual has a lot more info than what I was expecting, about one inch thick. It arrived with the floppy in about 4 days after I ordered it on-line.
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Postby kcbooboo » Mon Dec 18, 2006 6:14 pm

I stand corrected. On the UHF and VHF stations, two PA/PS modules are used to get 300 watts. On 900, only 150 watts.

Roger: just try any computer you have. No need for something slow unless it doesn't work at all. It just has to be booted into true DOS, so make a floppy for it and you should be good to go.

Bob M.

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Re: MSF5000 repeaters in 900mhz - any interest?

Postby spareparts » Mon Dec 18, 2006 6:30 pm

motor59 wrote:I know the Motorola tech that has been servicing them for the last 10-15 years, and he tells me that they're complete except for the 5mhz reference oscillator, and in good condition.


My work site has a GPS time/frequency standard by Meridian. Would the 5 mhz output from this work?

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Postby xmo » Mon Dec 18, 2006 7:16 pm

Check the specs on the 5 MHz output of your Meridian standard. The site standards that Motorola uses [e.g. Efratom, Trak] provide 5 MHz sine wave outputs at nominal 1 V RMS into 50 ohm loads and are cabled to the stations with coax such as RG142 / RG400.

BTW, the high power VHF MSF puts out 350 Watts, the UHF puts out 225 Watts.

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Postby kb8ukl » Mon Dec 18, 2006 9:15 pm

kcbooboo wrote:
Roger: just try any computer you have. No need for something slow unless it doesn't work at all. It just has to be booted into true DOS, so make a floppy for it and you should be good to go.

Bob M.


Thats true, and if you do get a "runtime error" then a program to slow down the processor (ie. "mo-slow" or "slowdown.com")will probably do the trick.

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Postby RWhite » Tue Dec 19, 2006 6:20 am

My son is bringing over the laptop this weekend and I will see what happens. I have off all of next week, so hopefully I will make some headway.

I have some documentation from WA1MIK on interfacing the repeater to a CAT controller where in the write-up, he has listed the repeater setup as it was finalized. Maybe this will keep me from selecting the wrong mode. I scanned thru the software manual and it has a myriad of terms I am not familiar with. All I am wanting to do is eventually end up with a TX, RX and a CAT controller. I was told that I should get it working first with the internal controller to wring things out before I go to the CAT controller.
Roger, W5RDW
Murphy, Texas

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Postby spareparts » Thu Dec 21, 2006 1:35 pm

xmo wrote:Check the specs on the 5 MHz output of your Meridian standard. The site standards that Motorola uses [e.g. Efratom, Trak] provide 5 MHz sine wave outputs at nominal 1 V RMS into 50 ohm loads and are cabled to the stations with coax such as RG142 / RG400.

BTW, the high power VHF MSF puts out 350 Watts, the UHF puts out 225 Watts.


Checked with Meridian, they have a whitepaper on interfacing an MSF2000. Looks like it will work.

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Postby kcbooboo » Thu Dec 21, 2006 2:38 pm

XMO said: "BTW, the high power VHF MSF puts out 350 Watts, the UHF puts out 225 Watts."

Yeah, yeah, I now know that. "I've learned my lesson, X (Q - quote from StarTrek:TNG)".

But 300 watts is close enough to 225 and 350 that people will get the idea. Besides, that's the power the station is RATED for; it will make more power (for less time) if you push it a bit. I've seen C64 (75w) repeater stations, single circulator, that output over 100 watts from an internal filter/duplexer; now that's smokin'!

Bob M.

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Postby SlimBob » Mon Dec 25, 2006 1:50 am

Wow. I'm drooling...
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Postby n9wys » Mon Jan 22, 2007 12:43 am

I am also EXTREMELY interested, and will drive to NJ to pick up if I have to!! Let me know the final cost - PLEASE!

(Picture Horshack waving his hand and screaming, "OOOH!! OOOH!!!")
:lol:
Mark - N9WYS

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Postby W3ZR » Mon Jan 22, 2007 3:28 am

n9wys wrote:I am also EXTREMELY interested, and will drive to NJ to pick up if I have to!! Let me know the final cost - PLEASE!

(Picture Horshack waving his hand and screaming, "OOOH!! OOOH!!!")
:lol:


I am interested also, I could see this on our 2400' tower site, once the
new stick is in the air... I could feed in from IRLP or EL....
73,

Bob, W3ZR / VE3SXZ / WQGH613 / PG00047486 & T000000033 Both + RADAR

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Postby motor59 » Thu Jan 25, 2007 7:15 pm

I hope to have an update for you guys within the next week or two. It's definitely coming together! :wink:
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msf question

Postby George » Mon Jan 29, 2007 2:37 pm

Okay, I have a question...

Isn't this an 800 Mhz station? Since when is a 85 a 900 Mhz station? Shouldn't this be a 87?

Is the numbering different for MSF stations?

If this is a 900 Mhz station, count me in because I am in center city Philly. How far is that from where these are located?

George

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Postby ka8ypy » Fri Feb 02, 2007 4:49 pm

I am interested for 2 or 3 for the DC area... 8)

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Postby Radio_Cowboy » Tue Feb 13, 2007 3:21 pm

Any Update on these?
Y'all are just Jealous that the voices only talk to ME

flecom
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Postby flecom » Wed Feb 14, 2007 8:22 am

i want one if we can maybe ship them in multiple packages

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Postby tvsjr » Wed Feb 14, 2007 8:34 am

Depending on cost and freight to Dallas, TX, I might be interested in one or two. Never played 900 before, but I wouldn't mind giving it a shot!

Toddr
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Total newbie, quick questions.

Postby Toddr » Thu Feb 15, 2007 11:30 am

I don't know jack about UHF, but I never let new ideas slow me down. I am trying to create a wireless community network, and I have found some MSF-5000 on a surplus auction.
My questions are:
do I need a license to operate these radios?
If yes, is it hard to get?
and can I use these for computer networking? Mesh Networking?
What kind of Range can expect? I only need to cover one-two mile radius right now.
Any help would be appreciated, Todd

Radioman01
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MSF-5000 on 900mhz

Postby Radioman01 » Fri Feb 16, 2007 4:54 pm

Motor59

can you give us more info on these, i will drive down from Ma for a couple
and would be willing to join to the 900mhz IRLP 900 only network in
RI and Ma

and i also ma be able to do NH

Tony

n1pj
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Postby n1pj » Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:14 am

I am defintely interested in one. I can drive down to NJ to pick it up. I can also set up on a batlabs 900 mhz ham channel in Central MA. I could probably cover worcester county.


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