Quartzfest 2023: PAPA Portable Event Node


Quartzfest is Sunday January 22 thru Saturday January 28 and takes place 7 miles south of Quartzite, AZ… on US 95 at La Paz Valley Road. It is a ham radio/camping/learning/living experience.

If you are attending Quartzfest, you can stay connected to your PAPA friends back home via the PAPA Portable Event Node!

The portable node is not a repeater, it’s a half-duplex node like the commercial products that are currently available such as the ClearNode.

446.500 Simplex

To use the PAPA Portable Node, program your radio for 446.500 MHz simplex. The telemetry (courtesy beeps) is the same as the repeaters on the PAPA network. As long as you wait for the beeps, you won’t detect any major difference between operating the portable node or one of the PAPA repeaters.

The Details…

The PAPA Portable Event Node is a portable AllStar node for use at PAPA events or emergency deployment. Unlike a typical hotspot, the PAPA portable node is capable of operating with an RF output power of up to 12 Watts. Placed on the top of a building or mountain, the portable node can provide quick reliable fill-in or extension coverage for the PAPA System. The node can operate from either an AC or DC power source and automatically switches between the two to provide instantaneous backup. In addition, the node can provide DC power to ancillary devices and charge cell phones or other USB type devices.

The node can be configured to operate on a simplex channel (as it will be for Quartzfest) or on the reverse of a given PAPA repeater. For example, at an event outside the coverage of PAPA 1 on Oat Mtn., the node might operate on the same frequency and PL settings as the PAPA 1 repeater. If your handheld radio is programmed for the PAPA 1 repeater, you won’t have to make any changes to use the portable node.

As with any PAPA System project, the creation of the portable node was a team effort involving computers, radios, electrical and mechanical skills, and plenty of donated time. We hope you enjoy the new capability represented by the portable node.


Author: Ed KB6THO

Where shall I hike today?

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