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Optimum SharkRf Mobile Setup
Posted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:40 am
I finally got a well working mobile setup with the following components:
- TPLink WR802N
- Verizon Jetpack AC791L
- ICOM ID5100
- Icom 51A Plus 2
- Samsung Tablet E9.6 on a RAM mount
- 150 Watts solar panel on car roof
- two 35AHr AGM Batteries (apart from the car battery)
- 2 External VHF/UHF antennas (one for the SharkRf and the other for the ID5100)
Everything works 100% and I had QSO's with excellent signal reports on DSTAR REF, XRF, XLX and DCS reflectors. DMR and Fusion to be tested soon.
Setup was pretty easy once I got some help from N8NL to program the radio. Photos and comments will come soon.
Posted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:02 am
The external antenna for the Shark RF gives me an additional range of about 0.75 miles with my handheld ID51 and a solid connection to the openspot in the car.
Internet Connection: First I used my iPhone connected to the TPLink, however, the phone was running on low battery very soon since the Personal Hotspot feature on the iPhone used a lot of power. I also wanted the Shark Hotspot working when the iPhone is not in my car. So I got the Verizon Jetpack on a shared data plan with my iPhone for only $20.00 per month extra. First tests showed that the Jetpack works very well and gives a solid DSTAR connection, better than the iPhone.
Left: ID5100 with Samsung Tablet on RAM mount. Right: Shark RF with external antenna connector and TPLink in the background.
Posted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:45 am
It was nice to discover the other than REF reflectors on DSTAR. My local repeater W4RNT only carries the REF protocol and cannot be linked to any other reflector type. The Shark RF also is compatible with the XRF, XLX and DCS reflectors. Those are a real asset when working on DSTAR internationally, looking for interesting nets or want to even cross link to DMR.
Interesting regularly scheduled nets and DSTAR round table. Cross link options to DMR. Multiprotocol reflectors. International talk groups. More at: http://xrefl.net/
Worldwide reflectors with country designations. Very good audio quality. QSO's in various languages. A lot of useful technical information by knowledgeable hams. More at: http://xlx.epf.lu/xlx270/index.php?show=reflectors
Mainly used in Germany but also other European Countries. Language: German, French, Spanish and English. More at: http://www.bm-dmr.uk/
How to change to a non REF reflector
with an ID51 or 5100.
The procedure is very simple.
1) In the DR mode highlight the TO field.
2) Click Blue Button on ID51 or touch TO field on 5100 -> a list appears
3) Do NOT go to Reflectors but scroll down to DIRECT INPUT (UR) -> select
4) Enter the Reflector e.g. XRF002AL, click the blue button twice (ID51) or enter on (ID 5100)
5) Quick key the radio. You will receive a message....open spot disconnected...and shortly thereafter...open spot connected to XRF002A.
6) Switch the TO field to "Use Reflector".
You can switch from any Reflector group to another from the radio. The "L" after the reflector name might not be necessary. I did not check that yet. I used it since the ICOM radios always use an L after the REF reflectors.
Posted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:24 pm
Control head of ID5100 and Samsung Tablet connected via WiFi to TP-Link on RAM mount.
Posted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:29 pm
5100 and SharkRF external antennas. An additional antenna might be mounted for the Verizon Jetpack to improve signal strength in weak cellularar areas.
Posted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:33 pm
Power/Solar control unit with circuit breakers. Standby power consumption for 5100 with SharkRF, Tablet, TP-Link and Jetpack is about 0.5A at 13.5V. Solar panel delivers 2 to 10A depending on sun angle and cloud coverage during daylight. This is enough power to also run the Freezer/Fridge.
Re: Optimum SharkRf Mobile Setup
Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:50 am
Lets not forget about DCS reflectors. Lots of folks from the US and around the world use those as well.
DCS006A is a big one. I hear guys on that all the time. In the UR field in DR mode type : DCS006AL then key up. It should say linked to DCS00s Alpha. Then change what you typed in the UR field to USR REFLECTOR CQCQCQ. Themn you are in. Dstar is awesome.
While the Shark doesn't have NXDN and P25. Frankly won't use those modes. The Shark is a damn good product.
Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 5:06 am
This is a short update of my mobile installation. Overall it works very well and solidly with excellent audio reports and practically no dropouts or R2D2.
Summer time in Florida produces outside temperatures of about 35 C midday. If my car is not parked in the shadow the inside temperature easily rises to 50 C or more. With the windshield sun visors in place and the built in heavy duty fan, some air circulation can be maintained and the temperature will not raise higher than 45 C. The 25 Watts fan is driven by the solar panel and is built in the tailgate with the air exhaust behind the number plate. So it is not visible from the outside. To allow a proper airflow the AC needs to be switched to "outside air" so the AC system flapper is open, before shutting the engine down.
SharkRF and TP link are pretty robust for temperatures up to 60 C. The Jetpack however shuts down automatically when the temperature goes higher than about 42 C. Then the only thing it needs is to run the car AC for a couple of minutes and restart after the internal car temperature is around 35 C.