KM3N/W7TSA RMS station - Chandler AZ

Good day.

I am one of the Communications Leaders for The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services office in Phoenix AZ. From my home (we can't run unattended gear at the HQ) I operate three (3) HF RMS Gateways, a VHF or UHF RMS Packet Gateway upon demand, and in a Salvation Army EDS truck, a mobile RMS either HF or Packet as needed. I am in the process of adding a few more remote HF gateways in the Arizona White Mountains at elevations between 6,000 and 9,000 feet. The purpose of these RMS Gateways is to serve the public and the mission of The Salvation Army.

My home system is backed up by a while house 47kW automatic start genset that can run at full load 45 days off the grid (propane) or longer at reduced load. The generator takes about 30 seconds to start up and stabilize. I have automatic transfers to batteries when the power drops and for the short period when the genset is operational. The generator is fully automatic. No intervention is needed to have it do its duty. The generator runs a 30 minute warmup and load test every Sunday at 10:00 am on its own. If the generator is running I get text messages.

I have whole house surge protection system as well. I am in a HOA so my antennas are all wire dipoles, generally NVIS on 40 and 80 meters, and a dipole on the roof for the 17 meter RMS. The RMS Gateways are available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week. When 30 meter propagation is good, I get a lot of RMS traffic from amateurs/boaters down in the Sea of Cortez or the Pacific Ocean.

I have one PC operating all three gateways for now. I really don't like a single point of failure. I'm looking at the small all HP units that have a solid state drive and are about the size of a cigar box. I may buy three of those and dedicate one for each radio. Those copper squares on top of the Signalilnks are heat shrinks I salvaged from computers headed to the recycler. I place these on the equipment at various locations to reduce heat load during long comms. Cheap (zero) cost and work very well. The room is home air conditioned, and has a separate split system for backup. The operating position is about 74 degrees year round.

My Internet connection is a 40/40 symmetrical from Centurylink. It has been reliable. Even in some nasty storms the link stays working. Supposedly Centurylink will soon make a Gigabit connection available in which case I'll upgrade.

Here are some images of my RMS gateways.


Ken McLeod KM3N
Chandler AZ DM43cf

KM3N/W7TSA RMS Gateway operating postion, Chandler AZ
KM3N/W7TSA 30 meter RMS Gateway, Chandler AZ
KM3N Onan 47kW Whole House Generator
Winlink Linkomatic