John Martins'
Amateur Radio from near Empire Michigan USA

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VHF Propagation


Curious as to what's inside the RP2C DStar repeater controller?

DStar repeater modules communicate digitally with the Icom RP2C controller. The RP2C can control up to four repeater modules along with two microwave linking modules.

The RP2C is a digital unit only, there are NO ANALOG INTERFACES provided. You cannot hook up your analog controller, forget about autopatch, forget about plugging in an Echolink or IRLP interface (unless some third party invents such a device).

You will find that the RP2C is functional as a DStar controller, but it does not have the fancy bells and whistles that many users have become accustomed to on regular analog repeaters.

Many (myself included) will find that the lack of extraneous beeps or annoying voice messages to be a refreshing aspect of the DStar mode. If you are in QSO with another station or group, you hear the participants-- and nothing else. No club announcements, no roger beeps. It's the 'Spartan' style of repeater operation--- simple and effective, without fluff or frilly BS.


The top unit in this photo shows the RP2C. It's a simple single rack unit device without any LED's other than the green power indicator.

The two rocker switches on the right are to enable/disable optional microwave links if you have such modules installed. The switch on the left is the power for the RP2C.

The rear panel includes the power distribution to the RF modules on the left. Just to the right of the power is the four RJ45 jacks to communicate with the RF modules.

At the far right is where the main 12v power is applied. Between the 12v power and the RF module RJ45's are the connections for the microwave linking devices.

Popping the top off the RP2C you can see there are no user serviceable parts inside.

The RP2C communicates with your configuration PC via the RJ45 jack on the front panel. The USB jacks, I presume, are used to configure the microwave link devices.

Much like the RP2000V, it looks like Icom has set aside some room for additional expansion. The standoffs to the right of the main board hint at future enhancements.

Looking at that cutout on the left (behind the mid portion of the front panel) I presume there may be plans for a front panel display in the future.

Egads-- there's a Cyclone inside!

There's an interesting slide switch inside too...



Overall the internals look rather neat.

The presence of unused sockets on the board suggest that it's either re purposed from another Icom product or that they have/had plans for options or improvements.

ver 8/08