McDowell Research launches digital repeater system
McDowell Research, an Ultralife company, introduced the MRC-200A and MRC-200H digital tactical repeater systems designed for use with military multiband handheld radios—the MRC-200A works with the Thales MBITR AN/PRC-148 radio and the MRC-200H works with the Harris FALCON III AN/PRC-152 radio.
Both models provide bandwidth coverage in the 30-512 MHz band. This multiband capability gives repeaters the ability to be used with any handheld radio as the outstation, while a field-interchangeable duplexer supports full-duplex operation by combining both transmit and receive signals into a single antenna, said Tom Crawford, the company’s product manager for government and defense unit.
“There was hole in the communications architecture for military communications,” Crawford said. “There was no solution that offered true, 30-512 MHz repeater coverage, and the adaptability of our product lets users swap out field-interchangeable duplexers to accommodate any frequency band the user may be working in.”
The repeaters are controlled by a MicroBlaze soft processor implemented on a Xilinx Spartan-3E (field programmable gate array. Both models have a 4×16 LCD display for fault reporting, setup, radio-frequency power output, and DC voltage and current indications. Crawford said an Ethernet interface supports wired or wireless remote control and monitoring of operating functions on a remote host computer’s graphical user interface.
In addition, the units can be powered via universal AC (85-265V, 47-63Hz) or DC (11-36V) with rechargeable battery backup. Specifically, a smart power management system monitors external vehicle DC power to dynamically control battery charging and internal-battery operation based on voltage levels detected, Crawford said.
The repeaters are scheduled for release by the end of the year. They start at $20,000.