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Cool Product: BridgeCom BCD-144250 Rack Mount (250 W) VHF Duplexer - RF Cafe

BridgeCom BCD-144250 Rack Mount (250 W) VHF Duplexer. Image from March 2021 QST magazine (p22).

For the past few months, this full-page BridgeCom advertisement has been running in the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) magazine QST. When I first saw it I though it might be one of those research laboratory hydraulic apparatuses for generating the kind of pressure found at the center of the Earth. Scientists use such devices to synthesize diamonds by compacting coal.

In actuality, the four cylinders are part of the BridgeCom BCD-144250 Rack Mount VHF Duplexer. Per their website:

BridgeCom Systems' BCD-144250 Duplexer for amateur and commercial applications. The BCD-144250 utilizes four high-quality cavities that results in uncompromising duplex isolation. It will handle up to 250W continuously for the most demanding applications. Due to the right material choice and temperature compensated design temperature stability has been achieved.

  • For 144-174 MHz
  • Up to 250 W continuous input power
  • 90 dB Isolation
  • Frequency Separation 0.6-15 MHz 19"
  • Rack Mountable 485 x 102 x 755 mm (19.1 x 4 x 29.75 in)
  • Price: $1,395.00

This is a good example of the amount of money and effort spent by private individuals and groups in order to provide public emergency response services. The total cost of the equipment in that rack likely tips the scale at $5,000 or more with the repeater unit, repeater controller, power supplies, antenna(s), various and sundry cables, computer and software, modem and router for Internet connectivity, and lodging space for everything. Then, there is the recurring costs of electricity, heating, cooling, transportation, etc.

All these burdens are happily borne by the same group of people (citizen Hams) that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has decided to charge a $35 fee (down from the originally proposed $50) for obtaining a new license or upgrading an existing license - even though the license testing services are also provided by volunteers (VECs) at their own time and expense.

As the ad states, "Ham Radio Saves Lives!" Isn't government bureaucracy a wonderful thing?



Posted February 24, 2021

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RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while tying up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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