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ACRE GSM test and observations (Ground Spike + Mast) - Printable Version

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ACRE GSM test and observations (Ground Spike + Mast) - Sputnik Monroe - 01-12-2022

So Benchmark and I did some experimenting with ACRE's ground spike antenna and the VHF mast earlier today and it is an interesting asset. It did work completely different from how I thought it was going to work though. My assumption was that it was like a relay or as we call them over here a "translator tower". That is I figured it would be something you put in a location and from that location it would boost and then relay the signal it received. It's actually just an antenna that you link to your radio at a fixed location.

  It comes in two components... 
1. The Ground Spike Antenna (VHF30108 GS , GS stands for Ground Spike)
2. The Antenna Mast (VHF30108 Mast) 

  These can be combined to form  the GSM (Ground Spike with Mast)

  The primary component is the Ground Spike, which is placed via ACE self interaction, under equipment you'll see "Place Ground Spike." Once placed if you have the VHF Mast, you can ACE interact with the deployed Ground Spike to attach the VHF Mast. The GSM can be carried already assembled as Spike and Mast, if you are carrying it that way you can simply ACE self Interact to "Place Ground Spike + Mast".

  Once the Ground Spike is placed, with or without the mast, you'll have an ACE interact option with the placed system "connect radio". High lighting it shows every radio in your inventory, you simply select which radio you wish to connect to it. A radio that is connected to the Ground Spike will have it's power amplified to 20W. If you walk more than a meter from it, it'll automatically disconnect your radio. 
The functions of the two systems are simply this,

1. The Ground Spike, amplifies your radio's signal to 20W, for comparision our standard short range radio the 343 is only 100mW and our standard long range the 152 is 5Ws.

2. The VHF Mast simply gives the radio higher line of sight and more surface area for incoming and outgoing signals. 

  One thing I learned after our test however, the PRC-117 is already a 20W radio. The GSM simply boost a radio to 20W not by 20Watts. So for example the 5 Watt PRC 152 doesn't have 25W when connected to a GSM, only 20W.

  So with the PRC-117 which is already a 20 Watt system, the only benefit gained from the GSM is from the antenna mast if attached, which gets a better signal LOS by being taller.