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Command, Control, Communications - Portable Operations
("The Droid")
AKA - "The Mothership"

Mobile Communications Trailer

On location in Telluride, Colorado

Photo by Curtis Walker using HDRI and Photomatix


Originally built to exacting standards for ABC Television Sports,  this trailer is now our mobile communications and operations facility.

It features a 200amp 3-Phase or Single Phase power entrance and distribution system, and three HVAC units totaling 13.5 tons of capacity. The HVAC units are arranged as 5 tons for cooling equipment racks, 5 tons for people, and 3.5 tons for the front media wall. During August in Missouri (100+ and 70% humidity) one 5 ton unit can keep it uncomfortably cold. The "basement" has 240 sq ft of storage bins under the primary 320 sq ft of operations space.

The multi-tap power distribution system can accommodate any source voltage from 190 to 240 volts and transform it to 240/120V for use by the trailer and systems. Separate transformers for each HVAC unit, as well as for technical power, isolate the mechanical systems from the technical systems. The technical power system incorporates 25KVA of precision voltage regulators.

A 480V power source can be accommodated with an external 50KVA step-down transformer.


All electronic systems operate on 12 or 24 volt DC prime power and are backed up with onboard battery banks, which provide several hours of operation in the absence of utility or generator power. 

The roof surface is diamond plate and load bearing. Fixtures permit rigging and assembly of 1.5" pipe structures to accommodate microwave dishes and antenna mountings over the entire length of the roof.

The trailer is intended to be a companion unit for our high-capacity mobile tower, along with a repeater shelter; as the hub of a large system. In combination  with our 250KW generator trailer and our warehouse/shop trailer, these units constitute a mobile compound for a sustained deployment or project. (Hit "back" after viewing these links)


Technical Systems Space - Looking Rearward
Walkie battery chargers are wall-mounted in the two rack bays on the right side of the photo. An external connection panel in the left wall provides antenna connections for onboard simplex base stations.

Technical Systems Space - Looking Forward
Microwave radios, T1 Channel Banks, and Motorola Digitac Voting Comparators. Since this photo was taken, the voting system has expanded to 8 channels with two more Digitacs.
Below and out of the photo is a 40-channel voice logging recorder. The "spaghetti" is the patch bay for the T1 channel banks and audio into and out of the comparators.
A proprietary UHF/VHF/42mhz/800mhz interoperability radio bridge housed in a roll-in road rack interconnects with the comparator for the emergency management channel and becomes part of that system.
The bridge will also operate in standalone mode.


The rear 17' of the trailer is a technical systems space, with rack space for onboard radio systems and the control system for the remote transmitter and receiver sites. The tech systems space also includes a simple kitchen unit with Refrigerator, Microwave, Coffee Pot, and Toaster Oven.

A fold-up workbench provides space for electronic maintenance and radio inventory.


Inventory Control, Telco, Network

  The Center 10' is set up as an office for radio inventory and as a telephone receptionist position. This room also houses T1 terminations for Telco phone circuits and wide bandwidth public network (Internet) circuits. Telco Channel Banks and Network Routers are contained in this room, and connect to an external connection panel on the side of the trailer.

The T1 channel banks can terminate Two T1's of Telco lines (48 phone lines) and Two T1's of Public Network bandwidth.

The front 13' of the trailer is the dispatch center, and can support up to 7 dispatch positions.

The three primary consoles are 18-channel Telex/Vega C6200 consoles, with the capability of adding four PC dispatch positions running the Telex/Vega C-Soft dispatch console application.

As many as (so far) 60 external PCs running the C-Soft dispatch application have been networked into the trailer, providing all 60 external users complete access to all radio channels.

The black wall area in the photo is all rack space and will eventually become a media wall for satellite video and surveillance equipment. 3.5 tons of HVAC is devoted to cooling equipment in these rack spaces.



Onsite at Sundance Film Festival 2007

Since taking possession of it in July of 2006 and embarking on a program to completely strip, refurbish, and reconfigure it, C3PO has been used on many projects. It will always be a work in progress, but it has proven to be a very workable and hospitable facility for field operations.
See also:
Remote receive site and repeater Shelters
Repeater Site Truck
Mobile Towers
Generator Trailer - "Voltswagon"
A discussion of Disaster Restoration Services