HEC-4 Head End Combiner

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PBE’s Head End Combiner (HEC-4) is the core of PBE’s Leaky Feeder System.

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Product Description

HEC-4’s purpose is to combine the RF outputs and inputs of connected equipment.

The Head End Combiner provides the necessary interface between the repeater equipment and the Leaky Feeder cable. It is capable of providing up to eight fully functional channels with connectivity for up to four 75 ohm Leaky Feeder coaxial cables.


The new design is more configurable and has less through loss than other models, as well as optional internal gain adjustments.

The HEC-4 has a flexible filter design to accommodate a multitude of frequency bands. It includes SAW filters that provide more stability over environmental conditions. It also has higher isolation across all frequencies than previous models.

The HEC-4 has digital displays for monitoring the line current and voltage of each leaky feeder port.

Eight BNC ports are used for transmitting (BASE Tx) to the Leaky Feeder and eight BNC ports for receiving (BASE Rx) from the Leaky Feeder. The Rx port incorporates adjustable gain to maximise reception. The loop ports can be used to connect Head End Combiners together to provide more channels, or more Leaky Feeder ports.

Adjustable Leaky Feeder uplink gain allows increased off-the-cable underground coverage. The HEC-4 has added surface coverage, via an external antenna, as well as auxiliary band interface options. The auxiliary band port provides access to the lower frequency downlink auxiliary band, available in PBE’s BDA-4 amplifiers, and also provides flexibility for possible future bidirectional communications in BDA UHF and VHF products.

The HEC-4 has circuit breakers, with Fault indication and Reset buttons for dealing with short circuits or excess current on arterials. The HEC-4 is also protected by a M205 size 12.5 Amp slow blow fuse.

Product Features

Input Voltage Multi: 12, 24 or 48 volts DC
Input Current 2.5 amps per LF Port max (10 A total)
Tx Frequency 144 – 161 MHz; 403 – 413 MHz; 480 – 490 MHz
Rx Frequency 169 – 186 MHz; 428 – 438 MHz; 450 – 460 MHz
Auxiliary Band Frequency 2 Watts RF max (per channel)
Port to Port Isolation 20 dB minimum
Repeater Tx to LF Insertion Loss 34 dB (VHF); 31 dB (UHF)
Repeater Tx to Surface Tx Loss 13 dB (VHF); 15 dB (UHF)
Repeater Tx to Rx Loss (@ Rx Freq.) >60 dB
Nominal Surface Tx Power +20 dBm (VHF); +18 dBm (UHF)
Surface Rx to Repeater Rx Gain -24 to +6 dB (VHF); -15 to +15 dB (UHF) (adjustable range 30 dB in 2 dB steps)
LF to Repeater Rx Gain -35 to -5 dB (VHF); -27 to +3 dB (UHF) (adjustable range 30 dB in 2 dB steps)
Aux to LF Loss 10 dB max
Number of Tx/Rx channels 8 Tx, 8 Rx
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