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mwaggy last won the day on April 25 2016

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  1. Good point; I'd neglected to consider setup costs. The particular place I had in mind already has a shared antenna setup with TX combiners and RX multicouplers, but that's obviously not true everywhere. (And I suppose there's still some inevitable setup costs in tuning the filters or whatnot.) The little mobile duplexer my R1225 came with isn't really cut out for being on a busy tower. And there's definitely some existing UHF repeaters up on the mountain. I suppose whatever filtering the site does isn't necessarily going to be optimized for my frequency, so I can't really get away without worrying about filters.
  2. I was pretty sure it wasn't household-only, but I didn't think about the bit about in-laws and uncles as further evidence of that.
  3. Those numbers aren't pocket change, but they're more reasonable than I had feared. The site I have in mind sits about 1,000' above the area, so a lot of the licenses up there have something like a 400m HAAT with the tower included. Their coverage maps are amazing and cover several large cities. It seems like the type of thing that becomes pretty affordable if you can get a few friends to pitch in. Now I need to start pitching the idea to some friends...
  4. That looks really slick! I, too, live in a condo and have been thinking about doing the exact same thing. I have a desk upstairs, so I could just pop through the ceiling and into the attic. I was nervous about cutting holes or leaving cables snakes all over the place, but your setup looks super-professional and gives me something to strive for. I can run them through the walls and patch it up, terminating them in wall ports. I like that! I have the added wrinkle of a big ol' fire sprinkler pipe running through the attic. I think I can get the antennas far enough away that it won't entirely interfere with their pattern... But I have a perhaps-irrational fear that it's going to carry a lot of my RF into the building's fire alarm panel and cause them to go off. Hopefully that's an irrational fear.
  5. There's obviously not one fixed price throughout the country, but I wonder ballpark what I'd be looking at to set up a repeater at a commercial tower site. I happen to have an R1225 repeater (50W UHF) sitting around from a lot of equipment I bought, but I live in a valley and in a condo, so setting it up at home would be borderline useless. There's a big hill / small mountain not too far from here with a number of towers on it, and while hiking in the area I noticed one of the equipment sheds has a sign mentioning that they have space available on a combiner/multicoupler system. I have absolutely no concept of what renting space at a place like that costs -- am I looking at a $50/month type deal, or more like $500/month?
  6. These privacy codes should be thought of as a type of filter allowing you to control who you hear, but not who hears you. They don't afford any security. If someone's radio has no tone set, they will hear everything on the channel regardless of privacy code. They work by adding a subaudible tone (67-250 Hz or so) onto your voice, which is below the range of what 2-way radios will reproduce through the speaker. If your radio is set up with that tone, it will keep the speaker off unless it hears that tone. But if someone's radio isn't set up to use a code/tone, they'll hear everything. DCS is a similar concept, but instead of a steady subaudible tone, it uses a subaudible digital signal. The original intent with these tones long predates GMRS, and was for cases where users in two distant cities might have the same frequency, and weakly hear each other. (Or cases of random noise on the frequency.) The distant signal was weak enough to not interfere with local communications, but annoying to listen to when it came through during times of silence. CTCSS allowed those people to set up a "private" tone that they'd use and not have to hear the distant user / noise on the frequency. They've also found use on repeaters, where people can set up an unpublished tone required to bring up a repeater. In that case random people might transmit on the repeater input frequency, but without the right tone, the repeater receiver won't open up. It's hardly bulletproof security, but it keeps casual unauthorized users off.
  7. Thanks! That's what I suspected, but I didn't want to run afoul of anything.
  8. Hi all, I've been a ham for about 15 years, but just got my GMRS license the other day. I wanted to clarify something, because what I've heard and what the rules say don't seem to match up. I've frequently seen it said that your GMRS license covers "your household." However, §95.179 never uses the word 'household,' and instead references "immediate family members." https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/47/95.179 Could I, for example, give a radio to my (adult) brother who lives in another town and have us communicate just under my license? My reading of the rules suggests that this is permitted, but it's quite different from how I had understood it. The fact that he doesn't live with me appears wholly irrelevant.
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