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A Beginner's Repeater


Ian
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I need at least two each of two kinds of repeater:  Home, and mobile.

 

Both should operate as close to fifty watts as is legal.

Both shall use type-accepted transmitters, but as far as I know, if you can receive 462 MHz intelligibly with a chicken McNugget, more power to you.

Duplexers are a necessary evil?  Solid-state ladder filters are preferred to can-filters.

Home repeaters shall have some kind of identifier; mobile repeaters should have some kind of identifier.  I'm not afraid to use a goo.gl link to a long-ass page of "this is my repeater, play nice, and you, my guests, have my welcome and permission to use it when I'm not".

Car repeaters are to be… basically GMRS radios with wireless speaker-mics.  I'd go with GMRS radios with mobile speaker-mics, but only Australian UHF-CBs mix UHF radios with handheld control heads, and DECT-based wireless speaker-mics. And American units, type-accepted, don't take wireless speaker-mics, no matter how legal they are now.  And American units with handheld control-heads don't do anywhere near the legal 50 watts.  Hell, current production radios top out at 40, I think?

 

Next I need to find repeater capable handhelds… like at all.  (I know the Baofeng GMRS radio exists… but it doesn't count, I really hope…)

 

Everything I want is legal, but some of it just isn't available without ignoring type acceptance, and I'm not willing to do that.

 

Lastly, I'd like to link the two home repeaters over ~50 miles as a tech demo for a family operated network of repeaters… but I'm almost 80% sure that the new rule clarifications have eliminated any gray area for linked repeaters (whereas before, you could link them if you had cable internet, but not if you had DSL…).

 

Can I get those assumptions sanity-checked, please?

 

I've been part of ham chats, and they just said "get all your people to get their tickets" and it just makes me want to cry, because my grandfather's pushing 100, my mother's a technophobe, and it's all downhill from there…

 

I'm hoping desperately that encoding the callsign in a PTT-ID is legally compliant, and that I can find a handheld that can be programmed with a PTT-ID, especially one in fast Morse or something similarly trivial to interpret.

 

:facepalm:

 

Sorry for being the FNG with a crazy request, but I'm not swimming in great options, and cell phone coverage is frequently inadequate over here.

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Im a little confused as to what your looking for, but I can try to answer your questions to the best of my ability.

 

I can understand home repeaters, those are stationary and easy to set up. You can use two UHF part 95 radios, (I know a friend that is using a pair of Kenwood 8150's) with a controller, or buy an all in one system (I use a GR1225, which is basically a receiver, transmitter, and controller all in one.) Duplexers ARE needed unless you have the 30+ meters of separation between the two antennas. This prevents desense between the transmitter and receiver. Im not sure about "ladder line" filters, as from my understanding thats mostly used in HF, but I could be wrong. I use a DB products duplexer. Its designed to be mounted in a 19" rack and only takes up 2 slots (about 4 inches) so Im not sure why you prefer not to use them. Your repeater will not be listening to 462, but rather 467 Mhz and then transmit on 462. Keep in mind that height is everything depending on the terrain. If you live on a farm and the closest house or tree is 10+ miles away, running the repeaters antenna off your roof should yield good range covering quite a bit of that distance. If you live in a city, the same antenna at the same height may transmit only a couple miles.

 

Linking is allowed, however there is still a rule against "patched repeaters" meaning the repeater can not hook into the phone system. Im still not 100% sure phone internet is included in that or not, but I think as long as your repeater can't place phone calls you should be ok. A lot of folks use something called team speak with a controller and micro computer that allows them to interconnect.

 

Not sure you would really need a repeater for your personal car unless you plan to do a lot of camping or hiking where your out of your coverage area and away from your car. Really its more trouble than its worth risking a dead car battery and unlawful RF exposures. Its just an added expense. If you really need to extend range for, lets say a portable while your shopping, you can get a two way controller which would allow you to talk into the radio in your car (Via simplex), then re-transmit that message into the repeater (which is duplex.) The entire system with a vehicle is rather complicated and would cause confusion in the long run.

 

Repeater capable handhelds are all over. The BF888 I believe is part 90, as is the BF82. The BFGMRSV1 is part 95, but if you want other companies, Kenwoods TK380 is repeater capable and part 95 compliant.

 

CWID is NOT 100% legally compliant. The reason is because the CWID is only transmitted on the "Transmit" (462) side of the repeater. ID is still required on the 467 (Receive) side of the repeater though I do believe it is helpful when there is an issue with the repeater for other uses to identify the repeaters call. I do run CWID on my repeater, even though I still give my call sign in English. Trying to CWID a google link would take way to long and be pointless, your better just registering your repeater on MyGMRS.com so that users can simply look your system up.

I'm again lost with the "Australian CB" radio thing. I do not know any Australian radios with US type acceptance, but again I could be wrong with that as I do not know what radios are used as Australian UHF CB's. As for wireless mics, I cant say I know of any mobile speaker mics, but I do know many manufacturers like Motorola, Kenwood, and Vertex are selling wireless kits which consist of a dongle that plugs into the radios mic port and connects via bluetooth to a palm mic.

I hope some of this was helpful :)
 

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I will try to sort out some of your questions and issues, including some of the replies...

Without being too critical - I hate to say your post sounds like when someone WebMD's their symptoms and tends to overanalyze things. That said, a lot of what I will contribute is what is "accepted best practices" over the LMR industry, and any other "legalese" from discussions with the FCC Enforcement Bureau.

 

1) Home and Mobile repeaters? Are you talking about having a repeater stationary and one to take "on the go"? Putting it in a vehicle? In a kit? Or simply stating you want a 50w repeater and a 50w mobile radio? Those all matter to answer because a "mobile repeater" is a different animal from a "mobile radio", and you'll need a good plan to use one.

 

2) Without diving into the Type Acceptance Rabbit Hole, anything that is Part 90 or Part 95 is generally acceptable as long as you're operating legally. From talks with the FCC - the part of "operating legally" is where they'll discover what equipment you're using. Don't cause a mess, don't get caught. I will be writing a draft proposal to the FCC to implicitly allow Part 90 equipment on GMRS and hope to engage this forum when its time to lobby it.

 

3) Yes - duplexers are a necessary evil. Otherwise you need to follow either horizontal separation of antennas (not feasible), or vertical, which means your TX antenna will be multiple feet below your RX, causing coverage issues. A duplexer causes loss... but with a good gain antenna you'll never know there was an issue to start. As for the solid state filters... good luck. I have worked on RF from ISM band equipment up to 1MW ERP broadcast transmitters, from HF through millimeter wave. Nothing I have touched yet uses such a design for a "high power application", and likely won't for a long period of time. A cavity duplexer is "the" way to go... don't overanalyze it and just follow the industry. A "mobile duplexer" can pick up 40-50w of load and generally is at worst 1.5dB of loss. 

 

4) Your identifier is your callsign - not a Google link or some other smarmy reference to chase. While Part 95 might not specify it, I know Part 90 does as to minimum WPM and other specifications. Just use CWID and use it on 15 minute intervals. As for the reply above - the ID only needs to be on the 462 side - which is the repeater's TX. The 467 side is the USER's responsibility to ID, hence the requirement to ID at the beginning, end, and every 15 minutes.

 

5) Based on your "car repeater" comment, I think you're meaning to just say "mobile radio" which somewhat clarifies comment #1. A mobile radio doesn't need a duplexer or anything else, just proper power and RF feedline/antenna. Yes, there is Part 90/95 equipment that exists in UHF with handheld control heads, remote heads, wireless mics, etc... stuff like the Motorola Astro Spectra/XTL line can be remote mounted or handheld control heads. The XPR5550 can have a handheld control head as well. Models of the GE/MA-Com/Harris Orion, M7100, and others can do either as well. Certain Kenwoods as well. And for a fully wireless setup, the Hytera MD782 or MD652 with the SM27W1 provides a fully wireless control head and mic - but audio quality isn't great.

 

6) Based on comment 5... the difference between 40 and 50w is negligible in the end. Run a 3+dB antenna and you'll never know the difference anyway. We are talking about the power difference between 40 and 50 being less than 1dB gain. 

 

7) HTs can be just like the mobile comment #5... Motorola, Kenwood, Icom, etc... all of them make programmable UHF handhelds that comply with Part 90... some with Part 95 as well. Now you can see why I am pushing to get Part 90 permitted 100% on GMRS... good luck finding any Part 95 "only" HT that meets the requirements for GMRS service. Hell... good luck finding a repeater brand new except 2-3 models out there that comply with Part 95.

 

8) Sorry - but you will end up ignoring type acceptance one way or another. Most Part 95 only equipment is either limited in use, expensive, or ancient. For instance if you want to make a reliable "DIY" repeater, it is simple to mash two CDM1250s together to make a repeater with a duplexer - but the radios aren't Part 95. You can find a TON of surplus Kenwood and Motorola repeaters out there for under $1000, but they're all Part 90 repeaters. Same with HTs... good luck finding one that can be programmed for repeater splits and worth a darn... and not Part 90. Personally, I run a Motorola XTS5000 for my HT, and an XTL2500 for my mobile. I have a Quantar in UHF which isn't used - but I can tell you I have seen anything from a Micor up to a Quantar or even a newer DMR repeater locked in analog mode used for GMRS. And they've been up for years without a single issue or complaint.

 

9) You can link repeaters over internet/VoIP with no limitations. At all. Stop overanalyzing the "phone line" verbiage - as it is as ancient as the FCC's Part 90 "turn a blind eye" philosophy. "Phone Line" was in reference to dial-up circuit-switched, or dedicated leased-line operation. Modern internet is neither. 

 

10) Minor detail - but PTT-ID over MDC1200 or other methods is not considered an identifier. Grab a label maker and label the radios with the callsign. Tell granny or mom "every once in a while as you're talking, say that callsign, or if anyone asks". That is all. Repeater programmed to CWID... that's all.

 

I hope this removes some questions and hesitation to proceed with your project. I work with a bunch of people here who have GMRS repeaters and I can promise you that between repeaters, mobiles, and HTs I'll be surprised if I dig up even one Midland or other "GMRS only" radio. Everything is recycled/decommissioned Part 90 gear because I'd rather spend $200 on a used Motorola mobile than a new Midland mobile - and the Motorola lets me program in ham, GMRS, and my Part 90 licences as well.'

 

I am also looking at creating a linked GMRS setup using point-to-point microwave or IP in the mountains of WV where like you, cell service is limited and often land lines can fail as well. Just don't work yourself up thinking the "FCC Police" will be kicking your door in and you'll do just fine.

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I operate a linked GMRS repeater network that's part of MyGMRS. It uses 5 MTR2000 part 90 machines linked with Voip and covers 1/4 of the state of Wisconsin. Just like NavyBOFH said you will at some point need to make a compromise on your requirements for a total part 95 certified solution. From the title of your post "a beginners repeater" you sure had a strange list of demands, I am still hung up on the Solid-state ladder filters as I have never seen these in use in GMRS or LMR of witch I own repeaters in both services and user either duplexers or vertical separation with separate antennas.

 
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Linking is allowed, however there is still a rule against "patched repeaters" meaning the repeater can not hook into the phone system. Im still not 100% sure phone internet is included in that or not, but I think as long as your repeater can't place phone calls you should be ok. A lot of folks use something called team speak with a controller and micro computer that allows them to interconnect.

 

 

9) You can link repeaters over internet/VoIP with no limitations. At all. Stop overanalyzing the "phone line" verbiage - as it is as ancient as the FCC's Part 90 "turn a blind eye" philosophy. "Phone Line" was in reference to dial-up circuit-switched, or dedicated leased-line operation. Modern internet is neither.

 

95.1749: "Operation of a GMRS station with a telephone connection is prohibited, as in § 95.349. GMRS repeater, base and fixed stations, however, may be connected to the public switched network or other networks for the sole purpose of operation by remote control pursuant to § 95.1745."

 

There are limitations, but linking is not one of them. The whole phone line / DSL debate only applied to the pre-2017 rules; the new rules cover all network connections and are more liberal in what they allow. The main concerns are general-use phone patching and linking to any radio service other than GMRS. Under the new rules, you can even patch your phone into your repeater to talk on GMRS through a cell phone or landline.

 

A total Part 95 repeater build is far more of a headache than Part 90. The equipment simply isn't built as well: GMRS exists to let family members chat with each other, while Part 90 includes safety-of-life communications and guaranteed availability. 95.1735 was mentioned in 95.335(a), but I imagine this would have hurt GMRS equipment sales by telling users it's okay to use old commercial equipment. Transmitter certification keeps poorly-regulated Part 97 equipment in-band; certification for Part 90 equipment is more stringent than Part 95E requirements. A properly designed GMRS radio including the 467 MHz interstitial channels will integrate the antenna into the radio, and the integrated antenna is not allowed to have any gain over a dipole. That's why the GMRS-V1 sells so well. An HT1000 can be cheaper if purchased frugally and will perform astronomically better than anything built around the RDA1846 (nearby transmissions on repeater input channels or other spectrum near 460 MHz can desensitize the RDA1846 rather easily, deafening the radio to the repeater's output), but programming it isn't front-panel work. As a repeater operator you'll want something with DTMF support.

 

MDC is not identification, it is selective calling; as such, it's allowed on Part 95 services per 95.377. MDC1200 can't even fit a callsign into its transmission.

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95.1749: "Operation of a GMRS station with a telephone connection is prohibited, as in § 95.349. GMRS repeater, base and fixed stations, however, may be connected to the public switched network or other networks for the sole purpose of operation by remote control pursuant to § 95.1745."

 

There are limitations, but linking is not one of them. The whole phone line / DSL debate only applied to the pre-2017 rules; the new rules cover all network connections and are more liberal in what they allow. The main concerns are general-use phone patching and linking to any radio service other than GMRS. Under the new rules, you can even patch your phone into your repeater to talk on GMRS through a cell phone or landline.

 

A total Part 95 repeater build is far more of a headache than Part 90. The equipment simply isn't built as well: GMRS exists to let family members chat with each other, while Part 90 includes safety-of-life communications and guaranteed availability. 95.1735 was mentioned in 95.335(a), but I imagine this would have hurt GMRS equipment sales by telling users it's okay to use old commercial equipment. Transmitter certification keeps poorly-regulated Part 97 equipment in-band; certification for Part 90 equipment is more stringent than Part 95E requirements. A properly designed GMRS radio including the 467 MHz interstitial channels will integrate the antenna into the radio, and the integrated antenna is not allowed to have any gain over a dipole. That's why the GMRS-V1 sells so well. An HT1000 can be cheaper if purchased frugally and will perform astronomically better than anything built around the RDA1846 (nearby transmissions on repeater input channels or other spectrum near 460 MHz can desensitize the RDA1846 rather easily, deafening the radio to the repeater's output), but programming it isn't front-panel work. As a repeater operator you'll want something with DTMF support.

 

MDC is not identification, it is selective calling; as such, it's allowed on Part 95 services per 95.377. MDC1200 can't even fit a callsign into its transmission.

 

You said it all well. And I remembered the "new" rules and the old ones - but I didn't fret even the older rules when it came to "phone links" since the verbiage was muddy to start. But you are absolutely right - the new rules fixed a lot of issues.

 

I posted on some Facebook groups concerning the issue - but then ended up having to make a new account thus my post was deleted. But I had long talks with the FCC, a consulting engineer, and others in the field such as myself... and we cannot figure out what the FCC has against Part 90 in Part 95. From all conversations - it is that the FCC equates Part 90=digital mode... which is simply incorrect. The Part 95E rules still tell us the emissions designator, TPO, etc... which can be complied with Part 90 equipment. So... I am working on getting all that into a petition to spell it out that Part 90 equipment is allowed. I think the FCC is worrying about a revenue stream drying up... but on the other side they KNOW we are using Part 90 equipment based on rules and previous comment periods/NPRMs and still turn a blind eye while refusing to address it. So, it is up to us to make a stink about it.

 

As for the MDC... if set up properly it is an AWESOME use of selective calling and an "internal identifier". We have "unit numbers" we give to individuals or families, and keep it listed. Therefore someone programming the proper radio can see Unit 22 as "Bob Mobile" on their radio. We use that as a friendly identifier, and the SELCALL option is nice as well.

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95.1749: "Operation of a GMRS station with a telephone connection is prohibited, as in § 95.349. GMRS repeater, base and fixed stations, however, may be connected to the public switched network or other networks for the sole purpose of operation by remote control pursuant to § 95.1745."

no phone patch but a radio tie line is okay. that is how I interpreted these rules.

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Hey there.  Been a little while!  I'll try to address everything in chronological order, if I can't do logical order, so here goes nothing!


Can filters vs. ladder filters:  I believe both are both physically possible and are used.  DIY ladder filters may be a thing in the HF region, WRAK968, but ladder filters -- wait.  First "ladder line" is a kind of twinax feedline used in hf.  Ladder filters are a completely different thing, see here.  It's basically a way to replace a bunch of hand-tuned cans with a box of capacitors and inductors, which lets you tune them at the factory and never again.  This way, you can trivially include in a repeater with our eight pairs, eight separate duplexers because they fit on tiny little circuit boards.  They, and surface accoustic wave filters, are used heavily in cell phones and LTE tech.  Why?  Compared to can filters, they're tiny.  You can have a duplexer for each channel, instead of one with wide notches.  It makes it feasible to build one repeater that independently repeats all eight channels with one antenna.  They're super cool tech, but they haven't filtered out of mind-bendingly expensive cell-sites, and even if the FCC let you repurpose commercial gear any more, they're not even close to the right bands now.


Patched repeaters can use Teamspeak?  Ooooooo...  Per the new reform, that's illegal now, and I'll come back to that, possibly edit this section if I don't forget.  :P


A repeater for my car?  Basically, I realized that a repeater isn't much more than a mobile radio with wireless speaker-mics.  (Which, per the FCC, are now allowed!  That's great!  We'll revisit that.)  Wireless speaker mics are legal now, but they're not available from vendors, and the core paradox of GMRS is that "it may be legal, but you can't have it if someone doesn't make it for you, and they don't have to, and you're not allowed to make it for yourself.  And you're especially not allowed to sell it to someone else without FCC approval."


Re: the two way controller:  Pretty sure parrots are explicitly illegal on GMRS.


Re: CWID - is there ANYTHING that's 100% legal?  Not sarcastic, just frustrated.  :|


Re: Aussie CBs - Australia has HF CB, and UHF CB.  They're technically close to US GMRS radios sold by Uniden, but they leave out the best parts, IMHO.  Two mic ports, controls on the speaker-mic, and wireless speaker-mics with a hundred meters' range, so long as you accept that you're not adjusting shit outside of the car.  (fine by me!)




@NavyBOFH, I'm looking at your post now.


Overanalasys is just one of the services I provide!  :D  Yeah, I'm trying to work around a painfully personal use-case, which includes people who can barely be trusted with FRS radios, but who get to scream at me when phones don't go into big box marts and won't tolerate the audio quality of even expensive, old FRS radios.  It's a shit show, and I apologise, but I've done a little testing with cheap chinese crap lately, and freebanding on GMRS and FRS bands under the "forensically identical to a hypothetical type-approved transceiver" doctrine has finally found that the Retevis RT20 has voice quality that even expensive old Radio Shack FRS radios can't muster.  I feel bad for those experiments, and would like to dump it, but the cheapest "modern" GMRS radio with repeater support is a couple'a Motorolas which cost $400+ a pair on Amazon, because they're discontinued.  And people seem to lie about repeater capability on new motorolas on Amazon, which drives me up a tree.


    1) Home and Mobile repeaters? Are you talking about having a repeater stationary and one to take "on the go"? Putting it in a vehicle? In a kit? Or simply stating you want a 50w repeater and a 50w mobile radio? Those all matter to answer because a "mobile repeater" is a different animal from a "mobile radio", and you'll need a good plan to use one.

Home and mobile repeaters.  I want a repeater for the houses - mine and a couple other family members' - and one for the car.  I want a 50w mobile radio that can be controlled from, say, inside Home Depot.  Of course, without a shitload of engineering, I can't have either.  Best I can get for new production is a 40 watt radio from Midland.


    2) Without diving into the Type Acceptance Rabbit Hole, anything that is Part 90 or Part 95 is generally acceptable as long as you're operating legally. From talks with the FCC - the part of "operating legally" is where they'll discover what equipment you're using. Don't cause a mess, don't get caught. I will be writing a draft proposal to the FCC to implicitly allow Part 90 equipment on GMRS and hope to engage this forum when its time to lobby it.

Please and thank you.  I'd also like to be able to use the rather impressive array of ham radios that are capable of producing photons that are forensically identical to the

Motorola MS350R, but that'd be a nice start.  Except that new Motorola UHF gear can't be programmed to GMRS or MURS, for love nor money nor soldering irons.  :|

3)  Yup.  I've come to accept the necessity of the cans, and simply decided to have them tuned for the whole repeater-input and repeater-output section with fat notches, rather than compromise performance on one or the other end of the band, or have to spend hundreds of dollars getting the bastards retuned every time I change channels.  That made sense when your GMRS license only got you one repeater pair, but not any more.

 --- lost my post here, lost my links.  I'll be recapitulating this from my last backup, but this may suck in new and unexpected ways. ---

 

4)  www.wrch569.com meets both requirements, and future proofs me against any clever crap I come up with.  Which I probably will.  Soon.

 

5)  That's GMRS legal!?  :D  What's the range like?

 

6)  It's the principle of it, in some stupid way.  Also, I'm planning on running a covert antenna, which doesn't require drilling holes in the bodywork or damaging the paint, since I think they make an AM-FM-VHF-UHF radio that's a drop-in replacement for the stock one on my Tacoma.

 

7)  It's just as hard finding a brand-new repeater-capable radio.  There's a few Midland MicroMobiles, and two or three discontinued Motorola handies.  Other than that, there's the BaoFeng which I believe was just banned per the last PRS reform.  D:

 

8)  I resent that.  I accept it, but it makes me angry and resentful that I must break the law to exercise the rights and privileges that I am nonetheless entitled to.  Part of me is afraid the rampant rulebreaking here is going to get our spectrum sold to Ma Bell or something like that.  I live in fear (but only a little) of this happening sooner or later, possibly justified based on the unavoidability of freebanding.

 

9)  The recent PRS reform bans any messages traveling over GMRS and any wireline at all.  That means the Internet, too.  #FML

 

10)  I can't get my mom to stop IDing with made-up callsigns, and I'm pretty sure I'm financially liable for that if someone takes the piss.

 

 

WQVA593, I'm looking at your post now.

Yeah, I agree with you, but I don't have to like it.  :angry:  #LawfulGood

 

 

WRAF213, I'm looking at your post now.

I'm pretty sure you're wrong about patching...  I'll cite my sources when I unfuck this post.

 

 

WQYR510, I apologise for intermittant availability, but I really AM keeping up with this when I can.

 

I'm going to save this one before I lose it again, and then edit my links back in later.

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Aha, someone from Reddit had my same question.

 

I know of only three repeater capable handhelds ever made (that weren't software-locked BaoFengs). One was offered in yellow and Realtree™. The other was offered in black and Realtree™. (™ used in the most sarcastic fashion possible, because I'm annoyed)

Motorola MS350R (yellow) Motorola MS355R (RealTree™)

Olympia R500

Motorola MR356R (black) Motorola MR566R (RealTree™)

Is this possibly correct?

Are the most legally-uptight, totally-sure-to-be-legal-after-the-crackdown options all discontinued?

 
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http://www.nsea.com/Linking.pdf

 

Per the guy holding the oldest active GMRS callsign, an analysis of the rules of repeater linking.  WRAF213, I was about to tell you that you were probably wrong, but per the definitions provided by Cornell, I'm now inclined to think that "causing a station to begin transmitting" is specifically permitted by definitions, but they also say that you're not allowed to link in §95.127.  

 

 

 

Note, at the same time the Rules were also further amended by adding language to §95.181(i)(13) prohibited communications:

 

(13) Messages which are both conveyed by a wireline control link and transmitted by a GMRS station (see § 95.127)

 

This is definitely a hot mess, and trying to figure out what's legal gives me anxiety attacks.

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Edit: I think that I see what you are getting at... A user has to identify and cannot rely just on repeater ID to satisfy requirements. Is that what you mean? If so, I agree. Part 95 only has an exemption for ***repeaters*** not identifying (not individuals) if the people are all under the same license (or are under written cooperative agreement) and each individual identifies properly. Regardless of if the repeater identifies or not, the individual still must to comply with part 95 and properly identify. However, the individual could identify in CW because part 95 says, "The call sign must be transmitted using voice in the English language or international Morse code telegraphy using an audible tone." If someone made a part 95 radio that automatically CWIDed at 15 minute intervals and at end of conversation, that would be fine under the plain language of part 95, AFAIK.

 

 

CWID is NOT 100% legally compliant. The reason is because the CWID is only transmitted on the "Transmit" (462) side of the repeater. ID is still required on the 467 (Receive) side of the repeater though I do believe it is helpful when there is an issue with the repeater for other uses to identify the repeaters call.

It's a minor thing but this didn't seem quite right when I first read it last month and when I've read/heard it before. As far as I can tell, repeaters aren't even permitted to transmit on the 467 channels. The fact that repeaters receive only on 467.xxx and being prohibited from transmitting on 467.xxx makes a repeater identifying on 467.xxx both pointless (Rx only) and illegal (repeater Tx on 467.xxx). With that in mind, how could a repeater legally transmit an ID on 467.xxx and why would one want to as it is only receiving on that frequency?

 

§ 95.1763 GMRS channels.

The GMRS is allotted 30 channels - 16 main channels and 14 interstitial channels. GMRS stations may transmit on any of the channels as indicated below.

( a )462 MHz main channels. Only mobile, hand-held portable, repeater, base and fixed stations may transmit on these 8 channels. The channel center frequencies are: 462.5500, 462.5750, 462.6000, 462.6250, 462.6500, 462.6750, 462.7000, and 462.7250 MHz.

( b )462 MHz interstitial channels. Only mobile, hand-held portable and base stations may transmit on these 7 channels. The channel center frequencies are: 462.5625, 462.5875, 462.6125, 462.6375, 462.6625, 462.6875, and 462.7125 MHz.

( c )467 MHz main channels. Only mobile, hand-held portable, control and fixed stations may transmit on these 8 channels. Mobile, hand-held portable and control stations may transmit on these channels only when communicating through a repeater station or making brief test transmissions in accordance with § 95.319©. The channel center frequencies are: 467.5500, 467.5750, 467.6000, 467.6250, 467.6500, 467.6750, 467.7000, and 467.7250 MHz.

( d )467 MHz interstitial channels. Only hand-held portable units may transmit on these 7 channels. The channel center frequencies are: 467.5675, 467.5875, 467.6125, 467.6375, 467.6625, 467.6875, and 467.7125 MHz.

I could be wrong...

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Some people make things way too complex. Overanalysis = paralysis. 

 

As for CWID, yes, a repeater can and will transmit morse code on the output (462.xxxx) frequency. If you really read deep into the rules, I suppose that you can make a case that the mobile unit which transmits into the repeater on 467.xxxx should also be identifying.  A simple verbal call sign identification would serve that purpose, but I'm also not aware of a single case of the FCC ever taking action against some one who only identified on the GMRS repeater's output.

 

There are tone panels out there which will CWID based upon the tone/PL/DPL in use. In short, you can have different CWID's for different users, and pre-program them into the repeater based upon the user's PL tone. A pretty easy way to have multiple users identifying off a single repeater.

 

There are plenty of type accepted Part 95 radios out there, but they're not all being sold new anymore. Wanting brand new limits your choices, for sure.

 

There's also no FCC action I've ever seen that the FCC took against someone for using re-purposed Part 90 radios, and there's been a few letters and tacit admissions posted by the FCC where they realize that people are using surplus Part 90 radios and repeaters for GMRS. Does lack of enforcement = legal?  Probably not, but I'll still keep using Part 90 gear until such time as the FCC tells me to stop. Over the air, there's little way to tell what type of radio someone is using.

 

I guess some people like to know exactly who is talking & wish for an easy way to identify such. I view an automated CWID as being legal, slightly more anonymous, and a whole lot easier to use for my family. We don't need to spend 10 seconds identifying ourselves before we see if Mom wants milk on the way home. We let the automated CWID take care of all that after we're done talking. 

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There are tone panels out there which will CWID based upon the tone/PL/DPL in use. In short, you can have different CWID's for different users, and pre-program them into the repeater based upon the user's PL tone. A pretty easy way to have multiple users identifying off a single repeater.

 

Oh, sweet!  Can you link to that?
 
There are plenty of type accepted Part 95 radios out there, but they're not all being sold new anymore. Wanting brand new limits your choices, for sure.

 

Boy, if you think this is bad, you should see my selection of legal, repeater-capable handhelds…
 

 

Repeater Capable Handhelds

 

I know of only three repeater capable handhelds ever made (that weren't software-locked BaoFengs). One was offered in yellow and Realtree™. The other was offered in black and Realtree™. (™ used in the most sarcastic fashion possible, because I'm annoyed)

 

Motorola MS350R (yellow) Motorola MS355R (RealTree™)

 

Olympia R500

 

Motorola MR356R (black) Motorola MR566R (RealTree™)

 

Is this possibly correct?

Are the most legally-uptight, totally-sure-to-be-legal-after-the-crackdown options all discontinued?

 

 

Over the air, there's little way to tell what type of radio someone is using.

Ah, the doctrine of "forensically identical". XD

 

We let the automated CWID take care of all that after we're done talking. 

 

I really want a radio that lets you record your callsign in fast Morse mode as your Roger beep…
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Because I want a mobile radio, with remote speaker-mics.

 

Australia's UHF-CB market has easy access to them, but only a couple Uniden HF CBs in America can use them.  There are options, but they all suck.

 

Wireless Microphones

 

Lupax HM-888

Rebadged Zoxn ZX-777

Illegal AF

Technically sweet

 

ZOXN ZX-777

Illegal AF

Technically sweet

 

X10DR

Spendy as fuck

Technically sweet

Probably the best option

 

UNIDEN MK800W

  • For UHF-CB

+ DECT

+ Uses 8p8c connector, easily interfaced

 

Uniden Bearcat BC906W

Like the MK800W, uses DECT.

  • Proprietary 6-pin connector
  • Only compatible with four Uniden Bearcat radios

 

Motorola RLN6551

& RLN6544

Barely worth mentioning

  • Super speedy
  • Proprietary AF
  • Not compatible with any civilian radios
  • Bluetooth

 

Hytera SM27W1

https://www.hytera-mobilfunk.com/en/product/details/sm27w1-wireless-remote-speaker-microphone/

 

Uses ADA-01 adapter for compatibility with old radios

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Price leaks suggest that X10 is $688 a piece... ...This is so far outside the realm of affordable I shouldn't have to tell you…

So, you want Rolls Royce features at Hyundai prices?

 

Also, you want the mobile repeater to have high power output (>10 watts). But, presumably the mobile repeaters will all be talking to another fixed repeater (they can’t talk to each other). So, why the need for all that power? Just use 10 watts and a good high gain rooftop mounted antenna.

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For a couple hundred bucks, I can get a crystal-controlled repeater and an amplifier to bring it up to fifty-ish watts.

 

Yes I do want champagne on a beer budget.  But I think you miss my point.

 

Mobile repeaters won't be talking to another fixed repeater.  They'll be more or less pretending to be powerful simplex radios with wireless microphones.  I'm still trying to figure out how to make the linked repeater thing work, legally, so I need to ignore the whole thing and figure out how to make it work without networking.

 

However, if I can figure out how to make repeater networking work, then the cost of the X10 gear will justify itself, as I'll be able to bill myself as a consultant and build other people's radio networks as my day job.  :P

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...However, if I can figure out how to make repeater networking work, then the cost of the X10 gear will justify itself, as I'll be able to bill myself as a consultant and build other people's radio networks as my day job.  :P

Maybe. But, unless anyone can understand what the heck you are trying to do, I wouldn’t count on much of an income.
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Perhaps I'm dense because I still don't get it. Wireless mics vs full on repeaters... Although similar, one is not quite the other. Perhaps you are looking at a handheld to car solution. From my humble perspective, it looks like a lot of unnecessary thrashing about because of not starting with a simple, concise premise.

 

I wish you well with it and I'll watch from the sidelines. smile.png

 

Edit: Okay, I think I understand some. *If* we were able to use two different bands, something like a cross-band repeat from your handheld to the car then out to family or a base repeater would be what you are looking at... I think. Unfortunately, I can't think of anything that fits GMRS regulations that would give you what you want. Hopefully someone here can find a solution for you.

 

Edit again: The closest and cheapest thing I can think of would be dump GMRS and rely on 100% networking; like the Inrico network radio products. https://network-radios.com/index.php/product/inrico-tm-7-3gwifi-mobile-network-radio/ They also produce handheld models.

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...Edit: Okay, I think I understand some. *If* we were able to use two different bands, something like a cross-band repeat from your handheld to the car then out to family or a base repeater would be what you are looking at... I think. Unfortunately, I can't think of anything that fits GMRS regulations that would give you what you want...

Precisely. You cannot link to, from or between GMRS repeaters or radios using another service, like FRS.

 

However, the OP has stated he would like to link repeaters using wired links, but opined Internet links were outlawed because of the prohibition on landline inter-connectivity. I think he misunderstood, since the landline prohibition refers to connections from the PSTN. Linking by VoIP is allowed.

 

And, then again, he just stated repeaters would not be talking to other repeaters, so I am not sure what the linking is about?

 

Perhaps a good example of how this system would be used, and without any discussion of architecture, would be helpful.

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Linking via the internet is legal, the FCC is fully aware of the MyGMRS linking network. (https://link.mygmrs.com/map) Rich has been invited to attend FCC meetings and has pend opinions that the FCC takes into account while making decisions. I as others run smaller local networks that can be linked into the national network at the push of a button. After reading this from start to finish the OP is asking for a beginners repeater but takes the tech talk to advanced levels and far outside the realm of UHF.GMRS. From what I can gather he wants to use handhelds to talk to a mobile repeater that intern repeats it to a repeater, again not legal. This group has a lot of combined knowledge if one is willing to listen, take advice and learn. I think I will just watch from the sidelines on this one, good luck on your project.

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