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Repeater setup.


WRAX891
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Thinking about setting up a GMRS repeater.

 

Seems to be many paths, but any opinions on the following:

 

Seems one relatively simple “off the shelf” parts could be:

 

RT-FDR1 Controller

RT-CWID1 Identifier

 

(Or ID-O-Matic? Or Even a Raspberry Pi approach?)

 

I’ll be getting a six cavity Duplexer and tuning it for 462.725/467.725.

 

Radios: Likeky will get a TK-8180 for TX, but for RX, have a couple TH-9800’s that could be used.

 

Antenna: Already have a GMRS 1/4 wave antenna masted at 45’.

 

Cables: Seen that connection cables are available for the RT-FDR1 for both the TH-9800 and TK-8180.

 

Thought about this for a little while and even consider getting a Bridgecom repeater system and Duplexer, but of course looking at less cost. TH-9800/TK-8180 obviously isn’t as nice as a Bridgecom repeater System, but also at least isn’t just a couple of cheap HT’s thrown up in a tree either. TH-9800 isn’t the best RX radios, but figured since have a spare could try it out.

 

Opinions on the RT-FDR1+RT-CWID1 combo?

 

Also, may be linking this with Asterisk_rpt (HamVoIP) to a GMRS network, so a RPi will be in play. Perhaps just use that for ID’ing?

 

Total cost for this project, I’m thinking will be just around $500 to $600, I’m thinking. That’s do-able...

 

 

Thanks

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All that sounds fine as long as you can be satisfied with around 14 mile radius (or less) from mobile to the repeater, and about 3 miles (or less) radius for an HT.

 

The single, absolutely most important part of a repeater is the effective height of the antenna, the antenna itself, and the lowest loss heliax cable you can afford.

 

After two years of operation, I finally sold my Bridgecom BCR-40U repeater last week. A local GMRS operator put it on his new 150' Rohn 45G tower with a Commscope DB408 ANTENNA UHF406-512MHz 8 bay Repeater Antenna (http://www.va3agv.com/2015/07/commscope-db408-antenna-uhf406-512mhz-8.html for a picture of the antenna). He is also using 1 1/4" LDF6-50 heliax (https://www.awcwire.com/part.aspx?partname=ldf6-50 ) from the antenna to the duplexer.

 

The same equipment on his tower and antenna system now has an effective radius of 45 miles mobile, 12 miles HT. What of world of difference height and antenna made!

 

The tower/antenna/feedline cost ~$5000

The Bridgecom (new) cost ~$1500*

 

*Nota Bene: I sold him mine for $1030. Because he's only about 7 airline miles from me, I still get to use and enjoy the repeater! smile.png

Edited by n4gix
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All that sounds fine as long as you can be satisfied with around 14 mile radius (or less) from mobile to the repeater, and about 3 miles (or less) radius for an HT.

I agree with your post but also, YMMV. We have a guy running two Motorola M1225 repeaters with really low cost material and I think his is 30' to 40' AGL. However, he has high elevation so his repeater has outstanding coverage.

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Well yes, if you happen to live on a tall hill or better still a mountain top, your effective footprint will be quite a bit longer. Alas, few if any of us have such at our disposal. My part of northwest Indiana isn't noted for its mountain ranges.

 

For about 16 years, we had a wonderful pair of GMRS repeaters at the top of the John Hancock building. When the repeater owner left WGN he had to remove the repeaters and antennas as he no longer had access to the room where they were installed. :(

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Aye. Before we moved from the farm, we had a brand new 100' tower and our elevation was far better than the aforementioned guy running two M1225s. I could sometimes hear a repeater up north by the lake from southern Ohio on a handheld with a rubber duck inside the house on the first floor. 70 mile repeater use was commonplace in my first floor bedroom with the same HT. We had arranged for professional feedline and everything. Our repeater would've been a beast! sad.png

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All that sounds fine as long as you can be satisfied with around 14 mile radius (or less) from mobile to the repeater, and about 3 miles (or less) radius for an HT.

 

The single, absolutely most important part of a repeater is the effective height of the antenna, the antenna itself, and the lowest loss heliax cable you can afford.

 

After two years of operation, I finally sold my Bridgecom BCR-40U repeater last week. A local GMRS operator put it on his new 150' Rohn 45G tower with a Commscope DB408 ANTENNA UHF406-512MHz 8 bay Repeater Antenna (http://www.va3agv.com/2015/07/commscope-db408-antenna-uhf406-512mhz-8.html for a picture of the antenna). He is also using 1 1/4" LDF6-50 heliax (https://www.awcwire.com/part.aspx?partname=ldf6-50 ) from the antenna to the duplexer.

 

The same equipment on his tower and antenna system now has an effective radius of 45' mobile, 12' HT. What of world of difference height and antenna made!

 

The tower/antenna/feedline cost ~$5000

The Bridgecom (new) cost ~$1500*

 

*Nota Bene: I sold him mine for $1030. Because he's only about 7 airline miles from me, I still get to use and enjoy the repeater! :)

 

 

Thank you for the detailed reply.

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Thank you for the detailed reply.

You are most welcome. I didn't want to be a "Debbie Downer," but I do want to share the benefits of my own experience. Even though I really did know better, I should have made a search for a suitable tower location my very first task!

I did find what would have been an ideal site in Crete, Illinois. The tower owner had a DB-408 antenna at 325' on his tower with fairly recently installed 1 1/4" heliax...

 

...but at $1/foot rental/month was totally out of my means!

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You are most welcome. I didn't want to be a "Debbie Downer," but I do want to share the benefits of my own experience. Even though I really did know better, I should have made a search for a suitable tower location my very first task!

I did find what would have been an ideal site in Crete, Illinois. The tower owner had a DB-408 antenna at 325' on his tower with fairly recently installed 1 1/4" heliax...

 

...but at $1/foot rental/month was totally out of my means!

Hello,

 

Oh, no problem. No "downer" here as I'm aware height is might.  I suppose I should've started by stating my intentions of use and what I'm hoping to get out of it -- simply coverage to family members that are all within five miles.  There isn't much obstruction around between I and them and I'm on the highest ground.  If anyone else, under the small footprint, wants to use it, thats ok too...

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Given your stated use case, then you should be able to accomplish it well within your budget.

 

I've been out of the LMR business for thirty odd years. When I was in business in deep southeast Texas we had a gentleman's agreement to make tower space available at no cost to other LMR owners all along the Rio Grande Valley on an even exchange basis. Rarely did we charge tower rental except to ranchers, oil drillers and other businesses who owned their own repeater system. Even then monthly rent was relatively inexpensive if they also bought the heliax and antenna(s).

 

Even so, I should have anticipated that finding space for what is essentially nothing more than a "hobby" would be very difficult and/or expensive due to the proximity to Chicago. I tried for over a year to get the Hammond, IN city council to let me use one of the many unused antennas on their two 250' towers at the City Hall. They haven't used any of them since the city abandoned their analog systems and switched to P25.

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