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#1 stan2019

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Posted 09 March 2019 - 11:48 AM

I am using a Midland MXT400 radio. I have the repeater channels turned on. I set the tone for a local open repeater.

I have not heard any traffic on the repeater.I can hear some FRS traffic from some local business.How do i know if I am receiving anything from the repeater?



#2 haneysa

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Posted 09 March 2019 - 11:06 PM

Many/most repeaters send out periodic ID broadcasts,either CW or voice. If you monitor the repeater frequency for 30 minutes or so,you will probably hear the ID. You can also key up,and give your callsign, and that should be a long enough transmission to trigger the repeater. You may get the ID as a reply, or just the "tail" (static-like noise) and some bars on your S-meter. You can also try to email the operator of the repeater to make sure that it is up and running, and maybe even set up a radio check.



#3 stan2019

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 04:01 AM

I have monitored the channel for an hour and have not heard anything on it. I have keyed up and get full bars on key, given my call sign and requested  radio check and got no response.Years ago i had equipment to test CB's but I don't have anyway to check output now. I cannot find anybody local that works on GMRS. My problem is, I don't know if I am actually Rx or TX ing. I may have to invest in some test equipment. Thanks for you input and I will try to email the owner to see if the repeater is up and running.



#4 berkinet

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 06:27 AM

... I don't know if I am actually Rx or TX ing...

 

You probably are transmitting. When you unkey (stop transmitting) do you see any bars on the meter? Or, as @haneysa noted, do you hear a short squelch tail? Possibly like this? For more information on squelch noise take a look at this page.

 

Another test you can try is to listen on another radio or scanner. Any of the cheap import radios sold on Amazon that receive UHF will do. However, I'd suggest you get one that allows keypad programming, like this one. With a second radio you can listen for your own output and also listen for the repeater's output (but, make sure you have some distance between the receiving radios and your transmitter).  Note however that these cheap radios are of low quality and not legal on GMRS (though many people use them anyway). But, it is always good to have something like this around for testing - which is exactly what you want to do.


Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

-- Marcus Aurelius


#5 stan2019

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 11:43 AM

I tested radio using my handheld FSR/GMRS units and can hear them a mile away.

Not sure now about the repeater as i said I get no response from it. I sent an e-maoil to the owner of the repeater

to the address he has on file at MyGMRS.com and it came back delivery failure, e-mail account does not exist.

 

Thanks



#6 berkinet

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 11:53 AM

I tested radio using my handheld FSR/GMRS units...

 

Did you also set your FRS/GMRS radio to PL on receive to be sure you are sending the right PL?  And, did you listen to the repeater's input frequency (467.550 - 467.725) to be sure you are actually transmitting on the repeater's input?


Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

-- Marcus Aurelius


#7 bergmannap

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Posted 24 March 2019 - 10:57 PM

Did you also set your FRS/GMRS radio to PL on receive to be sure you are sending the right PL? And, did you listen to the repeater's input frequency (467.550 - 467.725) to be sure you are actually transmitting on the repeater's input?

What is ORI?

#8 berkinet

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Posted 25 March 2019 - 01:56 AM

What is ORI?

I have no idea.

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

-- Marcus Aurelius


#9 Radioguy7268

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Posted 25 March 2019 - 08:26 AM

ORI = Open Repeater Initiative 

 

The idea that GMRS repeaters would be "Open" - and available for any licensed user. Usually goes hand in hand with the ubiquitous 141.3 Hz "Travel tone".



#10 stan2019

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Posted 25 March 2019 - 10:19 AM

I have the radio set on the proper radio channel, 21 and the PL at 123.0 as stated by the repeater owner. I made one contact when i requested a radio check. He came in loud and clear on my end, but he said i was breaking up, choppy and he could not understand me. I can hear the repeater signal with my  SQ set to off.



#11 Jones

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Posted 25 March 2019 - 10:26 AM

I have the radio set on the proper radio channel, 21 and the PL at 123.0 as stated by the repeater owner. I made one contact when i requested a radio check. He came in loud and clear on my end, but he said i was breaking up, choppy and he could not understand me. I can hear the repeater signal with my  SQ set to off.

Yes, you will be able to hear the repeater with no tone, or with the correct tone.  You need the correct tone to access the machine, and you also need to be in repeater mode, so it would be channel RP21 or 21R, not just 21.

 

It could have been a case of your were hearing the repeater just fine, thus loud and clear signal, but the other user couldn't hear you well, since you were in fact still simplex, not through the repeater.



#12 stan2019

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Posted 25 March 2019 - 10:50 AM

I am on RP21 +. According to the repeater info on MYGMRS>COM the owner states it is an open repeater,output 462.700 and input 467.700.

Travel tone is 123.0 for local. ORI says no. Range is 30 miles.I am new to GMRS so I do not know what ORI is or what it does. I assume since it says no I don't need to worry about that part.



#13 Elkhunter521

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Posted 25 March 2019 - 03:24 PM

You stated you were using a Midland XMT400.
Among other problems, this radio receives and transmits in narrow band. They do this to maintain useability with all the bubble pack radios they sell.



The repeater you contacted was a wide band repeater ( most are)
Be vewy vewy quiet.
I'm listening to my wadio!

#14 marcspaz

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Posted 25 March 2019 - 04:34 PM

Are you sure you have your MXT400 on the repeater channel and not the regular channel?  It should show "rp" on the left of the channel display.

 

If you are not dialed to the repeater channel on the MXT400, your radio will not broadcast on the 5 MHz shifted frequency, which would be the repeater's input frequency... you would be broadcasting on the repeaters output frequency instead of utilizing the repeater. 

 

For example, the regular channel 15 (on your radio) will transmitting and receiving on 462.55 MHz.  If you dial your radio to the repeater channel 15, the radio will only receive on 462.55 MHz.  However, when you press the PTT button, your radio will transmit on a frequency 5 MHz higher, 467.55 MHz



#15 stan2019

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Posted 25 March 2019 - 05:02 PM

I do have the repeater channel turned on. It is showing rp beside channel 21 and also has a plus sign above and display shows also, T and SQ


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#16 marcspaz

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Posted 25 March 2019 - 10:42 PM

I do have the repeater channel turned on. It is showing rp beside channel 21 and also has a plus sign above and display shows also, T and SQ

 

Hmmm.  Based on your reply and confidence that you are using the equipment correctly, I am thinking a few things.

 

1.)  It may just be that you are outside the usable range of the repeater.  Some get a 30-40 mile radius, others only get 8-10 miles.

 

2.)  I had two MXT400's (still have one) and they are not the greatest.  If you are using the Midland antenna too, you are really doing yourself a disservice.  I have gotten much better performance on 440 MHz than on the GMRS 462 and 467 MHz frequencies, which tells me the Midland antenna is tuned incorrectly.  I replaced my midland antenna with a Comet multi-band antenna and doubled my range, just on that change alone.

 

3.)  As others mentioned, while the upper frequencies are allocated for 25 KHz bandwidth, your radio is filtered down to 12.5 KHz.  Both receiving and transmitting.  The problem there is, wide-band carries more noise and the narrow-band receiver is filtering out half of the wide-band signal being transmitted from the repeater.  Less usable signal and more noise means you are reducing your effective range.

 

Without being there with my equipment, its going to be impossible to help troubleshoot beyond the few comments I have already mentioned.  For what its worth, I ditched the MXT as my primary GMRS radio because I was very disappointed in the the lack of meeting the advertised power ratings and the lack of bandwidth on the upper channels.



#17 stan2019

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Posted 26 March 2019 - 12:52 AM

marcspaz, Thanks for the input. I am using a midland MXTA11 6db antenna on a MXTA 12 magnetic mount. I don't have a swr/power meter to check the install and none of the radio shops around me knows anything about GMRS. They only work on CB"S. I was thinking about ordering a MFJ 883 meter to check it out. What radio and antenna comb would you suggest using ?



#18 Radioguy7268

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Posted 26 March 2019 - 09:03 AM

Spending the money to "meter" a mag mount antenna that you're going to use with a Midland GMRS radio is a waste of time, money & effort IMHO. 

 

Your problem is your gear. If you want to have success using a GMRS wide area repeater, you pretty much need to go with Wideband capable equipment. That rules out most of the Midland stuff. The good news is, for not much more than the cost of the MFJ883 meter, you can pick up a really nice used Motorola or Kenwood radio and have it custom programmed to the GMRS repeater(s) you want to work on. 

 

Good luck with it.


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#19 marcspaz

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Posted 26 March 2019 - 12:58 PM

The MFJ 883 is way too much meter for what you want to do.  A $50 meter to read forward, reflected and SWR in the proper frequency and power range is all you need.  I wouldn't bother at all with the equipment you have.  I'm a Ham and just happen to have it.

 

As others have mentioned, finding an older programmable radio such as a Motorola or Kenwood would be a good choice.  There is a lot of talk of models on the forum.  I would look around the threads and see what you may like. 

 

The antenna I am using is a CA-2x4SRNMO.  It is built for 2 meter, 70 cm and GMRS/FRS.  I was looking at it for a couple of weeks, when another member recommended it to me as well.  It works great.



#20 NicholasBrule

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 08:01 AM

I have monitored the channel for an hour and have not heard anything on it. I have keyed up and get full bars on key, given my call sign and requested  radio check and got no response.Years ago i had equipment to test CB's but I don't have anyway to check output now. I cannot find anybody local that works on GMRS. My problem is, I don't know if I am actually Rx or TX ing. I may have to invest in some test equipment. Thanks for you input and I will try to email the owner to see if the repeater is up and running.

 

Hello, ive been monitoring  a repeater tower in a neighboring town. it sends a morse code transmission with it's callsign every half hour. I sent a message to the tower with my callsign and it sent back a loud siren almost like a police siren. I hope I didn't make anyone mad. Also contacted the operator days prior with no response.






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