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You just got your GMRS license, now you want your own repeater?


coryb27
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Shame the Motorolian empire doesn't have an HF mothership in their radio fleet... oh well... 

 

ugh... TYT... oh man, I am trying to sell them all... but nobody really wants them...  

 

I think you'll be very pleased with anything XPR... and I have a couple of XPR6550 UHF for sale, if you're interested.

 

G.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I like it... looks good... thanks for sharing! I have two more XPR7550e radios to get before I start replacing all my older Vertex Standard infrastructure...  (repeaters, links, etc)

 

So, its all yours! :)

 

G.

 

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I'll take a stab at critiquing that Ebay sale (Everybody on the internet  is an expert.)

 

First off - the XPR8300 is a 1st generation DMR repeater. It's really 2 XPR mobiles in a box, along with some system specific hardware to keep the two timeslots sync'd up. The XPR8300 was kind of famous for burning up the Transmit side if you ran them at high power - and let the cooling fan run off the built-in thermostatic control. The 'trick' was to run them at lower power, and hack the fan to run continuously. At that point, they would live, but still had limits. In the Digital world, the units were limited by internal memory for some of the higher end DMR functions. They weren't going to play well in a higher end system, but they were suited well enough for single site systems. The XPR8400 was the improved version of that design, and seems to have held up much better than the 8300.

 

Next up - you've got the eBay side of things. $300 + shipping would be a fair enough price - IF you needed DMR, and you knew that the repeater worked. But, it's an auction listing, and you don't know what the final sale price might be (or who you might be bidding against!) Then you look at the seller, and you see someone with a nearly zero feedback rating. That's taking a major chance on the seller. The guy might be OK, or he might be fly by night... you just don't know. The listing shows a nice clean workbench that's apparently new  - along with a Bird Wattmeter, so it makes me think the guy has some skills - but also makes me think that he probably found a burned up XPR8300 and swapped the bricks (flipping the burned up transmit radio over to the receive side - then re-flashing the 'good' radio to move over to the transmit side). That can be done successfully - but you need to have some equipment to make sure everything's up to spec once you're done - and I don't see any type of a Service Monitor in the backgrounds of the pictures.

 

If I was searching for a GMRS analog repeater in a box, there's probably better places to spend my money. If I lived near to the seller in Kentucky - I might take a trip over to see that XPR8300 in person and talk to the seller - and see if I could save $50 in shipping.

 

I like the MTR2000 for GMRS. You can grab one of those in the 40 watt "low power" version for $600 or less if you're patient.

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Fair points.

 

G.

 

I'll take a stab at critiquing that Ebay sale (Everybody on the internet  is an expert.)

 

First off - the XPR8300 is a 1st generation DMR repeater. It's really 2 XPR mobiles in a box, along with some system specific hardware to keep the two timeslots sync'd up. The XPR8300 was kind of famous for burning up the Transmit side if you ran them at high power - and let the cooling fan run off the built-in thermostatic control. The 'trick' was to run them at lower power, and hack the fan to run continuously. At that point, they would live, but still had limits. In the Digital world, the units were limited by internal memory for some of the higher end DMR functions. They weren't going to play well in a higher end system, but they were suited well enough for single site systems. The XPR8400 was the improved version of that design, and seems to have held up much better than the 8300.

 

Next up - you've got the eBay side of things. $300 + shipping would be a fair enough price - IF you needed DMR, and you knew that the repeater worked. But, it's an auction listing, and you don't know what the final sale price might be (or who you might be bidding against!) Then you look at the seller, and you see someone with a nearly zero feedback rating. That's taking a major chance on the seller. The guy might be OK, or he might be fly by night... you just don't know. The listing shows a nice clean workbench that's apparently new  - along with a Bird Wattmeter, so it makes me think the guy has some skills - but also makes me think that he probably found a burned up XPR8300 and swapped the bricks (flipping the burned up transmit radio over to the receive side - then re-flashing the 'good' radio to move over to the transmit side). That can be done successfully - but you need to have some equipment to make sure everything's up to spec once you're done - and I don't see any type of a Service Monitor in the backgrounds of the pictures.

 

If I was searching for a GMRS analog repeater in a box, there's probably better places to spend my money. If I lived near to the seller in Kentucky - I might take a trip over to see that XPR8300 in person and talk to the seller - and see if I could save $50 in shipping.

 

I like the MTR2000 for GMRS. You can grab one of those in the 40 watt "low power" version for $600 or less if you're patient.

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What I like about the 8300's is the built-in CWID and easy to program and tune but of course you need equipment to do the tuning side I also has the EVX-R70 8400 in a cheap suit identical in nature but less the CWID both are good repeater and just fit in with my low traffic family comm application.

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I'll take a stab at critiquing that Ebay sale (Everybody on the internet is an expert.)

Lots of good points and info, thank you. I've backed off the idea of standing up a repeater for now (state of gmrs in my area, and others available), but I hope it builds information (and options) for others to consider.

 

(On a side note, I should be the new owner of a couple evx-539's in a few days)

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Nice, you got the ebay auction? :) I saw it was "ended"

 

Congrats.

 

And If you need any help with those, let me know.

 

G.

One of them, yes...I forget now if it was the one linked, or their other listing. I honestly debated for a bit on grabbing both pairs. And thank you...I'll see what I can figure out, but I may take you up on that.

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Well, I have to ask the question.  I see a lot of the required expense and such for setting up a repeater system.  So lets take this to the next level and say that I already HAVE it... ALL of it. 

A 4 port transmit combiner, 4 repeaters, a 240 foot tower with the proper antennas (DB420 with 7/8 cable on top for receive and a DB408 for transmit 30 feet below it).  Receive multicoupler... you know,, ALL of it.

At a site with a battery plant, and a generator for power backup.   Look my HAM call sign up on QRZ to see the HAM owned tower.

 

So here's MY problem.

There is in what my established coverage area, which covers most all of central Ohio, some folks that have pay repeaters on the air on EVERY GMRS frequency.

I don't do the PAY thing.  The discussions with the site owner have been a 2 and 2 setup.  2 machines that would be semi-private.  For his family and my family to use for personal traffic and two repeaters that would be full public access with their PL's posted here and available for ANY GMRS license holder.  The site is a partnership between the two of us where his funding and my knowledge have merged to create what we hope to be a spectacular Ham radio communications facility.  This will hopefully be a "Big Gun" HF station with several non-club affiliated repeaters on all common amateur bands and GMRS with a coverage footprint covering out 3 counties in all directions.  So far we know the UHF coverage runs from Madison to Muskingum East to West and from Marion to Fairfield (south currently poses issues due to some rather LARGE microwave horns) North to South.

 

My concern is that there is NO possible way that if I stand up these repeaters that the pay site guy will not be mad as I will provide FREE coverage on at least TWO of his frequencies that he has put up that are small profile machines.  And probably more than that as there are 8 total frequencies and he has over 15 repeaters listed on this site.  

I really don't want to irritate anyone...   But I also can't find enough motivation to NOT put these repeaters on the air because someone else feels the need to turn their GMRS license to a money making endeavor.

 

 

So what's the opinion on this endeavor.  Or a better statement is, I am GOING to do this. Unless someone has are REALLY compelling reason I shouldn't.  But I am looking to hear if anyone has a compelling reason.

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Im not really following here. Are you wanting to put up 2 repeaters on the same frequency as 2 already on the air repeaters in the same location ? If so that doesn't make sense. 

 

This entire post was started to help educate folks that 2 CCRs rubber banded together isn't a repeater. It costs money to put up good quality repeaters. If someone puts the money into a system its up to them to manage the system. I know no one "owns" a repeater pair but if i spend 20K to put a repeater on the air of course I'd have issues with someone else putting up another on the same channel.

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The frequencies aren't "owned" by any person. The requirement is for your system to not interfere with any other station on the same frequency and to accept any interference. My take is if your site has different tones the other site has no complaint about losing users. It's free enterprise at work and users will use the service which serves them better. To be better prepared I suggest you bring up your repeater using different tones and monitor the existing station for impact. Document the tests so if the other site changes and starts causing problems on your site you have a valid complaint. 

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Im not really following here. Are you wanting to put up 2 repeaters on the same frequency as 2 already on the air repeaters in the same location ? If so that doesn't make sense. 

 

This entire post was started to help educate folks that 2 CCRs rubber banded together isn't a repeater. It costs money to put up good quality repeaters. If someone puts the money into a system its up to them to manage the system. I know no one "owns" a repeater pair but if i spend 20K to put a repeater on the air of course I'd have issues with someone else putting up another on the same channel.

No, not wanting to put two repeaters up on same frequency.  Wanting to put up 4 repeaters on 4 different pairs.  Two being semi-private, the other two being free full access.

I do love that ya'll have taken and classified the CCR's and even given them an abbreviation.

And for clarification, when I say transmit combiner, think duplexer that allows 4 repeaters to transmit on one antenna.

And the repeaters I have are MTR's , XPR's and Kenwoods.  So no junk.

 

So my issue is this.  I don't want to interfere with anyone purposely.  BUT, If I want to put up a repeater, or several and a person has taken ALL the pairs up with pay repeaters (didn't realize that you could do that on GMRS) I am not really concerned that I am going to interfere with his pay units if I am putting up FREE access units.  But I am curious about what others are going to think about all that. 

Keep in mind that we did have a group find the current repeater that the site owner put up and were using it.  And they contacted us.  We explained that it was a sort of private machine, but we were in process of putting up public machines, and I am retuning their duplexer so they can get on the air.  They were ecstatic that they would have access to a repeater on our tower with the coverage it provides and not just working off a 10 foot pole bolted to a house. 

 

And yes, if I had dumped a ton of money into repeaters and others came in and parked on the pairs I was using, I wouldn't be happy either... But if I am CHARGING for access to those repeaters, and the other guy has his own gear and wants to do his own thing and not PAY for access to my stuff (still not sure how you can charge for access, this ain't commercial radio), then why should I be mad about it either. 

 

And as it's been mentioned before.  Commercial LMR (licensed business band radio) share pairs with different PL's and all is good, but they have licensed operating area's designated on their license (so many kilometers from the transmitter) which GMRS does not. 

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OK. So my opinion would be a conversation with the other operators' in the area would be my first suggestion. It appears you don't/can't do this. Sadly there is no coordination on GMRS so its up to local folks to manage the interference. My guess if one repeater covers more area that will get used more and eventually the other will go away. With that said you will most definitely need to use different PL/DPL codes to limit this.  

 

Don't get the wrong impression but to me this sounds like a turf war of sorts or who has the best stuff. I don't really subscribe to that but each there own.

 

As far as the pay to play aspect there has been numerous discussions out here on that. It all depends on what folks are really" charging". If its a donation towards repeater maintenance, electric bill or something of that nature I don't see issues. If its a LMR provider just putting up repeaters and charging airtime then that's different. I had friends that tossed money in a bucket when i had one of mine to help with stuff mentioned above. It never even remotely covered the cost of the gear but did help with electric bill a bit. 

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All of what you've described is a lot of money. I know b/c I have acquired most of that, except the 200ft tower, and it wasn't cheap to acquire. The tower and location is probably the most expensive part of the equation.

 

If you're willing to go with narrowband 12.5kHz channels, then you could do the following: park your GMRS channels at around +/- 6.25 kHz from the center of the GMRS repeater channel. If the other repeaters aren't too close <15 miles, and those repeaters aren't a pair of CCRs, there is a very high chance that their RX light won't even blink when yours keys up... I know this can be done with high end Motorola gear, but if you're looking at just two CCRs strapped together, then this will certainly not work.

 

If you want a private repeater, then I would advice in favor of getting an LMR license for those private deals.

 

G.

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If you're willing to go with narrowband 12.5kHz channels, then you could do the following: park your GMRS channels at around +/- 6.25 kHz from the center of the GMRS repeater channel. If the other repeaters aren't too close <15 miles, and those repeaters aren't a pair of CCRs, there is a very high chance that their RX light won't even blink when yours keys up... 

 

I would NOT recommend doing that on GMRS. While it's technically feasible - "creating" your own new repeater channels by offsetting your transmit center from the existing "main" channel is definitely outside the letter of the law - and would infringe on the repeaters on either side of your new split. 

 

I do agree with Gman's point about just putting up a Private repeater on standard LMR channels if that's what you want. I doubt there's that much spectrum congestion in Ohio. Run a UHF FB6 "Private carrier" - and just waive everyone's annual user fees if that's what you feel like doing. I'm not aware of any requirement for a Private Carrier to run as a for profit entity. The FCC has never asked to audit my books to make sure I'm making money. The only downside I see to that would be there's no option for 25 kHz analog wideband, but it opens up a bunch of other options - like Trunking, DMR, encryption, etc.

 

As far as someone charging for use on GMRS - if he's doing it as a non-profit just to "cover the bills" then he'd probably be glad to see you take over with a larger coverage and save him the hassles. If he's actually doing it for profit (and the way you make it sound - I'm confused how he would get so many willing customers paying high enough fees on GMRS to make a profit) - then yeah, he might be upset. But what's his recourse? Complain to the FCC? Tell people NOT to go use the Free system with more coverage area? What's he going to threaten them with? 

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Well, on NXDN with 6.25 narrowband you'll be able to fit 4 channels on a single 25 khz GMRS channel. With 2.5 you can still do it, but you need to park 6.25kHz away from the center channel frequency, that way you don't spill over into the interstitial FRS channels. 

 

But again, I also don't recommend doing it, just get an LMR frequency and be done with it, then you can run encryption, DMR, P25, GSM... whatever floats your boat... :)

 

G.

 

I would NOT recommend doing that on GMRS. While it's technically feasible - "creating" your own new repeater channels by offsetting your transmit center from the existing "main" channel is definitely outside the letter of the law - and would infringe on the repeaters on either side of your new split. 

 

I do agree with Gman's point about just putting up a Private repeater on standard LMR channels if that's what you want. I doubt there's that much spectrum congestion in Ohio. Run a UHF FB6 "Private carrier" - and just waive everyone's annual user fees if that's what you feel like doing. I'm not aware of any requirement for a Private Carrier to run as a for profit entity. The FCC has never asked to audit my books to make sure I'm making money. The only downside I see to that would be there's no option for 25 kHz analog wideband, but it opens up a bunch of other options - like Trunking, DMR, encryption, etc.

 

As far as someone charging for use on GMRS - if he's doing it as a non-profit just to "cover the bills" then he'd probably be glad to see you take over with a larger coverage and save him the hassles. If he's actually doing it for profit (and the way you make it sound - I'm confused how he would get so many willing customers paying high enough fees on GMRS to make a profit) - then yeah, he might be upset. But what's his recourse? Complain to the FCC? Tell people NOT to go use the Free system with more coverage area? What's he going to threaten them with? 

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Ok. Let me define semi private. The area we are in is typically a pl code of 141.3. So the public repeaters would be on that pl. The semi private ones would be a dpl that would be shared if someone ask with the understanding that the public repeaters be used first so the liading on the semi private units would stay quiet until the system loading required them to be used. By others.

 

As far as expense. Yes, none of this stuff is cheap. But if equipment is no longer supported or broken many commercial entities will request equipment be replaced due to their need for very stable systems and upgrades from analog to DMR. And of course the dreaded XPR 8300 repeaters that would burn up with the slightest provocation. And those are NOT factory repairable any more. If you ship one to the factory for repair it will be sent back untouched. Can they be fixed. Yes. But you need some specialized gear to get it done successfully. I have a stack of them that were dumpster bound and parts to facilitate the repairs. The rest of it is all cast offs, site clean outs of abandoned equipment and ham fest purchases. Someone mentioned a licensed LMR freq. I have considered that. But there are two issues with it. First is those are suppose to be for business use. Second is cost. And as funny as this sounds, the 500 bucks for the repeater pair would be more than I have invested in ALL the gear for a single repeater duplexer and antenna system.

 

I am going the route of gmrs because I can throw radios in the family vehicles and hand everyone a portable and be able to maintain communications without everyone needing a ham license and it not cost me for a frequency that the fcc will most likely not issue anyway

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