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GMRS no repeater coverage





New to the radio world. I messed with CB as a kid, ran a radar gun system in the navy, and maintained IT networks as a career I just retired from. Going to test for my HAM ticket as soon as I have consistently better scores on my test exams. Be that as it may, I'm located in the tip of the mitt of Michigan. The closest published GMRS repeater is 116 miles away, as the crow flies. I built a simplex node and joined a linked network. Its okay for what it is, but I really like the looks of this network. From what I can tell there is no way to connect to the myGMRS network without a) using an established repeater a) building a repeater (which is a non starter due to lack of expertise and cash!). 


Am I correct in my understanding that the only way I can connect to the myGMRS network is to travel to an established coverage area?


thanks for listening. 



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For now, yes. We don't want simplex nodes right now because:


1. It kind of goes against the spirit of radio. If you're using a simplex node to just cover your house to talk over the Internet, you don't really need GMRS to do that.


2. Having one node per person adds a lot of complexity and load to the network. It's a lot more that can go wrong and then you have audio issues, announcements or IDs going off, and people connecting and disconnecting a lot.


3. We (mostly me) don't have the time to hold everyone's hand and set them up with a personal node.


There's still a steep learning curve to setting up a node if you've never used Asterisk before, and it requires some comfort with running Linux commands. A lot of people don't have that experience and we just can't spend hours on each person for free setting them up. It's much easier to spend time on a single node that is on a repeater with good coverage so you're potentially linking many people together and not just one at his house. 


We're more interested in covering as many people as possible with as few nodes as possible to keep the overall quality of the network up and minimize problems.


Lately we've started to have some growing pains during the National Net where the nodes aren't all cooperating, and trying to fix things with potentially hundreds of new nodes would just be a nightmare.


Zello is one avenue I've explored as a way to tie into the network. Zello is a great app but it has several issues that make it hard to adapt to our network. Zello sends the audio to their central servers, then forwards on to the recipient in a non-realtime manner. This is great for ensuring the message got to the recipient and is fairly clear, but there is latency introduced in sending the audio to the client particularly on a poor connection. The problem is people end up doubling over one another. It's still a possibility but it would probably be a single node that people can choose to connect to, rather than many nodes.

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