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#1 Citizen

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 02:14 PM

I was just wondering if there is anyone in the south Houston Texas area that would be willing to schedule a few on air radio checks.  Shouldn’t take more than a few minutes if we can agree on a precise time and frequencies.

 

Since being new to GMRS, I’ve been able to setup & program my radio (repeater capable) and tune my antenna.  I’ve double checked just about everything but can’t seem to make contact with anybody.

 

Here are a few tests I’ve run:

  1. Ping repeater 1 at low power, nothing received
  2. Ping repeater 1 at medium power;  Received repeater CW identifier, but Morse code too fast to copy
  3. Ping repeater 2 at medium and high power; nothing received
  4. Ping repeater 3 at medium and high power; nothing received
  5. Ping repeater 4 at medium and high power; nothing received
  6. Ping repeater 5 at low, medium and high power; nothing received.

 

Notes:

Repeater 1 - distance: 11.3 miles; antenna height: 350’; CTCSS: 141.3

Repeater 2 - distance: 4.6 miles; antenna height: unknown; CTCSS: 141.3

Repeater 3 - distance: 15.5 miles; antenna height: 450’; CTCSS: 141.3

Repeater 4 - distance: 9.15 miles; antenna height: unknown; CTCSS: 67.0

Repeater 5 - distance: 9.6 miles; antenna height: 450’; CTCSS: 141.3

 

When I say “Ping”, I simply call for a radio check on frequency, with proper published CTCSS tone input to the repeater.  My Tx power for Lo/Med/Hi are 10w/25w/45w respectively.  My antenna is a Tram 1486 and is roof mounted at about 20’.

 

For test 2 above, I received identifier loud & clear on the base radio (antenna is on roof) with no Rx tone set, but nothing heard on a HT inside the house.  I do receive some local traffic on GMRS Ch 1, but that’s not repeater related.  I have received network linked traffic from both Arizona and Oklahoma, but of course I couldn't make contact with them.  Both my radio Tx and Rx have been verified for the repeater channels above using a separate HT and a separate scanner.  So I don’t understand why there is so little traffic in this large metropolitan area (perhaps there is but just I’m not receiving it).

 

Comments/suggestions/volunteers welcome.  If this request is successful, maybe we could setup a thread for others in specific metro areas around the country.  Unless I am the only one experiencing this. 

 

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

 

...



#2 kidphc

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 02:16 PM

Did you hear a repeater tail after your transmission?

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#3 Citizen

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 02:21 PM

No, I only hear the Morse code that seems to respond whenever I key-up the repeater.

 

I'm not sure I know what the repeater tail is.  What should I be listening for?

 

...



#4 kidphc

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 02:28 PM

Would sound like a second or two of static. Then quiet. Sometimes a beep if the repeater is setup with a Roger beep.

No repeater tail, then you aren't breaking the repeater squelch, making it into the repeater or have the wrong tone

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#5 Citizen

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 02:33 PM

Well, there is a very short pause after the Morse code identifyer, and then a single Morse code character sent.  I believe it is dit-dah-dit ('R') best I can tell (can't read the others, too fast). And it seems to occur every time I go on frequency to request a radio check.

 

Is that what you mean by repeater tail?  It doesn't sound like static or a Roger beep.

 

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#6 kidphc

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 02:42 PM

No. But I have heard some repeaters send identifiers at the end of someone's transmission.

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#7 kidphc

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 02:48 PM

https://youtu.be/c93Wg8RgRNY

Around the 9-10 minute mark you will hear the Roger beep the a burst of static. The burst is the repeater tail. Closing the connection.

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#8 Citizen

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 02:53 PM

Ok, yes, I do hear a VERY SHORT burst of static at the end, on repeater 1 (Ping test #2 at Med power), but definitely no Roger beep. 

 

I had been hearing this before, but didn't know what it was and didn't know it was significant.  See, ya learn something new everyday!

 

...



#9 n4gix

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Posted 19 October 2020 - 06:38 PM

I believe it is dit-dah-dit ('R') best I can tell (can't read the others, too fast).

Typically that would be a "K" _._



#10 H8SPVMT

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Posted 19 October 2020 - 09:35 PM

I found that while I could received the signal from a repeater I was too far for my radios signal to reach the repeater, in the beginning.  The repeater ID'ed itself as a GMRS repeater so I knew then I had to try my best,

 

I presumed it may have my transmit signal was stronger on one side of my vehicle than the other.  Playing around (driving in somewhat large circles) I began to grt that silence tail and then the beep, from the repeater.  Then I knew, I was getting the acknowledgment from the repeater that it heard my transmition.  I also positioned myself very near an open area as well. 

 

I ID'ed myself and asked for a SIGNAL REPORT.  Almost immediately a person responded with what I sounded like coming through the repeater.  (Could have been the owner)  We chated for a short time and explained my newbie situation and he responded that it was nice to heard from 34 miles away.

 

This whole thing had taken a couple days but I was persistant as I have a friend nearby that repeater location I wanted to talk to eventually.  While he could hear me well, I had to coax him closer to the repeater so his radio would make contact with the repeater.

 

Takes some practice and persistance bat first, but it is fun.

 

Best wishes!



#11 1URFE57

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 12:00 PM

I'm here in NW H-Town (Cypress Area) the only repeater I can access is NOVASOTA 725 that's 13 miles or so from my QTH if you can access that one I'll listen for you while I wait for my daughter's swimming practice. They're other repeater around here but you have to be a member of TEXASGMRS.net hope to hear you soon



#12 Citizen

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 10:51 AM

I'm here in NW H-Town (Cypress Area) the only repeater I can access is NOVASOTA 725 that's 13 miles or so from my QTH if you can access that one I'll listen for you while I wait for my daughter's swimming practice. They're other repeater around here but you have to be a member of TEXASGMRS.net hope to hear you soon

 

Thank you very much for responding and your willingness to help!

 

I am in the Pearland/Manvel area, and so I checked the RF Line of Site website ( ) and it shows the Navasota 725 repeater is 71.4 miles to my northwest.  If you back-off the 13 miles you are closer to me, that's still 58 miles.  My antenna is about 20', and I don't know the height of the repeater but assuming it is at least 50', I'm afraid there are a number of obstructions between us (including terrain).

 

However, like H8SPVMT indicated, I am patient and willing to try.  I suggest at 6 PM (local) this evening (10/21/2020), I will be on Ch30 (462.725/467.725) and call for "SIGNAL REPORTS".  If another time is better for you, please suggest and I will do my best to be at the radio at that time.  Anyone else in H-town feel free to chime in here or on frequency.

 

Thanks again,

Thomas

WRHV686



#13 Citizen

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 05:29 PM

 

I suggest at 6 PM (local) this evening (10/21/2020), I will be on Ch30 (462.725/467.725) and call for "SIGNAL REPORTS". 

 


Forgot to mention; the Navasota repeater indicates tones 110.9, so I will program for those.  I will also have a backup radio set for simplex on channel 22.

 

T.



#14 Citizen

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 06:00 PM

I am online now, and have asked for Signal Report...nothing heard (my simplex radio is not picking up the signal, so I know I'm NOT hitting a repeater, also no repeater trailer sound at all).


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