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Repeater Linking? Another question.



We have talked previously about repeater controllers. I like the RC210 if it will work for what I need it to do.


However my application needs may have changed at least for my 2 sites. 


The owner of RC210 said if I want to break out a certain tone and send it out via a radio link or Allstar this my be done my isolating it with a CTCSS decoder.

One link slot and one CTCSS decoder for each tone I want to link out. I may have a need to link a few tones at each site.


Me and James in OKC are wanting to set up a common emergency link between Oklahoma repeaters all set the same tone. Linked at all times.

Need my two repeater linked on maybe two other tones for group use and business use.

I have just talked to a guy in Erick that wants to possibly link into the Elk city site from his. So Elk would need an additional tone.


Yes I would need repeaters that are capable of acting as a tone panel. like a community repeater did in the old days.


Just wondering if there is a better way to link tones more efficiently between sites?

I do hope I explained my question well enough to understand.


Thanks again for all your help.


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Asterisk (which serves as the backbone to the All*Star based Internet linking) was originally set up as a phone system, so it wants to use dial strings to set up links and direct traffic.


I have gone down this path a little before, and I did not desire to have a bunch of radios running around with DTMF keypads to control the network links. It makes much more sense for me to have a setup where Channel 1 is my local repeater, Channel 2 links my local to a distant repeater for a specific user group, and then Channel 3 to link a distant repeater to an "All Call" type of wide area group. That way any user can simply switch channels to operate the system as needed. If I understand Taco's OP - that's what he's trying to achieve via PL tones.


On the high end - you can go with a commercial system like the JPS ACU Z-1 - which is very flexible, programmable, and expensive. Their system is a card based design, so you can interface different formats (ethernet/private LAN, Internet, Leased Lines, Local, microwave E&M, etc.) as needed.


On the lower end, Trident Microsystems (out of business since Motorola swallowed them up) used to make an LTR controller called the Marauder which would allow for automated "dial up" Linking of sites via tones or user groups. You can find those being sold online for less than $100 most days. The similar and more plentiful Raider panel doesn't have the dial up function. You could interface that with a very cheap and simple VoIP system like Ooma or Magic Jack to allow session based linking. It would not be fast or flexible, but it would be dirt cheap. Definitely not Public Safety grade, but it might be good enough for non-critical business use.


There's also some RoIP devices made by JPS and Orion Systems that would allow you to interface subscriber devices (end-user radios, not Repeaters) and as long as you were willing to dedicate some radios to the cause, you could achieve user group linking (Multiple user groups and multiple repeater sites would involve ever-increasing numbers of dedicated radios with internet links.) I've seen a few instances of that - but never built one out myself.


The cheapest and easiest is to run All-Star. The limitations are known, but you're not re-inventing the wheel for a one-off.

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I'll be honest I'm not 100% sure of what you are going for. It looks to me that you want one repeater for three uses, Business, group/club, and emergency, without users interrupting one another. This is asking an awful lot for an analog repeater as you will constantly get "interrupts" depending on time of day or situations.

Generally speaking, multi-tone repeaters are used in two situations;

1 ) In light business for non-mission critical operations. Think room service and valet for a hotel. Nether group would use a radio enough, however must be reachable in the event of a problem. Likewise, Valet communications could disturb guests so use of different tones would allow the valet to communicate without blasting room services radios.


2 ) In repeater control. As a repeater owner, you may wish to retain control of the repeater. To do this, one may opt to use a different set of tones which will allow the owner to remotely change settings or functions without other users hearing the DTMF codes. This could allow remote repeater knockdowns, or even basic changes in the radio itself such as TOT and access tones.


Personally, I would keep business off GMRS entirely unless it is a last resort. Its not that I have a problem with business use, however I have seen users intentionally cause chaos to business users simply because they can. I also know of quite a few businesses who become abusive themselves believing they have full control of a GMRS channel and threatening users or confiscating radio equipment from customers. Do keep these things in mind if you still wish to use GMRS as a business radio.

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