Best Answer jvfreetage , 10 December 2014 - 05:20 PM
The TYT's are not a bad radio, but they really don't handle high duty cycles too well. Had a buddy of mine got one cheap, and set it up as a crossband in his house to reach a distant repeater here on the island. The high duty cycle really got the radio HOT!! Run the output radio on medium power, or even low. Bearing that in mind, as long as you're not running a radio net through the things, they should do OK. OF COURSE THIS IS ALL HYPOTHETICAL due to part 95 acceptance yadda yadda yadda....
The sure-com controllers are pretty decent, and they have a "plug and play" interface with the TYT, AND DTMF remote kill. The only thing you should add to the repeater is an identifier. Radio Tone makes one that will actually wire in line with the sure-coms. Yep... Plug and play.
When you're running your antenna, make sure it's tuned properly. If you've made a dual band j-pole out of 1/2" copper pipe, unfortunately it's not going to work too well. Staying with the whole make your own theme, try and make one out of 3/4" or 5/8" copper and the actual radiating part will only be about 2' tall. Using a thicker pipe will give you a broader frequency coverage. Make sure you tune the VSWR for the OUTPUT, you can fudge the input.
Now yes you can put the TYT's on top of each other, but if you can space them out some (say a couple of feet or so) you might get a little better performance as well as heat dissipation.
I would guess that your range issue is also related to how you have and where you have your j-pole mounted. I've made a few of them, and learned that any type of grounding to the things will throw off the transmit big time. Also, they need to be clear of any metal. So for example, if you mount your j-pole to an aluminium mast, make sure the "j" part is at LEAST 2' above the aluminium pole, and the base of the j-pole is NOT directly attached to the aluminium. J-poles are great if there's no metal around them, but any metal (when using them on 440) within 2' will throw the whole thing off.
But... Good going. Experiment Experiment Experiment. I LOVE building antennas and seeing what I can do with them. Also, I do like your idea of mounting the antenna in the oak tree. Just be warned that you'll loose performance in the rain. Mounting it above your roof line is your best option for performance.
OK... I think I've beat this horse enough. If you have any other questions just fire them out!!!
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