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Repeater range question


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New GMRS user here. I obtained permission to use a repeater that is around 26 miles from me. MyGMRS says the repeater has a 61.4 mile range. I am on the correct repeater channel and have the single input/output ctcss tone entered correctly. I'm using a KG-935g and a GM-30 radio. I cannot get any response from the repeater and each of the radios is not receiving any transmissions. Is it possible that they are too small to reach the repeater and this is my issue? I also have an MXT500 and MXT275 but they are not currently installed.

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1 minute ago, WRQC411 said:

New GMRS user here. I obtained permission to use a repeater that is around 26 miles from me. MyGMRS says the repeater has a 61.4 mile range. I am on the correct repeater channel and have the single input/output ctcss tone entered correctly. I'm using a KG-935g and a GM-30 radio. I cannot get any response from the repeater and each of the radios is not receiving any transmissions. Is it possible that they are too small to reach the repeater and this is my issue? I also have an MXT500 and MXT275 but they are not currently installed.

26 miles on a handheld is unlikely even with a great antenna and impossible with the stock or even a "good" antenna. You don't say anything about possible obstructions between you and the repeater, but unless you have a clear line-of-sight shot even your other radios are iffy at that distance.

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I regularly and easily hit repeaters at 30 miles and 70 while sitting on my couch with most of my handhelds... But, there are other repeaters only about 10 miles away that I can't hit due to the terrain between my house and the repeater..

So like the @BoxCar said.. You might be able to hit it, you might not.   Are you CERTAIN that you have the tones programmed correctly?  I would remove the RX tones to make it easier to troubleshoot.

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14 hours ago, OffRoaderX said:

I regularly and easily hit repeaters and 30 miles and 70 while sitting on my couch with most of my handhelds... But, there are other repeaters only about 10 miles away that I can't hit due to the terrain between my house and the repeater..

So like the @BoxCar said.. You might be able to hit it, you might not.   Are you CERTAIN that you have the tones programmed correctly?  I would remove the RX tones to make it easier to troubleshoot.

Thanks for the help! Occasionally....I will get the repeater to beep back at me. How often would it do this if I were say, just a few miles away from it? Would it beep back at me after every transmission if I were talking to someone? I'm sure the codes are programmed correctly. What would removing the Rx tone do for me? Thanks again.

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54 minutes ago, WRQC411 said:

Thanks for the help! Occasionally....I will get the repeater to beep back at me. How often would it do this if I were say, just a few miles away from it? Would it beep back at me after every transmission if I were talking to someone? I'm sure the codes are programmed correctly. What would removing the Rx tone do for me? Thanks again.

Removing the receive tones allows you to be certain that you’re on the correct receiving frequency.  With no Rx tone your receiver reproduces everything on that frequency. 

I’m not sure it you’re describing a roger beep or a station ID when you say the repeater occasionally beeps at you.  Is that when you transmit or when you hear someone else’s transmission?  A roger beep can be programmed to sound at the end of every transmission.  A station ID is required to sound every 15 minutes while the repater is in use and at the end of a conversation  for GMRS. It’s frequently done using Morse code so it’s more than a beep.

Is the repeater programmed to sound a roger beep?  That would be unusual, I would think, since many people feel roger beeps are annoying. But if the repeater were programmed to give a roger beep and if you’re reliably hitting the repeater you should hear the roger beep with every transmission, so the fact that you only hear it occasionally would seem to mean that you’re not able to reliably hit the repeater. Or you only occasionally hear a beep because only occasionally does someone who has programmed a roger beep transmit to the repeater. Clear as mud, right?

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Charles.  Recommendation.  Ditch the Rx ctcss code, just use the Tx ctcss code.  Next, and I've done this before, drive towards the Repeater until you are certain that you are within 5 of so miles from it with a clear path to the repeater from your location.  Then transmit, identifying yourself (WRQC411) and ask for a radio check.  Assuming the host repeater is programmed the way they are normally programmed, you should hear a "Kerchunk" shortly after your Tx and may even hear a station identification in morse code or other code shortly after your Tx.  Hopefully someone is monitoring the Repeater, hears your request for a radio check, and responds accordingly.  The key to this exercise is to definitively confirm that you're hitting the Repeater.  

Let us know how you make out.

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On 4/28/2022 at 8:26 AM, SemperFiGuy said:

Charles.  Recommendation.  Ditch the Rx ctcss code, just use the Tx ctcss code.  Next, and I've done this before, drive towards the Repeater until you are certain that you are within 5 of so miles from it with a clear path to the repeater from your location.  Then transmit, identifying yourself (WRQC411) and ask for a radio check.  Assuming the host repeater is programmed the way they are normally programmed, you should hear a "Kerchunk" shortly after your Tx and may even hear a station identification in morse code or other code shortly after your Tx.  Hopefully someone is monitoring the Repeater, hears your request for a radio check, and responds accordingly.  The key to this exercise is to definitively confirm that you're hitting the Repeater.  

Let us know how you make out.

Do you have to use codes to use an open repeater?  The tones for WQYS795 in Tarboro NC show "input and output tones are 67.0 Hz" and it is an open system.  My MXT275 has a CTCSS code 1 for 67.09 Hz.  Are these the same thing?  And like I said, my gmrs has 67.09 but not 67.0, don't know if that matters on analog?  Anyway, I haven't been able to make contact verification.

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Up here in Maine there is a repeater 13 miles from me and one that is 65 miles from me. I live in an RF toilet bowl ( one of the lowest points in my area surrounded by tall hills) and I can hit the one 65 miles away, but I can't hit the one 13 miles away, all with a portable radio. UHF is more line of site with little curvature of the signal, meaning that, you can't have a lot of obstructions or you won't hit the repeater. In the same way, the repeater, the higher up it is, the farther away the signal will reach.

Also note too, on this site, I have come across many repeaters that claim a large area but in reality they may only reach that long in only a few directions due to terrain. Sadly, this site only shows a big circle around each site, not an actual specific mapped out area showing dead zones also. That's where some studying of the repeater signal will come into play. I do it with ham repeaters all the time and then just make a mental note of where the dead zones are. It helps if you are having a Convo mobile. You can pause your Convo until you get out of the dead zone. 

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2 hours ago, WRQI583 said:

Up here in Maine there is a repeater 13 miles from me and one that is 65 miles from me. I live in an RF toilet bowl ( one of the lowest points in my area surrounded by tall hills) and I can hit the one 65 miles away, but I can't hit the one 13 miles away, all with a portable radio. UHF is more line of site with little curvature of the signal, meaning that, you can't have a lot of obstructions or you won't hit the repeater. In the same way, the repeater, the higher up it is, the farther away the signal will reach.

Also note too, on this site, I have come across many repeaters that claim a large area but in reality they may only reach that long in only a few directions due to terrain. Sadly, this site only shows a big circle around each site, not an actual specific mapped out area showing dead zones also. That's where some studying of the repeater signal will come into play. I do it with ham repeaters all the time and then just make a mental note of where the dead zones are. It helps if you are having a Convo mobile. You can pause your Convo until you get out of the dead zone. 

I've been doing that around my house. I recently got a Simplex repeater and I've been testing with my HTs in my area to see where dead zones are to have an idea on where it'll work (the answer seems to be "very far away, but still limited by terrain at some point". I am going to test down in town and at the bottom of the river valley soon. I suspect I won't get reception from my HT, but I might from my mobile radio in my car. Maybe. Large terrain obstructions, but it isn't like half a mile of hillside in the way. Or at least not depending on exactly where you are. But it works a good mile from my house HT to HT even with a couple of hundred yards of hill in the way. I just got my base station and attic antenna setup to work with the simplex repeater, so it'll likely work even better through that stuff. Of course I can also hit a repeater about 13-14 miles away from my house and attic antenna with okay reception. Though if I walk half a mile from my house, up the ridge I have LOS or at least very NLOS to the repeater and I can then get very good reception on my HT. No 25w radio and 6dBi antenna 15ft off the ground needed.

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