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Repeater system open or not.


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The good news is that if you call it a private system & try to control access to the codes, you will probably get some polite inquiries from people asking for information. Once people start to use it, you will quickly lose control of access, especially if it offers good coverage. Anyone with about $30 worth of equipment can scan for the repeater output tones.  If you make it a split system (different input PL/DPL codes vs. the Repeater's output) you can keep a little more control over access.

What do you want to accomplish? Who are your desired users? Do you have any undesired users in the area? Do you have local control capability? ie: can you pull the plug if people are using the repeater in a way you do not want them to? Do you want to be faced with that kind of decision?


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Open or not? That is the question. 

Well no, not really.  But I guess I need to determine what your definition of closed is.  Are you referring to it being closed as requiring permission for access, or are you referring to closed as no one outside your specific group as having access going forward.

And I will warn you that even having an OPEN repeater on this forum with POSTED PL's but the ability to request access will fill your email box with permission requests.  I get them all the time.  No one has ever been denied, but I still get the requests.  So will you. 

If you are going to make the access semi-private, not post the PL / DPL information publicly, like I have, and wait for requests, you will get MORE requests.  But at least the repeater is publicaly posted for frequency and area of coverage.  This will cut down on the possibility of someone else parking a repeater on your frequency with a different PL. 

Not posting it publicly at all can get a repeater parked on your frequency if no one else knows about it.  Or posting it as being PRIVATE, or fee based membership.  Then you will get to deal with assholes like me that absolutely abhor the idea of taking a shared resource and trying to charge money for it.  My way of dealing with it was building a repeater that completely covered the other guys coverage area and making it fully open.  Of course he did have a for profit business of selling access to his GMRS repeaters, so I really had ZERO heartburn doing so.  He was the only one that suffered form that since his users could access my repeater for free, so they didn't need to pay him any longer.  But those are the breaks. 

I work very hard in this area to work with anyone trying to setup repeaters for any type of use outside of that.  I have run coverage maps for all the repeaters in my area, referenced this site and others trying to locate all the operational repeaters around with their PL / DPL information so when someone is talking about putting up a repeater I can assist with something resembling frequency / PL coordination so interference is kept to a minimum and everyone is happy.  I have programmed repeaters and tuned duplexers for others to get them on the air. And I have provided equipment to people to get a system on the air if they had a location to get something up and running.  I just refuse to support it as a business, and will attempt to scuttle ANY attempt to turn GMRS access into a business for profit. 

Now understand that this stuff is EXPENSIVE.  SIte access, electricity, equipment and maintenance all costs money.  Requesting donations, having raffles, and other fund raising operations are well within the scope of getting the bills paid for keeping gear on the air.  But GMRS is not there to enrich you financially. 

So in truth, leaving it open for use is the best option.  Here's why in my opinion.  First is management of access.  There frankly is none.  For those people that get on there and act dumb, the other operators will deal with them, typically by just ignoring the stupidity.  And that is the best way for dealing with LID operators.  They get bored and go elsewhere that they can get a rise out of people.  You will have more users if there are fewer restrictions for access.  But there is a requirement of good equipment for that as well.  My linked repeater on the MidWest system gets over 1000 PTT's a day and 4 to 6 hours of talk time on a normal day and twice that on the days there is a net.  You can't get a couple mobiles in a box to stand up to that usage level for long.  But it's always better to have good equipment from the start and not need to worry about it.  The other thing with more users and activity is you can see the fruits of your efforts.  And there are people there if you want to just chat with someone. 


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WRKC935 Thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge on the subject. It is true that GMRS is all effort, dedication and money as you say a good equipment is expensive in general everything that involves setting up a reliable repeater station. I also agree with you 100% and I am totally opposed to turn GMRS into a for-profit business. I am also of those who share the idea of publishing the station in GMRS so that other future repeaters know that you are in the area. around here in northern philadelphia Pennsylvania there are many stations that are active and are not registered on the site plus the traffic is scarce or occasional. of course it is not mandatory to register them anywhere, but it would be good to do it. In conclusion, our goal is to make GMRS another method of communication without depending on the cellular network and also the Internet. To make our families and friends in general have at least another type of link with their relatives in case of emergencies of any nature. 

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  • 2 months later...
On 3/16/2023 at 8:08 AM, liahju said:

Repeater open to all or not?

Everything is almost ready, but we are still debating whether it will be an open repeater system or not...we are in Northeast Philly. Any opinions from those more experienced would be helpful. Thanks MyGMRS.

I maybe a little to add my two cents, but being a NE Philly Boy, I hope that someone would reach out to me with information, so I could join if the dues aren't too steep.

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