Jump to content
  • 0

Repeater question - TD-H3 GMRS, Tennessee Valley / North Alabama


WSDA306

Question

So I heard a conversation happening on my TD-H3 today while I was doing a scan, nice people girl and a guy, the channel showed as 30, RPT 8 (default GMRS channel).  I have looked up all the repeaters in my area and there are only a few.  I live in a fairly decent sized city.  500K population in the metro area. 200K in the city itself.  Unfortunately all of the repeaters in my vicinity that are listed although their power/distance show me to be well within range, there is a lot of hills and small mountains that block the signal to my house from the one repeater that is closest.

However Im curious, given that I heard some chatter on this repeater Im wondering how I would find out about it, I looked it up, that freq for my city and it basically found an old post saying it was run by an angry guy that would cuss anyone out on the air tell people to get off  his repeater.  This repeater, sounds like it would work for me since it's the first one in my area that I found that I heard chatter on. Also, that post about that guy was from 8 years ago so I doubt it's the same guy.  So Im wondering should I just try using it and see what happens. 

I actually got permission to use one repeater in my area, then found out I wasnt in a direct line of sight to it even though it's not that far.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0
9 minutes ago, WSDA306 said:

So I heard a conversation happening on my TD-H3 today while I was doing a scan, nice people girl and a guy, the channel showed as 30, RPT 8 (default GMRS channel).  I have looked up all the repeaters in my area and there are only a few.  I live in a fairly decent sized city.  500K population in the metro area. 200K in the city itself.  Unfortunately all of the repeaters in my vicinity that are listed although their power/distance show me to be well within range, there is a lot of hills and small mountains that block the signal to my house from the one repeater that is closest.

However Im curious, given that I heard some chatter on this repeater Im wondering how I would find out about it, I looked it up, that freq for my city and it basically found an old post saying it was run by an angry guy that would cuss anyone out on the air tell people to get off  his repeater.  This repeater, sounds like it would work for me since it's the first one in my area that I found that I heard chatter on. Also, that post about that guy was from 8 years ago so I doubt it's the same guy.  So Im wondering should I just try using it and see what happens. 

I actually got permission to use one repeater in my area, then found out I wasnt in a direct line of sight to it even though it's not that far.

Might not actually be on the repeater. Repeater Channel 8 (or however they want to label it) is the same receive frequency as channel 22. So, maybe there's a repeater out there that's not listed (which happens). Or maybe they were talking on simplex on 22 and you caught them. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

"Might not actually be on the repeater. " - Yes, I was considering that.  it could have just been someone driving by where I live.  

Also, have another question though regarding repeaters, Im guessing it is true that just because a repeater reaches me doesnt actually mean that I am close enough to it.  Is that correct?  Which would mean I have to be pretty much within a mile or so of any repeater to TX to it from my handheld. Or is that not correct. 

It seems if that were the case then you could never talk to anyone through a repeater unless you were both within a couple of miles, not because the repeater cant reach but because the handhelds being used cant actually transmit that far.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
5 minutes ago, WSDA306 said:

"Might not actually be on the repeater. " - Yes, I was considering that.  it could have just been someone driving by where I live.  

Also, have another question though regarding repeaters, Im guessing it is true that just because a repeater reaches me doesnt actually mean that I am close enough to it.  Is that correct?  Which would mean I have to be pretty much within a mile or so of any repeater to TX to it from my handheld. Or is that not correct. 

It seems if that were the case then you could never talk to anyone through a repeater unless you were both within a couple of miles, not because the repeater cant reach but because the handhelds being used cant actually transmit that far.

I mean, it depends. All repeaters are not the same, nor are all handhelds.

But: within a mile is pretty crap unless you're in a DENSELY wooded or built up area. I routinely talk through a repeater at 50 miles with a handheld.
That repeater is up on top of a mountain, and I'm on a hill with nothing but valley (ie: open air) between us. I also have been able to talk nearly 5 miles on simplex from up on my hillside to another handheld down in the valley. All of this using stock antennas (often, with an H3, actually).

So I'd say, short answer: no that's not correct. Long answer: ...but it could be depending on your particular circumstances.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
13 minutes ago, WSDA306 said:

Also, have another question though regarding repeaters, Im guessing it is true that just because a repeater reaches me doesnt actually mean that I am close enough to it.  Is that correct?  Which would mean I have to be pretty much within a mile or so of any repeater to TX to it from my handheld. Or is that not correct.

Repeaters tend to have more range than a handheld because of more power and a larger antenna, but you should able to connect with one from more than a mile away.  I'm in a wooded area but I can hit a repeater five miles away with a standard antenna if I'm in the front yard and facing the repeater.  That's not because I have a great radio but because the repeater has a great antenna, and because I'm lucky enough to squeeze the signal through a hole in the trees.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

Yes totally correct. Just because a repeater can reach you 10,20,30 or more mile radius does not mean you can hit it.  A hand held is 5ish watts.  In the city, hills, mountains, woods ect you may only get 1mile.  Or in the open you may get 30-50miles no problem.  Gmrs is all line of sight.  . We have people in our club that do 50miles into our repeater all day every day from a hand held.  We also have people that can’t get 10miles with a 50w base unit and a big antenna.  Again it’s all line of sight.   So if you can’t hit it from your location try down the street or maybe even a few steps in another direction.  A $100 20w mobile in a car/truck with a $30 antenna can be very helpful. The same 20w base station at home with a good antenna up high will also help.  I’d say start out with just the antennas on the roof of the car or home and hook them up to your hand held.  It will get you many many more miles    
 

also all 5ish watt hand helds from a $20 uv5g for a $1000 Motorola all transmit just about the same distance if everything else is about the same.   It’s not the price or brand of radio but the line of sight.  Different antennas can also help you squeeze more out of your radio 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

If you could be more specific about your location, a member familiar with your area might know exactly which repeater you could be hearing, too.

Huntsville, AL? How many miles and in what direction from a major landmark or highway intersection?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

Sorry, been busy and havent had time to get back on this forum, Im on the edge of Meridianville and Huntsville Al.  Unfortunately although I love my new house, I picked a location that was in an area that has a large deadzone from the nearest repeater.  I did drive over close to this repeater the other day and got a response back, when I keyed up but yeah, I think there are mountains blocking it to my house.

image.thumb.png.24f41a89798564415cc5153a108d29ad.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

If you decide that you want to put up an antenna to try and reach this repeater, there's a web site that can help if you know the height on the antenna you're trying to reach. You can put in your location and the tower's location, the tower's height, and then see what the terrain between the two points is like. This is the site that helped me figure out that I'd need around 1,200 feet of antenna height to talk to the repeater next to the in-laws.

https://www.scadacore.com/tools/rf-path/rf-line-of-sight/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Answer this question...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Guidelines.