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Opinions about my setup, please


WQWI871
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So, I seem to be having issues with any repeaters more than seven or nine miles away. I'm using a 9' vertical fiberglass omni on about a 33' mast, and, my TYT TH9800. I reach local repeaters just fine on low, but, I tried to reach a repeater today to check into the net, It's the alternate repeater as the local one was down. It's about 15 miles away. I was pushing 50w and couldn't reach it first. The signal was detected by the control, but, couldn't hear. I was able to reach it barely, but, enough for them to copy what I said the second time. Most of the regular check-ins and net controls know my setup and thinks It's odd that I've been having issues reaching repeaters that distance. I know my equipment is pretty much entry level, I can't afford an antenna over $100 and a base or mobile over $500, but, I still thought that was odd. Any ideas? My meter shows power and SWR is okay. Echolink is nice, but, not all repeaters have that mode. I know various factors such as weather and terrain play a part, as well. However, as I said, most regular check-ins know my setup and terrain, and, they think It's odd.

 

A side note, any free coverage maps for amateur repeaters similar to RF Finder? (It's not free)

 

Okay, I found k5ehx.net. And I didn't notice until now that Repeater Book does that. I generally use the app, so, didn't know. Well, some repeaters.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I forgot to update that. I was able to reach a couple repeaters 26.5 miles and one repeater 95 miles, but, those all have very wide coverage. Although some repeater that are about 20 miles away don't have wide coverage, I thought I should still be able to reach it for transmit. One repeater I can hear fine with no noise, but, can't reach for transmit. I considered making something simple such as a j pole, slim jim, coax slim jim, or a vertical ground, but, I didn't think performance would be much difference than what I'm using. At least specifications I see are about the same. I thought it could be the height of the antenna with terrain. There's still trees and obstructions around at that height and higher, the terrain is pretty flat. What's a service meter? Sorry, I'm only familiar with swr, power and analyzers.

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I wanted to do about 40 or 50 feet minimum, but, that didn't work out well. I was in doubt that my current 27-30 feet mast was high enough, but, as seeing some operators reach good distances with ground antennas or antennas mounted just on the rooftop, I was hoping my mast height wasn't so bad. It's a bit difficult going higher with my mast as my mast is made of multiple segments rather than one piece, the more I add on to it, the more unstable it will be. And I can't afford a proper mast or tower. I have seen a few reasonable priced masts used, but, I would have to pickup, which are not very local, and, I don't have the means of transporting that.

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