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GMRS repeater setup info.

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#1
Hello,
My name is Casey, and I am new to this forum, but I wanted to ask a question concerning GMRS repeaters. I am an avid hunter and outdoorsman, as is the rest of my family. For the past two years we have been looking for a solution to our problem with our simplex radios not being able to reach very far at all. We are always finding ourselves having someone run up to the top of the mountain to relay messages over the mountain. We are going to be having some new younger hunters joining our group (my younger cousins) and we would like to have a better comm system in the event that one of them gets lost. I have been doing quite a bit of research on this subject, and it seems that the best choice for us is to set up a full duplex repeater station. I am wondering what info specifically we are going to need. I understand we need 2 car radios (one set up in repeater mode), a duplexer to separate the radio signals, a antenna that is 10-20ft off the ground, as well as a power source for the entire setup. We will be hunting on public land so we cannot setup a permanent station. I would like to have it in my car and not connected to the car battery. I would like to know if anyone has any ideas for an alternate but strong enough rechargable battery power source that would be able to run the repeater 24hours continuous (under strenuous working conditions) at least. Also any good ideas of how this would work, also if you would not mind I would like to hear your setups and how they work for you. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanx.

Malicious
 

chrismol1

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#2
how many miles you need to cover? cause a good HT with a 20'' antenna goes far
I wouldnt think that UHF would be a good choice for forest area with foliage
Maybe a VHF would be your better choice
 
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#3
chrismoll said:
how many miles you need to cover? cause a good HT with a 20'' antenna goes far
I wouldnt think that UHF would be a good choice for forest area with foliage
Maybe a VHF would be your better choice
I am only looking to cover 5-7 a the very most. Probably a dumb question but what is an HT? What does VHF offer that UHF doesn't in the rough terrain i'm in?
 

chrismol1

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Malicious-Intent said:
I am only looking to cover 5-7 a the very most. Probably a dumb question but what is an HT? What does VHF offer that UHF doesn't in the rough terrain i'm in?
Any HT is what motorola calls "Handie-Talkie" basically a walkie-talkie and over the years people adapted HT as the term for a portable radio

5-7 Miles in hilly rough terrain?
UHF absorbs a LOT into foliage, UHF is better for the city
VHF is better for outside/rural places
With a VHF at 5 watts power and a 17" or so antenna it might work, especially if you are located high than the recieving station
this option will be cheaper than a repeater
 
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#5
So will I still need a repeater? Or would just a HT VHF radio work best. Really my ultimate goal is to be able to be able to contact someone on the opposite side of the mountain i'm on. The mountain is only about a mile wide. I mean when we hunt we spend most of our time spread out over a 4-5 mile area. I just wanna make sure we have all the range/power we need.
 

chrismol1

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#6
Malicious-Intent said:
So will I still need a repeater? Or would just a HT VHF radio work best. Really my ultimate goal is to be able to be able to contact someone on the opposite side of the mountain i'm on. The mountain is only about a mile wide. I mean when we hunt we spend most of our time spread out over a 4-5 mile area this was VHF. I just wanna make sure we have all the range/power we need.
A repeater for a 4-5 mile area probably wouldnt be cost effective unless if you want to then its your choice but then licenseing and equipment comes into play.
It really depends on the terrain. I've gotten 3-4 miles with a rubber duck stock antenna that is 6" from portable to portable including one that was in a car which the car is metal and reducing the signal and this was in a semi-rural alrea and going downhill. I imagine that a 20" antenna will get you your coverage that you need. but terrain is really the issue
 
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#7
So a 5 watt VHF radio with a 6 inch antenna should be able to get me a good distance?! How far would it get me do ya think. This is really sounding alot better than purchasing all the equipment for a repeater! Would this get my signal over the mountain/hill? ALso are there any licensing stuff that I am going to need to do to be able to operate on these?
 

SAR923

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#8
If there's really a hill of any size between you and the other radio, no antenna is going to make any difference. Radio signals don't go through hills. You'll need some kind of repeater for reliable comunications over the hill. You can build a relatively cheap portable repeater like the one at http://www.qsl.net/kq6xa/repeaterpack/ or you can buy a commercial repeater and pay a lot more. Either way, you're not going to run it unattended for 24 hours without some big 12 volt power source, like a deep cycle RV battery along with a pretty big solar panel.

Is there some reason cell phones or Nextel won't work for you? It would be a lot cheaper than doing what you propose.
 
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chrismol1

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#9
Malicious-Intent said:
So a 5 watt VHF radio with a 6 inch antenna should be able to get me a good distance?! How far would it get me do ya think. This is really sounding alot better than purchasing all the equipment for a repeater! Would this get my signal over the mountain/hill? ALso are there any licensing stuff that I am going to need to do to be able to operate on these?
A 6 inch got me 3-4 miles so for you a 17" would do it maybe, but still depends on the location where your going to be on the hill
cell phone will work but do you get cell service up there?
 
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#10
The solution is simple. Get on ebay and buy a Pyramid In-Car repeater. Install it along with a higher power(say 15-20 watt car radio). Park your car/truck on top of the hill. The pyramid repeater will receive what is being said and rebroadcast it through the car radio to get the range you need. This is a very common setup amongst state patrol and county agencies who can't get the range needed from a handheld radio.

Google pyramid repeater and you'll find their website for all the info because i'm not giving the best description of it in this thread. Watch ebay for them to come available, they usually can be found used for around $100, just make sure the cables are with it and are compatible with the in-car radio you choose. I'd say you could set this up for less than $300 with the antennas(you'll need 2, 1 for the repeater to receive/transmit on and the other for the car-radio to receive/transmit on).


I have no clue about any legal issues in regards to this setup. If you set it up for GMRS and are "careful" where you use it and how much power you try and run I don't see you having any troubles. Of course that is just me, mobile repeaters for GMRS as far as i know aren't allowed, but out in the middle of nowhere i wouldn't personally worry about it. So do it at your own risk. If you are like a majority of GMRS users, you don't have a license to use it anyway, simplex or duplex, so you are already "breaking the law".
 
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#11
Malicious-Intent said:
Hello,
My name is Casey, and I am new to this forum, but I wanted to ask a question concerning GMRS repeaters. I am an avid hunter and outdoorsman, ........ I have been doing quite a bit of research on this subject, and it seems that the best choice for us is to set up a full duplex repeater station. I am wondering what info specifically we are going to need. I understand we need 2 car radios (one set up in repeater mode), a duplexer to separate the radio signals, a antenna that is 10-20ft off the ground, as well as a power source for the entire setup.
Several issues, Does the state you live in allow hunting while using radio's? I Know mine doesnt, Possible of a 2 way radio is not legal in ohio if your hunting.

Second issue, Many mobile radio DONT meet the frequency stability required for a GMRS repeater.

Third, You also missing a piece, the controller, Not much is needed for GMRS but a controller is needed.

How much weight do you want to tote up to your location? a Motorola GR300, car battery and antenna would work, a Solar panel to top off the battery would be a plus, or a lightweight generator would do in a pinch. HOw many days in a row do you need the repeater operational?
 
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