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Using two radios for a "repeater"

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#1
I'm looking to take a Kenwood TK 860 and a Kenwood TM V71A and link them together to make a repeater using the two radios. I was wondering if somebody could tell me if it was possible to do that and if so what I'd need to do it and if not possible which radio's would do that. One more thing is if I did it this way or if I bought an actual repeater ( I can get an old wide band one from an FD, Kenwood Brand) if I'd need a duplexer with either of these?
Thank You ,
Brian
 

gewecke

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#2
I'm looking to take a Kenwood TK 860 and a Kenwood TM V71A and link them together to make a repeater using the two radios. I was wondering if somebody could tell me if it was possible to do that and if so what I'd need to do it and if not possible which radio's would do that. One more thing is if I did it this way or if I bought an actual repeater ( I can get an old wide band one from an FD, Kenwood Brand) if I'd need a duplexer with either of these?
Thank You ,
Brian
I would Not use a V71 for the second radio. Instead another Tk 860 would be a better choice. What do you plan to do about antenna (s) ? That will determine what else you'll need. 73, n9zas
 
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#3
To comment on your note of "Old Wide Band"...is this for Amateur or GMRS ?
IF not then your Repeater idea would likely not be legal as the Part 90 (Business and Public Safety) were required to Narrowband long ago.

As for a Duplexer, if you run two different antenna's (One RX and One TX) and seperate them enough, no duplexer would be needed. Key thing is the seperation

I'm looking to take a Kenwood TK 860 and a Kenwood TM V71A and link them together to make a repeater using the two radios. I was wondering if somebody could tell me if it was possible to do that and if so what I'd need to do it and if not possible which radio's would do that. One more thing is if I did it this way or if I bought an actual repeater ( I can get an old wide band one from an FD, Kenwood Brand) if I'd need a duplexer with either of these?
Thank You ,
Brian
 

SteveC0625

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#4
I'm looking to take a Kenwood TK 860 and a Kenwood TM V71A and link them together to make a repeater using the two radios. I was wondering if somebody could tell me if it was possible to do that and if so what I'd need to do it and if not possible which radio's would do that. One more thing is if I did it this way or if I bought an actual repeater ( I can get an old wide band one from an FD, Kenwood Brand) if I'd need a duplexer with either of these?
Thank You ,
Brian
repeater-builder.com
 
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#5
Two TK-860's if they are capable of meeting specs in the service you wish to operate in.

There was (out in the wild) an interface cable at one point which would quickly adapt various TK series radios into a repeater available from Kenwood.

There are quite a few little gotchas to this. First, a mobile radio based repeater will not survive very long or any kind of heavy use running at high power. Secondly, depending on the application there may very well be alternative solutions for repeaters. It's been a long time since I've put two mobile radios together to build a repeater. I may get around to building a mobile P25 repeater here soon but that is another issue.
 
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#6
Sorry I forgot to mention, This would be for the amateur radio band, I have one antenna already that I have been using. I'd have to get another one, It's a multi band amateur antenna but I forget what kind, it came from an online amateur radio site but I forget which one.
 
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#7
You really need to think carefully about this setup.
Having two radios with minimal separation, on the same band, using separate antennas instead of a proper duplexer is going to cause a lot of headaches. Even with 4 or 5 watts, you will need a substantial amount of separation between the two radios to prevent the transmitting radio from causing desense in the receiving radio.
Single antennas and a tuned mobile duplexer are really the way to go.
My concern with the V71 would be as the receiving radio, it's probably not going to have the separation and the filtering to deal with a very close 4 - 5 watt portable transmitting. It might work better with the V71 as the transmitter.

As for the controller, you need to set this up to have the receiver audio trigger the other PTT. Since neither of these radios have a readily accessible COR. The 860 to 860 cables probably had a VOX circuit in them, but I'm not 100% sure. Either way, comparing amateur grade gear to commercial gear and trying to make it all work together is going to take some work. Ideally you might do better with a commercial mobile rather than the V71. Keep the dual band for QSO's.
I understand being limited by budget and the like. I'm sure this can be done with what you have, but really, consider a mobile duplexer and a single antenna. It'll save some headaches.
 
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#8
While it could work, you have to realize these radios were meant for plumbers, electricians, or anyone delivering a product or service to get the address of their next stop. I used to use a Kenwood TK880 on the ham band. While an excellent radio, if I would transmit more than 30 seconds, the heat sink would get hot. I put a small cooling fan on the back, & that helped. But even then, I kept my transmissions to a minimum. Those radios would melt in amateur radio repeater use after 5 minutes. Get the repeater. GARY
 
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#9
While it could work, you have to realize these radios were meant for plumbers, electricians, or anyone delivering a product or service to get the address of their next stop. I used to use a Kenwood TK880 on the ham band. While an excellent radio, if I would transmit more than 30 seconds, the heat sink would get hot. I put a small cooling fan on the back, & that helped. But even then, I kept my transmissions to a minimum. Those radios would melt in amateur radio repeater use after 5 minutes. Get the repeater. GARY
Even the repeater isn't built for more than a 50% duty…unless being run at low power it too will fare just as well as the mobiles.
 

N4GIX

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#11
There are many vendors of mobile duplexers to be found on eBay, some of them are even U.S. based. Check carefully to make sure that tuning is included in the sales price.
 
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#12
Check your local hamfests. Locally there is a radio shop who comes to the free fleas. He had a bunch of Motorola GR1225 repeaters for UHF. He was selling them for $200, while they were considerably more on that well known auction site. My friend bought one, & also bought a duplexer from the same guy. With an alignment thrown in, the total was about $500, but it works great. He also told the guy to set tx power to 20 watts, so it wouldn't get too hot.
 
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