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Which repeater?

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CommJunkie

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I hope this is in the right area...

I'm in the beginning stages of setting up a UHF radio system for personal use. I am looking around at repeaters 75W and higher, but I can't seem to find very much information on them. Does anyone have a repeater set up that they have pics of that I can get an idea of what people are using and what seem to be decent equipment?

Thanks.

CJ
 

n8emr

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CommJunkie said:
I hope this is in the right area...

I'm in the beginning stages of setting up a UHF radio system for personal use. I am looking around at repeaters 75W and higher, but I can't seem to find very much information on them. Does anyone have a repeater set up that they have pics of that I can get an idea of what people are using and what seem to be decent equipment?

Thanks.

CJ
Repeater for what radio service? I see your sig has a GMRS callsign, if thats the service then your only legal to 50 watts. Also where is the antenna going? If its just going to be put on your home, 50+ watts isnt going to help much. Need more info to answer your question.
 

CommJunkie

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n8emr said:
Repeater for what radio service? I see your sig has a GMRS callsign, if thats the service then your only legal to 50 watts. Also where is the antenna going? If its just going to be put on your home, 50+ watts isnt going to help much. Need more info to answer your question.
I have applied for a business band license 450-470 because of the GMRS restriction. The repeater/antenna is (hopefully) going to go on a radio tower in the area that's owned by a local AM station. A few other antennas are up there that are privately owned, so I'm hoping they are going to work with me.
I need the coverage to be at least my county, which is about 180 sq miles. I realize I may need more than one location, but I'm only working on this one for right now.
 

fineshot1

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Site Access?

You seem rather unsure of your access to this radio station tower site you refer to.

Without it you can do nothing regarding starting up a repeater system.

If I were you I would get that nailed down first, then worry about the equipment.

Do you have any technicle training, understanding or abilities regarding two way radio systems?

I ask because even after you conquor the access and equipment issues there will be
the maintenance and support aspect of this endevor which is often underestimated.
If something fails you will need the ability to troubleshoot and repair in short order
which also means you will need to maintain spare parts and equipment.

Anyway - If you over come all those issues I have aquired much used and some new never used comercial equipment on ebay at relatively low prices if you know what your looking
for. Being in the industry I also have word of mouth sources which have worked for me.

Tip#1: For reliability reasons choose a repeater that is built for continuous duty. If you choose one of those two mobile radios hooked together to make a repeater deals you will be sorry. Good examples of a used repeater: MSF5000, MSR2000, Micor, MastrII, MastrIII
Tip#2: For antenna and feedline always choose industry commercial quality as its exposed to the weather 24 x 7 and takes a beating over time. Too many choices here to list.

Good luck and let us know how you make out
 

chrismol1

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CommJunkie said:
I have applied for a business band license 450-470 because of the GMRS restriction. The repeater/antenna is (hopefully) going to go on a radio tower in the area that's owned by a local AM station. A few other antennas are up there that are privately owned, so I'm hoping they are going to work with me.
I need the coverage to be at least my county, which is about 180 sq miles. I realize I may need more than one location, but I'm only working on this one for right now.
Hopefully a business band license on VHF will help as the UHF will get you nowhere fast for coverage
 

N4DES

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CommJunkie said:
I have applied for a business band license 450-470 because of the GMRS restriction.
What part of the FCC R&R's did you use to justify your application? I do not recall any subsection that allows for "personal use" of the business 450-470 band which is what GMRS and MURS was developed for.

Also what restrictions are you referring to? 50 watts vs. 75 watts? If so you will never in a million years see the difference between the two in performance.
 

zz0468

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chrismoll said:
Hopefully a business band license on VHF will help as the UHF will get you nowhere fast for coverage
Huh? A well operating UHF repeater can provide EXCELLENT coverage. I routinely talk into UHF repeaters that are close to 100 miles away.
 

zz0468

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CommJunkie said:
I'm in the beginning stages of setting up a UHF radio system for personal use. I am looking around at repeaters 75W and higher, but I can't seem to find very much information on them. Does anyone have a repeater set up that they have pics of that I can get an idea of what people are using and what seem to be decent equipment?
For "personal use"? As previously stated, that would not make you eligible for a business license. GMRS would be the way to go. And then you have that pesky 50 watt limitation. But as previously stated, you would be hard pressed to tell the difference between 50 and 75 watts.

Putting up a repeater is not something a beginner should be doing. I would strongly urge you to find someone local who's done it before, has the equipment to set it up properly, and understands how to recognize and cure things like desense and intermod, the bane to poorly installed repeaters everywhere.
 
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N9JIG

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Licensing aside, you will need to have an insured installer put in the antenna and repeater on the tower, the owners would never let anyone but a professional with insurance and bonding install anything on the tower.

Once you get that arranged then start the FCC licensing procedure with the coordinator for the service you wish to use. Expect to pay about $1000 or so for coordination plus the license fees.

What you might look into instead of the major investment for your own repeater is to look to some of the local SMR's. Look up Two-Way Radios in the local Yellow Pages. Most areas have several SMR providers with VHF, UHF, 800 or 900 MHz. systems and they will provide coverage maps. Most UHF and VHF SMR's use LTR trunking, while 800 and 900 MHz. often use EDACS, Motorola or LTR.

SMR providers do not usually care what type of traffic (business or personal) you use it for as long as it isn't illegal. They often provide very wide area coverage at a reasonable price.

Also to consider are Nextel or other PTT services. While Nextel has coverage issues in some areas they will often provide you with a couple demo units that you can test drive in your area for a day or two.
 

n8emr

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CommJunkie said:
I have applied for a business band license 450-470 because of the GMRS restriction. The repeater/antenna is (hopefully) going to go on a radio tower in the area that's owned by a local AM station. A few other antennas are up there that are privately owned, so I'm hoping they are going to work with me.
I need the coverage to be at least my county, which is about 180 sq miles. I realize I may need more than one location, but I'm only working on this one for right now.
As noted by others, not sure how your going to get a business license for "personal use" also depending on your area, you may find that you can get a VHF or UHF license but will be forced into 800mhz. What Frequency coordinator did you go through, you need that before you can your FCC application. If your going on a commercial tower then you talking a professional rigging crew that can be pricey, not to mention in most cases a monthly rental fee for the space. A good commercial antenna is going to run you $300+, Your going to have need long runs of quality coax, Figure $2-$3/ft plus connectors so your looking at $300+ for coax. At a high RF site your going to need some good radio's with tight front ends. Figure $2000 for the repeater, Your duplexer going to set you back another $1000 since you want high power. Seems like a lot of money to invest in a "personal" system. Grab a few nextels and make it easier and cheaper on yourself.
 

CommJunkie

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KS4VT, zz0468, n8emr:

It's for a "personal" business that I'm starting. Why don't you let me worry about the licensing requirements, since I was asking for help with repeater systems?
 

Grog

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CommJunkie said:
KS4VT, zz0468, n8emr:

It's for a "personal" business that I'm starting. Why don't you let me worry about the licensing requirements, since I was asking for help with repeater systems?

Because they are being helpful instead of just letting you look stupid later when things fall apart with the licensing, but you're the expert here :roll:
 

CommJunkie

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Grog said:
Because they are being helpful instead of just letting you look stupid later when things fall apart with the licensing, but you're the expert here :roll:
I don't claim to be an expert, I just know which licensing category I need to be in. I asked for help with repeater set ups. For those that have given advice and tips, thank you. However, I don't feel that I need to explain every detail with regard to what I will be using the radio for in order to get access to repeater assistance. It's 100% legal. Some things are just not meant to be public.
 

zz0468

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CommJunkie said:
I don't claim to be an expert, I just know which licensing category I need to be in. I asked for help with repeater set ups. For those that have given advice and tips, thank you. However, I don't feel that I need to explain every detail with regard to what I will be using the radio for in order to get access to repeater assistance. It's 100% legal. Some things are just not meant to be public.
No need to be jerk. We're trying to help. If you know what type of license you'll be operating under, we would need to know in order to answer your questions. We can't make a recommendation on a 75 watt business band repeater if you're going to operate on a GMRS license. You clearly stated "personal business". That clearly makes you ineligible for a business license. If it's NOT personal business, but a real money making venture, then say so. We don't need to know the details.

But no matter... go back to being a jerk. You've gotten all the input from me you're gonna get.
 
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1000FeetUp

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zz0468 said:
But no matter... go back to being a jerk. You've gotten all the input from me you're gonna get.
You think you're not a jerk with a statement like that? The guy (or girl, whatever) asked for help with repeaters. What difference does it make what band they're on?

This forum site is full of people who think they are the only ones who know about radios. The database side is well put together, but the forums just make me want to stop looking.

Matter of fact, I think that's what I'll do.
 

firetaz834

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CommJunkie said:
I hope this is in the right area...

I'm in the beginning stages of setting up a UHF radio system for personal use. I am looking around at repeaters 75W and higher, but I can't seem to find very much information on them. Does anyone have a repeater set up that they have pics of that I can get an idea of what people are using and what seem to be decent equipment?

Thanks.

CJ
Well, I'm going to throw in my 2 cents worth (6 cents with inflation). The members on this board are just trying to be helpful, from reading what you wrote you stated that you were in the "beginning stages of setting up a UHF radio system for personal use". I'm sure some could just send you pics of what there repeater system looks like, but without conceise details there setup may be the top of the line, where you only need the start up. Also, I feel they were trying to help because of the wording you used. "personal use" usually signifies for non-business usage. And, if that wording was put in the license application, it would get cancelled before you put your foot in the door.

I'm sure everyone doesn't want to know the minute details of what your planning but they just want enough details to give you a decent answer. But, then again I have heard others tell individuals who are setting up a business answer to go through a business consultant to get you te details you need. There just trying to be helpful based upon what limited information you have provided. Also, just based upon your posting some maybe felt you were just putting your foot in the door on this and didn't know the full cost involved of setting up a repeater system.
 

ffexpCP

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I was in FM broadcast, I don't know too much about AM. However, all the AM towers I know of are hot towers. The tower itself is the radiator. That may be difficult to get your equipment installed.
 

SAR923

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Rich Carlson has the right answer. Look for what's already set up in your area and pay the repeater owner his monthly fee. You'll probably get better coverage and better service at a lower price. Setting up a repeater system is not a trivial or inexpensive operation, especially if you want to cover 180 square miles.
 

KC0QNB

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Since your op was about a repeater, you can find uhf units laying around not being used anymore because cellular phones are used instead. I got a Johnson repeater for the price of the gas to go get it. I am looking at another unit that I believe is no longer used, since the company closed its doors. I traded the original Johnson for a IC-2200 the guy wanted a repeater I needed a new rig, win-win situation.
Now if I get the other repeater I will check it for operation and go from there.
 

chrismol1

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CommJunkie said:
I hope this is in the right area...

I'm in the beginning stages of setting up a UHF radio system for personal use. I am looking around at repeaters 75W and higher, but I can't seem to find very much information on them. Does anyone have a repeater set up that they have pics of that I can get an idea of what people are using and what seem to be decent equipment?

Thanks.

CJ
WELL, INSTEAD of zoning off topic since the 3rd post, I good repeater equipment can be The GE Mastr II and III. They go for around $500 but there reliable. UHF is a good choice since there are tons of UHF units lieing around. If you need a duplexer, then ebay has some good choices to pick from as well as the repeater since they are always up there. Good luck. Have fun
P.S. like a post above with the antenna location, AM towers are tricky, best pick one on an FM broadcast tower, you'll probably have more choices with FM towers in your area. With this setup, you can probably figure out yourself that you need a quality commercial cable system and whatever else you need
 
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