A Little Repeater Help

Status
Not open for further replies.

btritch

Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2006
Messages
1,899
Location
Paragould/Greene County AR
I'm looking to put an amateur repeater on the air in my area, I have a small budget I've looked at a few cheap repeaters, I wonder if anyone can recommend a good cheap repeater, I've looked at some Kenwood and some Vertex but they are commercial grade and i'm not sure how to make them identify, can anyone recommend a quick setup that will cover a small portion of my area?
 

ai8o

Brachiating Tetrapod
Joined
Oct 6, 2007
Messages
306
Location
Lexington, NC
Are you near Bentonville?

The Walton Foundation sometimes gives grants to local "non-profit community groups".
Your radio club may qualify as a local public service group.

Doesn't hurt to ask.
 

russbrill

Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2020
Messages
380
Location
Sacramento, CA
I'm looking to put an amateur repeater on the air in my area, I have a small budget I've looked at a few cheap repeaters, I wonder if anyone can recommend a good cheap repeater, I've looked at some Kenwood and some Vertex but they are commercial grade and i'm not sure how to make them identify, can anyone recommend a quick setup that will cover a small portion of my area?
Where do you plan on installing this repeater??? Private Residence or Commercial Tower Site???
 

mmckenna

I really ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
18,056
Location
Pt. Nemo
I've looked at some Kenwood and some Vertex but they are commercial grade and i'm not sure how to make them identify, can anyone recommend a quick setup that will cover a small portion of my area?
The Kenwood repeaters can all be programmed to send out a CW ID at a set interval. Any reputable repeater will be able to do this since it's required by the FCC.
If you can find a good used one, that would be an option.

If you are looking for new, while I'm not a big fan, the Bridgecom repeaters are a good starting place. A little more geared towards amateur/GMRS use. Pretty much plug-n-play, down to the point that you can send them your frequencies/tones and they'll program the repeater and tune the small flatpack duplexer that can be installed inside. Add power and a decent antenna and you are on the air.
 

vagrant

ker-muhj-uhn
Joined
Nov 19, 2005
Messages
2,595
Location
California
Here’s what I did:
$400 - Yaesu refurbished repeater DR1X from Yaesu you easily program via touchscreen and they ID
$100 - UHF mobile duplexer (notch filter) via eBay, some will tune it as well
$100 - UHF antenna I cut/tuned to my TX freq
$??? - LDF4-50A coax

Plus, some N patch cables between the repeater and duplexer, and another from the duplexer to the LDF4-50A coax as it is rather rigid. I also upgraded the repeater N panel connectors to silver.

When I first got things going I was using LMR-400 and a dual band antenna. Changing to the better coax and single band antenna I tuned for my TX freq made a big difference. Some fine people here on RR clued me in about the coaxial cable concern for repeaters. Another tool that helped me was an inexpensive VNA. I used it when cutting the antenna as well as fine tune the mobile duplexer. This system is used at my home location. At a high RF site I would use a BpBr (Bandpass/Band reject) duplexer.

Please note the Yaesu should be limited to 20W on UHF, but you could use an amplifier. While the Yaesu will deliver 50W, repeaters with a high duty cycle failed due to the heat. In a climate controlled environment, it may be fine at 50. Both I and a friend have ran ours at 50, but our duty cycle is low.
 

btritch

Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2006
Messages
1,899
Location
Paragould/Greene County AR
Are you near Bentonville?

The Walton Foundation sometimes gives grants to local "non-profit community groups".
Your radio club may qualify as a local public service group.

Doesn't hurt to ask.
I'm actually clear across the state from that area, that's good to know though
 

btritch

Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2006
Messages
1,899
Location
Paragould/Greene County AR
The Kenwood repeaters can all be programmed to send out a CW ID at a set interval. Any reputable repeater will be able to do this since it's required by the FCC.
If you can find a good used one, that would be an option.

If you are looking for new, while I'm not a big fan, the Bridgecom repeaters are a good starting place. A little more geared towards amateur/GMRS use. Pretty much plug-n-play, down to the point that you can send them your frequencies/tones and they'll program the repeater and tune the small flatpack duplexer that can be installed inside. Add power and a decent antenna and you are on the air.
Hmmm
 

btritch

Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2006
Messages
1,899
Location
Paragould/Greene County AR
Here’s what I did:
$400 - Yaesu refurbished repeater DR1X from Yaesu you easily program via touchscreen and they ID
$100 - UHF mobile duplexer (notch filter) via eBay, some will tune it as well
$100 - UHF antenna I cut/tuned to my TX freq
$??? - LDF4-50A coax

Plus, some N patch cables between the repeater and duplexer, and another from the duplexer to the LDF4-50A coax as it is rather rigid. I also upgraded the repeater N panel connectors to silver.

When I first got things going I was using LMR-400 and a dual band antenna. Changing to the better coax and single band antenna I tuned for my TX freq made a big difference. Some fine people here on RR clued me in about the coaxial cable concern for repeaters. Another tool that helped me was an inexpensive VNA. I used it when cutting the antenna as well as fine tune the mobile duplexer. This system is used at my home location. At a high RF site I would use a BpBr (Bandpass/Band reject) duplexer.

Please note the Yaesu should be limited to 20W on UHF, but you could use an amplifier. While the Yaesu will deliver 50W, repeaters with a high duty cycle failed due to the heat. In a climate controlled environment, it may be fine at 50. Both I and a friend have ran ours at 50, but our duty cycle is low.
Good information right there!
 

AK9R

Lead Wiki Manager
Super Moderator
Joined
Jul 18, 2004
Messages
7,745
Location
Central Indiana
Also, you should contact the repeater frequency coordinator for your area to get a coordinated repeater pair.
 

prcguy

Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2006
Messages
12,459
Location
So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
I found the power supply in my Yaesu DR-2X repeater was near 14V and I turned it down to 12.0V and it lowered the 50W down to 40w and it runs ok at high power. I put a temp probe on the transmitter heatsink and I don't see a problem with higher duty cycles.

Not sure how well a mobile duplexer will work with that type repeater at 40w, you might need more isolation.



Here’s what I did:
$400 - Yaesu refurbished repeater DR1X from Yaesu you easily program via touchscreen and they ID
$100 - UHF mobile duplexer (notch filter) via eBay, some will tune it as well
$100 - UHF antenna I cut/tuned to my TX freq
$??? - LDF4-50A coax

Plus, some N patch cables between the repeater and duplexer, and another from the duplexer to the LDF4-50A coax as it is rather rigid. I also upgraded the repeater N panel connectors to silver.

When I first got things going I was using LMR-400 and a dual band antenna. Changing to the better coax and single band antenna I tuned for my TX freq made a big difference. Some fine people here on RR clued me in about the coaxial cable concern for repeaters. Another tool that helped me was an inexpensive VNA. I used it when cutting the antenna as well as fine tune the mobile duplexer. This system is used at my home location. At a high RF site I would use a BpBr (Bandpass/Band reject) duplexer.

Please note the Yaesu should be limited to 20W on UHF, but you could use an amplifier. While the Yaesu will deliver 50W, repeaters with a high duty cycle failed due to the heat. In a climate controlled environment, it may be fine at 50. Both I and a friend have ran ours at 50, but our duty cycle is low.
 

vagrant

ker-muhj-uhn
Joined
Nov 19, 2005
Messages
2,595
Location
California
That is good to know for the DR-2X. I'm thinking of getting another DR1X, so I may take a look that and do the same. I may also pop a fan on top of the heatsink if it will fit.

As to the mobile duplexer at 40 or 50 watts, it worked for me, but not all mobile duplexers are the same. I am getting at least 70dB isolation on each side and just over 1dB of loss when checked using an HP spectrum analyzer. Still, I did not perform extensive range testing at 50W. Truly they are not a BpBr filter, so one gets what one pays for. In my reasonably low RF environment, the mobile duplexer I have works fine. If I went with say a Motorola UHF BpBr duplexer, I'm looking at 3dB loss. In that scenario I would use a small amplifier to compensate and run the Yaesu at 5W.
I found the power supply in my Yaesu DR-2X repeater was near 14V and I turned it down to 12.0V and it lowered the 50W down to 40w and it runs ok at high power. I put a temp probe on the transmitter heatsink and I don't see a problem with higher duty cycles.

Not sure how well a mobile duplexer will work with that type repeater at 40w, you might need more isolation.
 

russbrill

Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2020
Messages
380
Location
Sacramento, CA
That's still up in the air, we could go either way, most likely residentual but commercial is an option
Commercial sites can be really strict about equipment.. I'd talk to a few other Hams that already have repeaters at the sites you're thinking about to get an idea about requirements.. Good Luck..

73,
Russ
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top