Cost to have repeater

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Kirk

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Simple or simplex?

If "simple" (I'm not sure what that means), then you'll need to consider:

Repeater. You can build something, or buy off the shelf. Analog? Digital? More info needed. Safe to guess $500-$2000 depending on what you want.
Duplexers. Probably about $1000.
Antenna. Is this going on the roof of your house, or at a premium site that gets wind, ice, etc? $200-$1000
Feedline. You can get away with cheaper feedline at home, but if this is going on a hilltop, figure $2-3 per foot of feedline, plus connectors, jumpers, etc.
Site Rental. This is all over the map. Going rate in my area is about $500/year for ham stuff.
Other options. Internet access (for linking), backup power, fancy repeater controllers, etc.

I would never recommend trying to take on a repeater project unless you have a fair bit of experience. Seek out others in the hobby who have put repeaters on the air and ask to tag along when they go to their repeater site for maintenance, or join a club that has a repeater and volunteer your time to the repeater committee. There is much to learn.

73
 

SteveC0625

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What is the cost to have a simple repeater at 2m?
There's no simple or single answer to this question. Too many variables to even begin to help you

As pointed out, you'll need to decide what and how you want to do this.

If you are interested in building your own, repeater-builder.com is a primo source of information.
 

w1bp

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I would say that buying the hardware is almost the easy part.

A site and a frequency pair are the more difficult items to obtain in some parts of the country.

If you want to learn, I'd recommend joining a club or finding an unincorporated repeater group and build experience with the people who have already done this.


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wa8pyr

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What is the cost to have a simple repeater at 2m?
Simple it isn't, and please don't take this as discouragement; if you're really willing to put in the time, effort and money, sponsoring and maintaining a repeater is a great way to hone your technical skills.

1. First you have to get a frequency; in most metro areas, frequencies are hard to come by. It's slightly easier in rural areas, but still not especially easy.

2. Then you have to have a place to put it, which also isn't easy. Commercial tower space is pretty hard to come by, unless you know someone or are willing to pay a considerable sum monthly.

3. Assuming you're looking at a more or less "plug and play" solution, a basic ready-made ham repeater is going to run around $1000 minimum for a relatively low-power repeater with decent quality and reliability.

4. Then you have to buy a quality duplexer, which at VHF is going to cost close to $1000.

5. Add in good quality low-loss feed line; the absolute minimum would be LMR-400 at $1 a foot and then only for a relatively short tower of 100 feet or less. Anything more and you really need hardline (which you really should use for any permanent repeater installation), at more than double the price.

6. A decent antenna (preferably commercial grade as they tend to be more rugged and reliable) is several hundred more.

Throw miscellaneous costs on top of all that and you're looking at a price tag for a very basic no-frills repeater of close to $3000. Adding bells and whistles like talking controllers, higher transmit power and so on just increases the costs. This all assumes new equipment purchases; you might be able to find a used repeater and duplexer for a bit less, but be prepared for other issues with used equipment depending on age and use/abuse.

Finally, ongoing maintenance (periodic alignment and duplexer re-tuning) requires that you have access to a certain minimum set of tools, including a service monitor (a signal generator and RF power meter can be used in a pinch along with a decent quality deviation meter) as well as the necessary how-to documentation for programming and alignment.

My recommendation would be to join a local repeater club and volunteer to help maintain the club's repeaters; this will give you some hands-on experience in what it really takes to manage a repeater, while building your technical skills at the same time. If you still want to proceed once you've got your feet wet and have an understanding of what's involved, good luck.
 

mmckenna

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Depends on how deep you want to dig into this.

The big cost is going to be location. A repeater down at street level isn't going to do you much good. You need access to a tall building, or better yet, a mountain top.
Since there are a lot of mountain tops in your area, this would be ideal.
Trouble is, Mountain top repeater sites are not free. You either need to know someone who lives up there and is willing to let you install your gear, or know someone that has a tower and will let you on it.

Short of that, you are going to have to pay for tower access. Used to be that some companies would allow amateurs to use a site for free in the spirit of helping, but that's getting difficult to find. Most good tower sites are owned by one of the large nationwide tower companies (American Tower or Crown Castle). Those that aren't are owned by local radio shops or local/regional tower companies.

Sure, there are a few small shops that may have their own site, but getting access to those can be difficult. Running a tower site can be expensive, and they like to recoup some of their costs.

Also, tower space is in demand, so good sites cost a lot.

Then comes all the issues you have with actually getting the gear installed.
Tower companies/owners won't let you have free access to their sites. You'll need insurance in most cases. You'll need a certified tower climber. All your equipment will usually need to pass their requirements as to design, safety, grounding, etc.
It can all add up pretty quick. Putting your gear on their tower puts everyone else's stuff a risk, so it has to be done right.

Really, the best way to do this is to know someone who owns land at a good location. If you've got that, the rest is easy.


I'll add:
There are already a LOT of repeaters in the area, so adding one more probably isn't needed. Finding one that covers your area shouldn't be an issue, and it'll save you a bunch of money.

If you just want to install a digital repeater to use with your new radio, you might be better off joining an amateur radio club and working with them. Chances are they already have a site, equipment, etc. You might just be able to help fund the new repeater.
 

jwt873

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You can slap a couple of Baofeng handhelds together with a repeater controller and then use two antennas (trying to keep them as far apart as possible).. This would be cheap, but not very good. There's a thread here about someone trying to do this on GPRS.

A decent system would use a commercial repeater radio, (or a commercial radio with the TX/RX sections 'split' and an external controller), a four cavity duplexer and an antenna system mounted as high as possible.

Look at an absolute minimum of $1000.. That's if you can some real deals when scrounging up used components. New parts would be considerably more.
 

robertmac

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Another thing to consider is how many repeaters are in your area? Is another one really necessary? In my area, there are some hams always complaining about the number of repeaters that are not used. They are at various times but not all the time. I do not believe in "private" repeaters but some are. Thus the need to coordinate frequencies to ensure not interfering with another.
 

Delivers1234

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Another thing to consider is how many repeaters are in your area? Is another one really necessary? In my area, there are some hams always complaining about the number of repeaters that are not used. They are at various times but not all the time. I do not believe in "private" repeaters but some are. Thus the need to coordinate frequencies to ensure not interfering with another.


Where can I see simplex interfaces for a yaesu?


So a mobile goes out ? 30 miles?
Repeater extend range for about 100 miles?

Hand held go out for ? 10 miles?


Just questions
 

HummerMike

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Hello Gene ...... I looked up your call and my suspicion was correct. When I first got in Ham Radio, I wanted to have a repeater with my call on it. I got a coordination and did put up a 440 machine. It had good coverage but was hardly ever used. I sold it about a year later. I see that you are in California. I'm sure you are blessed with two meter machines you can hit easily. Save your money and put it on some other Ham Gear.

Mike
 

HummerMike

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There are devises that will make a simplex repeater. Basically a DVR that records the received audio and then re-transmits it after the receive carrier has dropped out. If that is what you are thinking, google Simplex repeater interface or maybe try YouTube. CES used to make a Simplex interface.

Mike
 

n5ims

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Two points based on the above replies.

1) LMR-400 (or most any of the foil over braid types of coax) should not be used in a duplex environment such as a repeater using a duplexer. The two metals used for the foil and braid will cause issues with PIM (Passive Intermod - Passive Intermodulation (PIM): What You Need To Know | Wireless content from Electronic Design). There is a difficult to find and more expensive version of LMR-400 that has low PIM, but if you're paying for that, you might as well use the real stuff, like LDF4-50A that will give you lower loss and no PIM. Some folks claim to have success using LMR-400 on their repeater, but often their operation is not duplex (separate TX and RX antennas for example), their installation is new enough so the issues have yet to happen, or they simply have yet to discover that their issues is due to the coax, that otherwise tests out to be just fine.

2) There are comments about a standard duplex repeater (the signal goes in and nearly immediately goes out with zero or at most minimal delay) and a simplex repeater (the transmission goes in and is recorded, once it stops, the simplex controller turns on the transmitter and replays the recording so there is a significant delay in the conversation.

The duplex repeater is what most of the repeaters you hear are. They take two frequencies, and input frequency that the users transmit on and the repeater listens on, and an output frequency, that the repeater transmits on and the users listen to. The duplex repeater is more expensive since it requires more expensive and robust hardware. A typical user radio (like those boefangs mentioned) can be made to work, but will often burn out due to overheating since they were not made for the long transmit cycles a typical repeater has.

The simplex repeater uses a single frequency (although separate input and output frequencies can be used if available) and just a typical user radio can generally be used. Overheating can still be an issue, but generally the transmit cycle is similar to how a user uses their radio so no specialized radios should be necessary. The controller is the difference between a user radio and a simplex repeater. It monitors the assigned frequency and records a transmission. Once that transmission is done, the controller turns on the transmitter and repeats the transmission for its duration and returns to receive, waiting for the next transmission. If you're able to hear both the original signal and the repeater signal, it'll sound something like this...

(Joe's transmission) "Hello Bob, I'm sitting on my favorite chair using my handheld, trying out your new simplex repeater."

(Repeater's retransmission) "Hello Bob, I'm sitting on my favorite chair using my handheld, trying out your new simplex repeater."

(Bob's reply) "Thanks Joe, hope it's working as well for you as I intended."

(Repeater's retransmission of the reply) "Thanks Joe, hope it's working as well for you as I intended."

...
 
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A typical duplex repeater can vary in price.

Need a transmitter, receiver, controller and antenna system in the most basic forms.

Avoid LMR cables. In a full duplex environment they degrade and lead to passive intermodulation issues (usually comes up as noise in the transmission).

Filters can get expensive in order to provide proper isolation.

The real question is what are your goals for setting up a repeater?


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Delivers1234

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A typical duplex repeater can vary in price.

Need a transmitter, receiver, controller and antenna system in the most basic forms.

Avoid LMR cables. In a full duplex environment they degrade and lead to passive intermodulation issues (usually comes up as noise in the transmission).

Filters can get expensive in order to provide proper isolation.

The real question is what are your goals for setting up a repeater?


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I dont know my goals. I just have a need to build something...
 

mmckenna

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I dont know my goals. I just have a need to build something...
Welcome to the club. A lot of us just have that need to build something.

Don't let all this deter you. If you want to give it a go, build a small one and get practice. It's still a lot of work and takes some skill, but it's a good learning experience.

The other thing you could try would be to start building some of your own antennas. That can be pretty interesting and inexpensive.

Might want to start checking with the local radio clubs (there's a few in your area) and see what they have to offer. You might find some other aspect of the hobby that stirs your interests and desire to build.

Also, check out some of the companies that sell kits:
All Spectrum Electronics - Hobby Kits and Electronics Supply
Electronix Express & RSR Electronics Inc - Electronic Parts & Components Distributor | RSR Electronix Express

Might be a smaller step than what you are looking for, but it can teach you a lot. Some of the projects are useful and you can build off of them. Many years back I built a basic 2 meter FM radio. Not sure whatever happened to it, but it was a lot of fun.
 
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