New ham, haven't seen a rule regarding this question so I'll ask here...

Status
Not open for further replies.
Joined
Mar 8, 2013
Messages
2
Hello all, I'm still pretty new to amateur radio but I'm pretty familiar with how 2m repeaters work, or rather, how to use them. What I'm wondering about is something a little different that I can't seem to find very much info on. So, I have a friend who is also a ham, who lives a certain distance away. This distance is far enough from my local repeater that he can pretty clearly hear me talk on the repeater, but is far enough away that he usually can't get into the repeater, or if he can, it repeats nothing but noise. Then, just the opposite is true on his end. I can hear him on his local repeater but it is too far for me to hit it. So my thinking is, I could tx on my local repeater which he could hear me on, and rx on his local repeater which I can hear him on. In this way we could communicate between our houses using two repeaters. However, someone listening to either repeater would only hear one half of the conversation... whuch seems like it would not be allowed, but I haven't seen anything referring to this anywhere... does anyone know if this is allowed or has anyone tried it before?
Thanks!
Jacob
KC9YWA
 

n4yek

Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2004
Messages
2,492
Location
Newport, Tennessee
I refer to those type of repeaters as 'alligator repeaters', All mouth and no ears, transmitting farther than the need to be doing.
While I don't think there is an FCC rule saying you could not do this, the repeater owners probably wouldn't like it as they do own the equipment you are utilizing. You would be utilizing 2 repeaters that might be popular with lots of users and they would definitely say something.
On band openings, I have talked on repeaters hundreds of miles away on the same repeater frequency. While I could hear it, others could not. They would hear me talking as I was keying up the local repeater but could not hear who I was talking with.
On HF, this is quite common to only hear on side of a conversation. Just because you can't hear the other person does mean they are not there. that is why you ask if the frequency is in use before you start calling CQ.
 
Last edited:

rapidcharger

Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2012
Messages
2,382
Location
The land of broken calculators.
We've done that before... one party talk into one repeater and listen on another. Full duplex is kinda nice! But it's definitely something you would want to clear with the repeater owner if its something you are going to be doing regularly and just keep in mind that people listening may interrupt and want to know who you're talking to.

Just out of curiosity, what kind of radios are each of you using to get into the repeaters and how far apart are you?
 

GrumpyGuard

Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2003
Messages
631
Location
Oregon
Heres a better solution to your problem, since you will both be home why not use Echolink or IRLP to communicate with each other. Echolink can be installed on your computer and you can talk over the internet, or some repeaters have Echolink nodes and you can dial the node up and communicate. IRLP is also an option, as this is radio based there are quite a few repeaters equiped and you can dial the node up to a repeater in his area and then communicate. Check the AARL repeater book and it will tell you what repeaters have the Echolink or IRLP on them. If you don't already belong to a club join one, as dues help defray the cost of repeaters and all costs associated with them. If there is not a local club then donate $20.00 a year to the repeater owner to help offset the cost of allowing you to use the repeater.
 
Joined
Jun 16, 2013
Messages
3,687
Location
Texas
Gotta love them alligators. I'm actually dealing with one that has gone haywire for many reasons (when it was originally installed a 10 years ago it was installed too close to a commercial repeater on site and the two constantly defense each other. It also has some other problems. Instead of fixing it, it was decided just to replace it.

Echolink is IMHO a PITA to get setup. And if running simplex ham to simplex ham, why not just use Skype or a simple phone call (unless you are purposely talking on an Echolink repeater).


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

FKimble

Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2014
Messages
309
Location
Newnan, GA
Sounds like one of you needs to get an external antenna and some coax(good coax) so you can get into the other persons local repeater and use it as designed for. Even better, both of you get an external antenna.
 

zz0468

QRT
Banned
Joined
Feb 6, 2007
Messages
6,036
Heres a better solution to your problem, since you will both be home why not use Echolink...
At that rate, lose the ham license and just use Skype.

What the OP and his friend should be doing is finding out why neither can get out to a repeater that can be heard just fine. Something's not right.
 

MTS2000des

5B2_BEE00 Czar
Joined
Jul 12, 2008
Messages
3,868
Location
Cobb County, GA Stadium Crime Zone
Gotta love them alligators. I'm actually dealing with one that has gone haywire for many reasons (when it was originally installed a 10 years ago it was installed too close to a commercial repeater on site and the two constantly defense each other. It also has some other problems. Instead of fixing it, it was decided just to replace it.
Atlanta is a town full of alligator repeaters. Deaf cheeseburgers that cannot hear a MOBILE radio with a 1/4 wave antenna 10 miles away. Mine as well go simplex.

As far as power levels, part 97 does state that a station must only use the minimum power necessary for communications. (see 97.313 subpart A)
But many repeaters and even simplex stations run "border blaster" power levels which are a clear violation of that rule and just not being considerate of others. A repeater that runs 100 watts into the duplexer but users with 50 watt radios cannot get in from 20 miles out is excessive. It's essentially a broadcast transmitter with a close-in receiver that is just to serve one or two users.

No different than say, a simplex user who talks to his friend across the street and runs 50 watts, or uses an Echolink node with a 50 watt mobile on full power so a ham in his basement can talk into the node. Both are example of a waste of power and clearly not within the spirit of 97.313a.

Echolink is IMHO a PITA to get setup. And if running simplex ham to simplex ham, why not just use Skype or a simple phone call (unless you are purposely talking on an Echolink repeater).
Not really. A radio like a Kenwood TM-V71A is a plug and play operation, aside from configuring your home networking to allow Echolink to pass through a firewall.

It's neat to be able to use RADIO and put up a node to communicate reliably over great distances.

If someone is just going to use Skype, then what's the point of getting a ham license? So our bands can become even more silent than they already are, which just gives the telecom cartels more excuse to come and grab them. In a town of 6 million and thousands of supposedly active hams, the VHF/UHF bands are devoid of activity.

Telling people to just make a phone call? Why have the amateur radio service at all then?
 
Joined
Mar 8, 2013
Messages
2
Thanks

Thanks for the replies so far. Echolink is cool, even cooler that I use it on my android based phone. However, just talking on the phone works even better. Echolink just doesn't interest me a whole lot. I mean, it is cool it can be done, just not something I'm all that excited about.
As for why we can't use the repeaters the way they are designed, here are the details...
We both have external antennas, mine approx 25' in the air and hus abiut 15'. However, we're both running 4 watt HTs. I suspect thats part of the problem.
I can hear a him on his repeater 45 mi away, but can't reach it myself. He can hear me on my repeater 37mi away, but can't reach it. Seems to me if you can hear a station, you should be able to get back to it, if you have enough power. So that's why I think lack of power is our problem.
So, I think there's a pretty simple solution, the thing is I just want to see if it can be done and actually communicate that way, without breaking any rules. Not something I would do on a regular basis.
Thanks again for the responses so far everybody!
Jacob
KC9YWA
 

pinballwiz86

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 15, 2013
Messages
1,495
Location
Missouri
...If running simplex ham to simplex ham, why not just use Skype or a simple phone call...
That's not amateur radio anymore.

Op, do you just have a walkie talkie? Consider getting an antenna on your roof with a 50 watt mobile radio. If that still doesn't do the trick, consider getting a Yagi up on the roof aimed at the repeater he can get into.

73.
 
Joined
Jun 16, 2013
Messages
3,687
Location
Texas
That's not amateur radio anymore.

Op, do you just have a walkie talkie? Consider getting an antenna on your roof with a 50 watt mobile radio. If that still doesn't do the trick, consider getting a Yagi up on the roof aimed at the repeater he can get into.

73.
Atlanta is a town full of alligator repeaters. Deaf cheeseburgers that cannot hear a MOBILE radio with a 1/4 wave antenna 10 miles away. Mine as well go simplex.

As far as power levels, part 97 does state that a station must only use the minimum power necessary for communications. (see 97.313 subpart A)
But many repeaters and even simplex stations run "border blaster" power levels which are a clear violation of that rule and just not being considerate of others. A repeater that runs 100 watts into the duplexer but users with 50 watt radios cannot get in from 20 miles out is excessive. It's essentially a broadcast transmitter with a close-in receiver that is just to serve one or two users.

No different than say, a simplex user who talks to his friend across the street and runs 50 watts, or uses an Echolink node with a 50 watt mobile on full power so a ham in his basement can talk into the node. Both are example of a waste of power and clearly not within the spirit of 97.313a.



Not really. A radio like a Kenwood TM-V71A is a plug and play operation, aside from configuring your home networking to allow Echolink to pass through a firewall.

It's neat to be able to use RADIO and put up a node to communicate reliably over great distances.

If someone is just going to use Skype, then what's the point of getting a ham license? So our bands can become even more silent than they already are, which just gives the telecom cartels more excuse to come and grab them. In a town of 6 million and thousands of supposedly active hams, the VHF/UHF bands are devoid of activity.

Telling people to just make a phone call? Why have the amateur radio service at all then?
Kinda what I was getting at. The physical setup of Echolink is fairly straight forward (as far as actually getting approved to use the system it took me over 6 months to get my call approved). However, suggesting simplex for Echolink when there is now smartphone apps…it's not worth the trouble for two hams trying to communicate 40 miles between one another, especially if that's all they would use their little nodes for.
 

n5ims

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2004
Messages
3,917
Kinda what I was getting at. The physical setup of Echolink is fairly straight forward (as far as actually getting approved to use the system it took me over 6 months to get my call approved). However, suggesting simplex for Echolink when there is now smartphone apps…it's not worth the trouble for two hams trying to communicate 40 miles between one another, especially if that's all they would use their little nodes for.
6 months? Mine took just a couple of days.
 

n5ims

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2004
Messages
3,917
Thanks for the replies so far. Echolink is cool, even cooler that I use it on my android based phone. However, just talking on the phone works even better. Echolink just doesn't interest me a whole lot. I mean, it is cool it can be done, just not something I'm all that excited about.
As for why we can't use the repeaters the way they are designed, here are the details...
We both have external antennas, mine approx 25' in the air and hus abiut 15'. However, we're both running 4 watt HTs. I suspect thats part of the problem.
I can hear a him on his repeater 45 mi away, but can't reach it myself. He can hear me on my repeater 37mi away, but can't reach it. Seems to me if you can hear a station, you should be able to get back to it, if you have enough power. So that's why I think lack of power is our problem.
So, I think there's a pretty simple solution, the thing is I just want to see if it can be done and actually communicate that way, without breaking any rules. Not something I would do on a regular basis.
Thanks again for the responses so far everybody!
Jacob
KC9YWA
You should check around for linked repeaters. Often they link several in an area to expand coverage and to the user they appear to be a single repeater (although various users may be on different frequencies). In our area, there are links that allow handheld coverage over most of a 60+ mile range and provide users to interact with others on both VHF and UHF frequencies. Often they also allow others to access using EchoLink and they appear to be standard local users. There are standard nets that use this repeater system so a single net can handle the entire metropolitan area and with the echolink access, folks that are away on business, pleasure, or simply have moved away from the area can still participate.

Do a search for repeaters in your combined area to see what's available (include both VHF and UHF repeaters if either of your radios cover both). You may find a system where one can be on a VHF frequency and the other on UHF and still communicate over the link. You may also be able to have one on a repeater and the other on EchoLink connected to that repeater or another one that's linked to it.

Other things that may help out. Verify that you have some good low-loss cable between your radios and antennas. The difference between using some cheap RG-58 and some RG-213 or LMR-400 may be the difference on hearing eachother and just getting static. Changing from an Omni-directional antenna to a beam may allow you to direct more of your signal in the desired direction and allow you to communicate.
 
Joined
Jun 16, 2013
Messages
3,687
Location
Texas
6 months? Mine took just a couple of days.
Yes. Mine got lost when they updated how they verify valid calls. So I replied when I thought I was going to use the system 6 months later... 2 years has gone by and I still haven't used it since my call was finitely approved.
 

KB7MIB

Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2003
Messages
4,103
Location
Peoria, AZ.
It's not necessarily the fact that you have too little power. It's more likely that the repeaters are using too much power, and/or much better antennas on the transmit side than they are on the receive side.

Short of convincing the respective repeater owners to fix their repeaters so that the transmit and receive ranges are more balanced, here's an option for you. There are also single band amps for handheld radios.

MIRAGE BD-35 | DU-BAND HT AMP 45W 2M 35W 440MHZ

(In addition to "alligator" repeaters, there are also repeaters known as "rabbits" in that they can hear signals from a much greater range than their transmit range covers. Neither I would think is good operating practice.)

John
Peoria, AZ
 

Robinsmark

Member
Joined
May 6, 2006
Messages
84
Location
Morris County New Jersey
Rule About Using 2 Repeaters

]That's not amateur radio anymore.

Consider getting an antenna on your roof with a 50 watt mobile radio. If that still doesn't do the trick, consider getting a Yagi up on the roof aimed at the repeater he can get into.

My thoughts exactly. I use a Ringo Ranger up at 45 ft and with a measly 20 watts I can talk through a repeater 38 miles distant. With the full 45 watts I can talk to repeaters, depending on local conditions, up to 60 miles distant. It WORTH THE BOTHER in my view!
 

com501

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 28, 2003
Messages
1,450
Location
127.0.0.1
Of course, the repeater owner could have designed their repeater system to be reciprocal for 100watt ERP mobiles. Not at all a non-standard practice. In my area that would be the norm, not an exception.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top