Noob repeater question

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Soundy

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Okay, so I'm generally pretty technically-minded (97% on my Basics exam), and I've been reading about programming and using repeaters with my HT (since I'm heading into the bush this weekend)... but one thing in particular I'm not sure on: when I hook up to a repeater, can I *only* communicate with someone else who's monitoring/scanning that repeater's frequencies? Or do they (some?) also provide a way to "dial out" on a different frequency?

Be gentle with me, I AM a fast learner, but there's a whole new world of stuff here I'm wrapping my head around :)
 

mrweather

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Welcome to the hobby! I got my Basic in 1999, my CW in 2002 and my Advanced in 2004. And I've never stopped learning since.

A repeater will have a fixed transmit (or output) frequency so you'll only be able to contact others who happen to be listening to that frequency. And given the technical aspects of a repeater there is no way to alter that frequency without some extensive readjusting of the equipment. It's not something that can be done on-the-fly. Hope that helps.
 

nd5y

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There are many ways that certain repeaters can connect with other systems. In most cases the users are able to turn the connection on and off or dial up other systems or frequencies. See http://www.repeater-builder.com/tech-info/repeaterlinking.html

Some repeaters have point-to-point link radios that connect to other repeaters.

Some repeaters are connected to VoIP internet linking systems such as EchoLink, IRLP, AllStar, and D-STAR that can connect to other repeaters, simplex base stations, or users on PCs or smart phones.

Some repeaters have what is called a "frequency agile remote base" which is another radio co-located with the repeater and connected to it so that the repeater users can talk to people on a simplex frequency or other repeaters.
 

N8IAA

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Okay, so I'm generally pretty technically-minded (97% on my Basics exam), and I've been reading about programming and using repeaters with my HT (since I'm heading into the bush this weekend)... but one thing in particular I'm not sure on: when I hook up to a repeater, can I *only* communicate with someone else who's monitoring/scanning that repeater's frequencies? Or do they (some?) also provide a way to "dial out" on a different frequency?

Be gentle with me, I AM a fast learner, but there's a whole new world of stuff here I'm wrapping my head around :)
Hello Soundy. mrweather and ND5Y have answered your questions. The only thing that might keep you from communicating is the fact that you are using a HT. Make sure that you have a gain antenna for the radio, not the rubber duck that came with it.
Also depends on what frequency/frequencies you'll be using. VHF will go further than UHF. Terrain will have a bearing on how far you will get out.
Have fun.
Larry
 

WB4CS

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Hello, let me also welcome you to the hobby!

One thing that wasn't mentioned, on repeaters with a remote base or IRLP linking, you'll usually need to get the permission of the repeater owner to allow you to use those functions.

Especially with a remote base, because accessing the remote base requires you to be familiar with the repeater codes (touch tones) used to enable, configure, and disable the remote base radio. The codes to use this feature on one repeater are not the same codes on a different repeater. There's also technical limitations on the remote base, such as what frequencies you can link to.

IRLP and Echolink may work a little different, some repeater owners may allow anyone to use those features if they know the access codes.

Before you make your travels, you may want to look up the repeaters in the area. Contact the repeater owner and find out what capabilities the repeater has, and if you're allowed to use them. Most repeaters will have the call sign of the owner or club that runs the repeater, and you can usually find contact information online by searching the internet for that specific call sign.
 

Soundy

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Thanks guys... I'm familiar with the "phone patch" idea; there's a local club here that runs a repeater with that function for members to use... haven't tried it yet, but I have an access code so I can.

I'll see if I can find contact info for the others along my route. Lots to think about!
 

Soundy

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Hello Soundy. mrweather and ND5Y have answered your questions. The only thing that might keep you from communicating is the fact that you are using a HT. Make sure that you have a gain antenna for the radio, not the rubber duck that came with it.
Also depends on what frequency/frequencies you'll be using. VHF will go further than UHF. Terrain will have a bearing on how far you will get out.
Have fun.
Larry
I do have a 3dB gain antenna for it, as well as a small-ish magmount (although there's nowhere to stick it on my Jeep other than the hood). A proper cowl or lip mount is planned, as budget allows.
 

AgentCOPP1

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I'm pretty sure some people have programmed their repeaters so you can enter a command and tell it which frequency to transmit on. Not sure what the practical purposes of it is but I'm sure it's possible.

I know those hams who live in low ground will make their own personal repeaters so they can reach farther repeaters with their HT. Maybe they would program it to switch to the different local repeaters.
 

Soundy

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I'm pretty sure some people have programmed their repeaters so you can enter a command and tell it which frequency to transmit on. Not sure what the practical purposes of it is but I'm sure it's possible.
Well for example, off-roaders around here generally use 146.460... so if I was going out to meet up with some guys camping in the bush but out of range for direct contact and needed to reach them via repeater, I'd want to re-broadcast to that frequency rather than whatever the nearest suitable repeater was using.
 
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