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Unable to connect to repeater, not sure what I'm doing wrong.

GreatPNW

Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2020
Messages
5
Location
WA
I can hear people all day long on 462.625 MHz with an in/out tone of 141.3 Hz. However, after I set the radio correctly and throw out my call sign and "radio check" I never hear anything back. I even have a second radio tuned in near me and I don't hear myself on it.

Set up (Transmit on radio 1):
B-Tech GMRS-V1
Channel 26 (REPT18)
R-CTCS = 141.3HZ
T-CTCS = 141.3HZ
TX = 467.625 while I key the mic

Set up (Listen on radio 2):
B-Tech GMRS-V1
Channel 26 (REPT18) or I also try Channel 18 (GMRS18)
All CTCS/DCS = OFF

I don't hear myself at all. Every once in awhile for a split second when I key up I can hear the squelch on the other radio. It goes away immediately and won't come back even if I key up again right away.

I've tried connecting with this repeater and others near me. I hear people on them clear as day but I can never get my voice across on any of them for some reason.
 

Hans13

Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2014
Messages
960
You could be desensing the second radio. It's better to have someone else listening a good ways away from you on the second radio. You could also set up a recording device for the second radio.

When listening on the trasmitting radio, set your squelch to open and listen for the squelch tail of the repeater. Setting the radio to monitor, open squelch, squelch all the way open, etc will be most diagnostic.
 

alcahuete

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 24, 2015
Messages
1,397
Location
Antelope Acres, California
A couple things.

1) Unless you have the 2nd radio programmed to listen on the input frequency (467.625) you aren't going to hear yourself. Might also be desense, as Hans mentioned.

2) Are you 100% sure the repeater has an output tone, and you are 100% sure that output tone is 141.3? Repeaters very often have input tones but no output tones. If you have the receive tone set to 141.3, but the repeater is not broadcasting that tone, you might very well be hitting the repeater, but you aren't going to hear anything. Do you get anything on the signal meter?
 

ko6jw_2

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 18, 2008
Messages
1,135
Location
Santa Ynez, CA
Looking at mygmrs.com the repeater is in Sea-Tac. However, the owner is in Issaquah. It's the only one in WA with that combination of frequency/tone. It is an open repeater. The B-Tech radios are reasonably good (I have two), but they are only 5 watts. You might be out of range even though you can hear them. Calling on a repeater (Ham of GMRS) and giving your call sign may not get you very far. Maybe no one is listening. Maybe they don't want to talk to you. I agree about the desense issue. Because they are type accepted, the B-Tech's only allow you to change tones. Are you sure your programmed them correctly? Sounds like you did. i use Chirp to program mine.

Note the call signs of people you hear and call them specifically. People don't answer a general call, but will answer if you call them directly. When I first got my ham license I announced call sign. No response even though there were people listening. An old friend got on the repeater and said, "If you want to talk to someone, then call them. You wouldn't dial your phone at random would you?"

The owner's name is listed on mygmrs.com with his email. Try contacting him.
 

wowologist

Certifiable
Joined
Jul 21, 2013
Messages
275
Location
CM87
Ya I'd have to second that - I don't think your making the trip to the box. Just because you can hear the traffic doesn't mean youll be able to access the repeater from inside or your attempt location - you can try moving outside, driving to a hilltop etc. If you do manage to make the trip and key the box, ask if the OP is available for a QSO and make sure they >ALLOW< you to use it. A lot of people misunderstand GMRS boxes and assume they are public access, THEY ARE NOT. MOST are "friendly" and with a "hello-hi- is it OK for me to use YOUR box etc along with your ID'ing." they will usually let you know their expectations. Some even have a www form you can fill out and email back to them with thier terms of service/usage agreement.

zThen ask politely of the general location of the box and you will get a better understanding of what you may have to do in the future to get into the box from where you want.

If they inform you it is a membership or a private box...YOU must abide by that or your transmissions could be construed as unwanted and you must NOT attempt access in the future.

This is similar to our amatuer boxes, but 99% of amateur boxes are put on the air with the intent that ANY licensed amatuer may access and use them freely and openly.
 

GreatPNW

Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2020
Messages
5
Location
WA
Ok. So probably a rookie mistake on my part. After reading the replies, I'm pretty sure I'm too far from the repeater. For some reason I just thought since I can hear them they must be able to hear me. I don't know why I didn't figure this out on my own.

Line of sight to the repeater is ~28 miles from me, with some hilly terrain mixed in. Next time I drive out that way I'll give it another shot. In the meantime, I suppose I need to look into a base station and antenna for home use.

Thanks to all of you for your replies!
 

Hans13

Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2014
Messages
960
Ok. So probably a rookie mistake on my part. After reading the replies, I'm pretty sure I'm too far from the repeater. For some reason I just thought since I can hear them they must be able to hear me. I don't know why I didn't figure this out on my own.

Line of sight to the repeater is ~28 miles from me, with some hilly terrain mixed in. Next time I drive out that way I'll give it another shot. In the meantime, I suppose I need to look into a base station and antenna for home use.

Thanks to all of you for your replies!
When you test, remember that these CCRs (and even some better made radios but less so) can desense if they are too close to the transmitting radio. Crank the volume up and put the monitoring radio in the far part of another room where you can still hear it. Also, open the squelch on your testing transmit radio and listen closely for any squelch tail from the repeater. I rarely use a second radio and almost always just use open squelch and listen for a repeater tail.

Good luck and please report back with your next results.
 

SteveEJ

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 4, 2008
Messages
152
Location
Some where out there..
GreatPNW I have the same problem. I set up a SDR and programmed the software to 462.675. Keyed the GMRS V-1 and it is not transmitting even though the red tx light is on. Being curious I ran the same starting at Channel 1 going thru each channel. I found that it was NOT transmitting on Ch-8 thru 14 and Repeater channels 15-22. I plan on calling Tech Support tomorrow as I am snowed in right now. I will post what they say.

If you have a second GMRS radio you might run the same test and see if it is the same.
 

willjr75

Simplex Kid
Joined
Dec 10, 2015
Messages
68
Make sure the input CTCSS code to access the repeater is correct. Take off your receive CTCSS to eliminate the possibility that the one posted is incorrect or that they just do not use one.
 

Thorndike113

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2014
Messages
118
Location
Thorndike, ME
Line of sight to the repeater is ~28 miles from me, with some hilly terrain mixed in.
The 28 mile distance can be the issue. Portables, unless they are out in the open on top of a hill, dont always get out that well. Hills can be a big issue when it comes to UHF. I know of a repeater out where I live (not exactly up on a hill) and it is probably about 25 miles as the crow flies and I cant even hear it due to their being a large hill between myself and it, and thats on a base antenna at the house. UHF loves to be up real high.
 
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