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Author Topic: Repeaters, Yaesu, Icom, Desktop HYT>?? what route to go?  (Read 15571 times)

Posts: 158

« on: June 05, 2011, 10:23:30 PM »

Just curious, i would like to build/put a repeater at my cottage, trying to go the "BUY IT NOW" route and have few questions. Lack of experience is the reason why.

1. Do i really need a cavity filter for a repeater? I mean for VHF only.
2. What is a best choice for around 1500?
3. These Alinco "repeaters" with huge fans on ebay, are they worth anything?
4. How far would a YAesu ft-8900 go as a repeater? UHF/VHF
5. UHF/VHF repeaters? to avoid the cost of cavity filters/setup? do they need anything else besides the antennas?
6. Around 50 watts would be fine, no need for any rack mounts etc...
something integrated would be OK. Smiley
i am not in a rush:)

Posts: 6252

« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2011, 05:54:49 AM »

Answering your questions, in order.

1.  Yes, you do if you are going to use the same antenna for both transmission and reception.  If you want to use separate antennas, they MUST be separated by quite a bit--enough to make doing that problematic.

2.  You've got to remember that you've got to get the repeater, cavities if needed, coax or hardline, the antenna(s), antenna hardware and connectors, a tower, masts or standoffs, and so on.  $1500 isn't going to cover much.

3.  To each his own, but Alinco would be, IMO, a brand to avoid.  Kenwood would be my choice.

4.  I couldn't say.

5.  UHF repeaters would require less space, smaller cavities, and so on, and may be a little less expensive to set up.  However, you've absolutely got to have the best quality, preferably 100% shielded coax for interconnections to avoid any possibility of interference to one section of the repeater from another.

If you really want to keep the costs low, go with used equipment.  You don't need a professional antenna, there are quite a few good choices on the market that will provide excellent repeater service.

One last thing--I would avoid Chinese made equipment.  The service for such equipment is almost non-existent, and as such, it is almost guaranteed that you would need to replace the entire thing if one part of it were to fail.

Posts: 128

« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2011, 01:23:55 PM »

From what I was told, do NOT use a basic radio for a repeater. IE: ft-8900, ft-2900, etc.
These are not made for 100% duty cycle. If you were to setup an Echolink simplex repeater, maybe, but only if it was sporadically used and again, not full time. The radio would burn up really fast and you would be back to square one.

Look at (give it ten to twenty seconds to get past the welcome screen) for extensive information on many brands of repeaters and many home brew projects (make your own cavity filters if you or someone you know has a service monitor and knows how to use it). Great information covering repeaters, antenna systems, cavities, coax, basically everything, and it will shed a lot of light on just how much or little that you can get by on a build.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2011, 01:26:13 PM by KB3VIM » Logged

Posts: 1460


« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2011, 11:24:12 AM »

I don't know about VE3 land but in the states the first step to set up a repeater is to contact the frequency coordinating body and see if a pair is available and if so what frequency so all the bits and pieces can be on frequency. The older stuff used xtals and the cavities have to be tuned, etc...

Down here setting up a repeater is not just a matter of buying it and turning it on. It has to be coordinated, for most areas anyway.


Posts: 6252

« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2011, 03:44:08 PM »

True.  Here, frequencies are coordinated for permanent systems.  There are still uncoordinated repeaters used, especially temporary systems.

But Clif does have a point.  You ought to find out if you need a special permit or a separate license for the repeater.

Posts: 277

« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2011, 08:26:21 AM »

No special permits required in Canada to operate a ham radio repeater.  There is a licencing requirement in that you must hold a valid Advanced licence in order to operate an in-band repeater.

Checking with the local frequency coordinating body is a good first step in any event.  If you're in the Toronto area all the 2M pairs are gone.

Posts: 6252

« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2011, 04:04:41 AM »

5. UHF/VHF repeaters? to avoid the cost of cavity filters/setup? do they need anything else besides the antennas?

I just realized that you may be asking about crossband repeaters here.  That is by far the cheapest solution.  All you would need is a rig that will do crossband and a good 2 meter/70 cm antenna--no cavities or other needed parts of a same band repeater system.

For that, $1500 would be more than enough to get you a top of the line setup.

Posts: 0

« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2011, 12:07:07 PM »

If you're still considering your own repeater and have not decided on equipment, contact me about a UHF repeater I have for sale.

73, Doug

Posts: 2415

« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2011, 10:51:38 PM »

An "in band" repeater can get complicated and expensive.   A Yaesu FT8900 can work well for a CROSS band repeater, Not an in band repeater.   (I would only get the FT8900 IF you really need 6 and 10 meter FM.- The FT8900 has a miserable memory channel arrangement compared to the much easier to use Yaesu FT8800 dual band.)

To cross band repeat all you really need is a good radio like the 8800, Some decent low loss feedline like Times LMR 400 for lengths less than 75 or so feet, And a good antenna (I would stick to name brands like Hustler, Diamond, Comet) Avoid the "clone" cheapie antennas.......

And a dual band hand held or mobil to operate through your cross band system. (Dual band is needed so you can properly I.D. your cross band repeater if you do not install any type of automatic I.D.)

Posts: 59


« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2011, 05:55:17 PM »

You don't have to pay a fortune for to setup a repeater.  I've got 3 myself.  WB4IVB can build you a GE Master II 440 repeater for under $400 with controller (He's built 2 for me), get a UHF duplexer for 100 - 150  (I payed 125 for my Motorola T-1504A pass/reject duplexer), surplus feedline can save you money, and for antenna, if it's not going to be in a harsh location, you could get away with something like a Jetstream or a Hustler antenna. 

You can see some of my gear in action @ .... I even used a tree as a tower for my 444.200 repeater Smiley

73 ~ Bill, N!RIK
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