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Author Topic: Which Commercial Repeater to buy for VHF? An experts want to elmer?  (Read 20885 times)
W5BAK
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Posts: 1




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« on: October 06, 2011, 08:52:51 PM »

I have to purchase a repeater that should be considered LMR due to the funding as it may have to be switched to commercial bands at some point.  For now I want to use it as my ham VHF repeater on 145.37-.  I would also like to use the CAT300DX controller with it for the added features.  So someone told me of the Icom FR5000 series and that looks ok.  I have not used commercial stuff for a repeater before so I am open to suggestions.  I will also have to by duplexers for the ham band.  These should be able to be returned into the same commercial area as the repeater.  I am not brand specific so please tell me Kendwood, Icom, Moto or what.  And also list why if you would.  I am on a short time frame so please let me know direct if possible.  Joey@padre.net  thanks and 73 de W5BAK.

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K1ZJH
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Posts: 1074




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« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2011, 07:47:59 PM »

Kenwood TKR-750, if you want FCC type acceptance for commercial use.  You will have to check with Kenwood, since
the normal operating range ends at 146 MHz if I recall. We used them extensively for railroad base station service.
Very reliable, and there are quite a few local ham repeaters using them in this area as well. When I retire my old
Micor two meter machine it will be replaced with a TKR-750.

I use a CAT-1000 controller, and also have the CAT-300 as a spare. Good basic controllers, and trouble free.

Pete
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N1OFJ
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Posts: 18




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« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2011, 08:47:56 AM »

1.  Motorola Quantar
2.  Motorola MTR 2000
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KS4VT
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Posts: 141




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« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2011, 04:59:07 PM »

1.  Motorola Quantar
2.  Motorola MTR 2000

I second that in the order listed.  The Motorola Quantar is a bullet proof modular repeater with the PA, exciter, power supply, on-board controller, and receiver as separate slide in components.  Professionally I have almost 300 of these in service in a public safety system and see a failure of a PA or supply once every 3 months or so, on the high side of failures.  The control channel runs 100 watts at 10 separate locations in a simulcast configuration continuous duty and I can't recall anytime recently that the control channel rolled because of a PA or supply failure.
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N5NPO
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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2011, 07:24:27 PM »

If you want a darn good repeater at a bargain price, look at a Kenwood TKR-750-2 !38-150mhz. The regular TKR-750 will work fine too. The only thing you will have to add to it is a 12vdc power supply. 15 amps is more than enough. These repeaters are work horses and have a built in controller. Sure, the Motorola Quantar and MSR-2000's are great repeaters, but you could by 4 or 5 Kenwoods for what you will pay for the one Motorola. The Kenwood is only a 50 watt repeater max at 50% duty cycle. It is rated at 100% duty cyccle at 25watts. If you want 100 watts, get a 20-25watt in 100watt out repeater amp and a 25 amp supply and you will still have money left over as compared to the Motorola MSR-2000. My company has installed dozens and dozens of these in UHF and VHF models and have had almost no problems. If you loose a power supply on the 100watt MSR-2000, it will cost you as much or more than a new Kenwood TKR-750 repeater. This fact has sold a few of the Kenwoods for us.
Just my $0.02 worth....
73
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AD4U
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Posts: 2173




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« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2011, 12:32:41 PM »

Gotta throw in my $0.02.  I wonder why nobody suggested a GE Mastr II?  The 100 watt continuous duty models (VHF and UHF) can be bought for several hundred dollars and this includes the 30 amp ferro-resonant PS. 

Granted you have to buy crystals and a receiver pre-amp makes them "hear" a lot better.  But as far as "bang for the buck", I don't think they can be beat. 

I have 4 GE Mastr II repeaters operating in the HAM bands.  Three of them have been on the air non-stop for more than 20 years.  All of my repeaters are located at commercial tower sites.  Lightning has taken out most of the new "high tech" (and high dollar) repeaters sharing the sites, but the GE Mastr II's just keep on ticking.  The only failure I ever had was a VHF PA in 1997.

Dick  AD4U
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K9KJM
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Posts: 2415




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« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2011, 09:59:21 PM »

I agree with the Kenwood TKR 750.     At around only 1K for a commercial repeater, A real bargain, And a good working repeater.     As mentioned, You could by 3 or 4 of them for the price of the Motorola!

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KS4VT
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Posts: 141




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« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2011, 08:31:53 AM »

I agree with the Kenwood TKR 750.     At around only 1K for a commercial repeater, A real bargain, And a good working repeater.     As mentioned, You could by 3 or 4 of them for the price of the Motorola!

Used Quantars are available for around $2K on the open market and what is what I paid a few years ago for mine, so make that only 2.  But when you factor in that the Quantar for that price is 100+ Watt continuous duty and is much more flexable than the 750, that multiplier literally goes away.

The Quantar is also available in a continuous duty 25 watt version and I have seen on the used market for as low as $1500 in UHF and VHF.

For those not familiar, here is some interesting data:
http://www.repeater-builder.com/motorola/quantar/quantar-index.html
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KA5IPF
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« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2011, 09:27:12 AM »

Interesting reading alright. You can't get schematics to repair individual units, receiver, transmitter, etc, they have to be replaced. FRU's they call them. Field Replaceable Units. The software is $265 to program it. No controller built-in I can find. Battery backup is an option.

No thanks, I'll stick with the Kenwood...
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KS4VT
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Posts: 141




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« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2011, 12:04:45 PM »

Interesting reading alright. You can't get schematics to repair individual units, receiver, transmitter, etc, they have to be replaced. FRU's they call them. Field Replaceable Units. The software is $265 to program it. No controller built-in I can find. Battery backup is an option.

No thanks, I'll stick with the Kenwood...

The factory controller is called the SAM module or you can interface your own controller to the 50 pin connector on the back.

Feel free to use whatever you want.  I have a number of these in service.
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K9KJM
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Posts: 2415




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« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2011, 10:11:55 PM »

If you want to consider used, Old Motorola repeaters ARE good.   I still have a number of old Motorola Micor repeaters in ham service, And working well.  The old Micors can be had for just a few hundred bucks in good working condition. (Or even less at swapfests) BUT with used stuff, There can be issues.    Oxidation on the many pin connectors is one of them.

Just where do you draw the line in the sand on price vs reliability? 

For a new repeater, Right now the Kenwood TKR750 is at the top of my list for price vs quality.
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N1OFJ
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Posts: 18




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« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2011, 12:46:46 PM »

The original poster stated that the unit may have to be switched to a LMR type setup....which would call for narrowbanding....this leaves the reliable Mastr II and the Micor out of the running.
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LA9XNA
Member

Posts: 109




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« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2011, 01:02:48 AM »

I have to purchase a repeater that should be considered LMR due to the funding as it may have to be switched to commercial bands at some point.  For now I want to use it as my ham VHF repeater on 145.37-.  I would also like to use the CAT300DX controller with it for the added features.  So someone told me of the Icom FR5000 series and that looks ok.  I have not used commercial stuff for a repeater before so I am open to suggestions.  I will also have to by duplexers for the ham band.  These should be able to be returned into the same commercial area as the repeater.  I am not brand specific so please tell me Kendwood, Icom, Moto or what.  And also list why if you would.  I am on a short time frame so please let me know direct if possible.  Joey@padre.net  thanks and 73 de W5BAK.


As far as i can remember the new Icom repeaters ( FR5000/FR6000) can not be used on the HAM bands.
The the reason for this is that they are not buildt for a 2Mhz or 0,6Mhz repeater-shift used on our frequenses.
I think that the minimum repeater shift possible to use is about 4Mhz, so they might be usabable in some countries on UHF.
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K1ZJH
Member

Posts: 1074




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« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2011, 11:02:06 AM »

Micors are 40 year old technology, and if he wants to use the radio for LMR he will have consider a radio that
can be easily changed to 2.5kHz deviation in the immediate future.  Good luck trying to find those Motorola
PNP RF power transistors when a driver or final goes bad. I even converted my Micor repeater over to the
Mitrek PA just for that reason.

Pete
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AE6ZW
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Posts: 100


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« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2012, 12:24:08 AM »

I have heard from commercial radio people that after 2013-01-01 , parts 90 radio service must change over to narrow band radio, so there will be a lot of older wide band commercial radio will be on market. 
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