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Author Topic: Setting up and maintaining a repeater  (Read 45958 times)
WB6DGN
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Posts: 619




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« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2012, 12:43:35 AM »

Quote
EVERY THING YOU READ HERE ABOUT RUNNING A REPEATER SITE IS SO TRUE !
IT IS A LONELY , EXPENSIVE FRUSTRATING JOB WITH NO RESPECT FOR THE PERSON DOING IT !

Quote
...the 6 meter repeater antenna was hit by lightning last weekend.  Repeater and duplexer are OK, but SWR is infinity.  The antenna is 340 feet up and at age 64 I do not climb that high any longer.  I cannot get on any of my other repeaters without somebody asking when I am getting the 6 meter repeater going again.  A tower climber is not cheap.  Neither are 6 meter repeater antennas.

A couple years ago I was given some very nice 900Mc gear.  I got all hyped up about building a simulcast 900Mc system.  Thankfully I regained my sanity before spending any money on this pipedream.  The equipment is still sitting there, in my way, and I am now thinking of converting one of the units to monkey around with 900Mc moonbounce.  Hopefully I'll recover from this latest episode of temporary insanity before it takes its toll but, at least, I won't have to listen to a bunch of "where's the repeater" complaints if I do attempt it.
Tom
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WB8VLC
Member

Posts: 127




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« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2012, 10:33:16 AM »

If your into guns and radios then I can see a use for 900 MHz radios.

 If only there was a skeet launcher that could throw a 900 Mhz maxtrac or a vertex repeater 300 feet in the air, I would open up a shooting range.

Mike
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WB6DGN
Member

Posts: 619




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« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2012, 01:20:32 AM »

Quote
If your into guns and radios then I can see a use for 900 MHz radios.  If only there was a skeet launcher that could throw a 900 Mhz maxtrac or a vertex repeater 300 feet in the air, I would open up a shooting range.

Actually, that's not been my experience with the 900 band.  There's a local fellow here that has VHF/UHF repeaters all the way from 144Mc up through 2.4Gc.  Interestingly, I'm told the 450 and 900 antennas are on the same tower with the 900 ones just below the 450 ones.  Stations are a 450Mc - Micor set at, I believe, about 50 watts and a GE MII 900 station at about 10 watts.  My own experience has been that coverage is nearly identical on both systems.  Unscientific, to be sure, but I've heard other comments about the "unique" properties of 900Mc propagation from both commercials and hams in semi-urban to suburban areas.  I still think that if I could get enough UHF/VHF hams around here off of their lazy butts, I'd still like to build a decent ham 900Mc system.  I just don't want it to sit idle 24/7/365 and, sadly, I know it would.

And, NO, not into guns at all.  I'm an "animal" person; NOT a "gun" person.  Seems, most of the time, the two are incompatible.
Tom
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WB8VLC
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Posts: 127




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« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2012, 08:45:32 PM »

That's the only reason that I made such a comment because in two QTHs that I have lived at the locals wouldn't embrace anything new and it was impossible to get em off their butts to try anything out.

 I was loaning out 900 radios and they never received any use, I had the repeater with a high location and a fair amount of power into a commercial 10 dB gain omni plus a 6 meter remote base which was frequency agile.

  There were lots of 6 meter sparodic E openings on the Remote base side and I would even announce the openings on another band but still nobody ever got on the 900 MHz side so I tore it all down never planning to put it back on the air.



Mike
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KS4VT
Member

Posts: 143




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« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2012, 02:27:51 AM »

Speaking of repeaters...

1. You will be ON CALL like it or not 24/7/4/52/365. It doesn't matter that you are in bed at 3AM. Someone WILL call.

2. If anything at all sounds wrong to the user, the repeater is at fault. Doesn't matter that he is using a 20 year old radio, or a blown speaker, it is STILL the repeater's fault.

3. If someone can't hit the repeater, it is the repeater's fault. Doesn't matter if the are 100 miles away in a metal building and using one of those Alinco credit card HT's, it STILL the repeater's fault.

4. If someone can't get into the repeater because it is toned, it doesn't matter if that is done to keep interference out, it is because you are trying to block them from using the repeater.

5. When it comes time to clean up the tower site, EVERYONE will have something else to do.

6. When the repeater is down for repairs, you should immediately drop everything else you are doing (including any deaths, births, vacations, etc) and GET THE REPEATER FIXED.

7. When an expensive part is needed for repairs, you will always hear "Well, I paid my $20 this year, that ought to be enough." (And that repeater cost $5000...)

8. If something goes wrong and you loose your tower site, you are the one that caused it.

9. If lightning hits the repeater, you are the one that caused it.

10. If wind tears down the antenna, you are the one that caused it.

11. Just remember, if it happened, you are the one that caused it.

12. And when the repeater is down, then you will start getting the phone calls that say "If I bring my radio over there, will you program simplex for me?" (That is because most of the repeater users are within simplex range of each other, and they also never remember where they put their radio manual.)

Ah, the life of a repeater owner / technician...

Absolutely....I personally own 2 repeaters with no club, no committee, and I do not take contributions.  If someone doesn't like the way the repeater is working or if I have to turn it off they can go use something else.  My repeaters are capable of APCO25 digital in addition to analog and I still get calls to this day "telling me" that the repeater is broken cause they heard all this digital intereference and I " need to do something ASAP to fix it".  I usually blow off these sort of calls, but really...if you don't like it move on.  There are lots of other available repeaters in the County.
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W6LAR
Member

Posts: 40




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« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2013, 09:36:08 PM »

Glenn, Seeing that you already have two repeaters in operation you must know by now how hard it is in Southern California to get them coordinated. Believe me I have two of my own in service now for over 15 years. I'm fairly close to you over in Redlands. Keeping repeaters going is a thankless job. If I had it to do over again I'd dump the 2 meter and keep my 440. But I support three clubs which includes the Jerry L. Pettis Veterans Administration Hospital Amateur Radio Club. So I'm not going away anytime soon.  I do it all myself and get a hand now and then from a few friends. I NEVER let any of the clubs call the shots or feed the kitty. If your untested in the ways of repeater building and all that goes with it then you do need to educate yourself or get someone who has been there and done it to give you a hand. Who got your two working repeaters going in the first place? They may be able to help you along.
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W2IBC
Member

Posts: 76




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« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2013, 05:46:05 PM »


Absolutely....I personally own 2 repeaters with no club, no committee, and I do not take contributions.  If someone doesn't like the way the repeater is working or if I have to turn it off they can go use something else.  My repeaters are capable of APCO25 digital in addition to analog and I still get calls to this day "telling me" that the repeater is broken cause they heard all this digital intereference and I " need to do something ASAP to fix it".  I usually blow off these sort of calls, but really...if you don't like it move on.  There are lots of other available repeaters in the County.

You must have one of them fancy Quantars  Tongue

I own 1 repeater 2m and its enough for me. But kinda like you no club no committee but I will take donations.
If only this stuff was cheaper....
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K4JJL
Member

Posts: 503




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« Reply #22 on: March 25, 2013, 07:19:54 AM »

Quote
And, NO, not into guns at all.  I'm an "animal" person; NOT a "gun" person.  Seems, most of the time, the two are incompatible.
Tom

Hate to hijack the thread, but this statement, while it is the author's opinion, is completely absurd.  Paper and clay target shooting involves no animals whatsoever.  Keeping a gun (and possibly using it) for home defense, on the other hand, involves another type of "animal", but I doubt the author is that kind of "animal person".
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K1CJS
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Posts: 6061




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« Reply #23 on: March 30, 2013, 10:23:27 AM »

K4JJL--agreed!
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KS4VT
Member

Posts: 143




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« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2013, 08:14:38 AM »


Absolutely....I personally own 2 repeaters with no club, no committee, and I do not take contributions.  If someone doesn't like the way the repeater is working or if I have to turn it off they can go use something else.  My repeaters are capable of APCO25 digital in addition to analog and I still get calls to this day "telling me" that the repeater is broken cause they heard all this digital intereference and I " need to do something ASAP to fix it".  I usually blow off these sort of calls, but really...if you don't like it move on.  There are lots of other available repeaters in the County.

You must have one of them fancy Quantars  Tongue

I own 1 repeater 2m and its enough for me. But kinda like you no club no committee but I will take donations.
If only this stuff was cheaper....

Yep they are fancy Quantars...  Grin
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W2IBC
Member

Posts: 76




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« Reply #25 on: April 02, 2013, 10:25:41 PM »


Absolutely....I personally own 2 repeaters with no club, no committee, and I do not take contributions.  If someone doesn't like the way the repeater is working or if I have to turn it off they can go use something else.  My repeaters are capable of APCO25 digital in addition to analog and I still get calls to this day "telling me" that the repeater is broken cause they heard all this digital intereference and I " need to do something ASAP to fix it".  I usually blow off these sort of calls, but really...if you don't like it move on.  There are lots of other available repeaters in the County.

You must have one of them fancy Quantars  Tongue

I own 1 repeater 2m and its enough for me. But kinda like you no club no committee but I will take donations.
If only this stuff was cheaper....

Yep they are fancy Quantars...  Grin

oh my. I wanted one well still do. but cost so much.
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AK2O
Member

Posts: 8




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« Reply #26 on: June 12, 2013, 09:07:08 AM »

Following on a year or two thread;
Kuggie is an excellent source, agreed.  I have also post a few articles on my site if that would help.
http://www.srgclub.org
http://www.srgclub.org
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KF7VXA
Member

Posts: 460




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« Reply #27 on: June 16, 2013, 08:54:27 AM »

I'd ask for someone to help you out. If you get no takers, shut down your other repeaters and when the calls come in, tell them that everyone is more than happy to use your repeaters, but no one is willing to help.
I'd then tell them if someone would be nice enough to put up a new antenna which of course you will provide, you'll turn everything back up.
Someone will climb the tower for you.
We have two repeaters where I live. I'm one of several who will always drive to the site to help. The VHF repeater is free for anyone to use, the guy who owns the UHF repeater asks for $5.00 a month from people who use his repeater. Many pay, many don't. He makes no fuss if someone does not send money as it's voluntary, but $5.00 a month is more than reasonable to help him defray the costs of keeping a very good repeater going.

If the people who use your repeaters don't appriciate them, just turn them off for a little while, maybe then they will realize that repeaters are not something that God just puts up for them to use and they are not a Government hand out.
You might start asking for $5.00 a month from those who use your repeaters. The one thing that helps us is that the communication company who owns the site feels that amatuer radio is important and does not charge for tower placement, power or the building space. They even gave us some excess hardline. I sure wish there were more company's who realized the importance of amatuer communication and would do the same.

Several of us are helping a friend put new antennas for the VHF repeater and have pony'd up cash for the antennas. Pretty much have to get the Timewave loop dipoles as there is a lot of wind, snow and ice in the winter, so it's not cheap for even the antennas, this winter took a toll on the antenna that is up there. Summers are short on top of the mountain, so we have to have the repeaters 100% because we have no access to them in the winter. If they go down, they are down till late spring.

Kuto's to you for providing the repeaters in the first place, they are a very important piece of equipment and without people like yourself, communication would be much more limited.

73's, John
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KA5IPF
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Posts: 1039


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« Reply #28 on: June 16, 2013, 03:49:35 PM »

The problem with your "shut it down until they help" is that the commercial towers around here require a certified and insured tower climber to go up on their tower. Joe Ham can't do it. And those guys are not cheap. Your area may differ but what I've been told it is OSHA regulations which are US wide.
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K1CJS
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Posts: 6061




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« Reply #29 on: June 17, 2013, 03:52:49 AM »

Yes, but some of the "Joe Ham" people are certified and insured.  One of those may be willing to do it--and use it as a tax writeoff, or he/she may just do it because they're going to use the repeater system themselves.
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