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Repeater hardware setups


KC3LUM
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As a new HAM with only my Tech license (so far), I have been very interested in what repeater setups look like in the real world. Do clubs set up systems with two transceivers and a diplexer or is it all in one transceiver? Is it just an expensive transceiver and a "heap" of parts donated by club members? What is the deal with "System Fusion" and "D-star"?

Please post your clubs setup so we can discuss and learn about the different aspects of the set ups. 

Pictures would be great too! 

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ELMER

Great idea. Let's get @K3HLT@AK4KM and @AJ4QZinto the conversation and see if they can get MVARC to oblige with their setup.

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  • 7 months later...


We at the Alexandria Radio Club have 10 voice repeaters (analog and digital) and one data repeater. 

A repeater can be a very specialized device with a dedicated transmitter and dedicated receiver.  Most 2 meter and up repeaters are in one cabinet.  Each component has a feedline that goes to a duplexer (not to be confused with a diplexer, that's a different device).   Many 10 meter and 6 meter repeater systems use separate sites for the transmitter and receiver with a UHF link in between.

The duplexer is a very expensive filter that allows the transmitter to transmit without overloading the receiver.   One side allows the transmitter to pass RF to the antenna and notches out the receiver, while the other side notches out the transmitter frequency and allows RF to pass on the receiver frequency.

There is also a controller in between the two components that controls the T/R function, allows the control operator to turn the repeater on and off, links to the phone line and many other functions.  It is often a computer.  

Repeater management is not for the faint of heart.  

73,

Rich, KA4GFY

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  • 2 years later...


Question, regarding your remote sites that run digital and how you get internet to them?  do you rely on WISP? or hotspots/jetpacks from the major carriers?

I am currently moving locations and running walking down this path for the first time.

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ELMER

Hi Chris. Just so readers understand what a WISP is… a Wireless Internet Service Provider 🤗

The only obvious problem with a WISP is having access. One of our members @KW4TO is going through this right now. Fortunately, some are now able to get Starlink which gives you the necessary speeds and, presumably, acceptable latency because, indeed, not only is there a signal issue with a WISP, even if you do get a good connection, in rural areas, you get really bad latency. We did a test in rural Virginia the other day and with ATT, which was the best of the three carriers at that location, we still had a latency over 250ms. The good news is that digital requires less signal than a voice remote connection, but if you start losing packets due to latency, that’s not great either.

Fortunately data caps are not an issue with digital remote connections but, as you likely know, there are some fairly low ceilings on hotspots.

Final thought. If you do go the WISP route, obviously consider a signal booster, ideally a well-placed directional one. KW4TO had no choice but to use one.

BTW, in rereading my answer, I realize I have not said anything useful 🤔 I say this because ultimately, remote internet access has been a problem for so long and there are so many variables that until we get a true rural solution (Starlink, maybe?) we will continue to be frustrated.

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Starlink is a great idea, I just hope they soon begin addressing the waiting list.  I already tried T-Moble and Verizon Jetpacks which are known to have issues with port forwarding too.   I guess this is why FM repeaters have stuck around for so long.

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ELMER
8 hours ago, KD2SPF said:

Starlink is a great idea, I just hope they soon begin addressing the waiting list.  I already tried T-Moble and Verizon Jetpacks which are known to have issues with port forwarding too.   I guess this is why FM repeaters have stuck around for so long.

My buddy was slated for Starling at the END of this year and they now moved it up to next week!!

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