I am a noob to a lot of amateur radio and I am investigating and planning a repeater setup to be installed in my workplace. We are on a hospital campus in Chicago, IL and have many tall buildings around us. Thus our 30-50 Kenwood TK-3160 and TK-3360's are not powerful enough to penetrate the many concrete walls to always provide the best reception on all ends of the building and across campus.
I wanted to see what suggestions the community has for a cost effective repeater setup for a scenario where we would be repeating 3-5 channels of uhf traffic. There is one other repeater on campus but we do not have access or permission to mess with it.
A functionality that we would like to have is to also repeat the NOAA weather channel for our area to a uhf channel for our handhelds to tune into. I believe NOAA broadcasts on vhf if I remember correctly. So some suggestions with the functionality would be nice too!
Since the 3 channels we are using just for our building are on the same frequency for transmitting and receiving, do we need to have a separate channel for each direction?