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?

This question is largely a continuation of your previous question so I will only address the unique aspects here.

A repeater will generally only serve one pair of frequencies so it is limited to one conversation at a time. Both analog and digital repeaters have a capability to place radios into groups so that one group does not hear the conversations of another group. But only one group is allowed to talk at any one time on a single repeater. You of course can have multiple repeaters but this will require careful planning to avoid cross repeater interference.

You generally will not be permitted to continuously retransmit the NOAA broadcasts.

Regarding the frequencies, each repeater will require a separate transmit and receive frequency that will be assigned to you by an FCC approved frequency coordinator.

If your campus is blanketed with WiFi, you may wish to consider a license free radio system such as the Icom IP100H.

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This removes the requirement for a repeater infrastructure and would also allow the continuous transmission of NOAA reports. Even if your IT department would need to extend your WiFi coverage to suit your needs, you may find this approach to be economically and technically advantageous.

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