31 votes
Accepted

Why do people say, "get a nickel," on repeaters?

"Getting a nickel" is a reference to how metered pay phones work (worked?). You'd put in some coins, make your call, and when the time you'd payed for expired, the phone operator would ...
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  • 2,855
25 votes

Is it illegal to key up and not identify?

Bad etiquette and illegal. Bad etiquette because anyone else scanning the repeater will hear your useless silence, and illegal by §97.119: §97.119 Station identification. (a) Each amateur station, ...
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12 votes
Accepted

How do I make a RF propagation map for a repeater?

Although much of the main page is not written in English, after you login most of the site is and the RMO Repeater coverage map maker is a wonderful and highly customizable tool even for multi-site ...
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  • 1,246
12 votes
Accepted

Why can't I hear myself from a second radio when bouncing off a repeater?

You are experiencing what is commonly called desense (short for desensitization). The strong signal of your transmitter overloads your receiver making it unable to demodulate the much weaker, on-...
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  • 18.2k
12 votes
Accepted

What should I put on a QSL card for a repeater contact?

I never saw a standard in the last 25 years. I usually put something in the comment like 'using repeater xxx'. Where the xxx is the callsign of the repeater.
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11 votes
Accepted

What are the regulation requirements for running a repeater?

The regulations for an amateur radio repeater are fairly minimal. To answer your specific questions: "Does one need a particular license?" Your license must permit transmissions on the repeater ...
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  • 276
10 votes

How to clean up profanity on airwaves

I've heard --from reliable sources-- that about the only thing that can stop that is to make recordings that you can send to the FCC. Include well-thought-out documentation with callsigns, times and ...
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  • 7,544
9 votes
Accepted

From where do repeaters get their power supply?

You are correct that most repeaters that are on buildings or typical towers get their energy from the commercial grid. The repeaters that I own are all commercially powered. Repeaters that are ...
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  • 18.2k
9 votes

In-house repeater?

The simplest way of accomplishing your goal doesn't require a conventional and expensive repeater system. It's completely passive (no electronics needed). Put a Yagi on your roof pointed at the ...
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  • 7,544
9 votes

What are the regulation requirements for running a repeater?

WA9ZZZ's answer missed the issue of control of the repeater. The repeater must be under control of one or more control operators, or under automatic control, at all times when the repeater is on. ...
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  • 8,922
9 votes
Accepted

Why is a separate repeater required for digital modes? Why can't an analog repeater be used for digital modes?

There is a kind of repeater that can repeat any kind of transmission: it's called a linear translator. It's technically equivalent to an SSB receiver linked to an SSB transmitter. It works for any ...
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9 votes
Accepted

Why don't I hear the CTCSS tones when listening on the repeater input frequency?

Many radio manufacturers are aware that people don't want to hear CTCSS tones - so they put high-pass filters on both the output (speaker) and input (microphone). That eliminates the tone before it ...
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  • 1,647
9 votes
Accepted

Why am I not hearing repeater identification more often?

(written assuming you and the repeater are in the USA) Also, repeaters (indeed, any station aside from telemetry) are only required to identify every 10 minutes during communication and at the end of ...
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  • 2,855
8 votes

How do I make a RF propagation map for a repeater?

SPLAT! is an RF Signal Propagation, Loss, And Terrain analysis tool for the electromagnetic spectrum between 20 MHz and 20 GHz. It is free and open source, and there are builds for Windows and Mac if ...
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  • 11.9k
8 votes

Beginner listening to a repeater - only hearing one station

It is presumed that you were receiving on the 2m band. It appears that you were listening in, using 'repeater reverse' mode. In other words, you were listening in on the repeater's input frequency ...
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  • 737
8 votes
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If repeaters share the same call sign are they "Connected"

I wouldn't assume that repeaters with the same call are connected. What the call sign denotes is that they're owned and operated by the same operator or club -- for instance, in my area, there are ...
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  • 3,891
7 votes

Is it illegal to key up and not identify?

Yes, because you have transmitted but not identified. Whether there is a repeater listening to your transmission is irrelevant.
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  • 23.1k
7 votes

Would it be feasible to set up a SSB or AM 2 meter repeater?

(This is a purely theoretical answer; I have no experience in repeater building. Sorry.) The components of a repeater are: an antenna, a duplexer, a transmitter and a receiver, and a repeater ...
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  • 23.1k
7 votes

Advantage of 6 meter repeaters

6m works better than 2m when dealing with terrain. For direct line of site, any of the VHF or UHF repeaters will work essentially equally well. Their significant difference comes when one is dealing ...
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7 votes
Accepted

Should I add call signs with /R suffix to the logbook?

FT8 decoding can use a technique called a priori (AP) whereby it uses naturally accumulating information for the purposes of increasing apparent sensitivity by about 4 dB. There is an increased chance ...
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  • 18.2k
7 votes
Accepted

How come wifi repeaters aren't just amplifiers?

This type of repeater is sometimes called a linear transponder, particularly when it is installed on amateur radio satellites (I don't know of other uses). There are several problems with using it in ...
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  • 23.1k
7 votes
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Talk Around vs Reverse

Talkaround: Transmitting and receiving on the repeater output frequency. Thus, you "talk around" the repeater directly with the other station. (Same as simplex). Both stations in a ...
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  • 321
6 votes

What is the reason/origin of conventional US repeater offsets?

Repeaters need to receive and transmit at the same time. The offset needs to be large enough to make it possible for the filters to separate the transmit and receive frequencies. In my opinion 600 ...
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  • 8,225
6 votes
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How do repeaters work? (The technical side)

It is possible to repeat a signal without demodulating it. This is done on some amateur satellites where it is called a linear transponder. The advantage of this method is that it can carry multiple ...
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  • 23.1k
6 votes
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Using a Duplexer and Diplexer in Series

Yes, it will work with the proper attention to details. I have done the same in the past at two repeater sites to take advantage of the coverage of the dual band antenna. Do take care as the third ...
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  • 18.2k
6 votes
Accepted

How can I be sure I'm actually hitting the repeater?

The simple answer is to transmit on the repeater's input frequency, saying something like " < your callsign > testing" and listen for the repeater's courtesy beep (assuming there is one) on its ...
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  • 1,013
6 votes
Accepted

Call sign ID for a "homebrew" or improvised repeater?

Are you up to buying a Raspberry Pi, two USB sound cards, some assorted transistors and such, and making your own interface cable? If so, you can run svxlink. It supports all sorts of fancy things ...
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  • 9,275
6 votes

Ham radio repeater

Possible, yes. A good idea as your plan for emergency communication while hiking on a remote and hazardous trail? I wouldn't count on it. As you've already observed, although there are repeaters along ...
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5 votes
Accepted

“Repeater” vs. “reflector”

According to Wikipedia for IRLP: IRLP connections are of two types: node to node, and node to reflector. Stations wishing to communicate with 3 or more nodes at the same time may accomplish this by ...
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  • 1,246

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