Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Posted: 12/12/2013 1:48:27 AM EST
I am looking to setup a small GMRS setup, repeater on a 30-40 mast/tower, I am pretty high up in the county, we are looking for 10-15 miles at the most with a solid 2-5 miles radius. I used to have a decent GMRS/Class A system back in the 80's.

After the tornado this November we had in Washington IL, communications was sporadic for hours once it hit. Cell phones were useless, CB radios are pretty much useless with idiots trying to reach Trinidad, so the extended family and my brother felt it was wise to get something up for all of us.

Going HAM is not going to happen since we are talking wives, daughters, etc., so the GMRS idea makes the best sense for us. I have a license.

I have been looking on eBay at UHF repeaters with a duplexer and they seem to run from $300 to 700 for a decent 30-40 watt unit.

Has anyone dealt with some of the bigger dealers on eBay? I noticed that AAACom and Used-Radio.Com are the 2 biggest with the better pricing. They claim they will tune and set the frequencies. I am looking at the Moto unites they have, will probably also grab Moto Saber's if all sounds legit. Looking for brick built quality in a portable,

Any hints or thoughts appreciated, even sharp jabs...

Dave/ASRM
Aussie Rescue Midwest
Link Posted: 12/12/2013 2:22:07 AM EST
Have you checked with local dealers first? Might end up finding a bargain, especially if you know of a place that recently upgraded their UHF gear. If you are a licensed amateur, ask around your local clubs. And if you are handy and don't mind older equipment, you can get it by the truckload from a dealer that has it laying around. I'm always amazed at the mountains of used items that are piled at my friend's Motorola shop, he literally can't give it away, but if someone asked he'd probably pay them to take it! Surely there are many other such shops around.
Link Posted: 12/12/2013 2:59:25 AM EST
Actually I know of 2 shops in my area, one is a Moto service and sales center, the other is GE, but both are heavy in Public Safety and Business radios. I used to work for a PS-B shop in the 80-90's but the owner has since passed away :(

I will give them a ring, though in our area they are still using UHF systems pretty heavy, the SMR and trunking while used by some bigger outfits and the State Police, almost all of our local gov are still on conventional radios.

Thanks for the advice, I will try to call them this week.
Link Posted: 12/12/2013 3:55:57 AM EST
It is stories and experience like yours that most people don't know until it is to late and they are nervously wondering if your loved ones are ok.

I think it's CLAN_NH here that has an awesome gmrs setup and could help the most.

<sharp jab>
Stop making excuses about your family getting licensed. My wife grew up in the sticks and her and her sisters, cousin, mom everyone has a license because it use to be the only thing (now they have 2 bars in some places )

She was licensed at 12 her sister 10, her cousin got her extra at 16. My mother in law let her's lapse and is taking practice test to get it back.

If your wife will allow you to male a ~$1000 investment into gear she sees a need in it and could dedicate 15 mins a day for a week to get her tech.
</sharp jab>

Link Posted: 12/12/2013 6:07:38 AM EST
Soooooooo

would one of those guys building 'repeaters' from old(er) Motorola rigs work in this instance? I'm getting real interested in adding this to the pile!

http://www.swap.qth.com/view_ad.php?counter=1103254
Link Posted: 12/12/2013 9:39:23 AM EST
Would advise getting a good set of bandpass/reject duplexors instead of the cheap little notch duplexors generally included in those prepackaged repeater kits.

IMO getting a bunch of old used radios for your user radios is a bad idea... by the time you get new batteries and get them programmed you could probably buy 3 or 4 brand new cheap radios. And the new cheap radios are smaller and lighter. If you want better quality you can get brand new Icom's (as an example) for about $150.
Link Posted: 12/12/2013 11:08:23 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Gamma762:
Would advise getting a good set of bandpass/reject duplexors instead of the cheap little notch duplexors generally included in those prepackaged repeater kits.

IMO getting a bunch of old used radios for your user radios is a bad idea... by the time you get new batteries and get them programmed you could probably buy 3 or 4 brand new cheap radios. And the new cheap radios are smaller and lighter. If you want better quality you can get brand new Icom's (as an example) for about $150.
View Quote


I would have to agree...
Link Posted: 12/12/2013 11:53:42 AM EST
eBay duplexers?

Are these sufficient?
Link Posted: 12/12/2013 12:22:52 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/12/2013 12:25:21 PM EST by Gamma762]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By DanishM1Garand:
eBay duplexers?

Are these sufficient?
View Quote

That's a notch duplexer also sometimes called a mobile duplexer.

Here are some examples of better duplexers:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/321260125059
http://www.ebay.com/itm/251360244622

For any duplexer it's best if you have someone local who can tune them, as they'll sometimes shift frequency in shipping. You need a spectrum scope with tracking generator to really tune them.
Link Posted: 12/12/2013 12:45:52 PM EST
Used-radios is a good dealer. Their website has better deals at times vs ebay. Did you work for the shop in troy?
Link Posted: 12/12/2013 4:13:00 PM EST
Thanks on the feedback, I worked for Colson Communications in Pekin IL, he was a RCA, Uniden dealer. He was a great guy, he passed away a few years back.

I should get in touch with one of his old buddies, the guy is a HAM and was big with Caterpillar's two way system when they were inhouse. He might be a good source.

I am all for getting my own HAM ticket, I just know my daughter and brother will say no.

Our big focus is having emergency access, also for my own prepper setup and if we did get a SHTF or another neighborhood hit I would want to setup some neighbors with radios to keep in touch and help each other. We have a pretty good block and I know that looting was a big problem in Washington a day after the tornado. Caught most of them, but still.

Link Posted: 12/12/2013 4:55:20 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SCWolverine:
Soooooooo

would one of those guys building 'repeaters' from old(er) Motorola rigs work in this instance? I'm getting real interested in adding this to the pile!

http://www.swap.qth.com/view_ad.php?counter=1103254
View Quote



Not a bad price


here is a link I have gotten stuff from them before
good guys to work with
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 11:45:54 AM EST
Height, antenna, antenna, antenna. This summer at field day I setup a SM50 based repeater (I tuned it to 25W, I think 15W through the mobile duplexer) that had a 5 mile radius on an antenna built from the top two elements of a DB420. It was 6 stories off the ground. More recently my friend took that repeater Elk hunting with him in Colorado…worked great.

One of my friends has a DB420, 10W GR300 repeater at his house on a 100 ft tower. When that thing was up and running it easily had a 15 mile talk radius.

I've got a 20W Icom F420S repeater setup to go on a Celwave duplexer…works great I just haven't finished building it yet.

All three of these repeaters run on mobile duplexers. All three also run DOS programmable wideband only radios (I think my Icoms will actually narrow band). All equipment we got for free from companies who have ditched radio systems for cell phones.

What I wold highly recommend doing. Grab the radios you need, a mobile duplexer (notch type), a power supply that can take/charge a battery backup. If you ask around you can find a tower box and install everything inside. GMRS repeaters aren't required to have ID'ers as long as the traffic going through them is properly identified (you could also run a remote ID'er on the system if you wanted). Mount the tower box 2-3 ft below the top of the tower and run shore power up to it. Less expensive feed line you have to pay for when you do it that way…duplexer's are a bit cheaper radios are surplus and can only be used for either ham or GMRS so you might just get them for free if you can find them somewhere.

As far as HT's go, I'd recommend something along the lines of Moto GP300's (only if you can get them for free cause batteries will be about $30 a piece), current production Icom's (I have a F4021 I grabbed for $135, current production Kenwoods, Wouxun has a GMRS programmable radio for $80 a piece. (I've been given so much Icom and Motorola gear over the last year, I'm just now starting to get in to dealing with Kenwood)
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 12:09:15 PM EST
Zap Zap is right. We get can cover some ground back home because we have height and a good antenna.


Top Top