How Do I Set Up a UHF Repeater?

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How Do I Set Up a UHF Repeater?
UHF repeaters can be used to extend the reach of your radio. (Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Extend your radio frequency communications by up to 100 kilometres with a UHF repeater. Radio repeaters combine the capabilities of a radio receiver and a radio transmitter. They are used to receive weak signals and retransmit them with a higher power over long distances without quality degradation. The United States General Mobile Radio Service, GMRS, police departments and fire stations use UHF repeaters to increase their transmission power and reach rural areas, which would otherwise be outside their coverage area. Each UHF transmitter model has its own set-up instructions, but the Icom America CY-F221S is a good example of a standard UHF repeater.

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Things you need

  • Repeater
  • Coaxial cable
  • Antenna
  • Feed line

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Unpack your UHF repeater and check that there is nothing missing and there has been no damage to the repeater's components. Save the shipping cartons and packaging material. They will come in handy when you want to move or sell your repeater.

  2. 2

    Choose an adequate location for your UHF repeater. You need access to good ventilation and protection from vibrations, extreme heat or cold and away from TV antennas, radios and other electromagnetic interferences.

  3. 3

    Wire your UHF repeater to an antenna and a feed line. Preferably, your equipment will include a 50-ohm antenna and a voltage standing wave ratio of at least 1.5:1.

  4. 4

    Connect your repeater to a duplexer, if you are going to use the same antenna to receive and transmit. The type of duplexer you need will depend on the model and type of repeater you own.

  5. 5

    Ground the GND terminal at the back of the receiver to an underwater metallic pipe or a long copper rod.

  6. 6

    Check that the power switch is turned off. Solder a 25-amp cable to a backup battery. This will prevent voltage drops in the repeater. Plug your repeater to the main's electricity. Turn it on.

  7. 7

    Adjust the receiving volume level. Tune to the desired station. Push the channel number you wish to transmit on.

  8. 8

    Take the repeater's microphone off the hook. Once the channel you chose in step 7 is clear, press and hold the PTT button to start transmitting.

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