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Thread: NEWBIE HELP: How are repeaters used on an HT?

  1. #1

    Cool NEWBIE HELP: How are repeaters used on an HT?

    Hi everyone. I just got my license a couple weeks ago and I am excited to learn! I've already installed CHIRP and programmed repeaters in the area on my HT. But how do I use them? In other words, lets say a buddy of mine and I are going to try to talk in the 2 meter band on frequency "X". He and I are too far away from each other to use simplex transmission. If we both have repeater information downloaded into our HT's, will repeaters automatically send our transmissions to each other or do we both need to tune into the same frequency of the repeater?

    Sorry if this is a no-brainer question, but I am at the most basic level learning HAM. Many thanks for helping me with this question. Please feel free to add anything else you feel would be helpful.

  2. #2

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    McAlester, Ok


    If you and your friend both have the same repeater frequencies programmed into your radios correctly, you should be able to use that repeater to talk to each other. That's the purpose of repeaters, to reach distances you can't reach on simplex. That means that both of you have to be able to access the same repeater.
    I'd also take a look at the examples/explanations in the above post.

  4. #4


    Some repeaters have an offset, and some also and/or have a CTSS signal that your radio has to be set to send. Otherwise the repeater wont let you connect. See if you can find which ham radio club runs that repeater, go to their web site, and the configuration info should be there. I have heard that some repeaters are private, which doesn't make much sense to me... so the config into for your radio may not be available.
    73, Jim/N4AAB got my Extra class license on Aug 10, 2017. Vanity call in Oct, 2014.
    My Ham radio site has no popups, no music, no banners.
    'Through the thorns to the stars' from Ghost-in-the-Shell anime.

  5. #5
    Sudden's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Rothwell, Northamptonshire, England


    If you want to check on a repeater try this website it lists USA repeaters by state and by town and gives CTCSS tone reqired.
    I'm leaving now to go find myself....if I arrive before I get back, please ask me to wait!

  6. #6


    Nowadays - if you programme the radios correctly, then you just transmit on the radio - the repeater hears you and re-radiates it on a different frequency, the one all the radios in the area will be listening on - so the only thing you probably will notice is when you let go the PTT, you hear a carrier, and a peep, then it drops out. To stop interference or distant people on the frequency who DON'T wish to use the repeater - it also listens for a very low pitched tone that your radio sends - it's low, and quiet so you rarely hear it. If you need a 98Hz tone for your repeater then that's what you programme into the radio. No correct tone, no repeat.
    The upshot being that if the radio is set properly - if you blip the PTT and get a pip back, it can hear you, and if it can hear you, anyone that can hear it also hears you - which I've thought always a rather neat trick. The thing that you must always remember is it's not any technical skill from you whatsoever that makes good QSOs - the repeater does the work. In some areas, a small group have privately funded the repeater - buying it, installing it, perhaps paying sizeable money to the person who owns the site. They can get grumpy when people abuse them, or over-use them - pretty understandable really. Like those amongst us who are always first out of the taxi and last into a bar - it does get on other people's nerves! If you use your local repeater lots with your new callsign - find out who runs it and donate a small amount - it's always appreciated. Hams are a funny lot - you are either in, or out - and you want to be in! Annoy people, even innocently and although they hear your calls, they will not press the button!

  7. #7


    I just got my license last Friday (KJ7AFW). I picked up a Baofeng UV-82 to play with. I haven't actually pushed the button to broadcast yet, just been listening. So far I have heard conversations in Canada, and New York on my little handheld. One of the repeater that I listened in on is on the Portland Internet Radio Group, and must be the reason I was able to hear folks from New York. Not bad for a $26 radio.

    I think it is a great way for those who show an interest in Ham Radio to dip their toe in the water. I didn't have to spend thousands to enter the hobby.

    Eventually I will buy a base station and play around with antennas, but for now I am having fun with the HT and studying for my Extra exam.


  8. #8

    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    With my wife


    Congrats Ron, I have the distinct pleasure of being your first QRZ lookup. I just had to see who was referencing a relatively local resource. Don't be too offended if your radio won't get into a repeater from where you are. Better antennas are as important to radio as high performance engines are to NHRA. The net is as full of good info as BS, so investigate thoroughly before spending a bunch of money on anything. Antennas are reasonably easy (for me anyway) to fabricate from simple materials, so if you have basic fabrication skills you will be money ahead as well as learning hands on.

    Welcome all to our wonderful hobby/service of amateur radio.

    On edit: Allow me to include this url to give you information overload in regards to mobile operating (since this is the mobile forum)
    Last edited by WZ7U; Tue 28th Aug 2018 at 21:42.

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