What Is A Repeater?

WHAT IS A RADIO REPEATER?

A repeater is an device that receives radio transmissions on one frequency, and simultaneously re-transmits them on a second frequency with more power.

Nearby walkie-talkie or other users whose radios are set to use these two frequencies can then communicate via the repeater.

Its purpose is to increase the area of signal coverage of a group of walkie-talkie or other radio users.

Limitations of Walkie-Talkies

Diagram of walkie-talkies in use without a repeaterWalkie-talkie radios have a range that is limited by their power output and small aerial. Also their location and the terrain in which they are being used affects their range and area of coverage.

 

How a Repeater Can Improve Things

Diagram of walkie-talkies in use with a repeaterThe repeater is positioned somewhere high up (and usually near the centre of the area to be covered, although not in this picture!)

The walkie-talkies are set to transmit on one frequency, which is picked up by the repeater, and then instantly re-broadcast on a second frequency.

The walkie-talkies must be set up to work with a repeater.

What Does The Repeater Look Like?

Vertex VXR7000 RepeaterThe repeater is an electronic "box of tricks" with an aerial attached.

It needs mains power, and it needs to be out of the weather (although the aerial can obviously be outside).

The repeater (or at least it's aerial) should be positioned somewhere near the centre of the area you want to cover, and as high up and in as unobstructed position as is possible.

A repeater can only "repeat" one frequency at a time, so if your event uses several radio frequencies for different purposes you would need more than one repeater.


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