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Criminal

Cross-band repeater functionality

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I am curious if the people who own mobiles with cross-band repeater functionality ever use it. Is it worth the big increase in price? I’m looking at the FT8800 by Yeasu but it’s terribly expensive. I can get the 7800 for considerably less, even though I lose cross-band repeat and dual receive.

 

Thoughts?

Edited by Criminal

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I use it all the time, especially when geocaching.

 

Equipment:

 

Car - Kenwood D700A

HH - Kenwood THF6A

 

Purpose 1: chatting/monitoring from around the yard or in the basement.

 

Although the handheld, from my yard, can usually hit the repeaters I frequent, I am often moving around or going in the basement. To overcome the inevitable drop-outs and other issues, I set my car on cross-band repeat, one side to the repeater, the other side to an unused simplex frequency. I set the car on low power on the simplex side, and my handheld on extra low power. This way, I'm good to go anywhere on my lot essentially as if I was using my car radio.

 

Purpose 2: geocaching

 

Anyone who thinks FRS radios are useful for geocaching safety really has no clue. Their range is minimal - if you get into trouble and think you're going to get help on your FRS radio, you are sadly mistaken. To overcome this limitation, I use amateur radio and cross-band repeat. I leave the car set to a repeater that I can hit (usually on high power on the repeater side too) Normally, this means an Ottawa repeater, since that's where I cache the most and with the antenna on the car, I can hit pretty much any Ottawa area repeater from anywhere in Eastern Ontario. On the other side, I set to HIGH power on a simplex frequency as above. My handheld is set to the simplex frequency, and I usually leave it on "low", but since I carry extra batteries, I'm prepared to go to "high". Since it's unlikely I will be out of range of the CAR when I'm on foot with a handheld on high power, this has proven remarkably effective in allowing me to stay in contact with civilization even though I may be somewhere quite remote.

 

The limitation of doing this is if you want to QSY, you have to go back to the car. The usual configuration I use is 2m for the target repeater, 446.3375 MHz for the simplex, with a CTCSS tone. I use the CTCSS tone to help reduce the risk of some bonehead just blasting on inadvertently. I've tried using DCS, but DCS requires a clearer signal than the analog CTCSS system does, so if you're in the bush, DCS may mean the cross-band repeat doesn't engage for a few seconds, or drops out for a few seconds.

 

Doing this does NOT allow you to use an autopatch as best I can tell because an autopatch would engage the repeater full time, blocking you from transmitting in, so you'd generally want to hit a repeater where you're likely to be able to reach someone, but not a repeater that's so busy you'll kill your car battery. This is really a case of "minimum power required for communication" being the catch-phrase.

 

I've not played with locked-band repeat on the car, but I believe that if you can hear the repeater on the handheld, locked band repeat would enable a similar set-up, but allow you to use autopatch, etc. and would reduce the car-battery-killing side-effects. However, if you're in the bush, you may not (probably not) be able to hear the repeater without help.

 

If you're working with a team, a dual-VFO handheld is a necessity if you want to talk to each other if you are using this kind of system AND monitor the repeater at the same time.

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Similarly I have a D-700 in the Envoy, and a TH-g71 HH, and the pair has saved my bacon a few times.

 

The range, power, and versitility of the D-700 has more than paid for itself.

 

I am not only involved in the geocahing side of things, but also involved in the volunteer "Search and Rescue" of the area. As such the team and I are nearly always running out of decent repeater coverage and with the aid of a few (7 within the team) of the D-700s set up in a proper multi band repeat configuration, I am really happy to say that we have NEVER been out of COMMS range.

 

Oh yes, as an aside, we do use the APRS at times on search's, so there is another reason for the "big boy of the kenwood line". :blink:

 

Fred

ve6frm

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Thats one reason I bought my Alinco 582T handheld back in the day. I have nothing but good things to say about CBR radios. This next payday I plan on buying a new mobile with CBR, and who knows maybe a Kenwood TS-2000 or equivelant. :blink:

 

 

Chris - KA7CJH

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I have an Icom IC-2800 with the crossband opption in my truck and I use it just about everyday at work. The HT that I use is the Alinco DJ-V5 with the AA battery pack on it or the Alinco DJ-G5. I haven't had any problem with my truck not starting or having a low battery but just incase I carry one of those jump start batteries.

 

When caching we take the van, which does not have a radio with the crossband feature in it, and I am hardly out of repeater reach or cell service.

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I have an Icom IC-2800 with the crossband opption in my truck and I use it just about everyday at work. The HT that I use is the Alinco DJ-V5 with the AA battery pack on it or the Alinco DJ-G5. I haven't had any problem with my truck not starting or having a low battery but just incase I carry one of those jump start batteries.

 

When caching we take the van, which does not have a radio with the crossband feature in it, and I am hardly out of repeater reach or cell service.

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I have an Icom IC-2800 with the crossband opption in my truck and I use it just about everyday at work. The HT that I use is the Alinco DJ-V5 with the AA battery pack on it or the Alinco DJ-G5. I haven't had any problem with my truck not starting or having a low battery but just incase I carry one of those jump start batteries.

 

When caching we take the van, which does not have a radio with the crossband feature in it, and I am hardly out of repeater reach or cell service.

 

One of the joys of living where I do in Canada is that I can drive less than an hour in any direction from about 185 degrees true, around to 85 degrees true and be well away from civilization or cell service, and far enough out that a handheld might not be able to reach a well-used repeater. The remaining hundred degrees will drop me out somewhere near the US border, Montreal or at least close enough to the cell corridor that there's a chance a phone will work.

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I've got a D-700 in two of my vehicles and I use the cross-band function every year when I go elk hunting. I set up a portable mast (that is stored in my pop-up camper bumper) with a home made 3 element tape measure Yagi antenna pointed at the nearest repeater in a linked state wide repeater system. The D-700 in my jeep is set to 25w and I set my VX7R HT to only 50mw. I have crystal clear communications any where in and about camp with only a rubber duck HT antenna. My camp is in a very remote location but using this cross-band repeater setup I can easily talk to my wife KC0QXO back home far far away.

 

My father WA4VLB (silent key) would say "Son you get what you pay for" and "Do the job right". It's an investment so don't cheap out on yourself... if you have a use for cross-band repeat wait until you can purchase a rig that you will be happy with.

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During rescue operations, Special Events and Natural disaster operations, I have not only set my moble rig to CBR, I have set my HT to CBR to again extend the coverage area to a single band unit! Lets say I wouldnt even think of buying a dual band rig without CBR.

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How hard is it on the auto battery when you use your mobile with CBR? Just curious at this point. I will be taking my Technicians test on Saturday. Thanks.

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Good luck on the Tech test. I havn't had any problem with the CBR in the truck... In fact my radio is seldom off. I have left it on for the entire weekend without incident with jumper cables. During an event I usually have occasion to fire up the truck for a short time and recharge during that time. The hand held lasts about 6 hours on a 9.6v battery when it is CBR. I try to have a secondary source if its going to be in a remote area for any duration. I have a motorcycle battery with a power adapter attached to plug into the radio, that lasts all weekend before I need to look for power.

As a side note, I built a J-Pole antenna out of 300 OHM antenna wire that increases my coverage area tremendously. Its taped to the side of a mast of PVC pipe that is in 3' sections (couplings glued to one side only) and I drive a 3' length of re-bar into the ground and slide it over as the mount. Its a great emergency antenna that I can keep in the truck in a small space and gives me the boost needed for emergency operations.

 

How hard is it on the auto battery when you use your mobile with CBR? Just curious at this point. I will be taking my Technicians test on Saturday. Thanks.

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How hard is it on the auto battery when you use your mobile with CBR? Just curious at this point. I will be taking my Technicians test on Saturday. Thanks.

 

That would depend greatly on the size and strength of your car battery, the power setting on the radio, and how much you talk.

 

Over the course of typical geocaching outings, I've never drained my car battery in any obvious, significant way (2005 Nissan Maxima).

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I know I haven't had any troubles with mine, but I also carry one of theose jumpstart batteries in my truck. If your looking for a good emergency antenna check this one out, or this version if you want it to be less difficult

 

I have built one and it is true about talking on a repeater 2 counties away, I did it on 5 watts.

Edited by Treasure Dad

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I have an Icom IC-2800 with the crossband opption in my truck and I use it just about everyday at work. The HT that I use is the Alinco DJ-V5 with the AA battery pack on it or the Alinco DJ-G5. I haven't had any problem with my truck not starting or having a low battery but just incase I carry one of those jump start batteries.

 

When caching we take the van, which does not have a radio with the crossband feature in it, and I am hardly out of repeater reach or cell servi

HI!!! I'VE ALSO IC-2800H BUT DOESN'T WORK WELL IN CROSSBAND WAY; IF TALK 433 TO 144 MHZ ALL OK BUT RECEPTION FROM 144 IN 433 IS CUT, WHY?

IW5ELF

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Thanks for the information guys. I can use all the help I can get at this point. I don't think the Tech test will be a problem but there sure is a lot to learn if you want to learn it well. I have a feeling that it will sink in better once I can apply the stuff I have read in the ARRL Tech book.

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I have an Icom IC-2800 with the crossband opption in my truck and I use it just about everyday at work. The HT that I use is the Alinco DJ-V5 with the AA battery pack on it or the Alinco DJ-G5. I haven't had any problem with my truck not starting or having a low battery but just incase I carry one of those jump start batteries.

 

When caching we take the van, which does not have a radio with the crossband feature in it, and I am hardly out of repeater reach or cell servi

HI!!! I'VE ALSO IC-2800H BUT DOESN'T WORK WELL IN CROSSBAND WAY; IF TALK 433 TO 144 MHZ ALL OK BUT RECEPTION FROM 144 IN 433 IS CUT, WHY?

IW5ELF

 

Not all radios cross-band equally well. I had a Kenwood TM-732 and its crossband repeat worked, but the audio quality was terrible.

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Being the owner of a Yaesu VX-7R HT, would I be losing out on any crossband repeater functionality if I were to buy a mobile made by another manufacturer such as Kenwood? Thanks in advance.

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Being the owner of a Yaesu VX-7R HT, would I be losing out on any crossband repeater functionality if I were to buy a mobile made by another manufacturer such as Kenwood? Thanks in advance.

 

No, you will still be able to CBR on a Kenwood or any other radio brand with that capability.

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Being the owner of a Yaesu VX-7R HT, would I be losing out on any crossband repeater functionality if I were to buy a mobile made by another manufacturer such as Kenwood? Thanks in advance.

 

No, you will still be able to CBR on a Kenwood or any other radio brand with that capability.

 

Thanks for the reply JTA. I'm pretty sure I'll go with the Yeasu 8800. The display will fit perfectly above my rearview mirror and with the seperation kit included until the end of the year it's priced nicely.

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