Repeater Identification and Access

Discussion in 'VHF/UHF - 50Mhz and Beyond' started by KC1JLM, Nov 19, 2015.

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  1. AG6QR

    AG6QR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You could be hearing a roger beep (which is misnamed -- even though everyone calls it a "roger" beep, it should be called an "over" beep, because "roger" means "I received everything you just sent", while "over" means "now it's your turn to talk"). That's the generic name for a beep that your radio sends when you un-key the microphone. Those tones are very common on FRS radios, but not so much on ham gear. Some Chinese radios have the capability, though. Around here, that kind of beep will bring people out of the woodwork faster than a CQ call.

    But some repeaters have a little "courtesy beep" when the repeater itself stops transmitting. I'm guessing that's what you're hearing. This would be a brief beep that happens just before your S-meter drops to zero. It's an indication that the repeater has gone completely quiet and the repeater time-out timer has reset, so it's safe to talk now for as much of a long-winded transmission as the repeater is set up to allow.
  2. KC1JLM

    KC1JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I read that same thing somewhere recently when researching repeater operations. I guess the one thing that kinda stumped me was I heard a gentleman on that frequency yesterday who was mobile. He was telling the other guy that he was going through so and so town. I was only about 30 miles from him at the time, so I thought he would pick up my call, but he didn't hear me or just didn't answer.....

    I keep thinking that I have a setting wrong somewhere, but the more that I look into it, the more I am convinced that I just need to be more patient ;)
  3. KC9UDX

    KC9UDX Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    It could be a little of both.
  4. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Get some local help, maybe by joining a ham club in the Burlington area and attending some meetings.

    I suspect you have something set incorrectly.

    Hearing stations very far away via VHF-FM is a sign they are using IRLP, which uses the internet as a backbone to link stations at any distance. To access an IRLP node you need to first 'join' that node to gain access. Just transmitting won't do it.

    A handheld running low power, even into a rooftop antenna, may be insufficient in some cases; most repeaters run about 100W output power and just because you hear them doesn't always mean they'll hear you.

    However, some should. My first guess is something isn't set correctly. Baofengs are a bit confounding, with a lousy manual and software that often doesn't really work. And yes, I bought one. I still have it, but never use it because my Vertex hand helds work so much better and are easier to use.

    Best of all would be to join a local club, get some advice, upgrade the license and play around on HF where things aren't so confusing and you can make contacts all over the world on your own, without any repeaters involved.
  5. KC1JLM

    KC1JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the advice. I certainly want to attend the club meetings, but with the closest (that has regular meetings) being an hour and half away, kinda tough to work out between my wife's and I's work schedule and sharing a single vehicle. Couldn't go to the last one because of tech test. There is one tomorrow, but I have to work. I have toyed with the idea of talking with some of the local hams and see if anybody would want to create a club for northeast VT. The actual closest one that I have found is still more than an hour drive, and they don't have a web site or phone # listed. They do list his call sign, so could always send a letter snail mail. Will try to make it to Burlington next month.

    What I do have my side is resolve to learn!!

  6. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to transceive.

    -Wm. Shakespeare
    KC1JLM likes this.
  7. W7CJD

    W7CJD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I had a Baofeng. Before that, I had a Radio Shack HT. Now I have a Wouxon.

    I tend to misplace or lose them, entirely, so I won't spend more.

    I would rather have a great antenna.

    It is easy to get a setting wrong.

    I strongly recommend using compatible software and an USB programming cable with a FTDI chip sold on eBay.

    (The manufacturer supplied cable had a chip Windows will not accept.)

    It is so much easier to use software.

    You can save the software file for every repeater, or, have only those repeaters you want to use often, or, monitor daily or monitor weekends, for example.

    For example, I know my local Echolink.

    The time of day, weather, etc. etc. voice message is annoying when scanning the local repeaters, so I leave it out of my scan "all local repeaters" file.

    I use a $79 computer tablet in a keyboard folder to provide the software support.

    I have an exterior antenna for my vehicle.

    It is important to have it properly mounted.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2015
  8. KC1JLM

    KC1JLM Ham Member QRZ Page


    I ordered the programming cable along with the HT, so I have had it since day one. I use it along with the Chirp program. While I have the PL set according to repeater sources, if the two tones are the same, it auto populates as a TSQL. Is this correct? And should the cross mode be Tone-Tone? From my research, I should have it all set up correct. But please, correct me if I am wrong! I am not one of those mic-shy guys (not that there is anything wrong with that), and I want to make a contact!

  9. W7CJD

    W7CJD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I do not have Chirp.

    Even so, I do not let the software I have "auto-populate" anything. I force it to take a manual entry.

    I check and double-check it.

    There is one tone and one offset, if that.

    I think you have found your problem.
  10. KC1JLM

    KC1JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    OK, ty. I watched a vid on programming the HT and it said that the TX & RX tones will typically match. I will switch them over to "Tone". In Chirp, you input the tone into either "Tone" or "Tone Squelch". I am thinking it should go in tone?

    Thanks for your help! I don't have a local elmer......

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