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VHF and UHF Repeaters

Local Repeaters

GB3IR Internet Repeater

GB3KM TV Repeater

VHF and UHF Repeaters

Amateur Radio repeaters are at fixed locations.  They receive on one frequency and transmit on another frequency at the same time.  Anything in range of the receiver is relayed onto the transmitter.

They extend the range of an individual amateur radio station, as they are usually located on a hill or other place with a good range on VHF or UHF.  They are especially useful for Radio Amateurs using mobile or handportable equipment.

Most repeaters are for speech transmissions.  Some are for specialised modes such as TV.

Repeaters must be licensed by Ofcom and conform with specified technical details and have a close down procedure.  The latter ensures that Ofcom know who to contact if the repeater should ever go faulty and cause interference to other radio services.

Repeaters can be set up by individuals, but are usually established and maintained by an amateur radio club or a group of amateurs formed to provide a repeater.  Like other aspects of the hobby, it is voluntary work and the repeater group supply their own funds for the project.  They may ask for donations.  

Repeaters can't be private.  They must be available all of the time i.e. 24 hours a day, except if a fault develops.  There is no requirement to fix faults in a short time, but repeaters are usually in operation virtually all of the time.   Any radio amateur is allowed to use any repeater.  It is a condition of the repeater licence.

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Local Repeaters

In the past, there was a UHF repeater and a VHF repeater giving fairly solid coverage of the Teesside area to hand portable and mobile stations.  GB3TS (Teesside) on Eston Nab no longer exists.  GB3HG (Harrogate Repeater Group) on Bilsdale Moor has been relocated.

Currently, there is no single repeater which gives solid Teesside coverage for mobiles.  There are three VHF repeaters which can be used by mobiles in some parts of Teesside.  A fixed station with a decent aerial can reach about six VHF repeaters.

As a rough guide, the following table shows the received signal strength of six VHF repeaters at a fixed location in Middlesbrough which is 30 feet above sea level and using a mast and a high gain aerial.  The signal strengths are shown in millionths of a Volt at the receiver's aerial socket.

Callsign Distance Area Strength Comment
GB3IR 23 miles Richmond 12 ÁV Good
GB3HG 26 miles Ripon 10 ÁV Good
GB3CD 24 miles Crook 1.5 ÁV Good
GB3YC 44 miles Driffield 0.8 ÁV Marginal
GB3TW 23 miles Gt. Lumley 0.7 ÁV Marginal
GB3BT 94 miles Berwick 0.3 ÁV Marginal

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GB3IR Internet Repeater

The "IR" in the callsign stands for Internet Repeater.  GB3IR is a standard VHF speech repeater which can also connect to about 2,000 other repeaters in the world via the internet.  It uses a system called IRLP (Internet Radio Linking Project).

GB3IR was the UK's first VHF repeater to provide the IRLP facility.

Standard usage could be a mobile station in Teesside talking through the repeater to a hand portable station on the North York Moors.  If a list of codes is available, the mobile station could send a coded number to GB3IR which would connect it via the internet to another similar repeater which may be on VHF or UHF and in any part of the world.  Repeater control software and a synthesised voice indicates the status of a connection.

Examples:  731 connects to GB3NY in Scarborough, 718 connects to GB3PZ in Manchester, 5515 connects to DB0VOX in Nuremberg, 5610 connects to K6VGG in Los Angeles.

Also, 79 gets the north east radio club news and 78 gets the national RAYNET news.

GB3IR also uses EchoLink.  Instead of using an amateur radio repeater through the internet to another amateur radio repeater, it is possible to access the system directly from the internet.  In this case, you can sit at home and use your internet access to connect to an amateur radio repeater.  Only licensed radio amateurs can have this facility and this is assured by a registration and authentication procedure.

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GB3KM TV Repeater

The "KM" part of the callsign stands for Kirk Merrington, near Spennymoor in Durham.  It is a dual input ATV (Amateur Television) repeater.  Because TV signals require a large bandwidth, they won't really fit into the more popular VHF and UHF bands which are used mainly for speech modes.

Its output frequency is 2.44 GHz in the UHF 13cm amateur band.

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GB3IR   IRLP   EchoLink   GB3KM  UK Repeaters

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Page updated on 09 January 2017

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