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Duplexer and Repeaters: Basic Information

Duplexer and Repeaters: Basic Information

Duplexers and Repeaters Some Basic Information
BY ROBERT A. LEHNING*, WA2YSJ

All across the country there are many amateur repeate  stations operating on 2 meters, 220  and 440 MHz, and to some extent on 1.2 GHz.  Several  modes of operating such as FM, ATV, and packet (digital) have also become very popular.  Many amateur radio operators use these repeaters but do not really understand the  basics of duplexers or the role a duplexer plays in repeater operation.  

Basic Repeaters

It  is  common  knowledge  that  if  you “hit” a repeater with low‐level  signal  such  as  a  mobile  or  handheld  radio  transmits,  the  repeater  retransmits  the  information  at  a  higher  power  level over a greater area. This is  commonly  referred  to  as  the  range  of  the  repeater,  the  area  within which you can activate the  repeater  with  the  transmitted  signal. 

Antenna  patterns  can  be  adjusted so that a repeater range  can  cover  a  certain  area  or  direction  only,  but  a  majority  of  repeater  ranges  are  intended  to  be omnidirectional (see fig. 1).  The  repeater  does  this  receiving  on  one  frequency  and  retransmitting  on  another  frequency.  This  occurs  simultaneously  and  is  called  duplex  operation.  The  frequency  separation  between  the  TX (transmit) and the RX (receive) is sometimes referred to as the split  or  repeater  pair  of  frequencies. 

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