HT's and Repeater Operation

As a new ham your first radio will most likely be a hand held type. 
You learned about them in your technician classes but it never hurts to have a reminder about their operations. 

Please read on to learn more and become a very good operator!

All hand held radios come with a standard "production" type antenna. They work but are not of the best design, more like a radiating dummy load! When a company makes hundreds or thousands of them, they don't take the time to precisely tune each individual antenna, they just get them "close" to the intended band. 

The best thing you can do to improve your radios efficiency is to replace the antenna with a higher quality gain type. It will be a bit longer but certainly well worth it when it comes to both receiving and transmitting, especially if you need it in an emergency! This type is specifically tuned to operate on the frequencies that you buy it for. It will make a positive difference! 

For a great explanation of hand held and repeater operations please visit this link:

In addition, toward the end of the document there is a section named Repeater Protocol. Everything in this section is very wise, please read and remember it!

Along with this I would like to explain another issue. Some guys think that all they need is a hand held to work a repeater. This is not necessarily true.
All repeaters have bad or rough spots that prevent or hamper someone with a handheld from "getting into" the repeater. Particularly if you try to use a handheld inside of a building or vehicle! Just because you found a 'hot spot' once doesn't mean it will work all the time. Signal paths change due to weather conditions. If you try and you are consistently told that you're getting in too noisy or unintelligible, identify with your call and STOP trying, unless you have a REAL EMERGENCY! 

Albert Einstein once wrote, "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results"! 
I say, Don't be insane!

He also wrote: The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits"!
I say, Be a genius!

Another great link for beginners VHF/UHF operating guide is:

If you must use a hand held, a great way to eliminate this noise problem is to "cross band repeat" into the repeater. This requires the use of a dual band mobile or base unit, an outside antenna and of course a dual band hand held. Check out this Youtube link for a quick explanation. Google is our friend, try to google 'cross band repeat' and you'll hit the jackpot!

Another method is to attach an outside antenna to your hand held. They do work! Whether you're in a vehicle or home, an outside antenna will make a fantastic improvement to your signal!

Only licensed Amateur Radio Operators are authorized use of ANY Amateur Radio transceiver including repeaters in the transmit function.


LICENSED HAMS HAVE WAYS TO DETECT BOGUS CALL SIGNS and they are not afraid to track you down!




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