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Important Notice About Repeater Use
The Potosi GMRS Repeater is now offline.
As remote as we all get, it always surprises me that so few of you own good communications radios. The handhelds most of us have are a great convenience between vehicles and so we don't have to yell at each other, but aren't something I would trust for life saving. To be useful as a life saving device, you would either need a very powerful vehicle mobile radio and great elevation or the use of a signal repeater.
As a courtesy and just because it's an entertaining hobby, we've been offering ourselves as radio backup on GMRS repeater frequencies. I'm almost always monitoring a radio. I have radios actively monitoring in my vehicle, on my work desk, and even in my bedroom. These radios are only good if someone is monitoring and I hope others will do their part in maintaining our collective safety.
For group safety, we've begun a group repeater build and are now in the final testing phases of this project. Because this would be a privately owned repeater, we would be allowed to restrict use and only those within our group will have access. When complete, we expected the initial cost to be somewhere in the $300-$500 range. As of this update, we are well over budget. A contribution towards the build of $50 covers your entire immediate family and grants access as long as the repeater is operational. I don't see a surplus in the near future, but any funds collected above the initial cost will be held in reserve for equipment maintenance and future battery replacements.
The advantage of having a group owned and operated repeater is convenience, safety, and control. Since this would be a group repeater, we could use it as much as wanted without having to worry about monopolizing the repeaters time usage. Having control over the repeater would allow us to make adjustments to suit our needs. In the event of emergencies or vehicle issues, you'll already know who would be coming to your aid.
The handheld BaoFeng radios most of you have been using are great for driver to driver or foot traffic. Those radios are repeater capable, but unless you are close to a repeater and are at a high elevation, they should not be relied upon for emergency use. For reliable, long range communication, you'll want a semi-permanent radio mounted in your vehicle. If any of you want to see what we use, feel free to ask at any of our planned events.
Most businesses have moved or are in the process of moving to digital radios. The used market now has an excess of used business radios available at better than reasonable prices. You can get a powerful and reliable used business radio in the $80-200 range or an amateur radio with a wider frequency coverage in the $250-1000 range. Just make sure whatever you buy covers UHF and the 462/467.000 frequency range. Some radios need modification to transmit at that frequency range. Try searching Ebay for "UHF mobile radio".
There are many cheap options, but if you want a reliable and rugged radio, you'll want to search for the commercial brands like: Motorola, Kenwood, and Icom. Some radios require a proprietary cable and software. Some software will only work on 32 bit computers. Newer computers are 64 bit. Just research before you buy. You don't want to buy a radio you can't reprogram. I can currently program the following handheld radios: BaoFeng BF888s, Yaesu FT-60, and the following mobile radios: Yaesu FT-7900, and Motorola M1225
The use of GMRS repeaters does require an FCC license which does not require a knowledge test, but does require payment of a fee. Unlike an amateur/ ham radio license, a GMRS license covers your entire immediate family. Detailed information about equipment and licensing can be found on the Communications Page.
We offer no guarantees of repeater access or usage up-time. In the event this repeater is damaged, stolen, or removed, any necessary repeater repairs or replacement will be covered by any excess group sourced funds. In the event there is no excess of group sourced funds, repairs or replacement will/may be delayed until such funds are collected.
Use of this repeater will be restricted to GMRS licensed owners and their immediate families covered under their license. FCC Part 95 rules and regulations will apply (PDF). Any violation of FCC Part 95 rules or general rules of etiquette, courtesy, and use of offensive language, can result in revocation of use. Depending on the severity of the infraction, this revocation can occur without warning. Any use revocation for cause will be without refund. There will be no refunds, for any reason, for any group funds received.
Those participating in this private repeater project agree to protect the private frequencies and repeater location from public release which includes verbal means and all forms of media release. Use is also with the understanding that, although access will be restricted, this is not an encrypted repeater and no guarantees are given or implied that conversations are private and not being monitored.
If being involved in this group repeater project is something that would interest you, please send me an email to be added to future repeater updates.