If you or your team work in a remote place with very low radio coverage and need a safer and more cost-effective solution to this problem, then two-way radio repeaters are what you need. The repeater repeats your signal to enhance communication over a large area.
However, you don’t always need the repeater; there are some special cases where you’ll need it. Along with coverage issues, there can be some additional benefits for repeaters. Let’s get to know when you’ll need it, why you need it, how to choose them, and all the basic information regarding the two-way repeater.
What Is a Radio Repeater?
A radio repeater is an infrastructure made using one or two base station antennas, a receiver, isolator, and transmitter combination to help amplify your radio communication. Usually, places that are very low in coverage or signal, like remote places, require radio repeaters for efficient communication. But remember, it’s not a must-have item for all radio communication.
The way a radio repeater works is that it receives signals at a specific frequency and transmits signals at a new frequency. If there are several repeaters in a large area, then each station regenerates a received signal and sends it to the next station to transmit the signals even further.
Reasons Why You Need Two-Way Radio Repeaters
There are several reasons why you need to consider installing the two-way radio repeater. The reasons are:
The most popular reason why one needs two-way radio repeaters is the poor coverage issues. Businesses related to transportation and construction can have their workers in different places.
Also, you’ll need a wide area of coverage to increase efficiency in all sectors and workplaces and make more profit. That’s why the repeater is used to solve all the radio coverage issues.
Improving Signal Strength
Since the two-way radio repeater can amplify the signal strength, it’s best to use it in areas where there are many obstacles and interferences that make the signals weaker.
The general public in every area needs emergency services almost all the time. Fire departments, police, medical, and other emergency services need clear and strong radio coverage everywhere.
Specifically, in case of disasters, you’ll require two-way radio repeaters to ensure public safety everywhere. But it will be too late if you want to install the repeater at that time. That’s why some emergency radio repeaters should be installed in some places.
For more reliable radio communication, a radio repeater is essential. Because the repeater can reduce dead zones, there will be less likelihood of signal dropouts, making communication reliable in critical situations.
If you want to expand your radio network for business or other purposes to communicate with multiple groups simultaneously without any dropouts or unclear signals, then using a radio repeater is a must for you.
Different industries, including construction, transportation, agriculture, etc., work with a lot of remote workers who communicate through two-way radios. If the range of their work is more than miles, then a repeater is needed for effective and clear remote operations.
Also, you’ll need to improve the signals if you want to supervise and monitor remote jobs. Armed forces usually use the walkie-talkie to communicate with remote members and give orders.
Walkie-talkies don’t charge you much, and sometimes nothing at all, unlike cellphone networks. And if you use a radio repeater, you can communicate over long distances effectively without much expense.
Also, a centralized radio repeater can reduce the infrastructure cost of installing several random repeaters.
Sometimes, public events like sporting events, music festivals, or gatherings of different activists operate in a large area. Cell phone networks don’t work very well with that huge human traffic. That’s why two-way radios are better for managing and communicating through events.
How to Choose and Install Two-Way Radio Repeaters
Radio repeaters can be of different types for their designated usage. The repeaters can use VHF or UHF signals. Usually, most of the business repeaters are available for UHF frequency, as UHF can go beyond obstacles.
There can also be low-power and high-power radio repeaters. If your work requires onsite communications, then you can choose a low-power repeater. But if you need to communicate over many miles, then go for the high-power repeater.
Installing a repeater can be easy to moderately complex, depending on the configuration. Usually, the high-power repeater installation is more complicated than the low-power repeater. The installation process requires professional supervision and work, as the antennas need to be placed precisely for clear communication.
For the most effective installation, professionals will do a site survey to identify the requirements and problems, then make an efficient strategy before installing the repeater. After the installation process, they will do range tests to see if everything is working properly or needs adjustments.
Alternative to a Two-Way Radio Repeater
Radio repeaters can cost anywhere between 5 thousand to 15 thousand dollars. It’s a huge amount for individual usage. So, if you want to reduce the cost or you want to get more features along with boosting the radio signals, then you can consider trying some new alternatives to the two-way repeaters.
Specifically, many businesses are switching to digital two-way radios from analog ones. It’s because the digital radios are stronger, more reliable, and they can make use of cell phone towers; that’s why they don’t need extra repeater infrastructure.
Also, if you work as an individual or your business isn’t so big, you can improve the antenna quality and get high-strength antennas. They will make the signals stronger, and the radio coverage will also increase. And you won’t have to worry about installing the repeater, selecting the location, or incurring costs related to the process.
From public safety to recreational and commercial usage, two-way radio repeaters work as a versatile tool. But the type and number of repeaters, or if one really needs them, depend on their environment and needs. So, it’s best to consult with a local professional first. And in the case of the installation of a repeater, handle all the equipment carefully.