What is a radio repeater?

Have you ever seen a police officer use their walkie talkie? You may have wondered how the officer standing nearby you is talking all the way back to their station or other officers who are several kilometers apart. This is made possible with the help of a two way radio repeater. A radio repeater is a clever piece of technology that allows users to talk over long distances without having an extremely powerful transmitting device. Canada Wide Communications rents portable repeater systems for remote applications and leases usage of our long range repeater for the lower mainland.

How does a two way radio repeater work?

Simply put a two way radio repeater extends the range of radio transmission. The way it does this is by having two communication segments. A repeater is usually placed on top of a mountain or higher vantage point such as a building or tower. Imagine that users "A" and "B" are trying to communicate. Without a repeater "A" cannot reach "B" and vice versa because there is too much distance between them. In a repeater setup, User "A" will transmit up to the repeater (this connection is called an uplink) the repeater will receive this transmission. The repeater will then re-transmit this transmission with higher power. "B" can then receive the signal, where they otherwise might not have. An easy way to remember this is that a repeater "repeats" what it hears. There are several details that go into these technologies, this is just an overview of how they work. Typically repeaters will use two radio frequencies in order to separate its transmit from receive functions.

When to use a repeater

We usually recommend that a repeater is used when talking over long distances where typical radios cannot reach each other, or where the quality of communication degrades too much for the transmission to be useful. This will depend on the type of radio, location, and band of radio. We can help you decide whether or not a repeater would be helpful for your application. If you need a radio system that utilizes this technology we can help put this together for you.

Can a repeater fix a radio dead zone?

If a dead zone is caused by a signal disrupting landmark such as a large metal fence, building, or other obstacle a repeater may not help. However, in some cases, repeaters can help fix radio dead zones if the dead zone is caused by an existing repeater falling short or walkie talkies not having enough range to reach the zone. This can make a repeater an indispensable tool for quality communication.

Looking to rent a portable radio repeater? Looking to lease on our repeater system for the lower mainland? Contact Us