So you received your brand new FCC call sign and you have a transceiver for 2m and/or 70 cm. Now how do you find a repeater and make a contact there? This can be a bit more challenging than first expected. There are lots of frequencies to choose from and lots of different repeaters, so how do you figure this out?
First, I’ll make a few comments on FM repeaters. Repeaters generally sit in one location and on one pair of frequencies, providing radio coverage over a particular area. This tends to cause a “watering hole” effect as radio hams choose a particular repeater (or repeaters) to monitor. Often an informal community grows up around a repeater based on who hangs out there. Some repeaters have a designated use, such as support of ARES or RACES.
So how do you pick a repeater?
What is a 2 meter repeater?
Much of 2-meter FM operation uses a radio repeater, a radio receiver and transmitter that instantly retransmits a received signal on a separate frequency. Repeaters are normally located in high locations such as a tall building or a hill top overlooking expanses of territory.