Earlier this summer I took a look at the Retevis RT97 portable repeater. Thank you to Retevis for providing an RT97 unit to review for these videos. As a recap, the RT97 portable repeater is available as either a VHF or UHF unit and can be ordered with either a 5 MHz or 10 MHz offset split. This is an FM analog repeater, has 16 memory channels, 10 watts output power, wide or narrow band operation, CTCSS and DCS tone squelch, and 12-24 volt operation. This is a full duplex repeater unit, but due to its compact size, can only do a 5 or 10 Mhz split. Please watch my first look video on the RT97 for more information on the specs and pros and cons of this repeater. For this video I’m going to set it up and check out the range with some real world tests.
To test the repeater I’ve set up a parrot station using a laptop computer running an application called Echostation, the BTech APRS cable, and a UHF handheld radio. Echostation is a simple Windows application that can function as a repeater controller, announcement machine, or a simplex repeater. Links for all these items are in the video description below. I’ll be using it as a simplex repeater so I can hear the quality of my own transmissions as I travel around the area.
Normally Echostation will control the radios using the serial port, but to simplify things, I just turned the radio on to vox control. Its not the best solution as there is some clipping of the transmissions, but it’s good enough for this test. So lets go outside and give the Retevis RT97 a workout.
Retevis RT 97 Portable Repeater first look: https://youtu.be/0EBJasGAymY
Retevis RT97 UHF Portable Repeater(website): http://bit.ly/Michael-RT97
BTech APRS Cable: https://amzn.to/2MPijsM
Samcom FPCN30A UHF Handheld: https://amzn.to/2MO1nCV
Trek Checkpoint AL4: https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/bikes/road-bikes/gravel-bikes/checkpoint/checkpoint-al/checkpoint-al-4/p/30207/