the surecom SR-112 simplex repeater arrived yesterday. the way it works is you connect it to the input and output ports of your radio. whatever audio the radio receives, the repeater will record it and then transmit it back. how is this useful, besides just parroting back what you just said over the radio? for one thing, it can act as a midway station, extending the transmission range. that's what my father's is hoping to use it for. placed at the cafe, it could theoretically allow me to reach belmont from my place in cambridge, using the repeater to relay the message, which i couldn't do otherwise directly. another use for the repeater is allowing us to test transmission range without needing somebody else, since if we're able to hear the repeated audio, that means we can reach the repeater.
there doesn't seem to be a lot of these simplex repeaters on the market. maybe it's too niche of a gadget, or maybe there are other reasons, like possible FCC violation. the only other simplex repeater i know of is from radio-tone, which costs $60 (compared to the $38 for the surecom SR-112). the radio-tone repeater doesn't even have as many functions as the surecom. both have an internal battery that it can run off of remotely but can also be plugged in to a power supply (36 hours for radio-tone, 72 hours for surecom). however, the surecom has the ability to store 3 different messages, activated by using DTMF tones. the surecom can also automatically broadcast messages at timed intervals.
the surecom SR-112 came with a K12 cable, which is only usable for the baofeng radio. to connect it to the TYT radio, we need a different cable (gam3gear 48-Y1), which we also ordered at the time, but wasn't arriving until today.
while we waited for the special repeater cable to arrive, my father and i went to home depot so i could pick up the rubbermaid roughneck 30 gallon trash can i ordered online. this is a great trash can for tight spaces, i'm really surprised you can readily find it anywhere and need to be specially ordered. makes me wonder if rubbermaid has discontinued this particular model.
the 48-Y1 cable finally came in the afternoon. my father hooked it up to the TYT radio and everything worked fine. the TYT TH-9800 - with its ability to transmit at 50W, has a much better range than the 5W maximum baofeng handheld.
when i returned home after dinner, GC told me "your old lady neighbor" was looking for me. that got me a little annoyed with renee. she treats me like her free on-call IT tech support, ringing my doorbell day and night whenever something is wrong with her computer, her printer, her scanner, her network. every year i help her a handful of times, to the point where occasionally i will pretend not to be home when i see her at my doorsteps.