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Will not transmit to a repeater

No matter how I program my radio, I cannot get the repeater. what do I do?

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1) are you within range,?
2) is there an obstruction between you and the repeater?
3) do you have the proper PL tome programmed for the repeater?
4) When you press transmit, is the correct input frequency displayed?

Posted on Nov 29, 2013

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The FTM-10E is the european version of the dual band amateur radio capable of transmitting in the amateur VHF & UHF (144Mhz & 440Mhz ) bands, that is equal to the FTM-10R sold in the US.

Many repeaters require a predetermined sub-audible tone or signal to be sent when transmitting. If several repeaters in the area operate on the same frequency, they would all transmit at the same time unless they all have different sub-audible tones. These tones allow the user to select which repeater on the same frequency will be used. The tones are either CTCSS or DCS type. CTCSS is "continuous tone coded squelch system" and DCS is "digital coded squelch". CTCSS is expressed as a frequency in Hertz and DCS is a code expressed as a number. CTCSS is more popular, since it has been around longer. When programming or tuning the radio, you will need to provide the repeater's output frequency (and the input frequency if the shift direction and amount isn't programmed - often a 600 hertz shift either up or down depending on isn't already programmed is a default value depending on the repeater output frequency) and whether or not the repeater requires a tone. If it does require a tone (most do), you will need to know the type (CTCSS or DCS) and the value (frequency for CTCSS or code number for DCS) in order for your transmitter to open the repeater and cause it to repeat your transmission AND open the squelch on the radio's receiver so that you can hear replies to your call and other conversations. Repeater directories (both printed and online) will provide all the information needed to access a public repeater, including geographical location, input & output frequencies, squelch type and values to name a few.

If you do not have the correct CTCSS or DCS set, you will see the signal meter on the radio indicate traffic - but you will not hear anything because the radio is squelched. Check the manual page 40 for information on how to program the squelch, and page 42 describes the "shift" I mentioned above. Page 64 & 65 details the theory of squelch via CTCSS and DCS and will help you understand it better.

Basically, you have a "standard" squelch - the knob on the radio and a second squelch that is either CTCSS or DCS. Both types must be set to hear anything. Not having the CTCSS or DCS set will prevent your signal from being repeated by the repeater.

If you have more question, please add them in a comment. I hope this helps & good luck!

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The likelihood of your XT20 being a 1/2 watt out on both FRS & GMRS is very good. For Midland (or anyone else for that matter) to produce a radio with a 1 watt output that can run on just 3 "AAA" batteries would be quite the feat! If Midland did do this, the radio's battery life would extremely short. To balance the needs of light weight and battery life, output power needs to be reduced.

Claims of 20 miles is crazy. If you had these radios on mountain tops 20 miles apart - with a clear line of sight between them - MAYBE - you could hear one on the other. This would need to be done under only the most ideal conditions. The actual distance you can expect to get out of a pair of any brand FRS radios in "real world" conditions (line of sight blocked by trees and buildings) is about a mile.

An FRS/GMRS radio limited to 1/2 watt output when used on a GMRS frequency that is close enough to access a GMRS repeater system could easily cover 20+ miles. The key here is having a license and access to the repeater. Repeater owners take a dim view of unlicensed users access their repeater.

Channels 1 thru 7 are FRS and GMRS. That is, if transmitting .5 watts, you can use it as FRS. If transmitting more than .5 watts, you will need a valid GMRS license.

Channels 8 - 14 are expressly for FRS. Only .5 watts transmit power is permitted.

Channels 15 - 22 are expressly for GMRS at any transmit power up to 50 watts. Even if transmitting .5 watts, you MUST have a valid GMRS license on these frequencies.

I know - more infor than you wanted and no vclear cut number for wattage - but there's no info on these radios on Midland's site or anywhere else that I could find. Good luck!

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