Best Ham Radio Repeaters

5 Best HAM Radio Repeaters (Reviews Updated 2020)

Repeaters are the reason most users have been able to use HAM radios and operate as a Ham. Without local repeaters, most users won’t be able to receive or transmit most of the signals they do on a daily basis.

Users set up repeaters both for other users to be able to connect better as well as a personal repeater. Whatever be the case with you, we have come up with 5 HAM radio options that will work great as a repeater.

Each one of them comes with cross-band functionality and superior performance, which are the most important requirements for a repeater.

Best HAM Radio Repeaters

Here are our HAM radio repeater reviews.

1. TYT TH-7800

Tyt Th 7800

The TYT TH-7800 is an excellent dual band mobile HAM radio with great cross-band functionality and ability to be used as a repeater. The frequencies it supports for cross-band is 440MHz to 144MHz, which covers most users with different requirements.

Setting it up as a cross-band repeater is pretty simple and easy to operate as well. Users report how they can easily hit distant local repeaters with the TH-7800 that they couldn’t with their primary radio.

The audio quality is pretty good and the programming is easy. The power output is 50 watts, and the TH-7800 supports full duplex operation.

Pros:

  • Powerful mobile radio that can be used as a repeater
  • Large frequency range support
  • Easy to set up and operate as a repeater
  • Good audio and easy programming

Cons:

  • Not the best build quality, so you will need to take some extra care when using it to make it last longer
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2. AnyTone AT-5888UV

Anytone At 5888uv

The AnyTone AT-5888UV is another dual band mobile HAM radio with excellent cross-band functionality and performance. There are more than a few users using it as a repeater to hit distant repeaters or to enhance the range and hit distant repeaters with their handheld HAM radio, and it works like a charm.

It covers both the 2m and 70cm bands for the cross-band functionality, which is a great feature and offers some great versatility to users. The 50 watts power output perfectly complements its superior cross band functionality.

It comes with tons of features like full twin display, twin receive, ANI, DCS, CTCSS, 758 channels, built-in speaker in both the radio and mic, built-in cooling fan and the list goes on. The build quality is solid, too.

Pros:

  • Amazing cross-band functionality for both 2m and 70cm bands
  • Solid 50 watts power output boosting the cross-band functionality
  • Tons of other useful features
  • Impressive build quality

Cons:

  • If you have a lot of frequencies programmed the scanning will be pretty slow
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3. Yaesu Ft-8900R

Yaesu Ft 8900r

If you’re a more advanced user and want to go beyond dual band, then the Yaesu Ft-8900R will fit the bill well for you with its quad band performance, covering the 2m, 6m, 10m and the popular 70cm bands.

Of course, it comes with the cross-band repeat functionality, and can be used as a repeater. And it works pretty well at that. A particular user mentioned how they easily hit distant local repeaters with their BaoFeng handheld using the FT-8900R as a repeater.

The repeater function is surprisingly easy to set up and use as well, while programming it using CHIRP is both easy and quick. The power output is 50 watts and there are lots of other features.

Pros:

  • Quad band performance with repeater functionality
  • Super easy to set up and use as a repeater
  • Easy to program with CHIRP
  • 50 watts power output and lots of other features

Cons:

Nothing worth noting.

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4. TYT TH-9800

Tyt Th 9800

The TYT TH-9800 is another quad band transceiver with excellent overall functionality, including the ability to be used as a cross-band repeater. It covers pretty much all the bands you can imagine (like the above radio), and works just as well on each of them.

The programming is a little difficult, especially for beginners, but once you’re done with it the radio is pretty easy to use and set up as a repeater. The twin display screen is impressive and the unit is pretty sturdy.

50 watts of power supports the repeater functionality well, and helps it reach a great distance. The audio is pretty good as well.

Pros:

  • Quad band performance with excellent overall functionality
  • Great cross-band repeater performance
  • Easy to set up and use as a repeater
  • Impressive audio quality

Cons:

  • Programming can be a little tricky for beginners
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5. TYT TH-UV8000D

Tyt Th Uv8000d

If you’re looking for a handheld HAM radio to use as a repeater, you just found one! Yes, it’s very rare to have a handheld with cross-band functionality, but we managed to find one for you.

The power output of the TH-UV8000D is only 10 watts so don’t expect miracles with the range, but for a handheld it won’t disappoint as a relatively short-range repeater. The cross band feature also works perfectly, but you must use the installed software and not CHIRP to be able to use it.

The programming is simple though with an impressive build quality and lots of other useful features.

Pros:

  • Handheld HAM radio with cross-band repeater functionality
  • Good range for a handheld repeater
  • Easy programming
  • Good build quality

Cons:

  • You MUST use the installed software and not CHIRP to be able to use the unit as a repeater
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HAM Radio Repeater Buyer’s Guide

When you’re talking a HAM radio repeater, you may actually be talking a radio or a repeater controller, two completely different things of course. One of the important components for users looking to set up a repeater system easily is the repeater controller, which basically connects your transmitting and receiving radio to make the setup work.

So if you’re looking for a repeater controller, then we have already reviewed them as the best two-way radio repeaters. And as we already covered the “repeaters” in the sense of controllers to set up a repeater system, we decided to review the actual radio options in this post that can be used as a HAM radio repeater.

Cross-Band Functionality

The cross-band functionality is precisely what allows you to use the above HAM radios as repeaters. What it does is receives the signal on one frequency, and transmits it on another frequency.

A repeater radio works very differently than other radios, with one of the differences being what we mentioned above the frequency. Another important difference is that it receives a weaker signal and makes it much stronger when transmitting with its superior capability and higher power output.

Similarly, these radios are also put at an ideal location to make them work as a repeater the way they are intended to. So in other words, a repeater radio changes the frequency of the signal, makes the signal stronger, and has a higher power output.

These things help the signal that would otherwise fail to travel 2 miles reach users 20 miles or even 60 miles away.