Setting up repeater systems is a common way to enhance the signal range and help connect the radio community better. Without well set-up repeater systems, it would not be possible for most two-way radio users to connect to one another or receive or transmit the way they can do today.
However, setting up a repeater system requires several components, with a repeater controller being at the heart of the setup.
So let’s help you choose the best two-way radio repeater for your setup by walking you through the 5 best options on Amazon below.
Best Two-Way Radio Repeaters
Here are our two way radio repeater reviews.
1. Retevis RT97
If you’re looking for a full duplex two-way radio repeater with a really long range, the Retevis RT97 will hit the spot for you. It’s an UHF repeater that’s surprisingly compact and portable, while boasting a solid, dust-proof build quality.
It’s a really high-end repeater with 10 watts of power, but is still pretty easy to install and operate. It’s also flexible enough to be used as both a fixed or a mobile repeater.
The duplex mode is very impressive as it allows reception and transmission on two frequencies simultaneously. There’s also a small LCD screen displaying important information.
- Supports a really long range
- 10 watts power
- Impressive duplex mode performance
- Solid build quality and easy to install
- A new product with a fairly expensive price tag
After reviewing a fairly high-end repeater, we now get to something that’s as low-end as a working repeater can probably get. Despite the cheap price tag, however, it works pretty well.
Some users do encounter issues making it work but that’s only because they don’t set things up properly. Make sure your radios are set up properly with the right settings and this repeater will work like a charm for the price.
It allows transmitting and receiving in both VHF and UHF band. Although the description mentions that it works well for Kenwood two-way radios but it actually works just as well for other brands like BaoFeng as well.
- Surprisingly cheap but functional
- Allows transmitting and receiving in both VHF and UHF band
- Works well for popular brands like Kenwood and BaoFeng radios
- The range is pretty limited at around half a mile, but we wouldn’t expect more than that at this price
The Fumei UHF 400-470MHz is a 30W radio repeater duplexer available at a great price. It’s great to have 30 watts for a repeater setup, while the high-frequency UHF performance is incredible at this price too.
A particular user mentioned that most of the power output is making to the antenna, which is a sign of a quality unit. The build quality is pretty good too.
Just make sure you tune it to the exact frequency you need, which is how you will get the best performance out of it and avoid the issues some users mention in their reviews.
- High-frequency UHF performance is great at this price
- 30W power is incredible
- Well-built and quality unit
- Can be a little tricky to set up especially if you don’t get the tuning right
The Mcbazel Surecom SR-629 is a great option to set up a repeater system using handheld radios from the popular brands out there. It’s a 2 in 1 duplex cross band repeater, and comes with a radio cable.
It’s easy to set up, doesn’t affect the audio quality in any way like some of the cheaper units, and the delay in transmitting is less than half a second, which is again great for a repeater you didn’t spend hundreds on.
The battery life is pretty good too, but remember it’s designed to be a short range repeater so don’t get it to go tens of miles.
- Great 2 in 1 duplex cross band repeater for the price
- Very functional with no audio quality loss
- Less than half second delay in transmitting
- Good battery life
- Short range repeater not designed for very long range requirements
The Mcbazel Surecom SR-328 is a simple but very functional duplex repeater controller. The ease of operation is fantastic while it also offers great flexibility.
You can use it to set up bi-direction band duplex repeater using both mobile and handheld two-way radio. It’s also easy to install and fairly well-built.
It works with most popular brands out there like Kenwood and BaoFeng two-way radios. It boasts some unique features like multi-function LED display, can be charged using both Li-ion batteries and 24V power supply, password protection feature and more.
- Super functional repeater at a fair price
- Surprisingly easy to install and operate
- Comes with a lot of features
- Works much better than cheaper repeaters
- The range isn’t exceptionally long, but it’s good for the price
Two Way Radio Repeater Buyer’s Guide
While the repeater itself is an important component of a two-way radio repeater setup, there are other important components too that you should be aware of.
As a repeater system is supposed to both receive and transmit signals, the first component it would need is a receiver, which in this case, would be a two-way radio that can be used as a receiver.
The power output, range and overall performance are some important factors here, as unless the radio itself is good enough at receiving signals it won’t be possible to transmit them to users that can’t receive these signals directly.
Just like a receiver, you would also need a two-way radio to transmit the signals that the other radio receives. This both happens on different frequencies, and the transmitting radio needs to be powerful as well to be able to transmit it to a long range so that it can reach users that are a long distance from the original source and also the repeater setup itself.
While some users might argue a high-performance antenna isn’t really a necessity, but using a basic antenna and a high endurance, bi-directional antenna can make all the difference to the overall capability of your repeater system.
Make sure you mount the antenna at a significant height from the ground level, as doing so will help it avoid any obstacles from getting into its way.
Well, the controller is exactly what we reviewed above. A repeater controller is the heart of a repeater setup.
We reviewed 5 units that are available at Amazon, and work pretty well for the price. Of course, they aren’t like one of those high-end repeaters, but if you’re looking to get something without spending a bomb then you can’t go wrong with any of them, depending on your requirements.