Using Icom 5100 or 2820 For Cross Band Repeater

What is it and why would I use it?  There are many reasons, but let’s start with MERT (Marion Emergency Radio Team) members in the field needing connectivity to the EOC using 2 meter FM or D-Star.

For this example, let’s say you are assigned way out in the field on a search and rescue mission for MERT looking for an elderly person who has walked away.  You are way away form the EOC, and the EOC wants to monitor what is going on by using KK4DFC, the VHF D-Star repeater, and talking directly to the members in the field.

The MCSO Mobile Command Trailer can connect to KK4DFC anywhere in the county using the Icom 2820, or an Icom 5100.  Well, that’s the good news.  The bad news – everyone in the field is using ID51’s and they can not connect to KK4DFC – too far away.  The good news – all the members can connect to the MERT trailer via simplex.

Bring on cross band connect!

For this example using a D-Star repeater, we will be using an Icom 5100.  First thing is to set the frequencies, one side for KK4DFC (VHF), with the radio type changed to FM instead of DV, the other for simplex 445.400 (UHF) and the radio type left at FM.

Then, set it as a repeater.  (See the RPT display in the bottom left.)

Now for the HT part.  This will be MUCH EASIER using RT Systems software. 

  • Enter the operating frequency of 445.400.
  • The DUP must be set at +DUP.
  • Offset frequency must be 0.000
  • TS can stay at 25.
  • Mode is DV.
  • Then name it and save it.

 Now you can receive and send D-Star voice traffic to KK4DFC from the HT, through the MERT cross band repeater, to the EOC.  It works both ways!

OK, what about just FM traffic.  Works almost the same way, just a few changes.

For this scenario, let’s say CERT is out in the field with FM HT’s doing work for the MCSO and the members need to have traffic back and forth to the EOC using KJ4CLL.

First thing is to set the frequencies, one side for KJ4CLL (VHF), with the radio type left to FM , the other for simplex 445.400 (UHF) and the radio type left at FM.  Then, set it as a repeater.

Now for the (preferable a dual band 2 Meter) HT part.  This will be MUCH EASIER using RT Systems software. 

  • Enter the operating frequency of 445.400.
  • The DUP must be set at -DUP.
  • Offset frequency must be 0.000
  • TS can stay at 25.
  • Mode is FM.
  • Then name it and save it.

Now you can receive and send voice traffic to KJ4CLL from the HT, through the MERT cross band repeater, to the EOC.  It works both ways!

Many thanks to K8ZAG for all of his research and assistance, and K8ZAG for having the idea years ago to use the 2820 in the EMCOM trailer.  It works!

Ed W9CHA