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Howard County REACT votes to build and maintain GMRS repeater in Howard County area


Howard County REACT votes to build and maintain GMRS repeater in Howard County area

(Hanover, Md) – In a recent board meeting of Howard County REACT, team President David Perry put forward a motion to discuss the building of a GMRS repeater in the Howard County area to support team communications. Many topics discussed about the GMRS repeater system included:

• Cost of the system including funding resources • Pros and cons over a amateur radio repeater • Knowledge in building, locating, and maintaining such a system • Procedures on sharing the system with non-REACT members

David argued that the system would allow the team to communicate over a large area, provide reliable communications during local public service events, provide backup communications for team members and the general public and provide an additional tool for local OEM and emergency officials during local disasters.

The discussion revealed that a relatively affordable system could be put together given that it be placed on a high rise roof top donated by a local company that has access to one. Additionally, several members stated that they already had some equipment they were willing to donate to the project.

One major topic regarding the installation of the repeater dealt with the benefits of a GMRS repeater over an amateur radio repeater. Several benefits included the relative ease of obtaining a GMRS license over an amateur license (no test), one GMRS license covers an entire household, and marketability of a community radio repeater to “non-tech savvy” oriented individuals.

Additional discussion involved the tasking of building such a system. Again, David offered to head up the project, however, he admitted that his knowledge in building such a system was limited. The board recommended that contact should be made with other local REACT teams, GMRS repeater owners, and HAM radio groups for help.

After much more discussion and another motion, the board voted unanimously to build and maintain a GMRS repeater system and to establish a Repeater Committee headed by team President, David Perry to oversee the project. The location of the repeater will be placed in either Ellicott City or Columbia area due to the proximity of many public service events taking place in these areas and because of the large population that can be served when compared to the rest of the county.

The board noted that additional repeaters may be needed in the future to service other parts of the county and should be investigated should this repeater prove to be successful.

* * *

If you or someone you know might have an interest in contributing to this project, please contact David Perry at or call him 410.599.5958.

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