How To Crossband Repeat Ham Radio

cross band repeat

How to crossband repeat using the Yaesu FT-8900R. Note the left side of the radio is on a 2-meter VHF frequency and the right side is tuned to the UHF frequency of 445.875 Mhz. Copyright 2018 Tim Carter

What is Crossband Repeat?

Crossband repeat is the re-transmission in real-time of one signal from one band, typically UHF, on another band often VHF. Imagine talking into your HT using just one watt of power on a 70-cm frequency. Your dual-band mobile or base-station VHF radio hears your 70-cm transmission and immediately re-transmits it on 2-meters at 50 watts. Your transmission is crossing over to another band. Do you see how useful this might be?

How To Crossband Repeat – It’s Easy To Do

You may want to know how to set up crossband repeat on your mobile radio. It’s not as hard as you might think. Watch this video to understand why you want this amazing capability in your mobile VHF transceiver.

I happen to have a Yaesu FT-8900R and it only takes about five seconds to set up the radio once you have your receiving and transmitting frequencies set.

How To Set Up Cross Band Repeat Video

Watch this video to see how easy it is to get a Yaesu FT-8900R to be in cross band repeat mode.

Can you Crossband Repeat on the Same Band?

No, you can’t crossband repeat on ordinary mobile VHF radios on the same band. Note the word crossband. It means the signal is CROSSING OVER TWO BANDS to allow the magic to happen.

Small mobile radios and possibly some handheld transceivers with crossband repeat functionality are designed to only repeat signals on two different bands.

You can repeat transmissions on the same band (VHF and UHF frequencies are most common) if you have a powerful special repeater that might be up on a mountain or tall building. These robust radios are connected to special duplexers that make the real-time input and output of the transmission, or magic, happen.

My Yaesu FT-8900R has no trouble retransmitting my UHF 440 Mhz signal out on VHF 145 Mhz, the normal 2-meter frequency.

Here’s another video showing you how it’s done.

What Radios Can Cross Band Repeat?

Many mobile VHF transceiver radios made by Yaesu, ICOM, Kenwood, can operate in the crossband mode. Often it’s buried in the manual and the marketing managers don’t promote it as well as they should.

When Should I Crossband Repeat?

There are all sorts of situations where you can, and should, cross band repeat.

Let’s say you go on a hike and your mobile radio is left at the trailhead. You can set up the mobile radio to hear your handheld radio. If you get hurt on the trail, your tiny HT all of a sudden can reach out via your 50-watt mobile radio to get help.

You may do public service work and need more power to transmit a much greater distance than your small handheld HT will do. I happen to work the New England Forest Rally every year and crossband repeat allows me to communicate with the Finish Line when I’m miles away at the Start Line.

Read my story about Ham Radio and the New England Forest Rally to see why crossband repeat is so important and useful.

12 thoughts on “How To Crossband Repeat Ham Radio

  1. I’m looking for a mobile radio that will cross bank repeat on 70cm and 1.25m. Does such a radio exist ?
    Or is there a way I can simulate the capability with two separate radios ?
    Many thanks !

  2. Will the Icom 706MKIIG will do cross band repeat? I haven’t been able to find it in the manual which leads me to think the answer is no. Thanks, Carl KD2UCV

  3. Very nice article thank you for the info!
    I’m really interested in how to set up my radio to crossband repeat in the same band, as you stated above. I have a UHF Kenwood NX-840H, if I set 2 different frequencies for TX/RX how do I program 2 or more of my HTs so that when I TX on one HT the other HTs will RX it also? TIA!

    • You can’t cross band repeat on the same frequency with standard mobile radios and HTs. Please re-read the column above paying attention to the word duplexers.

      • Thanks for the reply Tim!
        So let’s say for the sake of discussion my hypothetical frequencies are:

        RX 409.000
        TX 400.000

        to hit my mobile/base HT #1-#3 will be programmed as:
        RX 400.000
        TX + offset 009.000

        My mobile radio is UHF only. Will it “crossband” repeat my output if I TX from HT #1 going into my mobile to HT #2 & #3?

        • I don’t think you understand crossband repeating.

          You come into the radio on one BAND – say 70 cm and the radio retransmits in real time on a DIFFERENT BAND like 2 meters.

          If you need more help, go to a local ham radio club meeting and seek out a crossband repeating expert.

          • I just based my question on your statement in the above article:

            “Can you Cross Band Repeat on the Same Band?

            You can cross band repeat on the same band (2 meters in and 2 meters out)….”

            So I thought maybe I could do it on 70cm in and 70cm out…
            anyway, thanks for the reply and info. Good day.

          • Ben,

            I don’t think you read the rest of the sentence. Big repeaters that have duplexers CAN repeat on the same band.

            Go back up and re-read that section.

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