FAQS Local v repeater base stations – what’s the difference?

Local v repeater base stations – what’s the difference?

Local base station

A local base station is basically a fixed desk-top radio. The benefit of having this type of radio is that it prevents someone from picking the radio up and walking off with it either intentionally or accidentally i.e. if you want a radio to remain at the reception desk in your building, or any other area you feel it is crucial to have radio contact, then a fixed desk-top radio may be a good idea.

Having a local base station will not significantly increase the coverage area of your two-way radio fleet. Although the fixed radio itself has a higher power output than a hand portable radio, the hand portable still needs to transmit back to the fixed radio, the range will always be dictated by the unit with the lowest power output, i.e. the hand portable. The antenna supplied with the local base station is typically sited in an elevated position, e.g. on top of a Portakabin, which may improve the range of hand portables connecting with it as they may have an improved sight line, however it will not increase the range between hand portables.


Repeater base station

A repeater base station is a technical product that can be installed on site, in conjunction with an antenna, to increase the coverage area. When a radio sends a message, the repeater receives the transmission and then repeats the transmission back out (on another frequency) to all other radios within the coverage area.

A repeater base station must be set up in a dry waterproof area that has a 240v power source. Locating the repeater and the antenna in the correct position to ensure that maximum coverage is achieved generally requires a site survey.

Repeaters are often set up with complex antenna systems as long-term solutions to help achieve coverage throughout a building or campus. Utilising Internet connectivity they can also be used to link multiple sites.

For customers requiring increased coverage at a temporary event location, repeater base stations can be set up with a simple antenna to improve coverage. If you are organising an event that covers a wide area and you think you may need a repeater contact us for advice and assistance.

It is important to note that a repeater increases the coverage on only one channel in analogue mode or two channels in digital mode.


This is a simplistic overview; if you think that you require a local or repeater base station please contact us and we will be happy to advise you.