Some amateur radios have a "Reverse"(*) button that swaps the repeater input and output frequencies, allowing you to quickly monitor the repeater input and transmit on the repeater output. When I first started out, I didn't realize the value of this.
The benefits of this feature are:
- You can quickly listen to the repeater input to determine if someone transmitting is close enough for you to use simplex and free up the repeater.
- If the repeater isn't working, you can get anyone who is monitoring the repeater's output and is within simplex range, to hear you by transmitting on the repeater's output.
- During time of malicious interference or other search operation, if we all switch over to monitoring the input and make note of whether we can hear the transmitting station, we can use the information to figure out roughly what area the transmitting station is in.
And finally, the benefit that is relevant to the original topic, hitting the reverse button on many radios is a quick way of seeing what frequency your radio is programmed to transmit on for a repeater. Your radio display will need to be in a mode to show the frequency rather than the label.
Check your radio's manual to find out how to activate the reverse feature as the button might have an obscure label. A few common one:
- Wouxun - It's the scan button. (A quick press and release).
- Baofeng UV-5 - The * button. (A quick press and release).
- Many Yaesus - Home/Reverse, HM/RV, Rev, etc.