Repeater nodes using VHF have several drawbacks:
For VHF communications, it may be much better to set up a very good antenna system that can be rotated to point to the desired receiving settlement, and transceivers at the settlements so that direct settlement to settlement communications would take place. Add to that a message relay protocol (manual) and longer distance communications could be effected. No matter how you look at it though, any settlement is limited to radio communications with other relatively closely located settlements. At this point, in my mind, only moon bounce still holds out something of a promise for really long range (and short range) communications.
Offered by Ron.
WB5KAN - General Class