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Author Topic: Driving to Dallas  (Read 4089 times)
KC8AHN
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Posts: 108




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« on: June 10, 2010, 04:34:17 PM »

So in 4 weeks I have to drive from Columbus Ohio to Dallas Tx (may have to go to Bryan TX). Mapquest is telling me to go from Columbus to Louisville, Nashville, Memphis, Little Rock and that way in.

Question is does anyone know any good repeaters that will carry me through the trip. I am thinking about buying the ID880 so I may have D-Star as well. I want to take my HF rig but it maybe more hassle than it is worth so I maybe stuck with 2m/440. Also, I know I could pull up the map and then use a repeater directory to figure things out, but I want to know real world what would be worth using.
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K0BG
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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2010, 05:37:02 AM »

Actually, the ARRL Repeater Directory is your best bet. The repeaters are listed by state, then city.

Or, revert to the standard, and look for the most popular repeater pairs: 04,94; 28,88; 16,76;. Remember, in the old days, these were usually the frequencies included with the radio (crystals instead of a synthesizer).

Or, just use 146.52. You might just be surprised.
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KC8AHN
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« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2010, 04:31:35 PM »

Thanks for the reply Alan, I have an older (a year or 2 older) directory, I may have to start my database here. The only problem is that the directory does not tell me which systems are active and which are not.
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K0BG
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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2010, 07:57:15 AM »

You're right! Even the latest repeater manual us dated. Heck, we have a 34/94 here in Roswell, that's in so bad shape, you can't break it without being on top of it. Worse, no IDer, no control, nada! But it's in the directory!
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KI4SDY
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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2010, 06:15:14 AM »

If you want road information like where to eat, sleep and avoid tie ups, install a CB for the trip. Easier to use on the road and a lot more informative Grin
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KC8AHN
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« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2010, 01:16:25 PM »

Not concerend with dining information or hotels/motels, Will eat at McDonalds/Cracker Barrell/Dennys and places like that, and will only stay at a national chain hotel like Motel 6 or Super 8. More just wanting something to keep me company on the trip, and I really am not going to be in the mood to hear "Breaker Breaker, anyone looking for some commercial comapany go to ch 21" that you tend to hear on the 11m band. Some of what you hear on there will give you "hearing AIDS".
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KI4SDY
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« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2010, 02:59:16 PM »

Gee, you seem to be really familiar with what's on the CB bands. I guess you already have one installed. That's good if there is a large wreck ahead and you need to get off the main road to avoid sitting for hours. Those friendly truckers are only too glad to give you directions. You won't get that type of information from the "ham" bands. Just some old retired dude talking about what's for dinner.Grin
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KC8AHN
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« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2010, 03:11:51 PM »

Gee, you seem to be really familiar with what's on the CB bands. I guess you already have one installed. That's good if there is a large wreck ahead and you need to get off the main road to avoid sitting for hours. Those friendly truckers are only too glad to give you directions. You won't get that type of information from the "ham" bands. Just some old retired dude talking about what's for dinner.Grin

I do not own a CB, use to years ago, and every so often I will put my HF rig on 27.185 and listen, some of that stuff is sicking, and I have a pretty open mind. Dont get me wrong, some of what I hear on the CB band is better than I hear during the "colinoscopy nets" I hear online.
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WB0KSL
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« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2010, 06:27:03 AM »

I recently returned to the hobby after a long absence.  In late May/early June I took a road trip from Kansas City through the New Mexico/West Texas area.  I bought a digital repeater directory for my iPod Touch, and found that a great many of the entries were not functional repeaters.  When I was last active twenty years ago, one could take such a trip and enjoy many QSOs along the way.  Now, between having to ferret out the PL tone for a repeater, and finding one that's actually up and active, it has become a real "mouse hunt".  Worse, when I did find a repeater, it was frequently a case of "lights on - nobody home..."  Too bad, 2m/440 repeaters used to be such fun!

John, WB0KSL
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KB0XR
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« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2010, 07:00:25 AM »

On a trip to Chicago, I tried multiple times to get some directions on 2 meter repeaters.  No answers. Not one.  Switched over to channel 19 on a handheld CB and got plenty of help.  I always carry the CB when I'm on a trip.  Yes, you hear some strange stuff on 11 meters but no worse than 75 meters on a weekend night.
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K5END
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« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2010, 12:40:20 PM »

So in 4 weeks I have to drive from Columbus Ohio to Dallas Tx (may have to go to Bryan TX). Mapquest is telling me to go from Columbus to Louisville, Nashville, Memphis, Little Rock and that way in.

Question is does anyone know any good repeaters that will carry me through the trip. I am thinking about buying the ID880 so I may have D-Star as well. I want to take my HF rig but it maybe more hassle than it is worth so I maybe stuck with 2m/440. Also, I know I could pull up the map and then use a repeater directory to figure things out, but I want to know real world what would be worth using.

Honest question. Why not use HF? Just curious.
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KC8AHN
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Posts: 108




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« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2010, 03:41:46 PM »

So in 4 weeks I have to drive from Columbus Ohio to Dallas Tx (may have to go to Bryan TX). Mapquest is telling me to go from Columbus to Louisville, Nashville, Memphis, Little Rock and that way in.

Question is does anyone know any good repeaters that will carry me through the trip. I am thinking about buying the ID880 so I may have D-Star as well. I want to take my HF rig but it maybe more hassle than it is worth so I maybe stuck with 2m/440. Also, I know I could pull up the map and then use a repeater directory to figure things out, but I want to know real world what would be worth using.

Honest question. Why not use HF? Just curious.


I am working to see if I can get my HF rig set up in the car. The car does not have a lot of room and I will be using every avaliable seat on the way back having four kids. I have many suggestions for setting things up and I think I am going to see if a local ham can help me with it, he showed me how he has his set up and it looks most feasable. I am not ruling it out, but it will be another expense to buy an antenna and quite a bit of time setting things up.
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K5BJS
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Posts: 50




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« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2010, 05:42:30 PM »

You could always program the 2 meter and 70 cm repeater outputs into your radio.

You could also do a repeater search for each Texas county you're planning to travel through...
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KI4SDY
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Posts: 1452




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« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2010, 08:02:40 PM »

The testimony of other hams that have tried to travel long distances and make use of 2 meters tells the tale.Undecided My suggestion; install both 2 meter and CB for twice the fun and safety, but depend on the CB for useful road information.Grin
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KC7YRA
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Posts: 256




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« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2010, 06:56:31 AM »

Enjoy the trip!!  I travel frequently and spend a majority of that time on the radio.  I also travel to the Bryn/College Station part of Texas.  The 146.820 repeater owned by the Texan A&M university club is very friendly and a decent coverage machine for that area.  It does a good job while around town.  It is also the same frequency of the main repeater in Temple Texas, just in case you get over there.

The thing to keep in mind about repeaters is their range.  Even here in Wyoming, our highest repeaters on the tallest mountains only offer limited coverage while on the interstate.  Within an hour, they are in the distance and you are forced to switch if you want to be on a machine.  It is a complicating process and is never correct in any of the repeater directories.  Most of the information is stored in the minds of the locals who understand the system(s).  For example, I can tell you vast information on repeater coverage over a majority of Wyoming and where you would need to switch to what machines.  But it is too complex for most and I think it distracts too much from driving when you are constantly setting frequencies and tones and such.  For all of these reasons, when I am in unfamiliar territory regarding VHF/UHF coverage, I just leave the rig on .52 and call it good.

It has been mentioned, but I really enjoy the HF.  I can sit on a single frequency that is used in our state and chat for hours without touching the rig.  Or I can easily scan across 20 and see what pops up.  Nothing to set, just tune and transmit.

As has also been said, I have a CB in the truck.  While I have no desire to chat much, it has gotten me past some significant roadblocks in the past.  Sure folks are selling bootlegged CDs and such, but just let the internal filter in your brain block that out.  After a little practice, you will get the feel of the CB on the interstate system.

Good luck and enjoy the drive.

Brad
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