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Author Topic: Is there ever any activity on 2m???  (Read 15759 times)
VA2FSQ
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Posts: 511




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« on: September 07, 2013, 07:29:38 PM »

I've been on hf for the last couple of years but about a year and a half ago I bought a Yaesu FT270 and have yet to hear ANY signals on it.  Every now and then I turn it on and nothing comes up.  I hear things outside the two meter band but nothing inside. Last week I went to the brockvilel area on Lake Ontario.  I figured I'd get some signal. Nada.
Seems like I wasted my money on the transceiver.  So am I doing something wrong.
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VA2FSQ
K6LCS
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« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2013, 09:08:13 PM »

Did you program the Brockville Amateur Radio Club's 2-meter repeater system in your radio? (VA3LGA 146.625Mhz (-600) (100Hz)? It used to be right there near Ivy Lea ...

Clint K6LCS
http://www.work-sat.com
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Clint Bradford, K6LCS
http://www.work-sat.com
K2OWK
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Posts: 1061




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« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2013, 10:47:23 PM »

Hello VA2FSQ, Go to the internet to find your local repeaters and program in their frequencies, offsets and tones. There is not much activity on simplex, except maybe during contests, and then you need a good beam antenna to operate. Most hams on this frequency operate through local repeaters.

Hope this helps,

73s

K2OWK
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K1CJS
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Posts: 6034




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« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2013, 05:43:14 AM »

Not too long ago, this subject was brought up in these threads, further on in this forum:

"I am about ready to throw my 2 meter station in the garbage!"
"About to 'hang it up'...if not for good, for a LONG while"
"Where has all the 2m activity gone?"

Yes, outside of some local, informal 'nets' at odd times, 2 meter has become a wasteland.  Many of the reasons have been said already in those and in other threads. 

I'll offer a suggestion--if you have a scanner or can set up your rig to scan, program all of your local repeater frequencies into whichever one you have and let the radio scan them.  Pretty soon you'll get to know which repeaters have activity and when, and you can try to plan your operating for those times.  This suggestion was mentioned in one of the other threads--but is a good one to find active repeater systems.

Good luck and 73!
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N5INP
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Posts: 864




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« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2013, 06:04:02 AM »

In the DFW metroplex only a few of the many, many repeaters are very active. I'd define very active as you could hear a QSO about every hour or so, maybe every two hours (is that a fair definition?). Aside from the few that are very active, the others are very inactive, as I've said before, why are the poor things even turned on, waiting for some lonely ham to key them up, and send out his/her unanswered "So-and-so monitoring 146.xxx ..."? Crickets chirping is all that you hear.

Why are they wasting electricity sitting there? VHF? Many never have a call for days or weeks. Sure, there could be some insomniac net on at 0300 in the morning every day I've never heard, but I doubt it. I'm not kidding, on one repeater all I ever hear is ONE family use it. They somehow got consecutive letters as a family like VSA, VSB, VSC ... kinda cute, but all I've ever heard is this family use the repeater (no it's not a closed repeater at all). Another - 146.68, was broken for a long time. Someone finally fixed it, but you'd never know it from monitoring the freq.

As for the UHF repeaters - practically dead air I'd say 99% of the time <-- not kidding. After a couple of weeks getting back into the hobby I deleted most of them due to dead air. Oh I kept a few but I rarely ever hear anyone use them. I called out to many of them when I first got my HT, but never got anything but the repeater ID.

I sometimes wonder who owns these things, why doesn't the owner ever call out to anyone - "Hello? Hello? Is anybody out there that wants to use my repeater? If not I'm shuttin' her down! Hello? ..."
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KG6BRG
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« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2013, 06:48:18 AM »

I think it depends on where you live.  I used to live in the Los Angeles, Ca. area, not only were there lots of active repeaters, but also simplex was very active as well, even 220 MHz simplex.  Since I moved further from LA I find that as the population thins out so does the ham activity in general.  Less people equals less hams.  I can go days without hearing a peep on 2 meter simplex. 
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K1CJS
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« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2013, 08:52:13 AM »

Yeah, there can be instances on no activity on a repeater system--but let the owner turn it off or it break down, and there's people calling the owners left and right with the comment

"Didn't you know your repeater is down?"
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KJ6ZOL
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Posts: 359




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« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2013, 01:43:38 AM »

In the DFW metroplex only a few of the many, many repeaters are very active. I'd define very active as you could hear a QSO about every hour or so, maybe every two hours (is that a fair definition?). Aside from the few that are very active, the others are very inactive, as I've said before, why are the poor things even turned on, waiting for some lonely ham to key them up, and send out his/her unanswered "So-and-so monitoring 146.xxx ..."? Crickets chirping is all that you hear.

Why are they wasting electricity sitting there? VHF? Many never have a call for days or weeks. Sure, there could be some insomniac net on at 0300 in the morning every day I've never heard, but I doubt it. I'm not kidding, on one repeater all I ever hear is ONE family use it. They somehow got consecutive letters as a family like VSA, VSB, VSC ... kinda cute, but all I've ever heard is this family use the repeater (no it's not a closed repeater at all). Another - 146.68, was broken for a long time. Someone finally fixed it, but you'd never know it from monitoring the freq.

As for the UHF repeaters - practically dead air I'd say 99% of the time <-- not kidding. After a couple of weeks getting back into the hobby I deleted most of them due to dead air. Oh I kept a few but I rarely ever hear anyone use them. I called out to many of them when I first got my HT, but never got anything but the repeater ID.

I sometimes wonder who owns these things, why doesn't the owner ever call out to anyone - "Hello? Hello? Is anybody out there that wants to use my repeater? If not I'm shuttin' her down! Hello? ..."

In my city, most of the repeaters are owned by radio clubs. N6NA is owned by River City ARCS, K6IS by North Hills RC, W6EK by Sierra Foothill RC, etc. I know that K6IS is used for ARES/RACES work. Sierra Foothill holds several nets on their repeater. Other than that, there isn't really any action on 2m. I bought a Baofeng UV5R when I was first licensed. I'm glad I didn't spring for a Wouxun or a Japanese HT, as even the Baofeng was a waste of cash.
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N5INP
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Posts: 864




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« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2013, 05:27:43 AM »

I bought a Baofeng UV5R when I was first licensed. I'm glad I didn't spring for a Wouxun or a Japanese HT, as even the Baofeng was a waste of cash.

That's also why I got a Baofeng UV-5R since I renewed my almost-expired license. I got it because if I got tired of the hobby again I wouldn't be out much money. However, since the quality of the little thing was so good I got a second one.  Smiley

... Sierra Foothill holds several nets on their repeater.

Yea the Nets.  Lips sealed

Some of the mostly unused repeaters have a small weekly net. Not all, but some. Maybe I'm the one who will say the Emperor has no clothes, but these 2m nets are some of the most boring get-togethers I've ever heard. Nothing at all interesting happens in them. Some people check in and report the temperature, how they are glad that Fall is coming, and what happened when they took their dog to the vet, and of course say the oft-used phrase "no traffic". Don't they mean "no interesting/important traffic?"

And if there was anyone with any type of real emergency whatsoever, they would have called 911 on their home phone or cell phone long before the net started.

I think the nets could be fun. I simply don't understand why they don't make them more interesting. Why not have a discussion topic for the net? A question for hams that can be debated for a while? I mean these people are fully capable of talking your ear off, so why not use that to the net's advantage?

Or even start off with some basic info about the repeater that's being used for new people such as "This is the XYZ club repeater. It has a power output of xxx, is located at this location, uses this type of equipment ..." I've never heard anyone ever explain how the repeater is configured, which to me is an interesting radio topic. This is ham radio right? If any young people are listening to these nets I'm sure they are not very impressed with what they are hearing.

Now - proceed with the whipping.

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K6LCS
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« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2013, 08:59:56 AM »

>> ... Other than that, there isn't really any action on 2m.

I am not sure what you define as "action." But I sure do not expect 24-hour, non-stop chatting on the scores of local systems I can hit with an HT down here in So California.

If you're still in the Sacramento area, I remember talking to a bunch of folks a few yeas ago ... from clubs like River City Amateur Radio Communications Society (n6na.org),  North Hills Radio Club (K6IS.org), Sacramento Amateur Radio Club, Inc. (w6ak.org), Sacramento Amateur Radio RAMS (w6hir.com), and the Sacramento Amateur Radio Communications Reserves (sarcr.org). As a visitor to the region, there was plenty of folks to talk to on 2M.

Want to create some action? How about establishing a net on a topic that interests you? Or getting involved with one of these established clubs to create "action" on the airwaves?

I agree with you: If no one uses the freqs, you won't hear anything (grin). But YOU can change that!

Clint K6LCS
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Clint Bradford, K6LCS
http://www.work-sat.com
K6LCS
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« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2013, 09:03:45 AM »

>> ...  I've never heard anyone ever explain how the repeater is configured, which to me is an interesting radio topic ...

Have you volunteered to moderate or conduct that session on the air?

To whine is one thing, to take initiative another. Think of it as being a "disk jockey" for an hour! I am sure that if you presented your well-thought-out "script" for sucg a session, that you can get it on the air to benefit your region.

And that IS a great topic. I continue to be amazed at the effort my local repeater owners put into maintaining these machines for us ALL to use at will.

Clint K6LCS
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Clint Bradford, K6LCS
http://www.work-sat.com
N5INP
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Posts: 864




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« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2013, 10:15:05 AM »

Have you volunteered to moderate or conduct that session on the air?

No because -

Quote
To whine is one thing,

because I don't agree that I'm "whining", especially by offering suggestions to problems I see.
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K6LCS
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« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2013, 10:41:30 AM »

>> ... because I don't agree that I'm "whining", especially by offering suggestions to problems I see ...

Yes, you pointed out problems - and a couple of suggestions for improvement. Why don't YOU take the initiative
to improve 2M comms in your region? Are are you content in just pointing out faults, and wait for someone else
to take charge?

I see this as a great opportunity - for you and your fellow hams in your area. Establish a weekly "Tech Topics"
net, take Q&A from all ... have a guest or two "show up ... "

But if that's not your thing, then, well - never mind.

Clint Bradford K6LCSD
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Clint Bradford, K6LCS
http://www.work-sat.com
N5INP
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Posts: 864




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« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2013, 10:53:21 AM »

Yes, you pointed out problems - and a couple of suggestions for improvement. Why don't YOU take the initiative
to improve 2M comms in your region? Are are you content in just pointing out faults, and wait for someone else
to take charge?

In this case - yes I'm content in pointing out faults, and waiting for someone else to take charge.

I don't have any vested interest in making the nets successful. In other words - I don't care. If I owned the repeater, or was a person that dearly wanted nets to be more successful, then I would take an initiative. But since I don't, then I won't take any initiative. However, that doesn't preclude anyone from making valid observations and suggestions on a ham radio forum. It's a forum, and thus perhaps someone with said vested interests will make use of my observations.
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K2OWK
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Posts: 1061




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« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2013, 03:10:01 PM »

Here is one more suggestion. After locating some repeaters accessible in your location. Listen for about 3 to 5 minutes. If you do not hear any activity, key up the repeater and say This is "your call" listening. If someone is monitoring the repeater, they will most likely respond to your call. This is how I found out about my local club and the local repeaters used for general rag chewing. Do this on all the local active repeaters in your area. I think you will find there are some being monitored.

Good luck,

73s

K2OWK
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