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Author Topic: HAM Radio IS Dead in Los Angeles  (Read 44596 times)

Posts: 21764

« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2014, 03:09:16 PM »

In L.A., 147.435 MHz is almost never "dead." Wink

However, I wish it was. Tongue

Posts: 290

« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2014, 08:12:38 PM »

An earlier poster said it all...  PL tones have done a lot to kill repeater use.  I don't want to sound like an old timer...


Back in the 70's, my two meter rig was a Kenwood TR-7400.  It came with no PL capability.  I traveled all over with this radio and was able to get into repeaters EVERYWHERE.  Now, when I travel, it is becoming more difficult to find non-PL-ed repeaters. 

With most rigs, it is rather difficult (and UNSAFE) to program PL tones "on-the-fly" provided you even KNOW the proper tones to use when traveling in a distant location.

Posts: 537

« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2014, 03:36:32 AM »

The other year, on vacation around Albuquerque, I couldn't get into  the repeater or the morning net. Why? The repeater wasn't in the ARRL directory and there was no info on the sub-audible tone frequency needed for access.

At least here, repeater ID contains the sub-audible tone frequency needed for access.

They are real friendly to visitors in New Mexico......

Some modern radios will automatically search for repeaters and put them into a special memory bank for you, and figure out the tones as well.  Lots of repeaters have this information available to APRS users as well, so all you need to do when you come into an area is look at your screen.  I know that that fancy Kenwood APRS HT will let you punch one button and get all set up for working a new repeater just from APRS data.

Maybe they wanted to create a bit of a puzzle solving challenge for you!
« Last Edit: February 13, 2014, 03:42:28 AM by KE7TMA » Logged

Posts: 537

« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2014, 03:47:30 AM »

I know this one comes up from time to time, but it is true, it really is dead in LA, and for that matter most places.  There are more repeaters in LA than most states have.  There are several very high level ones, stuff from 6m FM to 1.2gig FM, linked systems, "private" systems, D-STAR systems, and on and on.

But, listen around, 90% of these systems get about 15min of use in a 24hr period.  The ones that get more are often full of... "oh yea, I got this new gun, and the Govt. wants to take it way from me....", or ".... that President of ours....", or "....yea, well I was running 1200w PEP into my 50 element yagi up 300 feet using 9913 and type N connectors, plus a pre-amp and gold plated cavities, and carbon fiber spreaders and was only getting an SWR of 1:1.2, my rotater was really spinning once I put some marine grease on the bearings, and then when I coupled my home-brew co-phase loop into the flux capacitor and keyed down, you should have seen the neighbors cat jump."


FCC starts acting in Southern California repeater jamming cases

"I think what most of the people in this room agree with is that we need some enforcement in Southern California. Can we please get some enforcement here in Southern California!"

That was the plea of one Southern California ham made to Riley Hollingsworth when the FCC official spoke on the Queen Mary Ocean Liner attraction in Long Beach.  Now, less than two weeks later, Hollingsworth has acted by issuing two Los Angeles Area hams stern warning letters regarding alleged malicious interference to several area repeaters.

Receiving the letters are Todd Young, W6TLY of Culver City and Brian Frobisher, WA6JFK, of Los Angeles. Both are accused in ongoing malicious interference to the KJ6TQ repeater on 449.925 MHz operated by the Metropolitan Amateur Radio System and the WB6TZY repeaters on 2 meters and 70 centimeters owned by the Cresenta Valley Amateur Radio Club.

The FCC says that the interference has occurred at various times starting in 1997 and includes the playing of tapes and music to jam the repeaters. The letters from Hollingsworth to Young and Frobisher does not mince any words. He tells them that this type of operation will not be tolerated by the FCC. He also says that one more incident will result in fines and legal action to remove both hams from the airwaves.

The warning letters to Young and Frobisher are believed to be the first of several dozen that are expected to go out in the coming weeks. If they don't meet with success, look for the government to take stronger action against rules violators in the Southern California region.


Maybe they've just learned to ignore people who abuse the repeater system.  You have a lot of guts complaining about repeaters after receiving a letter from the FCC telling you to stop your malicious jamming.

Posts: 33

« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2014, 06:47:00 AM »

Then ham radio is dead in Fort Worth too, because it's the same situation here - most repeaters are hardly used at all.

Michael:  The Azle repeater has a couple of busy times...7-8 am and often around 5-6 pm. There are a couple of us on it from 10-11 pm also. There are a couple other machines that are pretty busy during drive time and and other hours. I think the 88 machine has a couple of evening nets and one area machine has a huge astronomy net one night a week. I've got 39 of the area machines programmed in on my Icom and there seems to be traffic on at least one of them all the time. Might have to hunt a bit to find it tho. I've been told that a couple of the 440 repeaters have some busy times too.

Posts: 1733

« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2014, 08:58:42 AM »

20 years ago, a ham op from our radio club went to visit his brother in California, he took his HT with him. He said all the 440 repeaters there were closed and no one could use them. So I asked him how does one get to be a member of the closed repeater. He said it was by invitation only. 

Is the story really true that all the 440 repeaters in California are (were)  closed to other hams and no one could join them unless it was by invitation only? I thought the story was a bit farfetched. But since we are on the subject, I thought might as well ask.

The internet and cellphone networks are great until they go down, what then? Find out here.,111948.0.html

Using Windows 98 For Packet...

Posts: 820

« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2014, 11:25:17 AM »

i recently bought a Baofeng UV-B5. I don't use it that often, but keep it charged in case of an emergency, like a flood or wildfire (I live in CA's Central Valley, so earthquakes aren't too big of a concern) so I can listen to ARES/RACES if need be. I had a Baofeng UV-5R when I first was licensed, but didn't like it that much. I'm happier with the B5. I keep the ARES/RACES official repeaters in the memory. I mainly use HF as well. I know of places where repeaters are kept going for service to long haul truckers, so they can find out road conditions without having to use a CB. When properly linked, a repeater can let the truckers know road conditions several hundred miles away. Compare that with a CB, where the usual range is a few miles, unless you're operating illegally.

Posts: 9930

« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2014, 11:54:22 AM »

well, even though I am in northern CA, there is activity in So Cal, for one is this years convention in Visalia is sponsored by the SOCAL dx association ( ) and I will be there.  there are a lot of hams involved and it is a super place to go.  It beats pacificon all to pieces.  so look into their club for  los angles radio fun.

Posts: 568

« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2014, 04:30:33 PM »

There are plenty of places repeaters are fairly dead, but if you listen at times such as the AM go to work or PM, trip home, there is usually always some activity.
You yourself can increase use if you get with some other hams and plan on meeting on the repeaters, others will follow.

When going on a trip, I use the ARRL repeater trip guide. Many times there are no PL codes, but if you spend some time, many times these can be found and added, it has worked for me.
HF is the way to go, lots of activity, but if you don't talk on your local repeaters, then maybe you are a part of the problem.
Find some friends and meet on the repeaters from time to time.
It's good they are there if needed, but I too would like to see much more activity on them than there is.
At times, some areas have so many repeaters that it's hard to figure which one to use. Some areas with only a couple repeaters seem to be far busier.
As to LA, it because many regular people have fled the area and left it to the gang bangers who don't get licenses. I was in the San Diego area, left in 1999, best move I've ever made, California has lots going for it, but the ruling class and their taxes, laws, rules and regulations have made it a very unfriendly place and too many people have ruined it. You should have lived in San Diego in the 1960's, it was fantastic, fast forward to 2014, you can keep it.

73's John

Posts: 158

« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2014, 08:15:42 PM »

Up here in the SAC valley we have a lot of active repeaters.  Lots of nets, lots of chatter, not all ham or politics related.  I find it very fun to get on the 2m and 70cm bands and talk to folks.  I do like HF as well, but repeaters are very far from dead.


"No man is a failure...
...who has friends." --Clarence

Weather at my shack

Posts: 426

« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2014, 12:55:16 PM »

Ithink what killed repeaters  is   tone control.. lIt used to be fun to talk to people freomall over the place
on 2 meters.   .82  wausau  82 rochester  82 mpls.. all open..often  using  82 wausau as input.. rochester
hams hearing it and using there  input which I could hear.
ONe night about  0200 there were about 20 hams on 82  from  the  UP to St Louis  all on a big round table,.
Then the repeaters all got    ''toned up'  to make  them like a local police department, reserved for the locals only.
Nowthe fun of contacts all over like   HF  is gone..
Lets try and experiment  and  remove tone from all repeaters and see what  happens.

Repeaters started using tone squelch not "to make them like a police department" but to allow more repeaters.  By using CTCSS access, it allows the same pair of frequencies to be used in different locales and not interfere with one another.

Posts: 14499

« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2014, 01:11:07 PM »

I think what killed repeaters is tone control.

All you have to do is set your tone to the frequency for the repeater you want to access. The use of tones keeps someone from keying up multiple repeaters that use the same RF frequency. With most transceivers you can program multiple memories with the same RF frequencies and different tone frequencies. Then you just select the memory for the repeater you want to use. With 100+ memories on most radios there should be no shortage.


Bob  AA4PB
Garrisonville, VA

Posts: 1553

« Reply #27 on: February 16, 2014, 11:42:34 AM »

I don't live out there, but anecdotally in the 5-6 times I'm Ontario per year, I don't have any trouble finding some activity.  The linking they do across 6 m to 23 cm and everywhere in between with the possible exception of 2 meters (they're dorks here in Indy, too) is very cool. 

Maybe the "dead repeaters" matter is everywhere because there are so many of them?  I don't remember so many repeaters "back in the day", especially when we were all crystal-controlled, and the repeaters themselves were specifically-built, big, and full of tubes.  Now, with even a little knowledge of radio interfacing, some cavities, antennas, and a good location......and you too can have your own system.  Not wrong, but maybe some unintended consequences, especially in the cell phone era?



Posts: 2657


« Reply #28 on: February 16, 2014, 11:59:02 AM »

There is so much more to ham radio than repeaters... 95 percent of my activity is not on repeaters. Tons of interesting facets of radio to get into. Check them out!

Posts: 7

« Reply #29 on: February 16, 2014, 01:58:00 PM »

I visited Miami, FL last July and found at least 20 active repeaters....only one of which I heard being used during a 3 day weekend!  The hams on that system do not follow the basic "rules of the road" like identifying themselves properly.  It's the wild, wild west there.  Makes me appreciate the ham environment in the SF Bay Area more.
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