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eHam Forums => Misc => Topic started by: BVSCIGUY on April 14, 2007, 07:33:10 PM



Title: how active are ham bands?
Post by: BVSCIGUY on April 14, 2007, 07:33:10 PM
I am interested in getting into ham but concerned about the possible lack of action. Could you tell me what would happen if I were to jump on the 2 meter band any given time?
thanks,
bvsciguy


Title: how active are ham bands?
Post by: NA0AA on April 14, 2007, 10:22:00 PM
Hm, that's a tough one.  Depends on where you are and which repeaters you are using, or if there is a local group on simplex.  Some areas and some repeaters are very very active, others see less use.

Could you borrow a scanner or maybe call the local radio club and maybe they can tell you how active they are or where the busy repeaters are.

In my area, the local repeaters tend to be fairly quiet, but in range are about 3-4 that are very active indeed.


Title: how active are ham bands?
Post by: N8UZE on April 15, 2007, 05:02:51 AM
There's a lot more to ham radio than 2 meters also.


Title: how active are ham bands?
Post by: N1QKH on April 15, 2007, 09:12:19 AM
In my local area (Vermont), we have 3-4 2meter repeaters that are active from 6:00AM to 9:00PM, most days. Sometimes I used to go on business trips to southern NY. This is a busy area for repeaters on all bands. In between, I would hit a few totally dead spots with no action at all. In these spots the best thing is have, at least, a general class license so, you can get on 20meters where, something is nearly allways happening. Do not let all this talk of low solar activity discourage you. It is possible to work DX on a day with zero sunspots (even with a QRP rig). If you plan to start your ham career with a 2 meter rig, that is fine. However, you need to think about getting onto HF which offers a more varied experience than VHF repeaters.

73 de Don N1QKH


Title: how active are ham bands?
Post by: BVSCIGUY on April 15, 2007, 10:43:16 AM
I think there is a reapeater in about a 3-5 mile line of sight to me, so I think I can reach a repeater with almost any radio that can tx. It's just that ham seems to depend on someone else being there to talk to. That is why I was asking.


Title: how active are ham bands?
Post by: K7KBN on April 15, 2007, 12:14:49 PM
>>It's just that ham [radio] seems to depend on someone else being there to talk to. That is why I was asking.<<

I can't think of any other non-broadcasting radio service that DOESN'T depend on someone else being there to talk to. Broadcasting is, by definition, a one-way process.  Communication, again by definition, requires at least two parties.  Ham radio, CB, FERS/GMRS...all of these require at least two stations to communicate one with the other.

 


Title: how active are ham bands?
Post by: WT0A on April 15, 2007, 04:01:14 PM
Quite active, actually. What kind of action are you looking for? For a good time call-------
Glen


Title: how active are ham bands?
Post by: AA4PB on April 15, 2007, 04:44:29 PM
Given the entire spectrum available to hams there are probably several thousand stations on the air and able to communicate with your station at any given time. If you limit yourself to 2M FM then you reduce that number considerably. If your antenna limits you to only using one or two repeaters then that number can get pretty small at times.



Title: how active are ham bands?
Post by: BVSCIGUY on April 15, 2007, 05:36:47 PM
Okay, that helps. What about just recieving? Is that very limited concerning the restrictions you previously mentioned?


Title: how active are ham bands?
Post by: N0IU on April 15, 2007, 08:18:37 PM
BVSCIGUY wrote, "Okay, that helps. What about just recieving? Is that very limited concerning the restrictions you previously mentioned?"

You don't need a license to receive. With the exception of the 800 MHz cellular telephone frequencies, the only limitations to what you can legally receive depends on the capabilities of your reciver or scanner.

Scott N0IU  


Title: how active are ham bands?
Post by: KB9CRY on April 15, 2007, 08:25:24 PM
Okay, that helps. What about just recieving? Is that very limited concerning the restrictions you previously mentioned?

On just 2M?  Depends on your location.  Most big cities will have lot's of repeaters and therefore more activity.  If you're in the middle of the boonies, then it can be quite quit.  If you're asking about all the other bands available, then there's tons of activity.  We really need more information on your interests to be able to comment.  


Title: how active are ham bands?
Post by: W0FM on April 16, 2007, 02:05:21 PM
Hi,

A constructive hint, please receive it accordingly:

We typically refer to our hobby as "ham radio", not simply "ham".  You will find "ham radio" a very rewarding and exciting hobby with a proud heritage.

Good luck.

Terry, WØFM

 


Title: how active are ham bands?
Post by: 2E0BSS on April 18, 2007, 03:45:11 AM
The bands are getting more use over here in Europe we have Russia/Poland/Holland/Germany/UK/Lithuania/Luxembourg/France/India/Afganistan (which is interesting) USA/Canada(I can't receive either)mainly on 40/80/20 2m and 70cm's here is quiet due to it's short range (which is were Echolink comes in)

For receiving you're still going to need an antenna of sorts. the antenna restrictions can be over come (ok with a few exception ie in government institution, military based, restricted zone) I had one of the worst restrictions as I live in a block on the ground floor surrounded by other blocks within 20feet no garden, I did get permissions in the end but the restrictions are insane. Have you thought about going Mobile? whether car or even bicycle? We have one ham in Norfolk who does HF mobile with ok results.

Charlotte 2E0BSS


Title: how active are ham bands?
Post by: BVSCIGUY on April 18, 2007, 04:13:20 AM
That is what I am thinking about. Possibly hand held, maybe mobile for the extra power. But the reason I am curious about the amount of traffic is because I have listened to IRLP on my computer and it's pretty vacant.


Title: how active are ham bands?
Post by: WT0A on April 19, 2007, 08:37:00 AM
IRLP is not ham radio
Glen


Title: how active are ham bands?
Post by: N8UZE on April 19, 2007, 01:44:25 PM
In our area, traffic on the repeaters is down for a very simple reason.  People are working all kinds of hours these days so you don't have a "drive time group" anymore.  We all go to and from work at different hours now.  Nominally we all work 8 to 5 but reality is quite different.


Title: how active are ham bands?
Post by: W8DPC on April 20, 2007, 06:39:55 PM
"But the reason I am curious about the amount of traffic is because I have listened to IRLP on my computer and it's pretty vacant. "

You're taking the wrong approach.  If you are interested in 2 meters, you need to buy (or borrow) a scanner, find out what frequency that 2 meter repeater is on, and listen to it for a couple of weeks.  You'll immediately know what kind of "action" is there.  And don't limit yourself that that repeater.  With a good mobile and a good antenna, depending on your location you could work repeaters up to 30 miles away or more (I used to work one 70 miles away with a small beam).

The activity on a repeater just depends on the area.  In some places, they are busy almost 24 hours a day.  In other areas (like where I am), you'll be lucky to hear anyone on there.


Title: how active are ham bands?
Post by: N6AJR on May 13, 2007, 10:13:20 PM
where is  "Here. " ??  in calif, there are tons of 2 meter repeaters, lots of simplex and even a large 2 meter ssb and CW group. ( sidewinders on 2) but perhaps in the middle of kansas there is not as much.  so where is "here" ???