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Author Topic: Questions for Hams and Scanner Buffs in NYC  (Read 2932 times)

Posts: 5

« on: February 11, 2003, 12:04:03 AM »


I'm not sure if there is a more appropriate forum for this message.  If so, let me know and I will post there instead.

At any rate, I am a relatively new ham and so far have only been tinkering with my TH-F6A.  I especially like taking it with me when I go out of town, as I travel alot and spend time outside, so I always have "friends" in the palm of my hand.

Anyways, I am going to NYC this weekend.  I will be in town for the war protest.  Now I don't want this to be a political post.  I am pretty much just going because protests of this scale are rare in the United States and I'd like to witness an event of this magnitude for myself.

So some questions about the local ham "scene" in NYC.

1.  I may be hooking up with a friend from out of town in NYC.  Are there any 2m or 440 repeaters that are reliable that we may be able to use to coordinate our rendevous?  Preferably one that's reliable, but doesn't get a whole lot of chatter on it, since I'd be more interested in hearing from my buddy than rag chewing.  I have some repeater directories, and they list a couple dozen repeaters in the NYC area, so I'm hoping to narrow it down for my upcoming trip with the help of you folks.

2.  I'm not sure where the protests will be held, but I'll be happy to chat with folks who can't be there themselves but would like to get some reports from the middle of everything.  Any repeater freqs I should particularly monitor?

3.  So far, the war protests in the States have been pretty peaceful, but the possibility of a riot or tear gassing of unruly protestors always exists.  What frequency(ies) should I monitor to pick up any police reports of the protest?  The TH-F6A doesn't have trunking ability, and I assume the NYPD is trunked.  Hopefully there is one frequency that I can monitor to catch the action relevant to the protest.  Suggestions?

4.  And finally, a radio theory question.  Back to my friend that I may be meeting up with.  In the middle of a big city, with steel and concrete buildings everywhere, are there any appreciable differences between the 2 meter and 440 bands?  Does one or the other do better in a city propagation-wise?  I'll probably wind up coordinating a simplex freq. with a PL to meet up with him and then when we get together, switch over to one of the local repeaters to chat up some locals who are interested in what's happening.  So should we go with a 440 or 2 meter frequency, or does it not matter?  I know I said I'd contact him through a local repeater, but that is really a back up or to contact him over a longer range than I could on simplex with 5 watts from an HT (he has a Yaesu VX-5R).

Anyways, those are my questions.  If any of you folks are in NYC and can't get out to the action, but want to hear about it anyways, give a shout out to me and I'll let ya know what's going on.

In case you're not familiar with the TH-F6A, it's a decent HT with wideband receive.  It also has two different bands, so I can monitor and chat on two different frequencies at once, or scan two different banks at the same time, or monitor one frequency and talk on another, or scan on one bank and talk on the get the idea.

Take care and 73s!


Posts: 3746

« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2003, 08:58:46 PM »


Not sure where the assembly will be held but check the repeaters in New Jersey, if the event will be held in lower manhattan, easy to hit repeaters in NJ and there are many on 440 that  announce the PL when the repeater ID's.

Been a while since I worked downtown NYC, so what I know will not be much help now.  Try to monitor the Transit Police, lots of action always going on there.

Your radio will be subjected to lots of intermod from all the radio equipment in the area.

The WTC had a 2m repeater (.88) but not sure if it has been replaced on another building.

Have a great time in NYC !


Posts: 5

« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2003, 12:20:50 AM »

Hi KE4DRN!  Thanks for the reply.

I should have mentioned where the rally will be held originally.  A city the size of NYC probably has a dozen different police districts.

It will be at 1st Ave. starting on 49th St and going North from there.

I'm not sure where this places it in the city, but I'm sure the locals would probably know.

Also, if anyone is reading this and thinking of replying to my original message, it turns out my friend can't make it, so meeting up with him is no longer a concern.

I still am curious, though, if there are any appreciable differences in the propagation characteristics of the 2m, 440 and 220 bands?



Posts: 21764

« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2003, 11:39:49 AM »

1st Avenue & 49th St. is the mid east side of Manhattan, north of the U.N., by the East River.

The HT will likely be victim of desensitization and intermodulation products in such a dense area -- as most are.  You'll be cross-town from repeaters in NJ, so those probably are not the best choices.  However, you'll be very close to Queens, and it's an open shot across the river, so those repeaters may well be your best choices.

There's almost no difference at all in short range propagation on 2m, 135cm, and 70cm.  It's all direct-wave, and you can work what you can see.  As for penetrating buildings, they don't.  But signals do reflect a lot, and bounce between, around and over the buildings, and will do so on all three bands quite well.  The only difference I've ever noticed is that the higher the frequency, the closer together the peaks and nulls are since a wavelength is shorter.  That is, you might get "hot spots" on two meters by walking a couple of feet one way or another; those "hot spots" are closer together on 440 MHz, so your precise location can be a bit more critical.

One problem with being on the street in NYC is that the repeaters are way up over your head on tops of tall buildings.  As such, they don't cover "downwards" very well at all -- vertically polarized signals eminating from the tops of tall buildings propagate to the sides of the antenna, not up and down.  So, it's not unusual for NYC repeaters to be stronger, and easier to work, as you get farther away from them.



Posts: 26

« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2003, 11:54:58 PM »

I also have the Kenwood TH-6a and have 400 freq from NYC based on a trip last May. Repeaters and police and fire.  If you what the file for your HT, Email me at

73s.  LArry
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