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Author Topic: comunicating on 2M fm distance question..  (Read 1886 times)
2ST123
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Posts: 56




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« on: February 09, 2007, 09:06:48 AM »

Me and my wife are getting ready to take our ham exam and want to be able to communicate with each other.. can two 2M fm handheld radios at 5W and 15 miles apart,with trees and possibly no repeater.. will we be able to do so. We would be closer to each other then repeaters i think.. I know nothing about ham radios yet.. Thanks  

                          Roy & Mary
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W3JJH
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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2007, 09:54:49 AM »

A pair of 5W 2m HTs should be able to maintain communication over 15 miles if there is clear line of sight.  If there are significant terran features or structures blocking the path, you're out of luck.  That's why we use FM repeaters on VHF and UHF.  The repeater is installed on a tower or building on high ground so that it is easy to maintain radio line of sight to  almost any location in a wide service area.  I've used our club's repeater with an HT from over 30 miles away to talk to someone with a mobile rig 50 miles away in another direction.  I live on a hill and can get into repeaters that are on high ground over 60 miles away while sitting in my living room with an HT.

Almost every populated part of the US has coverage by one or more 2m repeaters.  Get a copy of "Ham Radio for Dummies" or the ARRL book "Getting Started with Ham Radio" and use it as a study guide.  You'll find a clear explanation of HTs, repeaers, and how to use them.

If there's a club in your local area, try attending some meetings.  You'll probably meet several hams who will be willing to help you get licensed and on the air.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2007, 10:24:25 AM »

The radio horizon for an antenna 5-feet above ground is 3-miles. For two HTs over level ground the line-of-sight distance will be a total of 6-miles. You'll only get 15 miles if one or both stations are on high ground. Put one end in a plane at 10,000 feet and you'll get 50 miles or more.

My practical experience here on the east coast is that in most areas you can only get dependable communications over a mile or two with a pair of 5W HTs without a repeater. That's based on many years of field experience with 5W VHF HTs in commercial service.
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2ST123
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Posts: 56




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« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2007, 06:24:15 PM »

Thanks for the help guys.. Well the only 3 repeaters i know of close by , and i did searches on the net , are all 15 miles or more from me.  I seen a icom handheld that was a 7w model , we think we will get 2 of them.. Have a base here at home and a mobile in thte blazer then i guess we will be covered.

                                  Thanks again
                                     Roy
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WG7G
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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2007, 03:11:59 PM »

15 miles between a hand held and repeater is no problem.  I can easily talk to repeaters 60 miles away with my 5 watt hand held.  Keep in mind that most repeaters are at fairly high elevations.

73 Mike
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