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Author Topic: National Simplex Frequency 146.520  (Read 24701 times)

Posts: 5


« on: November 24, 2005, 05:19:03 AM »

Over 14 years ago when i first went for my exam to obtain my amateur radio license i wanted to learn not just understand to answer the questions on the test but what frequencies i would be able to communicate upon.  There was a group of frequencies, 1 frequency on each band, atleast 1 call frequency and atleast 2 frequencies but for each of the 2 on the same frequency that required the radio to either use FM and SSB to make that contact.  Why is it that there is no enforcement of the national call frequency?  Have hams just laid down and let whomever overtake the national simplex channel?  My understanding of a standing rule for the example for 146.520 megahertz.  Once the operator makes contact with the other station the 2, after making contact are supposed to move off frequency to another frequency, either another simplex or repeater to continue the conversation.  But it seems to me that as long as we focus on just one portion of the band or mode of communications without looking to enforce the rules of amateur radio are going to allow our license to become useless.  I have always said, 'The garbage on CB is produced from the people on those frequencies but the frequencies are not to blame but the people that operate on those frequencies' and if we allow users of the national simplex frequency to use that supposed call channel for another simplex channel then we will eventually allow other frequencies and repeaters the same like CB has become these days, the areas i have lived in CB is just a soap box for political views and other conversations.  Some conversations are not filled with language we would not use around small children but on the same opposite there are enjoyable conversations on the same CB but in different cities that are more cleaner than the conversations that take place on some local repeaters.  We reflect what we are taught by society and our family, and if allow foul language in front of future adults they also will reflect values and the cycle continues.  We as ham, seem to have a stuck recording on morse code.  My person opinion is that CW is just one mode of communications that must be protected but not the only one.  Yes, you worked hard to get your morse code requirement but would you rather allow foul language operator that got his ticket with morse code requirement on rather than the what amateur radio should reflect, the ham that reflects all the values of ham radio completely.  While i take the time on awaiting my return of my radio from getting checked by a FCC licensed radio technician for possible deviation problems, i take this time to seriously concider alot about ham radio that is the reason for this posting about the national simplex frequency.  Over 14 years ago i began my duties and i plan to continue to be honored and serve not only enjoy chatting on my radio to whomever enjoy ham raido also.  Thank you for those who take the time to read this posting.  Happy Thanksgiving and may the season bring your loved ones safetly to your house or you toward theirs.  Take care of each other and yourself.

Posts: 5483


« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2005, 08:30:45 AM »

Not sure I really understand the meaning of your post.  What does 6.52 have to do with enforcement?  As far as 146.520 goes, the worst thing that has happened was to make it the 'national calling frequency' and to effectivly *discourage* it's use by telling users to make their contact and move off.  Ever since then, traffic on 146.520 is nearly nonexistant where you need it the most.  In years past, there would be lots of stations listening because older rigs only had so many crystals, and most came with 6.52 preinstalled.  You could put a call out and chances are someone would hear you.  Nowadays I can go for *weeks* without hearing traffic on 52, and on trips I can call and call for distances spanning several states and never hear another soul.  It would be *wonderful* to have 6.52 become a chat channel again.  

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM

Posts: 65

« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2005, 11:20:33 AM »

VHF/UHF calling freqs are useful, especially in travel situations.  I try to monitor 146.52 often at home.  If an out-of-area ham calls out, seeking local info, I'd like to be of assistance.  In rural/wilderness areas, 6.52 is also a standard monitoring freq.

I see nothing wrong with a short chit-chat on the main call freq for the band (146.52, 446.0, etc), but a ragchew session *can* be too much.  In my area, some hams occasionally ragchew on 6.52, but quite a few hams move to another 2m simplex freq after initial contact.

A polite request to move to another simplex freq might be all that's needed to clear 6.52.

On 6m SSB (50.125), moderately long exchanges (a few minutes?) can be good, as it allows others on the freq to hear openings.

Posts: 14499

« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2005, 04:36:19 PM »

National simplex and calling frequencies are by mutual agreement and are not a part of the FCC regulations. It is good operating practice to keep contact length on these frequencies to a minimum, moving off if you wish to continue. It is not however, illegal to remain on the frequency.

I don't know what you mean by sending your radio off to an "FCC licensed" technician for calibration of the deviation. The FCC no longer licenses technicians as they once did. There is a certification available from a private company but it is not required by the FCC to work on radio equipment. Actually, as a licensed ham you are authorized to perform the adjustments yourself (assuming you have the equipment) on amateur radio equipment.

Bob  AA4PB
Garrisonville, VA

Posts: 397

« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2005, 05:03:49 PM »

As a guy who works VHF weak signal, I encourage folks to use the call channels.

Often, if folks aren't using 144.200, or 146.520, you might not know the band is opening.  Sure, if there is a whopping opening, moving off would be appropriate.  But, until then, chat and be a big beacon.

Oh, the same goes for 50.125.

Y'all knock yourselves out.

Peter, N4LI

Posts: 82

« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2005, 07:54:45 AM »

In my area, 146.52 is pretty quiet most of the time, although, you hear the occasional QSO, nothing that goes on and on for more than a few minutes.  I suspect that this is because the frequency is relatively unused, yet, seems to be the place where you can actually make contact on 2m simplex.

I and a few others in my area monitor the frequency regularly, being at the intersection of a major east west interstate and north south routes, we tend to hear a little more than normal.

All of the "regular" users of 146.52 in the area are courteous operators, and would gladly pause for any breaking station.  So, it doesn't really seem to be a problem if you ask me.


Posts: 21764

« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2005, 08:39:38 AM »

Keith, your writing isn't good.

But I think I got the point, which was to register a complaint about users of 146.52 simplex, and how they hang around rag chewing on the "channel" when they should move off and leave the frequency clear for others.

As others have said, this isn't a law, nor a rule: It's a very old (dates back to about 1968 or 69) "gentleman's agreement" that frankly doesn't matter anymore.  This type of agreement harkens back to the days of crystal control, and most crystal controlled rigs came ready to go on two channels: 146.52 and another one (often 146.94).  Now that nobody has such equipment anymore, who cares?  

If anything, I'd encourage people to use 146.52 and keep it busy.  If someone has a real emergency, they can break in and at least know there's somebody there to potentially help: This is a lot better than a dead frequency.

I suspect your complaint about 146.52 users is based on your using 146.535 as an Echolink Node, and using an IC-706MK2G as the rig for that.  Poor frequency choice (too close to .52), and not the greatest rig for it, either, since the 706MK2G has no FM filtering options and is very broad compared with commercial equipment (I've owned one).  I'd pick up a used Motorola mobile rig, crystal it up for a good frequency, and use that instead.  Cheaper, with way better receiver filtering.

73 & Happy Holiday!



Posts: 3207


« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2005, 02:55:43 PM »

A POX on the a**holes who sit on the calling frequency during an opening.  Behave like an adult, call, give your listening frequency, then QSY to it so others can have a chance also.

If everybody plays nice, every benefits.

Dennis KG4RUL

Posts: 105

« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2005, 01:36:50 PM »

 Gee. That wasn't very nice.

Posts: 41

« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2006, 01:04:47 AM »

I do a lot of hilltopping with my HT, and it is a bit of a pain when the simplex call channel is occupied at length by ragchewers. Most people are polite about it, though, and find someone working portable more interesting to work than someone hanging out at home. (When you tell someone you're working them with 2 Watts from 70 miles away as I have done, it's pretty neat.) My own experience is that when a band like Six is open, anything close to the call channel works fine, since everyone is checking for QSO's up and down the band. Some of the best contacts come from listening, rather than calling CQ, anyhow.
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