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Author Topic: 2 Meter FM Simplex  (Read 20167 times)
W4JST
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« on: May 11, 2012, 03:52:54 PM »

I am curious to know who operates on 2 meter FM simplex, such as 146.52. Particularly in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania etc.

I am also curious about other activity, such as 2 meter SSB, 440 FM etc. I monitor 446 FM but do not hear any activity.

What is your setup? (Power, antenna, antenna height, etc.)
How much activity is on? When?
If you're in the area I mentioned above, or near it, what is your location?
What kind of range do you get with your setup?
« Last Edit: May 11, 2012, 03:58:04 PM by W4JST » Logged
KE4VVF
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Posts: 61




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« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2012, 09:25:53 PM »

QTH: Charlotte, NC EM95
I'm on 146.52 occasionally.  The most traffic I hear on that freq. are folks on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  It's a tradition around here to give a shout on the FM call freq. when you are > 4000' ASL.

Locally on 147.505 there is an FM Simplex net 8PM Eastern Sundays run by AJ4CN.
Most FM simplex rag chewing occurs in the evenings here on 146.550, 3 or 4 days a week.

I rarely hear anyone on 2 meter USB unless it's a sked. It picks up a little during VHF contests but is still pretty lite even then.  150 miles is the furthest I've talked so far on 2m USB. 

I use an Icom 746 100w and a Cushcraft A148-20T Dual Polarized (10 elements vert. 10 elements Hor.) @ 25ft.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2012, 06:24:43 AM by KE4VVF » Logged
K1CJS
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« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2012, 06:28:53 AM »

2 meter simplex was usually used for short distance personal communications--before the advent of the inexpensive cell phone.  There are few hams that use it for that purpose anymore, so the 2 meter bands are almost empty of activity.

There aren't too many hams that have tried and kept 2 meter longer distance stations, they would rather be on HF.  Sad to say, but that's why 2 meters is nearly dead--unless someone like you keeps on it and keeps calling.  Good luck and 73!
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KB1GMX
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« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2012, 07:35:15 AM »

Station here is 2m all mode but FM in general is used for only short haul/repeater.

On the non FM side I do work 6/2/70cm weak signal (SSB or CW) and on 2m I can
usually reach better than 270 miles during contests.  Setup here is 30ft tower 10ft
mast, 11elements on 2M horizontal and 4 elements on 6, the current 432 antenna
is 6 elements soon to become 15 or 30. Radio Tentec 6&2 with 200W of amps.

I tried weak signal FM and there are few stations that have radios, power and antenna.
That and it required a second beam mounted vertical.  I've found SSB to be watt for watt far more effective for weak signal work.  That and many of the simplex frequencies are polluted with ex-cb hacks. the amount of activity here  in FN42 is very
low as terrain and other users make it only good for short range. 


Allison
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W4JST
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« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2012, 09:41:00 AM »

Thanks everyone. Keep it coming.

K1CJS, that much be regional. I have not seen anywhere how cell phones have replaced a ham radio band. Also 2 meters has plenty of activity here. I do enjoy SSB and FM simplex more than repeater work, though.

KB1GMX
and
KE4VVF,
Just keep it up on 2m SSB. Range can be much greater than y'all have already experienced.
I used to use an 11 element yagi and range was greater. Even now with my homemade omnidirectional loop I talk 200-350 miles or so depending on the station on the other end.
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N1UJS
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« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2012, 10:18:53 AM »

I operate almost exlusively simplex, and not just 2 meters, but on 6, 222, and 432 as well.
I operate AM and SSB as well. 
For 2 and 432 I use the Icom 706MKIIG with RF Concepts bricks and a Henry 2002a, On 6 I use the Kenwood TS-60 or the 706, and on 222 I use the Jetstream or a Microwave Modules transverter and a RF concepts brick.  For antennas on 2 I use a pair of vertical yagis and a pair of horizontal yagis as well as a CX-333, on 6 I use a pair of vertical yagis and a single horizontal yagi, on 432 I use the cx-333 vertical and a long yagi horzontal, and on 222 I use the cx-333 vertical and a homebrew yagi vertically (soon to be rotatable for horzontal).
You can check out my profile on QRZ for pictures of the set up and more details on what I do.
Range on all the bands under "flat" conditions is generally out to the Cape going East, well into Maine going North (with occasional Canadian stations), into Ohio going West, and into the Carolinas going South.  This assumes working a similar or bigger station of course, and range to a smaller station is somewhat less. 
Locally, a bunch of us use 144.450 FM horizontal for daily ragchewing and general communications.  Most of us have horizontal loops for mobile operation, and can be heard by someone in the group pretty much no matter where we go.  We have regulars everywhere from PA, NJ, Long Island, all over NY (including guys in the city with single loops on the roof tops of apartments), MA, NH, and of course all over CT.
Why horizontal you ask?  Because the range is always better.  Why FM?  Because it allows more operators to be involved...even a guy with an HT can stumble across us and join in.  Why such an obscure frequency?  Because it is on the low end of the band, allowing the weak signal crowd to join us on their low end tuned yagis if they wish, and give them a way to have some fun when there are no contests.  If all the guys who come out of the woodwork for contests were to play radio every day, there'd be plenty of activity all the time.
Granted, the activity is far less than it used to be, but I keep plugging along.  The only way we can keep it active is to be active...the rest will follow.
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KB1GMX
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« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2012, 12:59:27 PM »

W4JST,

I've experienced longer 2m SSB what I wrote is my commonly expected range of the station on an average day.  I've done far better with propagation added.

The 6M action is nominally the same but Es, tropo and meteor has been good to me.

Allison
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KE4DRN
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« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2012, 06:03:35 PM »

hi,

http://www.svhfs.org/nets.html

73 james
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W4JST
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« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2012, 06:43:15 PM »

James, thank you.

Anyone want to share their VHF setup?

Preferably 2m FM, 2m SSB, 440 FM, 432 SSB? What are you active on?

Power
Antennas
Antenna Height
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KM3F
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Posts: 509




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« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2012, 05:45:08 PM »

I have the 2m and 70cm simplex in mobile scan memory and do hear use at times when two ops prefer not to use a repeater and are close enough to have solid contact.
Some repeaters are linked between 2 and 440 and 6m so I hear the same ops on two bands depending on where the radio scan stops first.
.
I run 6m, 2m and just getting 70cm SSB up and running.
The 2 and 70 cm bands are using Transverters with both systems running 100 watts.
6m runs at 600 watts from a tube amplifier modified to a Russian GS36B tube replacing a 4cx250 type.
It's more the technical accomplishment than just talking, for me and it's there when someone wants to go there or there is band openings.
I do a lot of equipment building and custom alteration so it has that meaning for me.
For example, I control two different tower rotors from the same control box via a remote  home brew switchover relay box mounted at the base of the HF tri band tower.
I have a home built 6m 5el beam, a 12e 2m,and a 10e on 70 cm SSB..
Sometimes I even work AM just for something different. But doing that requires a reduction in drive power to the amplifiers so they are not overdriven by modulation.
These beams are all remotely selected to access the same low loss feed line up on that tower.
For 75 and 40m, another remote switch selects between the tri band beam and a Fan dipole for those bands and 20-15 and 10m beam..
Now you know as much about me as 'me'.
Comes under the heading of being a bit crazy I guess.

Good luck.
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W4JST
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« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2012, 02:40:39 PM »

KM3F,

You're 100 watts on 2 meter FM?

Do you have a vertical yagi for 2 or what kind of antenna?

What is the antenna height?

If you want to work me in Maryland on 2m FM send me an email or your email address.
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KB3HG
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Posts: 404




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« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2012, 02:56:02 AM »

Simply put, I have several simplex frequencies programmed in to my radios on 2m and 70cm. I scan when ever the radio is on. Same if I am traveling. I don't hear much activity but I do monitor. Used to live outside Richmond about where 76 and 60 cross. there was not much activity there then on SSB . It was too easy to get on the 88 machine. Look at the APRS frequencies for local activity. Your antenna at 50' has to help. Mine at the time was at 58' on a crank up tower.

Tom Kb3hg
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N5XO
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Posts: 104




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« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2014, 04:23:22 AM »

2 meter simplex was usually used for short distance personal communications--before the advent of the inexpensive cell phone.  There are few hams that use it for that purpose anymore, so the 2 meter bands are almost empty of activity.

There aren't too many hams that have tried and kept 2 meter longer distance stations, they would rather be on HF.  Sad to say, but that's why 2 meters is nearly dead--unless someone like you keeps on it and keeps calling.  Good luck and 73!


I can not speak for your region, but down here in Texas 2 meters is very much alive and well and we have a large number of GREAT simplex groups. Our local club has been promoting 2 meter Simplex and 2 meter weak signal operation for over 8 years now. We along with other Simplex groups around Texas have created a pretty active band.

Due to local issues we moved our operation over to 146.520 about 4 years ago with some concerns about that much activity on the calling freq, but it has turned out to be a great move....New Ham's to the hobby find themselve on 146.520 and always have someone to talk to, Travelers have friendly conversations as they pass through San Antonio and when band conditions open up People around the State, Mexico, LA, and other states hear and find activity and some GREAT grids are worked by folks.

We try to encourage everyone to get on 2 meters FM Simplex or SSB and operate. It's fun, it offers challenges and it encourages new hams

Check out our Simplex group:  www.wx5us.us

Learn why our motto is: REAL HAMS DON'T NEED NO STINKIN REPEATERS

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N5XO
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Posts: 104




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« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2014, 04:28:54 AM »

James, thank you.

Anyone want to share their VHF setup?

Preferably 2m FM, 2m SSB, 440 FM, 432 SSB? What are you active on?

Power
Antennas
Antenna Height



I am very active on weak signal 6, 2, 1.25, 70cm and 23cm and am in the process of adding 33cm.

My 2 meter setup:

IC-9100 All mode

FM Setup: IC-9100 feeds a TE 350 watt amp, into 7/8 hard line. I run a G7-144 at 85ft and a set of 13 element stacked beams {vertical}

SSB Setup: IC-9110 feeds a Henry 2002A 1000 watt amp, into LDF-7 Inch and 5/8 hard line. I run 2 stacked M2 loops for omni directional and stacked set of 15 element beams for high gain directional coverage.

www.n5xo.net

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N5XO
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Posts: 104




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« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2014, 04:33:40 AM »



I really enjoy weak signal operation from 6 Meters to 23 CM.

We work hard to promote both weak signal operation and 2 Meters simplex.

Check out our unclub groups;

Weak Signal group: The HAMSters:              http://hamsters.name/


Simplex Group: The Unusual Suspects          www.wx5us.us

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