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Author Topic: Repeaters? Simplex? Scan?  (Read 10836 times)
KG4ADQ
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Posts: 21




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« on: July 11, 2012, 06:31:52 AM »

After taking a long trip to the New England area, (2700 miles) last May...  I found there are very few HAMS communicating on 2 meter simplex.  During my trip while using the Kenwood D710, I had the A side set up for APRS and I had the B side set up for Simplex.  For all those 2700 miles, I had made only 3 contacts... and those were the ones that answered MY call.  ( I heard NO other activity on 2 meter simplex ) All 3 gave great signal reports, so I knew everything on my end was working fine. The 3 contacts were all around New Hampshire.
I was greatly surpised that simplex was so vacant.  I announced my call sign every 50 miles or so. 
I am going on another trip to Miami and the Keys in a couple of weeks... do I assume simplex will be vacant again?  Do I sit and program my D710 for every repeater freq on my path?

What do most of you folks do on long trips?  "Simplex" or "program" repeaters into your radios or do you "scan" the frequencies hoping to find activity?

Thanks
Ralph KG4ADQ
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NA4IT
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« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2012, 10:23:21 AM »

I agree simplex is way underused. However, programming a radio for a trip can be problematic, as so many repeaters at "paper" repeaters only...
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KG4ADQ
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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2012, 10:34:36 AM »

I agree simplex is way underused. However, programming a radio for a trip can be problematic, as so many repeaters at "paper" repeaters only...

Thank you for your reply... I am not wanting to talk to everyone on my trips...  but for the radio to be nearly silent is dissapointing!  I guess the best thing to do is scan the 2 meter freqs or the 70 cm freqs and see where that goes.  (on the B side)
Ralph KG4ADQ
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N9GGG
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« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2012, 12:45:32 PM »

I agree that putting in a lot of repeaters for a trip can be unless when I travel I use the simplex and a few of hopfully active ones also I try some echolink seems to work
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KG4ADQ
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« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2012, 12:53:58 PM »

I agree that putting in a lot of repeaters for a trip can be unless when I travel I use the simplex and a few of hopfully active ones also I try some echolink seems to work

Thanks for your reply...   I appreciate your input!

I had thought of calling CQ CQ CQ on the simplex frequency... but I thought somewhere I had read that it was not well accepted in the Ham community except for HF.  I only announced my call sign and stated either monitoring or mobile.
What are your thoughts on that?

Ralph KG4ADQ
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K1YZ
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« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2012, 08:50:55 PM »

Set up scan ranges for:

145.100 - 145.495
146.400 - 147.495
440.000 - 449.975

You can also program in one or more simplex channels like 146.520. Not that it makes a difference, but I've always used my call plus "listening" (i.e. "KG4ADQ listening") to solicit a QSO when using FM. Finally, try using the "Voice Alert" and "QSY" features of APRS if your radio supports them.

Steve
« Last Edit: July 11, 2012, 09:03:45 PM by K1YZ » Logged
KG4ADQ
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« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2012, 05:32:40 AM »

Set up scan ranges for:

145.100 - 145.495
146.400 - 147.495
440.000 - 449.975

You can also program in one or more simplex channels like 146.520. Not that it makes a difference, but I've always used my call plus "listening" (i.e. "KG4ADQ listening") to solicit a QSO when using FM. Finally, try using the "Voice Alert" and "QSY" features of APRS if your radio supports them.

Steve

Thanks for your reply Steve...  great info! 
I should be programming my D710 either today or tomorrow with that info and will look up some repeaters on the route and put them in memory channels.
Ralph KG4ADQ

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K7RBW
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« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2012, 07:11:41 AM »

Over-the-road use of 2-m Simplex is somewhat problematic in most places due to terrain. But even in wide-open spaces, it's mobile-to-mobile use is limited. If you figure that the practical range is 10 miles, at freeway speeds, passing cars would be in range for only 5-minutes (at best), making it pretty rare that you would happen to call CQ in the 5-min that another ham happens to be passing by. The odds are a little better of hitting a base station, but unless the station is on a hill that overlooks your route, you still have only a 5 to 10 minute window of being in range (at best).

I share your frustration/disappointment. On a 3,000-mile excursion around the western states a couple of years ago, I made only 1 2-m simplex QSO with a ham who saw my APRS beacon status message that said I was monitoring 146.52. The CB was a lot more useful and busy.
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KG4ADQ
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« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2012, 07:38:26 AM »

Over-the-road use of 2-m Simplex is somewhat problematic in most places due to terrain. But even in wide-open spaces, it's mobile-to-mobile use is limited. If you figure that the practical range is 10 miles, at freeway speeds, passing cars would be in range for only 5-minutes (at best), making it pretty rare that you would happen to call CQ in the 5-min that another ham happens to be passing by. The odds are a little better of hitting a base station, but unless the station is on a hill that overlooks your route, you still have only a 5 to 10 minute window of being in range (at best).

I share your frustration/disappointment. On a 3,000-mile excursion around the western states a couple of years ago, I made only 1 2-m simplex QSO with a ham who saw my APRS beacon status message that said I was monitoring 146.52. The CB was a lot more useful and busy.

Thanks for your reply and info...  I was thinking of ordering a sticker for my Jeep... maybe something like "146.520"  or maybe "Got Simplex?"    I do plan to put a note on my APRS beacon "146.520".   3,000 miles and only one simplex QSO...  disappointing indeed.  Very similar to my last 2700 mile trip with 3 contacts... in the New Hampshire area only.  I did not even hear any other Hams! 

Ralph KG4ADQ
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K1YZ
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« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2012, 09:46:08 AM »

If you really want to have some fun with voice, I'd recommend HF. It may sound like a lot of work but you'd be surprised how easy it is to set up a mobile HF station. I used an Icom 706 MK2G, and a few Ham Sticks.

When propagation is good 10 and 20 meters are great, and when it's not, 40 (day) and 80 (night) are just as much fun. Originally I thought HF mobile was a waste of time, but I was surprised just how good a signal I was able to radiate plus the fact that stating you're a mobile gets some attention. I don't ever remember not finding a QSO when I got bored with the driving. Just a thought,

Steve
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KG4ADQ
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« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2012, 09:56:10 AM »

If you really want to have some fun with voice, I'd recommend HF. It may sound like a lot of work but you'd be surprised how easy it is to set up a mobile HF station. I used an Icom 706 MK2G, and a few Ham Sticks.

When propagation is good 10 and 20 meters are great, and when it's not, 40 (day) and 80 (night) are just as much fun. Originally I thought HF mobile was a waste of time, but I was surprised just how good a signal I was able to radiate plus the fact that stating you're a mobile gets some attention. I don't ever remember not finding a QSO when I got bored with the driving. Just a thought,

Steve

Thanks for your info...  I wanted a mobile HF rig very early in my study in getting my General ticket.  But then I thought no... too much to fiddle with etc.  But come to think about it...  there is ALWAYS some activity on HF.    it turns out that I am fiddling with the UHF/VHF D710 anyhow!   Shocked  I have an FT 897 at the home shack... I might just look into an FT 857 and a atas 125 antenna someday!
Thanks for your input Steve!
Ralph KG4ADQ
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N6DZR
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« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2012, 11:39:06 AM »

I do plan to put a note on my APRS beacon "146.520".

The D710 has a feature where it will automatically put the frequency from the other band into your beacon message. That way your beacon will be correct no matter what you have tuned. For repeaters it would be nice if it also included the offset and PL. Right now it just shows the output freq.

-Jeff
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KG4ADQ
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Posts: 21




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« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2012, 01:00:05 PM »

I do plan to put a note on my APRS beacon "146.520".

The D710 has a feature where it will automatically put the frequency from the other band into your beacon message. That way your beacon will be correct no matter what you have tuned. For repeaters it would be nice if it also included the offset and PL. Right now it just shows the output freq.

-Jeff

Thank you Jeff...  I will look that up in the manual and see if I can do that.
Ralph KG4ADQ
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KD5TXX
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Posts: 82




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« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2012, 06:46:25 PM »

I traveled a LOT around the southeast this spring.  Ran APRS and simplex most of the time.  One time in Ft Walton beach I called and got 3 guys reply.  Other times I heard conversations and joined or called and was answered.  Most of the time I heard nothing though.  I guess it has pockets.
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KG4ADQ
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Posts: 21




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« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2012, 06:06:55 AM »

I traveled a LOT around the southeast this spring.  Ran APRS and simplex most of the time.  One time in Ft Walton beach I called and got 3 guys reply.  Other times I heard conversations and joined or called and was answered.  Most of the time I heard nothing though.  I guess it has pockets.
Thanks for your reply....
This sounds encouraging...  I heard that the Florida area is pretty active for HAM radio! 
Ralph KG4ADQ
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