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Survey Question
Are you active on 23 Centimeters (1240-1300 MHz) and above? Tell us about your experiences, best DX, sucess, failures etc etc.
  Posted: Jan 31, 2009   (1745 votes, 41 comments) by VK5LA

  No, (or no equipment for those bands)...
  Yes, but only only in field days/contests...
  Yes, on ATV (Amateur Television)...
  Yes, DXing SSB, CW, Digi modes for gridsquares
  Yes, The higher the frequency the better!
  Yes, Satellite operation
  Yes, FM simplex and repeaters...
    (1745 votes, 41 comments)

Survey Results
No, (or no equipment for those bands)... 90% (1567)
Yes, but only only in field days/contests... 2% (27)
Yes, on ATV (Amateur Television)... 1% (18)
Yes, DXing SSB, CW, Digi modes for gridsquares 2% (40)
Yes, The higher the frequency the better! 1% (11)
Yes, Satellite operation 1% (20)
Yes, FM simplex and repeaters... 4% (62)

Survey Comments
Lack of commercial equipment on 1.2 GHz was an acceptable excuse for not using the band until recently. Commercial rigs like TM-541 mobile, IC-T81 HT or FT-912R have been out of production for nearly a decade and used gear is not quite reliable, meanwhile Icom had some mobiles at the "1 K$" range, the price of an IC-7000, so the band was untouchable until recently.

I have a new DJ-G7 rig that has that band.

Listening to the local repeater was impressive - looks like everyone has migrated up there! All good casual QSO's that used to occur at the local 2m repeater have migrated there. Looks like it gives sort of "legal privacy" to the group, as not many have the gear to listen to the band and that relieves users a bit, not towards misuse but getting into true technical conversations, not being afraid of who will criticize their thoughts or techniques. Open minded conversation can do only good.

There are satellites on space look forward to have their 1,2GHz transponders used.

ATV gives another, totally different "view" of ham radio.

The band is definately "not only" for hilltop operation, it is amazing how well it can be used instead of 2m given the mountaintop repeater has good antenna.
I am using our repeater,which installed at 850m, with my HT's antenna, and coverage & access is better than the 2m repeater installed on the very same mountain.

Antennas at 1.2 GHz are quite easy to be built, small, having enormous gain due to small wavelenght.

well, if antenna makes 90% of a successful QSO, that band is there to remove all doubt about it, having the advantage that is EASY and CHEAP to build yours.

Posted by SV9OFO on January 8, 2010

2.4G HTs
My wife and I often use a pair of Motorola
DTR2450 frequency hopping hts when we are in places like Costco or various shopping malls. They seem unaffected by local wireless networks.

Posted by VE4KV on March 7, 2009

If they build it .......
If they build it, if they sell it, we will use it!

Posted by AI2IA on March 6, 2009

Back in the 60s I had an APX6 conversion that got me on 1296. It was a bit of a monster to tame. Building antennas were easy to do and they actually worked. In all I might have made 8 - 10 stations in the vhf contests of the era.

Posted by K3UD on March 3, 2009

Never used 23cm
I would like to give 23cm's ago one day but I don't think it will last to long with me. I prefer the HF bands, mainly 20M. I have been as high as 70cm's.


Posted by ZL1LK on February 24, 2009

Commercial RF
It's a sign of the times that Commercial ( RF/WiFi/Wimax etc )interests are likely to take over just about everything above 2 meters.

Ham activity is virtually non existent up there.


Posted by G3SEA on February 20, 2009

whoops...make that poll...not pole.

Posted by N3PRZ on February 19, 2009

Answered no because I'm sure the pole was regarding ham radio activity...nothing else.

Posted by N3PRZ on February 19, 2009

Wi Fi

Only on the Commercial part of that spectrum
ie WiFi on my laptop. Enjoyed some contacts to Echolink repeaters during lunch breaks ;)


Posted by G3SEA on February 19, 2009

cm Weak signal Operations
I work 1296 SSB and CW, but mostly during the VHF contests or when we have good tropo conditions. 1296 is a difficult band here since my closest contacts are 150miles or are over shorter difficult paths. I run 30watts and 45elem looper at 68ft. Most QSOs end up being CW and weak signals for sure. During the VHF contests it is a good band because of antenna size for the rovers and a good multiplier.

Another MAGIC BAND is 10Ghz ... fantastic band for rain scatter contacts .. MANY over 400 miles and during the summer, daily tropo Qs at 160 miles. I run 6-8 watts to a modified Direct TV 18" dish at 55ft. What a fun band. Not cheap, but lots of fun.

K0AWU Bill EN37ed

Posted by K0AWU on February 17, 2009

1296 MHz.
I enjoy 1296 with my Icom IC-1271A & log periodic antenna - mostly during the VHF contests. I don't have a good UHF location but enjoy just being on the band - I started out on 1296 with an APX-6 wide band FM converted military unit back in the 1960's

Posted by WA2BAH on February 16, 2009

Not a good mobile band.
I have tried it out here in California but the terrain kills any chance of long haul tropo. Just repeaters, and they are DEAD. In the mobile the fade is bad enough at the edges to be a very tough band to use compared to about ANY of other V/U bands.
Now playing with 900 and that is a much better band for mobiling.
All in all, in my opinion, a waste of time, effort and way to much money.
If you want to try a new band go 222 or all the surplus Motorola gear for 900 is cheap and the antenna's are easy to build.

Posted by W6PMR on February 16, 2009

Iv been using - off and on - Both DD-WRT and OPENWRT on broadcom and Atheros Wireless routers. Using a BiQuad and a primestar satellite dish is fairly easy to build.

Some day ill try to get a 70W BiAMP for My setup and try EME. Probably will not work, but im sure it will be fun to try.

Posted by KC7NOA on February 16, 2009

Lack of Activity
I don't believe that 23 Centimeters (1240-1300 MHz) is worth the effort for most hams. Unless you live in a big city. Where there are some FM repeaters. And a few local groups on SSB. I had a Kenwood TS-790 A and was disappointed in the lack of activity on 70 CM. I would leave the radio on for hours wile working and seldom ever heard anything. And I was not going to pay $600 - $700 for the 23 CM module. Sense I almost never herd activity on 70 CM which id mush more common than 23 CM.

Posted by KA5ROW on February 15, 2009

Lack of Activity
I don't believe that 23 Centimeters (1240-1300 MHz) is worth the effort for most hams. Unless you live in a big city. Where there are some FM repeaters. And a few local groups on SSB. I had a Kenwood TS-790 A and was disappointed in the lack of activity on 70 CM. I would leave the radio on for hours wile working and seldom ever heard anything. And I was not going to pay $600 - $700 for the 23 CM module. Sense I almost never herd activity on 70 CM which id mush more common than 70 CM.

Posted by KA5ROW on February 15, 2009

23 Cms
Have used 23cm SSB during our VHF Field Days in the late 1980's but unfortunately I live in a valley location from where it is virtually impossible to get out on on 70cm let alone 23cm.

During the late 80's, when my licence restricted me to the VHF bands and upwards I did successfuly operate on 2m SSB (and sometimes FM) but was never able to have any meaningful contacts on any of the higher frequency bands


Posted by G0GDU on February 12, 2009

Many bands
During our ID-1 Star evaluation that was my experience with 1.2 GHz I have constructed a 900 MHz analog repeater, with a small user base. Have used AeroComm ConnexLink serial modems on 900 MHz, as well as the old WaveLAN DSSS cards. I have also used FHSS and DSSS / OFDM wireless devices as well as analog video senders on 2.4 GHz...

Posted by KB9MWR on February 9, 2009

Used to be, II
Ages ago, a friend of mine and I had a converted APX-6 radar transponder on the band. It worked, we made occasional QSO's with it when mountaintopping in California.

Later, when I had more money than I knew what to spend it on, I bought Kenwood's little portable FM rig. There were 3 repeaters in my area at that time (San Jose), and I worked them all. I was not terribly impressed with it, though. That rig was pretty drifty, as were the repeater receivers, so that may have been the big issue.

A friend of mine, Paul N6TX, was very active on 1296 SSB. He and some others came up with an easy transverter design for the band, and many people moved up there then. With very low power, they were able to work very long distances in California, via tropo scatter and via direct reflection off distant mountains.

I had a 1296 SSB rig here in Minnesota, but never actually got it on the air. I had too many VHF/UHF antennas up to make room for one more. I know that there are quite a few people up there now.

Posted by K0RGR on February 9, 2009

2.4 GHz
I'am only active on HF(AND WIFI...)

Posted by PE1NPG on February 9, 2009

23 Cms
I love the band, I mainly do ATV with a
little dxing thrown in as well. I would love
to have a 23cms mobile radio, now please
manufactures please release some new radios.

My two pence worth.

Posted by G4OCO on February 8, 2009

virtually unused freq
where I live, 23 cm is almost unexistent, I believe only one ham out of almost 400 in DM15 have a 23cm unit, might be a few more, but I am unaware, if there are more than I think, I could be swayed to get on 23cm

Posted by N0BLM on February 7, 2009

Not Yet
I don't have any 23cm gear, yet. I am currently looking and will be looking to get some at the Wyong Field Day this weekend if there is anything suitable available.

Posted by VK2VE on February 5, 2009

1.2G Icom ID-1 and a pair of Motorola DTR2450 2.4G HTs !

Posted by VE4KV on February 5, 2009

The tests are too hard so I use a GMR.

Posted by SQ3RPM on February 5, 2009

There's nothing like the x band as far as I'm concerned. I have 2 gunnplexers, that I made rock stable. A 1 meter dish a dish tv spoon dish and a 25db horn. Ain't nothing like super wide band FM 500Mhz bandwidth is nothing to sneeze at.

Posted by KC8OJU on February 4, 2009

I bought an Icom ID-1 as part of a five radio purchase to
get a free D-Star repeater. The repeater is now installed
and running. The ID-1 is connected to a 16 element yagi
and we have a couple 1.2 GHz FM repeaters in the area
along with the D-Star system. It clearly doesn't have the
range that you find on 2M and 440. Also signal strengths
clearly vary between when trees have leaves and when
they don't.

Posted by KK9H on February 3, 2009

Too Flat!
With the flat terrain here in the Low Country of SC, the only things I can communicate with are satellites! HOA restrictions preclude getting any antennas up to useful heights.

Posted by KG4RUL on February 3, 2009

Active on 23cm EME from the Dwingeloo obeservatory (25 m dish) and from home with 2 meter dish. 160W RF.
Noticing increassing activity on 23cm EME. So come and join us, its big fun!

73, Dick PA2DW

Posted by PA2DW on February 3, 2009

1296 System
Have had a 1296 station (10 watt) + 48 element array for 5 years and could probably count on my fingers and toes the total number of contacts during that time. It seems that no one ever calls CQ on the band and unless pre-arranged by e-mail or telephone, contacts are almost non existent. We live in Toronto which is approx 5-6 million people in the general area and quite a few hams. Its a pity that no more hams don't try 1296.

Posted by VA3MJ on February 3, 2009

Nope, but someday
I like to play in VHF contesting and I like building/working on gear so I'll get 'em up and running someday.

Right now I don't have a tower and don't have time or much inclination to go hilltopping.

Looks like I'm going to have to convince some friends to join me given the survey results though ;-)

Posted by N3OX on February 2, 2009

Only for Satellites

Use only for satellite work on A0-51.


---* Ken

Posted by WI7B on February 2, 2009

Almost 90% so far!

Bill - WA8MEA

Posted by WA8MEA on February 2, 2009

Used to be
I had a pretty decent station back in NJ in the mid-70s through mid-80s: 200W out to four stacked 45 element Yagis at about 70 feet, fed with 7/8" Heliax. It was part of my VHF-UHF contest station which covered 50 through 2304 MHz at the time.

I found condx on 23cm to be about the same as the other UHF bands and could mostly work the same stuff as on 70cm provided the other station was similarly equipped. Stations like VE1UT in Nova Scotia could occasionally pin my S-meter down in NJ, from 400+ miles away.

Best thing was the occasional tropo duct! The higher in frequency you went, the better it became. On those occasions, signals on 23cm were often WAY stronger than on 2m.

It's a great band for experimenters, and those living in areas where the terrain lies mostly below 5,000 feet. Here in CA, it's a different ballgame: Unless you take it portable, it's hard to do much "up there" due to the terrain. I can see 10,000 foot hills from my driveway, but don't live on one (nor does anyone else)!

Posted by WB2WIK on February 2, 2009

1270~1296 FM simplex
Nobody else is there in my area, but I'm prepared if anyone else ever gets on the air here. -KR4WM

Posted by WY3X on February 1, 2009

No congestion on 23cm
I operate on 23cm FM simplex when things get crowded on other bands and short range communications is all that is needed. Good luck finding equipment cheap enough!


Posted by KG4CLD on February 1, 2009

Wish I had the gear...
I would like to get on 1.2, but don't have the gear. Maybe someday. But I plan to add 222 first, and maybe 903....

Amateur Radio Emergency Service, Clark County Indiana. EM78el
K9ZF /R no budget Rover ***QRP-l #1269 Check out the Rover Resource Page at:
<> List Administrator for: InHam+grid-loc+ham-books
Ask me how to join the Indiana Ham Mailing list!

Posted by K9ZF on February 1, 2009

Looking for a 1200 MHz Radio
1.2 is one of those bands that "I've always wanted to try". It seems a shame that when the Novice ticket was available, that more didn't try it out. 222 and 1.2 at least in FN02 never seemed to get more than a passing curiosity.

That being said, I have been "dumpster diving" on eBay (for vintage Icoms) for an IC-12AT of 12GAT. It's never to late to try the bands out.


Posted by KB2HSH on February 1, 2009

Nope, I have never used 23cm. I dont have the equipment for such communications nor does anyone in my area(that I know of) but I would like to give it a shot one of these days.

Posted by KB3LAZ on February 1, 2009

I like the band and got quite some nice results on FM.
Unfortunately my old 23cm FM Transceiver gave up the ghost and it is a pain to try and locate another one for a decent price.

Why is it that the blackbox manufacturers have totally overlooked this band? Since there is a lot of technology around that uses frequencies in that part of the spectrum like cellular phones etc, it should not be so hard in 2009 to produce multiband handhelds and mobiles which include 1297-1299 for example.

As it stands now I would have to spend a premium to get back on air on 23cms or go for the transverter option.

Just a thought for the next generation of mobiles and handhelds - stick in 23cms as well!

Posted by G7IDJ on February 1, 2009

1294.5 simplex
I can hit about 6 repeaters with my HT, but almost no casual contacts. I get the most fun in VHF contests - when somebody asks what bands I have - 100w 6m/2m ssb with beams, 446 and 1294.5 with my HT on FM to a discone. One year I was the high score in Orange section on 1296 low power - 5 contacts! Best DX is Wrightwood, from Cypress - maybe 30 miles, line of sight to the mountain. I think my Icom T81A was the last HT made with 23cm capability.

Posted by KQ6Q on January 31, 2009

well I use the band mostly for sat's but I also do fm simplex
some ssb and trpo

Posted by KB9RQZ on January 31, 2009

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