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eHam Forums => Mobile Ham => Topic started by: WB2EOD on May 26, 2011, 09:42:03 AM



Title: Where Is Everybody?
Post by: WB2EOD on May 26, 2011, 09:42:03 AM
I just started a new job and my commute went from 10 minutes to about an hour. 
I now drive between Cherry Hill and Princeton NJ. 

Before going thru the effort of installing the IC-207 in the car, I took my HT and set it to scan 2 meters and 440 just to see if there is enough activity to make it worthwhile.  Didn't talk, just monitored.  After nearly a week the results are disappointing.   I did hear a few QSO's but not nearly what I expected. 

This raises the question, on the subject line. "Where is everybody"



Title: RE: Where Is Everybody?
Post by: KC0ZPS on May 26, 2011, 09:51:43 AM
I ran into the same as you when taking a 2000 mile round trip vacation down to El Paso, TX from Denver, CO.  I monitored the national simplex frequency the entire time and called out several times.  No response the entire trip.  I stayed the night at Sante Fe, NM and El Paso, TX and monitored several repeaters in the area and still no response.

I do consider myself lucky because several of the repeaters in my area are pretty busy, especially during commute times.  My solution, during the last trip, was to just use Echolink and IRLP and dial into the repeater in my area to hold a QSO.




Title: RE: Where Is Everybody?
Post by: W3LK on May 26, 2011, 12:38:49 PM
I gave up 2m when traveling long ago. 99 percent of my mobile air time is on HF. It's a very rare day there isn't someone to talk to.


Title: RE: Where Is Everybody?
Post by: AB4D on May 26, 2011, 06:42:38 PM
Same thing here in the Northern VA/Washington D.C. area.  VHF/UHF activity has been on the decline for years. During drive time you may sometimes hear sporadic activity on one or two repeaters, a nearly dead traffic net in the evening, and maybe a little APRS, but not much else going on when compared to 10-15 years ago.

Welcome to our wonderful declining hobby.  I have no explanation for it.  The facts and figures put together by some show just as many hams as years ago, but the activity is just not there.  I suspect the age of the average ham has increase over the years, with most hams now in their retirement years, thus not much interest to wake up earlier and get on the air during drive time, and no job to leave from in the evening.  That coupled with the easy convenience of cell phones, mobile internet, and text messaging, etc.  It's hard for ham radio to compete against those easy to use consumer grade devices.

Someone could go on and on pondering about the reasons for the general decline of activity in our hobby. I am sure the reasons are many more than I've noted here.     

73


Title: RE: Where Is Everybody?
Post by: KI4SDY on May 26, 2011, 07:18:41 PM
I have noticed some repeater owners are getting stingy and crabby about anyone other than their few select friends using their repeaters. They are installing special tones and using the FCC to run others off, even though this is supposed to be a hobby. The result is dead air. After while, the two or three approved users get bored talking to each other. If we wanted business band licenses we would just buy one!  ;)

We all know that repeater owners have invested thousands in their equipment, but they are using the public airways. I would support a regulation that states repeater owners must allow all licensed ham radio operators to use their repeaters as long as they follow the FCC rules.  ;D    


Title: RE: Where Is Everybody?
Post by: WB2EOD on May 27, 2011, 10:20:46 AM
I used to operate vhf/uhf mobile. 
I put a decal on my trunk with my call and "146.52"  I Used to get calls all the time.  Then cell phones replaced the auto-patch and suddenly it all dried up.   

Granted, repeater owners have large amounts invested and I can appreciate that.
In reality this is a hobby.  One must ask if they really expect to make serious money, or even cover operating costs.

In large metro areas, nearly all the frequency pairs have been "spoken for", and hardly used.  This overabundance of dead air is just what government, commercial and other non-amateur interests need to chip away at our privileges.
When 2 meters and 440 go away, don't say nobody warned us

I will probably install the radio regardless of prevailing activity, if only to stir up some interest.

73  and thanks for reading this.
WB2EOD

   


Title: RE: Where Is Everybody?
Post by: AB4D on May 27, 2011, 04:55:44 PM
I used to operate vhf/uhf mobile. 
I put a decal on my trunk with my call and "146.52"  I Used to get calls all the time.  Then cell phones replaced the auto-patch and suddenly it all dried up.   

Granted, repeater owners have large amounts invested and I can appreciate that.
In reality this is a hobby.  One must ask if they really expect to make serious money, or even cover operating costs.

In large metro areas, nearly all the frequency pairs have been "spoken for", and hardly used.  This overabundance of dead air is just what government, commercial and other non-amateur interests need to chip away at our privileges.
When 2 meters and 440 go away, don't say nobody warned us

I will probably install the radio regardless of prevailing activity, if only to stir up some interest.

73  and thanks for reading this.
WB2EOD
  

I just purchased a new FTM-350 to put in my pick-up.  Dead air or not, it still going in, if anything to experiment with APRS.

73


Title: RE: Where Is Everybody?
Post by: K1CJS on May 27, 2011, 08:03:31 PM
Consider the fact that VHF and UHF comms are short range, and meant for local communications between friends and acquaintances.  Then realize that the cell phone explosion has given just about anybody the means to do just that--and more, without a license and with to a greatly extended distance.  2 meter comms didn't stand a chance.

Club membership is in a decline, repeaters are on the air, yet seldom used, more and more telephone connections to repeaters are being removed, and although echolink and other digital modes are taking their place, it just hasn't stirred the interest in the 2 meter band that used to be there.

I just may follow suit--I may just forgo installing a ham rig in the next car I purchase.  Even though I usually switch the rig in my car on when I get into it and drive, there is seldom anyone ever on the frequencies--repeater, simplex or calling.


Title: RE: Where Is Everybody?
Post by: KQ6Q on May 31, 2011, 03:32:04 PM
Similar situation out here in southern California,with one exception.
The majority of repeaters have a core constituency that does talk to each other, usually on weekly nets of some sort, and occasionally at drive time. Some even monitor during  the workday, but mostly they're working, and don't answer from the office.
I'm aware of one exception - The Catalina Repeater on 2 meters, AA6DP - 147.09+ No PL, and coverage from San Diego to Santa Barabara. You can almost always get an answer, and sometimes there's a roundtable going on, and frequently you CAN join in and internect a comment, even if you're not a regular.  It's like 2 meters used to be as I remember it in the late 70's.

If there are other exceptions around the country, where a newcomer or stranger can always find someone to talk to,  we should find a way to list them here on eham.

Fred, KQ6Q


Title: RE: Where Is Everybody?
Post by: AJ3O on May 31, 2011, 05:55:06 PM
Check http://www.wanrepeater.com and http://allstarlink.org and http://www.echolink.org.

I know for a fact that there is at least one repeater in Camden County PA and there should be others. Worldwide linking and all kinds of people/characters to talk to at all times of the day. Just be patient and call a couple of times. There are lots of amateurs home during the day and many others on their commutes.

Look the at the repeaters listed on those sites and I am sure you are going to find a few within your range on your drive. Give it a shot, what could it hurt?

P.S. - Don't be surprised to hear someone from all over the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, England, and many others occasionally. It really is cool and the frequencies sound good and clear.


Title: RE: Where Is Everybody?
Post by: KC2UGV on June 01, 2011, 07:20:37 AM
I just started a new job and my commute went from 10 minutes to about an hour. 
I now drive between Cherry Hill and Princeton NJ. 

Before going thru the effort of installing the IC-207 in the car, I took my HT and set it to scan 2 meters and 440 just to see if there is enough activity to make it worthwhile.  Didn't talk, just monitored.  After nearly a week the results are disappointing.   I did hear a few QSO's but not nearly what I expected. 

This raises the question, on the subject line. "Where is everybody"



Possibly, there are 40 other hams in the area doing exactly what you are doing:  Not talking, just monitoring.


Title: RE: Where Is Everybody?
Post by: KF5LCG on June 01, 2011, 11:56:15 AM
I just started a new job and my commute went from 10 minutes to about an hour. 
I now drive between Cherry Hill and Princeton NJ. 

Before going thru the effort of installing the IC-207 in the car, I took my HT and set it to scan 2 meters and 440 just to see if there is enough activity to make it worthwhile.  Didn't talk, just monitored.  After nearly a week the results are disappointing.   I did hear a few QSO's but not nearly what I expected. 

This raises the question, on the subject line. "Where is everybody"




Possibly, there are 40 other hams in the area doing exactly what you are doing:  Not talking, just monitoring.

This is certainly the case in my area, although many of them use/monitor simplex instead of the repeater.


Title: RE: Where Is Everybody?
Post by: KJ4OBR on June 02, 2011, 08:11:26 AM
I just started a new job and my commute went from 10 minutes to about an hour. 
I now drive between Cherry Hill and Princeton NJ. 

Before going thru the effort of installing the IC-207 in the car, I took my HT and set it to scan 2 meters and 440 just to see if there is enough activity to make it worthwhile.  Didn't talk, just monitored.  After nearly a week the results are disappointing.   I did hear a few QSO's but not nearly what I expected. 

This raises the question, on the subject line. "Where is everybody"




Did you throw your call out? I've found that seemingly "dead" repeaters often have folks listening that are for whatever reason to shy to initiate a QSO.


73
KJ4OBR


Title: RE: Where Is Everybody?
Post by: W5DQ on June 02, 2011, 09:16:59 AM
I live about 5 minutes from work. I ride a motorcycle and it takes longer to put on all the safety gear required to get onto the military installation than it does to get there. I would not even have time to start a QSO before I got to work and half of the trip is in a no-transmit zone so in my case it is futile to even think about adding a radio to the bike.

Gene W5DQ


Title: RE: Where Is Everybody?
Post by: KF5JOT on June 02, 2011, 09:22:45 AM
I've got an hour commute every day also, and I bounce between a couple of repeaters in the area. The one that I normally hang out on is pretty active during morning and evening drive times, but also can get pretty busy during my late night commute time (2200-2300). As time goes by, I know more and more people that are on this repeater and we can get into some pretty interesting conversations, and we know each others schedules pretty well. The repeater is kinda dead on most of the weekends when I commute as the regulars are all catching zzz's at those times.

Best thing I could suggest is hang on a single repeater for at least a week and toss your callsign out every 15-20 mins and see if anything picks up. If nothing happens during the week, then try the next one and so on. Your bound to run upon one that has decent traffic levels.


Title: RE: Where Is Everybody?
Post by: KK4BXO on June 05, 2011, 02:32:20 PM
  VHF/UHF activity has been on the decline for years. .....
Welcome to our wonderful declining hobby.  I have no explanation for it.

I would see an incentive for the more experienced operators to keep interest in these bands,and keep an interest in the hobby. As I have seen with other activities where interest declines,so does the participation by manufactureres etc who no longer have the incentive to produce. Just my .02


Title: RE: Where Is Everybody?
Post by: KI4AX on June 07, 2011, 12:14:37 PM
After having been out of the hobby for 21 years I can say that in the area where I live there seems to be more traffic on 2 meters. I live on the West Coast of Florida in the shadow of the 146.64 repeater which is located in Holiday Florida on the Channel 10 TV tower. The tower is approx. 1500 feet with the repeater antenna at about 500 feet (don't quote me on exact accuracy).

 Anyone that has been in the Tampa Bay area should be somewhat familiar with this repeater since it has coverage over about five counties and is very busy. I know there are a lot more people that listen to this machine than talk on it. I don't mean to be derogatory but I am going to say it like it is.... some times the 64 machine is worse than channel 19 on the CB. Because of the change in the code requirement for licensing there are a lot of ex-CB operators that have moved to 2 meters. Now I my self, just like a lot of other people, are ex-CB operators (25 years ago) but the reason I studied theory and code (required when I got my license) was to get away from the crap that was happening on the CB. You remember don't you? Linear fights, cursing, drunk people on the air, complete chaos, people talking for hours on end with out relinquishing the frequency to others, etc. From at least 2:00 pm to 10:00 pm it is difficult to get a word in edgewise on the 64 machine. I'm not sure what it was, the code requirement possibly, but when they made it easier to get a license they let a lot more people on the air that did not care if they were a LID operator or not. Now, it seems like no one knows or even cares what LID means!

So now, at least in the case of the 64 machine, channel 19 has migrated to 2 meters. As a result of this situation, I have switched to a repeater that has a whole lot less traffic and I don't do a lot of talking. And I know for a fact that there is a lot of hams that have left 2 meters for the same reason... they say it has become too much like CB. I have a buddy in Orlando that says he hasn't been on 2 meters in 10 years... he says there is too much crap to contend with. I personally have not given up on 2 meters yet.... but if it gets like the 64 machine on other repeaters I just might. Perhaps this is what is happening to 2 meters.