Please bring me up to date on 2mtr repeaters

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by K3OHU, Nov 28, 2009.

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  1. K3OHU

    K3OHU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've been inactive for a long time. My last ARRL repeater directory is the 93/94 edition to give you an idea :eek:

    Anyway, a friend of my got his ticket, and an HT, and I wanted to try talking to him with my HT. I dug out my old Icom 02AT and it seems that a lot has changed. A brought up a repeater list on the web for the Los Angeles area, and I saw only a fraction of the number of repeaters that existed back in the mid 90's. Also, it seems that every open repeater requires a PL tone. That was a rarity back then. I also hardly heard anyone using the repeaters, they used to be very busy in the old days. What has happened?

    My friend and I were unable to make contact via the repeater that is located between us, but I guess that's another problem to look into. I know I was putting out some RF, because my computer speakers started humming when I hit the xmit button :D
  2. K9KJM

    K9KJM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Because of the now closer spacing of repeaters, Subaudible tone access is a requirement in most areas. (Just because a repeater now requires tone access does not mean it is a "closed" repeater)

    And repeater use in general has dropped way off from what it used to be.

    There used to be 50 users on a repeater having a good time all day and night long. Now there are 50 different repeaters with no one on any of them!

    Also, Dont forget to give simplex FM a try! I really enjoy seeing how far we can talk without the "crutch" of using a repeater.

    146.52 FM simplex is always monitored around here.
  3. K4EEZ

    K4EEZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    opps something went wrong... see next post.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2009
  4. K4EEZ

    K4EEZ Ham Member QRZ Page

  5. N8WCT

    N8WCT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Back in the early '90s, when the code requirement was lifted for a technician, there was a huge onslaught of licenses issued, and the majority of those hams jumped on 2 meters.

    VHF business was booming...repeaters were busy, and new ones were going up all the time. You could call out on .52 with an HT, a get a pile up.

    Like K9KJM mentioned, it was around this time that PL started to take off, for the reason he stated.

    Packet was also the rage, and very busy as well. Clubs were flourishing, field days were busy, and foxhunts were popular.

    While some hams "grumbled" about the "no-code techs", it was a huge time for Amateur Radio, and most agreed such.

    Today, I hear dead repeaters. Packet is all but dead, and I havent even heard of a foxhunt anywhere in the state. I can call CQ with 50 watts on .52, and it is common to get no response.

    What happened since then is open to debate, but my observations were the widespread use of the internet, and simply said, the "novelty" wore off.

    Anybody else have theories/observations?


  6. K3OHU

    K3OHU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I found one of the old repeaters I used to use. It still doesn't require a PL tone, and I was able to hit it. Not sure what the problem is with the open repeaters that require a tone. Maybe my tones are a little off frequency.

    Is there less activity on the HF bands these days too?

    As bad as us old timers thought it was when the code requirement was dropped, it's worse now. You can get a tech license these days with no previous knowledge of electronics. You take a one day course, memorize everything, and take the test at the end of the day.
  7. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Often on big contest weekends I can't find any room to call CQ or ragchew in the evening on 160, 80 or 40M ! Sometimes I have to go to 30M and hope it's still open to somewhere.:eek:
    Yes there is plenty of activity on HF !;)
    Thats where all the guys who were on VHF/UHF FM went !
    I finally got a good , programable UHF FM rig. Now there is no one to talk to there.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2009
  8. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    All repeaters in the L.A. area require CTCSS (PL). Sometimes the L.A. Sheriff's Dept. repeater on 145.300 is accessible without the tone, as it's used for emergencies and they don't want to leave anyone out -- and that repeater's been on the air a very long time, so almost everybody in the L.A. area has it programmed.

    I've lived in L.A. since 1988 and many of the repeaters that were on then are still on, now, including the Sheriff's Dept. repeaters on Mt. Disappointment. There are also, of course, many which have "changed hands," been relocated, acquired and taken down, etc, etc.

    If you're in North Hollywood, I could work you on 146.52 simplex, probably.

    There is still LOTS of activity on HF. A bunch of us who are active here on formed a little "net" on Thanksgiving Day on 14.250 (20 meters) and there were so many check-ins it was difficult to manage. When it got dark, the net "QSY'd" to 40 meters and kept on going.
  9. W5HTW

    W5HTW Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's complex. But today, Saturday, I understand there is a big CW contest going on, so the phone bands are fairly empty. That's odd to me, since the majority of hams today don't know CW, so why would they not be on the air on HF? But that is how it seems to be.

    The "repeater craze" ran from the mid 1970s through the late 1990s. There are a number of reasons, likely, that it has nearly died. One of them is certainly what I am doing right this moment -- writing on the internet.

    Another is cell phones. In the early 1990s a lot of people got ham licenses so they could have their own 'spouse to spouse' cell phone. But when real cell phones became cheap and easy, these 'hams' put the radios away and got a family plan cell phone.

    And a third reason is the recruitment process into ham radio. All those who had wanted a ham ticket for years, but 'couldn't' pass a code test, were suddenly unleashed on the ham world in 1991. They had seen the pictures of the major S-Line rig, the big tower, the amplifier, the multi-element beam, and they were frantic to join the crowd. So they got the code free Tech ticket and guess what? No big radios, no DX, no overseas phone patches, no big towers, no amplifiers.

    Most of them had come from CB and here they were, on just another type of CB. Same folks on all the time, same short distance. Less profanity, but it was otherwise like CB. The dream had failed. No big rigs. No SSB. No DX.

    So they quit. The dream was not fulfilled. The promise did not materialize.

    If only they could have waited, huh? Now they would have the big rig, the tower, the 'leenyar' and would be working all over the world. And no code test, and not much of a written test.

    Patience could be a virtue. Wonder what the future holds, if one waits long enough for it to fall into their hands.

  10. KC0W

    KC0W Premium Subscriber QRZ Page


    There was never a code requirement for the standard "Technician" license. Where CW testing came into play regarding a Technician license was with the "Technician Plus" ticket. It was a 7 WPM endorsement test which then gave you the foot in the door for limited CW HF privileges.

    I'm one of the few around who went up the ladder holding every available license except Novice...............A short history of KCØW:


    Technician Plus..........7 WPM CW

    General....................13 WPM CW


    Extra.......................20 WPM CW

    Went from Technician - Extra in roughly 8 months.............I was hooked on CW the first time I ever heard a Dit & Dah!!!

    Tom KCØW
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