Why no love for 2M AM?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by K1YYI, May 22, 2019.

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  1. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    146.52 is pretty hopping most "nice weather" weekends around the Pacific Northwest - we have a ton of very active Summits on the Air (SOTA) fans to activate the bazillions of peaks we have in this area. In fact, some Saturdays there may be as many as 3 or 4 running at the same time, hogging the frequency practically all day. Lots of "chit chat" during the week as well.

    Very regional thing, 2m FM simplex

  2. K7MEM

    K7MEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a Heath Twoer and Sixer that I bought around 1966. I had a great time with both units. I recall that 2 Meters was active, but not wall-to-wall. If it was, the regen receiver in the twoer wouldn't have been able to separate them. I often had to call CQ for a very long time, before someone came back to me. Of course, it didn't help that I only had one crystal and that put me on 146.000 MHz. But after a while, the 2 Meter AMers got use to me and things got easier. At the time there wasn't any FM in the area, so no one cared.

    Eventually I obtained a receiving converter and used my Lafayette HE-30 for receive. Even then, there wasn't wall-to-wall activity.
    W7UUU likes this.
  3. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    ^Here, too, and it's not only on weekends. "They're out there" on the hilltops seemingly every day and use 146.52 a lot.

    It amazes me, since a lot of those local peaks are NOT car accessible at all and can be quite a hike. I hear "someone" up on Mt. Baldy or the higher hills very often, and that's a hike. When they summit, they're up so high they can use a hand-held and whip antenna to make contacts out to about 100 miles, and I hear those guys working stations so far away I can't hear who they're working at all. Takes some dedication!
  4. KA2CZU

    KA2CZU XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    James, I'm a bit too far south but I have a Heath Two-er I'd love to get running and experiment with.

    Also see you're from Metuchen per QRZ page. Used to be my old stomping grounds with the K2YNT club at the YMCA
  5. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Depends entirely where you were, and how many hams were within a couple hundred mile radius.

    I was on 2m AM 1966->1973, but then also on SSB-CW 1969-> forever so there was an overlap between AM and SSB popularity, even before FM became so popular.

    In the 60s, I lived in a close suburb of NYC and my "minimalist" station was a Tower and an 8 element Telrex yagi on my parents' rooftop. "Best DX" with that was working Wayne Green W2NSD/1 in New Hampshire, about 220 miles (airline) away. He had a place on the south slope of Mt. Monadnock (NH) at a couple thousand feet above sea level with a clear shot to the south and ran 600W or so to a large horizontally polarized stacked collinear array (I think it was 128 elements), and he heard me with my 1 Watt over 200 miles away! That was one of the contacts that got me kind of hooked on VHF.

    By 1968, I had a Clegg Zeus TX (120W output, plate modulated AM, and also CW) and low noise converter with my NC-303, and a 15 element Telrex on a roof tower above my parents' rooftop, and was routinely making probably 20-30 contacts a day on 2m AM, with half of them out beyond 200 miles. Working down into Richmond, VA (about 300 mi), up into Toronto (300+ miles, different direction), over into Nova Scotia (~350 miles, still different direction) and such was commonplace and a daily occurrence, but then the Northeast is very heavily populated and there were thousands of hams on 2m AM to work!

    Bt 1970 I had a homebrew kilowatt (P-P 4CX250Bs) on the air, 1 kW PEP on SSB or about 400W carrier output power on AM, and using SSB or CW was working into OH, IN, KY, TN, NC, ME, VE1/2/3 -- daily. Still a LOT of activity, AM-SSB-CW. No digi, very little FM.

    "Times sure changed!":p
  6. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The "suggested" AM "calling frequency" for 2-meters was 144.400 MHz. Unfortunately, APRS transmissions on 144.390 MHz "tore up" the wide bandwidth receivers in most of the AM units. As such, 144.350 MHz has, in many areas, become the "calling frequency" for AM on 2-meters.

    My first 2-meter transmitter, in 1960, was a home-brew with a 2E26 in the final amplifier stage modulated with a pair of 6L6 tubes. Back then, you called CQ and "tuned the band" for a reply and that meant anywhere from 144.0 MHz all the way to 148.0 MHz. However, most replies were going to be between 145.0 MHz and 147.0 MHz because the Technician Class licensees had recently acquired 2-meter privileges (although Novice Class licensees had 2-meter privileges since "day one") and 145.0 MHz to 147.0 MHz was the segment to which they now had privileges.

    I couldn't afford a meter for the transmitter! So, I tuned it up using a pilot-lamp soldered into a PL-259 that I connected to the antenna jack on the transmitter. After tuning for maximum brilliance on the bulb, I then attached the coax cable going to a 4:1 balun which then went to 300-ohm twin-lead to my Yagi antenna. Although the transmitter was in my parent's basement, there was enough radiation, from the light bulb, that my signal could be copied for miles around! As such, locals knew when I was going to be operating on 2-meters.

    Right now, I have 3-each AM units for 2-meters plus a Heath VHF-1 Seneca and converters into my Heath RX-1 Mohawk. The "transceivers" are a Heath HW-30 "Twoer", a Gonset Communicator I, and a Gonset Communicator III. I also have a National VFO for 6-meters / 2-meters so I don't have to be "stuck on" a couple of crystal controlled transmitting frequencies.

    Glen, K9STH
  7. K1TGX

    K1TGX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    lol, the old days :) I remember when. . .
    in the early 60's I operated a Johnson 6N2 modulated from a Ranger (both picked up from a yard sale of some sort) into an 11 element Cushcraft at 65'. I used a nuvistor (sp?) converter in front of my HQ170. I had a blast. I could work pretty much 250 miles out. Everything was great until the tvi complaints stared rolling in. Then things weren't so great and i went back to cw.
  8. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Here is a rather dated list of Nets from the old AM-Window site, for searching:

    And, over on the AMWindow NET page, we have these listings:
    144.260 ROAM* Wednesday 8:00 PM ET Midwest Ludington, MI
    * Royal Order of Ancient Modulators
    144.28 2 Meter NY City-Long Island Net Daily 7:30 PM ET Northeast Except Sunday
    144.4 Northwest AM Net Tuesday, Thursday 8:00 PM PT Northwest
    144.425 New England 2 Meter AM Net Daily 7:30 PM ET Northeast
    144.450 Buffalo NY AM Group Sunday 8:00 PM ET Northeast
    144.450 Phoenix VHF AM Net Tuesday 7:30 PM MT Southwest
    145.65 St. Clair County Illinois Radio Club 2 Meter AM Net Tuesday 7:30 PM CT Midwest Belleville IL about 15 miles east of St. Louis Mo.
    145.8 The East of Scotland AM Group Saturday 7 PM Local Scotland Edinburg, Scotland area. Also random times during the week.
  9. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Electric Radio Magazine of December 2018 lists only one 2m net, but many 6m AM nets:

    Arizona-Tuesdays, 1930 MST, 144.45 Mhz, AM
  10. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

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