Discussion in 'VHF/UHF - 50Mhz and Beyond' started by K2SOG, Dec 24, 2019.
146.52 Dead where I am
I was on a trip with family over the weekend. As is my custom, I put out a few calls on 146.52 from the hotel room. It's super unusual to get anything, but this time someone answered! Had a great QSO, talked for a little bit.
While I'm working, I'll usually leave a radio scanning in the background. I've had a few times where 146.52 yielded fruit. One recently was a new licensee who just got his first HT.
I think it's important to make it possible to catch these moments. Maybe more people need to include the calling frequencies in their scan lists.
Yesterday evening I went to my county highpoint ( ~300’ above average terrain) a 15 minute drive from my QTH with my HT and upgraded signal stick antenna. I called CQ and.......I got a reply! Had a great QSO with a ham (~10 miles away) just as shocked as me about activity on 146.52! I’ve called on 146.52 a couple dozen times in the last 6 months with HT from my lower QTH and have never had a reply. Height is might in VHF.
**I’ve done 80+ SOTA activations from high spots VHF FM and 96% of the time I can make the 4 QSOs for SOTA points. I have been using a FT60R, Rollup Jpole and Handheld Arrow Yagi. I am adding 2m SSB and 6m to my toolkit for 4 QSOs. Driving 6-7 hours round trip to activate a mountain and coming back without points or even a QSO makes the ride home longer!!!
Couple of years back driving between Philly and Springfield, MA... 52 was so solid I couldn't pipe in to put a call out. One of those unfortunately rare situations where people should move off the calling frequency!
But recent trips? Silence.
There are a couple of folk in the Worcester area who regularly monitor 52.
And I recall a nice chat with the HAT passing through New York on the way to Ohio.
Not much activity here in rural Vermont, but four of us were on the frequency last night for a brief chat.
We are finding that 2m FM simplex works surprisingly well even with all the hills and mountains blocking things.
Of course, under these circumstances, you need a beam, not a simple vertical.
We have lots of activity here in Los Angeles. I used to listen to it a lot and there were numerous guys with base stations around here that I knew. Lately, I've stopped listening because SOTA operators get on there and for hours on end its just calls for contacts. Not blaming them at all but it seems like there should be a frequency designated for this since it basically shuts the frequency down.
IMHO .52 is the correct frequency for this, as the simplex _calling_ frequency.
However if this use is crowding out other users then perhaps the Summits on the Air organization should remind their participants about how to _share_ limited resources.
.52 is very regional. In some locations there are so few users that it is entirely appropriate to have long rag-chews on the frequency. In other areas you should establish contact and then change!
I get it, but we used to call on 520 and maybe have a short two minute conversation and then sign so others could use it. If we wanted to keep talking we'd move off to 535, 540, etc. Now, pretty much every weekend it just gets jammed up and no one can use it for anything other than answering SOTA calls. I'm not against SOTA at all, but there needs to be some organization. I'm not going to listen to a frequency when the only thing I'm going to hear is someone calling CQ for hours on end. Maybe 14.520 for calling, 146.535 for SOTA, 146.595 for digital simplex..etc. Have you ever experienced the joy of hearing DMR simplex on 520? I think there's enough simplex frequencies that we can spread things out a bit.
a calling frequency is for calling on ( whether that is 146.520 for the USAmerican readers or 145.500 for the European (including British) readers.
as for people calling CQ SOTA - if you haven;t answered them then you have no right to complain
what i have heard in the UK is especially on weekend day times is that people will call CQ on 145.500 and then tell people where they plan to QSY to so more than just the first person to answer knows where they are going although if you have no pile up then you are going to return to the calling frequency after 10 - 15 minutes and put out another call
licenced listeners are part of the problem not part of the solution
even with a co-linear vertical and limited power I don't struggle to get realistic visible horizon + a bit distance on FM simplex - but height is might and in a few cases a beam would have helped