146.520 on the road

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by N3TDV, Sep 5, 2019.

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  1. W7UUU

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

    Agreed. Again, just make sure no PL tone is set for 146.52

    There was a thread a year or so ago advocating using PL tones on 52 simplex.... NOT a good idea. At all.

    AI7PM and K3XR like this.
  2. W7EDC

    W7EDC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    ...and make sure you call out and not just listen. "Wow 2 meter propagation was TERRIBLE on my trip!!! I didn't hear a thing!!"
    KO4DNI likes this.
  3. AF7TS

    AF7TS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am going to respectfully disagree on the 'no PL on 0.52', however I absolutely agree that it would need to be carefully implemented.

    In particular, if the PL implementation causes people to miss signals that they would otherwise hear, then it is not a good implementation. I absolutely agree that using tone squelch alone on .52 is a very bad idea.

    If you are monitoring a frequency, you have several options. You can simply monitor that frequency with no squelch at all, you can use carrier squelch, or you can use tone squelch.

    As a personal preference, I find listening to static to be extremely tiresome, especially when there are hints of signal that I can maybe sorta think might be a signal rather than noise. If you personally like monitoring a frequency without squelch, then you are a better monitor than I.

    If you use squelch, then there is the question of what the squelch level should be. The lower the level, the more likely that noise will 'open squelch', so there is a trade-off: if you want to listen for weak signals, you will have to deal with noise opening squelch. Again, from a comfort perspective I tend to set my squelch level relatively high.

    Tone squelch has the potential of being more reliable, meaning that because of the well defined signal present an automated system can more reliably distinguish between signal and noise. Thus tone squelch has the potential of allowing a lower squelch setting without 'false squelch opening'.

    IMHO the ideal setup would permit independent adjustment of carrier and tone squelch for a given frequency; opening squelch if the carrier is above threshold A _or_ the carrier with PL tone is above (lower) threshold B. I do not know if this is available in any commercial hardware, it certainly would be pretty simple to implement in SDR.

    I thus advocate the following use of tone on .52:

    1) set your radio to send a tone of 100 Hz when transmitting on .52

    2) set your radio to use carrier squelch at your preferred level when monitoring .52 In particular do _not_ use tone squelch alone on this frequency.

    3) prior to calling on .52 manually open squelch to listen for weaker signals on .52

    4) if enough people send tone on .52 then request manufacturers add the 'dual squelch' feature described above. In this case the carrier squelch level would remain unchanged, but a separate tone squelch would be set to detect weaker signals that happened to have the tone signature.

    The goal of the above approach is to increase the likelihood that someone monitoring .52 would hear a signal being transmitted, by permitting more sensitive squelch techniques to be used _when applicable_ without increasing the chance that a real signal would be rejected.

    Now it may be that my basic premise is flawed: that tone squelch is more reliable than carrier squelch. If this is the case then my whole proposal fall apart. However I see no harm in _transmitting_ tone on .52.

  4. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Tend to agree with Dave. Maybe my technical skills are not what they should be but why the need for tone squelch? If you want to travel and have as many opportunities as possible to work stations on .52, you would want the least amount of restrictions. I know some of the newer rigs have a fixed squelch control but there are plenty rigs in use where you can adjust the squelch tighter if you only want stronger signals to break it.
  5. KE0YJJ

    KE0YJJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I know I will be dumped on for saying this....
    I treat 146.52 and 446 like channel 19 or 9 back in the old CB days.
    If you need to contact someone anyone right away you have no time to fiddle around with tones.
    Crank up the power tune to the freq and transmit. With luck there is someone on the other end listening.
    don't complicate it.
    ND6M, W7EDC and N6PAS like this.
  6. AF7TS

    AF7TS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I won't dump on you for disagreeing; my view on this topic has shifted because of these discussions. I still believe that tone has value, but feel that the implementation must be careful to avoid the flaws that have been pointed out.

    As written above, I absolutely agree. To get a signal out quickly you should't be messing with more than is necessary. As such we should not add an additional _requirement_ for calling on .52 A good practice of tone on .52 should not reduce the number of ears listening for signals without tone.

    Consider however: most likely you will be using .52 from a rig that you've previously set up. In fact I'd argue that it would be silly to discuss the emergency use of .52 on a radio that has not been set up. Any modern rig with 'memory channels' will trivially allow one to configure to transmit tone without receiver tone squelch.

    Now, on the receiving end. If people are using _carrier_ squelch or monitoring the frequency without squelch, then transmitting tone makes no difference. If someone is capable of monitoring .52 with simultaneous carrier or tone squelch, then transmitting tone makes that monitor 'more sensitive', in the sense that they are more likely to hear the signal.

    So, if properly implemented I see no additional _required_ complexity, no loss of sensitivity for signals without tone, and greater sensitivity for signals with tone.

  7. W5EKG

    W5EKG Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have I-35 that runs between Oklahoma City and Wichita, KS just directly east of me and keep a vfo on .52 all the time. In the last year, I’ve heard less than a handful contacts the times I’ve been in the shack except for locals in about a 100 or so mile radius.
  8. K3DBI

    K3DBI XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I was traveling every week for the last 3 years to and from NY from PA and made lots of .52 contacts in NY, NJ and PA. Lately I have been monitoring at home on the base and have heard a fair amount of activity.
  9. KI7OQF

    KI7OQF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Where I travel, we have plenty of repeaters, My HT with a whip does great..
    After I get my retirement vehicle, plan to stick a mobile in it with nice roof antenna.....73s yall....
  10. K0UO

    K0UO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    This week I drove about 1,500 miles from Western Kansas to Hamcation in Orlando Florida only made one contact on 52.
    I would normally called about every 15 minutes, and staying keyed down for a few seconds so scanners would lock. Running 50 watts and a rooftop 5/8 wave antenna.
    Maybe I'll make some contacts going back and I hope somebody's listening on 52 when I go to Dayton this year!

    I did make Many contacts on HF, mostly 40 meters.

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