Discussion in 'VHF/UHF - 50Mhz and Beyond' started by W4WVW, Sep 9, 2020.

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  1. VA7LBA

    VA7LBA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Simplex is pretty dead near my QTH unless there is a rare simplex based QSO contest. There are many 2m FM repeaters and 70cm UHF/DMR repeaters near me. Most of the 2m traffic is busiest around the local nets in the mornings and evenings but a few are hubs for local ragchewing. There are local nets going almost every day of the week on their respective repeaters or times. Most of the many DMR repeaters near me are as busy as the TG's I choose to connect with and which repeater doesn't really matter as they all link into the same places. When I am mobile, I'll monitor traffic on the repeaters but also simplex but I rarely hear anything on simplex unless it's the same guys I'm hearing on the repeater.
  2. G0KDT

    G0KDT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Reading this thread the replies seems to divert to SOTA activity or repeaters a bit.

    2m and 70cms are a welcome change from HF that have and still do facilitate some nice local nets in our area.

    This last 9 months has been really interesting with some great propagation windows that have given some very long distance qsos some from just a 10w tyt handie with a 6 inch antenna.

    If had a critical view for the lower activity on these bands it would relate to:

    1. Introduction of ctcss meaning that its not as easy to scan find and use a repeater like you once used to with a simple 1750 tone burst access.

    2. The multiple incompatible digital fm formats that make standard fm scanning seem a 'fart fest' when your radio have or doesn't decode for whichever digital signal is blowing the raspberry at you.

    On a more positive note though the antennas are smaller and easier to sort out than some HF antennas and these bands can be fun and more so with more than the FM mode the question is about.
  3. KO4IPV

    KO4IPV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am extremely new to the ham hobby please explain to me what SOTA stands for
  4. W7UUU

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

    "Summits on the Air" - it's a very popular radio practice where hams "activate" officially recognized "summits" (mountains, ridges, hills, etc.) and try to work other stations. Here in WA we have a zillion summits so SOTA is VERY popular in this state.

    You can read about it here: https://www.sota.org.uk/

  5. KO4IPV

    KO4IPV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you very much
  6. KE8OKM

    KE8OKM Ham Member QRZ Page

    SOTA is a great way to get exercise and experiment with radio propagation! For example, I am currently working in N. New Jersey and have several high spots within a half hour of my hotel. The past two evenings I hiked up and called simplex CQ 1000’ above the NYC area. With my HT, Arrow Yagi, Rollup Jpole and some local helpful hams I was able to put 20 QSOs in my logs!

    I think the locals had fun trying to contact me. It is fun to see how far VHF 5w can travel. I often have a ham comment “say watts again?” 100-150 miles is easy from the right spot with the signals booming through!
    KJ7OTM likes this.
  7. VE3CGA

    VE3CGA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    its a good repeater group there. I checked in almost every morning to one of the island nets when I was visiting my son & family. Impressive coverage and mostly interesting folks too.
    I havent heard anything around here on simplex for a few years. About a dozen repeaters close by but other than a couple of humdrum nets, pretty dead. Ended up taking the rig out of the car, 2M quad and 30' mast down... moved on & went to satellites
  8. N0IOP

    N0IOP Ham Member QRZ Page

    1) Many if not most repeaters are used for nets. Find out when they are. Join in. Talk to people, tell them you've been monitoring and ask when the repeater is usually busy.

    2) Announce that you are monitoring more often. I wouldn't think that every half an hour or so would be seen as rude if there isn't a reply during that time. People sometimes listen in their cars without announcing their presence.

    3) Get signal reports and be sure that you don't have some solvable problem that is making you hard to hear, e.g. mic gain set wrong or you're in a marginal area of coverage with your present antenna setup.

    I don't think antennas are your problem but depending on the construction of your townhouse, siting, windows, etc. you may be able to set up a yagi inside near the roof and get better signal.
  9. W4ZNG

    W4ZNG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Bob K0NR analyzes SOTA traffic in this recent post at his blog: https://www.k0nr.com/wordpress/2021/03/looking-at-vhf-uhf-sota-data/

    The bottom line there is that 98.7% of VHF-and-up SOTA traffic is on 2m and 70cm. Now, this does not exactly say that hams aren't using the numerous other VHF/UHF and higher bands, and furthermore, SOTA usage may or may not be a fair proxy for general usage (but I suspect that it mostly is). This does however make a pretty good case that in traffic-thin areas such as my QTH in north FL, investing in equipment for anything outside of 2m and 70cm will likely be unproductive. You fish where the fish probably are.

    In a way, this is comforting news. "There is nothing wrong with your set, please do not adjust." The few other hams in the area concentrate on HF and rarely venture higher. I keep monitoring 146.52, 446, the several repeaters that are just out of range (I can hit them on good days), and a handful of other frequencies. I also try to make a few CQ-calls every day. Eh, if I get a hit it'll be cool. In the meantime I can sympathize with the SETI radio astronomers contemplating the Drake equation and the Great Silence. Mostly, the radio sits and scans while I do other work in my home office; it's become part of the background.

    ps: Hitting the SARNET-FL statewide linked repeater system is cool and all, and I do occasionally. It's a great resource. Just not the same as having a local rag chew.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2021
  10. WA1YHO

    WA1YHO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I recently started monitoring, and occasionally announcing my presence, on 146.52 when I am in the shack. I have been pleasantly surprised by the number of random QSO's I have had. Especially with the number of mobile stations. And a number of SOTA contacts, which is not surprising considering how many mountains there are around here.

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