2m Transmitting from Apartment

Discussion in 'VHF/UHF - 50Mhz and Beyond' started by KJ7ODR, Jun 7, 2020.

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  1. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Aside from other "hints," ask another station to monitor the repeater INPUT frequency, to see if you are having audio modulation problems, or just insufficient signal strength into the repeater. If you truly have an audio problem, standing right under the repeater won't help.

    P.S. Listening on the repeater OUTPUT really doesn't help, because that IS the repeater output, not your signal as it is received by the repeater.
    P.P.S. Some hams report ("gently, carefully!") enlarging the hole for the mic a bit increases the audio pick up; you do so at your own risk, however.
  2. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    If it's a signal strength problem, there are plans on the internet for simple SO-239 ground plane antennas, and J-poles. Put them in front of a window.

    Another possibility is a mag mount mobile antenna on top of a steel baking tray, or a thin steel bar or sheet approximately 39" long.
    AJ5J likes this.
  3. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Before trying another antenna (which may well lead to further frustration) he should get a signal report from another station monitoring the repeater INPUT. If he has poor or inadequate audio, but a strong RF signal INTO the repeater, the best antenna in the world won't help one iota.
  4. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I agree. Which is why I said, "If it's a signal strength problem..."
  5. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes you can't transmit to the repeater on one Handheld and listen to it on another one at the same time.
    A better test is using a "simplex" freq like 146.520 and talk to someone nearby . Sounds like the repeater is "wideband" deviation and your radio is set to "narrowband" deeviation or you have a bad microphone.
    WA4SIX likes this.
  6. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wasn't meant to be personal. Just that, BEFORE changing antennas (antennae?) he should determine the cause of the problem, and THEN seek a proper solution. A better antenna won't improve a bad microphone or audio system in a radio, any better than a better microphone will help a poor antenna or weak signal INTO a repeater (or repeaters.)
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2020
  7. WG7X

    WG7X Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    This is a very common problem with HT's, usually due to low received signal at the repeater.

    To the OP: Look at it this way. The repeaters are usually up high, running a good amount of RF power into a gain antenna. You, on the other hand are using a "five watt" HT into an antenna that can only be described as a rubber dummy load. I put the five watt level in quotes because most HT's rated at that level rarely deliver that amount of power out on battery power and only generate the rated power when on an outside the radio DC power source.

    So then, you can hear the repeater because of it's superior signal levels to you, but unfortunately, this is not reciprocal.

    Again, many good responses before me, but it can be said many times and still be true: it's all about antenna, antenna, antenna. Location is also important, but secondary, and output power is usually not that important, only the amount of RF that is actually radiated.

    Next on the agenda: if you do get a better antenna, you might run into another common HT problem: receiver overload. HT's by design, have a fairly sensitive receivers to try to overcome the poor rubber duck antenna. When an HT is connected to a "real antenna" the receiver can be overloaded by the repeater signals, and other near by transmitters like pagers (remember them?) business band transmitters, local Fire Dept and Police transmitters etc, etc... Isn't this a fun hobby?

    The solution is usually this: Get or make a better antenna. Then get a a radio designed for Amateur mobile service. There are many of them out there. You will need an external DC source for that, but the difference will be night & day. It's a bit more expensive than the HT alone but well worth the effort. If you have an outside antenna, maybe on your balcony, combined with a mobile radio / power supply, you will be amazed at the difference it makes!

    Just a suggestion and you are free to ignore it. I use a small outside antenna and mobile radio / power supply here and have done it for years. It works very well and no drop-outs into the local repeater, even at the lowest power levels: five watts or less! At the lower power levels, even a fairly small DC power supply will do OK. Go visit HRO and look around. I have not been there in a while since they moved to their "new" location. I get to Portland from time to time, but only for work. I probably should go down and see their shop now!

    Anyway, welcome to the service / hobby! if your ever up to the Tacoma area, check in on the local club repeater (W7DK 147.280 + and 103.5 PL tone) an we'll say hello!
  8. ND5Y

    ND5Y Ham Member QRZ Page

    Big mistake.
    Don't blindly rely on online repeater databases unless you can independently verify that the data is correct.
    Accuracy varies in different areas because of different sources of the data. In some places they are nearly useless.
  9. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    You seem to be missing the whole point. If he is truly experiencing an audio problem, resulting in little or no audio on his signal, the best antenna in the world will NOT help one iota, even if he points a five element beam at the repeater antenna from 5 feet away. A better antenna ONLY helps if he has a poor signal INTO the repeater. THAT is not something you can diagnose by listening to the repeater output. It can ONLY be diagnosed by someone else monitoring his signal INTO the repeater on the INPUT frequency. IF he has a strong signal INTO the repeater, as reported by someone else, then he has a problem with his radio and/or microphone. Until then, it is not known if a better antenna will help.
  10. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yeah, could easily be that.

    Some ops are used to other services where they can sit back from the microphone (usually a terrible idea) and still modulate okay.

    A lot of hand helds aren't set up that way and some have no way to change the mike gain; so you really need to "close talk" to be heard.

    And of course, if the TX is set to NB, you'll always sound "very soft" into most repeaters that are set up for standard 5 kHz deviation.

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