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Anyone in Central Texas Area?

Discussion in 'On-Air Operations - Q&A' started by KI5QMP, Jul 1, 2021.

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  1. KI5QMP

    KI5QMP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hey everyone,
    I just received my call sign on Monday and have not had much luck in contacting anyone in my local area with the Baofeng UV-5R Plus & Nagoya NA-771R Antenna going to the following McLennan county (Texas) repeaters:
    • 146.66 K5AB
    • 147.36 AA5RT
    • 147.16 WA5BU
    • 147.320 W5T5G
    I'm definitely open to HT / EDC recommendations (currently eyeing the Yaesu FT-65R), does anyone have any advice for the best day / time combo to make contacts?
  2. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Is your radio PL tones set properly ? Some repeaters are just dead. Can you hear users ?

    Allstar can be used on a lot of repeaters all over Texas and the world. Echolink works well also.

    A good antenna in the air can be better than a new radio.
    KI5QMP likes this.
  3. W4HWD

    W4HWD Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    There's no best time of day to talk on a repeater - their fixed in location and frequency and getting into a local repeater is not a matter or propagation - it's a matter of proximity.

    Repeaters have an input frequency and an output frequency. When programming your radio are you putting both the input and output frequencies into the radio? Do you possibly have them in backwards?

    Repeaters sometimes require a subaudible tone for access. Do any of these machines require CTCSS tones and, if so, did you set them when you programmed your radio?

    Many repeaters have gone digital; are these repeaters plain analog or do they use a proprietary system for access i.e., WIRES or D-Star?
    KI5QMP likes this.
  4. KI5QMP

    KI5QMP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I believe that my PL tones are set properly, and can hear the station's automated Morse signals, but no other users. I used TheSmokingApe's youtube video to verify.

    I'm sure that you're right about the antenna. I tried to upgrade but at the same time, I've been looking for a more capable & durable set up for my hiking trips.
  5. KI5QMP

    KI5QMP Ham Member QRZ Page

    1). I was just curious, as it would make more sense to me that there would be more traffic off of work hours, though I didn't have any luck from 8pm - 9pm last night.

    2). All of these repeaters are using CTCSS tone-in 123.0 Hz, and I did program them into T-CTCS via Menu item 13.

    3). So this was my problem with one of the repeaters that I was trying to connect to. I switched to where the listed DSTAR vs FM, etc, and ended up deleted the DSTAR one from memory.
    W4HWD likes this.
  6. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here near Houston most repeater traffic is during rush hour when people are going to and from work.

    My wife does not like me talking on the radio after 8 PM. That is bed time for me and her. Many have my same problem. :(

    A good repeater should listen as well as it transmits, If you can hear it you should be able to get into it.

    Good Luck. Fun takes time. :) Get a friend to play radio with you.
  7. KI5QMP

    KI5QMP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yeah I had to request a special exception from bed time last night - haven't made a contact yet. I def need friends to play radio with lol

    What area of Houston are you from? I lived in Katy, became a yupi then moved to River Oaks - hated it, then moved near Waco with the wife. I think we'll end up in hill country or north of Plano.
  8. KJ5T

    KJ5T Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Welcome to the hobby!

    I haven't lived in the Waco area in over a decade so I can't entirely speak to to much other than to say there are two machines missing from your list, 145.15 and 147.18, both had a 123.0 tone back in then. Are they still around? 145.15 was HOTARC's machine at the time located on a pretty high tower near Eddy, TX (where I grew up). 147.18 was Bosque County Amateur Radio Club's machine. I will say have those machines programed and I haven't heard anything on them when driving through. I have thrown my call out on the WA5BU machine when I am in that area and haven't gotten anyone either.

    I would suggest joining HOTARC -- they are a good bunch of folks, I did field day with them a couple of times. Was reminiscing a bit and found this photo from Field Day 2006 on their site of me helping out at the GOTA station:

    KI5QMP likes this.
  9. KI5QMP

    KI5QMP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yeah I've been having no luck with those machines either, but I guess that I will try again during rush hour. I tried to email HOTARC a several weeks ago but haven't heard anything back yet. Do you know know if you can join but not be a part of ARRL or ARES?
  10. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am in Alvin. Nolan Ryan is my neighbor.

    My son lived in Waco and had zero luck hitting a repeater there.

    He built a Allstar Node, And also has a VOIP telephone that lets him dial up Radio Nodes.

    Good Luck. The Hill country would be a good choice. :)
    WB5THT and KI5QMP like this.

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