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Dipping into the 2m/70cm waters...an idea.

Discussion in 'VHF/UHF - 50Mhz and Beyond' started by 2E0OZI, Sep 24, 2014.

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  1. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Way back in the late 70s, I had a 10W 2m FM rig and lived in hilly Seattle, WA. I would sometimes drive to the top of Magnolia Bluff, a prominent hill in Seattle. I had a simple 5/8 wavelength antenna mounted to the rear quarter (the car, not me). If I parked on the North slope, I could bring up the 146.94 repeater in Vancouver, BC (about 140 miles distant). If I parked on the South slope, I could bring up the 146.94 repeater in Portland, OR (about 170 miles distant). :cool:

    At home, the antenna clipped onto our aluminum (aluminium) rain gutter pretty-well sucked. My home location was nearly surrounded by hills, and I didn't get out well at all. I built a 6-el yagi and mounted it to the gable end of the house's second story. With that, I was able to hit many more repeaters with much stronger and quieter signals, including a repeater nearly 100 miles away at Mission Ridge, on the opposite side of the Cascade Mountain range. :cool:

    Later, a friend & I were skiing at Mission Ridge (6700 ft ASL), which faces the high plateau of Eastern WA. For kicks, while we were riding the chair lift at treetop height, he pulled out his 1W 2m HT (w/ stubby duck antenna) and started looking for a QSO. He found someone on a repeater. The fellow said it was located in Davenport, WA... around 140 miles distant. :cool:

    IOW, gain, height and/or altitude is good. All three is great! :cool:

    vy 73,
    Bryan WA7PRC
     
  2. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've brought my 2m hand held to the cornice at Mammoth Mountain ski area four or five times.

    It's over 11K feet and usually cold and windy, and it's a big PITA to take off the ski gloves to fetch the HT from my inside pocket and use it. So, I haven't done it that much.

    But from there on 2m simplex (146.52) I worked into Elko, Nevada -- which is really pretty far, I think over 150 miles -- with just 4-5W and the "rubber duckie" antenna. Worked repeaters in Sacramento also, which is also pretty far, but those were repeaters probably on big towers.

    Height makes might on VHF for sure.
     
  3. 2E0OZI

    2E0OZI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well I got the radio today and it looks OK, but I only got it 5 minutes before I had to set out, so its uncharged etc.....Had a great walk up Great Mis Tor past the old (2000 years +) remains of settlements and up onto the tor. IMG_1494.JPG
     
  4. AA9G

    AA9G Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Scott, you have discovered an aspect of the hobby that can be very addicting. You may soon find yourself planning bike trips into the Highlands with portable Yagi's.
     
  5. 2E0OZI

    2E0OZI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Maybe maybe, though the radio I have only does FM. Nice looking unit with a good heft to it though. TBH all the UHF/VHF stuff is 100% new to me....I'd like to build a "dipole on a stick" and though I can certainly follow formulas and make antennas for HF, I dont have a VHF/UHF SWR meter for instance.....
     
  6. 2E0OZI

    2E0OZI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well it can receive OK, but damned if I can work out how to enter the transmit frequency for the local repeater into it! As its dual band, it displays one on the top and one on the bottom - top 2m and bottom 70cm. I have the manual but its not making huge sense in some ways, but is clear enough in others!
     
  7. 2E0OZI

    2E0OZI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Have had my first VHF QSO. :cool:
     
  8. K6CLS

    K6CLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yeah these things work better with altitude. I got a 240km qso (440 MHz) with 5w + rubber ducks from atop Sonora Peak (11400'?) to Foster City, CA. What a beautiful day up there. Aprs Tracked perfectly too. Blue skies. Memories.
     
  9. KF7VXA

    KF7VXA Ham Member QRZ Page

    You may want to pick up one of the 12V sealed batteries that has somewhere around 12 ah capacity. About $40.00 give or take
    This can then put plugged into most WT's with a car adapter, or straight in if the input charging port takes 12V. Otherwise a cigarette lighter adapter to the correct 12V adapter for your radio will keep you on the air for a good amount of time.
    They fit in a butt pack and weigh very little. Just remember to charge it b-4 leaving home. A small digital volt meter can be had off of E Bay for cheap to keep tabs on the battery voltage or just check the voltage read out on the radio if your radio has that as a menu option.
    Using one of these batteries will keep you on the air for a decent amount of time.
    If you don't want to pack the beam, a twin lead wire J pole 2m/70CM antenna, some rope and a coil of coax, pulling the antenna into a tree makes for much better distance than the stock antenna and weighs little.
    It's amazing just how far you can make reliable contacts if your up high enough.

    Have Fun, John
     
  10. 2E0OZI

    2E0OZI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Looks like Saturday will be my first walk to a summit / hill with the radio. Could be fun. Next thing is to get the better antenna to carry with me.
     
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