here is a cross country question ... (USA)

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by KJ6FDO, May 28, 2015.

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  1. KJ6FDO

    KJ6FDO Ham Member QRZ Page

    planning a road trip going from west coast to east coast.

    is there a channel designated as an emergency channel
    or a channel used for contacting others ..

    something like channel 19 on the CB, but in the ham world ??

    thanks :)
  2. AA9G

    AA9G Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well now that depends on what frequency you use. For two meters I would try the national simplex call freq of 146.52 BUT you also want to carry or have in your phone a national repeater book. On HF I would go with the national maritime mobile net on 14.300. They won't care that you're not at sea. If you have a true emergency and a CB many state highway patrols (and other civic minded individuals) monitor Ch 9.
  3. KJ6FDO

    KJ6FDO Ham Member QRZ Page

    sorry I should have said, my radio will be a yeasu 8900, running 2 meter most of the time, planning on
    carrying a CB also, will be traveling hwy 40,

    sorry :)
  4. KO6WB

    KO6WB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    There are licensed truckers that have and use 2 meters and they can be helpful. The bad news is, the overwhelming majority will be using CB.
    They know which channels, in that service, will get you the best results. Usually you'll find them on channel 19 with a few variations as you come into some areas. Channel 9 used to be monitored for emergency use but it's doubtful you'll find anyone doing that. Stick to the commonly most used channels.
    They are more then helpful when you are traveling across country. Aside from a cellphone, it's most likely you'll find most communications there.
    When you come into area where communities are, then you're likely to attract someone on 146.52MHz simplex. Doesn't hurt to monitor each radio for activity.
    Unless you're really good at programming repeaters into the FT-8900 then you'll do best to keep your attention on the road and not fiddle with it. Hard to tell which repeater is going to be active in various areas as well. There are some linked to systems that cover a wide swath and you may wish to look into those. Again, you'd need to know what frequencies those are on to make that work.

    Good luck on your trip.

    Have fun
    K0UO likes this.


    As far as i think there is no channel in that area yet. But it can be established with your permission :p
  6. W9AKB

    W9AKB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Most of us truckers run dual band rigs usually monitoring 146.52 and calling on a favorite local repeater.
    Few state agencies monitor CB9. Most camp on CB19 and listen for outlaw drivers calling for 'smokey' reports.
    The confusing to newcomers area is Cali, Oregon, and Washington. East/West stay on CB19. North/South (I5, hwy 99, hwy 97) talk on CB17.
    Headed to Canada or Alaska? Throw in a US business band and program in the LADDs
    Ladd1 154.10
    Ladd2 158.94
    Ladd3 154.325
    Ladd4 173.37
  7. W9CMG

    W9CMG Guest

    Haven't heard a lot on CB for awhile. Truckers are using phone apps aimed at them.
  8. KG0YS

    KG0YS Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you can't reach anyone on 146.52, I usually just start scanning to see where there might be some activity. If you don't have a way to look up repeaters, it may take some experimentation to find the right PL tone to bring up the repeaters you find (most seem to use PL/subaudible tones now to prevent interference). Some repeaters have much larger coverage areas than others, so it can be tough to determine, just by using repeater directory resources, which ones are within range. Sometimes scanning is the best bet.

    Something you might consider for a cross-country trip is APRS. Everyone's always on the same frequency (144.39) and no matter how remote I think my location is, I almost always seem to be able to hear another station or be digipeated out. You can even use it to send e-mail. I really like the system I'm using now (a Mobilinkd TNC and APRSDroid smartphone app). It uses the GPS from the smartphone and communicates with the TNC through Bluetooth. You can sometimes message other users, and beacon texts sometimes include the voice frequency the operator is monitoring. The stations around you show up on the map on your mobile device--pretty handy.

    Have a great trip, and don't forget to listen to Ricky Skaggs' "Highway 40 Blues".
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2015
  9. W9CMG

    W9CMG Guest

    Besides Repeater Directory on your smart phone which uses the location feature to tell what repeaters are close, there is the ARRL's TravelPlus Mobile GPS for a Garmin Nuvi. It will tell what direction, how far and the tone of repeaters near you.
    If you do APRS, set your radio up for Voice Alert. You may be able to make some contacts.
  10. KK4YDR

    KK4YDR XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    CB is the absolute best method of on the road emergency calling. Truckers everywhere are listening, channel 9 is still somewhat monitored, and there is usually always a trucker with a massive and properly installed big Predator antenna contraption hooked to his rig and can receive you from long distances. Most truckers are really nice people and inside the shell of crude hard road grime and bad language are nice guys that will help when you need it.

    As far as 2m goes i'd just lock in the national calling frequency and use that. As far as HF goes again, CB 9/19, or 7.200 or 14.300 or 28.400 are good bets. I can always reach people on 40meters day or night so I typically monitor CB 19 and 7.175-7.299 while driving.

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