Re: How can we increase activity on 2 meters?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by WB2WIK, Nov 12, 2001.

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  1. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    WF0H: I have noted the same thing, at least here in the well-populated Los Angeles area. Activity is much less than it was 15 years ago -- it's possible to monitor a well-sited repeater for 8 hours and hear absolutely nobody.

    I attribute this to a decline in the "gee whiz" appeal of FM operation. It was really cool in 1965 to be on two meter FM. Everybody was using converted commercial ("taxi cab") rigs, crystal control, dynamotors and vibrators, etc -- it was interesting and highly experimental.

    Then, U.S. and Japanese companies created miniature mobile rigs and handie-talkies emulating CB-style equipment for the VHF-FM amateur bands and these all just took off, selling by the thousands. Everyone now was on 2m FM, and were spreading to 220 MHz, 440 MHz, 52 MHz. Rigs were small, cute and cheap and most active hams owned two or three. I think, by 1977 or so, I owned maybe ten VHF-FM transceivers of some sort. Repeaters were cropping up all over, including one I built and put on the air in 1977, which has been in continuous operation ever since...good grief, 24 years now, on 146.805 MHz. When I moved from NJ to CA in 1988, I built and put up another one, WB2WIK/R, which has been in continuous operation for 13 years on 145.280 MHz.

    I think total saturation occurred probably by 1990 or so, and activity has been on the decline since. Not surprising, VHF-FM isn't the shiny new penny it once was. There's nothing experimental about it, there's no mystique, it's just a higher frequency, noise-cancelling CB mode and I too, after 36 years of operating 2m FM, am totally tired of it. VHF-FM on my list of important stuff to do in amateur radio has fallen to about position #99, maybe a tad lower.

    Which is probably why I operate HF mobile, now, both SSB and CW. There's always somebody to talk to...

    73 de Steve WB2WIK/6

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