They can hear me, I can't hear them

Discussion in 'On-Air Operations - Q&A' started by KI7IUH, Apr 21, 2017.

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  1. KI7IUH

    KI7IUH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was field testing my new antenna and made a contact with a guy about 10 miles south of me through a repeater that was about 3 miles north of me. When we switched off the repeater he could hear me loud and clear but I couldn't hear him at all.
    He was using a rubber duck antenna so at first I thought that it was just his transmit being limited by the antenna. A day or two later I realized that if he could transmit to the repeater then he should be able to transmit to me.
    I'm pretty novice and was hoping that someone could steer me in the right direction to solve the problem.

  2. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    Need to tell us what antenna and how much power you are running.

    Also, what is the height of the repeater antenna?
  3. KD8DEY

    KD8DEY Ham Member QRZ Page

    After you turned off the repeater were you using simplex or still using duplex
    AG6QR and N0TZU like this.
  4. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The path from his location to the repeater may be more favorable than the path to you, depending on terrain, buildings, height above ground, etc.. So you may be correct that his antenna isn't very efficient on transmit. If that isn't it, then perhaps your receiver sensitivity is reduced, either because it's not very good to begin with, or because some nearby strong signal is desensing it.
  5. K8ERV

    K8ERV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think DEY has the answer, you may still be listening to the repeater's output freq.

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
  6. W0IS

    W0IS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Without hearing more, that was my first reaction, particularly if you are using something like a Baofeng with an external antenna.

    My Baofeng works very well with the included cheap antenna. But when hooked to an external antenna, it becomes much less useful.

    My 5 watt transmitter is getting out about as well as any other 5 watt transmitter. There's not a lot that can go wrong, and people do indeed hear me.

    However, for the receiver, it's a very different story. The receiver receives over an incredibly wide range of frequencies, and there are many signals on those frequencies. So the receiver is presented with hundreds of strong signals, along with the one relatively weak signal on 146 MHz that I want to listen to. Those other signals completely drown out what I want to hear. So I hear absolutely nothing, even though my signal sounds great on the other end.

    It's not surprising that he has a good signal to the repeater 13 miles away, but not to you 10 miles away, because the repeater probably has a higher antenna. But that's probably not what's going on here, because he can hear you. So my first guess would be that your receiver is just getting overloaded by whatever other VHF signals happen to be in your area.

    In short, the Baofeng is a great radio when used with the included cheap antenna. But it's basically useless in conjunction with a good antenna, at least in an area with lots of VHF signals.
    W1XWX likes this.
  7. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Have you discovered what the problem was?
  8. KI7IUH

    KI7IUH Ham Member QRZ Page

    The repeater is at 5580' and I'm transmitting at 8 watts with a Jpole. I was on simplex with one band and still on the repeaters output frequency.
    I've realized that the radiating element is loose but don't know when it got loose or how much of a difference it would have made.
    Unfortunately I've started the new semester and can't field test again until course work slows down.
    When I do have time to field test again, what do you recommend I do to get better reception?

  9. W0IS

    W0IS Ham Member QRZ Page

    What kind of radio is it? If it's something like a Baofeng, then I strongly suspect that the receiver is desensing. It's just overwhelmed by all of the RF that it picks up when hooked to a reasonably good outdoor antenna. The receiver in mine becomes essentially useless when hooked to a vertical dipole up about 20 feet.

    There's nothing wrong with your antenna. The problem is that the antenna is too good.

    If you are using a Yaesu/Kenwood/Icom, then this is probably not the problem. It's not that they are inherently that much better. But since they are designed to receive in the ham band, then they're probably not quite as bothered by all of the other VHF stuff they're picking up.
  10. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I still suspect cockpit error (listening on the wrong frequency, even though the op thought it was set correctly).

    Best not to use repeater output frequencies, at all. If you want to try simplex, both stations should switch to a real simplex frequency like 146.52.
    AG6QR, VE7JBX and WB5YUZ like this.

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