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total newbie question 2m & 70cm

Discussion in 'Becoming an Amateur Radio Operator/Upgrading Privi' started by KB3TZJ, Feb 27, 2010.

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  1. AI3V

    AI3V Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would guess that you will be frustrated, and disappointed in the poor performance of a HT @ 15 miles.

    My guess is based on more than a quarter century of repairing VHF and above frequency equipment.


  2. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    10,000% agreement here...except for one minor point. The OP already HAS 40 meter privileges!

    Last edited: Mar 24, 2010
  3. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    AI3V is giving you very good advice.

    The truth is that most repeaters in the world are not very busy. At best, there will be activity around commute times, the weekly net, and sporadic club events. If you have an HT that can hit 2 repeaters, that's two chances to find somebody, but the odds are not great.

    A good 50 watt or better rig and a good antenna will give you much greater range. Your HT can hit 2 repeaters (or three where I live) but a nice home station can hit repeaters in a 50-70 mile radius with ease, and here in this part of Minnesota, that's more than 100 repeaters! At least one of them is usually busy at any given time.

    Our license structure evolved because at the time, VHF/UHF repeaters were everywhere and were very active. Today, that activity has dropped off drastically. Here locally, we have a few folks who are just delighted with being on the local repeaters, but 99% of the local hams have found other aspects of the hobby to keep them active.

    In our county, we require a 50 watt mobile rig to do SKYWARN, because it's not possible to work the repeaters here reliably with an HT from all over the county, even with an outside antenna. In fact, in heavy rain, 50 watts can be a challenge.

    My typical advice is to use the Technician as a stepping stone to General Class, and aim for HF privileges. If you want to use your Tech HF privileges, that's great - many do. But look at 2 meter FM as a 'side dish', not the whole meal. Having only an HT is like going to dinner, eating the parsley, and skipping the big juicy steak. In the evening, and most weekends, you'd be better off with a rig that could just listen on HF than a 2 meter HT.

    Your Tech license carries so many more privileges than just 2 meter FM. With 200 watts of CW, you could be literally working the world on HF right now. Summer Eskip season is approaching, which will bring sporadic long distance openings on 6 and 10 meters - primarily SSB. You could be working satellites using FM, SSB, or APRS. You could be working over a range of a couple hundred miles on SSB on 6, 2. or higher, and much further when conditions permit.

    So, my advice is to give yourself as many options as you can. An HT greatly reduces your options unless you live in a place like LA or Silicon Valley, with dozens of repeaters up on mountains that can hear an HT from a long way off. Even there, I think you'll find a lot of people who wish they hadn't started with an HT. There are too many people who buy an HT, and within a couple weeks, the radio is in a drawer and ham radio is forgotten.
  4. AA4HA

    AA4HA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I sent you a private message with fourteen 2 m and 440 repeaters within 15 mi of your location.

    Tisha Hayes, AA4HA
  5. N4CYA

    N4CYA QRZ MODERATOR Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    Here some repeaters that are located down ways from you.


    147.27 +

    443.4 +107.2

    444.2 +

    53.21 -

    145.25 -

    146.955 -

    KV3B Closed -Repeater (Can't Talk Unless Have Permisson)

    224.94 -

    443.9 +

    53.87 -
  6. KB3TZK

    KB3TZK Ham Member QRZ Page

    KV3B is not closed. That's the main repeater I use. On this page you can see that the MARC club says:

    BTW, I thought KB3TZJ is rather far to hit repeaters in Germantown and neighboring areas.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2010
  7. N4CYA

    N4CYA QRZ MODERATOR Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    Okay nevermind then. It showed 146.955 being a closed auto patch on website. As far as the distance from him to Germantown I understand that hes a little father away.
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