Author Topic: I made a simplex QSO on 146.520 this morning  (Read 3204 times)

Offline Smurf Hunter

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I made a simplex QSO on 146.520 this morning
« on: February 17, 2017, 10:12:17 AM »
During my routine 10 minute morning drive to the transit center, I had my FT-7900 on scan mode.  I have it scan about 2 dozen regional repeaters, FRS/GMRS, some public safety, and the 2 meter and 70 cm calling frequencies.

This was not any technical achievement in the least, but I answered the call from an retired gentleman about 5 miles north of me.  He had a home brew J-Pole similar to a the innards of the "Big Stick" about 30 feet high.  What was interesting is we had a similar exchange as if we were on HF.  He initiated it all, giving his first name in phonetics, a signal report, etc.  I played along, at first to be polite, but the man was really pleasant and polished, so I rather enjoyed it.

I think that might only be the 2nd or 3rd time I've ever talked to another ham on the calling frequency (simplex). 

Reading this back to myself, it seems rather silly to post, but it left me feeling good, so I'm keeping it :)

Offline Carl

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Re: I made a simplex QSO on 146.520 this morning
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2017, 10:33:41 AM »
It is the national calling frequency and I applaud those who monitor it as I do from home now and used to while traveling all of the time.The advantage is you often,due to one or both traveling stations,have little time to share and so the conversation leans towards quality and rarely has time to grow stale.
This use of simplex also gives one a much more realistic idea of radio capability in the 'worst' of conditions.

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Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: I made a simplex QSO on 146.520 this morning
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2017, 10:38:50 AM »
Good deal.  I think I have only gotten about 6 QSOs on National Simplex calling despite 18 plus hours driving.  It gives me hope and reminds me to monitor whenever I can.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: I made a simplex QSO on 146.520 this morning
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2017, 10:41:14 AM »
Thanks Carl.

Another interesting thing I've learned is from monitoring FRS and GMRS (radio won't allow TX), is how quickly those signals fade away while I'm mobile. 
I might hear some kids playing with FRS radios and it's barely audible after a mile ot two while I'm driving past.

I know those "blister pack" FRS radios from Wal-Mart are popular with some in the prepper crowd, but their range is severely limited in practice.

Offline Carl

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Re: I made a simplex QSO on 146.520 this morning
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2017, 10:47:38 AM »
Thanks Carl.

Another interesting thing I've learned is from monitoring FRS and GMRS (radio won't allow TX), is how quickly those signals fade away while I'm mobile. 
I might hear some kids playing with FRS radios and it's barely audible after a mile ot two while I'm driving past.

I know those "blister pack" FRS radios from Wal-Mart are popular with some in the prepper crowd, but their range is severely limited in practice.

Even with a 50 watt mobile Ham radio in each auto...you only get 7 to 10 miles on flat ground so you must share quality time.

Offline blacktalon606

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Re: I made a simplex QSO on 146.520 this morning
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2017, 02:58:14 PM »
I have often thought about making myself an aluminum rod yagi and housing it in some sort of dome on the roof of my car so you could get better simplex range. As I have said before I have made simplex contacts at 30 miles with only a watt or two when employing my tape measure yagi. Granted that was in good conditions, but omnidirectional antennas really just such in every direction.

Offline Carl

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Re: I made a simplex QSO on 146.520 this morning
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2017, 05:13:16 PM »
I have often thought about making myself an aluminum rod yagi and housing it in some sort of dome on the roof of my car so you could get better simplex range. As I have said before I have made simplex contacts at 30 miles with only a watt or two when employing my tape measure yagi. Granted that was in good conditions, but omnidirectional antennas really just such in every direction.

While antenna gain and power do help a bit...not nearly so much as height above average terrain. 1000 feet up a ridge or mountain and even a 5 watt handy will be heard 50 miles or a bit more. Location,Location,Location says it all for radio and the skills one learns by hands on use.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: I made a simplex QSO on 146.520 this morning
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2017, 06:51:51 PM »
I'll occasionally catch a simplex QSO, but they're pretty rare.  Sometimes a few neighborhood friends and I will quit hogging the main repeater and just go simplex on 5w.  A couple of times, I've responded to people calling CQ while passing through up on I-10.  Once it was a guy with an HT traveling on a Greyhound bus!

I know those "blister pack" FRS radios from Wal-Mart are popular with some in the prepper crowd, but their range is severely limited in practice.
This can be an advantage, depending on what you're doing.  No need to alert the entire city when all you need is a 1/4-mile reach.  Also, they're so simple to use that even my brother can't mess things up.  ;D