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Old 08-16-2014, 09:41 PM   #1
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Default Longest FM two meter contact - not using a linked repeater

About 3 years ago, when I started to mess around with 2 meters FM, I bought a new Yaesu FT 8900R radio, but had no antenna or coax.
In the cellar was some old coax that I had from the old CB radio days and sitting in the corner of the shack was a old Antenna Specialist droopy ground plane scanner antenna - low band VHF.

Not knowing any better, I went to the junk pile and fetched some old water pipe home, along with some old galvanized fence pipe I had in inventory and set to work making a mast long enough to get the antenna high enough to make some local contacts.

The VSWR was low enough that most of the 50 watts that the 8900R produced on two meters was being radiated.
I was proud of the fact that my Uniden 890XLT scanner, using a repurposed Winegard 8200U antenna and Channel Master CM 7777 pre amp was able to pick up simplex and repeater communications in Warren PA - 75 miles away.

Not knowing any better, I thought this was normal communications for anyone that was a ham.
I listened mostly with that set up until I was brave enough to make my first contacts. I burned up the local repeater making as many contacts as I could the first weekend I got my license. Something like 3oo contacts in one weekend on a linked repeater system..

I programmed into the Yaesu every coordinated repeater pair in central and western Pennsylvania and I was just sitting there listening and I heard a school round up on a unused repeater frequency..
It was not linked to any other repeater....
I went on QRZ.com and looked up the repeater and then the frequency and then changed the PL in the radio and squeezed the mic and the repeater kerchunked and so I threw out my call sign and a student came back to me and we talked for about 5 minutes. The school was in Tennessee.

Not to be outdone a couple of weeks later, in the late evening I heard another repeater identify and I looked up the call sign and then the PL and then I changed the PL in my radio and the operator that came back to me was in Florida. This was not a linked repeater!

From that day on - I refuse to talk on the linked repeater system unless I am in the mobile and lonely and willing to put up with the same conversation - over and over again.

Hi, I am so and so, I am on my new Bofung or Woshun walkie talkie, how do I sound, seventy threes blaah blaah blaah...

I thought that between those two meter contacts and the 6 meter band openings I have been able to find that sooner or later I would have seen my call sign in QST Magazine, but I guess that you have to be a big time operator with a huge beam antenna, a tall tower and a 1000 watt amplifier to get a reputation.
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Old 08-17-2014, 08:54 AM   #2
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Yeah you kind of need power, E skip, EME, antennas and SSB to be a big player on 2 meters. Don't think any one has won the prize yet for a Trans Atlantic contact now is your chance keep trying!
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Old 08-17-2014, 09:33 AM   #3
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Don't think any one has won the prize yet for a Trans Atlantic contact
Well, there's always EME.
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Old 08-17-2014, 05:31 PM   #4
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Well, I worked the MIR space station back in the day, and in more terrestrial terms, I worked repeaters in Chattanooga from the south side of Atlanta (more than 100 miles) and later that morning repeaters in Savanna GA from the same location.

The Chattanooga/Savanna DX was mobile with a Wilson WE800 into a 5/8 magmount mobile. Max out about 13 watts. The MIRS was using a Kenwood V7A into a Comet 5/8 fixed antenna about 25ft off the ground.
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Old 08-17-2014, 06:31 PM   #5
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Well, there's always EME.
Not allowed. It's the some thing or other cup can't remember I think there is some fair money involved too.
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Old 08-17-2014, 06:35 PM   #6
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I have done PA from Maine and some mid west states on SSB with 180 watts and an 18 element beam.
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Old 08-17-2014, 08:09 PM   #7
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I once worked a 2m repeater in Shreveport from my home in Dallas. But I had 300 watts into 14 elements at 60 feet. I actually could work that repeater most days, but refrained thereafter 'cuz I could hear that I was bringing several other repeaters up in the 200-mile space between Dallas and Shreveport, and I didn't want to make myself a pariah. That was in the early 1980s, when very few repeaters used PL tones.

Except for that, the only time I used 300 watts was on Thursday evenings when I was Net Control on Dallas's Metro Information Net. We had some Two Meter Turkeys who thought they could disrupt the net, but they couldn't talk over Net Control -- I was only 1/2 mile from the repeater -- and if necessary I could hear everyone on the input.

Another time I talked with a Cuban ham on the local 2m repeater in Tallahassee. He was in solid; tropospheric ducting, we both guessed. Many Tallahassee hams worked him. That was probably about 500 miles, but of course all I had to hit was the local repeater.
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Old 08-18-2014, 11:00 AM   #8
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In Chardon Oh, in the morning, there is a 147.390 repeater that has a trivia net. In order for me to get into their net, I had to shut off the 147.390 repeater atop Rockton Mtn - 27 miles away, since the local repeater was linked to the WAN and had profusely too much chatter to be useable.

The Chardon Repeater in Sandusky Co was exactly 120 miles away..
I was using the Diamond V2000 antenna and the Yaesu 8900R - 40 watts..

Increasing power into the input of a repeater would not allow you to talk over someone else. Yes the capture effect accepts the strongest signal and ignores all of the others.

You would have been better off to have a Fox Hunt and find the disruptive person and put a needle in their coax. Problem being that most people today only has a handheld radio....

I once heard a repeater out in Iowa from Western Pennsylvania, but it faded out before I got the whole call sign and PL.
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Old 08-18-2014, 12:42 PM   #9
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Increasing power into the input of a repeater would not allow you to talk over someone else. Yes the capture effect accepts the strongest signal and ignores all of the others.
Your two statements seem to contradict one another. In any case, I was able to talk over the turkeys, even when one of them went up into the building that housed the repeater.

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You would have been better off to have a Fox Hunt and find the disruptive person and put a needle in their coax.
Wasn't necessary, though we did that sometimes too, with Doppler rigs. These particular turkeys were hams, known to us, who objected to the use of the Dallas Repeater Association 22/82 repeater for a net when they wanted to ragchew. Very unsavory bunch; they also engaged in various obnoxious behaviors, including racist hate-speech, on 22/82 and other repeaters. One of them was the only person (that I know of) ever refused membership in Dallas Amateur Radio Club by a vote of the members.
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Old 08-30-2014, 07:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Ham View Post
In Chardon Oh, in the morning, there is a 147.390 repeater that has a trivia net. In order for me to get into their net, I had to shut off the 147.390 repeater atop Rockton Mtn - 27 miles away, since the local repeater was linked to the WAN and had profusely too much chatter to be useable.

The Chardon Repeater in Sandusky Co was exactly 120 miles away..
I was using the Diamond V2000 antenna and the Yaesu 8900R - 40 watts..

Increasing power into the input of a repeater would not allow you to talk over someone else. Yes the capture effect accepts the strongest signal and ignores all of the others.

You would have been better off to have a Fox Hunt and find the disruptive person and put a needle in their coax. Problem being that most people today only has a handheld radio....

I once heard a repeater out in Iowa from Western Pennsylvania, but it faded out before I got the whole call sign and PL.
Chardon, OH is in Geauga county.
Just sayin
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Old 09-06-2014, 07:56 PM   #11
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Chardon, OH is in Geauga county.
Just sayin
Yes it is!

I challenge someone from Chardon to talk on the 315 repeater here - which would be much easier, since they are atop Rockton Mtn - more then 1500' higher then my location.

Even better yet - talk on the 146.715 PL 173.8- here in town - without using the WAN to do it!

The 146.715 is 600' higher then my location...
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Old 12-30-2014, 07:51 PM   #12
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Early 2000s I was towing camper back from the Irish Hills of Michigan in July. It was late at night and I threw my call out on .520. I got an answer and we exchanged locations. Next thing I know, I was radio celebrity. Many hams came up to make the contact with me. Apparently some ducting allowed me to make contacts over 300 mile away!! Lasted over an hour until I got into Ohio.
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Old 12-30-2014, 09:31 PM   #13
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My longest 2 meter QSO was about two and a half hours. It wasn't very distant though.
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Old 12-30-2014, 10:55 PM   #14
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It's been along time, over 20 years ago, I talked on 2M simplex FM to the guys on the plane that AES used to have. They used to fly from Milwaukee to the Orlando store. I talked to them several times when I was traveling in Ohio in sales, hard to say how far it was, I imagine over 100 miles while they were flying over Indiana. They were probably somewhere between 15,000 and 20,000 ft with the turboprop they had. I don't remember the make of the plane, maybe some one remembers it. It had a canard wing and I think it was a pusher prop.
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Old 12-31-2014, 01:45 AM   #15
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When it comes to VHF,, height is might. Years ago (1978) I got a Wilson WE-800 (3rd production run, never buy anything till revision 3, Story there if asked for)

Well, Where I worked if the Detroit Tigers were having a "night game" going home at quitting time was out of the question.. Impossible to exit the parking lot.

So I grabbed my new toy and got in the elevator, 21 stories later I got out, Tuned around and the repeater I hit was in Adrian, about sixty miles away.. 1 watt and a rubber duck, hand held.

Chatting with some hams in Toledo Ohio (Also about 60 miles from Adrian) we had a VE3 try to join, about all we got was VE3 (not the rest of his call) so I switched to input, then relayed, then finally the VE3 and I went to 146.52 and chatted simplex.

He's running something like either 40 watts ERP at 30 feet or the other way around.

I made the trip, him, not so well.... I seem to recall chatting with A ham in Wisconson when I lived in Battle Creek, Mi... No linked repeaters back then.

Of course on 42 MHZ (Yes, I know, not a ham band) Detroit to Alaska no repeater.
(A construction company and the Police Department I dispatched shared a repeater pair, I was in the "Middle" of that repeater (That is

Receiver----Me==--Transmitter

And I could talk to the crew in Alaska just fine. Same CTSS tone and everything.

Turn off the CTSS and I could hear California too.
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Old 12-31-2014, 01:19 PM   #16
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It's been a long time, over 20 years ago, I talked on 2M simplex FM to the guys on the plane that AES used to have.
I once ran a pileup on 146.55 FM in Dallas. I was in a B-25 bomber over Addison Airport during an air show. What fun! Afterward, I printed up special QSL cards with a picture of the B-25. That was in about 1985 or 1986.
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Old 01-01-2015, 06:32 AM   #17
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Carl, I was at that 86 airshow. Had a little issue with my T-6 and had to land at a little field North of Addison called Air Park. 1500 foot runway. Warmed up Miss Mac's brakes on that one.
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Old 01-01-2015, 07:54 AM   #18
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Very familiar with Air Park -- that's where I learned to fly, in a no-radio J-3 Cub, N70525.

Lots of mechanical challenges at that airshow. I remember a guy with a Tora-Tora-Tora Zero (T6 in disguise) that wouldn't start -- amazing how far a frustrated pilot can throw a hat from a T6 cockpit -- and an F4U-7 whose wings wouldn't unfold; all he could do was taxi around.

There was at least one T-6 that lived in a hangar at Air Park; I saw it being worked on fairly often, but never saw it run. Remember all those De Havilland Otters rotting away on the ramp there? Five or six of them, as I remember.
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Old 01-01-2015, 08:56 AM   #19
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There is a sky diving outfit here in southern Maine that owns a twin Otter with PT6 turbo prop I flew with them and that old boy has got some power!
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Old 01-01-2015, 09:48 AM   #20
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Remember the Otters. Seem to remember that a guy was trying to take several basket cases and make one good one. Don't think it worked out. The Otters were popular up in Alaska. Tough bird.
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