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DaveInDenver
05-31-2010, 08:01 PM
I wanted to talk about calling and listening.

I think most people know that we default to 146.460MHz simplex FM for various things. Probably also know that there are 3 back up frequencies that Nathaniel set that are universal to most band plans.

I heard Tom Rompies calling on 146.460 this afternoon while I was messing around. I only had a rubber ducky and 5W with the portable set up on our deck table. He obviously could not hear me from my fairly lousy location, so I tried him on the 147.225/145.460 repeater pair but he was not there.

I generally make a call at the start of my drive to see if anyone is listening on our simplex frequency, if it is not already in use. But more often than not it's silent.

So let's talk about our SOP. Simplex is going to be pretty hit or miss and unless you are looking for someone who knows to listen the chance of a contact is less likely.

I would like to understand why we're generally afraid of the repeaters. Most of them are open and there for hams to use. By and large you should be making your calls on a repeater and moving them to simplex if possible.

I would therefore like to lay out a sorta standard so that we know where to listen.

Since the 147.225/145.460 pair covers Denver and Boulder very well and marginally from about Castlerock up to prolly Loveland I just think these make the most sense.

So I suggest if we're looking for ragchews we start there.

It would go as follows.

Listen for about 60 seconds to see if the repeater is in use.
Put out a simple call such as "KD0LDX calling for any Rising Sun on frequency."
Wait about 15 or 30 seconds and repeat this a couple of times. This gives a better chance if other guys are scanning that you might stop their scan.
If no one returns, then switch over to some other places and repeat the same steps.
Also remember that there are other popular repeaters, 145.145, 146.805/449.625, 146.640 that you might listen for familiar call signs.

Hulk
06-01-2010, 07:40 AM
Sounds good. I need to start monitoring more often on my 12 minute drive to work.

MDH33
06-01-2010, 07:48 AM
I have the CC repeaters programmed, but nothing else. What/where is the the 147.225 repeater? I'll look it up in the repeater guide and see if I can get it programmed in. I have been calling out and listening during my commute on 146.460 every Friday-Monday at 6:30 am and 5:30 pm, but never hear anything. The CC Denver repeater is also pretty quiet.

Uncle Ben
06-01-2010, 08:03 AM
I have the CC repeaters programmed, but nothing else. What/where is the the 147.225 repeater? I'll look it up in the repeater guide and see if I can get it programmed in. I have been calling out and listening during my commute on 146.460 every Friday-Monday at 6:30 am and 5:30 pm, but never hear anything. The CC Denver repeater is also pretty quiet.

Martin, Google the frequency if you want info! You'll find out a lot more than the book can tell you!:thumb:

DaveInDenver
06-01-2010, 08:14 AM
Yeah Matt, my morning commute particularly isn't long. But 10 minutes of chatting beats the snot out of listening to some DJ ramble about mindless crap.

Martin's problem is my point, there has never been any discussion of this and it's something that was never really talked about in the ham class. So I think the bulk of the exposure people are getting is that ham is just a stepped up CB that you use 146.460 instead of channel 4, which is very limited in scope of what's available.

Monitoring a particular repeater (or small group of them) means that no matter where you are or what you are using you will almost definitely be able to hear another Rising Sun'ner. This is particularly true I think of HTs, at home or out and about with the HT just left on you will probably never hear someone calling on 146.460 simplex but will hear a repeater call.

Do simplex when we're trying specifically to test range, events, driving to/from someone's house, etc.

To Kevin's point, next time you're at HRO (or someone is making an HRO run) ask them to pick you up the ARRL Repeater Handbook. I prefer the pocket sized one.

http://www.arrl.org/shop/The-ARRL-Repeater-Directory-2010-2011-Pocket-sized/

http://www.arrl.org/shop/images/P/0854.jpg

FWIW, some the more used Denver repeaters.

145.340 FM Minus 0.6 Enc 103.5 (IRLP)
145.145 FM Minus 0.6 Enc 107.2 (CRA)
145.460 FM Minus 0.6 Enc 107.2 (linked to 147.225)
147.225 FM Plus 0.6 Sq/Enc 107.2 (linked to 145.460)
146.940 FM Minus 0.6 Enc 103.5 (RMRL)
146.805 FM Minus 0.6 Enc 186.2 (linked to 447.125)
447.175 FM Minus 5 Enc 186.2 (linked to 146.805)


BTW, the 147.225/146.460 machines are also linked to 145.160 down in the Springs. This has really has to be the best option to get a fellow club member.

Uncle Ben
06-01-2010, 08:30 AM
My point about Googling is you find out where the repeater is and most of the time you find out what it's coverage is and what the club who owns it wants it used for. The book does not tell you these things.

In example:

Here is the first freq from Daves list.... "145.340 FM Minus 0.6 Enc 103.5 (IRLP)"

Here is what I found on Google.....RMRL REPEATER N0PQV/R


Output: 145.340
Input: 144.740
Location: Evergreen
Access: 103.5 Hz CTCSS required/127.3 Hz CTCSS transmitted.

Colorado’s first node on the The Internet Radio Linking Project (IRLP) linked system, as node #3350. There are over 1400 nodes all over the world on the IRLP network. Kent, N0PSR, is the technical lead for the RMRL 145.340 IRLP node.

In an attempt to reduce interference the 145.340 has been configured to receives the 103.5 Hz CTCSS tone and transmits a 127.3 Hz CTCSS tone.

Click here to find out the status of node #3350.

http://www.rmrl.org/repeaters/145340.htm


This example didn't show much more pertinent info than Dave's post but most of the time it will.

rover67
06-01-2010, 08:36 AM
I typically stay on simplex just because I am selfish and only want to talk to RS folks when around town. I don't care to start conversations about what kind of cheese costco sells.

I'll start working the repeaters more and specifying that i'm looking for RS folks.

Tom and I chatted for a breif bit yesterday on ccon, but we were both a bit to far from the repeaters to transmit wewll so our conversation was limited. I stayed on simplex since we were travelling with HT's in the group... guess I should get some sort of a dual monitor capable radio for the 60 so it happens less.

DaveInDenver
06-01-2010, 09:06 AM
Just because you are simplex doesn't mean there won't be anyone else. I often chat with a couple of hams who use 146.460 near here on their commute from Parker to DTC. That this is an easy frequency to remember was in part the reason Nathaniel came up with RS002 through RS004 for simplex.

It's all about how you make your call.

Saying "KD0GWX, mobile and monitoring." implies that you are asking for an open QSO. Technically on simplex you probably should say "CQ CQ CQ KD0GWX CQ CQ CQ." but due to the fact that VHF is line of sight and you are not looking for a DX contact this is not really necessary. However if you say "K0NAK, KD0GWX calling." or "KD0GWX calling Rising Sun on frequency." you are implying that you are looking for someone specific and generally you will not get an unknown ham returning the call until you announce that "Nothing heard from K0NAK, KD0GWX clear and monitoring." If you don't care to chat, then just say "K0NAK not heard, KD0GWX clear." and then if you switch frequencies or turn off the radio there is no expectation that you would still be on frequency.

And not all hams talk about gout and Sam's Club. Believe it or not that we're getting Rising Sun members on the air more than a few hams know of us and sometimes the conversation turns to 4WD and Moab. I spent probably an hour at HRO talking about Moab with one of the sales guys who was born in Utah and was planning to take his Rubicon out there to show his wife where he grew up. Also using the repeater gives you immediate feedback that your station is operating correctly or at all, when you hear the repeater tail you at least know the repeater is listening and you are transmitting a sufficient signal. Unless someone returns your call you have no idea that your coax isn't broken or your radio finals aren't blown.

Uncle Ben
06-01-2010, 10:04 AM
Just because you are simplex doesn't mean there won't be anyone else. I often chat with a couple of hams who use 146.460 near here on their commute from Parker to DTC. That this is an easy frequency to remember was in part the reason Nathaniel came up with RS002 through RS004 for simplex.

It's all about how you make your call.

Saying "KD0GWX, mobile and monitoring." implies that you are asking for an open QSO. Technically on simplex you probably should say "CQ CQ CQ KD0GWX CQ CQ CQ." but due to the fact that VHF is line of sight and you are not looking for a DX contact this is not really necessary. However if you say "K0NAK, KD0GWX calling." or "KD0GWX calling Rising Sun on frequency." you are implying that you are looking for someone specific and generally you will not get an unknown ham returning the call until you announce that "Nothing heard from K0NAK, KD0GWX clear and monitoring." If you don't care to chat, then just say "K0NAK not heard, KD0GWX clear." and then if you switch frequencies or turn off the radio there is no expectation that you would still be on frequency.

And not all hams talk about gout and Sam's Club. Believe it or not that we're getting Rising Sun members on the air more than a few hams know of us and sometimes the conversation turns to 4WD and Moab. I spent probably an hour at HRO talking about Moab with one of the sales guys who was born in Utah and was planning to take his Rubicon out there to show his wife where he grew up. Also using the repeater gives you immediate feedback that your station is operating correctly or at all, when you hear the repeater tail you at least know the repeater is listening and you are transmitting a sufficient signal. Unless someone returns your call you have no idea that your coax isn't broken or your radio finals aren't blown.


Good info Dave! I am into motorsports and Toyotas and have very little interest in the Ham culture. When I'm in either truck I do monitor 146.460 and in the 80 I also monitor 145.460 or 145.310. I loathe the 145.145 'peader as whenever I pop on it I find out WAY to much info on folks I don't care to know. I often call out someone on the 6.46 just to let anyone in earshot know I'm on. The problem I have with repeaters is whats mentioned and I have no desire to let the state or even just the front range know I'm on so they can tell me how broke they are and how bad the wind or snow messed up their antenna so they really got to spend a few coins and crawl up and fix their junk. I have refrained from hailing "Rising Sun" as I thought that was too CB like and I would get slapped down....good to know other wise!

DaveInDenver
06-01-2010, 10:21 AM
I agree that hams tend to be obsessed about their antennas and radio (I'm certainly guilty, but it's just who I am). No different than our spouses who just care that the car starts and the A/C works and could care less about suspensions and dual transfer cases. It's a hobby in and of itself. Big part of the reason we delve into it daily is so that when you actually might count on it to work you know that it will or how to fix it.

OTOH, those guys on the 145.145 repeater are friends and they are just talking about the same stuff they would talk about over coffee. We are no different, you don't have to talk about your doctor visits and ham towers necessarily and trust me hams get to recognize your call sign and when you call out they will know 'Hey, you're those Toyota guys.' and probably want to chat about it.

MountainMan
06-01-2010, 10:50 AM
I need to get back in the habit of getting on air, I am a member of the ARES D24 group in Douglas County (a great organization to participate in if you are looking for a fun way to do more community service and learn more about HAM radio at the same time) but I have been a bit absent lately.

I have a Kenwood D710 that I love (APRS built in). I usually monitor 447.150 which is where the ARES guys hang out. But since I want to monitor more than one freq at a time what I am planning to do is to put another (smaller) antenna on my front bumper and run it inside to my HT (Yaesu VX-7R) so I can monitor 3 freqs: 447.150 147.225 and another not sure which i would land on most

I am also thinking about picking up this little CB unit (http://tinyurl.com/2ewxayt) for the times when I have to use CB when wheeling (although I really don't like CB - been spoiled by HAM range and clarity for too long).

But to Dave's point, I would likely not hang out on simplex, I would only move there as appropriate. I would rather stay tuned into more action on the repeaters...

rover67
06-01-2010, 11:04 AM
Yeah, I guess I need to just call a lbit differently and see what happens. Good points Dave. I always feel like Simplex is a bit mroe personal, but I guess repeaters can be worked to be the same as well.

The non RS folks on simplex that I talk to are out of loveland, I dig chatting with them because it is a relatively long distance.

nakman
06-01-2010, 08:25 PM
Hey, it worked! I called out on 145.460 and ended up chatting with Corsair23 for a bit.. so that was cool.... listen for me on the way to the meeting tomorrow.

MDH33
06-01-2010, 08:46 PM
I really want to get more repeaters programmed into my radio but I've been having a hard time finding extra time while babysitting the baby :Princess:. Is there any reason I can't bring the ham inside from the vehicle and connect it to a small 12V motorcycle battery for power and program it that way?

wesintl
06-01-2010, 08:55 PM
you could do that.. probably beats sitting in a hot garage for a couple hours like I do :( then I forget what all the buttons do by the time I go to use it.

RockRunner
06-01-2010, 10:04 PM
I really want to get more repeaters programmed into my radio but I've been having a hard time finding extra time while babysitting the baby :Princess:. Is there any reason I can't bring the ham inside from the vehicle and connect it to a small 12V motorcycle battery for power and program it that way?

That is what I did when Dave came over to program mine. I have a little 12v power supply that I used for car stereo tests. If you have a battery box you can use that also, works great.

RockRunner
06-01-2010, 10:12 PM
Dave depending on the time you heard me I may have actually working an emergency. My friends F350 lost his tranny and came down I-70 right before Morrison with just brakes. He had his 4K# camper on it and towing his *eep. We took of our rigs we were towing and had the ladies drive them home. I gave home my HT and I used my truck mounted unit. I stayed on 4.46 so I would not use a frequency somebody else uses plus if a RS person heard us he/she would have been amused. Tried to stay of the air as much as possible since he does not have a license and I identified about every ten.

All went well and he was really impressed with the clarity etc.

As for me I monitor 4.460 and the Denver repeater but I only drive 5 minutes to work. I'll try the other ones also.

corsair23
06-01-2010, 11:49 PM
I really want to get more repeaters programmed into my radio but I've been having a hard time finding extra time while babysitting the baby :Princess:. Is there any reason I can't bring the ham inside from the vehicle and connect it to a small 12V motorcycle battery for power and program it that way?

What radio do you have? I loaded up the Dave special programming on my FT-8800 via the laptop while it was in the truck...Not sure what other radios the software and cable will program though...

corsair23
06-01-2010, 11:52 PM
Hey, it worked! I called out on 145.460 and ended up chatting with Corsair23 for a bit.. so that was cool.... listen for me on the way to the meeting tomorrow.

I thought we were on 147.225 :confused:

Or maybe I was and you were on 145.460 :hill: - Still pretty :cool: to chat with someone that far away...First time I've had the radio on in a couple weeks...I actually had to plug my mic back in for the occasion :)

jacdaw
06-02-2010, 02:25 AM
I think it's a good idea Dave. And now that for the first time ever the cpu in my FT-90 locked up and I accidentally did a hard reset instead of a soft reset and lost years of saved freqs. I guess it's time to put RS freqs. in the first 10 or so memory slots.:rolleyes:

Back in Cali i talked on repeaters all the time. We had long commutes (2 hours some times) and a regular rag chew going for about 6 years. I remember all the names and calls and even some faces. Zero calls still throw me. It's simplex that keeps me quiet...mostly because without a squelch tail I have no idea if my signal even got out. When new, this radio had an intermmiten tx problem. I always had to kerchunk before tx'ing because sometimes I didn't open the squelch on the repeaters. Have not had that problem for years but I'm still curious sometimes if the lack of response is due to no carrier.

DaveInDenver
06-02-2010, 06:07 AM
I thought we were on 147.225 :confused:

Or maybe I was and you were on 145.460 :hill: - Still pretty :cool: to chat with someone that far away...First time I've had the radio on in a couple weeks...I actually had to plug my mic back in for the occasion :)
You were on 147.225, Nak on 145.460 and if anyone cared in the Springs they heard you on 145.160. There is also I think are 220MHz and 70cm machines linked, too. This is similar to the Colorado Connection but just along the Front Range.

nakman
06-02-2010, 08:15 AM
The 147.225 comes in a little better up north than the 145.460, but they both work. I was monitoring again this morning, I had forgotten about the Larry, Jerry, and Gerry show in the mornings... :lmao: it's actually a real nice group I have spoken with them before, but they pretty much occupy these repeaters between 7:00 and 8:00 in the mornings. cracks me up how most of their first names rhyme... doesn't seem to phase them though.. other than the morning commute, I haven't heard much action there other times of the day so that's a good one for us to adopt somewhat.

For a while there in the morning someone was linking up a repeater from the San Diego area, and there was a couple guys from CA who were chatting regular with the group. Kind of neat from a novelty perspective, I never jumped in though it usually ends up just another chat about weather. I'd rather talk about tires, gears, and suspension mods.

rover67
06-02-2010, 08:18 AM
I was monitoring the 225/460 pair this morning too.

I'll hop on later today, i'll be running around.

I am a CRA repeater member so I have the codes, I have not linked it to anything far away yet but have always thought about it.

I was going to link it to memphis when mom got her radio.

DaveInDenver
06-02-2010, 08:21 AM
The 147.225 comes in a little better up north than the 145.460, but they both work. I was monitoring again this morning, I had forgotten about the Larry, Jerry, and Gerry show in the mornings... :lmao: it's actually a real nice group I have spoken with them before, but they pretty much occupy these repeaters between 7:00 and 8:00 in the mornings. cracks me up how most of their first names rhyme... doesn't seem to phase them though.. other than the morning commute, I haven't heard much action there other times of the day so that's a good one for us to adopt somewhat.

For a while there in the morning someone was linking up a repeater from the San Diego area, and there was a couple guys from CA who were chatting regular with the group. Kind of neat from a novelty perspective, I never jumped in though it usually ends up just another chat about weather. I'd rather talk about tires, gears, and suspension mods.
Larry is in San Diego via IRLP, Jerry and Gerry are in Denver. They were having a bunch of problems with the San Diego repeater a couple of weeks ago.

You bring up a good point about order of progression. There are several lesser known repeaters that could also be used. They are used less because they do not have autopatch or IRLP or are not linked.

Uncle Ben
06-02-2010, 08:21 AM
I am a CRA repeater member so I have the codes, I have not linked it to anything far away yet but have always thought about it.



Ditto...

nakman
06-02-2010, 09:22 AM
You bring up a good point about order of progression. There are several lesser known repeaters that could also be used. They are used less because they do not have autopatch or IRLP or are not linked.

Well for our purposes we don't need any IRLP or Autopatch, we just want to promote radio use and help others gain experience transmitting, get more comfortable with the technology, etc. Plus have daily discussions about starter contacts, 90915-20004 oil filters, and IFS vs. SFA. :D

I for one don't need to be heard across the front range, or across the I-70 corridor for that matter, so yeah a less capable and lesser known repeater sounds good to me.. you pick!

rover67
06-02-2010, 09:25 AM
There are several lesser known repeaters that could also be used. They are used less because they do not have autopatch or IRLP or are not linked.

Do tell....

me likey

MDH33
06-02-2010, 09:26 AM
We could just park the Rising Sun repeater at someones place up in the hills and use it, couldn't we? Oh, wait... that never happened.:rolleyes:

DaveInDenver
06-02-2010, 09:59 AM
There is an active repeater at 146.670 (Castle Rock repeater group) up on Squaw Mt. Good coverage across Denver. They also have a linked pair of repeaters at 448.500/145.400 that is less used.

I mentioned the WA2YZT linked pair at 146.805/447.175.

The Denver Radio League has a repeater at Lockheed (I think) on 146.880. This location does cover Denver metro OK but is starts to diminish beyond south metro.

The Aurora Repeater Association has a few nicely placed repeaters up on Guy Hill (northwest of Golden) with good coverage. Their VHF ones are at 147.750 and 147.720.

The Denver Radio Club has a few repeaters. One is at 145.490 up near Centennial Cone and another couple at 145.030 and 147.330 on Green Mountain. They have a UHF repeater on Squaw Mt.

Personally I say we stick with the 147.225/145.460 pair for the time being until we try some of the others for coverage and use. I know these have tremendous coverage from Castle Rock up to Loveland and with the 145.160 repeater in the Spring it's going to cover like 99% of the club members at HT power.

DaveInDenver
06-02-2010, 10:11 AM
I for one don't need to be heard across the front range, or across the I-70 corridor for that matter, so yeah a less capable and lesser known repeater sounds good to me.. you pick!
But yes you do need to be heard far and wide. By always calling on simplex you significantly decrease your chances of hitting another member. If someone who is close to you hears your call, then sure, the appropriate thing is to jump over to simplex.

This is why in my FT-8800 file floating around I made memory entries for the input frequencies for the common repeaters. If you hear the other station at high signal levels on the input to the repeater then you know you can carry a simplex QSO. On most of y'all's radios there is also a weirdly named button called 'reverse' or 'REV' and this serves the same purpose by flipping your VFO from the repeater's output to input (e.g. 'reversing' the radio's internal the repeater offset split). I just found that with the 500 memories that having one side set up to scan repeaters and the other set up with simplex, both the repeater inputs and regular channels, I could jump over quicker than trying to find the REV button.

But why bother with all that if all you want to do is chat on your commute, there are times when you want to dink with power and antennas and paths and other times when you just want to use the junk. It's time when you're decompressing from work when you just want to say hey that I'm talking about and this is exactly the point of the repeaters. Ultimately the reason we push ham radio is to communicate information reliably and there is nothing wrong with using a repeater to do that. It also beats running through your phone contacts until you find someone else just chillin' who want to chat. It also allows people to come and go as they start and finish what they are doing.