View Full Version : should I be on the CC as much as I am?

07-28-2011, 04:25 PM
Since we 'light up' the whole state when on the connection, I'm thinking it makes more sense for me to really just monitor and use the local repeaters like the CRA, DRC and others. I've been programming my 8900 lately and have seen lots of Front Range local repeaters.

Driving the I70 corridor I would tend to use the connection as the main commuication channel, but running around town, commuting, etc. I'm thinking I may tend to hit the CRA repeater more often?

I dunno...any discussion on this? I mean the CC isn't that busy....

07-28-2011, 05:02 PM
so...for the record, I'm/we're not rag-chewing or anything - but for local contacts outside effective simplex range, I'm thinking about moving to a more local denver/boulder repeater instead of lightin' up CO. :D

CO Hunter
07-28-2011, 06:01 PM
IMHO, not lighting up all of CO, when other options are available, would seem to be good amateur practice. But, as you said it is not that busy. I use local repeaters down here, similar to how you have described, when available.

To the other topic. Again, IMHO your group made three mistakes. 1) Illegal transmission 2) Use of profanity 3) Not apologizing. The others did not need to identify until end of transmission and every ten minutes. I know folks get lax in the boonies on simplex but when others are around I would identify. Amateur has a higher standard than CB and we need to police ourselves.

07-28-2011, 06:31 PM
Mistake #4: Broadcasting

It's generally considered bad form to transmit with no expectation of a reply. The APRS beaconing is marginal, but it's not eating up much bandwidth and 144.390 (on 2m) is universally accepted as a dedicated frequency. Another accepted 'broadcast' are HF beacons that people use to determine propagation.

It's also possible since you were moving that you came into range of their conversation. You are supposed to listen a while and check that a frequency is not in use before transmitting. But if they were mobile they could be guilty of that, too.

07-29-2011, 10:10 AM

I think you have a good head about doing what will show others that you are a great HAM operator. Don't stray too far from that and you'll be fine.

My take on the "normal" use of any repeater is that we must continue to use the available bands we have so that there is less reason to take any of it away from the Amateur community. While rag-chews might seem inappropriate at times on the Colorado Connection due to its state-wide range, if you and some guy from Salida or Gr Junction want to talk about some adventure you had by all means have a rag-chew. That is why we have the use of the frequencies, to connect with other HAM's. "Normal" etiquette applies, so allow for break-ins and the like. I am not advocating the improper use of the Colorado Connection, but more advocating proper use of available frequencies under the intent for which they were implemented. From the Colorado Connection's Website:
The Connection serves many communities as an emergency communications backup. All licensed amateur radio operators with two meter privileges are welcome to use the system and our volunteers support the Connection for the love of amateur radio.

I personally think that the emergency portion of the Amateur community has strong benefits, but also has slipped into a slightly over-pushed category too. The Amateur Radio Service is not solely for use by/for emergency circumstances. That is a very important part, but too often because that is an easy way to show the value of Amateur Radio as a service to the public, it rises to the top that emergency communications are the only reason why Amateurs have their frequency privileges. The Amateur Radio Service has many facets for why it is important, not just emergency communications. Historically, it has been the proving ground for many of the things in our lives today that we take for granted.

From FCC Part 97:
97.1 Basis and purpose.-

The rules and regulations in this Part are designed to provide an amateur radio service having a fundamental purpose as expressed in the following principles:

(a) Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications.

(b) Continuation and extension of the amateur's proven ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art.

(c) Encouragement and improvement of the amateur service through rules which provide for advancing skills in both the communications and technical phases of the art.

(d) Expansion of the existing reservoir within the amateur radio service of trained operators, technicians, and electronics experts.

(e) Continuation and extension of the amateur's unique ability to enhance international goodwill.

While the Colorado Connection does provide a great service for emergencies, it is not solely used for that purpose. I know that some outside our RS group who listen to the Colorado Connection during Cruise Moab time of year have hinted at the fact that we use the frequency heavily, I believe we use it in the spirit for which it was intended. We give traffic updates, we ask for help during breakdowns, and we also give others information as to our whereabouts.

The main thing I will repeat is proper use of the frequency. Don't be the guy who treats Amateur Radio 2M VHF as glorified CB. Profanity has no place here. Proper etiquette, mutual respect for other operators and enjoyment of the service do.

I realized I missed out on some of this thread, but I hope that covers most of what was desired out of a response.

07-29-2011, 10:26 AM
Glad to see you are a member here:

why not use those machines for around town?

I too am surprised by how dead CC is most of the time. I typically like trying to use it to find somebody then move to simplex or a local repeater if possible. That said, I actually enjoy hearing you on CC talking to folks about various things. I get a kick out of walking out to the garage and hearing MZE out there "hey I know that guy!" and I think the people on the other end like making the contact. I usually don't pipe up because my radio in the garage has some mad static going on on that frequency.. plus it heats up a lot. I think thh filters are wrong for that frequency.

Caribou Sandstorm
07-29-2011, 10:40 AM
Shawn, my apologies for mucking up your post/thread.

I mentioned my recent interaction because it seemed relative in a way, as I was on low power and seemed to have a pretty far reaching foot print.

Learning experience for me, for sure.

07-29-2011, 10:46 AM
I think people are a little intimidated by the CCR (and repeaters in general) and the coverage. Don't be, no reason for it. Remember we key the mic to test our gear and practice our skills for the rare time we might have to count on it. If you're in an accident you want to know that you have the right frequencies and tones in your radio, that the gear is sound and the coax is unbroken and you want to know how to use it without thinking about it. That comes from regular practice and testing.

Repeaters on FM VHF are way better than bothering with simplex, which is why first responders use them. It's fun to optimize for point-to-point distance, but in an emergency you will want to know how to work within a net on a repeater so jump into the round robin when a subject strikes your fancy. So never worry about using a repeater, if you don't hear anyone on the CCR, perfect time to put our you call and check it. You are doing the repeater owner a favor, really you are. Call out for a ham in GJ or Salida or the Springs, you are testing the links, too.

Plus there are blessedly very, very few conceited hams and they almost always sit waiting on 14.272 or 14.313 to pounce on a new call sign or someone not perfect in their eyes. Heck with them. There are dozens of others listening who are happy to encourage and Elmer you.

There are around 2 million amateurs worldwide and 1,999,995 of them just want to shoot the breeze about your Cruiser, what you do for a living, the weather and most of all radios and operating! Never forget that everyone in the hobby went out of their way to get a license and set up radios, so it really is about the enoyment.

07-29-2011, 11:55 AM
Glad to see you are a member here:

why not use those machines for around town?

I too am surprised by how dead CC is most of the time. I typically like trying to use it to find somebody then move to simplex or a local repeater if possible. That said, I actually enjoy hearing you on CC talking to folks about various things. I get a kick out of walking out to the garage and hearing MZE out there "hey I know that guy!" and I think the people on the other end like making the contact. I usually don't pipe up because my radio in the garage has some mad static going on on that frequency.. plus it heats up a lot. I think thh filters are wrong for that frequency.

Yep...for $25 I wanted to support the local group...then I discovered a bunch more! I'm interested in learning/using the autopatch stuff since my wife isn't a Ham.

Well, this has turned into a good discussion. I've made some 'acquaintences' on the CC (ab0em, 'mike-sierra-papa", AFA etc). Those of you who listen to the CC know who I'm talking about. it's cool to announce I'm mobile, and have someone reply, chat for a bit, then go back to monitoring. for safety reasons, I think it's cool to have a quasi-network on the airwaves.

That being said, I gravitate to the Connection mostly 'cuz I know lots of you jokers will be monitoring as well. :D And I too, love hearing 'nak' and 'gwx' out there catching up a little.

CRA (the 225 repeater) can get busy, same with the .145 repeater. I'm going to check out some of the others in the area (denver and to the north) and chime back in with some other options that maybe I'll add to the mix. :cheers::cheers::thumb::beer:

Bruce Miller
07-29-2011, 01:50 PM
If you really want to reach out and touch someone, along the I-25 corridor from Pueblo and south it is possible for the mobile operator to hit the repeater on Sierra Grande mountain in northeastern New Mexico. New Mexico's version of the Colorado Connection is the Mega Link system. Headquartered in Albuquerque, the Mega Link system connects all of New Mexico, western Texas, western Oklahoma, eastern Arizona, and southern Colorado. The repeater callsign is NM5ML. Sierra Grande's frequency is 147.28 with a positive shift and a 100 offset. As the crow flies, it is about 150 miles from Pueblo to Sierra Grande.

Nice to know for the op traveling south on Interstate 25.

07-29-2011, 06:44 PM
nice to know!!! I'll add them to the program! I love having 800 memory channels at my disposal on the ft-8900.


07-29-2011, 10:48 PM
Shawn I also think it's cool you shout out on the Connection fairly frequently.. you've got me listening a little more, like you I typically monitor the Connection and 146.460. I also agree with the piece of mind it gives, just to hear some beeps every 10 minutes. It's fun to cruise I-70 and hop from one machine to the next.

BTW, I spoke with K9BVB about 10 minutes after I spoke with you last Friday.. you were on .310, I was on Breck, he was on Vail.. thought for sure I'd see him at Camp Hale but didn't. Just curious if you heard that QSO at all as it was kind of scratchy for me.

07-30-2011, 12:30 AM
I sure did hear it. So cool...and a perfect reason why "hyper memory 1" is rs1 and theCC. I KNOW I can reach someone i know.

It's cool that I've gotten used to the crowd on the CC and have even checked in from the .310 (pl100). It's cool, and I'll still monitor the cc regularly, I like the fact that at this point I know of a dozen or so regulars on the connection. So far, I haven't really seen much abuse...at all on any repeater. But I did just add a tn repeaters , so...the scan is on!

Lets get that repeater UB posted the other day. :thumb:

08-04-2011, 11:53 AM
Just a heads up, if you aren't already aware and want to contribute to the CC:


To follow up on the previous bulletin on the project on Mt Baldy in Breckenridge.

We will be requiring as much help as possible to demolish the old repeater building and move the new one we have at the site in place. We have heavy equipment arranged for the job but will especially require people with pickup trucks or 4 wheel drives with trailers to haul the parts of the old building to the local dump. This may require some unloading on the dump end. A 2-wheel drive vehicle with a bit more than normal car ground clearance can easily make it up to the site. Please bring sunscreen, gloves, hand tools (hammer and or nail bar) a warm jacket (we will be working at the 12,000 foot level), and something to eat and drink.

We will also be needing people that can help with tower work and reinstalling the repeater and link radios.

We will be meeting on Saturday 8/13/11 and Sunday 8/14/11 between 7:30 and 8:00 AM at the City Market Parking Lot in Breckenridge in the shopping center on the corner of the old Main street (Co. hwy 9) and the Truck Bypass on the north end of town. Talk in on 146.79 repeater or 146.52 simplex. If you are not able to make it that early or do not have a vehicle that you wish to drive up there please come anyway and contact us on the radio or try my Cell Phone 970 389-4405 (coverage is not the best at the site so keep trying) when you get to Breckenridge. This project is being done mainly because of a new local government ordinance that requires that we improve the appearance of the site or vacate so please help as this is a critical site for linking the east to west.

Most of the demolition and building moving will be on Saturday 8/13/11.

08-07-2011, 10:15 PM
Would someone send me a list of the CO repeaters? Do the frequencies change often? What website do you use? I found some that were dated several years ago and some that wanted me to subscribe.

08-07-2011, 11:32 PM

08-08-2011, 10:04 AM
I started with this link provided on a thread in here somwhere: http://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/Amateur_Radio_Repeaters_in_Colorado

I'd recommend clicking through to the club/assoc. links and join some that are close to you or you think you might use. I joined the CRA simply because it was one of the first I found as a new Tech and can hit their repeaters really well. another nice thing about becoming a club member is some clubs have autopatch features (nice if your wife isn't a Ham you ABSOLUTELY need to know how much milk to pick up on the way back from the trail. :D ) I don't have the time or know-how right now to contribute outside of writing a small check. And I'm sure they appreciate that kind of support just as much. ;)

You'll see the Colorado Repeater Assoc. (W0CRA), Denver Repeater club...actually you'll find them all up and down the front range. they all have repeater lists with tones, some have coverage maps, info which ones may be linked, how to unlink...all kinds of good stuff. :thumb:

08-08-2011, 10:08 AM
Thanks for the info. So if a repeater is "linked" that means if you transmit to one it repeats to all the linked ones?

08-08-2011, 12:07 PM
for instance...the CRA has a boulder repeater that's normally linked to the 147.225 freq. but through a series of commands on your mic you can unlink it. the CRA has instructions on that.

in some cases they'll also link 70cm to 2m, too.