Rising Sun Calling
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.
Sounds good. I need to start monitoring more often on my 12 minute drive to work.
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.
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.
FWIW, some the more used Denver repeaters.
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.
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.
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
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.
This example didn't show much more pertinent info than Dave's post but most of the time it will.
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.
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!
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.
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