Originally Posted by nakman
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.