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Where is everyone?


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#1 Tom Blanchard

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 08:01 PM

After years or radio silence I purchased myself a new Yaesu FT60 HT and a FT 8800 mobile rig and I have just one question, Where is everyone?
I remember many years ago the repeaters were busy, you could call and almost always get a response, now I listen for hours and hear no one.
I have had my rig on 146.52 for a week and have not heard a single person.

Tom WA4UPO

#2 Russ - WB3FQI

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 09:59 PM

I have had few QSO's on 52, usually near a town. By the time I realize someone is a ham and I call they are out of range.

Many folks in my area of PA are playing with 6m and APRS.

I understand a number of folks are using Echo link.

Next time I run through your area I'll give you a call.

73, Russ - WB3FQI/KL7

#3 eastcentralmn

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 06:08 AM

I think everyone is on the cell phone. I find it much easier myself to call or text someone on the phone rather than call on the radio. To use the phone you don't need to put any effort into getting a license, just pay your money. The cost of cell equipment is also cheaper than that of Ham radio. I guess it will take a disaster to show the folks that cell service is only good when the power is on and the commercial towers are up. Or else it's back to smoke signals & ham radio. The ARRL says ham licensing is up, that might be, but where is everyone? I am still out there listening and I donít hear much. Travel safe!

#4 Bill Baxter

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 08:05 PM

I am one of the guilty parties in making the air silent. I frequently don't have the 2M rig on when driving. I will try the local repeaters when stopped.

OK next trip I will be on '52'. Promise

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#5 Tom Blanchard

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 08:45 PM

I agree on the cell phone, years ago when we still worked we used the ham radio to stay in touch, the wife (KB4OYY) and myself worked different shifts and trying to juggle two kids with jobs, school and all the associated stuff, it sure was handy.
Now even though we are both still licensed hams we use the cell phones, less trouble and the wife doesn't even have a HT anymore.
I have found it much harder to use the ham radios than in the past, can't just go into a new area and listen around for activity. Now by the time you look up the frequency in a directory, set the tones in the radio and call for a few minutes with no response, it's easier to just listen to some country station....
I am installing the Yaesu FT8800 in the motorhome and plan on using the HT to access it as a cross band repeater when stopped around the camp ground.
I mainly plan on having communications ability in case of an emergency, we live in a coastal area and might have to evacuate on short notice.
I plan on adding the sign in the rear window of the car and MH "we monitor 146.52"
If you see me down the road, call.
Tom WA4UPO
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#6 eastcentralmn

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 05:57 AM

This year for the second year in a row our Amateur Radio Club couldn't get enough people to commit for field day. No field day here. I looked on QRZ's website in their search engine and our local area has more then 100 hams within 30 miles, everyone must be to busy. The licensed hams are out there but seems nobody is using the frequencies. Our local net only garners up about 8-10 hams on Monday evenings any more. I check-in on Echo Link to our Monday night net while in TX during the winter. Keep listening and travel safe!

#7 krs2fer

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 08:53 AM

Lots of people are going over to D-star.
It's cheap to use and no antenna is needed. No antenna is a big plus for apartment dwellers and travelers.
It's not really Ham radio to me, but it is getting very popular.
Here's a link to a repeater you can monitor online.
Broward Co, FL, D-star

#8 Russ - WB3FQI

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 11:13 PM

Today driving through Alaska I saw a truck loaded with antennas. I quickly put my call on 146.52 and got an answer. We had a nice chat until we ran out of sight. It was refreshing to meet someone on 52 after many miles of silence.

73, Russ - WB3FQI/KL7

#9 eastcentralmn

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 06:13 AM

What I know of D-Star is limited, but the equipment isn't cheaper from what I have found, and if you are going to use it mobile you still need the antennas etc. D-Star might bring ham radio into the 21st century but I don't plan on spending anymore money on ham gear. I am to the point of what you see is what you get.

Russ- Glad to hear you got an answer when you called on 52. There still is hope!

#10 Tom Blanchard

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 06:04 PM

While I used to be radio savy, ( worked in communications, sold 2 way and was FCC first phone, did microwave for the phone co etc etc) I now am behind the times when it comes to the latest gizmos. I did use packet a long time ago and will eventually figure out all the new stuff, I am not up on D-STAR. I need lots of study!!!

#11 Russ - WB3FQI

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 10:46 PM

I didn't think D-Star was expensive.

We were at a rally in GA a year ago and a woman demo'd D-star with her HT and laptop.

Russ - WB3FQI/KL7

#12 GK Cotton

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 02:24 PM

I have add a sign to the back of my travel trailer showing 146.520 so that any "ham" that might come up behind me can contact me.
Gordon K. Cotton KD0EWM

#13 MtnHam

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 09:03 PM

The so-called international calling channel is little used in most areas. Where I am located (Northern California wine country), there is a lot of repeater traffic on many different frequencies. When I travel, I spend the time to use the repeater directory and make a data base of frequencies and PL tones for the areas I will visit, and then program them in. Creating a new bank of channels, and then letting the radio scan that bank often results in lots of QSO's. However, my real interest is HF mobile, and it can work very well, so you are not limited to local traffic.
Ham radio & the good life in the boonies

#14 Bene Gesserit

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 08:36 PM

Well, Ham Radio is dying a slow death it would appear. The cell phone and the internet is killing it. To add to the problem, the old timers are much to blame, not wanting to let go of Morse Code for an entry requirement. Had this obsolete requirement had been abandoned 20 years ago like it should have been, there would likely have been 3 times the members now and thus more activity. But that is a discussion for later on. The bottom line is now, we that work the frequencies have to work harder for a contact, and in the VHF/UHF/Microwave bands on simplex, enjoy having your own frequency for your personal family use, we do. All of our kids, the wife and I are all hams and we operate on some of the less used simplex frequencies and go weeks without anyone else on the band. The problem with that is, what is not used, the FCC will take away......so like I said the great hobby of Ham Radio is dying, a sad time for sure......NQ7T

#15 Dirt

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 07:30 AM

While I used to be radio savy, ( worked in communications, sold 2 way and was FCC first phone, did microwave for the phone co etc etc) I now am behind the times when it comes to the latest gizmos. I did use packet a long time ago and will eventually figure out all the new stuff, I am not up on D-STAR. I need lots of study!!!


Looks like old post Tom Sim path Tom twoway tech fcc second phone did digital microwave ds1-ds3 oc12.... phone co uswestcellular Airtouch Verizonwireless not up on d-star twoway 10years cell 24years...


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#16 Motorcycle Jack

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 04:15 PM

I think that the hobby has SO many modes now compared to what there was 25 years ago. Now you have pactor, PSK, D-star, and others that the number of hams operating gets spread out around th e bands and modes. If it was just AM, CW and SSB then you wouldn't be able to get a word in edgewise. Me personally, I glad they're spread out and we have room for everyone. Maybe try some new mode? I tried PSK and frankly I'm amazed at how easy it is to make contacts.

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#17 jdhouse

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 07:58 PM

Well, Ham Radio is dying a slow death it would appear. The cell phone and the internet is killing it. To add to the problem, the old timers are much to blame, not wanting to let go of Morse Code for an entry requirement. Had this obsolete requirement had been abandoned 20 years ago like it should have been, there would likely have been 3 times the members now and thus more activity. But that is a discussion for later on. The bottom line is now, we that work the frequencies have to work harder for a contact, and in the VHF/UHF/Microwave bands on simplex, enjoy having your own frequency for your personal family use, we do. All of our kids, the wife and I are all hams and we operate on some of the less used simplex frequencies and go weeks without anyone else on the band. The problem with that is, what is not used, the FCC will take away......so like I said the great hobby of Ham Radio is dying, a sad time for sure......NQ7T


I have mixed feelings about the end of the CW requirement. Being really dyslexic I was doing well to pass the Technician requirement 35 years ago and was happy to move up to general when that went away. I do think it kept a lot of lids off the air, but certainly not all of them.

One thing for sure ham radio is alive and well in the San Francisco Bay area. We can't seem to find an open pair for a new disaster services dedicated repeater on 440 even though PAVE PAWS knocked all the local high level 440 machines off the air. After extensive research by our local CERT ham group we gave up on 2 meters, way to crowded. Now we are looking to HSMM-MESH as an alternative to the twisted pair/cell/internet. I've got a node ready to go up as soon as a pigtail cable arrives. At least the router has been flashed and tested.


I was on HF many evenings during our recent 3 month trip to Alaska and it is so nice to have the noise level at S1 or S2 at a forest campground instead of what it is around here with all the power lines and other spectrum pollution. The bands that were open were full of stations with lots of nets that welcome check-in's.
When there was no cell or WiFi available I used AirMail with the SCS PacTOR III modem for email. I don't usually monitor 52 when traveling, finding it enough to keep track of the GPS and find the next turn.

The ham we met in Homer, AK, Paul, K9PM who turned me on to Escapees also told me about The Bush Net on 7093 LSB. And before someone hollers that is CW country they do things differently in Alaska. They do take CW check-ins from the lower 49. Now I'm back in the townhouse with no HF capability but I listen in occasionally using websdr.org.

BTW: there is a neat solution to weak WiFi at RV parks in the May QST. Look up JEFA Tech. Swap in a different router and you can use the same setup for a MESH node. Won't solve slow speed between the park and the internet but it sure helps boost the signal if you are far away from the park's antenna.

73 KA6IVF with XYL KJ6CWR on the side. Also WQIP337 GMRS



#18 Ken and Sharlene

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 09:37 PM

I will set up a sked with anyone interested. I am active on 10, 17, 15, 40, and 75m meters. Anyone interested in other bands will need to give me two hours notice so I can build an antenna!

Ken
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#19 Jean Hoyle

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 09:00 AM

I always thought that amateur radio was rather "clickish". By that I mean "my" frequency. The Bands do seem quiet, that may have something to do with solar minimum. We are all still out there, and our numbers are growing. All we need to do is give a few calls on the frequency and open our minds to reaching out to new members and being "Elmers" again.

KA5WAC and KA5WAD

Edited by Jean Hoyle, 31 October 2012 - 09:01 AM.

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#20 mohamer

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 04:43 AM

146.520 is not the only frequency out there.  A lot of the locals here in Joplin run on 146.475 and 146.550 etc.

If I am not on HF somewhere I can usually be found on 146.475 or on 144.200 USB.

I am a VE and we do testing every month and at the hamfest.  We keep making more hams.

 

Let me know where you hang out and if I can I will try to meet you there.

 

73

John  kb0ou


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