Author Topic: Working Simplex  (Read 9872 times)

Offline Tactical Badger

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Working Simplex
« on: August 14, 2009, 02:46:19 PM »
I was curious if there are those out there that focus more on working Simplex for 2M and 440.  I find myself in a rut of only using the repeaters around me lately.

If you're using Simplex...how are you going about it?  I mean...beyond the obvious of calling QC on 146.52.  I'm thinking low-power here.  If someone is pushing 1500W on 2M, that's a different game all together.

Thanks.

Offline scoutmaster

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Re: Working Simplex
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2009, 07:36:15 AM »
I am proubley a bit different than most but I base everything on simplex work. I have, own, and operate a repeater but don,t depend on it. I use radio as mostly a communications mode  getting ready for when we have no other communications and the grid power is down. I guess better put in a survival mode.

That being communicating with my wife and kids on ham radio when all else fails. And we use it and practice often to make sure we are use to the rigs and the frequency’s we use. It worked for me during the east coast black out I used it for all three days the grid was down and the cell and other phones where out.

And I use only the power that the radio puts out. There is a pic of my antenna on my tower here to the left.
I get 40 to 50 miles with a fifty watt radio and fifty watt mobile


Offline Beetle

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Re: Working Simplex
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2009, 01:49:08 PM »
     We use simplex strictly when doing a SAR mission on 155MHZ which works awesome most of the time. Sometimes we have to set up simplex relays. When I'm talking on 2m ham stuff it's 99% of the time from a repeater. Doesn't seem like many people monitor 146.52 around here much. What Freq. do you use on 2M simplex TB?

Offline scoutmaster

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Re: Working Simplex
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2009, 04:21:26 PM »
I use several depending who I am talking to , Family is one freq friends are another and survival stuff is yet another. I dont use the normal ones when in survival mode as I don.t want others on that freq when hooking up with the survival group

Offline Tactical Badger

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Re: Working Simplex
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2009, 12:37:11 PM »
 What Freq. do you use on 2M simplex TB?

Right now...146.52.  But yes, I rarely make any contacts on it.  I have run into a couple of guys on it.  But, by far, the 2M repeaters are where the majority of the action is at.


Offline Tactical Badger

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Re: Working Simplex
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2009, 12:41:09 PM »
I use radio as mostly a communications mode  getting ready for when we have no other communications and the grid power is down.

That's my goal as well.  Which is why I NEED to focus more on Simplex.  Repeaters are simply yet more infrastructure that can fail.  Granted, since they are maintained by individuals or groups of inidivuals rather than the government, they'll probably remain operating longer than most other forms of communication.  But, they will fail if things stay bad enough, long enough.

Offline scoutmaster

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Re: Working Simplex
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2009, 12:59:53 PM »
  Granted, since they are maintained by individuals or groups of inidivuals rather than the government, they'll probably remain operating longer than most other forms of communication


I am not sure I agree with that, I own and operate several of my own repeaters, and only one of them has back up power on it. I do not know of any of the local systems that have back up power. it adds a lot to the system to keep up with and adds a lot of cost. So when the grid goes so do most of the systems, That is why I use and experiment with simplex all the time as well.

Repeaters are for fun and nice to extend the range when working, But I think there will be a lot of very surprised persons when the power goes down and we have the guys with the mag mount on his house gutter hitting the local repeater, all of a sudden finds himself alone and cant talk to any one.  It's another form of sheeple. it's easy cheap works well as long as the infrastructure is in place, but not worth a box of ammo when the grid goes down. I have talked for several years about depending on others keeping communications up between myself and the family. It is a loose loose thing. and will leave many with none.   

Offline Tactical Badger

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Re: Working Simplex
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2009, 01:19:03 PM »
I know several of the repeaters around me have back up power.  But, certainly not all of them do.

And yes, I don't want to be the guy with the mag mount antenna stuck to his gutter.  I don't want to have to depend on ANY infrastructure to maintain comm's.  Which is why I realize I need to be spending more time working Simplex and beefing up my equipment to extend my range.

Offline scoutmaster

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Re: Working Simplex
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2009, 03:01:22 PM »
We here in Mi have found that the VHF band is only useful about half the time. When we started putting together a group here, we also found that with the truly few prepping persons that we found with the state.  In more than half the time we where a hundred or more miles apart. some times the repeater system would work for that but usually not. Simplex can work but is really pushing it at 100 miles or more.  So we found 80 and 160 meters really filled in the gaps with milage like that. Is it just michigan or have you found the same thing?? Just wondering I did see your Preping page. Hard to find other that have a passion for the survival stuff as I do.

Now no matter where we are we can make the connection with out concern for the infrastructure . It does make a nice linked group even by one or two hundred miles.



Offline Tactical Badger

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Re: Working Simplex
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2009, 06:09:13 PM »
I'm very new to the HF world.  I have a whole to learn about it yet.
 
I do have a good group of local HAM's that are helping me learn as I go.  My on air Elmer is a great guy who is very patient when explaining things to me.

My "prepping" friends either don't have HF rigs, don't have any radios at all, or don't even have their licenses yet.  I've been pushing and prodding to get them to gear up so that we can maintain comm's if TSHTF.  But,so far, I'm the only one with any sort of HF capability at all.  And yes, we're spread out all over the state.

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Re: Working Simplex
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2009, 03:26:30 PM »
On 2 meters, I do simplex almost exclusively.  If you are in a chat on a repeater, check the input and see if you can copy the other station.  If you can, let him know this and suggest that you can move to one of the many unused simplex channels.  You will be surprised how fast you can build a simplex group in your area if you just get a few guys to start using .52, .55, or .58.  The other way is to ask your local club to adopt a simplex freq for club use, and then actually monitor it.

Offline scoutmaster

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Re: Working Simplex
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2009, 06:46:23 AM »
Well that is yet another nice thing about ham radio, it gives a person every thing that you need , While the government is now talking about having the power and using it to shut down the internet, cell phones and broadcast stations, Gee I bet we did not see that one coming.  We are in a time like no other that we or our for fathers have ever seen. Maybe the ones that came over here on boats. If we don't put a stop to this it will be too late. 

I wonder what would will happen when we loose( or they are taken  away) all of our communications. As I said it is one of the nice things about Ham, they can't shut it off or take iT away.  I also use VHF for a lot of simplex stuff, I use repeaters for lazy chit chat just using the HT it's very convenient. I have even built a few of the systems I use,  But when all else fails Simplex works.  Hf has it place every bit as much as VHF and works almost as well, and will give local coverage much further.

 We have a small group of us here with in the state that use it from time to time to talk , I guess you would call it simplex, for 100 to 200 miles,( very hard to do on VHF, and only using a wire for an antenna)  and it works great. Several of us have BOL in the north and it is great for communications across the state, Even from the car to another Base. I have used it to talk across the country also but as so many have said it is hit and miss depending on conditions. time of day time of year and so on. I almost think it is more fun to be 200 miles away in the car and talk to one of the guys while he is at home on his base in the lower parts of the state.

 Always been a little weird I guess but we all know we can talk across the pond, to some guy that talks broken english if conditions and every thing is just right. But local Hf is much more fun for me. ;D

leftcoastrightmind

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Re: Working Simplex
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2009, 08:07:54 AM »
Repeaters are not reliable in a grid failure.  Most have back up power....a` battery.  So you get another handfull of hours till the back up battery fails?  no good.  This is good though.

You can use digital modes in VHF and signifigantly extend your range.  Most 2m FM rigs will work very well im some digital modes.  Here is one I suggest if you have an FM only 2m rig.

"The Narrow Band Emergency Messaging System (NBEMS) for Windows is a suite of software programs designed for point-to-point, fast, error-free, emergency messaging up to or over 100 miles distant, and takes up a very minimum of frequency space on the ham bands, leaving more space for other ham activites.

The system is designed primarily for use on the two-meter band, or on HF with NVIS antennas, where there is a minimum of fading (QSB) to slow down message transfers. Two meters has the advantage that distances long enough to span disaster areas of up to 100 miles can be dependably done with small, portable antennas. In hilly regions, if two meters is not workable over the distances required, NVIS antennas on HF can be employed instead, but are not nearly as portable. "

look at it here: http://www.w1hkj.com/NBEMS/

If you are lucky enough to have an all mode 2m rig, it gets better with using psk 31 on SSB.
Jimmy,
KI6LUC

Offline Tactical Badger

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Re: Working Simplex
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2009, 08:38:21 AM »
What about working 2M SSB?  I've heard pretty good things as to the range of that band.

leftcoastrightmind

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Re: Working Simplex
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2009, 08:00:33 AM »
What about working 2M SSB?  I've heard pretty good things as to the range of that band.

The range of the 2M band depends on the mode you are using.  2m using the FM mode in phone has real good audio quality but uses a lot of bandwidth.  Primarily best used with repeaters for longer range transmissions or simplex.  Using the upper or lower sideband for voice .....well haven't done that much.  I suppose it would extend your range a bit on voice but the other person will obviously need a multi mode 2m rig as well.
 I was posting to state that digital modes on SSB will greatly extend the range with less power.  Of course the antenna you are using contributes greatly to performance.  The NBEMS system is becoming a popular mode for folks with a 2m rig that only transmits in FM.

Offline Tactical Badger

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Re: Working Simplex
« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2009, 08:20:21 AM »
The range of the 2M band depends on the mode you are using.  2m using the FM mode in phone has real good audio quality but uses a lot of bandwidth.  Primarily best used with repeaters for longer range transmissions or simplex.  Using the upper or lower sideband for voice .....well haven't done that much.  I suppose it would extend your range a bit on voice but the other person will obviously need a multi mode 2m rig as well.
 I was posting to state that digital modes on SSB will greatly extend the range with less power.  Of course the antenna you are using contributes greatly to performance.  The NBEMS system is becoming a popular mode for folks with a 2m rig that only transmits in FM.

The reason I was asking about SSB on 2M is that I was talking to a guy a couple of days ago and he was claiming that he has worked the entire CONUS on 2M SSB on like 80W.  He did say that he has a pretty good sized tower with 2M beams.

I would prefer to NOT be tied down to a huge tower.  I'd like to try and work it with a portable rig.

leftcoastrightmind

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Re: Working Simplex
« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2009, 03:04:52 PM »
The reason I was asking about SSB on 2M is that I was talking to a guy a couple of days ago and he was claiming that he has worked the entire CONUS on 2M SSB on like 80W.  He did say that he has a pretty good sized tower with 2M beams.

I would prefer to NOT be tied down to a huge tower.  I'd like to try and work it with a portable rig.
Well, that may be true.  Although the entire conus?  hmmmm....I'm doubting the ability of VHF to work florida from california.....  I have a 100 watt 2m all mode radio, and I cant hit my uncle with a 9db yagi 100 miles away, so go figure.  Maybe there was some tropo goin on or something with your friend.  I'm not sayin it's not  possible though.

a portable rig will only give you about 5 watts unless you have an amp and an antenna to handle the power. 

I will say that when I was a kid, My uncle and I worked the world on 10 meters with 5 watts.  Of course that was when we were at the top of the cycle.  At the time I was not licensed, but I did have a cb radio.  CB is 11 meters.  I worked guys in alabama with the stock 4 watt transmitter in the cb and a mobile mag mount antenna stuck to a garbage can lid.  So there are exceptions.  Skip happens with HF, and  Tropo happens with vhf.  6 Meters might be more beleivable....the ol' magic band.  But consistent reliability is a bit more complex.  As one of the moderators stated, 15 bucks and a few hours is a small investment to have the privelege.
Hope this helps,
Jimmy,
KI6LUC

Offline Tactical Badger

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Re: Working Simplex
« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2009, 04:28:37 PM »
Portable...not HT.  I'm not one of those "I'm going to see how far I can work with only 1/2Watt" guys.

I'm thinking 857 hooked up to a gell cell battery and a portable antenna.

adp113

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Re: Working Simplex
« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2009, 07:07:56 PM »
What about working 2M SSB?  I've heard pretty good things as to the range of that band.

Since most people doing 2m SSB are using horizontal beams, it is best to have a horizontal antenna.  You can do it with a vertical with diminished results.  I know a guy near by who was able to confirm a bermuda contact on 2m SSS, about 1000 miles - a bit of tropo ducting.

Next arrrl vhf contest, tune around 144.200 USB and listen.  You will be able to work stuff on ssb that you cant work on FM

adp113

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Re: Working Simplex
« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2009, 07:10:45 PM »
Well, that may be true.  Although the entire conus?  hmmmm....I'm doubting the ability of VHF to work florida from california.....  I have a 100 watt 2m all mode radio, and I cant hit my uncle with a 9db yagi 100 miles away, so go figure.  Maybe there was some tropo goin on or something with your friend.  I'm not sayin it's not  possible though.

a portable rig will only give you about 5 watts unless you have an amp and an antenna to handle the power. 

I will say that when I was a kid, My uncle and I worked the world on 10 meters with 5 watts.  Of course that was when we were at the top of the cycle.  At the time I was not licensed, but I did have a cb radio.  CB is 11 meters.  I worked guys in alabama with the stock 4 watt transmitter in the cb and a mobile mag mount antenna stuck to a garbage can lid.  So there are exceptions.  Skip happens with HF, and  Tropo happens with vhf.  6 Meters might be more beleivable....the ol' magic band.  But consistent reliability is a bit more complex.  As one of the moderators stated, 15 bucks and a few hours is a small investment to have the privelege.
Hope this helps,
Jimmy,
KI6LUC

Oddly it really is possible if you live in the midwest.

http://www.w9smc.com/SMC%20VHF/2%20Meter%2048%20States%20Summary.pdf

Offline scoutmaster

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Re: Working Simplex
« Reply #20 on: September 04, 2009, 06:49:44 AM »
The thing I really like about long range VHF and NVIS HF is that it is always about the same, In that if you talk to a guy 100 miles away one night chances are very good that you can talk to him every night.  I have a large tower and beams and I can talk well over 100 miles any night of the week on FM vertical, If I go Horizontal I am sure it would be even better.  Same is true with NVIS HF at least on 75 meters  and 160 meters , Night after night you can talk to the same crew with in the radius of 0 to 1000 miles.

 Two or three nights a week they now have a prepers net on 40 80 and 160 and it is always the same guys ( or at least with in the same area) there and they come in very good, The further south they get, (Further away) like SC, GA   and florida it starts getting hard to pick them up.

It is one of the reasons I never got into chasing DX or trying to make the long hals, it is almost impossible to do it dependably But that is what makes it fun every one likes something different.
But for those that use it mostly for communications, the 75 and 160 band using NVIS is the way to go very good communications when you get over the VHF range.

Just my 2 cents

Offline Tactical Badger

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Re: Working Simplex
« Reply #21 on: September 04, 2009, 07:17:04 AM »
The thing I really like about long range VHF and NVIS HF is that it is always about the same, In that if you talk to a guy 100 miles away one night chances are very good that you can talk to him every night.  I have a large tower and beams and I can talk well over 100 miles any night of the week on FM vertical, If I go Horizontal I am sure it would be even better.  Same is true with NVIS HF at least on 75 meters  and 160 meters , Night after night you can talk to the same crew with in the radius of 0 to 1000 miles.

 Two or three nights a week they now have a prepers net on 40 80 and 160 and it is always the same guys ( or at least with in the same area) there and they come in very good, The further south they get, (Further away) like SC, GA   and florida it starts getting hard to pick them up.

It is one of the reasons I never got into chasing DX or trying to make the long hals, it is almost impossible to do it dependably But that is what makes it fun every one likes something different.
But for those that use it mostly for communications, the 75 and 160 band using NVIS is the way to go very good communications when you get over the VHF range.

Just my 2 cents

Ex-freakin'-xactly!!!!!!  I can not agree strongly enough with this. 

If my comm's are subject to the fickle finger of propogation...then...that's not much use to me.

I had a very long conversation the other day with my on-air Elmer, and he was telling me I have to figure out exactly what I was wanting to do with Amateur Radio before I went out and spent money on the wrong types of gear.  Long story...short...I am an EMCOMM's kinda' guy.  I, at this stage of the game, have zero interest in working some guy Japan on 5Watts in CW.  That's not why I got into the hobby at all.  If that's your thing...good for you.  It's just not mine.  Now...if said guy in Japan tells me that Mount Fuji has had a major eruption and ash is headed my way...then yes...that interests me.  But, other than that....well...you get the picture.

Yes...I realize the "Nice weather we're having" conversations I may have now on the radio are merely practice for when I might actually have to use the radio to maintain comm's with the outside world, and therefore, I'll try and have them with people further and further away.  But, only to a certain limit.

Scoutmaster...get outta' my head!!! ;D

Offline scoutmaster

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Re: Working Simplex
« Reply #22 on: September 04, 2009, 11:58:01 AM »
Well Badger

As along time ham, and for 10 years a preper, it only seems to be something that goes together. After all ham radio was so post to be for emergencies,so lets use it for them. Not sure what all the other states are doing or even if any one has thought out further than the counties they are in but it is really ease to go state wide on HF and do it well and not with much antenna. and during the middle of the day.

 We don't have a big group but the ones we do have know where to find each other if we are 10 miles or 200 miles apart and that is really nice. when the cells die, and they will,if they want to be able to shut off the internet you know they will hit the cells even if they are not knocked out buy what ever happens.

I have talked to the guys when up at by BOL about 150 miles from my home , while I was riding along in my BOV and they where at or near my home QTH, they did not know the difference, Still don't understand the   guys that don't want to spend a few bucks and some time and get licensed. Cant tell you how many times I have found myself well outside of the FRS or GMRS range. its like
 :o :o :o Now what do I do

SM


Offline RIjake

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Re: Working Simplex
« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2009, 09:06:13 AM »
I know this thread is a little old but this conversation interests me. 

Badger, your thoughts are exactly why I'm getting into ham too.  My buddy and I are getting into ham now, we're both preppers and want secondary comms. 
I'm interested to know what you guys are using for radios. 

Offline Tactical Badger

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Re: Working Simplex
« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2009, 11:18:09 AM »
Yaesu FT-2800 in the vehicle,Yaesu FT-857D in the "shack", and a Yaesu VX-6R HT for everywhere else.

Offline survivininct

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Re: Working Simplex
« Reply #25 on: December 12, 2009, 12:05:56 PM »
Simplex repeaters may be an interesting thing to use in an emergency as well.  Just a box hooked to a mobile and a base antenna does it.  It receives a signal, stores it digitally, than repeats it on the same frequency.  For home base comms, would be good as it will greatly expand the range of portables with little investment.  I have used them and they are cool!   :)

https://www.argentdata.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=98&gclid=CPWuxpvL0Z4CFUlo5QodGVcZqg

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Re: Working Simplex
« Reply #26 on: December 12, 2009, 03:17:48 PM »
Simplex repeaters are great for emergency situations. They are rather awkward during normal times (you hear your own transmission repeated back to you) but you can't beat the simplicity of getting your signal out there by putting a radio, simplex repeater, and a battery on a hill. There is a simplex repeater Yahoo group that has lots of info.



~6

Offline JS_280

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Re: Working Simplex
« Reply #27 on: December 12, 2009, 03:26:28 PM »
Yaesu FT-2800 in the vehicle,Yaesu FT-857D in the "shack", and a Yaesu VX-6R HT for everywhere else.

I just got licensed about a month ago (got tech and general) and was looking at either an FT-857D or an FT-897D.  How do you like your 857?

Offline Tactical Badger

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Re: Working Simplex
« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2009, 06:19:31 AM »
I just got licensed about a month ago (got tech and general) and was looking at either an FT-857D or an FT-897D.  How do you like your 857?

Love it.  I also was looking at the 897 and the 857.  I went with the 857 because of it's size.  I almost bought the 897 because of it's battery capabilities.  But, I figured if I was going to tote the 897 with both it's batteries attached, I might as well drag a 12V deep-cycle along and have the full wattage of the 857.

If I wasn't going to possibly use my HF radio in the field, or in the vehicle, I probably would have gone with the 897.

Offline Carl

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Re: Working Simplex
« Reply #29 on: July 29, 2014, 03:55:07 PM »
As a real late entry to this I must say that POWER has little to do with VHF RANGE on FM..The earth is not flat and at mobile height about 7 to 10 mile is your limit..and at 200 feet about 26 miles is it..and at 1000 feet of tower you get 50 miles and then the curvature of the earth makes any more distance just a lucky break.Morning ,thermal propagation allows for 8 am to 10 AM or so and mostly works North/South with regularity. Without EME (moon bounce) and meteor scatter I have worked 34 states and 200 or so grids. Major distances can be worked with E skip (charged particle cloud) but this may happen only a few times a year and we need reliable communications on a more regular basis.

  More power helps ,but not much..a better (beam) antenna does more for your signal,both ways. On SSB 2 meters I check in to a net call from Southernmost Kansas or Northern most Arkansas and I am in Louisiana ,Near Shreveport. I can often talk SSB to mobiles in the Dallas area though that is with morning thermal propagation and not an any time all day capability.

I hold the ARRL record for 2 meter over land distance...and have held the record for 15 years . CW contact with W1REZ in central Maine...a freakish lucky two week log schedule at the attempt and completed on day 11...No one has done it since as so how can you call that ability? Just luck.