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Common operating frequencies


#1

Matt M3WDS made a very valid observation, in a recent post, where amateurs local to him tend to listen on 145.350 FM. It is reasonably well known that in and around Inverness the local “watch frequency” is 145.575MHz FM and that knowledge has been a saviour for stations struggling to qualify a hill in the North and North East Highlands.

Are there any other local “watch frequencies”, other than the calling channels, where it is possible to rustle-up a contact when in need? Perhaps we can compile a short list.

73

Barry GM4TOE


#2

In reply to GM4TOE:
Excellent idea Barry, i know that the boy’s on the east coast towards Aberdeen tend to be on 145.475FM, ive called there a few times and had successful qso’s. And when i was on a summit in fife, i think the local channel was 144.310usb, but that would need to be confirmed.

73

Adrian


#3

In reply to GM4TOE:

Mrng Barry,

My local club, Weston super Mare Radio Society, keep watch on 438.325 FM.
Have made many qso’s from local hills and even GW land, just using my 817 with rubber duck antenna.
Best wishes from a snowy Somerset!

73 Peter G(W)3TJE +


#4

Down in Cornwall, 144.700 or 144.725 have been local FM chat channels. (Yes, 144 not 145). Useful to know if 2m seems even quieter than expected!

Tom M1EYP


#5

In reply to GM4TOE:
Around Telford 144.6 MHz FM, the RTTY portion of the bandplan, is used by Telford and District ARS members for chat. A call on GB3TF 433.200 MHz FM +1.6MHz offset 103.5 Hz tone may yield a club member willing to have a simplex QSO.
73
David M0YDH


#6

In reply to M0YDH:

In most of the Welsh Border hills (Especially Ludlow area) you will be able to use GB3VM Woofferton 145.6125 MHz 103.5 CTCSS, GB3VN Ludlow 430.925 +7.6 MHz 103.5 CTCSS and soon GB3GT Clee Hill 50.83 MHz 103.5 CTCSS.

The majority of locals monitor these instead of calling channels, so if you struggle try one of these and most of the people will QSY to a simplex channel!

Having said that 4m FM is popular and we all moniter 70.450MHz FM so you could also try this one!

73 Matt 2E0XTL


#7

In reply to GM4TOE:
GM Barry,
It strikes me that a campaign to encourage local clubs to monitor the established calling frequencies, as well as their chat nets, would be more useful.
Breaking into ongoing conversations is less than polite, and I would much rather not qualify a hill than chase round local nets and repeaters.
73,
Frank


#8

In reply to G3RMD:

It strikes me that a campaign to encourage local clubs to monitor the
established calling frequencies, as well as their chat nets, would be
more useful.

…but ultimately unlikely to succeed I think.

Breaking into ongoing conversations is less than polite, and I would
much rather not qualify a hill than chase round local nets and
repeaters.

I know what you mean but my experience is that most people are more than happy to oblige - and often find the SOTA contact interesting.

In the early days of SOTA I recall being told by someone in a remote Welsh valley that he hated SOTA because he could no longer monitor 145.500 in his shack at the weekends without being disturbed by people calling CQ. It was never clear what he was monitoring for…

73

Richard
G3CWI


#9

Frank,

The fact is that several areas around the UK have their local “chat channels” where people both chat and call in. This isn’t the same as breaking into an ongoing conversation, as the MO on the frequency is more like that of a repeater.

Tom M1EYP


#10

In reply to G3CWI:

I know what you mean but my experience is that most people are more than happy to oblige…

Part of my general aversion to FM is down to the fact that on several occasions I have called on 145.500 when I’ve been short of contacts, only to get no response. Then less than 30 seconds later a local pops up with his callsign, gets an immediate response from another local and they QSY to their “usual” frequency. Now somehow that doesn’t seem to be an invitation for me to follow them. Amazingly the same has happened on 70cms. This, however, is something that I’ve never experienced on SSB. Several times I have broken into SSB QSOs and been made most welcome - the only problem was trying to extract myself such was the level of interest in what I was doing and what kit I had hauled up the hill!

I guess it is down to there being nowt so queer as folks.

73, Gerald G4OIG


#11

In reply to 2M0ETR:
I guess we shouldn’t ignore Edinburgh’s infamous AM net on 145.800 - on the other hand, perhaps we should!

Barry


#12

I have experienced exactly the situation you describe, many times Gerald, but nonetheless followed them to their frequency, broke in and asked for a couple of quick contacts. And without fail, they’ve always obliged in a friendly matter. So don’t be put off by the first impression!

Tom M1EYP


#13

In reply to GM4TOE:
I dont know much about that one to be honest Barry.

In reply to ALL:

I think if you want to break into an established qso, doing so at the appropriate time, with the correct manners and operating technique, the other stations will gladly work you. But jumping in and taking over the frequency will get peoples backs up. Its meant to be a friendly hobbie, lets keep it that way.

However as an activator i dont go out thinking i have to make 4 qso’s, 10 qso’s or 100, i will try to work anybody i can hear. I dont feel hard done by if i only work 1 station. Such as life and it means i get to do the hill again another time. So if nobody answers your CQ’s on what ever frequency your on it’s not the end of the world.

Marginally off topic perhaps…

Adrian


#14

In reply to 2M0ETR:

However as an activator i dont go out thinking i have to make 4 qso’s,
10 qso’s or 100, i will try to work anybody i can hear. I dont feel
hard done by if i only work 1 station. Such as life and it means i get
to do the hill again another time. So if nobody answers your CQ’s on
what ever frequency your on it’s not the end of the world.

Certainly not the end of the world Adrian, but more than likely another 500 mile round trip to get to that summit again. Yes I know, that’s my choice through activating Uniques on VHF. Anything that helps me qualify the summit is most welcome. I think Barry’s suggestion is excellent - particularly pertinent if you have an issue with the main equipment and you are reduced to a handheld.

73, Gerald G4OIG


#15

In reply to G4OIG:
I agree Richard a list of net frequencies is very handy. Sometimes using it will be necessary to qualify a summit and ive done it before. It must be frustrating hearing someone calling their friend after quite clearly ignoring your call…but then is it really worth chasing them around the band just to get a callsign in the log. Just wait a few more minutes and im sure someone friendlier will be willing to answer your call. What frustrates me is spending 7 hours on Ben Nevis and coming away with 0 qso’s due to WX problems, its not always people that let you down, sometimes its the elements.

73 Adrian


#16

With SOTA having grown to the size it has, I think a good idea would be for the powers that be to push for some frequencies to be included the Band Plan. Not set in stone, just part of the ‘gentlemans agreement’.

For instance on 2M 144.325 USB and 145.325 FM. I know 3.666 is often used too. If activators began using these frequencies S2S contacts may increase. Chasers would probably also monitor these frequencies. If I remember correctly someone on here is in fairly regular contact with someone at the RSGB. SOTA has enough participants to be a big enough voice.

Just my two penneth from a Snowy Yorkshire

73 Chris 2E0FSR


#17

It seems to me these local frequencies are one of the reasons from time to time someone says 2 metres is dead. Some of it is historic because way back in the day someone had a bulk load of crystals made for their club nets and the tradition has continued. It would make more sense if everyone just used the nationally designated calling frequency, but even around here lots of people go straight to their frequency of choice to avoid the idiots, not that the ploy works well for long.

One solution might be to try the old timers method; Start calling “CQ” on 145.575 and “tuning high to low” calling in turn on every frequency until you find where the locals are hiding.

In reply to Chris 2E0FSR, bad choices! In this QTH those frequencies have the most interference of anywhere on two metres and almost everyone has probably got their own unusable frequencies these days on VHF and UHF.

Steve GW7AAV


#18

In reply to GM4TOE:
Re GB3BI and GB3SS, they suffer from very low traffic for some reason. Not for a lack of coverage I’m sure. From the 15months I’ve been licensed I think I’ve raised less than a dozen qso’s between them. I’d like to think someone other than me monitors their frequencies regularly. On the other hand I’ve never been able to acces NG, I’ve heard it ident only when I’ve been /p. Unless I have the wrong tone programmed in which is possible. But if your in my neck of the highlands, 145.575 fm has always been the frequency to be calling on, very rare again to raise a qso on .500

73 and happy new year to you all
Stay safe on the hills

Adrian


#19

Other ones to try around Gloucestershire / Welsh Borders / Larger South Wales summits are:

145.400 FM / 430.8625 (GB3UK) CTCSS 103.5