So first activation today(yay!) of W7W/NO-073 ran into a bit of a snag with I think was a nearby repeater(~200ft) and trying to understand it more for future activations.
Since Blue Mountain is pretty far off the beaten path in the Olympic National Park this looked to be a solar powered only repeater w/ 2 small 1’x2’ panels. Looking up the repeater afterwards confirmed that it’s a part of ~5 other repeaters on 168mhz with same input/output frequencies and different PL tones at each site.
Anyway, I was using my VX8-DR on 146.520 with a 15" whip antenna hoping to get a little bit of extra gain. When a S2S came up it appeared that the repeater would stomp on the other signal with a full S9 signal but zero actual audio in the FM modulation. It seems like I could position my body around the antenna to interrupt it but didn’t seem pretty consistent.
After that contact I switched over to my usual, 5" whip antenna and didn’t appear to have any more issues but I couldn’t tell if that was because the repeater wasn’t active or I was using a less sensitive antenna.
So, was that RF frontend overload or something else? I’ve been a little surprised with some of the issues I’ve seen on the VX8(if both channels are active, sequelch sometimes breaks second channel and scanning that switches between 2m/70cm causes audio issues when the other channel opens squelch) so I’m trying to figure out if it’s a common issue with the VX8 or just summit conditions.