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2m Filters + random nonsense

Yup happened to me, Mt Lofty over looking Adeliade in South Australia, VK5/SE-005. Not exaclty on your list Richard but would be a great test site. Come over for a little holiday maybe?? Or post a kit over and we can find a VK5 local who can give it a go.
Compton

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Black Mtn vk1/ac-042 is the main place this happens in vk1. All brands of HT are desensed on that site. Fm broadcast, digital Tv and many other services.
.image
Edited pic to force it to be a landscape image. It’s the vhf and uhf services ar the top of the tower causing the problem anyway. IMHO.

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Yes, Black Mountain is a poor VHF site due to desence but I did quailify it on a HH. Didnt get one call in the log on Mt Lofty. Paul, VK5PAS will help out I’m sure.

Compton

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The Wrekin is the worse one I have experienced

Bad with a Yaesu FT60 HH but fine with an 817 - That was using the 817 on both FM and SSB 2m

Granted that does not answer your question, but it is an easy run down the M6 and M54

Matt

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They wont be around for some months. Developing a product properly takes ages!

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Not a squeak on The Cloud G/SP-015 last night - as usual. TBH I’ve detected issues from the masts on Sutton Common on the opposite side of the valley maybe a single figure number of times in over 1200 activations I’ve done on here!

Last night - 107 QSOs on 2m - using FT8, SSB and FM modes (but unusually no CW).

In VK1 you would be lucky to get 6 to 8 on 2m FM and that’s with an alert 7 days in advance. :slight_smile:

Andrew VK1AD

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Indeed Andrew - yet people on here keep moaning that “2m is dead”!

Last week I decidedto activate G/DC-003 Kit Hill on 2m FM with HF in reserve. This was with an FT857 set at 20 watts and a dipole at 6 metres. When I switched on, 2 metres FM was as quiet as the grave, which is pretty discouraging! Anyway I called CQ for ten minutes before getting a reply, and it took another nine minutes to get a second contact, but after that I got four in quick succession, mainly from people having lunch! After that no more contacts came, the band was dead again. I debated setting up for 20m but then a hailstorm arrived so I packed up and retreated. So yes, I got a successful activation, but apart from my little flurry of activity the band was as dead as a Dodo. Clearly people have the equipment for the band, and there is some desultory listening going on, but the impulse to talk seems to have decayed.

If I read that correctly it appears that you had six contacts in 20 minutes. Not too bad.

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From my first call to closing down was forty minutes. As you say, not bad, a reasonably successful activation for a band that was dead before and after. I wonder, though, how much longer the listeners will listen when there is so little to hear?

Apropos the subject of the thread, there were a few episodes of blocking during my time on the summit, probably from pagers amongst the array of antennas on the mine chimney. Do you have any idea of what the power tolerance of your filters might be?

If you had used CW I would have been able to hear you, you were ESP level on SSB

The filters are rated at 5 Watts.

That sounds to me Brian that 2m FM on this SOTA summit has improved a lot in recent years. Before I was licensed, my dad Tom M1EYP activated Kit Hill G/DC-003 back in 2004 on 2m FM and the time between the first and 2nd contact was 2 hours and 25 minutes and that was after switching from 2m FM to 2m SSB, so your 9 minutes between your first and 2nd contact is nothing compared to that and it proves 2m FM has improved a lot so I don’t understand why you are moaning saying 2m FM has gone down in recent years. Down south has never been great on 2m FM, but this evidence seems to have suggested that it has slowly improved over the recent years. You can see the activation report for this here which proves this. http://tomread.co.uk/kit_hill_2004.htm

Jimmy M0HGY

I understand what you are saying, Jimmy, but to me there is a difference between an active band getting plenty of use and a band that will only come alive if stimulated by something unusual, whether it be a SOTA activation, a contest or a tropo opening. I get the impression that 2 metre operators are so jaded that they will no longer make routine use of the band, leaving it apparently dead for long periods. Round here VERY long periods! It may be possible with patience to get a reasonable number of SOTA contacts, but a SOTA operator is doubly priviledged in that he represents a step to an award and has a particularly good take-off giving him a reach far beyond that of the ordinary operators less elevated QTH. You have to bear in mind that those stations that you work from a summit are generally not able to hear more than a few of all the others, their experience of activity will not match the SOTA experience.

I have to say I am with Jimmy and Richard on this one Brian. 40 minutes to get those QSOs doesn’t sound much different to my very first SOTA activations on Gun and Cloud here in G/SP with the so-called IO83 factor!

Nowadays it’s easy to get huge numbers of QSOs round here with a proper set up, double figures typical with a handheld only, and handheld only qualifications now quite usual on summits “darn sarf”. Admittedly, my AR history doesn’t reach back as far as many on here, but my extensive activator data clearly plots a sustained improvement in activity since 2002.

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There is a simple test of activity that you can apply during any activation, and that is to count how many simplex channels are occupied. On my recent Kit Hill activation the figure was zero. Right now with a 5 element yagi beamed along the long axis of Birmingham and the Black Country the figure is also zero. This as far as I am concerned is a dead band. I have little doubt that if I were to go up Walton Hill - or Barr Beacon - I would get some contacts, but here and now the band occupancy is zero. To put this into some sort of context, back in 1965 with AM on 70cm I could hear more band occupancy than on 2 metres tonight…and that was with no RF amplification before a crystal diode mixer and a 6/6 slot fed yagi nailed to the bedroom window ledge! In 1968 when 2 metres was allowed to the G8s I could get several contacts of an evening. In the 1980’s it was often impossible to find a clear channel for either FM or SSB. In 2003 with a brand new FT817 I was getting up to a dozen contacts an evening. Taking such a long view the decrease in activity seems little short of catastrophic, no wonder there were efforts to take the band off us!

You’ll note that on Kit Hill I was using 20 watts and was prepared to go to 50 watts if necessary, reasoning that a bigger signal might attract more attention, it seems to have paid off!

Hi Brian

How often do you Call CQ from home on 2m FM/SSB??

Matt G8XYJ

Despite my poll I have decided to go down to Brown Clee this weekend with a filter in my pocket. If it’s not raining I will take several handies and an MFD.

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The forecast charts for the weekend don’t look too promising!

A fair question, I rarely call CQ on any band, I prefer hunting to fishing! If I feel like some radio of an evening I tend to leave the 817 monitoring the FM calling channel and look to the lower HF bands for entertainment, mainly 80 and 160 nowadays.

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