2m.....or is it me?

Certainly in this area a lot are migrating to DMR to avoid the IQ zeros but there is still plenty of activity.

SOTA wise I have worked 107 stations over a 5 month period despite the fact I spend most of the day on HF.

HNY to everyone, and many thanks to all the activators for all their efforts


This may be true, but glosses over the fact that there must be hundreds of such people, the entire surviving population of two metres from the days of the A and B licenses, in any major conurbation. I know this much, I ran out of steam several years ago when the ratio of calls to replies started to trend towards infinity! When the amount of effort needed to get contacts passes a certain threshold it becomes better to change bands or seek new challenges. Its familiar - it happened on 70 cms in 1968!

I just checked again, there is some sort of net on 145.225, otherwise nothing but repeater ID’s.


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At risk of repeating myself (no pun intended) - yes, but have you called CQ? Someone has to at some point - otherwise you have a very self-fulfilling prophecy :wink:

I could, of course, but that would invalidate what is intended to be some sort of survey!


Activity begats activity. The fix is it needs people to call and keep calling and I can understand that when it gets asymptotic to zero response you get bored. Maybe a voice keyer would help!

It’s a bit like 23cms FM and SOTA. There was a period when Barry M0IML was very active from North Wales and he regularly called on 23cms. Barry was such a reliable source of 23cms QSOs quite a number of people bought 23cms handies so they could join in the fun. Then Barry has to relocate and is no longer as active and the 23cms activity drops to very low.

Perhaps one way to stir up activity is to start some weekly SOTA nets on 2m FM (SSB if you want). As you say, there must be plenty of 2m capable SOTA chasers in 2m range of yourself Brian. Hell, you could even monopolise a 2m repeater for 30mins without upsetting too many people. Most repeaters sit idle for a lot of the day.

You can’t do it on your own Brian as you know. But if you could just get a handful to keep at it with you then all of you may be able to make a few ripples in the pond of silence.

I managed 6 on 2m yesterday from GM/SS-155 (3 SSB, 3 FM) and 9 on 2m today from GM/SS-061 (3 SSB, 6 FM). The number of 2m SSB chasers has fallen to an all time low, at least in my experience. I run 25W to a 5 element yagi, as from when I started back in 2006. I used to regularly work more than 10 chasers on SSB. Really nowadays I can only look to G0RQL, G4JZF, G0TRB and G3RMD to be looking for me. If they are not in the shack, then I struggle to qualify the summits on the mode.

You can quote stats from the database, but all that shows is that at least one 2m QSO was made from a summit. It does not reflect activity in any way whatsoever. Take it from me - the 2m band is now a minority interest.

73, Gerald G4OIG

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Er no, you can get a breakdown and see if you qualified the summit on each band. Here’s your last few activations and you can see apart from Ailsa Craig, you’ve qualified each on 2m.

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Hi Gerald,

The first sign of ducting and you can’t find a clear frequency on 2m FM. I’m in the same camp a s Phil G4OBK. There are still plenty of hams who monitor 500 from their shacks.

73 Mike

I don’t think the SOTA community should ever write off 2m FM especially in many parts of the UK. Poland, Austria, Slovenia and many other EU countries. This is a very easy to use, cheap, quick and effective mode when you want to activate a summit. The 2m FM mode is still well alive in my opinion and I don’t think the stats represent a true picture, its just that not many activators choose to use it. The listeners are out there and will respond to a CQ SOTA call - many of the callers are not actually registered for SOTA in the database but are quite happy to exchange a quick signal report and help an activator qualify the summit.

I’ve found the mode very effective on 53 activations this year, some were mixed with HF operation. 43 out of those 53 activations would have been qualified on 2m FM. The Yorkshire activators in our area such as myself, G4OOE, G3TQQ, M0HQO and G4YSS will I am sure continue to use 2m FM with great enthusiasm!

73 and Happy New Year


Well, if we take today’s activation as a snapshot, my 2m FM QSO rate was far higher than my QSO rate in any part of the contest that preceded it. Nuff said!

Gerald, I listened for you on SS-155 yesterday, but all I heard was G3RMD on CW I didn’t hear anything from you. I missed you today as I had to take my daughter to catch her bus.

Andy, Whilst Gerald may have qualified those summits on 2m I think he’s still correct in that the number of chasers is lower - it is quite rare for me to hear more that a couple of chasers calling anyone even on the WB or SW summits where I used to hear many.


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Agree Stewart. Most of my 2m contacts now are S2S when I get to a summit.

I think this is ammunition to arrange another VHF fun day just to remind everyone can see how well VHF works if one end of the QSO is well sited. We can roll it up with some Vintage Electric Handbag operation as well especially as I now have a Trio TR2300 as well as an FT290 Mk1.

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Good idea Andy. I am quite happy to use my other call on 2m for such an event. Anything to try to boost activity on 2m and higher bands. Maybe include 70cm and 23cm as well?

Many thanks for listening out Stewart. I could hear the Kent beacon Q5 and I worked Don RQL, but that was all outside of GM. The 3 contacts on FM were also all GM. By contrast, the SS-061 activation yesterday produced contacts with RQL and TRB on SSB, with Geoff WHA being the only GM to make the log on that mode. The 6 on FM were either from the Lakes area or GI, all made with the beam pointing north. Maybe the bulk of the Galloway summits blocked the path in the northerly direction.

73, Gerald G4OIG

Which is not the same as the figures Brian quoted which was my point of reference. In response to John’s original question, I remain of the opinion that 2m operation is down on 5 years ago.

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That is the “IO83” phenomenon, Tom. Your locator square is awash with 2m FM activity. In contrast, in the G/WB part of the world, you struggle to make the requisite 4 QSOs on 2m FM.

As for activity in large cities, I once failed to qualify Dundry Down after 2 hours of calling on 2m FM on a weekday afternoon. That is right on the doorstep of Bristol.

Happy Hogmanay!

Walt (G3NYY)

Indeed it is - and that applies both to FM and SSB.

As for 4m, activity is almost non-existent. There was a brief flurry of FM interest for a year or so when the Wouxun 4m hand-helds came on the market, but it has now reverted to being “the silent band”.

Walt (G3NYY)

Yes Walt, I am considering selling my Wouxun. I can’t even get a QSO around here and it is certainly not worth taking up to Scotland. Pity as the band has great potential.

Even if a super cheap ready built transverter was available as an add-on to the 817, I reckon the activity level would be virtually non-existent after an initial surge of interest.

73, Gerald G4OIG

Fair enough on the “IO83 Effect” - but the thread initiator is himself from these parts! Anyway, the matter was put to the test this morning. Using mainly 2.5 watts, Jimmy made 33 QSOs on 2m FM from Shining Tor. Meanwhile, I made a relatively unimpressive 13 on 10m CW/SSB.

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Now I think I’ll have a late afternoon trip to The Cloud G/SP-015, see if I can get my 10m sigs over the pond. And to record a 13th consecutive daily activation of my favourite hill!

Actually, no I’m not. Just looked out of the window. Frank is back.