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Posted: 12/13/2016 2:31:18 PM EST
So, I decided to buy a radio after being off air since the early 90s. I started a thread here a few days ago (thanks for the advice by the way). I dialed up a few repeaters on 2 meter and it is DEAD. I'm in a fairly big city too. I haven't heard a single peep. When I was really into this stuff in the late 80s and early 90s, 2 meter was always busy. I guess times have changed. I feel old.

What are the cool kids doing nowadays?
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 2:43:59 PM EST
Playing on Ninetendo.
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 2:45:15 PM EST
Don't know where you are located, but see if there is a Winsystem repeater near you.
Always someone on, linked all around the US and overseas.
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 2:55:57 PM EST
Ours seems dead, but its very busy at times.

Most of the locals haing out on 80m and bs.
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 3:19:24 PM EST
Check during commute times and lunch. That seems to be the high traffic times in my area.
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 4:47:47 PM EST
Originally Posted By splanchnic:
So, I decided to buy a radio after being off air since the early 90s. I started a thread here a few days ago (thanks for the advice by the way). I dialed up a few repeaters on 2 meter and it is DEAD. I'm in a fairly big city too. I haven't heard a single peep. When I was really into this stuff in the late 80s and early 90s, 2 meter was always busy. I guess times have changed. I feel old.

What are the cool kids doing nowadays?
View Quote


Playing H.F.
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 5:01:46 PM EST
Originally Posted By splanchnic:
...What are the cool kids doing nowadays?
View Quote

Running JT-65 on HF.
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 5:57:16 PM EST
I noticed the same thing here in Tulsa.

If I leave my HT on scan going through all the repeaters and calling frequencies, I may catch 2-3 people using them in any 12 hour period.

Outside of regular nets, they are as dead as disco.

I get the feeling from talking to people that there is a fear of using the two big repeaters here in town. Real or not, there is the perception that those are reserved for the ARES guys.
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 8:40:15 PM EST
Anything other than HF is totally dead around here (New England).
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 9:12:15 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Frank_B:

Running JT-65 on HF.
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This...

Although, the local repeaters by me are fairly active....still....I spend like 99.5% of my air time chasing DX on HF
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 10:17:34 PM EST
I guess I've been lucky. One of the clubs around here has enough members such that during my morning and evening commutes, I can listen, talk, etc. They have an OTA net on that repeater on Sunday nights at 8. Just the other night, I dialed in to one of the other area repeaters and heard the ham group there coordinating a parade for the city. Pretty cool.

When I was in Reno, they had linked repeaters all over the area. Hit one, you hit them all. Their club had probably 300 members. They had a daily net at noon. They had probably 10 other nets at different times during the week. And, they played the "Ham Radio News" once a week. Most all of that was on 2m. They even had a couple of repeaters set up specifically for rag chew. I'd listen to the main one and invariably if there was a major traffic snarl, somebody with a mobile would be providing real-time info on what the problem was and how to get around it.

There have been times when I've thrown my callsign out there on some local repeaters and got nothing. But usually if I just want to have a quick QSO, there's somebody out there listening. I had hoped to try out one of the local digital repeaters here but haven't been able to raise anybody yet. Not sure if it's a setting problem on my end or very, very few people listening to that particular 70cm repeater.
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 10:51:35 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Frank_B:

Running JT-65 on HF.
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Originally Posted By Frank_B:
Originally Posted By splanchnic:
...What are the cool kids doing nowadays?

Running JT-65 on HF.

Or Echolink. Apparently you don't even need a radio to use it. Just a license and a computer.
Link Posted: 12/14/2016 12:54:25 AM EST
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Originally Posted By Kekoa:

Or Echolink. Apparently you don't even need a radio to use it. Just a license and a computer.
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I have an echolink app on my iphone. 

There is a friday night Arfcom net on echolink too. 
Link Posted: 12/14/2016 8:02:56 AM EST
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Originally Posted By Kekoa:

Or Echolink. Apparently you don't even need a radio to use it. Just a license and a computer.
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Originally Posted By Kekoa:
Originally Posted By Frank_B:
Originally Posted By splanchnic:
...What are the cool kids doing nowadays?

Running JT-65 on HF.

Or Echolink. Apparently you don't even need a radio to use it. Just a license and a computer.

So true! I refuse to use Echolink. The whole point of radio communications is radio communications! With all due respect to the great bunch of guys that meet over Echolink on Friday evenings, they might as well move the whole show to Teamspeak, which is a much better platform for large, multiway teleconferences.
Link Posted: 12/14/2016 9:46:32 AM EST
Didn't realize teamspeak had irlp bridges, how does one set that up?
Link Posted: 12/14/2016 9:57:56 AM EST
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Originally Posted By Yorknoken:
Didn't realize teamspeak had irlp bridges, how does one set that up?
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Teamspeak doesn't have that. But since the vast majority of the Echolink gang is using their computer/tablet/cell phone, and of the remaining radio users coming in through an irlp node most if not all don't need to do that either, what's the point?

I will admit that there may be the odd person who has no access to the internet and must use a radio to a repeater site, but surely their numbers approach zero?

Link Posted: 12/14/2016 10:10:02 AM EST
Gotcha, I misunderstood your point. I agree for the most part, but I think it's intended more for convenience than any sort of reliable comms. I think it would be cool to see a regional repeater network with rf backbone/linking, but if the fiber is already there for the internet it makes sense to utilize the path of least resistance for something that really is just for the convenience of reaching a wider audience. Getting back to OP's general complaint about the radio seeming dead, a lot of times people are monitoring just waiting for someone to talk to. I've found that if I throw out something like "i'm designing/building a qrp matchbox for a half wave dipole end fed antenna, anyone listening know where I can source some toroids locally this is <my call sign>" I will almost always start a conversation. Sometimes just the same old "this is <call sign> monitoring." Doesn't work if nobody that is listening recognizes you. (E.g. The only people I hear that start conversations that way are the same group of three or four guys that talk to each other everyday)

Best advice I can give is throw out a topic and see if anyone bites. And if you hear someone throw their call sign, call back. Activity breeds more activity.
Link Posted: 12/14/2016 10:39:56 AM EST
We have two very active repeater networks in my neck of the woods. One of them also has a 10 meter link so we get guys in from all over creation sometimes.
One suggestion is if your local system is linked, throw your call out twice when you are doing that. Sometimes it takes a second or two for the linked repeaters to pick up, and all you hear is the back half of someones call sign, and people dont seem to reply to those very often.
Link Posted: 12/18/2016 3:53:31 PM EST
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Originally Posted By GrimEReaper:
Playing on Ninetendo.
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Yep and getting even dumber and dumber. No wonder many high school students can hardly read and can't write a simple letter without a computer.
Back in the days, I would not get past 3rd grade if I could not read and write.
Link Posted: 12/18/2016 4:01:57 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/18/2016 4:04:42 PM EST by Gyprat]
Originally Posted By splanchnic:
So, I decided to buy a radio after being off air since the early 90s. I started a thread here a few days ago (thanks for the advice by the way). I dialed up a few repeaters on 2 meter and it is DEAD. I'm in a fairly big city too. I haven't heard a single peep. When I was really into this stuff in the late 80s and early 90s, 2 meter was always busy. I guess times have changed. I feel old.

What are the cool kids doing nowadays?
View Quote


It depends on where you live. When I lived in Phoenix, AZ, 2 meters was almost dead. I did not even bother to have a 2 meter rig in my vehicle. I had an HF rig though and it has always been a lot of fun.
2 meters is very busy here in the CArolinas (Charlotte area). 440 is somewhat active too. There are a lot of repeaters in the area where you can always find someone to chat with. I can hit at least 40 repeaters from my place. We have a group of about a dozen hams, within a 40 mile radius who always hang around on a simplex frequency.
In my opinion, HF (shortwave) is where the fun is. I'm sure many will agree. Heck, I had been a very active ham on HF bands for many years and worked 200+ countries before I even made a single contact on 2 meters FM.
Link Posted: 12/18/2016 9:47:34 PM EST
I was over on Eham.net looking around and came across this article. What a great read.

http://www.eham.net/articles/37444#comments
Link Posted: 12/20/2016 12:08:32 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/20/2016 12:11:38 AM EST by ScooterInVegas]
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Originally Posted By aa777888-2:

So true! I refuse to use Echolink. The whole point of radio communications is radio communications! With all due respect to the great bunch of guys that meet over Echolink on Friday evenings, they might as well move the whole show to Teamspeak, which is a much better platform for large, multiway teleconferences.
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Most of the guys on the Friday net use IRLP to get on the net. You know... with radios?

The net is on IRLP reflector 9257. It is "bridged" on echolink to make it easier for some to get on the net. There's been more than a few nets that had zero people on echolink. Echolink..... sorta sucks.
Link Posted: 12/20/2016 12:54:36 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By aa777888-2:

So true! I refuse to use Echolink. The whole point of radio communications is radio communications! With all due respect to the great bunch of guys that meet over Echolink on Friday evenings, they might as well move the whole show to Teamspeak, which is a much better platform for large, multiway teleconferences.
View Quote


Couple of years ago, an older couple saw my truck with a large HF antenna and stopped by to say hello. It turns out the guy used to be a ham but he did not renew his license. He said ham radio was cool back in the days but he don't need it anymore because they both have cellphones with Skype and other modern features. I asked him what happens if his phone quits working. He gave me a weird and confused look but did not answer. LOL.
Link Posted: 12/20/2016 10:10:16 AM EST
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Originally Posted By Gyprat:
Couple of years ago, an older couple saw my truck with a large HF antenna and stopped by to say hello. It turns out the guy used to be a ham but he did not renew his license. He said ham radio was cool back in the days but he don't need it anymore because they both have cellphones with Skype and other modern features. I asked him what happens if his phone quits working. He gave me a weird and confused look but did not answer. LOL.
View Quote

In the spirit of "better to have it and not need it", I keep an old FT-90 mobile just thrown into the center console of the truck, plus a mag-NMO mount on the roof. An SBB7 antenna normally sits behind the rear seat, as driving around with it causes it to bang into too many trees, drive-throughs and don't even think about going into a parking garage. I've got all the local repeaters programmed into it for 100 miles around. Every once in a while I get a wild hair and put the antenna up on the roof, just to make sure it all still works. Every Single Time I get disappointed and depressed. Not because it doesn't work, but because I can drive for two hours and hear nothing except maybe a couple of 100 year old guys make a gratuitous contact, and nobody will answer my CQs. Not even on the large linked system. Every once in a great while I'll make a contact so I do know it works. Therefore the antenna remains behind the rear seat, just in case.
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