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 New to 2m & 70cm 
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Post New to 2m & 70cm
Following the purchase of a duel band 2m / 70cm Kenwood, just over a week ago I have just had chance to set it up and spend a few hours listening in.

I thought I would just try the 2m side first, so on the net hunted down the relevant frequencies for the calling channel and also the repeaters local to my location in deepest Mid Wales. So the Mid Wales repeater based around 20 miles from my location, also,the repeaters at Hereford, Brecon and Carmarthen. So after a few hours of setting up the set and listening in, to my surprise absolutely nothing, diddly squat :shock:

I have made sure channels are set to receive the output channels of the repeaters and all relevant settings are correct for each repeater.

Since I'm not currently licensed it's all limited to listening in, but I was still surprised that nothing was heard in the several hours I was listening! The info on the MId Wales repeater says it puts out a beacon every 15 minutes :blink: I know the antennas I have tried are possible not the best in the world, they are the usual white stick scanner antennas about 1 metre in height, when purchased it did indicate they could be used for both 2m & 70cm so they should be ok on receive.

I have to be honest I'm a little despondent now, and wondering if it was worth the hard earn't cash I've just spend on this set. Possibly a new antenna will help, but will this be throwing more money away if there is nothing to hear in my area? Has anyone on here worked anyone on 2m in this area?


Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:36 pm
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 New to 2m & 70cm 
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Post Re: New to 2m & 70cm
Hi,
Yeah I work GW0IRW quite often in Lampeter, not sure exactly how far that is from your qth.
I never use FM though, always SSB or in this case as IRW is in a difficult spot I use CW. I hear him calling cq on 144.300 on the key quite often.
Sadly your FM handheld and white stick won't do that of course.
Not sure about repeaters but I wanted to reply to you just to say, yes mid wales is heard on 2m from here in Stoke.

Don't give up and good luck becoming licensed.

Rgds
Ian

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Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:50 pm
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 New to 2m & 70cm 
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Post Re: New to 2m & 70cm
Thanks for the response and the good news that there is at least some one on 2m in this area, Lampeter is around 35-40 miles from my location.

The set I have is a Kenwood TMV-71E, so I was hoping for a little better reception with this than from a hand held, but as you say the white stick might be the problem!! I haven't had chance to see if I can change the settings of the set to SSB from FM, I'm just getting used to the set so I'm not sure of its full capabilities yet.

I know from the limited reading I've had on the subject, I could possibly do with a yargi rather than a stick, but this will mean fitting a rotator etc and with alterations to the mast etc could be expensive. Are there any links to some options?


Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:13 pm
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Post Re: New to 2m & 70cm
Kenwood TMV-71E is a FM only set perhaps a chat with a local amateur or club will help you find the local activity and may help you test your system

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Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:18 pm
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Post Re: New to 2m & 70cm
GM1CMF wrote:
Kenwood TMV-71E is a FM only set perhaps a chat with a local amateur or club will help you find the local activity and may help you test your system


And there lies one of the main problems, the nearest club to me is around 45 miles away in any one direction, so this area is a bit of a black hole! But in the long run it would be nice to get some interest in the hobby in this area. I've been waiting to do the Foundation Course for a few years, hopefully I've found someone locally who can accommodate this later this year and I would like to do all three if possible, but I need to learn to walk before I start running! I'll see if I can get I touch with the club that has the repeater located about 20 miles from me. I thought it might be the case that the set I've got is FM only,


Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:31 pm
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Post Re: New to 2m & 70cm
Hope you get there and don't get to put off if there is a lack of activity in your area, remember there are some FM satellites about have a search and see what frequency's you can add to your scan on the radio

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Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:39 pm
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Post Re: New to 2m & 70cm
I'm in the same position as Ian, as I don't use FM either but I worked GW0GEI, again in Lampeter, on 2M SSB, recently.
He's just setting up, after moving house.

SSB, with large beams, is a world away from a handheld.

It will make a big difference as to where you are located.
Go to the repeater website and you can check if you are in the coverage area.
http://www.ukrepeater.net/index.html

Cheers

Tony

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Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:12 pm
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Post Re: New to 2m & 70cm
gw8asd wrote:

SSB, with large beams, is a world away from a handheld.


But his set is a mobile, please Tony do not make this another FM is rubbish posting from you, I have tried to be helpful and up beat giving possible options, avoiding your elitist SSB is the only way, lots of amateurs get a lot of joy from using FM only sets so for once lay off it, I use all modes and will talk to anyone I hear calling even if I have worked them or there square before unlike you, think back to some of your posts admitting turning a deaf ear because you have worked a square before.

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Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:29 pm
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 New to 2m & 70cm 
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Post Re: New to 2m & 70cm
After looking at the UK repeater site, the coverage for my area looks almost none existent on either 2m/70cm, there is coverage North, South and East but it all stops about 10 miles or so from my location :shock: Well I don't suppose there is much I can do about that, other than give up on the 2m/70cm bands, almost as soon as I have started.


Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:32 pm
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Post Re: New to 2m & 70cm
Do try the satellites and see if the locals have a chat night on 2mtrs anything is possible, as for the coverage maps they are not exact and it may be possible to hear something as they are only computer predictions and you may find the terrain offers some strange path enhancements things like knife edge refraction can make an impossible path work one of the things that makes this hobby different from others.

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Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:40 pm
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Post Re: New to 2m & 70cm
Ok will do, I've just emailed the club who have the closest repeater to me to see if they have some info etc, ill try the satellites as well when I get chance. It's just a little disappointing to live in an area that appears to be dead on these bands!


Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:57 pm
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Post Re: New to 2m & 70cm
GM1CMF wrote:
gw8asd wrote:

SSB, with large beams, is a world away from a handheld.


But his set is a mobile, please Tony do not make this another FM is rubbish posting from you, I have tried to be helpful and up beat giving possible options, avoiding your elitist SSB is the only way, lots of amateurs get a lot of joy from using FM only sets so for once lay off it, I use all modes and will talk to anyone I hear calling even if I have worked them or there square before unlike you, think back to some of your posts admitting turning a deaf ear because you have worked a square before.

Read my post.
I didn't rubbish anything, but did point towards the repeater website.
I didn't notice that from you!

I'm not elitist, just a realist.
The statement I made was just fact.

There's going to be little joy, with a simple antenna, from a hole in the ground.
An area I know, and was responsible for providing radio coverage in!
You may have more luck with a vertically polarised Yagi, and a rotator.
Not something I would normally recommend but, under the circumstances, might help.

There may be the possibility of the odd satellite contact but, if that doesn't work out, don't let it put you off VHF/UHF.
There are many more avenues to explore, as you gain experience and get a better understanding.

Cheers

Tony

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Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:03 am
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Post Re: New to 2m & 70cm
Dont be put off..

I know Llandrindod pretty well and you are right its a tricky place to get out of,however there are some damn good sites around it.

My Ex in Laws used to live there and myself and GW8ZVZ used to go portable..cant remember exactly where but I think it was somewhere near a golf course? Anyway we worked quite a bit from there.I also used to go up to the Mountain road in the Elan Valley but always found it to be a bit poor

I dont know if you can still get up to Black Mixen near New Radnor....thats quite a site as well and somewhere I operated /P from quite a bit in the 80s.

Theres no doubt about it 2M from there is challenging to say the least...but hey..thats part of the fun of it ;)


Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:25 am
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Post Re: New to 2m & 70cm
[quote

Theres no doubt about it 2M from there is challenging to say the least...but hey..thats part of the fun of it ;)[/quote]

This was my thinking as well. It will be interesting experimenting with antennas from my home address and also going mobile around the area. Who knows, in the future if there is enough interest in the hobby in the area maybe we can look to installing another as I believe there used to be one only a couple of miles away. But I believe this was in the day when Llandrindod had an amateur radio club and GW3LJP (Bert Mills) was around.


Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:55 pm
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Post Re: New to 2m & 70cm
Ant55 wrote:
I know the antennas I have tried are possible not the best in the world, they are the usual white stick scanner antennas about 1 metre in height, when purchased it did indicate they could be used for both 2m & 70cm so they should be ok on receive.

I have to be honest I'm a little despondent now, and wondering if it was worth the hard earn't cash I've just spend on this set. Possibly a new antenna will help, but will this be throwing more money away if there is nothing to hear in my area? Has anyone on here worked anyone on 2m in this area?


How high up do you have the antenna? and what coax are you using? If you are using RG58 that may be your problem?
Get your antenna as high as you can clear of surrounding obstructions, get it up on a chimney stack with a lashing kit etc.
And use good quality coax, the thin rg58 is very very lossy at 2mtrs and worse still at 70cms. I would say minimum rg213
but there are even better cable types but the cost goes up accordingly.

Dont give up yet. in this hobby you get out what you put in!

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Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:12 pm
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