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Old 17-06-2013, 04:42   #1
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2 Meter

Is anyone using 2 meter? I heard some fishing boats are using it as there are more channels which gives them more privacy. The radios also allow them to monitor the VHF and weather broad cast and alerts.
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Old 17-06-2013, 07:20   #2
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Re: 2 Meter

You mean the 2-meter ham band? If they are using it to coordinate commercial fishing activities, then they are violating the law. And, of course, they would also need a ham license to be legal using it.

That said, yes, I have used it. I have a ham license and have carried a 2-meter HT with me for chatting, getting local information, and have used APRS to track my boat.
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Old 17-06-2013, 07:41   #3
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Re: 2 Meter

The 2m, VHF, amateur radio band is a terrific way to keep in touch with people and be able to communicate clearly and reliably across many dozens of miles.

You can buy a ham 2m mobile radio, 55W for $150. Or a 5W handheld for about the same price. It can use your marine VHF antenna (I do this and it works great). With your marine VHF antenna on the masthead (assuming a sailboat), you may be able to hit a repeater on a tower 40 miles away. And someone with a similar set up, 40 miles further away be able to hear you and communicate with you. So, hypothetically speaking, 80 miles apart.

Some areas, such as the FL Keys, have linked repeaters. SO, you could easily be 30 miles east of Key Largo (I think that repeater is up...if not then Plantation Key), and communicate with someone 30 miles west of Key West, through clear, reliable comms.

There are also 2m Echolink repeaters. These are VoIP and link to other Echolink repeaters....worldwide. It is a pretty amazing system that really works.

You are in MD, and so should be able to find a MD/DC/VA 2m Repeater directory that will tell you where the repeaters in your area are, and how to interact with them (Input freq, output freq, CTCSS tone). You should also be able to find information on the individual repeater to see how high up it is and how much power it is running. That will tell you what range you might expect.

Finally, you can buy a nice little software program and cable from RT systems (no affiliation) and program all the repeaters into your radio that you want to. Most rigs have about 200 memory spots.

I recently got a Yaesu FT-1900R 2m amateur transceiver that I am very happy with. 55W, $130. It is about the least expensive, good radio you can get. I rarely use it above 25W, and that makes it easy to power.

Here in FL, I have programmed in every repeater I want for coverage through the entire East coast of FL, down through KW, across the state and from Naples to Clearwater on the west coast. Ham VHF simples channels, even the ISS and marine channels (to listen in, cannot transmit)...and have less than 70 mem slots used.

It is a blast. [ok, ...I am a geek]

Obviously, you need an FCC Amateur (Ham) license. But, you only need the lowest level (technician) in order to use 2m VHF.

Bottom line, if you lived in the DC area. You could probably cruise the Ches and talk with your family at home. [sure...you could use a cell phone...but...no challenge in that]

Anyway...hope this helps.

73

John
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Old 17-06-2013, 08:58   #4
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Re: 2 Meter

It was a sport fisherman that told me about them using the 2 meter band. He said a lot of them use it when they get out 50-75 miles on 5 watts so they can talk about their location and what they are catching without anyone else listening. You know how protective they are about their fishing grounds. He said you can do something to the radios and use them on VHF with 55 watts instead of 5 or 25.
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Old 17-06-2013, 09:33   #5
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Re: 2 Meter

Hi DeborahLee

First and foremost, since a 2m radio is still broadcasting in the clear, anyone on that frequency can listen in. That said, these captains are basically saying that they are using one of the many frequencies available (on ham radio's...which are not "channelized" as marine radio's are), and so the chances that anyone is listening are small. Still, anyone with a ham radio using the spectrum or scan modes will find that conversation.

Not sure what your goals are. If it is for 'secure' comms....well...we know no comms over the air are secure any longer. Aside from the NSA There are a variety of scanners available that are broadband, multi-spectrum, multi-mode.

Yes, nearly all 2m mobile radios capable of producing 55 or 75W of power can reduce to 5 or 10 W. It is a menu item on nearly all new rigs, you just read the manual. Simple to do, even on the fly.

I should reiterate...the 2m spectrum is an Amateur radio spectrum and can only be used by licensed ham (amateur) radio operators.

All the above said, if you are beyond cell phone range and you want to talk with another party on a frequency not used by the myriad of boats out there, yes, the ham 2m radio spectrum is just about the only way to do that. You CAN talk station to station on any of the ham 2m VHF simplex frequencies you wish.

Also, all ham 2m radios will have all 7 or 10 NOAA Wx stations in them.

There are many uses for the 2m ham spectrum. You and your husband should study and pass the FCC Amateur technician license test and get your ham licenses. The tech exam is simple and easy to pass. ARRL produces a very nice little study guide with questions. You can also find this online. Your local ham club will administer the exam. 35 Q's. IIRC. Very simple. Will open up a whole new world to you. Get one of your kids to pass the test...and you really have many more opportunities to use this.

Hope this helps

Best

J
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