Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Train Mobile QSO & 147.060 MHz

I had an interesting QSO, ham radio speak for conversation (more specifically, a communication with someone), with a gentleman from Washington State. Of course, he wasn’t actually in Washington State, he was on an Amtrak train heading that way and was somewhere in south western Pennsylvania. We were talking through a linked repeater system that I’ve been monitoring recently. I don’t like repeaters very much, but my current base station has to be run on low power and with an antenna that leaves a lot to be desired, limiting my simplex range to just a few miles. Anyway, KD7YVV, George, and I talked for a good twenty minutes, whatever repeater he was using, the coverage was pretty good. I was using the Mid Atlantic DX and Repeater Association’s (MADXRA) repeater on 147.060 MHz with a CTCSS tone of 123 Hz. I’m not exactly sure where it is located, but my signal into the repeater is strong with little or no noise, according to some other operators I’ve talked to on the system. I have decided to monitor this repeater because it transmits the CTCSS tone whenever the repeater puts out a signal. Since the radio in the house gets all kinds of interference, you constantly hear static, unless you are using the CTCSS tone squelch. So, since the repeater transmits the tone, I use the tone squelch feature of my radio and I don’t have to hear static constantly coming across the radio.

Back to my QSO with KD7YVV, one thing we discussed was APRS. He QSY’d (changed to another frequency) to 144.39 MHz and hooked up his GPS & TNC to try and make an APRS contact. He must have been to far from a digipeater because I wasn’t able to find his location report on any of the internet sites. Still, that’s what I like about ham radio, there is always something to do and talk about. When George went out of range, I got a call from KB3LLH, Ralph, in Frostburg Md. He brought up the weather, I don’t mind talking about the weather, but man, I still have no air conditioning in the house, and it has been quit hot and humid lately. I’m looking forward to cooler weather, or a job to fund the repair or replacement of my air conditioner.

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