More than just a Ham radio blog.
is an informative, cynical and sometimes humorous look at what is happening in the world of amateur radio.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Find a room guys

CQ CQ CQ Getting someone to answer a CQ call these days is often like pulling, teeth particularly on VHF and above, so how come when someone calls on 145.500 and gets a contact do they then so often say "Do you have a frequency in mind?" It seems to me particularly dumb when the station that replies is a mobile, but I hear it all the time. Yes you prat let the mobile station grope around while they are driving while you sit at home in your warm shack with your cup of tea and 20 cheap cancer sticks that you got off the lorry driver down the road who smuggles them in from the continent. Yes, you who has the huge collinear strapped to his chimney breast and 50 watts. You the one who can actually hear if the frequency is in use, not the mobile on his hand held with 5 watts and a quarter wave antenna. So what happens next is the mobile drops one channel down and the other station finds it is in use there then ensues a merry dance up and down the band until the mobile is out of range. Another fine QSO. For everyone's sanity find a room before you call CQ.

As a SOTA chaser I openly admit that the activator is king. If a station wants to climb to the top of a significant hill or mountain and only take a 2 metre hand portable then that is up to him, but that does not make it any less pointless, at least for me. I appeal to activators to at least take a proper antenna with them, but if they don't wish to at least steer clear of the two channels either side of the calling frequency. Tonight a couple of stations were on a fairly local summit but QSYed to 145.475. I could have worked them but even before they went to that frequency there were three conversations going on there that I could hear.

Finally slightly off topic I just tried to log in to Twitter and got that "Too Many Tweets - Twitter is over capacity" message for the third time this week. Is Twitter a victim of its own success I wonder? and there was me still half wondering if Twitter is really still a solution looking for a problem. APRS now there is a solution looking for a problem! Watch this!


  1. I have to disagree with you about APRS. It's just another way of communicating via ham radio, another digital mode. It's also a standard for sending telemetry, such as satellite battery levels. The position reporting capability I would have thought would be very useful in a SOTA context, both from the point of view of safety - seeing where an activator is in the event of a mishap - or simply for judging when he is going to reach the summit instead of waiting for the spot to appear.

    What problem is ham radio itself supposed to solve, come to think of it?

  2. I just don't really see the point of APRS, unless it is used in a safety context. It smacks of big brother and one day we all may have a tag so that THEY know where we are at all times, but until then I do not see the point of putting my head in the particular noose and paying for the privilege. However if you watch the video you will see that there are other uses that are only just being investigated.

    The problem ham radio solves is that it breaks down barriers and gets people of different races, ages and social standings talking to each other and if the rest of the world did like wise maybe we understand each other better.