2 Meter Simplex!

Simplex Frequency: 146.595

146.595 FM simplex is still our most used 2 meter frequency. QSOs there are more often planned (organized on our Discord chat group, etc.), instead of serving as our daily, Harford County intercom frequency, as it once did, but several of us still monitor there regularly and it is still the best place to find us on 2 meters!

Please throw out your call! If someone is listening and can hear you, they will certainly answer you! The frequency has actually perked up a good bit lately! If no one replies, please pop into our Discord clubhouse and let folks know you would like to try a 2M Q. If anyone is around, they will be more than happy to!

Some of us also monitor the NEMARC - N3OZT repeater, located in Jarrettsville, MD. This repeater is under development, so its usage is currently very light. You’ll find the N3OZT repeater on 145.270 (-600 offset, 114.8 PL).

Simplex is Awesome!

Operating simplex provides a great opportunity to evaluate and enhance our stations, as well as backup communications, requiring no infrastructure whatsoever, should we ever need it.

But the best part is that everyone, including Technicians (who also have frequency privileges for our 10 Meter and 6 Meter nets), can enjoy experimenting with antennas and receiving signal reports from other hams in the area. It is interesting and fun for everyone. It gives us all a chance to learn about VHF propagation, local topography, antenna radiation characteristics, the importance of antenna height and good coax!

Setting up a 2 Meter station to communicate with other area NEMARC folks on simplex is a really fun challenge that is achievable for most everyone! If you don't have an outside 2M antenna (or one mounted high in your attic), definitely plan to get something up. There are lots of great commercial antennas to choose from. Just make sure you select something that is vertically polarized for 2M simplex.

Dean, KA3YJM covers much of Harford County very well, using this small, Diamond X50a antenna in the attic of his town home!


Or this one, which is even a foot smaller (but sacrifices some gain):


Another option - you can always build a copper J-Pole that you can pull up into a tree with a line over a tree branch or clamp outside to a vent pipe on your roof. In the past, I've drilled a hole in the top of mine, passed a line through it and pulled it up nice and high. These antennas are really neighborhood friendly (difficult to see) and virtually indestructible! Just keep in mind that a J-Pole doesn't typlically have as much gain as the commercial antennas do.

Here is all the information you need to build a J-Pole:

Evaluating Your Topography

Here is a great site for evaluating your local topography for 2 Meters. You can check the topography between your home and any other location you like. It is really a great tool!


Whether your goal is to work a lot of DX, many stations in HF contests, or work local folks on 2 Meters, if you like challenges, Amateur Radio is super fun! Unless you are really down in a hole, for 2 meters with a good gain antenna at the right height, you should be able to work the majority of Harford county (and likely much farther) easily.