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52.525 simplex

Discussion in 'On-Air Operations - Q&A' started by K8JD, Jul 17, 2021.

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  1. WA9ZZZ

    WA9ZZZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page


    Way back when, when I was getting started in amateur radio and lived in Jackson, there was a lot of activity on 52.525. This was the early days of FM and some areas had 6M activity and others had 2M. And many had neither.

    Besides Jackson, I could hear some activity in Toledo. There was also activity in Kalamazoo and northern Indiana. The radio club at Angola College sponsored a FM oriented hamfest each year. FM activity in Detroit area was on 2M.

    So I decided to do a little Google searching to see if any of that activity remains after all these years. There are a couple of clubs in northern Ohio (Lucas (PDF) and Fulton counties) that advertise that they have regular nets on 52.525 FM sometimes alternating with 50.4 AM and 50.125 USB.

    Of course, a listing in a newsletter is no guarantee that there is actual activity.
  2. K1XH

    K1XH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am always listening to .525 when I am in the shack. 6M openings are the only time there is activity that you can hear in Vermont, and that is only in July when the SFI is this low. Hopefully when the numbers pick back up there will be more activity I can actually hear...
  3. WD9BGA

    WD9BGA Ham Member QRZ Page

    There is lots of activity of 52.525 FM when there is Es. Otherwise it is pretty quiet here in SW WI.
  4. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I could just set the freq and squelch and monitor all day, but I am having too much fun on HF CW :D
    I have set it on the one scanner I have that will work on 52 mHz, but never heard anything .
  5. N6SPP

    N6SPP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Depending on your region, 52.525 MHz FM simplex is most active during the three primary 50MHz+Up ARRL Contests in mid-Jan/June/Sept. These months also coincide with the Winter and Spring/Summer Es Season..You didn't buy one of those 1990's quad-band FM only rigs did you? Or one of the newer Chinese quad-band FM only rigs? ;);) Elmers have explained the limitations of these specific rigs for 30 years now..Hi.. On 6, users will benefit most with a multimode base or mobile rig. ~beacons below 50.08, cw .09-.11, phone .125+up, rptrs, eme/meteor/tropo, band openings: ft8 .313, hi.. I've 'seen' a few stateside reports of 50.4 AM nets too.. The short answer to 52.525 MHz activity is yes. A vertical antenna on FM simplex/rptrs is popular, and there is a benefit to having both- Horiz and Vert antennas on the other modes too.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2021
    K1BQY and K3RW like this.
  6. WA1YHO

    WA1YHO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I also monitor 52.525 when I am in the shack with an old 4 channel Motorola mobile rig and an even older Mosley 5/8ths wave vertical. My brother and I use it for shack to shack communication. It is the only VHF band we can work direct, even though my 2M antenna is much higher. When in the shack I will throw out my call from time to time. Locally I have made a couple of contacts to others who also monitor when in the shack. When the band opens I focus on weak signal portion of the band.

    The other three channels in the rig listen to local 6M repeaters. There is occasionally activity on Mt Greylock which I can hear consistently but only intermittently get into from 95.5 miles away in southeastern NH with my 20' high antenna. There is activity on the Hollis, NH 6M repeater but it comes in via the repeater's 146/440 links.

    I think that 6M FM is definitely an under appreciated mode. Though I appreciate that it means investing in another antenna and rig. I had the antenna and coax laying around and got the FM box in trade so my investment to get back on 6M FM was minimal. 6M FM was the second band I got on way back in '74 when I got my license. There was lots of 52.525 activity and old commercial gear available back then.
  7. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    6M FM with IC7300
    I recently upgraded my shack with a IC7300, seemed to be a popular and well Spec'd rig and the price was in my budget. I like the idea of getting back on 6 M after many dry years ,
    So far, got my old 4 element Yagi back up and am working on a "broadband" vertical dipole antenna I expect to get up for FM work on the higher 2/3 of the band. Made from excess Romex house wire that has three conductors , each trimmed for a different segment of the FM band (52.5, 53.0, 53.5 MHz) and hope I can get it up before the WX turns to ICE and SNOW.
    The Icom even has provisions for repeater operation on ten and six M, , if there are any in the area I may try to access them.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2021
  8. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    We do up here.
  9. WB8VLC

    WB8VLC Ham Member QRZ Page

    It seems there is Less and less 52.525 FM activity every year.

    For the past 20 years at both my Prescott AZ QTH and in parallel my Oregon QTH, I had remote bases on the air on 52.525 FM and also in parallel on 29.6 FM coming out on either 220MHz, 440 MHz or 900 MHz and just this August I finally took them all down and gave up because of a lack of activity on 6 FM.

    We have at minimum eight linked high mountain top 6 meter repeaters and one 10 meter repeater in Northwest Oregon and they have about .001 % activity these days, even during E season.

    Our 6 meter repeater on an 8000 foot mountain near Prescott Arizona was recently taken off the air for lack of activity so this says a lot for the reason to not keep up on 6 meter FM equipment anymore.

    Eventually you have to face the facts that Ham radio is dying and the new comers left just want to spend their time watching paint dry on the FT8 frequencies.

    My remotes were all on high gain antennas on all bands covered and the 220, 440 and 900 inputs typically had 30 + plus mile coverage and typically they had a fair amount of activity but it has been dropping off slowly the past 2 years or so.

    I am now concentrating on 17, 15, 12 and 10 meter CW and some SSB and having a good time of it with some new Yagis on these bands.
  10. K3RW

    K3RW Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    No, FT8 didn't kill these bands. Cell phones did. And 'closed' repeaters did. And everyone with a vanity repeater back in the day is taking them off the air because no one uses them anymore because of cell phones. 900 is practically dead because there is almost no ham equipment for the band.

    And now people think these digital voice modes are all great, further antiquating the good ole analog repeaters.
    N3RYB likes this.

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