GB3YL Lowestoft

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Re: GB3YL Lowestoft

Postby G4RMT » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:44 am

When GB3YL was on the air, it was rarely used, despite a great service area, and the people that used it are doing fine without it. In East Anglia, NONE of the repeaters are busy, but there are very large numbers of active and keen hams - On the spur of the moment, I went to the Barford Rally, near Norwich - I last went in 1986. Lots of people, lots of the old equipment on sale - same friendly attitude. The thing missing? Under 30s. The thing very clear to me is that the active hams simply have no need to chat using radios any longer. Many have moved to exciting microwave bands where they're doing loads of stuff, and others have gone down to the HF bands, many using new modes. There seems to be a strange thing going on - people 'think' the hobby is simply about portable working with handhelds - and these people need the repeater network because a few Watts gets you no distance at all without the repeaters, yet I'm told that very few of these people ever contribute anything to keeping the networks running. Money of course, but also all the other stuff repeater keepers often need a hand with.

I hear many people moaning about YL - yet quite a few are not members of the local radio club who support the repeater.

What I sadly believe is happening is that ham radio seems to have stopped the learn and progress process - which is what happened in the past. New things, some quite exciting, and everyone with a different focus - diverse interests and a range of people. At Barford I discovered these things still exist, but the people doing the interesting stuff simply do not wish to join in with the trivial and often embarrassing stuff on 2 and 70cm FM. Using my SDR I note lots of horizontal polarised traffic going to and from Europe on 2m, but in Lowestoft where I live so far I have seen just one rotator. White sticks for marine and 2/70 all over the place, and a few feeding into the airband networks.

12MHZ of band in 2 and 70, and all for a few handheld chats about nothing important.

As for losing it - I somehow suspect this is not on the cards for two reasons - the MoD have the rights to the UHF band, and currently don't need it - BUT - because we use the band on a secondary basis, when there is need, we lose it, as we did in the olympics. We are simply caretakers. If the MoD surrendered the band the phone companies would snap it up as quickly as they can. The MoD connection prevents this. 2m is too small a band for this kind of thing and is an internationally agreed and protected band.

The best thing is for amateurs to progress and grow out of the handheld playground. In fact, for just a few quid, and group could have their own legal repeater on one single channel, and do exactly the same things as they currently do as a 'ham'. What sort of hobby only requires a quick read of a booklet, and then get a pass to the airwaves? Some of the questions from licensed hams prove that for many - they didn't understand anything of the background.

A few, who probably did OK at physics in school have the ability to progress out of the nursery which 2/70 has become. The recent chat about baiting the troubled ham made me wonder about some people - the comments made me wonder what kind of people they are? People that I have no wish to spend any time with. Call me old fashioned, but being nice to others, courtesy and forgiveness are pretty nice traits to have. The people bullying the person with a clear problem are simply unpleasant individuals - they can have 2 and 70 if they like.

Maybe the people are the problem? Who knows?
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Re: GB3YL Lowestoft

Postby m0lsx » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:34 am

What really amuses me is that if you look at watt per mile repeaters are great when mobile in a vehicle, or if you are pedestrian mobile or out portable in the middle of no where at 10 watts in a poor location. But no better when compared to what someone operating from home can achieve on 10 watts SSB simplex & really poor when compared to what someone with a handheld & a simple home made antenna can achieve via a satellite on 5 watts.
Repeaters are "primarily" aimed at mobile & portable stations. But most stations using them are home based.
During lift conditions, contacts made via a repeater is not a DX contact. As it is NOT 2 way. The contact is via the repeater & I do not think any repeaters have logbooks to log your contact or a QSL manager.
I am seriously considering putting up a halo for both 2 & 6 meters. And have had some good results on 6 SSB vertical in past years.
I would use 2 meters FM more but too few people bother with simplex now. Where in the past it has made a 145 FM radio worth having in the car, with an occasional repeater contact being made away from my home area. But often the quality of the repeater contacts are lower.
Several years ago I got moaned at for calling on a repeater while operating an SES. The station said I should not be operating an SES via a repeater. Yet he was operating from home & routinely operated the repeater from home & on more power than he needed to access the repeater. I was just there to say we are on simplex channel XX or happy to have a contact here with mobile stations ONLY. But it will obviously not be a 2 way contact. And it will ONLY be with a mobile station.
The above complaining station had allegedly lost his licence twice in the past due to his operating standards!!!!!
Personal learnt experience is that operating SES's on 2 meters is pointless, unless another SES is also doing so, as 99% of people who use 2 meters ONLY listen, call or operate via repeaters. So unless you put out calls on repeaters, where you cannot QSL, there are too few contacts available.
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