[VHFcontesting] [VHF] FM Contest Frequencies

Dale Svetanoff svetanoff at earthlink.net
Sat Dec 15 14:12:31 EST 2012

If I may, I'd like to suggest 146.46 MHz as another viable candidate for an
FM contest frequency.  It is in fairly common use around the Midwest,
whereas I have not observed a lot of activity on 146.58.  It also works for
15 or 20 kHz spacing.  I think you will find that different parts of the
USA have differences in the most active simplex channels, so getting a wide
range of input suggestions is worthwhile.

For those not aware, ARRL has declared 146.52 and its "guard channels" of
146.505 and 146.535 as off-limits for ARRL-sponsored contests for a very
long time.  (Yes, that includes Field Day.)  I do support the use of the
listed FM calling freqs on the other bands (6m thru 70cm) due to low levels
of activity in many (if not most) areas.  I also recommend that those of
you who are not routinely FM ops spend some time prior to the major
contests listening (via the scan function on your rig) to simplex activity
in your area so that you do not inadvertantly drop onto a frequency used
for local nets or other functions.      

One more comment: those of you who belong to local radio clubs in your area
- be sure to talk up the use of simplex for not only contests, but even
routine rag chews.  I have been amazed at how many ops, especially the
newer ones, have nothing but repeater freqs programmed into their rigs. 
Some do have .52, but have never used it.

73, Dale
EN-42 Iowa  

> [Original Message]
> From: M. Casey <map at mapinternet.com>
> To: <les at highnoonfilm.com>; Keith Morehouse <w9rm at calmesapartners.com>
> Cc: VHF Contesting List <vhfcontesting at contesting.com>; W6YX VHFList
<vhf at w6yx.stanford.edu>
> Date: 12/15/2012 12:40:55
> Subject: Re: [VHF] FM Contest Frequencies
> Hi Les,
> You have 2 good ideas for 2 meter FM. KISS, and I'd go one step further
> recommend only one frequency---146.580 as the main go-to FM frequency
> the contest. That would fit with the rules and as Chris mentioned, the 
> regions that use either 15 or 20 KHz recommended spacing. Then, if they 
> found .58 busy they could QSY to another local simplex frequency. Of
> anyone can use any recognized simplex frequency, local option or
> But FM use in the contest is way down now, and newcomers looking for a
> to find a contact might do well monitoring .58 during the contest. We
> them to get interested in VHF contesting and they need to get some
> in order to get interested. There would be no reason to change rules 
> (ex:1.9) as promotion of 146.580 fits within the existing rules. And the 
> idea to scan 2 meter simplex segments at 5Khz is a valid one also.
> 73
> Mark K1MAP FN32
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Les Rayburn" <les at highnoonfilm.com>
> To: "Keith Morehouse" <w9rm at calmesapartners.com>
> Cc: "VHF Contesting List" <vhfcontesting at contesting.com>; "W6YX VHF List" 
> <vhf at w6yx.stanford.edu>
> Sent: Friday, December 14, 2012 2:34 PM
> Subject: Re: [VHF] FM Contest Frequencies
> Jay,
> I'm not trying to make any rule change. Rule 1.9 currently lists ten or
> more suggested simplex channels, and was drafted well before the
> creation of the new "FM Only" category.
> I'm simply trying to consolidate that list into two "calling channels",
> with the hope that at least one of them will work nationwide. This
> allows the activity to be concentrated, increases the odds of successful
> contacts, and increases the fun for everyone.
> Can you imagine being a newcomer to VHF Contesting? You hear something
> on the local net, or club newsletter about the new "FM Only" category,
> and then you spend all day calling without an answer on ten different
> channels? Frustrating and not likely to be something you repeat.
> In some areas (like Alabama) simplex activity is almost entirely on
> 146.520. I think it's far better to promote two frequencies, than an
> entire group. K-I-S-S should be the rule when trying to attract newcomers.
> Also, I've routinely made early morning contacts on simplex on .52 out
> to 200+ miles. The "local" simplex frequencies that are popular can vary
> quite a bit even in that distance. I think having nationwide watering
> holes makes more sense than simply "scanning" ten + channels.
> I've got to program my FM rig to scan the simplex channels on a
> time-based basis (rather than looking for a broken squelch) as I expect
> many signals to be too weak to break squelch.
> I'm going to encourage local ARES and CERT groups to mobilize their
> membership and use this as an opportunity to test out their simplex
> capabilities.
> 73,
> Les Rayburn, N1LF
> On 12/13/2012 6:47 PM, Keith Morehouse wrote:
> > ..and the rules already permit and suggest those freqs.  So, I ask once
> > again, you're simply proposing a more targeted 'suggested frequency'
> > to replace Rule 1.9 in the General rules ?
> >
> > Jay W9RM
> >
> > Keith J Morehouse
> > Managing Partner
> > Calmesa Partners G.P.
> > Montrose, CO
> >
> >
> >
> > On Thu, Dec 13, 2012 at 6:26 PM, Les Rayburn <les at highnoonfilm.com>
> >
> >> It seems clear that everyone agrees that contest activity on 2 Meter FM
> >> could be increased by the use of two "watering hole" frequencies that
> >> would be promoted for use during VHF/UHF Contests.
> >>
> >> 146.550
> >>
> >> 146.580
> >>
> >> These are both recognized simplex frequencies, and don't appear to
> >> conflict with other ham usage. Are there any objections to allowing
> >> VHF/UHF hams to begin to promote the use of these frequencies during
> >> VHF/UHF Contests?
> >>
> >> All hams would also be encouraged to promote that contest activity must
> >> not occur on the 146.52 National Simplex Frequency.
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