Best range I've ever had with my HAM radio!

Wow! I was coming back from Baton Rouge last night. I was a couple of miles west of the bridge coming back to Lafayette and I was talking, clear as a bell, to a repeater 46 miles away! I was using full power, 50 watts, but still! That was neat! Guys, if you want to have fun with your radios, go out late late at night. The range will be better. I think you’ll be surprised!

I had a QSO on 2Meter Simplex (not SSB and not with a beam antenna) over 300 miles. I was using Yaesu FT7800 50W and omni antenna at 35 ft.
There was a big opening in the band here in TX on 9/12.

I get 30 - 40 miles on good days regularly.
I actually get 35 miles with my GMRS and a 3element yagi with 25W everyday.
Don’t you just love “the magic of radio”!

That’s the same radio I have!!

I’m only using a short thru-window mount antenna so I’m happy with 20 miles, much less 40. I can’t really get more than 20 miles on a bright sunny day, maybe 25 but it’s scratchy. It’s just so much more capability than GMRS. Repeaters are everywhere and power isn’t nearly as limited. Did you know you can put a 2 meter antenna up on a really high pole? By really tall, I mean like 50-80 feet high. Pretty cool stuff.

I’ve made contacts in adjacent states during 2m band openings, Done 'em on a 5 watt HT on a homebrew 1/4 wave vertical. You get an opening, VHF can be sweet. Now, I use an IC-2100 as a base, into an Arrow J-pole and can do some pretty good stuff, depending on the band. Had a simplex QSO one night with folks 100 miles north and 100 miles south no problem.

One night about 0030 I was able to work a guy simplex from Concord, NC to central Florida, he was full scale on a Icom 22S (this will give you some idea of how long ago) I think it was about 1979, was running 10 watts to a 1/4 wave whip on van roof. We talked about 10 minutes and then he was gone.

On 20 meters running 100watts have worked all continents.


I made a data contact from South Central Montana to a guy in Mexico City one night on a 5W Kenwood TH-D7A handheld… OK, OK, I cheated, I pushed the data through the International Space Station. But is was a real time contact not a stored message in a mailbox.

Hey… That’s great! Not cheating at all! You can say you used the ISS as a digipeater! Fun stuff eh? I got my ISS QSL card for connecting to the ISS packet BBS… I need to get connected again and answer the mail for me :slight_smile:

Yeah, I have a Kenwood D700 in my truck that I used for APRS through the space station. But that was getting too routine. I did have some comments though about how and where I appeared on maps. One comment by a ham was “How did you get on the map there. I know there are no digi’s there.”
Anyhoooo… I thought about it and thought, if I get a good pass the line of sight shouldn’t be an issue and I should be able to transmit a long way line of sight. Sure enough, I got an APRS packet through with my handheld. I saw a packet from Mexico City come up so I thought I would send him a message and he answered back. Thought it was pretty cool too. And on a handheld too!!!

Oh yeah, I’ve had several contacts with my handheld on ao27 and ao51. Too bad ao51 has expended its life now.

Fun stuff!

I have a home-made 2m ground plane strung up about 80’ in a tree (God’s towers). The most expensive item was the coax. Makes for great repeater and simplex range!

As they say, antenna height is EVERYTHING…



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