Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Importance of Antenna Height for Emcomm

Last night I was doing some monitoring in the 2M band when I came across a net in progress on one of the frequencies I have programmed into my Yaesu FT-7800R. It's for a repeater located in Camden, NJ. I tried to check into the net but they couldn't hear me. After listening for a little while longer I realized that the net wasn't on the Camden repeater, but one located up in Schuylkill County, northwest of Allentown! The distance had to be at least 75 miles as the crow flies.

Unfortunately, I have been unable to find out which repeater the net was on, so I don't know what the offset and PL are. But I was amazed that I was able to pick up 2M FM signals so clearly from that far away in PA, which is pretty hilly. Before getting my antenna up on the roof I was not able to pick up signals from far away stations.

This goes to show you that getting a good antenna up high will greatly extend the reach of your comms. (As mentioned on my other blog, on Sunday I got a Comet GP-3 up on the roof on a 5 foot mast.) It gives me confidence that in the event of an local emergency I'll be able to communicate with unaffected areas.

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