Ham Radio MountainTopping

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ERIC
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Re: Ham Radio MountainTopping

Post by ERIC » Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:38 pm

rlown wrote:OK.. let's make this simple.

When in the Sierra, what gear do you carry and what repeaters are you trying to hit when you do? What does it weigh? thanks for the map pointers, but..
OK, I'm probably not much help with this, but as a kid listening in with my grandfather I somehow recall the repeater being Bear Mountain. But I'm probably wrong on that. I'm likely confusing it with the weather radio tower or something else from my childhood. Reason being, I can't find Bear Mountain on this site, which I gather from your question is a site you might be interested in, Russ:

http://www.repeaterbook.com/repeaters/i ... tate_id=06" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Ham Radio MountainTopping

Post by Shawn » Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:37 pm

rlown wrote:OK.. let's make this simple.

When in the Sierra, what gear do you carry and what repeaters are you trying to hit when you do? What does it weigh? thanks for the map pointers, but..
Ah, lets see....

Here's the hand held radio I will sometimes carry -
Image
Not my photo by the way, but it gives you an idea of the typical size of the radio. The weight is 9 oz., akin to carrying a camera.

Just to clarify, a repeater is normally atop a mountain or elevated structure. It's purpose is to relay signals by receiving on one frequency and then simultaneously re-transmitting the signal on another frequency. In this way. the ham operator on the lower terrain benefits greatly by virtue of the signal being transmitted from the higher elevation to other ham radio operators.

For example there is a mountain east of Bishop named Silver Peak at about 10,850 ft ASL. Using a hand held radio as shown above, I could be standing in Lone Pine and speak to another ham standing in Mammoth by virtue of the greatly elevated repeater. Using the hand held radios without the repeater, the communication would not be possible (this is a bit of an extreme example as most repeaters are on lower mountains, but you get the idea).

To make things more interesting, many ham repeaters are "linked", connecting multiple repeaters together to extend the coverage and range.

Some hikers on the PCT carry radios knowing in advance that many repeaters are within range from certain locations (here's an example for California: http://www.qsl.net/aa6j/pct/calif.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;).

A few other examples -
- I've been up to Lake Ediza and could communicate via the repeater on Mammoth Mountain
- Communicated via the above mentioned Silver Peak repeater while on Hurd Peak
- There's a repeater that covers the Yosemite Valley and environs
- Where I live, on the central coast, the area is saturated with repeaters so nearly any local hike into the Las Padres is covered by one or more repeaters.

Hand held radios also provide point to point communication, similar to an FRS radio. The difference is that the ham rigs are usually of much better quality and have more power, affording better back country "where are you now" communication. I've heard that hang glider pilots like to get their ham license and use ham radio for these same reasons.

As you can see, I could go on and on. As fate has it, I have a couple of hilltop repeaters myself - here's birds eye view of one located on the south east corner of San Luis Obispo count at about 4000ASL.

Image

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Re: Ham Radio MountainTopping

Post by rlown » Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:33 am

Thanks, Shawn. very helpful. So my GMRS radio should be able to use certain channels to maybe hit a repeater if i'm in the appropriate proximity?

russ

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Re: Ham Radio MountainTopping

Post by Shawn » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:49 pm

Well, sort of. If you have a GMRS radio already, you likely know that the GMRS repeaters are mostly private and/or a paid for affair. I have heard that there are some freebie GMRS repeaters but don't know what kind of "baggage" they come with.

While I haven't checked to be sure, I think the number of available ham repeaters would far exceed the number of available GMRS repeaters (hams are nerds and will put a radio wherever possible).

Given these circumstances, I would think the opportunity to actually communicate when needed would be seriously restricted to a few if any.

You can see where this is leading Russ, getting a ham license is pretty easy these days and cost about 10 bucks. :D

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Re: Ham Radio MountainTopping

Post by AlaskaIsCold » Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:31 am

I have a Yaesu VX8DR that I keep on hand in case of emergencies.
When I happen to summit a peak I turn it on 2m calling freq. Since most of the places I reach are in the back country my tiny 5 watts FM transmission doesn't reach very far.
I have yet to have a contact.
----
Everyone has a happy place.
Mine is Tulainyo Lake at Sunset.
I do hope to make it back there one day.

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