2m FM simplex operation has many advantages for a newcomer to SOTA and can yield very satisfying results. Many 2M activators have stories about making contacts out 100+ miles and the excitement therein. With a little effort and planning you too can have your own story.
2m FM communication benefits from height and what better place than to be atop a peak. Given the typical range of 2m FM simplex communication is in the 50+ mile range your best activation will be near populated areas. Southern California is one such area where a 2m activation from many of the mountains ranges will potentially yield 15+ contacts within 15-30 minutes. Activating a remote peak in the Northern Coastal or White Mountain regions might well result in a lot of frustration.
The advantages of 2m activation;
- Open to all licensed US amateur radio operators from technician up
- Lowest cost of entry for an activator and/or chaser
- Compact and lightweight makes getting to the mountain peak that much easier
- Many chasers have powerful and large home station ensuring its easier to communicate with you
- Chasers have radios installed in their automobiles
As many of you know your antenna can and will make all the difference in communicating far and wide. You will enjoy better/easier success with something other than the “rubber ducky” that came with a handheld 2m transceiver. An alternative antenna could be home brewed by you and friends or purchased. For many antenna experimentation is big part of amateur radio.
- Search for Slim Jim J Pole on the Internet will yield options