2 Meter Simplex!

Simplex Frequency: 146.595

When our club was smaller and very local to Harford County, simplex served us well. We routinely monitored 146.595 as our Harford County intercom. We still love simplex and 146.595 will always be our go to simplex frequency when we need it, but as our club continued to grow and expand in both numbers and geography, we made the 145.270 repeater our NEMARC home on 2 meters. We hope that you will join us, routinely monitoring the repeater, throwing out your call often and responding to others that you hear!

That said, simplex definitely still has a place, too!

Simplex is Awesome!

Operating simplex provides a great opportunity to evaluate and enhance our stations, as well as backup communications requiring no infrastructure whatsoever, should the repeater be off line.

Experimenting with antennas and receiving signal reports from other hams in the area is interesting and fun for everyone. It gives us all a chance to learn about VHF propagation, local topography, antenna radiation characteristics, the importance of antenna height and good coax! Should an emergency arise, we can continue to easily communicate.

Setting up a 2 Meter station to communicate with other area NEMARC folks on simplex is a really fun challenge that is achievable for most everyone! If you don't have an outside 2M antenna (or one mounted high in your attic), think about putting something up. There are lots of great commercial antennas to choose from. Just make sure you select something that is vertically polarized for 2M simplex.

Dean, KA3YJM covers much of Harford County very well, using this small, Diamond X50a antenna in the attic of his town home!


Or this one, which is even a foot smaller (but sacrifices some gain):


Another option - you can always build a copper J-Pole that you can pull up into a tree with a line over a tree branch or clamp outside to a vent pipe on your roof. In the past, I've drilled a hole in the top of mine, passed a line through it and pulled it up nice and high. These antennas are really neighborhood friendly (difficult to see) and virtually indestructible! Just keep in mind that a J-Pole doesn't typlically have as much gain as the commercial antennas do.

Here is all the information you need to build a J-Pole:

Evaluating Your Topography

Here is a great site for evaluating your local topography for 2 Meters. You can check the topography between your home and any other location you like. It is really a great tool!


Whether your goal is to work a lot of DX, many stations in HF contests, or work local folks on 2 Meters, if you like challenges, Amateur Radio is super fun! Unless you are really down in a hole, for 2 meters with a good gain antenna at the right height, you should be able to work the majority of Harford county (and likely much farther) easily.