Simplex Operation When Repeaters Fail

I use ham radio repeaters nearly everyday, mainly to chew the rag, but also to check in to ham radio nets. Repeaters are great, but I’m still perplexed as to why so many repeaters go unused, but are still up and operational. Regardless, I always wondered what would happen if a repeater goes down and how local hams are to communicate with each other. Simplex is the obvious answer, but I wondered as to how well it would work.

Well, I found out. A repeater that is used every Wednesday for an emergency prep net I participate in was struck by lightning. Members of the net knew to use a pre-determined simplex frequency in the event of a repeater failure, so that’s what we did.

Net control took his mobile rig up to the nearest high point in the valley, on the top of a large hill. He was able to contact everyone who checked in, even though some net participants were not always able to hear check-ins from certain areas. We learned that high elevation for net control is key.

Some messages and traffic had to be relayed so all could hear. The process worked flawlessly. Simplex net operations, even at great distances, is possible. It was a great learning experience.


About Kyle (W7KBX)

I became a licensed ham in May of 2013 with a class of General. I have since upgraded to Extra. If you are really bored and want to learn more about me, please click here
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One Response to Simplex Operation When Repeaters Fail

  1. David says:

    Hello Kyle .
    This is David KF7ENT I made contact with you today while in Idaho City . Thanks for the reply . I would like to get another radio sometime . I have a hard time programming the uv5r because I have a different computer, I hope you are well . I will be in contact with you again hopefully?

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