Last Sunday, 8/25/2013, I participated in my first (first that I can recall) FM Simplex Net. It was the Six Shooter Net, which meets weekly on the 145.33- repeater, but they also hold an FM Simplex net, which I just recently learned about. It is held on 147.570, with no offset, at 8:15PM CDT on Sunday and Thursday nights. I checked into this net for the first time this week. Some of the folks couldn’t hear me, but one of the guys was able to relay to the Net Controller. The relay I spoke to was located in Crowley and said he had an antenna that was up a bit higher than the Net Controller. I can’t remember right now where the Net Controller was operating from.
My current setup is a MFJ-1788 mono-band 2M antenna, sitting on a 20-foot mast in my backyard. I am running an Icom 706 MKII, which will output 20 watts on high power on the 2M band. This apparently wasn’t enough to reach down to several of the operators on this net, including another net participant who was in Springtown, TX.
So eventually my plan is to boost my antenna height, with a new antenna, and setup my 80-watt amp to use with 2M. Honestly if I had the 80-watt amp running now, I would probably be fine, but I don’t have my battery system fully operational yet. I plan to post more about my battery setup soon too.