I was sitting here in the shack today thinking about the international kerfuffle we have just gone through for the past month over 2m, and the possibility of losing it for amateur use.
In several places I have read that if we don’t use 2m we will lose it, in fact that can be said about any of our amateur bands these days, given the level of corporate greed out there. But, thinking about 2m, when was the last time you heard any traffic on a simplex frequency? It was probably 3 years ago for me.
Over the past few months I’ve been following a few ham blogs run by UK amateurs, and I’m amazed at the amount of traffic they seem to generate on 2m simplex.
They have hams that collect Trig Points using 2m to follow the activators. You never hear of that activity here in Canada.
Some hams collect Grid Squares, we have that in North America as well, but it seems only during contests, and primarily on 6m it seems.
Then there is SOTA. We have SOTA in North America also, but not much is done on 2m simplex, especially here in Ontario. It’s nowhere near as popular here as it is in Europe.
The UK, and several other countries, also have HEMA, an organization that is similar to SOTA, but for smaller summits. It’s very popular, but it doesn’t appear to be operating in North America.
Then we have Island and Lighthouse activations, popular all over Europe and the USA, but they don’t seem to attract much attention in Canada.
It looks like there are plenty of activities to do on 2m, it would seem, however, the real issue is getting people out of their shacks, and getting involved in some of these activities to make sure we don’t lose our frequencies.
Remember, the Europeans only have 144 to 146 and do all of the above activites. Here in North America we have twice that amount of frequency, 144 to 148, and apart from a pile of dead repeaters that get used once a week for a poorly attended net, not much else goes on.
Time for a change in the way we do things here I think.