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Old 01-25-2013, 10:09 PM
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Default 2 Meter vs. 440 range comparison?

At a given power level on FM, which frequency offers the longest range?
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:45 PM
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With all conditions (inc. weather), antennas, and radios (receivers) being equal, on flat ground using simplex...144mHz should have the greater range.
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSpaceMan View Post
At a given power level on FM, which frequency offers the longest range?
Both are high enough in frequency to be "line of site" under normal conditions, so in general, all things being equal, they should be equally good.

However 2M is low enough to benefit more from unusual propagation conditions so under these conditions it will be better. Also the longer wavelengths will diffract around larger obstacles and so be less subject to blocking. So if there are things in the way between you and the other end (and there often are) 2M will also have a slight advantage.

Last edited by Ed_Seedhouse; 01-26-2013 at 12:12 AM..
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Old 01-26-2013, 1:02 AM
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I`d have to agree here, however i have seen some really sweet band openings on 440 once in a while (like last summer ). So yes, 2 meters is better, range-wise, but every once in a good while 440 can really shine . N9NRA
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Old 01-26-2013, 2:51 AM
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If you ask the weak signal gang on SSB/CW, it becomes harder to maintain contact as you 'run the bands' higher and higher. Althogh usually the switch from 144 to 432 is a pretty easy one.
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Old 01-26-2013, 7:59 AM
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2 meter (VHF) will go the longest if there is not a lot of terrain in the way, 440 (UHF) will go the longest in and around buildings/tree covers.
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Old 01-26-2013, 8:01 AM
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I've always found VHF to be a more user friendly band.
VHF conforms does better in the hills as it will bend a little more but doesn't do as well in urban conditions when it comes to penetrating buildings.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:16 AM
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If you are in the desert with no mountains at all, & flat land, 2 meters will give better range. If however, you are in a metropolitan downtown area with tall buildings, 440 will have better penetration & work better.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:49 AM
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Free space path loss is slightly higher on UHF than it is on VHF. But that's where any comparison ends. There are plenty of circumstances where UHF will out perform VHF, and visa versa. There are too many variables that are not included in your question to give you a more accurate answer than that.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:59 AM
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I agree! 2 meters gets good band openings, and is generally more popular in my area. A good 2 meter band opening is fun to work simplex or an open repeater. 440 however, I find will work more reliably for going through walls and trees. For instance, 2 years ago, a friend of mine had a tornado pass near his home, and while he was in the basement, he couldn't transmit on 2 meters, and could barely hear, but was receiving the 70 cm band perfectly clear.
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Old 02-18-2013, 5:06 PM
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That 'all things being equal' thingy means that things are seldom ever very 'equal'. In general (just like everyone has said) 2 meters -ought- to have more range than 70 cm, but there are exceptions that deal with propagation. That's both 'Momma Nature's propagation and the "propagation" terrain features and building have on both bands (or don't have?).
If I had to make a choice between the two I think I'd take 2 meters, it's just more active locally.
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Old 04-30-2013, 12:47 AM
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70cm also has an advantage over 2m on dual band HTs with small antennas.
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Old 05-04-2013, 8:29 PM
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I've always had more luck with 2m. With a lot of trees where I am, 2m seems to pass more easily through them, but when it really comes down to it, the two bands are so similar to each other that deciding which one "goes farther" depends on your surrounding terrain. 2m can pass around trees, leaves and other such foliage easier than 70cm which makes it good for rural settings, but 70cm is better if you're in a place with lots of buildings since it can pass through doorways and windows easier. Despite this, I still like 2m for most uses because it acts more like the HF band than UHF does. Under the right circumstances, you can propagate your signal a few skips so you can really get out there. There are a few VHF DX contests in my area once every year. I've never participated in them, but I think it's a cool idea.

So main point, in a rural American setting, 2m should almost always do better, but in an urban setting, 70cm will usually do better (even though your range will still be severely limited either way).
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Old 05-06-2013, 2:43 PM
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All things aren't equal. 440 is absorbed by tree leaves more than 144, but a small opening is a shield (which is why a screen room doesn't have to be a "solid sheet" room), so 440 penetrates smaller spaces (like windows in metal frame buildings) better.

In free space, the deciding factor will probably be noise - both external (CBR, man-made, solar, etc) and internal (generated by the receiver itself) - but without actually measuring the particular receiver's noise figure it's impossible to say which frequency would get out further.

The only real answer to your question is "probably one of them".
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Old 07-31-2015, 3:50 AM
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Not so simple. A 2 meter antenna has a larger receiver caption ratio which allows for more gain in reception. 70cm has tighter lobs increasing gain by keeping image narrower. In terms of quantum physics higher frequency photons individually have more force. F=h*Y. Penetration through large objects is better but bouncing off small ones.
Too many variables in implementation in real world. For the same antenna size will probably pick up more energy at 70cm. Easier to build a small antenna with significant gain. 70cm reflects more causing more multipath disturbances. 70cm reception has more nulls so position of antenna more critical. 70cm has lower noise floor increasing intelligibility of received signal. Generally it easier to produce more output power at 2meters than 70cm. Typical rig output 50W/35W . Too close to call for me. 70cm probably better in urban conditions. 2 meter better for higher power rural long haul up high. What can I say?
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Old 07-31-2015, 11:17 AM
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I did a test on this a few months ago. Like some have said, all things aren't equal.

I live in a small town, where almost all of the buildings are 1-2 story. The tallest building in town is 10 stories. The test setup was an MFJ simplex repeater at home, with a Comet dual-band antenna in the attic. I did some on-the-fly tests while driving around town with an HT. I then went to a fixed location 3.1 miles (as the crow flies) distant.

Using the stock HT antenna and a Nagoya antenna that was just a bit longer, 2M was essentially unusable. Using the longer Nagoya antenna, 2M was at best 50% copy. With the two short antennas, 440 was almost 100% copy. With the longer antenna, it was much worse. These results were pretty much the same while in the car at various locations, as it was at the fixed location.

As far as the conditions of the test, I was standing behind a single story building, holding the HT in my hand. There was no line of sight. There were several single story buildings between me and the simplex repeater. The terrain was slightly uneven, with a small hill between.

Other factors influencing the test - the Comet antenna had twice the gain on 440 vs 2M. The shorter HT antennas work best on 440. Note that even with the 15" Nagoya, 2M was nowhere near perfect copy.

This wasn't a controlled test, where all variables were the same. However, it did seem to me that even in a small town with single story buildings, 440 worked better in a simplex situation at ground level. Now, if I was talking to a repeater on a mountain (we have a few) and had line of sight, the 2M would probably have been better due to path loss. Also, if I was in the woods, I would prefer 2M.
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Old 07-31-2015, 6:41 PM
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Since much (if not most) of the activity on both bands are through a repeater, your most important factor is probably how close are you to the repeater(s) in your area and how good of a coverage area to they have. Living near a repeater will provide you with very good coverage from your cheap low-power handheld. A local or regional repeater with a large coverage area will provide you with that wide coverage area (and the closer you are to that repeater will help to bring that coverage to your handheld as well).

In many areas, repeaters are linked using one or more of the various linking protocols so you can even have world-wide coverage from that dual-band handheld. I often monitor one of these nets ran by a ham in Jakarta, Indonesia with check ins from many states in the US as well as various countries around the world. There's also a ham in Alaska that runs a linked repeater network up there with a link hub for other networks to connect to. Locally we have an off-and-on net on a local repeater network where they dialup various echo-link nodes around the world so folks on the net can make contacts with foreign hams.
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Old 08-03-2015, 4:42 PM
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We have a repeater here on 440 with astounding coverage. Like others have said, 2 meter will have so so workability and 440 will really shine. I have not had too much testing on 440 simplex in my area as most simplex is on 2 meter.

You can always split the difference and go 1.25 meter!!! All kidding aside, I have had surprising results with 1.25 meters. I wish more people used it.
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Old 08-04-2015, 3:44 PM
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Oh boy. The great debate of the century.

Here are some things to remember:
There is no band like low band (at least that is how the saying goes).
VHF-HI is popular for various applications as it has a history of being a workhorse band.
NASA send video from the moon over 250,000 miles using 2W of power (UHF).

Free-space path loss (VHF looses signal strength at a slower rate than UHF does) is negligible because in theory a 1W carrier @145 MHz and 446 MHz should still open squelch (clear fresnel, LOS) on a receiver at -117 dBm (standard for most handhelds and mobiles) 2,290 miles (VHF) and 744 miles (UHF) away...respectively.

The main key is unobstructed paths. As stated, UHF tends to perform better in an urban environment and VHF tends to perform better over average terrain. Over flat terrain, it really just depends on what else is out there making noise and how good of a location the other receiver is at.
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Old 08-04-2015, 4:44 PM
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Or in other words, as with all such questions, the answer is "it depends".
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