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Listening to HAM with a scanner

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chaseboyer

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#1
Is it possible to listen to HAM repeaters on my scanner? Trying to listen on that since I don't have my HAM license yet an haven't bought a Baofeng yet. I have tried many different output frequencies from different repeaters in Tarrant and Johnson county's in TX, but have yet to hear anything. I set the channel type to HAM and enabled HAM channels.

Using a Uniden BCD436
 
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#2
Yes, you can monitor repeaters. I would look up 2 meter and 440 repeaters in your area, and enter a few manually. Also enter 146.520 simplex.
 

SCPD

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#3
Search 145.110-147.995 ,222-224.995 and 440-449.995 in your custom searches and you will find people chatting around 5-9 pm
 
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#4
I have tried many different output frequencies from different repeaters in Tarrant and Johnson county's in TX, but have yet to hear anything.
Not at all surprising. While there are usually a number of repeaters in the 2 meter and 70 centimeter bands that cover most urban and suburban areas, most of them are underutilized.

Keep searching, especially around morning and evening rush hours. That when most in my area are active.
 
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#5
Just to clarify - by "output frequency", you ARE using the non-offset frequency listed, correct? Also, as others have pointed out, you should be getting a ton of repeater chatter on 2m frequencies. Be sure the repeaters are "FM voice" or "FM phone", and select the "FM" when programming (although there are other settings that will work).

BTW, I'm new to both scanning and ham (just got my ticket a couple of weeks ago).... so the above is coming from the perspective of a newbie. I will note that for some reason, I lose about a quarter of a second at the start of a transmission when listening on my scanner (436HP, even when holding on the frequency), whereas on my HT ham I lose nothing. I'm sure there is something I can do to fix that....
 

bryan_herbert

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#6
Its possible the repeaters near you aren't busy. I use a BCD436HP to monitor the 50+ repeaters here in Las Vegas and will often scan for hours without hearing anything.

The Dallas Amateur Radio Club website https://w5fc.org/ lists several radio nets. I recommend tuning in during the times/dates listed, you should hear plenty of activity then.
 

SCPD

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#7
Unfortunately,when you do get a "radio group" together,some other ham has to complain about you using the frequency too much,so this results in no activity on the repeaters.So dont be surprised to not hear much on any of those bands.DMR ham is the same way.They dont want you to talk anymore than hows the weather or hi Jim,how was work.Some towns have activity but its few and far between.NJ and NYC have over 200 repeaters all used for "nets" Hello this is (callsign) I am checking into the net with no traffic. Conversations are usually heard on simplex if you have an outdoor antenna up very high you may catch a few.on 146.520 like the other gentleman said earlier.
If you dont hear activity,I wouldnt buy a baofeng.
 
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#8
Unfortunately,when you do get a "radio group" together,some other ham has to complain about you using the frequency too much,so this results in no activity on the repeaters.So dont be surprised to not hear much on any of those bands.DMR ham is the same way.They dont want you to talk anymore than hows the weather or hi Jim,how was work.Some towns have activity but its few and far between.NJ and NYC have over 200 repeaters all used for "nets" Hello this is (callsign) I am checking into the net with no traffic. Conversations are usually heard on simplex if you have an outdoor antenna up very high you may catch a few.on 146.520 like the other gentleman said earlier.
If you dont hear activity,I wouldnt buy a baofeng.
He said he's only listening at this point since he doesn't have his license yet. Not all hams are cliché prone or grouchy and many love to ragchew as well. NJ and NY are not the same mentality as the rest of the country. Many scanners do a great job of monitoring local ham repeaters.
 
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#9
Unfortunately,when you do get a "radio group" together,some other ham has to complain about you using the frequency too much,so this results in no activity on the repeaters.
That happens a lot. I gave up on 2 meters and repeaters because someone is always complaining. For example, a 13 year old recently got his license in the area and some hams did nothing but complain. First they chewed him out for talking to long. Then gave him grief for calling CQ on the repeater. So he started saying "his call" monitoring. That lasted a day or too until some old codger gave him a lecture on the definition of monitoring. Told him unless he was being paid to monitor something he should just say his call and listening. Then some newer ham started complaining about his audio. Told him to junk his Baofeng and get a real radio. Haven't heard him for while after all that, and the repeater use has declined considerably over the last year. Seems like the jerks run off all the good people, then they leave as well. 2 meters is like 80 meters, not worth the time.
 

chaseboyer

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#11
Why just restrict yourself to a scanner to listen to hams? You can find lots of amateur repeaters online at Broadcastify - Listen Live to Police, Fire, EMS, Aviation, and Rail Audio Feeds Better yet, listen to hams on HF from all over the world on websdr.org :)


Just wanting to hear the HAMs in my area for when I get my license in the coming weeks/next few months to know if any of what they talk about really interests me, and what HAM group to join. I've been listening to the HAMs at my grandmothers house when I'm over there, and she just usually listens to one repeater, so just curious about others here in DFW


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jaspence

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#12
146.52

Maybe I missed it, but no one mentioned that this frequency is not on a repeater and will be more difficult to monitor, even with an outside antenna. Repeaters usually have high antennas and higher output than a simplex contact. There are scanners from Icom (ICOM R20 Wideband Scanner Receiver ic-r20) and other manufacturers that are designed for ham operation and include sideband and CW modes.
 
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#13
Just wanting to hear the HAMs in my area for when I get my license in the coming weeks/next few months to know if any of what they talk about really interests me, and what HAM group to join. I've been listening to the HAMs at my grandmothers house when I'm over there, and she just usually listens to one repeater, so just curious about others here in DFW


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If you just do a search for "Broadcastify DFW amateur repeaters" you find a bunch online! Here is a link with a few... Dallas-Fort Worth Metro Area Live Audio Feeds
 
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#15
Not sure where you are in DFW.....but this should help.
Dallas repeater....146.88/146.82
Irving......................146.72
Mesquite...............145.31
Carrollton..............145.21
Richardson...........147.12
Denton..................146.92
Arlington...............147.14
Fort Worth.............146.94
all of these are somewhat active, especially in the evening. 146.88 has training nets, CW learning nets, all kinds of activity....
As for clubs, the Dallas club, DARC is very active and just finished up a great activity out at Flagpole Hill with great attendance...
The Carrollton/Farmers Branch club MARS is also very active....if you're out and about this Sat, they will have a booth at the downtown, SWITCHYARD event. Go by and tell em your interested!
 

robertmac

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#16
I'll give some comments on my observations of ham repeaters. As I have done on numerous other posts.
1.You may have hams that don't see the need for repeaters. They are into simplex use. If this is the case, look for simplex use in the simplex portion [can be found from ARRL or you local area]. 146.52 is generally the VHF simplex calling frequency so you can search up from this frequency to about 146.60. And above 147.50. UHF varies but generally around 446.00. Now with a scanner, unless using an outdoor antenna may not pick up anyone unless close to them or if they are using max power. I don't like listening to simplex because there are so many problems in hearing everyone. But that is me with a poor antenna system.
2. Most people these days seem to go to bed around 8 PM. In my area, repeaters are often busy around the drive to work and drive home times 6-9 AM and 4-6 PM. Since people have to work to make a living, the times between 9 AM and 4 PM are generally quiet. So if you listen when people are working or sleeping simplex and repeaters are going to be quiet.
3. Some clubs do Public Service events so if they post these on their web sites, one can see when there should be some activity.
4. Some clubs have various Nets so knowing when these are one can listen for them.

I hear a number of people saying repeaters and simplex are dead. And I have heard this from people that are not monitoring all the time but turn their radio on for 5 mins and hear nothing. And this was just after the repeater was busy for 1.5 hours or more. Thus, listen around for weeks and get to know when people are using the repeaters or simplex. Today, there are a number of repeaters that are available, not just one or 2. So it does take some time to listen around. As an aside, I monitor one of our police frequencies and there is a lot of times when nothing is going out over the air waves. So timing is important.
 

N5TWB

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#18
That happens a lot. I gave up on 2 meters and repeaters because someone is always complaining. For example, a 13 year old recently got his license in the area and some hams did nothing but complain. First they chewed him out for talking to long. Then gave him grief for calling CQ on the repeater. So he started saying "his call" monitoring. That lasted a day or too until some old codger gave him a lecture on the definition of monitoring. Told him unless he was being paid to monitor something he should just say his call and listening. Then some newer ham started complaining about his audio. Told him to junk his Baofeng and get a real radio. Haven't heard him for while after all that, and the repeater use has declined considerably over the last year. Seems like the jerks run off all the good people, then they leave as well. 2 meters is like 80 meters, not worth the time.
I'm so glad I haven't heard or been informed of any such thing happening on any of the club repeaters where I am currently president. I'd be very glad to have the club trustee listen for such activity so those complainers could be informed of the error of their ways in attempting to police the repeater as that is not their job. Ham radio badly needs those youngsters and there are better ways to help them learn than calling them out on the repeater. I would have very little patience or tolerance in dealing with such bad manners.
 
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#19
Maybe I missed it, but no one mentioned that this frequency is not on a repeater and will be more difficult to monitor, even with an outside antenna. Repeaters usually have high antennas and higher output than a simplex contact. There are scanners from Icom (ICOM R20 Wideband Scanner Receiver ic-r20) and other manufacturers that are designed for ham operation and include sideband and CW modes.
I did state that it's simplex. I regularly hear signals from mobiles, and fixed stations with an HT.
 
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#20
You should have no trouble monitoring HAM repeaters with a scanner. I would expect that the Dallas/Fort Worth area would be very active. Two places to look of active repeater frequencies would be the "Databases" section on the RR website and www.repeaterbook.com. As noted though, there will be times when certain repeaters are very active and times when activity is non-existent so don't get discouraged.
 
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