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Old 10-13-2018, 1:04 PM
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Default In Search of the Perfect Mobile Frequency- a Cowgirl's Log

.
.
Two weeks ago I mentioned I and my friend 'Barbi' were going to take a cross country road trip home to the Southwest. We were going in search of colourful leaves, autumn's cool crisp airs of the Appalachians- maybe even get washed away in a midwest flood. But intermixed in there we were going to search for THE perfect mobile frequency (a little sarcasm )
So Thursday night, in addition to packing the regular stuff into the rental car, we added Barb's Yaseu FT7900 dual band'r (2/440) and a borrow'd Ranger 10/11 meter transceiver. Two mag- mounts, lent to us by my father, deck'd out the trunk- we were set.
.
........... Left DC yesterday.
.
I guess its not fair to say we are in search of the ultimate mobile frequency. The Yaseu is locked on 146.52 and 446.0, and the Ranger is on 27.185 (channel 19) - the later has stay'd pretty much off. Plus we have no intention to operate any repeaters
.
If we were keeping a log, our first contact was with my father on 446.0. He had just installed those radios for us, and as we left Annapolis heading west on Route 50 the squelch broke:
"I doubt you'll make another contact on this band" he said "so let me give you this one for UHF."
.
"Oh, and by the way, I noticed the plates on that rental car-" he added "New York. Happy trails, Cowgirls...." And then he was gone.
.
................ I was hoping no one would notice those plates
(Sorry New Yorker's, but we're Western gals driving home across the Heart Land )
.
__________________________________________________ _
.
.
So, how did it go, - that first day on the road ?
.
West on I-66 approaching Strasburg Virginia, "52" started to crackle. When we reach'd I-81 and turned south, the voices were clear. It came from several cars, talking casually back and forth caravan style.
.
"That sounds like a French accent" I said to Barb (who is French.)
Then they ID'd-- VE3's and VE2's. One of them said something in French and Barb broke in.
.
We were to travel together for the next two hours with our new found friends.
.
They turned out to be a group of Canadian cave explores heading to Kentucky for a long weekend of 'caving.' The VE2's got a kick out of speaking French to Barbi, but as she said in a quiet aside to me- "I'm having trouble with their (French Canadian) accents."
.
Somewhere near Harrisonburg we were joined by a W2-- Snow birds heading south for the winter, but they faded away during a gas stop.
We continued with our Canadian friends until the I-64 turn off to West Virginia. But it was not over yet. We all stopped at a restaurant first, for coffee together- putting faces to the callsigns. Neat !
.
"Au revoir nos bons amis, que Dieu soit avec vous!"**
.
And we left 81 behind. Score big points for "52."
_______________________________________
.
Last night we stopped out side of Nitro, West Virginia. Another story ?
What will tomorrow bring ?
(The leaves, BTW- are awesome )
.
.
Lauri
.
.
.
__________________________________________________ _______
.
**"Goodbye friends, and may God be with you"
.
.
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Old 10-13-2018, 1:43 PM
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Looking forward to hearing the rest of this.

Was just down in Arizona for a week. Some traffic on 146.52 in Las Vegas and Phoenix. A bit of sporadic traffic along the interstates, but not much.

Tried CB in my truck on a few previous trips, California to Denver and California to San Antonio. Some traffic, but too much skip to make it enjoyable to listen to at the time. New truck didn't get a CB antenna...
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Old 10-13-2018, 3:14 PM
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I hope I'm not retelling a story I've told before.

In 1994, I moved from Phoenix to Indianapolis. My mode of transportation was a 15 foot Ryder truck with a hastily installed mobile radio and a mag-mount antenna. The truck was loaded to the gills and pulling a trailer with my Chevy S-10. Route was I-17, I-40, I-44, I-70 (thank you President Eisenhower). Somewhere around Amarillo, I heard a CQ on 146.52. I answered it. Turns out it was a woman from Tehachapi headed to Memphis. We chatted all the way to Oklahoma City. Really helped pass the time away.
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Old 10-13-2018, 4:56 PM
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All sounds good so far, hope WV doesn't include a scene from Deliverance with plucking banjo's......

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauri-Coyote View Post
.
.
Two weeks ago I mentioned I and my friend 'Barbi' were going to take a cross country road trip home to the Southwest. We were going in search of colourful leaves, autumn's cool crisp airs of the Appalachians- maybe even get washed away in a midwest flood. But intermixed in there we were going to search for THE perfect mobile frequency (a little sarcasm )
So Thursday night, in addition to packing the regular stuff into the rental car, we added Barb's Yaseu FT7900 dual band'r (2/440) and a borrow'd Ranger 10/11 meter transceiver. Two mag- mounts, lent to us by my father, deck'd out the trunk- we were set.
.
........... Left DC yesterday.
.
I guess its not fair to say we are in search of the ultimate mobile frequency. The Yaseu is locked on 146.52 and 446.0, and the Ranger is on 27.185 (channel 19) - the later has stay'd pretty much off. Plus we have no intention to operate any repeaters
.
If we were keeping a log, our first contact was with my father on 446.0. He had just installed those radios for us, and as we left Annapolis heading west on Route 50 the squelch broke:
"I doubt you'll make another contact on this band" he said "so let me give you this one for UHF."
.
"Oh, and by the way, I noticed the plates on that rental car-" he added "New York. Happy trails, Cowgirls...." And then he was gone.
.
................ I was hoping no one would notice those plates
(Sorry New Yorker's, but we're Western gals driving home across the Heart Land )
.
__________________________________________________ _
.
.
So, how did it go, - that first day on the road ?
.
West on I-66 approaching Strasburg Virginia, "52" started to crackle. When we reach'd I-81 and turned south, the voices were clear. It came from several cars, talking casually back and forth caravan style.
.
"That sounds like a French accent" I said to Barb (who is French.)
Then they ID'd-- VE3's and VE2's. One of them said something in French and Barb broke in.
.
We were to travel together for the next two hours with our new found friends.
.
They turned out to be a group of Canadian cave explores heading to Kentucky for a long weekend of 'caving.' The VE2's got a kick out of speaking French to Barbi, but as she said in a quiet aside to me- "I'm having trouble with their (French Canadian) accents."
.
Somewhere near Harrisonburg we were joined by a W2-- Snow birds heading south for the winter, but they faded away during a gas stop.
We continued with our Canadian friends until the I-64 turn off to West Virginia. But it was not over yet. We all stopped at a restaurant first, for coffee together- putting faces to the callsigns. Neat !
.
"Au revoir nos bons amis, que Dieu soit avec vous!"**
.
And we left 81 behind. Score big points for "52."
_______________________________________
.
Last night we stopped out side of Nitro, West Virginia. Another story ?
What will tomorrow bring ?
(The leaves, BTW- are awesome )
.
.
Lauri
.
.
.
__________________________________________________ _______
.
**"Goodbye friends, and may God be with you"
.
.
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Old 10-13-2018, 5:41 PM
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I'm already anxious waiting for Part II of the "Cowgirl's Log"

I have to wonder something, though. Why would you leave
DC, in search of leaves and beautiful scenery, and NOT
swing over to Skyline Drive VA. My wife and I go every year
for about 18 years now. Every year we are just as amazed
as we were our first year. The Fall scenery is beyond
description.

Anyway, have a wonderful trip and be safe
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Old 10-13-2018, 6:30 PM
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.52 simplex will actually pile up if you're aeronautical mobile. And one can talk a long long way at 11.5.
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Old 10-13-2018, 7:14 PM
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Turn the Ranger on, set to 29.6 FM

Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
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Old 10-13-2018, 8:26 PM
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Just remember that for each one that you actually make contact with, there are about FIVE more who hear you, but never bother to respond.

It takes a little work, so if hours of announcing your presence doesn't pay off, suddenly you hit pay dirt, and that makes it all worth it.

I've announced myself on .52 for *weeks* on end before, about once every half hour when I have shack time, but never gave up. Once everybody's schedule came together to actually hear me, it developed into a regular thing on another simplex frequency and made a bunch of new friends.

Thing is, I had to work at it to make it happen, and not get discouraged.

Sounds like you are doing the same, so happy to hear this story!
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Old 10-14-2018, 7:13 AM
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Hey Lauri and Barb,

Enjoy your trip out west! When you go through Charleston, WV on I-64, give the locals a big shout out from me. That is my hometown. Just down the road from there is Huntington, WV where some of my relatives are located. I know you said you were going to stay off of the repeaters but the KB8TGK/R repeater (RX 443.850 TX 448.850 pl 162.2) is popular in the Charleston/Huntington area. The antenna is on a mountain outside Huntington and the antenna is 800 feet AGL! Yes, 800 feet above the ground! I'm on that repeater quite often from the Baltimore, MD area via EchoLink.

Enjoy your trip and safe travels!

73, Dave K4EET
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Old 10-14-2018, 1:25 PM
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.
Next Day
.
We were up early for breakfast in, and a look around Nitro, - before getting back on the Interstate. A strange travel itinerary, true, but this name has always intrigued me. It was built by the government in WW1 to supply explosives for the war. Over 20,000 people move there to work in a towne originally called Explosive Plant C. Later changed to Nitro- an oblivious (?) improvement in names.
.
I have spent quite some time in WVa, developing a real affinity for the Mountain State- especially when it comes to the names of places. Nitro, Hurricaine, Scary, Tornado- not your suburban sanitized Pleasantville's.
.
We regained I-64 and immediately noticed something was very wrong. All the west bound traffic was at a petrified crawl for as far as the eye could see. Oh Geeez !
.
"Lets see what that thing (indicating the Ranger transceiver) might tell us"
.
Channel 19 was a-buzz with truckers. We listen'd for a bit, quickly gathering that some of these guys knew of a detour. An exit number was mentioned, but lost.
.
"What was that exit number, Driver?" Barbi asked.
.
"Driver ??..I AM impressed- when did you pick that lingo up ?" I smiled.
.
Immediately came back "Mile Marker ###"
.
"Thank you"
.
But that wasn't all..... "Is that you back there in the white four wheeler, Lady D ?"
.
"Yes, You're in the OD ? **"
.
(another aside to Barbi; "OD ?.... Old Dominion...how you can TALK, Girl !")
.
"That's me- follow along, I know this detour"
.
And off we went- at a slow crawl for about a mile-- then
"Stay close "..... and over onto the shoulder he drove, up to an exit, and off to a parallel local access road.
.
"Still with us, Lady D ?"
.
Barbi acknowledged.
.
We now noticed there were other trucks following. Winding our way, blindly following in a line of big trucks, we dipped and jogged our way across the valley as only an experienced truck driver could guide us. Away from the Interstate Channel 19 was surprisingly quiet with only a few quick, business-like transmissions. This went on for several miles along portions of a US highway when our Guardian Angel said-
.
"Up ahead, that's our turn off for 64"
.
Regaining the Interstate and pulling along side our benefactor- we waved
.
"Thank you so much OD"
.
"Just call me Dozer"
.
"Thank you Dozer !" said Barbi... and taking the mic I added "Big Big Hugs ! Cowboy !"
.
.
And in a few miles we were out of range
.
(To be continued...........................)
.
__________________________________________________
.
OK, score a big Plus! for 27.185
.
.
Lauri
.
.
______________________________________________
And a "Thanks Guys" for the nice comments This trip has just begun (?)
.
.

Last edited by Lauri-Coyote; 10-14-2018 at 2:43 PM..
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Old 10-14-2018, 3:34 PM
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quite an entertaining story....how bout some pics from your journey....it would help us to visualize your experience.....maybe see your radio setup...and of course selfies!
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Old 10-14-2018, 5:06 PM
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Score one for the Truckers. Of which I gladly count myself... As a side note, I've called out on 52 across several states on trips and came up empty.. My odds increased when I added that I was listening to 52 on my APRS beacon.
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Old 10-14-2018, 5:35 PM
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Nice thread! I always have CB 19 on during big trips. It's handy. Same for the ham frequencies....146.520 and 446.000. 29.600 is a nice idea! Seems lots of folks are staying away from 10 meter with the current solar cycle. Too bad.
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Old 10-14-2018, 8:32 PM
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Don't forget some of the towns along 70 in CO: Silt, Gypsum, Rifle and Parachute!
Just got back to Reno after a 4-day run to Victorville-Edwards-Palm Springs; 2 APRS msgs, nary a sound on .52 down 395; 19 was surprisingly quiet on the 10 other than around San Bernadino. Plenty of FRS chatter, mostly kids on the road but plenty of use in the terminals along with MURS. 10m is still a crypt. Not a whole bunch of time to work the radio when you have placards.
Got a load to Portland this week, we'll see...
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Last edited by 6079smithw; 10-14-2018 at 8:41 PM..
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Old 10-15-2018, 3:13 PM
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.
.
After our fun diversion thru the back roads of West Virginia's Teays valley, it was smooth driving on to Kentucky. Across the river from Huntington, we contemplated the Marathon oil refinery... a tour?... but time was against us for we were headed for the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
.
We made a stop at a Wal-Mart for sodas and travel stuff, including a jar of tempera day-glo orange paint- the kind high school students decorate their cars with during homecoming games etc.
....Carefully across the back window I painted;
.
" 146.52"
.
A sort of bait just in case we should catch some ham's eye along the road. Later it work'd too, sort of.
.
We had stopped for a tour of a distillery in Lawrenceburg. On the way back to the car (carrying a few purchases to be consumed later ) a fellow approached us.
.
"Are you 'Hams' ?" he asked. He had seen that '146.52' on our rear window.
.
I guess this didn't qualify as a real over-the-air contact- but one I have heard referr'd to as an "eye-ball QSO." (I have never liked the term, it sounds rather gross, but it seem's appropriate here.) Our new acquaintance did not have a radio, and expressed regret that he was making a cross country trip too, but without any "ears" (his term.)
.
.
We decided to put the Ranger on 29.6, but only because its been sitting turn off. It might as well be silent turned on; we don't expect to hear anything on 10. Even if we do, the antenna is horribly off frequency, being tuned to CB.
.
We did make one fleeting 52 contact with another motorist shortly after Louisville. But two cars closing on each other at an aggregate +140 MPH don't talk for long. We got his name, that he was from Texas- and he told us we were heading toward some bad weather and to watch for flooding... then he was gone.
.
I wish we had something more exciting to report, but radio-wise the remainder of the day was a bust. We will see what tomorrow offers.
.
.
Lauri
.

Last edited by Lauri-Coyote; 10-15-2018 at 3:21 PM..
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Old 10-15-2018, 3:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauri-Coyote View Post
.
.
After our fun diversion thru the back roads of West Virginia's Teays valley, it was smooth driving on to Kentucky. Across the river from Huntington, we contemplated the Marathon oil refinery... a tour?... but time was against us for we were headed for the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
.
We made a stop at a Wal-Mart for sodas and travel stuff, including a jar of tempera day-glo orange paint- the kind high school students decorate their cars with during homecoming games etc.
....Carefully across the back window I painted;
.
" 146.52"
.
A sort of bait just in case we should catch some ham's eye along the road. Later it work'd too, sort of.
.
We had stopped for a tour of a distillery in Lawrenceburg. On the way back to the car (carrying a few purchases to be consumed later ) a fellow approached us.
.
"Are you 'Hams' ?" he asked. He had seen that '146.52' on our rear window.
.
I guess this didn't qualify as a real over-the-air contact- but one I have heard referr'd to as an "eye-ball QSO." (I have never liked the term, it sounds rather gross, but it seem's appropriate here.) Our new acquaintance did not have a radio, and expressed regret that he was making a cross country trip too, but without any "ears" (his term.)
.
.
We decided to put the Ranger on 29.6, but only because its been sitting turn off. It might as well be silent turned on as well as off; we don't expect to hear anything on 10. Even if we do, the antenna is horribly off frequency, being tuned to CB.
.
We did make one fleeting contact with another motorist shortly after Louisville. But two cars closing on each other at an aggregate +140 MPH don't talk for long. We got his name, that he was from Texas- and he told us we were heading toward some bad weather and to watch for flooding... then he was gone.
.
I wish we had something more exciting to report, but radio-wise the remainder of the day was a bust. We will see what tomorrow offers.
.
.
Lauri
.


I just drove from Knoxville, Tennessee to Asheville, North Carolina, ribbing. APRS and 146.520 MHz. I have yet to make any QSOs, even with APRS broadcasting my receiving frequency. I am glad to hear your ham radio trek is going better than mine. 73 and safe travels!
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Old 10-15-2018, 3:30 PM
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Thanks Andrew (N2AL)
.
We (Barb and I) have come to the conclusion long ago that a female voice can draw the operators out of the woodwork. Probably there are far more listeners than talkers on these frequencies- certainly on CB it works magic. Add a French accent and we clean house....
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Old 10-15-2018, 3:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauri-Coyote View Post
Thanks Andrew (N2AL)
.
We (Barb and I) have come to the conclusion long ago that a female voice can draw the operators out of the woodwork. Probably there are far more listeners than talkers on these frequencies- certainly on CB it works magic. Add a French accent and we clean house....
Very unfair advantage to us guys with annoying voices
like Ray Ramano
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Old 10-15-2018, 3:45 PM
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Will your travel take you through Southern Indiana?
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Old 10-15-2018, 4:12 PM
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Distillery tours are more enjoyable than refineries. The concept is entirely similar, the product decidedly better. Plus free samples!
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