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hello i am new to any type radio just retired and needed a hobby. I got a midland mxt400 and a 6 db antenna for a base station.  confused on range to open repeater.  I got permission to use a repeater about 15 miles away but can open a repeater 100 miles to my south and one 168 miles to my north.  I live in central florida.  Wanting to know if this is normal.

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 I am new to radio and I did not think it was possible either that is what I am asking. But I can not understand why two different people would that I connected to these repeaters when I did not.    both repeaters have same frequency and codes and both on  towers that county use for their radios.

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Given your near clermont which is the highest elevation in FL, and its likely you could have skip, so not 100% shocked about that range, though I wouldn't always expect it. I have a friend in Clermont who has trouble reaching some repeaters that are near by while hitting further repeaters in Disney and Osceola County OEM and even one out in palm bay (these are DEARS and HAM repeaters and not GMRS, but use 70CM band still)

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Actually, it is 'possible' under certain conditions of Tropospheric ducting, which has been strongly affecting large parts of Florida recently.

 

I myself overheard a conversation over a repeater near Orlando earlier this week, while I am in Punta Gorda... well over 100 miles.

 

I have also had several contact with an 'Amateur operator' in West Palm who especially enjoys making contacts during ducting event, that's nearly 150 miles away from me.

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I have heard of skip in cb radios did not know about gmrs.

For all practical purpose long-distance skip is non-existent in GMRS (UHF-FM frequencies). Oh yes you might experience an outlying case when under just the right solar conditions, but you are more likely to win the lottery than to experience that. You are likely to observe that your range expands and contracts locally from day to day though if you regularly work repeaters and simplex stations that are on the range fringe for you.

 

 

Michael

WRHS965

KE8PLM

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Sometimes ducting is confused with skip, but they are two different effects.

 

'Skip' is dependant on the state of the ionosphere, and that greatly depends on the solar sunspot cycle. When the cycle is active, particles emitted by the sun energizes the ionosphere, which reflects certain radio frequencies. Because the ionosphere is so high, those reflected signals can travel hundreds of miles, even thousands sometimes. Because the planet is surrounded by the ionosphere, 'Skip' is a world wide event.

 

Ducting is a weaker, much more localized event, though it has been recorded at least once to have carried a signal over a thousand miles. Ducting occurs during an atmospheric thermal inversion. The density differences caused thereby can refract RF energy that is headed skyward back to the earth.  

 

Beginning about 11 PM EDT tonight (4/16/2021), a ducting event will begin to affect Florida. From near 2 AM to around 10 AM the effect should be quite strong. From 6 to 7, I will be listening and calling on the GMRS 'travel' channel, 462.675 with tone 141.3. Just for the fun of it. If you hear my call sign, you know it's all the way from Punta Gorda.

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Sorry, but I can about guarantee it's just a repeater not listed wherever you are looking. I had this happen when I first got my HT. Programmed a repeater in MD about 80 miles from here just for the hell of it and got it loud and clear. Come to find out there was another repeater on top of a mountain about 10 miles from here not listed in mygmrs with the same freqs and tones.

 

OP--did you actually speak with someone who confirmed what repeater it was or are you assuming because you keyed it up with the correct freqs and tones?

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I would like to point out that here in the Midwest, based on my direct observations, GMRS closely follows the VHF 2 meter band openings.  I've contacted the Baraboo 550 repeater from a 5W Kenwood NX300 HT standing in my front yard of my house in IL... that's about 136 miles as the crow files from my house north and a bit west.  It's worth noting that that the Baraboo 550 repeater is an absolute monster and it's up on top of a very very tall mounting range.  This is the website I use to follow those band openings:  http://aprs.mennolink.org/

 

Further more, there are repeaters in Arizona that are on mountain tops that also easily work 100 - 150 miles out with the proper antenna/feedline/etc.  It all depends on your location in the country, the height of the repeater, and the atmospheric conditions!

 

 

 

Thanks!

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When the weather permits, you can get band openings on UHF

I live in North Clearwater, FL

In February & March, I have hit a repeater 57 miles away from me in Bartow/Polk County with my h-t when the band was open

One of the ops I spoke with was in Orlando, 10 miles north of the airport, which placed him 75 miles away from Bartow

On that night for only a minute before the conditions changed :( I spoke with an op from Perry, FL, in North Taylor County, that repeater is on the same frequency & tone as Bartow

North Clearwater to Perry is 153 miles as the crow flies

It can happen

I check the NOAA frequencies, when I start hearing out-of-town NOAA broadcasts, that's a good sign that the bands are opening up

Edit/addition: WRMC383, I looked your location up just to see where you are

Just a few nights ago, a gent in Grand Island which is in your neck of the woods made it into the Tampa .575 repeater, that's about 78 miles from him

I spoke with him just before midnight & conversed for about 20 minutes before he said goodnight, I forgot which day it was, but it was earlier this week

If Mother Nature is in a good mood, it can be a good thing for us radio ops

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Usually in VHF UHF the long distance propagation phenomenon is called "ducting".

It's cause by various layers of the atmosphere stacking up just right.

It only happens a few times a year or maybe once a month??

 

Back in 1986 I moved about 20 miles further north from Milford, NH to Greenfield, NH.

I plugged in the TV to check that I could still get the Boston and Manchester stations.

I did get my usual stations, just a little weaker...

But I was shocked to find that I got the Burlington VT station plain as day.

That would be over 100 air miles away with some mountains in between.

I wondered how far north did I move?  Did I check the mileage right?

 

Well, the next day it was completely gone and I never got that station ever again.

Not even a snowy shadowy picture.  Nothing.

It was just a rare case of ducting that happened at the right moment.

 

Vince

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Given your near clermont which is the highest elevation in FL, and its likely you could have skip, so not 100% shocked about that range, though I wouldn't always expect it. I have a friend in Clermont who has trouble reaching some repeaters that are near by while hitting further repeaters in Disney and Osceola County OEM and even one out in palm bay (these are DEARS and HAM repeaters and not GMRS, but use 70CM band still)

Actually that’s not true Britton Hill, FL is the highest elevation in Florida it’s up near the Alabama line.

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 yes I was able to confirm the repeater,  it is listed on this site.  the person I talked to owned the repeater and was very nice and said feel free to use his repeater anytime.  

Yes, I recall the conversation we had. 

 

This time of year can experience troposphere ducting, and K factor changes which are more pronounced.   Under normal conditions radio waves are refracted in atmosphere and will experience about a 15% greater radio horizon than the direct path.  This is due to refraction in the atmosphere, and gives radio it's greater reach. 

 

Under certain conditions the stratosphere can segment and form ducts of different densities which will act like a wave-guide.  This can cause low-loss propagation over hundreds of miles.  Florida is ideal for this due to the weather patterns off both coasts, and can cause north-south ducts over hundreds of miles in the evening and early mornings.  These ducts can enhance propagation at UHF and above.  I've had interference on a 18 GHz radio system north of Orlando caused by a system south of Miami, and even light (same electromagnetic radiation) can be propagated over these ducts, case in point the superior mirage of ships "floating" over the water.

 

It will come in, start fast and have great signal strengths, then fade quick and it's over.  However in Florida, these can last for hours or even days.  South Florida had their LTE in 700 MHz taken out due to a Dominican TV station for several days last year.  This is no one's fault, as there's thousands of miles between the DR and south Florida. 

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I in the communications center for Jacksonville Fire/Rescue (FL) in the early to mid 90’s and we operated on UHF. The Volusia County (Daytona Beach) EMS provider (EVAC) at the time also used UHF, the same frequency as our “Rescue Radio” channel and a couple of times a year for up to several days in a row Jacksonville almost drowned out Volusia it was so strong and clear. Volusia was just before submitting a new frequency request but the County switched over to an 800 trunked County wide system that included the private EMS provider which of course, solved that issue.

 

Radio waves do weird things and no matter how much explanation, scientific data, individual testing etc., anyone does you can’t always account for every anomaly. Things happen every day that according to the experts, shouldn’t. That doesn’t mean they don’t occur.

 

That being said, no it’s not the norm but, ANYTHING is possible.

 

Just felt like adding my 2 cents........

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mygmrs dot com sends weekly repeater updates. Lists all the repeaters per state and details on them. The distances are given, most aren't more than 10 miles.

Not all repeater range on mygmrs repeater listing is correct just f y I to all it's up to the repeater owners to list the correct range of their repeaters and not all of them do that.

 

Sent from my Z5156CC using Tapatalk

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mygmrs dot com sends weekly repeater updates. Lists all the repeaters per state and details on them. The distances are given, most aren't more than 10 miles.

10 miles.  the people I talked with said the repeater towers in Perry and Tampa are both around 400 feet high.  Lot of money for a 10 mile reach.

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