Simplex on VHF for the most part these days is dead. Or is it?
Read the latest articles in your favorite ham magazine and you will find more opinions then you want. Some say “I listen 16 hours a day and never hear anything” while others seem to live in a simplex paradise and make contacts daily. So my question is: what makes the difference?
Could it be, dare I say, the operators? The first operator listens 16 hours a day, but how often does he throw his call sign out there? Who is the operator to blame? He WAS listening. Nobody was calling! What would happen if for each of those 16 hours he was listening he threw out his call sign once an hour? Would it be answered, would it be heard? Of course it would be heard. If a tree falls in the forest….
The second operator leaves work each afternoon and drives home, on the way he throws out his call sign and a total stranger replies. Contact made. Of course this operator didn’t want to talk to a total stranger, he wanted to talk to his buddy from the local club. Being a good operator, he answered the stranger, and next time they talk, they won’t be complete strangers. Now are you starting to see the difference?
It starts with you. YES you. If you’re on frequency and hear an unfamiliar call sign, it is a responsibility to answer that call. Yes I said that, RESPONSIBILITY. Who knows where it might go, or who you might become friends with. But I know where it will go if you don’t answer – NOWHERE! To all the curmudgeons who say “the bands are dead”, I say “No, your operating techniques are dead!” If you wonder What Can Simplex Do for ME, stick around, you might be surprised at what all the answers are!