Northern New York Amateur Radio Association

ARRL June VHF QSO Party - second full weekend in June
ARRL September VHF QSO Party - second full weekend in September

Northern New York "Mountaintop" Operation

Although most of the serious VHF simplex contest activity is CW, Digital, or SSB, NNYARA is promoting and coordinating FM simplex operations as well because nearly everyone has a 2 meter FM HT or mobile radio.

As a way to generate interest in the Adirondack / Northern New York Fire Tower Amateur Radio project, and generally encourage more Amateur Radio activity in Northern New York, hams and are encouraged to participate in the ARRL VHF qso party even if all you have is 2M FM VHF gear, or to add some FM operation even if you do have CW/SSB capabilities.

There is actually a FM Only class for the QSO party.

Making 2M QRP FM simplex contacts from mountaintops or anywhere else is difficult if no one is listeing for your call. But if a number of NNY stations are on the air, at high locations, there is potential for a lot of contacts.

Anyone can participate. YOU are encouraged to get on the air at least for a few hours! You don't need any special equipment or expertise. This is a great way to play ham radio!

"The Plan" is very simple:

Everybody grab your HT and hike up some mountain, or get in your car and drive to a high location, or just get on your radio at home and listen on simplex. Whatever. Just get on the air.

We are designating the 2 meter FM simplex frequency 146.550 as the primary NNY frequency for this contest. If there is a "pileup" on .55, try .58 or other simplex frequencies. The 2 meter FM simplex ranges are 146.400-146.595 and 147.405-147.585. Generally, frequencies are selected in 15 kHz or 30 kHz steps. See the chart at the bottom of this page.

We're also designating a special NNY FM simplex calling frequency of 147.540. This way, if the "primary" and adjacent frequencies are busy, you have a chance of contacting the NNY stations ... or if two people are operating from the same spot, they have a chance of not interfering with each other.

Note: ARRL contest rules exclude contest operation on 146.520, the national simplex calling frequency. For general mountaintop calling, this frequency is fine, but avoid using it for contest operation.

Other NNY frequencies you may try for general calling are 146.58 and 147.57. 146.58 is used by Clinton County/Champlain Valley AREA/RACES. 147.570 is used by St. Lawrence County RACES and also as a general simplex frequency. You may have luck calling on either of these frequencies, but please avoid interfering with QSOs in progress.

If you know for sure that you are going to participate, contact KC2WI or KF2GC by radio or and let us know. A list of participating stations who respond and their locations will be posted here, as will any detail or changes in the plan..

If you have HF capability, join us on the NNY Check-ins Net Saturday morning at 9 AM or North Country Group Roundtable Sunday mornings at 8:30 AM (both on 3.958) to talk about this plan. Or you may find some NNY hams on this frequency in the afternoons between about 5:30 ~7:00.

The table of operating stations will look something like this:

KC2WI TBD, possibly PIllsbury Mountain, elevation 3589 feet, North of Speculator 43.34.51N    74.30.44W FN23rn HT TBD TBD
K2LML TBD          
KF2GC TBD          
KC2VMF TBD          
N2QFD TBD          

Please contact any of the above stations by email if you are planning to operate any time.

Central Adirondack weather at


How to find your coordinates and grid square:
Information on Grid Squares @ ARRL
USGS Geographic Names Information System
AMSAT Coordinate-Grid Square converter
Icom Printable Grid Square Chart

2 Meter FM Simplex "Channels" (15 KHz steps):

146 MHz 147 MHz
146.400 147.405
146.415 147.420
146.430 147.435
146.445 147.450
146.460 147.465
146.475 147.480
146.490 147.495
146.505 147.510
146.520 147.525
146.535 147.540
146.550 147.555
146.565 147.570
146.580 147.585

Other NNYARA News and Information

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