How to Make a Contact on Ham Radio The Easy Way (Using Simplex)

Originally published at: How to Make a Contact on Ham Radio The Easy Way (Using Simplex) - American Radio Club

In this video guide, we’ll cover: What is Simplex? The popular 2m and 70cm bands Choosing a Frequency for FM Simplex Voice Programming Your Radio Making a Contact Creating a Simplex group If you are looking to choose a handheld radio, check out our guide on the best handheld radios. For help studying for your…

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We hope this guide helps make it easy to make your first contact using simplex on ham radio. Have any questions or comments? Reply here to tell us what you think!

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I like those guys. Seem like a fun bunch. :wink:

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@jamesARC @JimARC This is good stuff, guys. I really think the courses here are going to be the basis of the best forum for learning ham radio in existence. Yes there are plenty of “how-to’s” on YouTube and they do have value, if you know what you should be looking for. But here we have a logical, progressive program of instruction to take new hams through the licensing process and then into the operating procedures. The “New Elmers” of radio are online and I believe this Club will be the flagship. I am happy to be a part of the experience!

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This is exactly what I needed! I’ve had my technician license for almost 6 months and didn’t know where to start. Joining a club as a newbie is very intimidating and researching my first radio purchase made my head spin with all the choices. Thank you for this simple walkthrough of a first contact. Became an ARC member and am looking forward to new content. Thanks guys! KD9TMJ…73

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Awesome @tlconser ! This is exactly what our thought was. All the stuff out there is just overcomplicating it. What video do you want us to do next?

We’re thinking about doing a mobile rig setup, or making a contact on a repeater (although Baofeng Basics helps with that, we could improve it).

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So, where does morse code come in…? I’m learning that, but I guess you don’t have to use it? Can you show us how to look specifically for Morse COde frequencies?

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Hi SammyBoy, like you I am a new operator. What I think I know is that morse is used mainly for HF operations. I seem to think that Distant Operations (think intercontinental) operators use morse because the HF frequencies are more suited to morse than to voice. Now, I could be absolutely wrong, hopefully someone more experienced will chime in and either confirm my guesses, or will correct my misunderstandings :slight_smile:

Sammy you and @Bob-KK7DSO bring up a good question. Officially Morse is supported as a way to identify your station, so repeaters will use it and you are allowed to use it on other voice QSO’s as you like.

I’m oversimplifying but in general the lower part of a band plan is where you find CW and the upper part is where you find voice. For instance, on 40 meters, 7.000 to 7.125 MHz is allocated to CW, RTTY and other Data modes like FT8. Within that there are different common spots for CW. The upper part of 40 meters, 7.125 to 7.300 MHz is voice. Check the band plan to see the different spots on different bands.

If you want to read more about Morse Code in general, there’s an article on the site: Morse Code - American Radio Club

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So I have a question about simplex communication. Is there a “proper” way or etiquette for making contact on the National Simplex frequencies such as 146.52 MHz? Should I call that I am monitoring such as I would with repeaters or should I call CQ like I would on HF? I did find a website once that said you could only call a specific call sign of who you are making contact with and then transfer to another frequency for communication. I understand I may be overthinking this but I guess I have not found anywhere online that clarifies this.

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Yes, it’s encouraged to call CQ on the national calling frequencies (146.52, 446.0, etc). Once you connect up with someone, it’s more of a local custom if you stay on frequency or move to a new one. Moving is encouraged, but I’ve heard plenty of long QSO’s on the calling frequencies. If you are at an event, always move.

I would leave a few seconds in-between your back and forth with another station so someone can break in to the conversation if needed. Move if asked in that case.

As far as what to say, on simplex if I am looking for a contact I would say “CQ 2 Meters, this is AA1RC on 146.52” or something like that. On a repeater, you can just give your call, “AA1RC” or if you are in a city where there might be more than one busy repeater, I’ve heard “AA1RC on the 82 Repeater.” That helps folks who many be scanning multiple repeaters find you faster.

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Just wanted you to know I answered your question via video on the American Radio Club Twitter feed.

@Zach198 your question made it as a social media short as well:

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Hey look ma, I’m famous for asking a newbie question. Haha! I’ll keep the questions coming as I think of them. This group is awesome! I really appreciate the support I get. Thank you!

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