Changes to 2m FM frequencies for the 14er Event
This is a heads up on a change to the recommended frequencies for 2m FM during the Colorado 14er Event.
These changes have been proposed by the Colorado 14er Event Task Force, the team that manages the event. The ham14er.org web page has not been updated just yet and we are interested in any comments or concerns before we do that.
We propose using these 2m FM simplex frequencies for the event:
146.58 North America Adventure FrequencyBackground:
We've used different approaches over the years to manage the activity on the FM portion of the 2 meter band. It is the most commonly used band/mode during the Colorado 14er Event due to the compact size and easy availability of FM handheld radios. What we have found works best is designating a handful of 2m simplex frequencies and encourage people to spread out. We have intentionally avoided the use of the 2m FM calling frequency (146.52) because we can easily overload it near populated areas. In recent years, we used 147.42, 147.45, 147.48 and 147.51 MHz. Note that we skip the 15-kHz spaced channels in favor of 30-kHz spacing, which minimizes adjacent channel interference on the summits.
Common usage for SOTA is to just use the 2m FM calling channel, 146.52 MHz. Typically, there is only one or two activators on the air at the same time throughout the year. Recently, there has been a movement among VHF SOTA activators to use 146.58 MHz, the North America Adventure Frequency. So now we are seeing SOTA activity split between 146.52 and 146.58 MHz. See https://www.k0nr.com/wordpress/2021/01/north-america-adventure-freq/ for more information.
Given the adoption of the North America Adventure Frequency for SOTA and similar activity, it makes sense for the Colorado 14er Event to adopt it as the primary channel for the operating event. However, one channel is not sufficient, so we are designating two other nearby simplex channels (146.55 and 146.49 MHz). We also include 146.52 MHz as another option with the strong guidance to avoid hogging the channel for any length of time, especially near highly-populated areas.
The recommended operating procedure for activators using 2m FM is to start by calling on 146.58 MHz. As that frequency gets busy, move off to 146.55 and 146.49 MHz. If you need to make a call on 146.52 MHz, go ahead and do so. However, if you find that the frequency gets too busy, announce you are moving over to one of the other channels and then change frequency.
Bob Witte K0NR
Colorado 14er Event Task Force