What can I say? So far, it has been great fun. There’s a bunch of regulars present there every morning (NYC local time), and a few regulars from Europe. The most prominent ham is probably M1OOO (M One Triple Oscar) who, at the time of writing, was able to work the repeater 46 days in a row.
The last three days I used the Albrecht AE497W (see one of the previous posts) to access this repeater. That worked fairly well, somewhat better than expected even. The incoming repeater signal, nor the Albrecht’s modest power output (21 Watts) were to blame for the contacts that failed. The main problems were:
- Some operators have no clue whatsoever that they’re calling CQ on a repeater input frequency,
- Some operators have microphones, but no ears (or no manners). They will flatten any signals getting ‘in their way’. These hams are referred to as “The Wolf Pack”.
- Some have no problem calling “CQ CQ” 20 times, while there’s still a QSO going on.
Then there’s a group of operators who don’t have bad intentions at all, but have their compression and mike gain at maximum, making their signal totally unreadable. FM deviation is as wide as the Atlantic Ocean, resulting in the worst distortion you can imagine. To make matters worse, they seem to be used to yelling so loud into the microphone that they would make a good salesman on a local market. Answering with “Switch off compression, back away from the microphone!” usually does the trick.