View Full Version : Ham Radios in the Adirondacks

05-22-2004, 10:15 AM
I am wondering about your experiences on the 2 meter band in the Adirondacks. Has this been an effective way to communicate? Which repeaters can be reached from the high peaks region? Is anybody listening on the simplex frequencies?

I went and got my Technician's license this year, and am hoping that having a little portable will allow me to keep all the folks at home calm when I'm a little late (or really late as the case may be).


05-23-2004, 08:44 AM
I checked the repeater situation in a 50 mile radius from Lake Placid using Travel Plus. You should be able get some contacts. Most folks around here just use the Mt Wash., Ossippee. and N. Conway machines.

Sequence Band Country State Region Location Output Frequency Input Frequency Call Sign Repeater Notes CTCSS Tones Sponsor Distance Bearing
1 144-148 MHz (2 meters) USA NEW YORK FRANKLIN COUNTY Saranac Lake 145.3100 - W2TLR o 127.3/127.3 127.3 Tri-Lakes 10 15
2 144-148 MHz (2 meters) USA NEW YORK ADIRONDACKS EAST Lake Placid 147.3000 + N2NGK ol 100.0 100.0 N2NGK 12 58
3 144-148 MHz (2 meters) USA NEW YORK FRANKLIN COUNTY Tupper Lake 147.3300 + NR2V o 100.0 100.0 17 266
4 144-148 MHz (2 meters) USA NEW YORK ADIRONDACKS EAST Whiteface Mtn 145.1100 - N2JKG celrWXx 123.0 123.0 Clin RACES 18 48
5 144-148 MHz (2 meters) USA NEW YORK ADIRONDACKS EAST Blue Mtn Lake 145.4900 - N2JKG olx 123.0 123.0 RACES 26 209
6 144-148 MHz (2 meters) USA NEW YORK ADIRONDACKS EAST Schroon Lake 145.2700 - KS2K oTTeLITZ 118.8 118.8 KS2K 31 138
7 144-148 MHz (2 meters) USA NEW YORK ADIRONDACKS EAST Mineville 147.2550 + WA2LRE oelrWX 123.0 123.0 Essx RACES 33 101
8 144-148 MHz (2 meters) USA NEW YORK UPPER HUDSON North Creek 147.1350 + KT2M or 123.0 123.0 Warr RACES 35 164
9 144-148 MHz (2 meters) USA NEW YORK ADIRONDACKS EAST Lyon Mtn 147.2850 + W2UXC oex 123.0 123.0 ChmpVlyRC 39 20
10 144-148 MHz (2 meters) USA NEW YORK ST LAWRENCE COUNTY Parishville 147.3900 + WA2NGD oe 151.4/151.4 151.4 NCARC 43 315
11 144-148 MHz (2 meters) USA NEW YORK FRANKLIN COUNTY Malone 147.0900 + NG2C oa(CA) NG2C 46 354
12 144-148 MHz (2 meters) USA NEW YORK FRANKLIN COUNTY Malone 147.2250 + WB2RYB ol 151.4/151.4 151.4 WB2RYB 46 354
13 144-148 MHz (2 meters) USA NEW YORK ST LAWRENCE COUNTY Fine 147.1350 + WA2NAN o OVARC 47 276
14 144-148 MHz (2 meters) USA NEW YORK ADIRONDACKS EAST Speculator 147.1650 + KA2VHF oer Hmltn ARC 48 190
15 144-148 MHz (2 meters) USA NEW YORK ADIRONDACKS EAST Plattsburgh 147.1500 + W2UXC o(CA)ez 123.0 123.0 ChmpVlyRC 50 45
16 144-148 MHz (2 meters) USA NEW YORK ST LAWRENCE COUNTY Russell 146.9250 - KA2JXI oae SLVRA 50 290

05-26-2004, 04:03 PM
Nice listing Bob. How hard is it to do the same for the Catskills, say centering on Phoenicia?
I waited to see if others would jump in here, but for a while I've been thinking about posting a poll to see how many hams there are in this little hiking community.
I prefer to carry 440 and 2 meters because you never know what will work, and I only use it when I REALLY need it.

05-27-2004, 06:31 AM
I never had much luck with 2 meter repeaters in the Adirondacks. Have had success in the Green Mts. The Whites offer the best chance of "DX" contacts. As mentioned, the Mt Washington repeater is available almost throughout the Whites and there are also repeaters on Cannon and in Littleton. Get the latest repeater directory from the ARRL for details.

I have been able to bring up repeaters in NY, MA, ME and VT from the higher summits of the Whites like Carrigain, Eisenhower, etc. Sometimes you simultaneously key two repeaters in different locations, and that is quite interesting. Once you make a repeater contact, you can try going simplex if you are up high.

Good luck.

05-27-2004, 06:56 AM
Maybe you fellas want to take the ham radio discussion offline?

Thanks, just trying to keep the board on-topic.


05-27-2004, 07:01 AM
Exactly how is asking about 2 meter reception in the Adirondacks different from asking about cell phone coverage in the Adirondacks (an acceptable topic). We are talking about hikers here.

Except that maybe a 2 meter rig requires an FCC license (test required) whereas any bozo can buy a cellphone.

Additionally, posters have inquired about fishing possibilities in the Adirondacks without requests to go offline.

I don't get it.

05-27-2004, 08:38 AM
I know we don't vote on the relevancy of topics, but I have interest in this topic as a hiker. I've considered getting one of the FRS radios, but based on threads posted here, they don't appear to do the trick. I'd like to know if ham radios are a worthwhile investment for a hiker.

05-27-2004, 10:22 AM
Mark, I used to carry a 2M HT with me on all winter hikes. This was before the proliferation of cell phones. I no longer carry the HT and bring a cellphone instead. If you want to use the radio to talk to people you know who aren't hams, then you need to use a repeater capable of interfacing with the land line phone system (autopatch).

The 2M rig requires a license, is somewhat expensive, but you don't have to pay any monthly charges. In the Whites, pretty much every place my HT worked (could reach repeaters) my cellphone works. This makes sense since repeaters and cell towers are located in similar locations.

Those FRS radios are a totally different animal, more like CB.

05-27-2004, 10:51 AM
>>Maybe you fellas want to take the ham radio discussion offline? <<

looks to me like a lot of discussion about hiking & mountains are on this thread - - - are you jealous because you don't have a radio to use???????

>>I have been able to bring up repeaters in NY, MA, ME and VT from the higher summits of the Whites like Carrigain, Eisenhower, etc. <<
>>I used to carry a 2M HT with me on all winter hikes. <<
>>Which repeaters can be reached from the high peaks <<
>>Have had success in the Green Mts. <<
>>I have interest in this topic as a hiker. <<

05-27-2004, 11:16 AM
I'd also say leave the HT at home and bring a cell phone. Unless the family members are hams, or you can reliably hit an autopatch to phone them, cell has it over that mode. If you're worried about price, get something pre-paid. I use a Tracfone -- 1 year pre-paid with 150 minutes for $94.00, perfect for occasional use.

Mark -- WI1W

05-27-2004, 12:30 PM
I can see Peakbagr's point, especially in light of recent thread hijackings and mis-understandings. I was going to let it die, but as others seem to have an interest and keep it going, let me try to explain a few things.
First Peakbagr, as you are not a licensed 'Ham', I just want to explain that we do not consider ham radio in any manner or form related to cell phones or CB's. Most ham's work hard to get their license A ham with a good quality handheld radio and a little bit of skill and training, can contact people several states away from a mountaintop. Many hams are involved in a sub-hobby called "mountaintopping" which, in many cases involves hiking. In addition, many hams are heavily involved in emergency communications, including SAR and disaster management. Many SAR personnel are have ham licenses. Personally I have been an emergency coordinator in 3 NY counties, and an assistant Radio Officer for my current county. We carry our rigs into the woods for pleasure, but also to provide security and a safety net, for ourselves or others in need. I have fielded several offline inquiries form VFTT'rs about getting a ham ticket, one has already gotten hers. SO I think it is fair to say that we are not to far off topic.
On the other hand, I see your point too. Too often, things get out of control here. Darren, Warren, and I had an interesting conversation about it on Saturday afternoon. I think I have a good handle on his intent, and I don't think that has been violated in this case. None the less, the possibility exists, and I think thatís why you were quick to jump in this time, BEFORE it got out of hand. I recognize that. As a moderator, I respect your authority even if I may not agree with it. Someone has to make the calls, and we all need to support that call, whether it suits our personal needs at the time or not. If we second guess every call you make, we will have anarchy and wind up with a board that is like so many others, and filled with junk. This is a quality group, and no one wants to see that.
I'm going to the Gathering in Sept. and when I'm there I don't want to have to apologize for getting the moderators PO'd. I want to enjoy the new friends I've already made, and make some new ones. That is far more important to me than steering a conversation the way I would like it to go. Ham radio used to be a driving force in my life, and I have had the pleasure and honor of competing in worldwide radio contest on a few world class teams. Someday I may go back there again, but for now I'm happy when I'm hiking.
So Peakbagr, unless you change your mind, I think we should take this offline as you wish.
If anyone wants to discuss this further, you can send me a direct email at n2sa@bestweb.net . I will be hiking all this weekend, so don't expect any quick responses.
Happy Hiking,
Tom (N2SA)

05-27-2004, 02:16 PM
When I posted what I thought was an innocent question involving hiking + ham radio, I really didn't expect things to devolve into a question of what is appropriate for the list, and I hope it doesn't further. I tried to carefully consider which area to post it to, and it seemed it was a region-specific question. I really consider it on the order of "how is the water up at Lake Tear of the Clouds?" or other similar ADK experience.

I hope we can get a green light to keep the conversation alive, to the extent that this relates to the utility and availability of this specific communication method in the High Peaks, and not (which we should save for other parts of the internet) how to get licensed, etc etc.

Green light, please??


David (K1DWL)

05-27-2004, 02:38 PM
I PROMISE I won't do that! But, since you asked, I think the Bose system is the best Boom/Weight ratio (just kidding!).

YIKES! I only wanted a way to be able to escape on solo adventures and to keep the worry-warts at home from dying of anxiety. And, in the event I found you lying on the trail with a broken leg, to call for help.

Otherwise, the OFF button is the one that is pressed.


05-27-2004, 02:53 PM
Originally posted by TomEske
Nice listing Bob. How hard is it to do the same for the Catskills, say centering on Phoenicia?

Actually I did send the second list of repeaters to Tom offline. (I hope you got them)

Hams tend to be pretty conciensious people. I know many who climb and hike and they are, in many ways more respectful of the backcountry ethics than others who haven't worked hard to earn a specific privelege ie cell phone.

It's a big world, we all have to live in it for a long time.

05-27-2004, 03:40 PM
>>The thought of climbing a remote peak and finding ham radio enthusiasts on top searching the globe for people to talk with ("Can you hear me NOW?") is enough to trigger my gag reflex.<<

they have just as much right to use a highpoint to carry on a conversation as do you talking to your buddies while at the summit, as does the hiker that brings his dog (the one that thinks backpacks are firehydrants).

05-27-2004, 07:22 PM
>>Yessir, they do. No argument there. But if only it would be as quiet!<<

as quiet as what??? the guy arguing on his cellphone? a bunch of kids complaining to thier parents (who made them hike up)?? a few guys yakking away about thier latest conquests (mountains, sexual or whatever)???? or the dog pissing on the backpacks that he thinks look like fire hydrants???? the dog is the quiet one (unless he is barking at something) but i wouldnt want to wear that backpack.

05-27-2004, 08:38 PM
>>Cell phones, walkie-talkies, etc. tend to make for loud usage<<

only if you think just because it is a "long distance" call you have to shout to be heard from that far away.

>>You don't want me to bring that Bose boombox up there, do you?<<

depends what you are playing on it (you are allowed) - but if i don't like your music i'll go to another mountain top (unless you have a beer to share).

05-27-2004, 09:05 PM
>>I won't tinkle on your Kelty......<<

ok - but not you... the dog.

05-28-2004, 03:01 PM
The best search tool available IMHO to locate repeaters from a specific location is the one listed below. It allows searches by town,state and also by lat/longs. It is also much more up to date than the ARRL repeater directory. You may have to do a little work in the Dacks to reach a repeater but it definately can be done.

The reason I got involved in amateur radio was because I came across a woman with a badly shattered foot 3 miles from the trailhead in the White mountains of NH and couldn't get help for her. After that event I searched for a method that would allow me to communicate with the outside world in an emergency from the backcountry and found the most RELIABLE method to do it was with amateur radio. I have used repeaters and I have talked directly with friends back in CT from the middle of nowhere in the Whites on HF radio.

A little off the tread but, that same event lead me to start training and become an EMT and eventually a Wilderness EMT and an active member of the fire department here in CT and in the process of joining the Bartlett/Jackson NH ambulance crew since I have a place near Jackson also. I also have taken Wilderness Search and Rescue training as well as mantracking in addition to my military training. When I bring my radio out into the woods, its more for other peoples safety than mine and I have had to use it several times for rescues. Several times when cell phones were of no use at all. I also use it to get messages back to my family, especially if I am out for a week or more. Amateur operators are usually very accomodating :D in passing messages for one another.

73, (best regards)