2 Meter Simplex and the Arlington 2m Simplex Test

Embracing the Simplicity and Strategy of 2m Simplex in Amateur Radio

In amateur radio, the allure of 2m Simplex lies in its simplicity and direct approach to communication. This mode, free from the complexities of offsets, CTCSS codes, and digital repeaters, represents ham radio in its most elemental form. For licensed operators, especially those new to the hobby, 2m Simplex offers a straightforward path to making contacts while going beyond repeater-based QSOs. FM is the most common modulation when making a 2m simplex contact but some people also use SSB, CW, or digial modes.

The simplicity of 2m Simplex brings antenna positioning to the forefront of operational success. Without repeaters to extend the reach of transmissions, the direct line of sight between communicating stations becomes paramount. The effectiveness of a simplex contact can be greatly influenced by the quality of the antenna and how well an antenna is positioned. Achieving the highest possible elevation and ensuring clear paths can significantly enhance signal strength and clarity. This aspect encourages operators to experiment and learn the nuances of antenna theory and practical application, which is fundamental to mastering simplex operations.

A2ST: Arlington 2 Meter Simplex Test

In support of fostering skill and community within this mode, the Arlington 2-Meter Simplex Test (A2ST) is an event that highlights the effectiveness and enjoyment of simplex communication. Scheduled for April 6, 2024, from 4 to 8 pm EDT, the test is open to all amateur radio operators capable of making contact within Arlington County, VA, via 2-meter FM phone on simplex. The objective is to complete at least 10 QSOs (contacts), with a bonus for contacting an Arlington Fire Station ham station. Participants will exchange their call sign, location (using predefined codes for Arlington neighborhoods or nearby counties), and signal report. This event not only serves as a practical exercise in simplex communication but also as a valuable experiment in assessing the capabilities of simplex communication within a specific area. The data collected will be shared with local emergency services and amateur radio communities, offering insights into the effectiveness of simplex communication for public service and emergency preparedness.

The A2ST encourages participants to log their contacts, noting the call sign, signal report, and the specific frequency used for each contact. A log form is attached to this post. Suggested frequencies fall within the ranges designated for simplex use in the 2 Meter Band Plan. This event, sponsored by the Arlington Radio Public Service Club, exemplifies the community and learning spirit of amateur radio, encouraging operators to engage deeply with the technical and social aspects of the hobby.

Through the simplicity of 2m Simplex, amateur radio operators find a platform for learning, experimentation, and connection. The A2ST represents an opportunity to explore these aspects in a structured and enjoyable setting, emphasizing the importance of building your station, understanding of radio fundamentals, and local community engagement in the world of amateur radio.

More Information

For more information on 2m simplex and the A2ST, see the attached documents