Some Notes for Foundation Amateurs on 2 Metres

By Bob, VK3AIC

For some time now there has been a call for holders of a Foundation Licences to have more power for them to access local repeaters. There are a number of reasons for poor  access performance.  First of all lets have a look at the facts:-

  1. Most of the signals are noisy, (low signal level into the repeater).
  2. Low audio from the repeater, (low deviation from the radio).

The low signal level is mostly from Hand Held radios running only 5 watts from a “Rubber Ducky” antenna. Remember that the first 20 feet or 6.5 metres at this frequency is the most important and will have a very dramatic effect on signals into the repeaters. Use an external antenna.

This means that with only 5 watts you should have a healthy signal into many repeaters when you are using an external antenna. (note 1).


Low audio is probably caused by the low deviation as a result of the radio having been set for 12.5 khs channel spacing with lower resultant deviation. (volume level caused by deviation). 

It does not matter how much power you run but if you have a poor antenna the results are poor.

Note 1;- See simple antenna from VK2ZOI website (for a few dollars).


Thanks for the tip Bob, Bob built an example of the flower pot antenna a little while back – see The Bulletin article on our site. Regards Ed.