VHF Hilltopping

I’m new to VHF in 2011 and enamored with the idea of being the DX for a change. What does a hilltopper do from an operator’s point of view?

This page is my collection of notes about VHF 2-meter roving and hilltopping. I’m a newcomer and I will appreciate your comments and suggestions.

Operating Procedures for Hilltopping

Scanning: The 2-meter SSB band is not actively scanned for people calling CQ. You will find it is not generally rewarding to call CQ.

Announcing: It’s best if you announce your trip a few days ahead. Include relevent details such as date, time, location, grid square, frequency and antenna-pointing direction. I’m in the Pacific Northwest, so I would post on the PNWVHFS email reflector.

FM National Calling: Leave your FM simplex on 146.520 MHz. Move to 146.540 or 146.560 for ragchewing.

SSB National Calling: Leave your SSB rig on 144.200 MHz. Move to 144.220 or 144.240 for ragchewing.

Join a net: Find and participate in your local 2-meter weak-signal nets. This will give you practice setting up and testing your equipment on a regular basis. If you want to be over-achiever, check into your net from a hilltop.

Elmer: Invite a newcomer (like me!) to join you on your next hilltopping trip.

Know your grid: Keep track of where you are, and the altitude. Know your Maindenhead grid squares. (I’m in CN87xn49.) Here are helpful tools for grid squares:

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