In the uk we have a band thats widely used for public comms on the 446mhz frequencies, I hadnt really used it much when I bought a pair of Icom Ic446s handhelds, they were ok for short range conversations but the low power (0.5 watts) and integral short antenna dont really lend themselves to long distance qso's.

A while back I got hold of a baofeng f8 tribander that can also be used on 446 and ive been using that locally and at dx for some weeks now to see how far it can go.

The antenna that came with the radio is supposed to cover all the bands the radio does, but after testing it on the antenna analyser I found it wasnt really any good on anywhere near close to 446, so I got a nagoya whip and trimmed it until I had an antenna that resonated closely.

During some outings to the countryside locally I was getting good contacts at probably 15 miles so I decided to head out a little further, 31 miles.

I managed to get some good elevation at 1770 feet and scheduled earlier a time to qso with my brother with his same radio and about 4 watts.

Im not certain how the weather conditions affect this band but after a few seconds of calling I got the reply from my brother, at first it was little quiet but after some changes to location and position I had a good radio 5 qso.
We did a few experiments with various antennas and then I tried the little icom with its 0.5 watts.
Report was that it was noticably quieter but still readable.
The received signals from him were still very well received on the icom though, easy radio 5, which has surprised me, I like this band! Smile

Yesterday I constructed a quick and dirty dipole antenna and tested it on a local hilltop, I was getting quite a lot of signals but curiously tx was better on vertical polarisation, rx was better on horizontal.
Most odd.
Im also experimenting with dmr and still monitoring 934mhz, although I havent heard any voice activity yet Ive found out that there are still stations using it and small nets in the uk.

I believe I also received some russion or polish cb activity last night on 25.985mhz on FM but I couldnt make out what was being said, it sounded like children and the transmissions just faded out quite rapidly.
Quite intriguing though, I will listen this afternoon for skip and tonight just in case.

I hope everyone here is well and keeping safe.

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