HF from an apartment

After putting most of my radios on consignment - and eventually selling them - I was able to purchase a Kenwood TS-590SG to be used as my "base" HF unit. I also purchased a Kenwood TS-480SAT, Comet SAA-500 Mark II antenna analyzer, Hustler MO-3 (54") and MO-4 (22") mobile whips, 400 watt resonators for 80-10 meters, a VP-1 tri-band adapter, and a D-322 mount.

My first attempt at a usable antenna in my apartment was the Hustler antenna on the D-322 mount on a modified Sony VCT-R640 tripod (modified = I removed the camera mount) with a counterpoise. Failure.

Second attempt was to ground the antenna base. I was able to match the antenna. Noise. When I used the MO-3 without a resonator for 6 meters at 5 watts, the mic went hot. RF burn. Fail.

Third attempt was to ground the TS-590SG.  Because the ground is attached to building steel, I was in a Faraday cage, effectively nulling my signal. Fail.

Fourth attempt was to purchase a Chameleon F-Loop antenna with the 80 meter add on. Success, save for the standard RFI in an urban area (bzzzt....bzzzt...bzzzt). I'll review the F-Loop later with instructions to make it work with the Kenwoods (or any modern HF transceiver with an internal tuner).

The TS-480SAT will be used for my mobile and field work. I'm looking forward to experimenting with the verticals and the F-Loop outside. I've also ordered HF verticals from GAM (WeatherFax/DSC) and Metz (General Coverage). 

Of course I'll post the results.

 

2016 Minneapolis Skywarn frequencies

I recommend the following setup for Skywarn spotters near downtown Minneapolis using a mobile with an output of 25 watts into a 1/4 wave antenna.

Because HTs will have a reduced usable range if no remote receivers are available, I’ll update the list for frequencies to be used when operating with an HT.

162.550 NWS (program this into your WX channel and enable WX alert function)
146.520 Calling frequency (program this into the 'CALL' frequency memory)
146.700 Minneapolis 127.3 CTCSS 127.3
146.700 Plymouth 118.8 CTCSS 127.3
146.760 St. Louis Park backup 114.8
147.120 Maplewood
145.170 St. Paul backup 100.0
146.925 Ramsey County backup 107.2 CTCSS 127.3 (Autopatch)
145.430 Hennepin County RACES Edina 127.3 CTCSS 127.3

1. Use your external speaker mic when operating with an HT.
2. Backup repeaters will be announced by Duty NCS based on storm track and availability of repeaters.

UHF frequencies are not considered to be for primary use.

442.600 Maplewood (not monitored by NWS) 156.7 CTCSS 156.7
444.200 Hennepin County RACES 127.3 CTCSS 127.3
442.700 Ramsey County 167.9 CTCSS 167.9
444.175 Hennepin County RACES 127.3 CTCSS 127.3

Callsign games

When I took the Extra exam, as with all other upgrades, I had the choice of retaining my current callsign or getting a new systematic callsign. I choose to keep KD0UDM. If I chose a new systematic call sign, I'd have to consider the current line up of the next block of call signs in Group A:

AD0SA-Z except AD0SB and AD0SC (vanity calls)
AD0TA-Z except AD0TD and AD0TY (vanity calls)
AD0UA-Z except AD0UG (vanity call)
AD0VA-Z except AD0VK and AD0VW (vanity calls)
AD0WA-Z except AD0WB and AD0WX (vanity calls)
AD0XA-Z
AD0YA-Z
AD0ZA-Z

There won't be a problem with Group A calls in Region 10 for some time since there is a total of 4,215 callsigns left. This is not the case in Region 4, where they ran out of Group A calls on 12/8/12 with AK4ZZ and now up it's to KW4QB in Group B as of this date.

I could always try for a Vanity callsign and fight for a 2x1 or 1x2 callsign. I don't think it's worth it - I could end up lousy callsign like W0OF or WO0F. Forget it. There's also the possibility of using my initials and have operators across the UK fall out of their chairs laughing when they hear me calling

CQ UK CQ UK CQ UK DE KB0NK K

And no, I don't want AD0SA (SturmAbteilung), AB0SD (SicherheitsDienst), AB0SX (see KB0NK, ante), AB0SV (the first two initials of an ex-girlfriend). Call me superstitious.

I'll wait. 

Standard GX-5850T

I was lucky enough to buy a new Standard GX-5850T off eBay some time ago. It's an 896-927 Mhz conventional and trunked mobile, perfect for my 902 Mhz (33 cm band) project. The trouble is that I cannot find a legitimate copy of the programming software. I was bounced around between the various manufacturers, and I still have to navigate my way through the last lead.

If anyone has a legitimate copy of the Standard GX-5850T software, you can leave a comment or email me at kd0udm at arrl.net.

Thanks and 73s. :-)

What's next?

It's time to review where I'm going in Amateur Radio. There has to be some direction to all this. Here's my attempt to get things in perspective.

1. Amateur Extra license upgrade: Study, study, study. Get it before the end of the year (hah!). I once knew the math and not the code, now I need to brush up on the math now that there is no code. I'll buy an HF rig as a present to myself when I pass the exam.

2.  Radiotelegraph license: After I get the Amateur Extra license, study CW until I can copy and send 25 words per minute, cancel my outdated General Radiotelephone License with Ship Radar Endorsement, and take the somewhat more outdated Radiotelegraph exam. Maybe even go for the Ship Radar endorsement again as well. At least it will confer all the privileges of the Radiotelephone License.

3. EMWIN data transmission project: Get a Kantronics KPC-1200+, a KPC-3+, and configure EMWIN retransmission software to transmit weather data. Let's see how far it will go reliably on 300 and 1200 baud. D-Star and C4FM? feh. Costs too much and its for the most part proprietary.

4. 902 Mhz (33 cm band) project: I have one Motorola GTX mobile and one Standard GX-5850T, with software being almost impossible to find. Maybe some one will release an answer to the now discontinued Alinco DJ-29T.

Radiotelegraph License Public Notice

DA 13-798

Released: April 19, 2013

WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATIONS BUREAU REMINDS RADIOTELEGRAPH OPERATOR’S CERTIFICATE HOLDERS ABOUT UPCOMING CHANGES TO THEIR LICENSE CLASS AND TERM

In the Report and Order in WT Docket No. 10-177, the Commission amended the rules concerning radiotelegraph operator licenses, effective May 20, 2013. The Commission consolidated First Class Radiotelegraph Operator’s Certificates (T1) and Second Class Radiotelegraph Operator’s Certificates (T2) into a new license class, the Radiotelegraph Operator License (T). This change takes effect with respect to existing licenses upon renewal – that is, T1s and T2s renewed on or after May 20, 2013 will be renewed as Ts, but existing T1s and T2s will retain their current license class for the duration of the current license term. The Commission also consolidated Third Class Radiotelegraph Operator’s Certificates (T3) with Marine Radio Operator Permits (MP) – T3s renewed on or after May 20, 2013 will be renewed as MPs, but existing T3s will retain their current license class for the duration of the current license term. Also, no applications for new T1s, T2s, or T3s will be accepted as of May 20, 2013.

In addition, the Commission extended the license term of radiotelegraph operator licenses to the lifetime of the holder. For existing licenses, this change also takes effect upon renewal. T1, T2, and T3 holders must renew their licenses as set forth above in order to obtain lifetime status. 

For technical assistance in renewing a license, please contact the ULS Technical Support Hotline at (877) 480-3201, option 2, (717) 338-2888, or (717) 338-2824 (TTY). The ULS Technical Support Hotline is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET. There are no weekend hours, and the hotline is closed on all Federal holidays. To provide quality service and ensure security, all telephone calls are recorded.

-FCC-

2015 Metro Skywarn frequencies (Minneapolis downtown area)

I recommend the following setup for Skywarn spotters near downtown Minneapolis. Use a power level of at least 2 watts, 5 watts is better, use your external speaker mic if you have one. Backup repeaters will be announced by the Duty NCS based on storm track and availability of repeaters.

Reportable conditions: transmit spotter ID number and a one or two word descriptor of the condition. Emergencies: transmit "Break Break Break".

162.550 NWS (program this into your WX channel and enable WX alert function) 
146.520 Calling frequency (program this into the ‘CALL’ frequency memory) 
146.700 Minneapolis 127.3 CTCSS 127.3
146.700 Plymouth 118.8 CTCSS 127.3
146.760 St. Louis Park backup 114.8
145.170 St. Paul backup 100.0
146.925 Little Canada backup 107.2 CTCSS 127.3 (Autopatch) 
146.925 Maplewood backup 100.0 CTCSS 127.3
145.430 Hennepin County RACES Edina 127.3 CTCSS 127.3
146.820 Hennepin County Sheriff Golden Valley 127.3 CTCSS 127.3 (Closed Autopatch) 

442.600 Maplewood (not monitored by NWS) 156.7 CTCSS 156.7
444.200 Hennepin County RACES 127.3 CTCSS 127.3
442.700 Ramsey County 167.9 CTCSS 167.9
444.175 Hennepin County RACES 127.3 CTCSS 127.3
444.500 Hennepin County Sheriff 127.3 CTCSS 127.3 

PK-96 U3 replacement for date and time

Some time ago, I called Timewave support. Because Dallas Semiconductor no longer manufactures the DS1216D, the lithium battery unit for PK-96 date and time retention, I inquired about a replacement. There was none. Deciding to try to find a replacement on my own. I looked at a specs. It appeared the DS1248Y-70+ would work, the claim being it's a "drop-in" replacement. I ordered one unit from Avnet for about $42. It didn't work, the TNC wouldn't respond. Replacing the replacement IC with the original chip, the TNC worked. Some "drop-in" replacement. I also bought a new serial cable, in case my existing stock of cables were not functioning as planned.

feh.

I had written to Kantronics last year about the date and time retention capabilities of their products:
Does the KPC-3+, KPC-9612+ and the KWN-1200+ retain date and time information (logging, stations heard) out of the box, unlike the Timewave PK-96/100, which requires a time chip upgrade?

And their response:
The KPC-9612 Plus, and the commercial version KWM-9612 Plus, have a real-time clock installed by default.

The KPC-3 Plus, and its commercial version KWM-1200 Plus, do not include the real-time clock chip. It is an option in these units. An IC socket is provided on the circuit board where that IC can be easily installed.

Sounds good to me. Time to ditch Timewave.

Bridgecom Systems: an alternative to BaofengWouxun

I ran across Bridgecom Systems, who have an interesting catalog of radios, both as an OEM and a distributor of Maxon and Tecnet. Tenet data radios are instantly adaptable to Amateur Radio, if you look into the Maxon line of data radios, you will eventually find they, too are useful for EMWIN and amateur radio RF data applications. They are reasonably priced, too.

There's an 1.25 meter mobile radio to be released soon:

BCM 222-225 Mhz mobile radio Bridgecom manufactures amateur band capable repeaters for under $1000:

BCR Repeater

UHF Citizens Band: a modest proposal

Because the purpose of the Citizens Radio Service was supposed to be short range communications and line of sight communication in the UHF spectrum is sufficient, it is obvious the propagation characteristics of the 10 meter band is unsuitable for that purpose. Local communications do not need atmospheric propagation, nor do users require radio frequency amplifiers which creates RF pollution and excessive power levels that far exceed allowable MPE limits. Then again, having a place - 11 meters - where those who cannot take an exam will keep the mass of lowest common denominator culture away from Amateur Radio.

I propose the following - that Part 95 of Chapter 1 of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations are amended as follows:

1. The Citizens Band Radio Service is to defined as a private, two-way, short-distance voice communications service in the Ultra High Frequency band for personal or business activities of the general public.
2. The General Mobile Radio Service is abolished. All current licensees may operate until the expiration date of their license. No new GMRS radios may be sold or placed into operation.
3. The Family Radio Service is abolished. All persons currently operating with existing equipment may do so, however, no new FRS radios may be sold or placed into operation.
4. The Citizen's Band Radio Service in the 11 meter band is abolished. No operation may take place in that band. No new 11 meter radios may be sold or placed into operation.
5. The frequencies authorized are available on a shared basis only and will not be assigned for the exclusive use of any entity.
6. The highest point of any antenna must not be more than 6.1 meters (20 feet) above the ground or above the building or tree on which it is mounted.
7. The maximum allowable transmitter power shall be no more than 2 watts effective radiated power.
8. Repeater operation is prohibited.
9. Tone coded, digital coded squelch, and paging systems may be used.
10. Frequencies allowed for use are 462.5500 to 462.7250 and 467.5500 to 467.7250 in 12.5 Khz steps.

2015 Metro Skywarn frequencies (Minneapolis downtown area)

I recommend the following setup for Skywarn spotters near downtown Minneapolis:

162.550 NWS (program this into your WX channel and enable WX alert function)
146.520 Calling frequency (program this into the 'CALL' frequency memory)
146.700 Minneapolis 127.3 CTCSS 127.3
146.700 Plymouth 118.8 CTCSS 127.3
146.760 St. Louis Park backup 114.8
145.170 St. Paul backup 100.0
146.925 Little Canada backup 107.2 CTCSS 127.3 (Autopatch)
146.925 Maplewood backup 100.0 CTCSS 127.3
145.430 Hennepin County RACES Edina 127.3 CTCSS 127.3
146.820 Hennepin County Sheriff Golden Valley 127.3 CTCSS 127.3 (Closed Autopatch)

442.600 Maplewood (not monitored by NWS) 156.7 CTCSS 156.7
444.200 Hennepin County RACES 127.3 CTCSS 127.3
442.700 Ramsey County 167.9 CTCSS 167.9
444.175 Hennepin County RACES 127.3 CTCSS 127.3
444.500 Hennepin County Sheriff 127.3 CTCSS 127.3

Update: Deleted the simplex frequencies. They're not used locally for Skywarn.
Update: Added Maplewood repeater.
Update: Added 70 cm frequencies and autopatch designations.

1. Use a power level of at least 2 watts. 5 watts is better. Don't forget to use your external speaker mic.
2. Backup repeaters will be announced by Duty NCS based on storm track and availability of repeaters.

C4FM projects

There are three projects that I thought of with Yaesu's C4FM. The first is using the data channel to transmit the EMWIN data feed from the internet, the second to use the WIRES-X news feature to deposit weather information, the third to use an FT1DR as a WIRES-X digital node.

The first experiment failed. The FT1DR can only transmit GPS, Waypoint and firmware data with the USB connector.

The second experiment failed. The news feature in the WIRES-X software allows for very limited text and images of resolutions of <= 320x240 and a size of <= 40 Kbytes. The files used in the news feature are not in plain text, they are in a format readable only by the software.

The third experiment will require, for the FT1DR, a CT-170 data cable (USB serial data input and output and ground) and CT-44 audio connector (packet data); for the HRI-200 WIRES-X gateway a CT-167 cable to wire to both the CT-170 and CT-44.

The FTM-400 has a 10 pin (DIN) data port which will allow for connecting the SCU-20 (USB) or CT-165 (RS-232C) to the computer to use the C4FM data channel. The FTM-400 can use the data port for GPS, Packet, or Waypoint. Note the mobile serial port has direct packet capability whereas the HT does not. The FT1DR is quite limited in function and the mobile can be used as a digital node for data transmission and WIRES-X. I doubt the announced FT2DR will be any different from the FT1DR except for the touch screen.

Some observations:
- When operating the FTM-400 as a WIRES-X digital node, when the TXout Gain in File-->Settings-->Property-->HRI-200setup is set for TX96, the transmit audio on the local node (that is, the distant station's audio) is much clearer.
- The FT1DR is an intermod magnet.
- On an FT1DR in DN mode with a power output of 5 watts and a trunk mounted quarter wave antenna, you can have a QSO on a Fusion 70 cm repeater through intermod alley in Minneapolis (Hennepin Avenue between Washington Avenue and South 9th Street), with only a few instances of audio distortion.
- The Yaesu hand held mic doesn't have much of an audio frequency range.

WIRES-X

I'm operating a Wires-X node (11129). I already had a QSO with Bert F5NTS (on 144.480 Mhz here with a Kenwood TH-K20, on 70 cm there with a Baofeng). Operating the node is easy:

1. Tune the radio to 144.970 Mhz.
2. Look up an active Node ID or a Room ID
3. Transmit DTMF #nnnnn where # is the pound sign and nnnnn is the 5 digit node or room ID (unsuccessful connections will be noted by 4 beeps).
4. If the connection is successful, you will hear my call sign in morse.
5. To disconnect from a remote node, transmit DTMF * (successful disconnect will be acknowledged by 4 beeps).
6. Transmission will time out at 3 minutes.

That's if the node is analog. I'm operating it now in digital mode:

1. Tune the radio to 144.970 Mhz.
2. Press the Dx key for at least 2 seconds to enable the radio to find the node.
3. When the radio is connected to the node, either:
a. download the node and room list, or
b. direct entry the remote node or room you want to connect to.
4. To disconnect from the remote node, press the * key for at least 2 seconds.

Here's the information:

Radio: Kenwood TM-271 with a packet cable
Frequency: 144.97 Mhz
Tone: None
Antenna: Metz 2 meter vertical
VOIP gateway: Wires-X
Node number: 11129
Location: Loring Park, Minneapolis

902 Mhz band plan and experimental frequencies

Due to the lack of interest (and amateur rigs by the manufacturers) the 33cm band is wide open, if you don't count interference or non-interference from ITS, Part 15 and the ISM radio services. We will dispense with any part of the band plan that does not address spectrum for experimental purposes, data transmission or narrowband FM (i.e. repurposed Motorola GTX and Kenwood units). This is what it looks like here in Minnesota.

902.3125–902.4875 Narrowband FM/DV repeater inputs (25 Khz spacing)
902.500 Simplex (15Khz)
902.8500-902.9750 Narrowband repeater inputs (25 Khz spacing)
902.9875 Narrowband SNP repeater input
903.425-906.975 Digital
916.025-918.975 Digital
927.3125–927.4875 Narrowband repeater outputs (25 KHz spacing)
927.600 Alternate FM Simplex (15 Khz wide channel)
927.700 Alternate FM Simplex (15 Khz wide channel)
927.800 Alternate FM Simplex (15 Khz wide channel)
927.8500-927.9750 Narrowband repeater outputs (25 Khz spacing)
927.9875 Narrowband SNP repeater output

904.00-909.750 and 919.000-928.000 are designated for Intelligent Transportation Systems. They are the primary users of this part of the spectrum and the Amateur Radio Service cannot cause harmful interference. Part 97.303(n)(1)(i-iii) states, that in the 33cm band, Amateur stations must not cause harmful interference to, and must accept interference from, stations authorized by the United States Government; the FCC in the Location and Monitoring Service; and other nations in the fixed service.

Researching 902-928 Mhz on the FCC ULS website, these are the active ITS frequencies in use within 50 miles of a point just south of downtown Minneapolis. They include users like the railroads, spectrum speculators and an airport:

901.95-902.00 (not in affected sub band)
902.25 (not in affected sub band)
903.00 (50K0N0N emission within 2 km of MSP Airport - 25 khz from SNP repeater input)
903.75 (within digital sub band)
904.00-909.75 (within the digital sub band to 906.975)
910.00 (not in affected sub band)
911.50 (not in affected sub band)
913.00 (not in affected sub band)
913.10 (not in affected sub band)
913.75 (not in affected sub band)
915.00 (not in affected sub band)
917.00 (within the digital sub band 916.025-918.975)
917.75 (within the digital sub band 916.025-918.975)
918.50 (within the digital sub band 916.025-918.975)
918.75 (within the digital sub band 916.025-918.975)
921.00 (not in affected sub band)
921.75-927.25 (not in affected sub band)
927.25-927.50 (within Wisconsin simplex sub band)
927.75-928.00 (within simplex and narrow band repeater output sub bands)

You cannot transmit on the SNP frequency within 2 km of MSP International. Generally, you have to be careful about which frequencies you can use and where you can use them. Using FCC ULS search, determine if your signal would radiate on a  frequency and within a bandwidth is in use by a licensed service.

(BTW, I need to update this post with the ITS bandwidth information - that will further restrict Amateur Service use of the band.)

Answer: Yaesu C4FM. Now what was the Question?

Drag me kicking and screaming into the post-AX.25 world so I can be on the cutting edge for once in Amateur Radio. You know the justifications by heart: Let's give Icom D-Star some competition. Don't get suckered into the inexpensive, mass produced Chinese radio that plays "The East is Red" when it's powered up. If we don't buy stuff from the manufacturers they'll just ride into the sunset like Drake, Swan, Hallicrafters.  So I figured, yeah, what the hell, there's repeaters being installed, and I need a good dual band rig anyway. Here's my $700.

There are now 3 clubs with Fusion repeaters, received with the blessings of Yaesu as part of a program to catch up to Icom's D-Star - which is already so entrenched that I don't see how Yaesu's (albeit allegedly superior) proprietary system will ever catch up. There's DMR and P25, and these two open-standard modes may supplant both C4FM and D-Star anyway, since they're open. Amateurs (like me) just don't really want to spend all that cash for proprietary systems and - let's be honest here - don't want to be beta testers and pay for the privilege.

Don't get me wrong, the Yaesu FTM-400 is a good unit (though with some bugs - i.e. the blanking of audio when in mixed mode and listening to analog FM, no configuration software like Kenwood) and the ever-present intermod in downtown Minneapolis. I use a duplexer and two quarter wave trunk mount antennas, one for 2 meters and one for 70 cm. Don't even think of using a gain-type dual band antenna. The intermod will be fierce, remedied by use of tone coded squelch.

I have had one - that's right - ONE QSO with a Ham who bought a FT-1DR HT. The digital mode worked - watch out, though, if some packets drop. It's not a pleasant experience. As for repeaters, there are three, all on 70cm:  444.100, 444.300, 444.525 Mhz.

I'll keep the rig for now. If the lack of interest and participation persists in the Metro, I'll just sell the unit to a ham lives in an area with a more active C4FM base.

Constitutional problems with HR 4969

The ARRL is telling us to support
HR 4969 ("Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2014") HR 1301 ("Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015") that would forcibly compel PRB-1 (47 CFR 97.15(b) upon "all types of land-use regulation, including deed restrictions and restrictive covenants":

Except as otherwise provided herein, a station antenna structure may be erected at heights and dimensions sufficient to accommodate amateur service communications. (State and local regulation of a station antenna structure must not preclude amateur service communications. Rather, it must reasonably accommodate such communications and must constitute the minimum practicable regulation to accomplish the state or local authority's legitimate purpose.

Not so fast. The ARRL, Congress and the FCC faces constitutional obstacles before they can impose their will upon private contracts.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
(United States Constitution, Amendment 12)

“No State shall … pass any … Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts … “
(United States Constitution, Article I, Section 10)

According to the ARRL website, there is an exemption for Digital Broadcasting Service and terrestrial television antennas already in law:

Private land use regulation of Amateur antennas is not preempted by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, but most private land use regulation of DBS dishes and TV antennas is. Congress was interested in promoting competition (and thus lowering costs and improving service) in video delivery services.

Is the exemption for DBS and TV antennas itself unconstitutional? Does it not also impair the the contract obligations between two private parties? Answer: yes it does. The proposed legislation would add another unconstitutional provision to the current law. This calls into question the legitimacy of the ARRL's request - to forcibly compel a private party, by government action, to abrogate a private contractual agreement. It is one thing to restriction government action - it is another to restrict lawful private contracts.

Don't want to live under the rules of a homeowners association? Don't buy property or move into a house under their control. Don't commend government to violate or ignore the constitution or the law for your self-interest.

We already have enough of that.

Update: introduction of HR 1301, restate PRB-1.

2014 Metro Skywarn frequencies


Wright County information is included due to the location of a primary repeater. Input tones are listed unless marked CTCSS. 000.0 indicates no input tone required.
Frequencies are current as of 5/9/14.

146.700 Minneapolis 127.3 CTCSS 127.3
147.000 Wright County 000.0
147.210 Burnsville 100.0 CTCSS 100.0

For Metro Skywarn mobiles, I recommend the following:

162.*** NWS (program the nearest NOAA site into your WX channel and enable WX alert function)
146.520 Calling frequency (program this into the 'CALL' frequency memory)
146.700 Minneapolis 127.3 CTCSS 127.3
147.210 Burnsville 100.0 CTCSS 100.0
147.000 Wright County 000.0 (to hear what’s inbound from the west)
146.400 Wright County simplex
146.970 Sherburne County primary Elk River 000.0
145.490 Sherburne County backup Big Lake CTCSS 146.2
146.550 Simplex (primary unofficial)
146.460 Simplex (secondary unofficial)
146.670 Anoka backup 114.8
146.760 St. Louis Park backup 114.8
145.170 St. Paul backup 100.0
145.430 Hennepin County RACES Edina 127.3
146.820 Hennepin County Sheriff Golden Valley 127.3

Notes:

1. Ramsey County Emergency Management repeaters are not keying up with the information given on the MRC list. They are excluded here.
2. 25 watt mobile and external antenna is recommended. If a hand-held radio must be used, use the highest power setting and an external quarter wave antenna.
3. Backup repeaters will be announced by Duty NCS based on storm track and availability of repeaters.

2014 Minneapolis Skywarn frequencies

I recommend the following setup for Skywarn spotters near downtown Minneapolis using an HT.

162.550 NWS (program this into your WX channel and enable WX alert function)
146.520 Calling frequency (program this into the 'CALL' frequency memory)
146.700 Minneapolis 127.3 CTCSS 127.3
147.000 Wright County 000.0 (to hear what’s inbound from the west)
146.550 Simplex (primary unofficial)
146.460 Simplex (secondary unofficial)
146.760 St. Louis Park backup 114.8
145.430 Hennepin County RACES Edina 127.3 CTCSS 127.3
146.820 Hennepin County Sheriff Golden Valley 127.3 CTCSS 127.3

1. Use a power level of at least 2 watts. 5 watts is better. Don't forget to use your external speaker mic.
2. Backup repeaters will be announced by Duty NCS based on storm track and availability of repeaters.