TO: ALL WOOD COUNTY ARES MEMBERS (OFFICIAL)
ALL ARES AND NON-ARES AMATEURS ANYWHERE (INFORMATION)
FROM: KEN HARRIS WA8LLM ARRL DISTRICT 3 EMERGENCY COORDINATOR
WOOD COUNTY EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS INC.
WOOD COUNTY BULLETIN NR 17.19 DATE: May 7, 2017
SUBJECT: USING SIMPLEX FREQUENCIES
Why use simplex frequencies when using a repeater will do better? Some reasons are unique to individual organizations, but are common to all. It depends on how large of an area is needed during an event. If the event area is small, there's no reason to tie up a large area repeater. In public safety systems, such as Fire, Police, and Ambulance systems, the repeater frequency may be used for routine dispatch and communications, while a simplex frequency is used for the tactical and exclusive needs of the incident.
On Public Safety, Civil Air Patrol, Military Affiliate Radio System (MARS), Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services (RACES), frequencies, users are disciplined and controlled. This is not always the case on most Amateur Radio frequencies. It usually becomes a compromise in the ham bands to move to a Simplex Frequency. Moving to a Simplex Frequency, that is NOT part of any national simplex plan, would be the best, but it's not always practical. Although the days of crystal controlled radios are pretty will gone, there are still radios that need to be programmed on the fly. For that reason, many emergency communication groups will use well known Simplex Frequencies, both 2 Meters and 440 MHz.
One reason for using non-standard frequencies might be used is there are places where some hams, believe it or not, feel they own a Simplex Frequency in their area. Although that may be rare, in an emergency, you do what you have to do. Since most modern day radios have as many as 128 channels, a lot of those channels should be programmed with Simplex Frequencies. As a communication group we should have a list of simplex 2 Meter and 440 frequencies to be used during emergencies or special events.
Ken Harris WA8LLM
Wood County WV