My brother and I just got our technician class license. We live close enough to each other that we can use simplex on 2 meters or 440. How do we go about choosing the best frequency to use?
Ron points to the band plan and that's where you should start. I've redacted it somewhat to the bands most appropriate for simplex work. Note that depending on where you are, there might be large chunks of the repeater frequencies unused. Or you could live between two major metropolitan areas like me where there are NO unallocated repeater pairs...If they are unallocated, you could work simplex there, just listen first. I've included the simplex calling frequencies, areas around them often contain traffic (depending again on where you are).
- 144.90-145.10 Weak signal and FM simplex (145.01,03,05,07,09 are widely used for packet)
- 146.40-146.58 Simplex
- 146.52 National Simplex Calling Frequency
- 147.42-147.57 Simplex
- 432.10 70-cm calling frequency
- 432.10-432.30 Mixed-mode and weak-signal work
- 432.40-433.00 Mixed-mode and weak-signal work
- 445.00-447.00 Shared by auxiliary and control links, repeaters and simplex (local option)
- 446.00 National simplex calling frequency
The ARRL band plan shows:
A band plan refers to a voluntary division of a band to avoid interference between incompatible modes.
Listen through the simplex range of frequencies from the chart. Listen some more. If the frequency(ies) you choose are not in use, by all means throw your call out with "Is this frequency in use?" a few times - then go ahead and talk if no one else is using that frequency.