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As a new ham, just for fun, I'm planning to hike up to the local high point (which while not high in an absolute sense does have a commanding view of the surroundings) with my 5 watt FT-4XR and a slim jim antenna for 2m and see what kind of distance I can get by calling for contacts on 146.52 on analog FM voice.

So I was wondering what the calling procedure is to ask for "distant" contacts. (I put distant in scare quotes because this would be just plain old LOS transmission, nothing fancy, so while I hope there'd be some decent reach I wouldn't be expecting real distance.) What's the proper way of indicating I'm not looking for "town next door" kind of contacts?

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One would usually call CQ DX, but on 2 m FM that would sound a bit odd. Also FM will be heard by many people close by, who will find CQ DX quite funny. You could simply call and explain what you're trying to achieve, some hams would find that interesting and reply.

If you find anyone on a calling channel, you could talk about the weather for a bit and then say that you are trying to see how far you can reach. This might attract a more distant contact.

2m FM simplex in my experience is rarely used for speculative contacts of any sort, let alone some sort of DX. Longer distance contacts and records are usually by arranged contact, and usually on horizontally polarised SSB.

Something else you could try is to print out a list of fairly far away repeaters all around the hill in question, and see if you can hit them from there. Lots of people monitor on the repeaters, and they generally know their coverage area. They might jump in to say they're surprised to hear from you so far away.

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    $\begingroup$ Agree with this general approach. A bit odd to be so formal, so try raising as many contacts as you can and explain your location and intent or use distant repeaters. A good list up to 100 miles out would be great. You might be surprised. I’m down in a hole but can sometimes hit a 72-mile-away repeater with almost full quieting while a 35-mile-away one doesn’t hear me at all. (Your list could have the distance and location to help you judge.) $\endgroup$ May 7 at 12:26
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    $\begingroup$ Adding: Repeater users may even eagerly help your simplex testing if you ask them to listen for you on the calling frequency. $\endgroup$ May 7 at 12:28
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I live in a mountainous area, and when my VHF/UHF FM radio is on, I have it on scan, with the calling frequency in the scan bank of course. Every once in a while I'll hear someone on a mountain peak calling on the 2m calling frequency asking for SOTA (Summits on the Air) contacts, which I'm happy to hand out. So it does happen. If you're on the mountain peak, just explain what you're trying to do, and if anyone is listening then they will probably be glad to accommodate you.

And if you want to make a habit of making contacts from high places, consider joining SOTA, it's lots of fun!

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