Cross band tips and suggestions to live by, but just consider the problems if you do not use them! These are from some personal and other related experiences. De WA9WSJ…

Cross banding between two meters and 70 cm has become a common operating technique, but not all know the best way to use it in order to eliminate most, if not all, interference and problems that could arise.

PLEASE consider implementing the following items to help make your system operate with minimum or zero problems and issues! This is especially important if you are helping with a public event where numerous stations are all participating. One problem could lock up the whole network!

1.  1. When choosing a 70cm frequency, pick one from the SIMPLEX area of the band and be sure that it ends with a number 5! An example: 433.0125. This helps reduce the possibility of anyone accidentally picking ‘your’ frequency, in which to talk on. You may need to alter your radios ‘step’ feature to do this.

2.  2. VERIFY, verify and verify again that your squelch adjustments are PROPERLY set on BOTH bands so that even if a random noise burst or close frequency station(s)/interference were to happen, it would not open the squelch and ‘lock’ up the whole system!!! In addition to this, implement suggestion number 3!!!

3.  3. TONE SQUELCH the UHF side of your main cross band rig and your handheld. Use a non-standard tone to help prevent someone from accidentally getting into your UHF side and thus keying up your system into the two-meter repeater, (or any other band repeater, i.e., 220 band), that you may be accessing.

4.  4. Turn OFF any auto shut down feature or time-out-timer of your radios. You would not want your rig to shut off or time out if you were in the middle of an emergency transmission! Some radios will turn off the cross band feature when they automatically shut down! NOT GOOD!

5.  5. As always, make sure your hand helds batteries are charged and always have extra batteries!

6.  6. Check ALL wiring connections, power AND hand held speaker mics. Some speaker mic plugs like to work their way out of being plugged in. This most likely will cause the hand held to transmit without you knowing it! Yaesu FT-60 hand helds are notorious for this!

7.  7. Situate your radios mic or hand held from becoming a ‘stuck mic’ condition! You will not know it is stuck if you cannot hear your radio and no one can tell you! This is a MAJOR problem!

8.  8. DO NOT leave your system unattended, especially if you are cross banding to a repeater. Your (malfunctioning) system could unintentionally create continuous key ups, (kerchunking), that could lock up the repeater or worse, interfere with an ongoing net in which the offending repeater is linked to, through a remote base! This is why a local repeater was disconnected, through the controllers’ scheduler, from linking to a net!

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