Just found this group when looking for an email address for W9RM.
I have dabbled in 2m weak signal for many years and now trying to get serious about it.
I have at least temporary access to an unused 2m packet antenna at a site at 10,200 ft. It is a 20ft StationMaster vertical. Location DM37NO62 on Blowhard Mountain just east of Cedar City, UT.
About a month ago we put an FT857 on it with the program JS8Call running on a Raspberry Pi. JS8Call is built on the FT8 mode but has several other functions that allow what is in effect a beacon to run continuously. Also it can do some of the things that a packet digi does. A distant station can query it to respond to a few questions or to relay to another station. It seems FT8 needs close operator attention.
Right now once every 10 minutes it sends the 15 second ID and Grid message. It is heard from Las Vegas to Central Utah so far. If you would check Pskreporter for the mode JS8 on 2m you would see recent activity. The station IDs as AL7BX/11.
N6KOG in No Calif was heard once by this last week from 460 miles away. I had asked him to transmit for several hours one afternoon.
The receive may at times be poor since there is a 2m repeater right next to it that could see a lot of use. However it is serving as a beacon for now and will respond to anything it does hear.
The dial frequency is 144.176 mhz is not the program's default since there was a birdie at 144.174. Housed in that building are VHF and UHF repeaters and 7 UHF link transmitters since it is a major hub for two major systems.
There is no internet there so it can't report what it hears, I can query it for a stations heard list. But distant JS8 stations would report to Pskreporter if it is heard.
I'd appreciate any reports or comments.
KG7PBX and I are going to the ABQ Duke City Hamfest this week, so may meet a few of you.
Cedar City, UT