Ham Radio

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Black Rock Repeaters

Ham Radio repeaters in the Black Rock Desert area: http://cq-blackrock.org/freqs.php

  • UHF Repeater and IRLP Node 7249
    • 440.175 MHz (+), PL 100.0
  • VHF IRLP Node 3075 (Down as of August, 2019)
    • 146.7 MHz, PL 100.0
    • Simplex
  • APRS Digipeater GERLCH
    • 144.39 MHz simplex
    • Gatewayed to the Internet (APRS-IS)

Friends of Black Rock

  • VHF Repeater
    • 145.23 MHz (-), PL 123.0

Other Repeaters


The following 2 Meter repeaters are the best to try in the Black Rock & Playa area. This list is not complete. Repeaters are listed in the approximate best order. The north/south orientation on Nevada’s Basin & Range topography creates major problems trying to hit repeaters to the east and west! NOTE: Repeater coverage is spotty but keep trying! Many times if you simply drive a couple of miles you’ll hit the repeater. A mobile radio will usually hit one of these but a handheld won’t! KD7YIM

Repeater Location Frequency PL Comments
Virginia Peak 147.030 123 About 5 miles SW of Nixon
Toulon 147.390 123 Near Lovelock, SE of the playa. Normally linked to Ophir,(146.610/123), link down as of 5/08, Remote repeater with few users!
Virginia Peak 147.180 107.2 About 5 miles SW of Nixon. Note PL change.
2 Meter call 146.52 n/a Some users leave their radios set on this frequency


The Stratofox Aerospace Tracking Team maintained an Amateur Radio Band Plan for the Black Rock Desert, a project which started in 2001 due to increasing use of Amateur Radio by rocketry groups at Black Rock and the last update was in 2013. Unlike in metro areas where band plans are used to manage frequency congestion, at Black Rock it also has the role of allowing Hams to know what frequencies to call for assistance if they believe other groups are in the area. Users of the area are encouraged to use it, and contribute updates to keep it current. Stratofox maintains an e-mail list for discussion of the band plan. Note that it is not in effect during the Burning Man event - the radio environment changes so much at that time.

The following information was provided by David Book, 12/28/2007:

I haven't used 70 CM up there but my repeater directory says theres a repeater at Gerlach (Maybe at Fox mtn? I've heard it's down....) on 441.7000/ pl 146.2. There's a large Washoe county repeater on Fox Mtn.

I normally use 2 meter repeaters on Virginia Peak (near Nixon) at 146.030/pl 123 or Toulon (near Lovelock) at 147.390/ pl 123 when in the Black Rock. The Virginia Peak repeater gets used by folks in Reno and the Lovelock repeater is linked to the Reno area through another repeater at Ophir, near Virginia City. Look at a shaded relief map and you'll see the problem, the mtn ranges all run north and south so line of sight isn't so good either direction.

Both of these repeaters are spotty but often go in & out over the course of a few miles so keep trying. I can't hit them with a handheld, even with a mag-mount antennna but can with a mobile & a mag mount. I've also been told you can hit a Susanville repeater up there but have never had any luck. You'll see the issues if you look at a CA/NV/Oregon/Idaho map & start drawing circles, there's just not much around there.

Also, note that there's a Fox MOUNTAIN in the Granites NW of Gerlach and a Fox RANGE to the SW of Gerlach...

Otherwise, it's upgrade to the General, easier since they dropped the code requirement.

David, KD7YIM

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