Scanning the band today, I came across a net in progress. When I eventually heard the repeater ID, I was able to look it up online–turns out it was the River City ARC weekly net on 145.250- 162.2 PL. The net controller (W6AWS) was very surprised to hear a call-in from Livermore, because a little check with Google Maps shows that I’m about 80 miles from the repeater as the crow flies!
A range of hills separates Livermore from the repeater in the Central Valley, but my antenna was mag-mounted to my external air conditioner chassis, which is on the north side of the building giving me a reasonably straight shot at the repeater.
Reception was clear and they apparently had no trouble hearing me at 50 watts. I don’t know if it’s just a good repeater or if conditions were very good tonight, but I think this is the longest contact I’ve made so far.