Skip to comments.Ham radio: Old technology gets new respect
Posted on 05/20/2014 7:28:53 AM PDT by Olog-hai
Seeking reliable backup communication in a crisis, emergency managers are finding new solutions in an old technology: ham radio.
Its just another avenue, another opportunity for us to be able to communicate, said Herb Schraufnagel, public safety captain with Emory University Hospital Midtown.
Emory HealthCare is among a growing number of hospital systems to adopt ham radio. Hospital administrators and government officials took a lesson from Hurricane Katrina, which left some Gulf Coast medical centers isolated from the outside world, as landlines and cell towers failed.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
That’s a good thing, I guess. But somewhere in the back of my mind, especially with the Academia connection is the potential for a call for more government regulation and control to go out with respect to priority for government, medical/first provider, etc. to be implemented.
IIRC, government has its own set of frequencies that Ham operators can’t utilize. “Civilian” radios have to be modified to tune those freqs.
As a licensed HAM, I can tell you that MOST hospital systems around the country are installing at least some sort of radio array in their safe areas. I worked as an operator for the Hillsborough County EOC drills a few years ago, and every year we had new hospitals coming online.
HAM radios are becoming more portable and more powerful while the number of licensed HAMs is becoming smaller. We need a resurgence. It’s rock solid technology.
“while the number of licensed HAMs is becoming smaller”
No. The number of licensees is higher than ever.
Fixed it for ya!
Exactamundo....and after the BLM show-of-
force tyranny, I have had huge numbers of new Technicians showing up. We are mandating 6 VEs show up so we can split into two test sessions.
The number of licensees is growing. I’ve worked with quite a few new or about-to-be hams recently. Our county is moving ham gear into not only hospitals but to a number of towns including islands. The normal public safety frequencies quickly get overloaded and the people that use those radios and frequencies are not, as a rule, very skilled communicators and they know not much other than how to set their radios to one or a few pre-programmed channels.
The article mentions cw (Morse) which is great but very slow. Hams have a wide variety of tools at their disposal now including digital modes that can sent error free messages at well over 1000 words per minute and don’t require any sort of elaborate equipment.
Mmmmm, Nurse Dixie, SCHWINGGG!
CW is more effective than texting. Skilled CWers can "talk" faster than by voice in many cases.
Guess this depends on your area. We’ve seen a decline in our area, but that’s from overall per-quarter new licensees.
Not my fault. Spell Check didn’t catch it.
CW is better than voice. Voice on HF and even VHF under poor conditions is terrible for getting accurate copy. However, just try sending a long list of needed supplies in spreadsheet format with CW. Or a detailed ICS-213 form, ready to be printed upon receipt.
How about sending IP over AM?
When the ObamaFascists eventually “need to temporarily” pull the kill switch on the Internet, or the Internet is so monitored that the Thought Police dominate, or The Revolution is compromised, or simply that the power grid fails, then Ham Radio (with local generators in the power-grid-failure case) will be all that’s left for peasant-to-peasant communication.
Rock solid Technology....I remember that....in the 60s-70s I ran AF HF long haul comms....had a 640 acre antenna farm and transmitters pumping out 50KW CW....working 5-24 MHz... ( I still remember some of the more specific allocated frequencies, just like my AF serial number before they went to Social Security numbers).
I’m glad to see that Ham Radio is being considered for wide use again.
Yes, there is that, that those who wish to control, will do what they can, but with all the knowledge that is already out there, and available to inquiring minds, control will not be possible.
The remark that the cellphones went down during Katrina, is a little off. In Jefferson Parish, I had cellphone service, until 10am, the next morning, when the Jefferson Parish government commandeered all cellphone trasmission facilities, because their own emergency facility communications grid was not working!!!!! But, before then, I had a signal, a thinkpad, an email connection, and a lot of folks were relieved to get out a ‘how goes it - I’m ok’, before 10am.
(Seeing 25 foot Ryder trucks strewn around like dice was a little unseetling to me.)
In the Gen Cutis E. Lemay days of SAC they(SAC/Offutt AFB, NE) had a “Single-Side Band(like Ham Radio)” “Branch’ for JUST THIS Reason!
Used to be RTTY was the only way to send print messages.
Must be able to fax or email on HF frequencies now, since wireless modems have been around for years.
Nothin’ like pounding brass. Always thought of the Titanic’s Marconi operators when I did.
Everyone in my radio club owns at least one of those Bapfengs and loves them. Just as capable as the Yaesu’s and I com handhelds at a fraction of the price, and so cheap they’re easily replaced.
I use mine to cross and back into my Ts2000 when I’m out for a walk or on a bike ride.
Those mods are easy to make.
Don’t forget SSTV which is used to send pictures, that’s how I got a lot of pics out of Syria last year. Encrypted comms over the air are coming too, the FCC won’t be able to stop it, rules be damned.
Neglecting exotic things like Pactor, there are quite a few fast error corrected modes that only require a computer and a sound card interface to the radio. For example, the Fldigi program has HF and VHF/UHF compatible modes. These pretty much have relegated RTTY to contest activity. These work with accompanying form and file transfer programs like Flmsg and Flamp. See www.w1hkj.com.
AM still has some voice enthusiasts. As far as IP goes, there are a variety of ham applications that work with the internet. Winlink (radio to email) is one example. APRS is another. There's also Echolink (radio with VoIP), BBS forwarding, D-Star, etc.
You are right on. It seems to me that this matter has been discussed by Freepers in the past and proposals made to set up something to use if our "masters" decide that we can no longer communicate with each other. Could someone tell us what is in the works, if anything?
Civilian radios have to be modified to tune those freqs.
No Big Deal.....1 switch, one dial, key the mike and we’re live on the frequency.
No. The number of licensees is higher than ever.
NO Code........they allow anyone into the club.
Literally *anyone*. ;-)
I wonder if Joe ever taps out cw on his Stratocaster.
“NO Code........they allow anyone into the club.”
And yet CW use and interest is growing. Once licensed many hams are finding an interest in code, and are pursuing it.
Yes, I said CW is growing. And it is doing so because it is no longer required.
And as far as your “letting anyone in the club” comment that’s just a rotten attitude. Ham radio would have died had the code requirement been kept. Keeping code simply for the sake of having an entrance barrier is idiotic and self destructive.
And not fer nuthin’... it has been my observation that most of the old hams who bitch about the “no coders” are the same bunch that have given the hobby the not entirely undeserved image of being a bunch of smelly fat old men who need to get over their aversion to soap and deodorant.
Now, if you want to talk about the technician exam being too simple and dumbed down I won’t argue that. There is good reason to require technical knowledge and rules/regulations knowledge.
I am pretty sure Joe Walsh was never a no-code Tech.
73 de AF5LO
Joe Walsh has been a ham since he was a kid. He is NOT a no-coder. He also builds. His input had a lot to do with the current design of Heil Sound’s microphones which are being used by a growing and already large number of musicians both live and in the studio.
He’s no dummy.
“I wonder if Joe ever taps out cw on his Stratocaster. “
I don’t recall at the moment which ones, but a couple of his recorded songs had CW in them. Not sure if he ever snuck any in the Eagles stuff, but before that he did put a few CW messages in the music. I think one of them was “vote for me” or something like that.
“Everyone in my radio club owns at least one of those Bapfengs “
Those Baofengs are the Bic Pen of radios. They work well, they are cheap and they are disposable. If you lose one you don’t get upset and they are EVERYWHERE.
(I keep one in the glovebox for whatever)
This is what I get for typing replies on my iPad's on-screen keyboard.
I liked your Bic Pen of Radio's analogy. Perfectly describes the Baofeng's. I purchased mine off Amazon.com along with the programming cable for it, for about $45 shipped to my door.
What's not to like about that?
Bonus: They also work for FRS without modification.
I think I have seen a pic of a very young Joe sitting at his radio. He has a real fondness for the old vacuum tube rigs, especially Hallicrafters.