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Amateur radio operators go on air for field day
Valley Press on ^ | Friday, June 26, 2009. | RICH BREAULT

Posted on 06/26/2009 12:06:22 PM PDT by BenLurkin

[H]am radio operators will test their emergency communications capabilities with amateur radio clubs across the nation this weekend.

The field day, the culmination of National Amateur Radio Week, known as the Nationwide Emergency Communications Drill, is intended to give the public a glimpse of the services amateur radio operators provide and a chance to meet the operators themselves.

"In a disaster, when phone lines, cellphones and the Internet are all down, ham radio operators will be on the job," said Jon Clark, president of the Antelope Valley Amateur Radio Club.

The club will set up at the north end of Lancaster City Park, with members manning radios from 11 a.m. Saturday to 11 a.m. Sunday.

In Palmdale, members of the Amateur Radio Club of the Lockheed Employees Recreational Club, will play host to a field day in front of the Lockheed Federal Credit Union on Eighth Street East, just south of the guard gate at the Lockheed facility. The field day begins at 11 a.m.

"It's not just about showing people what the hams do, but it's important because there's a need for more people to be involved in amateur radio," said Roberta Alexander, a Lockheed Employees Recreational Club board member.

The national event is sponsored by the American Radio Relay League, a national organization for amateur radio. It originated the concept of a nationwide field day.

Amateur radio operators, better known as "hams," participate by gathering at a common meeting ground and communicating with each other without depending on outside power. They will talk with each other - across the Valley, with hams elsewhere in the state and with hams across the nation, to demonstrate forms of communicating on emergency power supply and the radios' capabilities when a disaster occurs.

(Excerpt) Read more at avpress.com ...


TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: amateurradio; arrl; beprepared; communications; emergency; fieldday; fieldday2009; ham; hamradio; hams; preparedness; survival; tm
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1 posted on 06/26/2009 12:06:24 PM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: BenLurkin

dah dit dah dit

dah dah dit dah


2 posted on 06/26/2009 12:14:58 PM PDT by Texas Fossil (Once a Republic, Now a State, Still Texas)
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To: BenLurkin

When I was in the Navy and there were no cell phones Ham operators in the US ran what was called the MARS network. If you were out at sea you could connect to a ham operator in the US who would dial a loved one for you collect and you could talk for 5 minutes. They were usually the best 5 minutes of the day, God bless them.


3 posted on 06/26/2009 12:15:57 PM PDT by Oshkalaboomboom
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To: BenLurkin

4 posted on 06/26/2009 12:27:33 PM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet)
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To: BenLurkin

I suspect this thread might bring in a few FR Hams.

I recognize the one of the first things to go wrong in any critical event or emergency is communications. I expect there to be many critical events in the coming months and years. Our country is falling apart and I expect it’s going to get very ugly.

Most of us have cellphones and other means to communicate and gather information, however, it seems to me that Ham radio could be of great assistance.

I would appreciate any of you Ham’s coming forward on listing or commenting on justifications for the expense and effort for a guy to get into Ham radio.

My initial thoughts are to purchase a base for my home, and portable for my boat (I do have marine radios) and vehicles.

Should I get into this, I would not seek the ability to simply talk to someone in my area, but around the world. I live near the top of a mountain and have the property to even put up a tower.

Thanks for any responses. I will be away from the computer... my wife has assigned me an outside project. ;>)


5 posted on 06/26/2009 12:31:58 PM PDT by Gator113 (I live in "one of the largest Muslim countries in the world." Imam Obama told me so.)
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To: Gator113

Well, I can only give you one small example. In 1992, I was living in Lynchburg, VA when a vicious squall line with 80+ mph straight-line winds tore through the entire area one Friday afternoon. Power to the entire metro area, over 150,000 people at the time, was knocked out. Emergency communications were still partially functional, but the phone lines that connected the City of Lynchburg’s emergency operations center to the three surrounding counties were knocked out, so in the case of a major problem such as a fire, it would be difficult or impossible to call the other jurisdictions for mutual aid.

One ham had a 2m VHF repeater that somehow was still working. So when the local ham club’s representatives arrived at the Lynchburg EOC (as part of the city’s emergency plan), they were requested to send people to the surrounding counties’ dispatch centers, and use that repeater to pass any necessary traffic back and forth so mutual aid could be requested in a serious emergency. None was needed, as it turns out, and the phones were back working in about 6 hours. But the hams were deployed and on station less than 90 minutes after the storm blew through.

I’ve had an Advanced class license since 1992 and I’m not active right now. But remember that this is Field Day weekend, I think I’ll drag my little portable HF rig out and charge it up, and see if I can talk to a few people.

}:-)4


6 posted on 06/26/2009 12:58:59 PM PDT by Moose4 (Palin/some guy who can keep it in his pants 2012)
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To: Gator113

Define what you mean by “get into ham radio.” There’s levels of involvement... from the small involvement (low power HF rig with a wire thrown up into a tree) up to moonbounce comm with 28’ dishes and 1kW power amps.

HF, VHF, UHF, SHF... there’s ham bands all over the place.

Personally, I think that given what you’ve given us, a 2M/440 dual-band rig that you could power up in the house and put into your car/truck is a great starting point. Figure a couple/three hundred bucks for the rig, you can buy whips for either the car or home and work your way up from there to directional antennas and the like.

There’s tons of used radios out there too — which keeps the entry price down on equipment.

To talk “around the world” — you’re now talking HF and HF antennas, which take up real estate if you want efficiency at all. If you have a choice whether to put money into a) bigger, more efficient antennas or b) higher power output, always go with “more antenna, higher in the air.” The reason why is that “if you can’t hear ‘em, you can’t work ‘em” is still the rule in radio, and you can’t hear any better with a bigger transmitter. There just is no substitute for “intercept area” of large antennas, especially when you’re talking HF.

Fortunately, if you have trees up on your mountain, you can make wire HF antennas quite cheaply and VERY effectively. All it takes is room to spread them out and trees into which to hoist the wire.


7 posted on 06/26/2009 1:04:51 PM PDT by NVDave
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To: BenLurkin

BFL


8 posted on 06/26/2009 2:28:52 PM PDT by Grammy (politics... poli ( many ) tics ( blood suckers ))
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To: Texas Fossil

best bent wire


9 posted on 06/26/2009 10:56:13 PM PDT by spokeshave (USA #1; Pirates -3...Voting them all out of office would be a sufficient pay cut)
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To: spokeshave
and pack my bag with twelve dozen Phoenician liquor jugs
10 posted on 06/26/2009 10:59:07 PM PDT by spokeshave (USA #1; Pirates -3...Voting them all out of office would be a sufficient pay cut)
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To: Oshkalaboomboom

Not all of the MARS traffic consisted of phone patches. I operated Navy MARS for 20 years. (beginning in 1976) I have a certificate of appreciation from a Rear Admiral thank me for 15 years of service.

At one point I belonged to a HAM club in AZ where the “Chief” of Army MARS also belonged. Great guy.

There were some really good operators, not all retired military, but all loved the military.

There are very very few “lefties” in the HAM community. I’ll bet if you had a way to access it, there are very very few “lefties” that are engineers either.


11 posted on 06/27/2009 2:37:08 AM PDT by Texas Fossil (Once a Republic, Now a State, Still Texas)
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To: spokeshave

Oscar India


12 posted on 06/27/2009 2:39:55 AM PDT by Texas Fossil (Once a Republic, Now a State, Still Texas)
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To: Texas Fossil
There are very very few “lefties” in the HAM community.

Roger that!! There's a fairly large group of us on the South West side of Chicago that chat on 146.445 (Simplex) and you won't find an Obama supporter in the bunch.

Our nightly chat typically consists of what the a**hole in chief has screwed up that day. Granted, I'm usually the instigator and the conversation starts with something I posted on my blog, NoBamaNation

As for my station:
Kenwood TS-940SAT (HF Rig) w/Heathkit SB-220 amp
Kenwood TS-711A (2 meter all-mode) w/KLM 200w amp
Kenwood TS-811A (440mhz all-mode) w/KLM 200w amp

My "Antenna Farm"
Rohn HDBX-48 Tower
Mosley 33 Classic (10/15/20M)
Stacked Cushcraft 13B2 (2m) horizontally mounted
Diamond 2m/440 omnidirectional vertical
Solarcon IMAX-2000 (10M Vertical) Alpha Delta DX-CC Wire (10 - 80, inc. 12, 17 and 30)

Other "Goodies"
I have a Com-Spec TE-32 mult-tone CTCSS Encoder on my Kenwood 940 for 10 Meter FM repeater communications. Last night I chatted with other Ham's in Los Angeles and New York on a LA based repeater. That was waaaaaay cool and finally 10M is opening up.

It's going to be a fun field day!

dah dit dah

13 posted on 06/27/2009 2:56:21 AM PDT by usconservative (When The Ballot Box No Longer Counts, The Ammunition Box Does. (What's In Your Ammo Box?))
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To: usconservative

CL33 is great little beam. Had one and it worked great. The capacity feed mechanism is balanced and very efficient. Very old design, but one of the best that Mosely built.

I am not as active as I once was, but it may be important again if the chaos progresses.

My favorite radio (have quite few) is my Collin 75S-3/32S-3 Pair. Have had them a very long time, but it is still the Swiss Watch. Many years ago I built a synthesizer to allow general coverage with it. This was my NAVY MARS station for many years.

I live in fly-over country in Central TX, and do not want to be in the city. My family has been in this county since 1886. I moved away for 25 years, but do not plan to move again. No stinking Commie is going to run me off.


14 posted on 06/27/2009 3:09:44 AM PDT by Texas Fossil (The last time I looked, this is still Texas where I live.)
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To: Texas Fossil
but it may be important again if the chaos progresses.

Which is exactly why I got into it just over a year ago. Received my Technician's license in February of '08 and upgraded to my General a few months later.

Hate to say that I saw the election of "the one" coming, but I did and as far as I'm concerned Ham Radio will be the one form of communications that they won't be able to stop when they shut down the Internet (or censor it heavily.) We may be the last remaining voices of dissent sometime soon. (And I routinely take to the air and voice my dissent!)

73's, happy field day!

15 posted on 06/27/2009 3:18:45 AM PDT by usconservative (When The Ballot Box No Longer Counts, The Ammunition Box Does. (What's In Your Ammo Box?))
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To: Gator113

..I suspect this thread might bring in a few FR Hams....


Never a ‘ham’ but was Navy Radio Op (Morse Code—got my legal ‘ticket’ from ComNavForJapan October 1961 (5-61) (had been using my ‘bug’ for years prior)—spent many a day ‘chasing dits’, a job I really enjoyed.
I used to tell my ‘ham’ buddies, I was never an “Amateur Operator”, I was always a Professional....
Old saying, “I copied Morse Code for 20 or so years and it never bothered me a bit, didit didit didit?
.- .-.
-— -.-


16 posted on 06/27/2009 3:23:22 AM PDT by xrmusn ("IF OB IS THE ANSWER, I BEG TO KNOW THE QUESTION")
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To: Gator113
I would appreciate any of you Ham’s coming forward on listing or commenting on justifications for the expense and effort for a guy to get into Ham radio. My initial thoughts are to purchase a base for my home, and portable for my boat (I do have marine radios) and vehicles.

I listed my base station above, much of which I got on the cheap or free. For example, my Mosley CL-33 beam was free. That's a $600 antenna that I received from another Ham who was upgrading to a different antenna. My tower was #200. The radio equipment cost me about $1,000 in total (bought at local Hamfests, silent keys, etc..

My mobile is a Kenwood Dual-Bander 2m/440 rig which cost me #250 at a hamfest earlier this year, and a Diamond dual-band antenna which I got for free from another Ham. (Ham's tend to give away lots of stuff, most of it very useful.)

But the best reason to get into it in my opinion: You meet an awful lot of very nice, very helpful people, most of which are more than happy to help you get started through either very cheap equipment, "loaners" or sometimes free stuff.

When my tower went up, I had 10 people over here helping out, doing everything from digging the 5x5x4 foot hole the base required, hepling pour the cement base, raising the tower and putting the antenna's up on top. All for the cost of free brats, burgers, hot dogs, cold beer and camaraderie.

I had always wanted to get into Ham radio from a young age (I'm 46 now) and finally did back in 2008. I've met more really good friends in the last year and a half than I think I have my entire lifetime. I think that says something about the amateur radio community.

17 posted on 06/27/2009 3:27:36 AM PDT by usconservative (When The Ballot Box No Longer Counts, The Ammunition Box Does. (What's In Your Ammo Box?))
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To: Gator113
Oh, and by the way one of my Son's (the youngest, he's 10) is studying to get his Tech license. He sits and listens as his dad talks to people around the world and wants to get into it himself. It's a really fun hobby that dad's can pass onto their kids.

My youngest seems to really enjoy hearing the conversations from around the world and helping dad out with my different projects. He helped me tune an antenna that we're taking up to our summer place next weekend. It took 3 hours to tune an old 2m Cushcraft Ringo Ranger including lots of measuring, math, etc.. all of which he really enjoys. It was a fun three hours for us, and once we got the antenna tuned in he had a great sense of accomplishment. (Yes, it took 3 hours because I let him do it, but it was so well worth it.)

18 posted on 06/27/2009 3:32:55 AM PDT by usconservative (When The Ballot Box No Longer Counts, The Ammunition Box Does. (What's In Your Ammo Box?))
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To: BenLurkin; mylife

Cq field day


19 posted on 06/27/2009 5:00:28 AM PDT by Professional Engineer (What would Reagan do? Not go for freakin ice cream!)
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To: AlexW; bikerman; Blue_Spark; bitterohiogunclinger; Bobalu; buccaneer81; camerakid400; ...

CQ Field Day


20 posted on 06/27/2009 5:32:56 AM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: usconservative
Our nightly chat typically consists of what the a**hole in chief has screwed up that day.

I enjoy monitoring these ragchews immensely

21 posted on 06/27/2009 5:40:08 AM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: BenLurkin

Thanks for the post.
I think the last time I did a field day was in the late 50s, hahaha.
After that, I spent my time chasing DX and finally made it to top of the honor roll.
I also did Army Mars.
DE W4EX


22 posted on 06/27/2009 5:40:59 AM PDT by AlexW (Now in the Philippines . Happy not to be back in the USA for now.)
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To: BenLurkin

Thanks for posting. Am off to “Field Day” in ten minutes to begin setting up. Hopefully, we’ll not break 100 degrees today. We’ve had 9 of last 11 days over 100 including one 105 degree day.
73


23 posted on 06/27/2009 6:06:45 AM PDT by miele man
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To: BenLurkin
Here is a link to the info on Field Day 2009 http://www.arrl.org/contests/forms/fd-2009-packet.pdf

TTUL...73...Al...WB6YNM...SK www.Varmintal.com

Good Hunting... from Varmint Al

24 posted on 06/27/2009 7:02:31 AM PDT by Varmint Al
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To: Oshkalaboomboom

During the 60’s and 70’s, Barry Goldwater (K7UGA/AF7UGA) had a team of hams authorized to use his station in Paradise Valley (on a hill at the head of 40th St) to run phone patches for servicemen, principally in Southeast Asia.

A friend of mine from work was on that team, and invited me to Barry’s shack one Sunday morning to watch the operation. It was in the guest house, next to the main residence.

As you drove up, you saw this tall aluminum forest consisting of several gigantic beam antennas (mostly log-periodic designs IIRC) on similarly gigantic towers. A couple of them were “sky needles,” which were tapered masts which rotated at the bottom, turning the tower along with its antennas.

Inside the shack was a station with two or three operator positions. Two things caught my eye: A TMC transmitter capable of about 4KW (IOW, about 4 times the Amateur’s legal limit) which they could use on the AF MARS (Military Amateur Radio Service) frequencies. And also the captured VietCong flag draped across the couch. The drapes over the window above the couch were drawn, Bob said, to frustrate any possible sniper.

When my friend Bob took over the operator’s chair, I saw how smoothly they ran the operation. He had a headset on which was in constant contact with an AT&T operator the whole day. Each military base in S.E.A. had an appointment list ready, and would read that list, along with stateside phone numbers, to Bob and simultaneously to the phone operator (whom Bob had set up to listen in).

The phone operator would phone the stateside family while the distant counterpart Ham made sure the service member was avaiable on base, either at the base’s station or on the base telephone system.

When both ends were ready, the Hams on both ends would say something like, “you’re on the air—go!” and there would ensue a three-minute phone call. Each Ham would operate their transmitter with a foot switch, listening to the conversation to know when to transmit. Meanwhile, the Ham on the far end and the stateside telco operator were getting the next pair ready for their appointed time.

In a good month, AF7UGA logged about 3,000 phone patches like this.


25 posted on 06/27/2009 7:44:57 AM PDT by Erasmus (Barack Hussein Obama: America's toast!)
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To: xrmusn
I used to tell my ‘ham’ buddies, I was never an “Amateur Operator”, I was always a Professional....

I was a 'perfessional' in radio for a couple of years before I was a 'amatoor.' [Although I will confess to being a 'Charlie Bander' before I were a pro.]

We used to joke around at our dinky commercial stations by saying our station ID with the zone digit in the middle (e.g., "W9RMN). Never had the guts to do it on the air though.

26 posted on 06/27/2009 7:57:38 AM PDT by Erasmus (Barack Hussein Obama: America's toast!)
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To: Erasmus
Back in the '50s I was a student engineer (had a 1st Class commercial phone ticket) at the Miami University (Ohio) campus radio stations. Our carrier current station, limited to campus only, was WRMU. Our FM station, still on the air, was WMUB. We engineers joked about "This is WRUM and WBUM, your Rum-Bum stations in Oxford, Ohio." Never on the air, of course.
27 posted on 06/27/2009 10:33:30 AM PDT by JoeFromSidney
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To: Oshkalaboomboom
I read just a week ago or so that Navy MARS intends to shut down within a year.

Too bad, but I reckon the various comm sats make up a fairly robust system, and in reality are pretty hard to shoot down (though I'm not sure they can't be effectively jammed).

28 posted on 06/27/2009 11:23:10 AM PDT by Clinging Bitterly (He must fail.)
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To: BenLurkin

Bookmark


29 posted on 06/27/2009 11:52:18 AM PDT by dragnet2
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To: Gator113
I would appreciate any of you Ham’s coming forward on listing or commenting on justifications for the expense and effort for a guy to get into Ham radio.

Ham radio is great...Trust me, when and if the $hit ever hits the fan bad, your cells, computers, blackberries whatever, will be absolutely useless.

I can talk to the world, completely off the grid, portable power...Dependent on no one...

It's very cool to talk to some guy living on a small boat with his dog, on some tiny remote south pacific island, as he describes his environment and life...

I've talked to people at 35,000 feet flying Lear jets others navigating Alaskan mountain peaks in twin engine turbo props, guys in Russia, Tasmania, the Congo, Cuba... you name it...

Very cool stuff. Oh, and Morse code is addicting and has helped many people to quit smoking and pick up a new habit, a habit that turns out to be really fun and extremely addicting. So addicting, some guys never use a microphone...

Then throw in the broadcast shortwave bands...Some very interesting and bizarre listening there. If you make the leap, get a radio with a general coverage receiver, and sit back and listen to Radio Cuba for a good laugh.

30 posted on 06/27/2009 12:13:51 PM PDT by dragnet2
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To: Texas Fossil; mylife
QRZ?

I'm going to see what our local club has going on today. Honestly their (and many clubs) Em Comm activities are too much in bed with the government for my liking. But still, as I have mentioned in another thread, I am interested in being set up for portable, rapidly deployable HF operation for whatever purpose it might have in the future.

I'm putting together a balanced fed flat top mostly for NVIS work on the lower bands, but I do want some interstate and transcontinental capability.

With that in mind I recently picked up a store bought AV-18VS vertical which is just large enough to be a full size radiator on 20M and up, yet collapses to about a 5’ package. I could not have bought the material for a home built antenna that would be as light and rugged as that for the 99 bucks, I tried. There are the buddistick variants and other compromise designs that would appeal more to, say, a backpack QRPer, but that is not my aim.

I have been perfecting a more rugged coax feed and coil mounting arrangement for the little Hy-Gain, but haven't figured out a better tap setup yet. Maybe a spring loaded hook probe (as in a standard test lead kit). I see them used for coil taps on some of the antenna kits out in the wild, but I don't know how much power the small hook will handle and the rest of the setup will easily handle full legal limit. I plan a stake down tripod mount using a standard camera tripod, putting the base of the antenna almost 4’ off the ground, and from there will work out an assortment of throw down radials that will simply alligator clip to the base. Finally, when I find a suitable joining piece I'll split the bottom section just above the coil so the longest part of the whole thing will be within the 5’ maximum, and paint the vertical element for decreased visibility.

So it will be no tuner required for any band (though I use a mid size MFJ manual tuner), and full size on the higher bands. I expect 5 minute setup will be no problem.

I wanted to have it on the air to try this weekend but prospecting for work has interfered the last several days. That's something that has to take priority right now as I'm close to running out of money. Something good may be happening in the very near future at a location I had not considered. Everything is a compromise though and I could do a whole lot worse than North Carolina.

Still need to get a decent portable rig. I'm really liking the look of the FT897D and if I can scratch up the dough that is probably what it will be. I really like the internal battery capability that would give some operating time without setting up power. 857D is probably a close second and certainly lots of used ones are around. The various Icoms are really nice but seem to be a lot more expensive. I can wait though. The old FT747 I dug out of the packed up stuff has had all of the issues associated with age and disuse worked out, and I did some mods to improve the audio and provide variable SSB drive, and installed LED lighting. Full general coverage was implemented ages ago. Bare bones as it is, it's working pretty darn good and will eventually make a great backup rig.

31 posted on 06/27/2009 12:31:29 PM PDT by Clinging Bitterly (He must fail.)
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To: mylife
I enjoy monitoring these ragchews immensely

Are you out in my neck of the woods?

32 posted on 06/27/2009 1:03:36 PM PDT by usconservative (When The Ballot Box No Longer Counts, The Ammunition Box Does. (What's In Your Ammo Box?))
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To: All

THREAD BUMP.

#

QUOTE:

http://www.arrl.org/contests/announcements/fd/

ARRL Field Day

June 27-28, 2009

Always The Fourth Full Weekend In June
Field Day T-shirts, participation pins and other items available for order now!

To find a group in your own home area, use the FD Station Locator or find a club

#

http://www.eham.net/articles/21891?ehamsid=57f0b8b1dc5c3c541c21e77f6accf6a9

“Governors Show Support for Amateur Radio as ARRL Field Day Approaches:”

from The ARRL Letter, Vol 28, No 25 on June 26, 2009
Website: http://www.arrl.org/


33 posted on 06/27/2009 1:26:43 PM PDT by Cindy
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To: All

VIDEO:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8v3mxBxAp4

“Ham Radio Field Day Tests Emergency Communications”
(Added June 26, 2009)


34 posted on 06/27/2009 1:30:29 PM PDT by Cindy
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To: All

stepping back in time...

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1589748/posts

“ARRL Ham Aid ‘Gear Ready to Go’ Awaits Next Disaster”
The Amercian Radio Relay League ^ | Feb 28, 2006 | awextra@arrl.org
Posted on March 3, 2006 6:52:50 PM PST by Denver Ditdat


35 posted on 06/27/2009 1:32:26 PM PDT by Cindy
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To: usconservative

Nooo... Texas


36 posted on 06/27/2009 1:40:27 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: All

A Look at SKYWARN (via Videos)

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=videos&search_query=SKYWARN&search_sort=video_date_uploaded


37 posted on 06/27/2009 1:41:39 PM PDT by Cindy
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To: Gator113
Do it!

Getting into Ham Radio has probably never been easier. Some folks call it “dumbing down” but I'm not so sure. No code eliminates a hurdle (if only psychological) for lots of folks but I think the various exams still pretty well cover the technical subjects most Hams should know.

Get The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual. Lots of places carry it. Radio Shack, I suspect, and I know Wal Mart has it online. Within it you will find everything you need to pass a Technician exam, as well as info on how to find local test sessions and radio clubs.

Technician class is easy and will get you started, but it won't give you the usable (right now) HF privileges it sounds as though you want. But you can gear up for VHF/UHF on the cheap to get started, used rigs abound for a hundred bucks or less and antennas are an equally negligible expense. Once active, a lot of the knowledge you will need for higher classes will come naturally from experience.

When you do pass your Technician exam (and it will be easier than you think), I would advise you to go ahead and take the General exam at the same session anyway. It won't cost any more but some of your free time and you just might get lucky. I passed my Extra exam a couple months ago. I had gone to the test session from my “free” General since I had passed that written element back in ‘82 when it was a requirement for Technician. The exam was difficult and required a lot of thought, and I just barely passed it, but I had not studied for it at all (but note well what I said about experience).

The expense and complexity of your station will only be what you want it to be. For a home HF station you can pick up something like an old Kenwood TS530 or TS830 for something near a couple hundred bucks and you will have one of the nicest sounding stations on the air (not to mention one of the prettiest rigs ever built). More modern compact solid state gear is somewhat more expensive but you can get something suitable for the boat and portable use for close to three hundred. And the free and super cheap hand me down stuff is out there as others have said.

Antennas likewise. Stringing wires between buildings and trees gets you on the air with little expense, and just starting out you shouldn't go to the expense of a tower and so forth right off the bat anyway, not knowing wat you're really going to want.

38 posted on 06/27/2009 1:44:20 PM PDT by Clinging Bitterly (He must fail.)
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To: Clinging Bitterly

Good luck with your rig.

Im gonna be a while. heck, I cant even seem to set up an internet radio this weekend.


39 posted on 06/27/2009 1:47:11 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: All

Quote:

http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/pscm/sec1-ch1.html

Public Service Communications Manual
Section I: The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES)

Previous | Next · PSCM Contents
Chapter One: Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES)

The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) consists of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes. Every licensed amateur, regardless of membership in ARRL or any other local or national organization, is eligible for membership in the ARES. The only qualification, other than possession of an Amateur Radio license, is a sincere desire to serve. Because ARES is an amateur service, only amateurs are eligible for membership. The possession of emergency-powered equipment is desirable, but is not a requirement for membership.

1.1 ARES Organization

There are four levels of ARES organization—national, section, district and local. National emergency coordination at ARRL Headquarters is under the supervision of the ARRL Field and Educational Services Manager, who is responsible for advising all ARES officials regarding their problems, maintaining contact with federal government and other national officials concerned with amateur emergency communications potential, and in general with carrying out the League’s policies regarding emergency communications.

1.2 Section Level

At the section level, the Section Emergency Coordinator is appointed by the Section Manager (who is elected by the ARRL members in his or her section) and works under his/her supervision. In most sections, the SM delegates to the SEC the administration of the section emergency plan and the authority to appoint District and local ECs. Some of the ARRL sections with capable SECs are well-organized. A few have scarcely any organization at all. It depends almost entirely on who the section members have put into office as SM and whom he/she has appointed as SEC.

1.3 Local Level

It is at the local level where most of the real emergency organizing gets accomplished, because this is the level at which most emergencies occur and the level at which ARES leaders make direct contact with the ARES member-volunteers and with officials of the agencies to be served. The local EC is therefore the key contact in the ARES. The EC is appointed by the SEC, usually on the recommendation of the DEC. Depending on how the SEC has set up the section for administrative purposes, the EC may have jurisdiction over a small community or a large city, an entire county or even a group of counties. Whatever jurisdiction is assigned, the EC is in charge of all ARES activities in his area, not just one interest group, one agency, one club or one band.

1.4 District Level

In the large sections, the local groups could proliferate to the point where simply keeping track of them would be more than a full-time chore, not to mention the idea of trying to coordinate them in an actual emergency. To this end, SECs have the option of grouping their EC jurisdictions into logical units or “districts” and appointing a District EC to coordinate the activities of the local ECs in the district. In some cases, the districts may conform to the boundaries of governmental planning or emergency-operations districts, while in others they are simply based on repeater coverage or geographical boundaries. Figure 2 depicts the typical section ARES structure.

1.5 Assistant ECs

Special-interest groups are headed up by Assistant Emergency Coordinators, designated by the EC to supervise activities of groups operating in certain bands, especially those groups which play an important role at the local level, but they may be designated in any manner the EC deems appropriate.

1.6 Planning Committee

These assistants, with the EC as chairman, constitute the local ARES planning committee and they meet together from time to time to discuss problems and plan projects to keep the ARES group active and well-trained.

There are any number of different situations and circumstances that might confront an EC, and his/her ARES unit should be organized in anticipation of them. An EC for a small town might find that the licensed amateur group is so small that appointing assistants is unnecessary or undesirable. On the other hand, an EC for a large city may find that even his assistants need assistants and that sometimes it is necessary to set up a special sub-organization to handle it. There is no specific point at which organization ceases and operation commences. Both phases must be concurrent because a living organization is a changing one, and the operations of a changing organization must change with the organization.

1.7 Operation and Flexibility

We have discussed how a typical ARES unit may be organized. Just what shape the plan in your locality will take depends on what your EC has to work with. He/she uses what he/she has, and leaves provision in the plan for what he/she hopes, wants and is trying to get. Flexibility is the keynote. The personnel, equipment and facilities available today may not be available tomorrow; conversely, what is lacking today may be available tomorrow. In any case, bear in mind that organizing and planning are not a one-person task. The EC is simply the leader, or, as the title indicates, the coordinator. His/her effectiveness inevitably will depend on what kind of a group he/she has to work with; that is, on you and your cohorts. Make yourself available to your EC as a member of his planning committee, or in any capacity for which you think you are qualified.

Local ARES operation will usually take the form of nets—HF nets, VHF (repeater) nets, even RTTY, packet or other special-mode nets, depending on need and resources available. Your EC should know where your particular interests lie, so that you can be worked in where your special talents will do the most good.

It is not always possible to use the services of all ARES members. While it is general policy that no ARES member must belong to any particular club or organization to participate in the program, local practical considerations may be such that you cannot be used. This is a matter that has to be decided by your EC. In some cases, even personality conflicts can cause difficulties; for example, the EC may decide that he cannot work with a particular person, and that the local ARES would be better served by excluding that person. This is a judgment that the EC would have to make; while personality conflicts should be avoided, they do arise, more often than we would prefer. The EC on the job must take the responsibility for making such subjective evaluations, just as the SEC and DEC must evaluate the effectiveness of the job being done by the EC.

1.8 ARES Operation During Emergencies and Disasters

Operation in an emergency net is little different from operation in any other net, requires preparation and training. This includes training in handling of written messages—that is, what is generally known as “traffic handling.” Handling traffic is covered in detail in the ARRL Operating Manual. This is required reading for all ARES members—in fact, for all amateurs aspiring to participate in disaster communications.

The specifications of an effective communication service depend on the nature of the information which must be communicated. Pre-disaster plans and arrangements for disaster communications include:

Identification of clients who will need Amateur Radio communication services.
Discussion with these clients to learn the nature of the information which they will need to communicate, and the people they will need to communicate with.
Specification, development and testing of pertinent services.
While much amateur-to-amateur communicating in an emergency is of a procedural or tactical nature, the real meat of communicating is formal written traffic for the record. Formal written traffic is important for:
A record of what has happened—frequent status review, critique and evaluation. Completeness which minimizes omission of vital information.
Conciseness, which when used correctly actually takes less time than passing informal traffic.
Easier copy—receiving operators know the sequence of the information, resulting in fewer errors and repeats.
When relays are likely to be involved, standard ARRL message format should be used. The record should show, wherever possible:
A message number for reference purposes.
A precedence indicating the importance of the message.
A station of origin so any reply or handling inquiries can be referred to that station.
A check (count of the number of words in the message text) so receiving stations will know whether any words were missed.
A place of origin, so the recipient will know where the message came from (not necessarily the location of the station of origin).
Filing time, ordinarily optional but of great importance in an emergency message.
Date of origin.
The address should be complete and include a telephone number if known. The text should be short and to the point, and the signature should contain not only the name of the person sending the message but his title or connection also, if any.
Point-to-point services for direct delivery of emergency and priority traffic do not involve relays. Indeed, the full ARRL format is often not needed to record written traffic. Shortened forms should be used to save time and effort. For example, the call sign of the originating station usually identifies the place of origin. Also, the addressee is usually known and close by at the receiving station, so full address and telephone number are often superfluous. In many cases, message blanks can be designed so that only key words, letters or numbers have to be filled in and communicated. In some cases, the message form also serves as a log of the operation. Not a net goes by that you don’t hear an ARL Fifty or an ARL Sixty One. Unfortunately, “greetings by Amateur Radio” does not apply well during disaster situations. You may hear an ARL text being used for health and welfare traffic, but rarely during or after the actual disaster. Currently, no ARL text describes the wind speed and barometric pressure of a hurricane, medical terminology in a mass casualty incident or potassium iodide in a nuclear power plant drill. While no one is suggesting that an ARL text be developed for each and every situation, there is no reason why amateurs can’t work with the local emergency management organizations and assist them with more efficient communications.

Amateurs are often trained and skilled communicators. The emergency management community recognizes these two key words when talking about the Amateur Radio Service. Amateurs must use their skills to help the agencies provide the information that needs to be passed, while at the same time showing their talents as trained communicators who know how to pass information quickly and efficiently. We are expected to pass the information accurately, even if we do not understand the terminology.

Traffic handlers and ARES members are resourceful individuals. Some have developed other forms or charts for passing information. Some hams involved with the SKYWARN program, for instance, go down a list and fill in the blanks, while others use grid squares to define a region. Regardless of the agency that we are working with, we must use our traffic-handling skills to the utmost advantage. Sure, ARL messages are beneficial when we are passing health and welfare traffic. But are they ready to be implemented in times of need in your community? The traffic handler, working through the local ARES organizations, must develop a working relationship with those organizations who handle health and welfare inquiries. Prior planning and personal contact are the keys to allowing an existing National Traffic System to be put to its best use. If we don’t interface with the agencies we serve, the resources of the Amateur Radio Service will go untapped.

Regardless of the format used, the appropriate procedures cannot be picked up solely by reading or studying. There is no substitute for actual practice. Your emergency net should practice regularly—much more often than it operates in a real or simulated emergency. Avoid complacency, the feeling that you will know how to operate when the time comes. You won’t, unless you do it frequently, with other operators whose style of operating you get to know.

Previous | Next · PSCM Contents


40 posted on 06/27/2009 1:48:54 PM PDT by Cindy
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To: All

http://www.ares.org/

“AMATEUR RADIO DISASTER SERVICES
When All Normal Means of Communications Fail!”


41 posted on 06/27/2009 1:50:56 PM PDT by Cindy
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To: BenLurkin

BTTT!


42 posted on 06/27/2009 2:02:59 PM PDT by Bradís Gramma (BG x 2)
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To: mylife
Well like I said, I'm just going to drop in today & see what's going on. Lots of people there I haven't seen in ages, having been inactive for so long, and I want to see if any of the rigs I have been looking at are there to see on the air, how they work on busy frequencies. That is the weakness in the HF rig I have right now, not a particularly good receiver.

I want to experience IF DSP, see what it really does.

43 posted on 06/27/2009 2:24:05 PM PDT by Clinging Bitterly (He must fail.)
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To: Cindy

Bttt


44 posted on 06/27/2009 2:24:21 PM PDT by dragnet2
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To: Clinging Bitterly

I am using IF DSP on my ten tec receiver and it is very impressive for pulling out the signals


45 posted on 06/27/2009 2:57:05 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: JoeProBono
That's what I call boat anchors. And is that not a humongous key on the table in front of the operator?

Reminds me of my early Ham days. The Icom 2AT handheld was ubiquitous (I would still have mine had it not been stolen, and I do still have my 3AT), but one holdout in our group still carried his old Heathkit. I don't remember if it was a HW2021 or VHF2031, but I remember in comparison to the "modern" Icoms most of us had, it was huge.

All relative I suppose. I still use the 3AT as well as the similar sized HTX202 and 404. Big by today's standards but they are all great old rigs and fine for the amount of use I give them.

46 posted on 06/27/2009 3:00:13 PM PDT by Clinging Bitterly (He must fail.)
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To: Cindy

Ted Randall is covering field day on his QSO show now on 9330.

Last year he had some guys in Iraq call in


47 posted on 06/27/2009 3:07:33 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: mylife

Hey that’s cool.

Thanks mylife.


48 posted on 06/27/2009 3:13:17 PM PDT by Cindy
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To: mylife

Quote - Snippet:

http://www.tedrandall.com/

Welcome TedRandall.com!

Home of “QSO” the ham radio interview and talk show!

LIVE FROM FIELD DAY!


49 posted on 06/27/2009 3:15:09 PM PDT by Cindy
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To: Cindy

http://www.tedrandall.com/


50 posted on 06/27/2009 3:15:30 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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