Emergency Comms - Any Amateur Radio Geeks in Here?

Discussion in 'Camp Wordforge' started by Ancalagon, Apr 29, 2018.

  1. Ancalagon

    Ancalagon outta my way Administrator Formerly Important

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2004
    Messages:
    44,891
    Location:
    Downtown
    Ratings:
    +38,533
    So spent 2 saturdays with a bunch of old dudes and a couple young tech nerds and now have my Technicians License (or more accurately passed my test and will have my license in ~10 days). Anyone else got an emergency setup?

    One of the instructors was selling Baofeng UV-5Rs with an extended antenna and all the regional repeaters programmed in for $35. The radio itself is $25 on Amazon and I consider the antenna, programming and instant gratification well worth it.

    Won't the repeaters go down in an emergency though? So don't I need to be looking at setting up something at my house?

    Thinking about joining one of the emergency auxiliary groups for a bit just to get up to speed on emergency comms. Anyone got other suggestions?
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Love Love x 1
  2. Paladin

    Paladin Overjoyed Man of Liberty

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2004
    Messages:
    48,060
    Location:
    Spacetime
    Ratings:
    +50,968
    Cool. I've though about getting a license, but have never gotten around to it. A radio might be a handy thing to have in an emergency.

    I think the repeaters have backup batteries and such. I've heard of HAMs being able to communicate via radio after an earthquake, when all the landlines and power are down.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Ancalagon

    Ancalagon outta my way Administrator Formerly Important

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2004
    Messages:
    44,891
    Location:
    Downtown
    Ratings:
    +38,533
    Yeah so my issue is that I live in a section of the city called 'The Rainier Valley'. There are... topographical challenges to getting good signal I'm pretty sure.
  4. Paladin

    Paladin Overjoyed Man of Liberty

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2004
    Messages:
    48,060
    Location:
    Spacetime
    Ratings:
    +50,968
    If you're in a valley, I imagine there's a repeater on high ground that you have line-of-sight to.

    Try this map and see.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. mburtonk

    mburtonk mburtonkulous

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    Messages:
    9,597
    Location:
    Minnesnowta
    Ratings:
    +6,104
    :waving:

    Been a Technician since 2000/2001. Studying to upgrade to General and Extra this year. Just got back into it because I was working on remote communications for races we put on.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    12,782
    Location:
    Marietta, GA AKA epicenter of the Blue Tsunami
    Ratings:
    +9,840
    Repeaters?

    Must be something new since I last fired up the Hallicrafters SX110. The hum of the speaker while tubes warmed up while sitting in the basement, cold Canadian air whistling outside. Twirling verniers to tune in obscure signals. Making sense out of garbled sidebands. Listening to old geezers trade stories about the war.

    Most Amateur Radio transmission can be heard over the horizon by bouncing off the ionosphere (skip). Skywave. This is what would be at work during a disaster.

    There are other propagation modes including bouncing signals off the moon.

    Could you be referring to Oscar satellites?

    This must be it. I'm guessing VHF low wattage handhelds with amateur ground based repeaters (vary by region). VoIP may even used as an intermediary. If the shit hits the fan, better bounce off the moon on a longer wave band.
  7. mburtonk

    mburtonk mburtonkulous

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    Messages:
    9,597
    Location:
    Minnesnowta
    Ratings:
    +6,104
    I've got one about that age, will have to post a photo when I get home.

    @Ancalagon, many repeaters are on backup power of some sort, but in an emergency situation, you might have to set up an ad-hoc human repeater network (that is, send a guy to the top of the hill).

    I haven't pulled the trigger on a 2M HT, but it will probably be a name brand if it means I won't have a bear of a time programming it. There's a thread on eHam asking why we just don't have touch screens on things yet...
  8. Elwood

    Elwood I know what I'm about, son.

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2004
    Messages:
    29,737
    Location:
    Unknown, but I know how fast I'm going.
    Ratings:
    +24,358


    :bergman:
    • popcorn popcorn x 1
  9. TheBurgerKing

    TheBurgerKing The Monarch of Flavor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Messages:
    3,977
    Location:
    In a Baneblade
    Ratings:
    +2,596
    Not amature here, but I'm setting up some PTP data radios in some remote locations, and apparently the engineer couldn't be assed to come out for a proper path survey, just did it off Google Earth and assumptions, and missed the calcs by a half a mile and about 50 feet. The tower is already up.:bergman:
  10. mburtonk

    mburtonk mburtonkulous

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    Messages:
    9,597
    Location:
    Minnesnowta
    Ratings:
    +6,104