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Bill Ryan
9th December 2011, 14:48
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Hi, All:

On this new thread I welcome solid information about amateur ('ham') radio. Please assume I'm reasonably practical and intelligent :) -- but I have almost zero information, and no experience.

I've never yet used amateur radio. For me, it's always been one of those "important-but-not-urgent" items. Now, it feels I need to get started.

Camelot witness Henry Deacon, back in 2007, an experienced ham radio operator himself, used to hammer at Kerry and myself again and again to get a set -- and get ourselves trained and licensed.

The original purpose of the Avalon Forum (founded towards the end of 2008) was to network, connect with local groups, exchange good information, and inform ourselves worldwide about preparing, equipping and establishing ourselves as what George Green called The Ground Crew.

I'm starting to feel in my bones that this core purpose, without taking anything away from the rest of the forum, needs to be rekindled. This is one of the main items on which I have attention at the moment.

With much appreciation -- Bill

Robert J. Niewiadomski
9th December 2011, 14:57
Is "ham radio" same thing as "CB radio"? You know the kind the truck drivers use... There are some portable "pocket sized" models of CB radios. Some of them can be used without license. I too am preparing myself for getting off the mobile phone grid without sacrificing ability to communicate wirelessly with other beings :)

13th Warrior
9th December 2011, 14:59
Is "ham radio" same thing as "CB radio"? You know the kind the truck drivers use... There are some portable "pocket sized" models of CB radios. Some of them can be used without license. I too am preparing myself for getting off the mobile phone grid without sacrificing ability to communicate wirelessly with other beings :)

Not the same; HAM bounces the signal off the atmosphere.

13th Warrior
9th December 2011, 15:03
http://www.emergencyradio.ca/course/

http://windom.cybox.com/ssb.html

http://transition.fcc.gov/Forms/Form605/605.html

http://www.hamsphere.com/

The above links taken from Mr. Comet Watch's website: http://www.mrcometwatch.com/

Operator
9th December 2011, 15:04
What do you need to know or start to do/organize ?

Somehow we probably need a list of existing HAM radio operators ... or a special interest group.
I've met other HAM radio operators on this forum ... but people are reluctant to exchange call signs because you can look up a lot of them
via the internet and literally get to know who is who and where they live.

Although I have no doubts that everything is monitored and some agencies exactly know who I am and where I live I can imagine
that it still is another thing to share it with everybody publicly on the internet.

Carmody
9th December 2011, 15:09
Is "ham radio" same thing as "CB radio"? You know the kind the truck drivers use... There are some portable "pocket sized" models of CB radios. Some of them can be used without license. I too am preparing myself for getting off the mobile phone grid without sacrificing ability to communicate wirelessly with other beings :)

Not the same; HAM bounces the signal off the atmosphere.

Ham radio can count on atmospherics for 'range', yes. depending on the level of excitement of the upper atmosphere, this can be part of the range or 'skip' of ham radio.

In the lithium thread, there is a series of videos by Eric Dollard (sp?), on over unity conditions. One of his big or original aspects of coming into that arena..was that of Ham radio.

And how he used ham radio set ups and minor shifts in the design to get to tremendous boosts in 'SWR', or signal intensity. A few watts, could get his signal very very far, as he was using longitudinal wave enhancement by 'punching' the ground level inductively. which is that thing I speak of with regard to additive harmonics, how they combine, like closing a set of scissors fast, with a marble sitting between the blades. the marble shoots out at incredible speed. Eric, having 'punched' the ground plane, like Thor's hammer, could cause a 'standard' modulation wave to appear as being huge, but all it was, is a few watts of ground plane punching. This is part of what Tesla did and part of what lighting strikes can do to the ground plane.

If one thinks back to that image a tourist took of a shaft of light appearing above a Mexican pyramid..look closely. They will see the lightning strike in the background of the photo...

The One
9th December 2011, 15:10
You could try these links

http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=ham%20radio%20information%20needed%20&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CB0QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fhamuniverse.com%2F&ei=KiPiTtaML5OW8gP0gvmOBA&usg=AFQjCNHTMt40rpSzuIELYHdKcM-sr2BaBg

http://www.google.co.uk/aclk?sa=l&ai=Cva2XTCTiTr2hLNGU8gPn6fTCCMOAnqUC-9eZjRf4g7mdAQgAEAFQxuvnrvv_____AWC73sCD0AqgAeXE_Og DyAEBqQI8xFNQ0HS2PqoEGU_Qpcu_5DgBHTuiS4rC8ChALCzbO SKCuPo&sig=AOD64_0GSX-nVXuAKQXMKPP3xvqFza2-wg&adurl=http://www.HamSphere.com

Amateur (Ham) Radio Frequency Table
http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=amateur%20ham%20radio&source=web&cd=7&ved=0CHkQFjAG&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.csgnetwork.com%2Fhamfreqtable .html&ei=TCTiTqK6KsTp8QO-hYWOBA&usg=AFQjCNG3za8DeYrdjWnfS5YWinERfLmFIg

Cheers

Bill Ryan
9th December 2011, 15:11
Is "ham radio" same thing as "CB radio"? You know the kind the truck drivers use... There are some portable "pocket sized" models of CB radios. Some of them can be used without license. I too am preparing myself for getting off the mobile phone grid without sacrificing ability to communicate wirelessly with other beings :)

Not the same; HAM bounces the signal off the atmosphere.

... and is used for long-distance communications, even to the other side of the world. CB is very local, with a range of just a few miles.

Henry Deacon always told us that ham radio can be used as a complete internet substitute... for communicating speech, audio, video, images, and text files of every kind.

It can't easily be regulated or shut down: if the grid goes down, phones no longer work, or the internet is 'shut off' -- then ham radio will be the only way to send messages to other communities or other countries.

Hermite
9th December 2011, 15:15
I used to be licensed but let it expire. I would think that requirements might differ from country to country so I would suggest you look here, Bill.
http://www.rsgb.org/

It's an expense to get started and there is no privacy, you are always monitored by the gov't and other users so you must follow the rules at all times, like announcing your call signal every 15 minutes. But it is wonderful to talk to people from all over and you will be a great asset in the event of a major emergency. Best of luck.

Robert J. Niewiadomski
9th December 2011, 15:19
If HAM uses ionosphere for bouncing signal around the planet, HAARP can suppress that propagation by altering ionosphere properties. After all it is official purpose of HAARP and similiar facilities around our planet.

HAARP is a scientific endeavor aimed at studying the properties and behavior of the ionosphere, with particular emphasis on being able to understand and use it to enhance communications and surveillance systems for both civilian and defense purposes.
Source: http://www.haarp.alaska.edu/haarp/gen.html

If you can enhance something, you can easily hinder it.

norman
9th December 2011, 15:31
I used to be licensed but let it expire. I would think that requirements might differ from country to country so I would suggest you look here, Bill.
http://www.rsgb.org/

It's an expense to get started and there is no privacy, you are always monitored by the gov't and other users so you must follow the rules at all times, like announcing your call signal every 15 minutes. But it is wonderful to talk to people from all over and you will be a great asset in the event of a major emergency. Best of luck.

The licience conditions are very strict. If you intend to get a licience and keep it, you will have to be careful about what sort of language and subjects you 'air'.

Keep your powder dry until you need it. ;)

I think the member here who uses the handle 'Harley Hawkins' is a veteran ham and knows the situation very well.


Edit to add:

I have a couple of general coverage AM recievers here with a big "H" antenna in my roof space. I've never had a transmitter but listening used be very interesting until so many stations vanished in recent years.

If any of you want to experiment with test signal transmissions, I could coordinate with you to listen out for the signal and give you some feedback. ( any AM signal up to 30 MHz ). My position on the globe is in north east england.

13th Warrior
9th December 2011, 15:39
Is "ham radio" same thing as "CB radio"? You know the kind the truck drivers use... There are some portable "pocket sized" models of CB radios. Some of them can be used without license. I too am preparing myself for getting off the mobile phone grid without sacrificing ability to communicate wirelessly with other beings :)

Not the same; HAM bounces the signal off the atmosphere.

... and is used for long-distance communications, even to the other side of the world. CB is very local, with a range of just a few miles.

Henry Deacon always told us that ham radio can be used as a complete internet substitute... for communicating speech, audio, video, images, and text files of every kind.

It can't easily be regulated or shut down: if the grid goes down, phones no longer work, or the internet is 'shut off' -- then ham radio will be the only way to send messages to other communities or other countries.

CB stands for Citizen Band and doesn't require a FCC license unless you have a more powerful transmitter that is capable of transmitting more than a few miles esp. if it's a marine radio; these can be fairly simple hand held devices but, require a FCC license.

Bill Ryan
9th December 2011, 15:42
What do you need to know or start to do/organize ?

Personally -- I'd like to know what to buy that's powerful, not too expensive, and operable by an intelligent novice. (Henry warned us against some models that are technically excellent, but not that simple to master due to their sophistication.)

I'd also welcome information about ham radio stations that are lightweight and portable, and which can operate on solar power.

Unified Serenity
9th December 2011, 15:43
I have an emergency radio system, but am not licensed so I don't talk on it. All you have to do is get a handle and license then start playing with it. They are very good for communicating.

Operator
9th December 2011, 15:46
Is "ham radio" same thing as "CB radio"? You know the kind the truck drivers use... There are some portable "pocket sized" models of CB radios. Some of them can be used without license. I too am preparing myself for getting off the mobile phone grid without sacrificing ability to communicate wirelessly with other beings :)

Not the same; HAM bounces the signal off the atmosphere.

... and is used for long-distance communications, even to the other side of the world. CB is very local, with a range of just a few miles.

Henry Deacon always told us that ham radio can be used as a complete internet substitute... for communicating speech, audio, video, images, and text files of every kind.

It can't easily be regulated or shut down: if the grid goes down, phones no longer work, or the internet is 'shut off' -- then ham radio will be the only way to send messages to other communities or other countries.

I think the differences are based on other things ...

CB is an abbreviation of Citizen Band ... it's a more open (but in some countries still bound to registration/license) category of radio communication for everyone (citizens above a certain age).

HAM (I do not know the origin of that acronym besides AM is probably related to AMateur) is a category of radio users/operators specifically to do experiments in designated bands.

CB is in a lot of countries based on 27 MHz / 11 Meter wavelength channels. The propagation of this frequency can be quite good but it is often due to
the channels being crowded and immature behavior that the range is very limited. I've modified such a set once (way back when) to be used on 10 Meters / 29 Mhz
in a HAM radio band. While even using just 2 Watts and FM (Frequency Modulation) I was able to contact Japan and the US from (my location then) the Netherlands.
I think they introduced a new CB band on UHF (450 MHz ?) too ... but UHF will definitely be short range under most circumstances.

HAM radio bands stretch from 1.8 Mhz (HF) to tens and hundreds of Ghz (SHF) in designated bands. In most countries you have to pass an exam to be officially licensed.
There are licenses in different levels ... in some countries it is still required to pass a morse code exam before being allowed to the HF bands.

One of the best bands to communicate worldwide is 20 Meters / 14 Mhz. The most widely used modulation there is USB (Upper Side Band). A very effective way for
speech communication.

One 'formal' drawback is that since being licensed you have agreed to follow the rules. And one of them is that you are generally not allowed to talk with
e.g. HAM operators of countries that are at war etc. So depending on how 'formal' the resulting world will become ... the effectiveness of the license will be.

scanner
9th December 2011, 15:49
Ham radio or Amatuer radio is a good way of making contact, not just around the world, but also moon bounce Eart Moon Earth and lots of other ways to commuicate . It can be expensive or cheap if you know what to look for . You need to get yourselves on a course or read some books on the subject, basic radios second hand can cost as lttle as £100.00 upto £1000's . No matter how good your radio is , it's the aerial that does most the work . A basic wire aerial cost very little and can even be made quite easily. If nothing else, learn about SWR (standing wave ratio). If it hits the fan licences will be of little or no use , but knowing how to use ham radio could save your life. Most world wide communications take place on mainly 3 HF frequencies 14.00Mhz , 7Mhz and 3.5Mhz upwards , this is by no means all the bands but are the most common . CB radio has a good range and can be used for world wide comms but you have to know how to do this and what radio's to buy. Ham radio isn't monitored these days like it used to be , it's self policing now . But I'm sure all that will go out the window when the reset comes .

Operator
9th December 2011, 16:00
What do you need to know or start to do/organize ?

Personally -- I'd like to know what to buy that's powerful, not too expensive, and operable by an intelligent novice. (Henry warned us against some models that are technically excellent, but not that simple to master due to their sophistication.)

I'd also welcome information about ham radio stations that are lightweight and portable, and which can operate on solar power.

John Waterman promotes this one:

http://www.yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=DisplayProducts&ProdCatID=102&encProdID=8CBB7C4BDBAF40129AD4253A4987523C&DivisionID=65&isArchived=0

http://www.yaesu.com/ProductImages/FT-857D_thumb.jpg

It looks like there is a newer model too: FT-897D

I think those are very complete and nice but .... they will be very sensitive to EMP too ... and difficult to repair.

Compared to those this is an ugly, pompous and old beast:

http://k1lpi.com/yaesu/FT-101_lo_res.jpg

But is easier to repair:

http://www.g4fui.net/images/second_ft-101zd_1.jpg

baddbob
9th December 2011, 16:19
Heres a great site for beginners

http://www.hamuniverse.com/setuphamstation.html

also you might find george's call sign here

http://call-signs.findthebest.com/

scanner
9th December 2011, 16:23
Both good choices Operator , but for myself I would go more with 1990's small mobile HF set . Reasons, only 12volts ,can be used in a car or on a bench with battery or solar cells or wind gene, connected to the 12v battery . Easy to use in the field, much easier to hide if you have to and preferably with an ATU connected to a wire aerial . You can pick one up off ebay for a song .

Phil
9th December 2011, 17:28
Hello Bill and Everyone
I have been associated with Radio All of my life, at least Short wave radio Listener (SWL) to which I used to listen to the world, and became very interested in becoming a ham, but I never really got the time to take it further, for starters CB is NOT Ham Radio, to obtain your ham license each country of the world you must sit for a license for the 3 grades of license here in Australia the licenses are know as 1. NAOCP Novice Amateur Certificate of Proficientcy 2. LAOCP Limited Amateur Operator certificate of Profientcy and 3 AOCP Amateur operator certificate of Proficientcy this is the full CALL this is where the Operator can transmit and receiver on all BANDS allocated to the HAMS.

The License consists of learning Morse code and a high level of knowledge of electronics more than just curiosity.

Around the world there are Radio societies in Australia it's called the Wireless Institute of Australia in the US it's called ARRL Amateur Radio Relay League and in Britain it is called RSGB Radio society of Great Britain. Back in the early 70's I heard of People that had procured 27 Meg radios (11 Meters) and had stolen this band from the hams this later became the CB to which I had a lot of fun as well.

If you are interest in trying to become a ham I suggest you google WIA or ARRL or RSGB to obtain the current requirements for the various licence's
Its really a great hobby and alot of friends around the world can be made,
I hope this was of some use.

Old Snake
9th December 2011, 18:19
Bill

CB is not only local when transmitted in AM mode instead of FM wich reaches line of sight+, furthermore for shtf you can have a booster amp , against that time no one will give a damn.
Besides that you can say all you want ,wich you cannot as a ham operator.

To avoid spurious signals buy only Hi Q stuff.

Old Snake

13th Warrior
9th December 2011, 18:37
It can't easily be regulated or shut down: if the grid goes down, phones no longer work, or the internet is 'shut off' -- then ham radio will be the only way to send messages to other communities or other countries.

Satellite is another option.

Ron Mauer Sr
9th December 2011, 19:00
Amateur radio can be very useful during an emergency. Communication cannot be terminated as easily as cell phones and the internet. The only way to stop communication for sure is to kill off all the Hams.

Amateur radio bands are grouped as HF (high frequency), VHF (very high frequency), UHF (ultra high frequency), and more. The most reliable long distance communications band is 20 meters within the HF group.

The high frequency (HF) bands (160 meter thru 10 meters) are capable of long distance communication depending upon atmospheric conditions and time of day. HF radios typically are powered by 12 volts DC which is very convenient for automobile power or a small solar energy system. My choice for a relatively inexpensive HF radio was the ICOM 718 that I purchased used for $400. Used HF radios can be found for even less money on eBay.

If you spend a lot of money on an HF rig you will end up with a radio that is probably too complicated to use unless you are a real enthusiast, and there are many.

The currently issued U.S. licenses are (in order of simplicity and privileges) are Technician, General and Extra. With few exceptions, if you want to talk around the world you will need at least a General license. In the U.S. there is no need to learn Morse code to get a license. Tests are multiple choice and given by volunteers in local radio clubs. All the questions and answers are selected from a pool that is available online. Practice exams (http://ronmauer.net/blog/?page_id=2004) are available online.

Anchor
9th December 2011, 20:47
I have an emergency radio system, but am not licensed so I don't talk on it. All you have to do is get a handle and license then start playing with it. They are very good for communicating.

With respect, you need this thread badly, because I think you are missing a lot of information here and you have made a lot of assumptions that need challenging.

HAM radio is *meant* to be a highly regulated and disciplined use by competent people (who have to train to get the license) of a very scarce resource.

If you have a radio that can reach huge areas of the world - and so does thousands of others - and they all try to talk at the same time on the same frequency bands - what do you think happens?

Ron Mauer Sr
9th December 2011, 22:18
Some popular websites for the purchase of amateur radio equipment are:

Ham Radio Outlet (http://www.hamradio.com/)

Universal Radio (http://www.universal-radio.com/)

R&L Electronics (http://store.rlham.com/shop/catalog/)

Another website that is very useful to find owner reviews of used and new equipment is http://www.eham.net/reviews/

ICOM, Kenwood and Yaesu all manufacture (relatively) low cost high quality HF transceivers.

13th Warrior
12th December 2011, 20:04
Bill,

Have you found the information that you were looking for?

meredith
13th December 2011, 03:08
Henry Deacon always told us that ham radio can be used as a complete internet substitute... for communicating speech, audio, video, images, and text files of every kind.

Fascinating idea. I had never considered using HAM for transmitting digital signals. Might be spotty and slow but what a nifty alternative.

Siberia9
13th December 2011, 04:30
I used to own a trucking company and drove a tractor trailer some in the 90's. I remember getting into areas around Texas where you could hear the HAM radio folks from South America etc calling family in the US from the middle of nowhere. I always imagined from a jungle hut, heh heh. Anyway it was annoying but the signal was compatible with the CB radio, I could talk to them because I had a 350 watt booster for the regular 18 watt CB (this is illegal but I never cared about that) we called it "catching skip" as their signal would skip to me in my area. Now some guys had side band CB radios in their trucks and would talk to people huge distances away and these guys almost never had any license. These radios were about 400.00 bucks in the truck stop and ran on a automotive battery obviously.
I seriously doubt these Spanish folks had a license in the US or in Columbia either. I say if its for an emergency situation/breakdown of society etc then why would you want a license? I dont trust the govt anyway so I can tell you that I would not tell them who or where I am through any kind of license info collection myself.
So if you want to stay off the grid if it hits the fan and your going to keep it to a minimum anyway I doubt they will bother looking for you if you dont have the paper work, they may be too busy. Unless of course you intend to bradcast daily etc.
BTW Bill what are the lic requirements in Ecuador? Do you even need one down there? If so then what are the penaltys for being a radio outlaw?
Also before you guys lecture me about how great it is to get licensed, let me just say that I have decided a long time ago not to comply with any of their garbage. A license is a waver from the govt to do something illegal, I dont want their permission as they do not own me. They can not make me do anything, I will not comply, just say'n.

grampah
18th December 2011, 00:45
I have been licensed since 1994 at the Technician grade level. Up to post #28 I didn't see mentioned the relaying of two meter messages across the country, aided by having signal repeaters put into emergency only traffic. I lived in southwest Missouri for 18 years and some area hams were involved in relaying messages related to the Katrina aftermath from Texas to the east coast. There is a standard text protocol for such relaying. Our local club had us practice such on our weekly call in.

My main activity was in weather watch, alert and information. I would monitor 2 meter hams who were out "in the field' as spotters, primarily for tornadoes. I would relay their information to my local rural fire department via one of their radios since at that time none of the volunteer fireman had ham licenses. I would be in my house and also relaying TV weather information until that power went off. I always operated my Kenwood mobile rig with a deep cell 12 volt battery continually recharged by a trickle charger. My antenna was in an upstairs room so fully protected from lightning, winds and ice.

The national weather service in Springfield Missouri monitored our ham bands when we were in emergency mode related to storms. They would ask for clarification before they passed our information onto their broadcasts. We met with them and also the major TV station a few times a year. It always helps to be able to recognize people by their voice on the ham band.

At our annual Field Days in June I have witnessed packet radio transmitting text into a laptop computer, albeit very slowly. Also
the powering of radios with a solar panel.

Providence
18th December 2011, 01:17
What do you need to know or start to do/organize ?

Personally -- I'd like to know what to buy that's powerful, not too expensive, and operable by an intelligent novice. (Henry warned us against some models that are technically excellent, but not that simple to master due to their sophistication.)

I'd also welcome information about ham radio stations that are lightweight and portable, and which can operate on solar power.

John Waterman promotes this one:

http://www.yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=DisplayProducts&ProdCatID=102&encProdID=8CBB7C4BDBAF40129AD4253A4987523C&DivisionID=65&isArchived=0

http://www.yaesu.com/ProductImages/FT-857D_thumb.jpg

It looks like there is a newer model too: FT-897D

I think those are very complete and nice but .... they will be very sensitive to EMP too ... and difficult to repair.



I actually bought one of these several months ago, I wanted a way to communicate over great distances. It seems to be a nice unit not too overwhelming and can be used for mobile or home base operations. Finding the right radio was a breeze compared to choosing a suitable antenna. You really need to do a lot of research or find someone that can mentor you when selecting an antenna. I purchased one that had several additional segments to cover the most bandwidth. I have set it up once or twice, just to listen in and get used to the operation. I was studying for my license but haven't taken the test.

Here is the site I was using for practice tests:
http://www.qrz.com/ht/?

Good luck Bill

Mark/Rahkyt
18th December 2011, 01:18
When I was in the Army, I was a "Single Channel Radio Operator" 31C and learned Morse Code also. I suppose this is related to HAM radio. I've often thought about looking into it myself, but have never delved back into it since my Army days. This is a RATT Rig:

http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd30/rahkyt/M-715wshelter.jpg

Inside of it we had AM & FM radio and Teletype. In the late 80s we were working still with Korean War/ Vietnam War-era equipment, which the RATT Rigs were:

http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd30/rahkyt/142Interior.jpg

http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd30/rahkyt/AN-GRC-122.jpg

You can still get a lot of this equipment for cheap. You can restore some of the pieces or find them and operate them (http://rattrig.com/default.html).

RATT Rigs were Combat Communications, they were to be used 'on the fly'. Got a set of antenna that's relatively easy and quick to set up and it runs on a generator but I'm sure you can set it up for solar relatively easy. Don't know about licensing for the equipment, don't know if it might be the same as HAM.

Looking at those new radio models, things have sure changed. Miniaturization, for one. Guess I'm getting old, I think I'd rather have my Rig again if it came down to it than one of those little things. Although, come to think of it, being stuck inside a metal box with all of those electromagnetic emissions coming at us couldn't have been good. LOL

norman
18th December 2011, 02:46
Whaw, that vehicle looks like just the right thing to get hold of. I wonder if they have ever turned up in surplus sales?

http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd30/rahkyt/M-715wshelter.jpg

Mark/Rahkyt
18th December 2011, 20:28
Whaw, that vehicle looks like just the right thing to get hold of. I wonder if they have ever turned up in surplus sales?

Apparently you can, you can also get them with all of the equipment inside. There is a sub-culture that refits them and all that, from what I was reading on the website and in google. I had no idea, nor had I thought much about it since being out of the military outside of an occasional desire to get my HAM operator license also. I'm thinking that something like this would be good for a community, since that is what an Army Company really is, there was one assigned to each. And the technology would still be useful, in fact moreso, since it has absolutely no dependence upon microchips of any kind. Pure electronica. :)

Red Skywalker
21st December 2011, 19:59
Hello from another licensed ham radio-operator.

I don't give my callsign because here I want to be a little anonymous.
I have installed several Yeasu FT897 radiosets as emergency radios.
I use the following:

1x Yeasu FT987D


http://home.kpn.nl/chip/Avalon/ft897d.jpg

I modify them for MARS/CAP (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MARS_/_CAP) or freeband. This means it can transmit not only on Hamradio frequencies, but continuous between 1.8 and 55.999 MegaHerz, thus including the CitizensBand 27 MegaHerz. Max outputpower is 100 Watts. It's not intended for the CB (27 MegaHerz) or pirate frequencies, but because it's too late in case of an emergency to do it then.
HERE (http://www.kb2ljj.com/data/yaesu/FT-897%20Mods.pdf) is how to do it and some other non-significant technical modifications.
It also gives VHF and UHF expansion: 137 - 164 MegaHerz, max outputpower 50 Watts (VHF including mariphone) and 420 - 470 MegaHerz, max outputpower 20 Watts (UHF including PMR and LPD-frequencies).
The FT897d has also a FM-radio broadcast and commercial aircraft receiver built in for monitoring purposes.

Of course this is a bit illegal!

But He, it's for emergency purposes and EVERYBODY is allowed to make an emergency call without having a license.

1x autotuner LDG AT-897 for auto adjusting the antenna.

1x internal powersupply which is optional if you have 12 volts with 25 Amps.

1x Wire-antenna, Fritzel FD-3 (length 20 meters) The FD-3 works between 5 and 30 MegaHerz (approximate) in combination with the LDG autotuner.

20 meters of coax cable for this antenna.

1x vhf/uhf vertical antenna, like a Diamond X200n dualband or other type.

and good quality coaxcable for this antenna.

This costs less then 2000,- Euro. Works both on 220-110 volts and 12 Volts car-battery. It can be combined to one easy to carry single unit. It all fits in a bag with the wire antenna and some other cables.

At Classic International (http://www.classicinternational.eu/) you can find the regular prices and order-information for this rig (sorry for this advertisement, look further for best pricing!)

This is a basic radiostation setup. More then enough for emergencies. It can always be better, but with this you have all you need.

I used this setup and worked all of Europe from Germany, the UK, Finland and France without a problem (40 and 20 meter bands).
But at home I have the same setup and worked the US West and East coast, Canada, South Africa, the Middle East, and even Australia. It largely depends on the sun activity and your operating skills.

The only emergency problem you cannot deal with is the EMP. But if stored in a closed metal case which is grounded, it may survive. To handle the EMP, only transceivers fully build of vaccuumtubes are recommended. But these are not easy to operate. Even operating the above mentioned Yeasu transceiver needs some basic radio skills to get a good result.

It's possible to combine this radio with a computer, giving you Telex, SlowscanTV for sending still pictures, Packetradio for binary files (slow, but nice) etc.

Till so far, if you have questions, let me know. As finish here a link to see what is possible with shortwave propagation:

http://wsprnet.org/drupal/wsprnet/map

Try the different bands to see how different frequencies propagate. You find the frequency by dividing 300 by the given length, example: 300 / 11 =27,27 Megaherz. That is why the CB is the 11 meter band. It is the speed of light, 300, divided by the length of the wave in meters. (This is the handy formula without all the mega zero's ;))
Another note to make is that most of the stations you see on the map use only 5 or 10 Watts!
Because sunspot activity is increasing, it's possible to use CB for intercontinental calls, both in FM and SSB. There is a great repeater in NewYork on 29.620 Mhz in FM which I sometimes can reach from Europe. So CB is not that bad, but it's crowded and depends heavily on sunspot activity or even HAARP-experiments :focus:.

The site uses software on pc's of ham radioamateurs connected to their radioequipment. The results are shared via the internet and displayed on the map. I use it sometimes too to check the atmospheric conditions.

All the best and 73's (learn morsecode (http://www.g4fon.net/CW%20Trainer.htm) if you can!)

Final advise: Before thinking on transmitting, it's recommended to listen first as much as you can on the airwaves and get to know your equipment.
OR, start with a free Hamradio software simulator which does not need a license: HAMSPHERE (http://www.hamsphere.com/)



http://www.rundfunk-nostalgie.de/dkeanh.jpg
BEWARE
Listening to foreign radio is an offense against the national security of our people.
It will in order of the Fuhrer be punished with heavy prison sentences.

Hide your radio's, it happened before :yell:

Red Skywalker

Hughe
22nd December 2011, 15:30
Red Skywalker
Have you accessed internet through Ham Radio?


There are people who access internet using Ham Radio network, which I'll definitely try it out when I move out of city.

What I learned so far, you need to get the Ham Radio license in the country you live.
Set up Ham Radio station that receive / transmit data over Ham Radio network world wide.
Install Ham Radio software that supports internet access for your computer.
It's intriguing to think about which bodies charge or control or even monitor internet access on Ham Radio network. LOL

The information is sporadic. It will takes some time to find out what type of Ham hardware devices are needed, software components, and etc.
I only use Linux and will put related information how to access Internet through Ham Radio on Linux.

Red Skywalker
22nd December 2011, 17:01
There is Internet access possible via Ham radio, but it is not for Internet browsing.
You can use email though. It works via "Packet-radio". You need a PC and special interface called a "TNC", Terminal Node Controller hardware. The email of packet radio can be used separate from the Internet, but is also linked to the Internet.
The speed is very slow, like working with an old telephone modem of 2400 baud. Higher speeds are possible but then you have to go to UHF, 430 MegaHerz (70 cm band) or higher to the 23 cm, 13 cm and even 3 cm bands
The range is limited (5 - 10 kilometers), and needs lined up antennas. It's a network, but difficult and only with help and experiments of fellow amateurs accessible.
VHF (2 meter band, 145 MHz) packet radio is suitable for emails and small binary files (up to 10 kB). The range is about 40 - 50 kilometers.

I am not an experienced packetradio amateur, but have done some experiments on VHF with 1200 baud and on shortwave with 300 baud. My interest is more to a digitalmode called "PSK31" which gives readable text even when speech is not usable. It has almost the same possibilities as plain morsecode. Another mode is SSTV, slowscan TV. No real movies, but picture stills. It's like a colorfax. Here are 2 examples:


http://home.kpn.nl/chip/Avalon/SSTV1.jpg http://home.kpn.nl/chip/Avalon/SSTV2.jpg

The distances are about 900 kilometers and done on the 20 meter band (14 MegaHerz)

You need an interface between the PC and transceiver because the static electricity of the antenna can damage the PC. Learned the hard way :sad:
I use this one, the Microham USB Interface III (http://www.microham-usa.com/Products/USB3.html). Not cheap, but it protects your PC. It's a usb soundcard and datacontroller with full galvanic insulation. It's not a TNC, however there is software available to use this interface as a simple TNC. You need to start up several programs to enter the packet radio network.
The software (not for packet radio) widely used is HAM RADIO DELUXE. It's free for ham radio-amateurs, you have to register with your call sign. It has most digital modes, like RTTY, PSK, SSTV, even morse by keyboard. But not Packet Radio. Packet radio is a 'difficult' mode.
But there is much, much more FREE software.

If you are thinking about becoming a Radio Amateur then listen to this warning! (http://www.hb9drv.ch/ham.wav) :p (found this on the website (http://www.hb9drv.ch/) of the programmer of Ham radio Deluxe)

Red Skywalker

Hughe
23rd December 2011, 00:26
Using wireless router to access Ham Radio bandwidth.

http://www.qsl.net/kb9mwr/projects/wireless/modify.html
http://www.qsl.net/kb9mwr/projects/wireless/ddwrt-ham.jpg

If it works, you can install hacked version or firmware on a wireless router and connect internet from other computers without touching anything. This is probably easiest solution who want to access Ham Radio for internet connection.

The configuration is real Ham Radio station - transceiver/receiver, antenna, other devices - that communicate world wide. Connect the modified wireless router to the station.

wolf_rt
23rd December 2011, 00:59
I don't know jack about Ham radio, but from my experience with UHF, ICOM radios are the way to go. The IC-400 is the only UHF that i would buy, and it isn't much more expensive than cheap Uniden or GE sets.

Ron Mauer Sr
28th December 2011, 04:40
Some of the least expensive quality amateur radio transceivers capable of world wide communications are manufactured by ICOM, Yaesu and Kenwood. Of these three, the least expensive is the ICOM IC-718. HRO (http://www.hamradio.com/detail.cfm?pid=H0-003490) sells the IC-718 for $614.95 (current sales price).
http://www.hamradio.com/images_manuf/H0-003490A.jpg

Used price for these transceivers is approximately $400.

Short and long distance (world wide) communications can be established with radios typically labeled as HF (high frequency) transcievers. Long distance communication is a function of atmospheric conditions that vary with time of day and sun activity and can be severely limited by atmospheric noise such as thunder storms. The bottom line is that world wide communications is not available at all times.

A valuable feature of HF transcievers is that they can be used to receive commercial broadcast frequencies from all over the planet. Receive frequencies are typically from 1.800MHz to 30MHz (160 meters thru 10 meters wavelength) with some radios having a wider range.

If the cabal shuts down the internet, HF radios will still function as:

Transceivers capable of short and long distance communications with other amateur radio operators (although it may become illegal to do so)
Receivers to monitor commercial broadcasts around the world which may present a very different perspective than local politically motivated radio stations.

Ron Mauer Sr
31st December 2011, 18:20
Have you picked a few candidates for your next radio purchase?

Use this very useful service from the folks at http://www.eham.net/ to find out what the owners say.

Use your favorite internet search engine and type "eham [radio model]". Examples "eham ft897" or "eham ic718" or "eham ft817".

Raven
31st December 2011, 18:44
I would also maybe check with George Ure over at Urban Survival - he has been involved with ham radios since a teen I think


What do you need to know or start to do/organize ?

Personally -- I'd like to know what to buy that's powerful, not too expensive, and operable by an intelligent novice. (Henry warned us against some models that are technically excellent, but not that simple to master due to their sophistication.)

I'd also welcome information about ham radio stations that are lightweight and portable, and which can operate on solar power.

Carrie
1st January 2012, 02:17
I came across this site....see links in right column under Short Wave Radio.... http://www.mrcometwatch.com/ Might be some added info for you.

GoodETxSG
8th May 2012, 22:06
I am a licensed FAA HAM Operator... I would love to connect with other Radio people here... you would think that there are a lot of us here... forming a network across the US/World would be great.
HAM OPERATOR: KE5UNV
E-4/SPC JGoode TX Army State Guard (Command Control, Communications, Computation & Intelligence). Maybe we can start a forum group.
Bill, did you get your questions answered?

GoodETxSG
8th May 2012, 22:10
What do you need to know or start to do/organize ?

Personally -- I'd like to know what to buy that's powerful, not too expensive, and operable by an intelligent novice. (Henry warned us against some models that are technically excellent, but not that simple to master due to their sophistication.)

I'd also welcome information about ham radio stations that are lightweight and portable, and which can operate on solar power.

John Waterman promotes this one:

http://www.yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=DisplayProducts&ProdCatID=102&encProdID=8CBB7C4BDBAF40129AD4253A4987523C&DivisionID=65&isArchived=0

http://www.yaesu.com/ProductImages/FT-857D_thumb.jpg

It looks like there is a newer model too: FT-897D

I think those are very complete and nice but .... they will be very sensitive to EMP too ... and difficult to repair.



I actually bought one of these several months ago, I wanted a way to communicate over great distances. It seems to be a nice unit not too overwhelming and can be used for mobile or home base operations. Finding the right radio was a breeze compared to choosing a suitable antenna. You really need to do a lot of research or find someone that can mentor you when selecting an antenna. I purchased one that had several additional segments to cover the most bandwidth. I have set it up once or twice, just to listen in and get used to the operation. I was studying for my license but haven't taken the test.

Here is the site I was using for practice tests:
http://www.qrz.com/ht/?

Good luck Bill

I prefer ICOM but China has really been tearing it up with their great radios. My next radio will be a Yaesu... I used one on a deployment and I was very impressed.

GoodETxSG
8th May 2012, 22:25
Removed Post for Security Reasons...

gittarpikk
9th May 2012, 00:55
CB is 27 mhz....and its lineage is mostly trucker and neighborhood yakking. CB (Citizens Band)...only requires a certificate available from the fcc assigning a 'call sign number' and is more user friendly than ham radio is(equipment is cheaper and more readily available).Antennas are basic, cheap and readily available. (Many people run illegal linear amplifiers to extend their range...and many times destroyed the tv reception of the neighbors next door)

Ham involved many frequencies and includes the ability to operate on 50 mhz flying radio controlled model aircraft. First person view video from the cockpit is also available to the ham license holder...and he is not nearly restricted in transmitter power(900 mhz, 1.2 ghz, 2.4 ghz and 5.8 ghz) so can fly his models via video link at great distances (google FPV rc systems).This is latest developments...however early hams used 160 meters, 80 meters, 40 , 2 meters etc for their communication..Meters represents the length of the one wavelength antenna. ..ie 40 meters is a 7 mhz antenna. 7mhz was code (CW) only (*no voice) and consisted of mostly 'skip' (ionosphere reflected) propogation...and one could easily chat (via morse code) to surrounding states as well as distant countries.

Equipment ,and more so, antennas can be home built...Hams that work 'skip' usually are on lower frequencies as the antenna is longer and the signal bounces further. ...there are 'moon bounce' communications as well. Ham radio is pretty much 'all' about the antenna and the equipment...with many belonging to networks both local and abroad.. Ham radio is a tighter held group than cb'ers who just like to yak....and avoid the patrolman's radar on the interstates.

Although not current, (in the 80's they developed the perpetual license---mine was only 2 years) I had a license (WB4BKW) (surprised I remembered this ) back in 74-78 and acquired it for the sole purpose of learning the morse code language...which carries much , much further than voice is capable of with same power outputs.

I can , to this day, still remember some/most of the code letters and with a bit of refreshing , could probably go back online at least as a Novice level user.

The fascination of the antenna and equipment is best understood by acquiring an ARRL handbook (American Radio Relay League)...which , for years , was the Radio Amatuers (Ham) "bible'.

Hope this answers some of you questions

SWL (short wave listening is similar and uses nearby frequencies ...and you will be amazed at what you can pick up that is not pure 'propaganda' as we have in our 'bought and paid for ' media.

Years ago...the 'goal' was to work as many states/countries as one could ...and have a wall with all the postcards from all the stations you could get to send you.....of course you sent your own to them as a courtesy of the 'skip' conversation.

scanner
9th May 2012, 08:54
Can we get something out of the way here , if the system breaks down you will not need or want a licence to use YOUR radio . All you need to do in the here and now is to educate yourself on the uses and operation of YOUR radio, so you don't, 1) damage your equipment 2) can communicate efficiently with other uses . If you go down the ham route and get a licence now YOU WILL go on a data base and could make yourself a target .

Why do you think they make you get a licence before you're ALLOWED to operate YOUR equipement too transmit. You will be classed as a PIRATE if you go down the stuff you route , so what I've been called worse lol .

M6*
9th May 2012, 11:40
It is my understanding that the morse code requirement has been lifted in the U.S. I started to get going on this last fall, but something held me back.
Playing around with a CB some years ago used to be fun to listen to people we actually knew openly talking about their lives was a lot of fun.
This, however, is for a far more serious purpose and it does require a bit of time to get qualified to pass the exam. The money could also be wasted
if one doesn't get something that is workable on an individual basis the first time around. M6*

Ron Mauer Sr
9th May 2012, 12:05
Before purchasing a transceiver, determine the maximum distance you will use for communication. There are many inexpensive options for reliable short range contact, including CB, FRS and GMRS (http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/family-radio-service-frs). But if you want long range communications also, you will need a radio intended for use in the Amateur Radio service. Frequency bands reliably used for long distance communication are identified by wavelength. Some popular frequency bands are 80 meters, 40 meters, 20 meters (world wide). These radios are typically called High Frequency (HF) radios.

There are many new and used HF radios available. The choices will overwhelm a beginner for sure. It is best to talk with some local amateur radio operators and get a variety of opinions before deciding which radio to purchase.

If a new HF radio is your choice, the ICOM 718 is the least expensive quality radio that I know of. Reviews can be found here (http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/947). I paid $400 for a used one.

You can pay thousands of dollars for a radio but you do not need to do so. These high priced radios have been designed for enthusiasts with lots of money to spend. A basic radio with few "bells and whistles" will work fine.

As communication systems degrade during civil unrest, Amateur Radio will be "the last man standing".

M0JFK
25th September 2012, 18:05
In the UK you can do the FOUNDATION course. The foundation course will give you access to nearly all the Amateur bands but with limited power output to 10 watts.

Second is the INTERMEDIATE course. The Intermediate course gives you the advantage of using up to 50 watts of power output but will require you to learn a little more about how to solder and you will be require to build a kit to demonstrait your ability to do this...the kits are provided on the course and a small charge is made for them.

The Third and final course is the FULL licence. The Full licence gives you up to 400 watts of power usage here in the UK and you will need to learn more about circuit building, ohms law, and other aspects of the hobby in full.

So to sum up the licence comes in three parts and you can stay at the FOUDATION level if you so wish. It will give you access to most of the bands used by Amateurs below 24ghz but only at the power level of 10 watts. Worlwide comunication is quite easy even at foundation level so dont worry to much about the 10 watts of power at this licence level. You will find a lot of bands that you can use at foundation level are linked to the internet so worldwide coms is 24/7 ...this is called IRLP (Internet Radio Linking Page)

You can advance to INTERMEDIATE and FULL for greater power and more band usage (for example 24ghz ) that is often used for Satalight worldwide communications.

Nearly all these licence levels are done by local radio clubs so look up what club is close to you via a internet search engine or phone the RSGB (Radio Society of Great Britain) and they will give you the name of the club in your area that you can contact.

Good news ... Morse Code is no longer required for any of the licence levels (IN THE UK) and the foundation course is realy simple to pass and will get you on the Ham band's. If you want to advance then thats your choice and can I wish you all the best and be the first to welcome you all to my hobby... from Peter (M0JFK)

4evrneo
25th September 2012, 19:31
Thanks for all the great info, I have been wondering about this in the event of losing our normal mode of communications.

On my to do list.........

Operator
25th September 2012, 20:31
Frequency bands reliably used for long distance communication are identified by wavelength. Some popular frequency bands are 80 meters, 40 meters, 20 meters (world wide). These radios are typically called High Frequency (HF) radios.


One more side note here: this is true under normal conditions. The question is what the conditions will be if TSHTF.

E.g. Aurora (Borealis) can favorably influence conditions on VHF ... solar storms could cause similar effects but on different places etc.
HAARP is capable of lifting layers hence change the propagation length of HF waves bouncing between layer and earth.
Ash clouds from erupting volcanoes would disrupt normal atmospheric conditions too ... etc. etc.

So experience will help dealing with the circumstances but an additional flexible, sharp and open mind would be needed too.

kingmonkey
25th September 2012, 21:00
Just curious, in what type of worst case scenarios will radio operation be useful in? What are the potential scenarios?

scanner
25th September 2012, 21:08
Loss of all other communications , for whatever reason .

M0JFK
25th September 2012, 22:47
After a nuclear detonation all radios (even the valve type) will be next to usless and was the main reason for the invention of the Internet. The internet was intended for post nuclear war communication.
Wikipedia only inform the reader of the comercial origin of the internet back to the 60's. The picture of the Yaesu FT857D above is a good radio but the Yaesu FT817D is a more practical radio to use given the fact you can get battery packs that fit inside the radio itself and is (by design) more for portable use.

norman
26th September 2012, 03:20
A few basic 'morse-like' codes could be handy.

When all else fails, it's still possible to send out bursts of radio energy over a large area by touching a couple of high power electrical wires together ( momentarily - only ).

I wouldn't recommend using 'dashes', just dots. Morse code is based on both but the dashes would be dangerous and could even blow out the source of the electricity and so to silence your efforts all together.

The signal would be very broad spectrum so a listener would hear it on a wide range of frequency settings on an AM radio.

( this was actually how the very first radio communication experiments were done. They only developed the idea of tuned carrier waves as a way to allow more communications to occure at the same time )

SKAWF
26th September 2012, 03:46
i was wondering if this was of any use

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Yaesu-FT-270R-VHF-136-174-Mhz-Portable-radio-FT270R-Handheld-2-way-ham-/130749467129?_trksid=p3284.m263&_trkparms=algo%3DSIC%26its%3DI%26itu%3DUCI%252BIA% 252BUA%252BIEW%252BFICS%252BUFI%26otn%3D21%26pmod% 3D130749463324%26ps%3D54

its a portable ham radio

Ron Mauer Sr
26th September 2012, 04:10
i was wondering if this was of any use

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Yaesu-FT-270R-VHF-136-174-Mhz-Portable-radio-FT270R-Handheld-2-way-ham-/130749467129?_trksid=p3284.m263&_trkparms=algo%3DSIC%26its%3DI%26itu%3DUCI%252BIA% 252BUA%252BIEW%252BFICS%252BUFI%26otn%3D21%26pmod% 3D130749463324%26ps%3D54

its a portable ham radio

That is a VHF (Very High Frequency) radio for a single band, 2 meters. The distance covered by 2 meter radios is approximately line of sight. Very useful over a distance of a few miles, and the audio quality is excellent.

Long distance communications (all over the planet) is done with HF (High Frequency) radios. HF radios typically cover 160 meters, 80 meters, 40 meters, 20 meters (usually best for long distance), 15 meters and 10 meters. Some HF radios have more bands.

SKAWF
26th September 2012, 05:18
i was wondering if this was of any use

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Yaesu-FT-270R-VHF-136-174-Mhz-Portable-radio-FT270R-Handheld-2-way-ham-/130749467129?_trksid=p3284.m263&_trkparms=algo%3DSIC%26its%3DI%26itu%3DUCI%252BIA% 252BUA%252BIEW%252BFICS%252BUFI%26otn%3D21%26pmod% 3D130749463324%26ps%3D54

its a portable ham radio

That is a VHF (Very High Frequency) radio for a single band, 2 meters. The distance covered by 2 meter radios is approximately line of sight. Very useful over a distance of a few miles, and the audio quality is excellent.

Long distance communications (all over the planet) is done with HF (High Frequency) radios. HF radios typically cover 160 meters, 80 meters, 40 meters, 20 meters (usually best for long distance), 15 meters and 10 meters. Some HF radios have more bands.

ahhhh. so for worldwide communications then, would i be right in thinking it would need about 750w - 1kw of power?
and that its unlikely i would be able to get a portable one, unless i had a generator, and a truck to move the aerial around!!

Operator
26th September 2012, 13:33
ahhhh. so for worldwide communications then, would i be right in thinking it would need about 750w - 1kw of power?
and that its unlikely i would be able to get a portable one, unless i had a generator, and a truck to move the aerial around!!

No, you don't need that much power. After they legalized CB in the Netherlands (a couple of decades back) there was a popular
modification going around in the HAM radio community. The sets could be modified from 11 Meters (27 Mhz) to 10 Meters (29 Mhz).
The modulation type was FM (which is not an advantage for long range). But still frequently conditions were good enough to reach
as far as Japan or the USA from the Netherlands only using 2 Watts of power. A good antenna and atmospheric conditions are more
important. Superduper power output is nice when you are in a comfortable situation but probably a luxury when you need it in
emergency conditions.

P.S. High power may make you being heard everywhere ... but a good antenna also will take care that you hear your counterpart. High power output won't do that ;)

M0JFK
29th October 2012, 17:58
Here in the UK a contact I made on 10 watts (HF BAND) of power got me into Japan on a CB areial tuned through a matcher unit I was using. Never for a moment did I think I was going to make the contact but I did. The ham radio hobby sure takes you by suprise at times.

norman
7th November 2012, 17:42
Amateur-Radio Emergency Services and Disasters
Date Posted: October 30, 2012 10:20 PM
Author: Don Tuite

http://electronicdesign.com/blog/secondary-emissions-4/analog-and-mixed-signal/amateurradio-emergency-services-disasters-74616




The second morning after Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast seems like a good time for Electronic Design readers to think about ham radio and emergency response issues.

I got involved in these issues myself when my neighbor, Dave, told me about his experiences after the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989.

Dave’s a lawyer, so he was down at the Courthouse when the quake struck. At the time, the courthouse and the police station were co-located. The police station had (still has) a ham radio station (HF, VHF, UHF) on the premises. Those were both good things, because what there was of a public safety communications structure in Northern California came down with the quake, and for all anybody knew, so had the overpasses on 101 and I-280, the main north-south corridors. (They hadn’t, but were rumored to.)

For the first long hours, the mayor and the police and fire chiefs had no idea what was going on. During that period, Dave, who was part of a trained and drilled ham radio emergency services organization, got on the air, into an emergency net and filled them in.

You’re probably thinking: That was 1989. All they had was spotty Gen-1 cell coverage. Today, the mayor and the chiefs would be communicating on their iPads before the first aftershocks rippled under their feet. So here’s Important Thing #1:

1. Even today, the infrastructure for cellular communication runs mostly on underground fiber. Fiber breaks. I know a place around here where, a few years ago, some persons not yet publicly identified, went down some manholes and cut a few fiber links. In the ensuing hours, people in hospitals, ambulance services, police and fire stations, all thought, “Gee, this is a slow night.”

Citizens who were calling those emergency-response guys couldn’t get through by voice, so they did what? They texted.

Texts looked like they were getting through, but they were actually just being buffered in the cell towers. Fortunately, it was a slow night. Eventually, hams did play a part in getting things straightened out, but it took most of the night and into the morning. Now, here’s Important Thing #2

2. Ham radio has changed; many citizens’ desire to serve in emergency communications is a big part of that.

When I got my general license in 1960, I had to take a bus and a subway to the Federal Building in downtown New York, demonstrate an ability to send and receive Morse code at 13 words/minute, draw a Hartley oscillator, and calculate some simple resonances and stuff. Today, the code requirement is gone, and most of the questions are about differences among various operating modes and regulations. Most people can sit through a cram course and pass the test the same day.

In my experience, the reason many of them are doing that is to get involved with emergency communications. (Amusingly, some of them also go on to become CW DX-hounds for the sport of it.)

Now here’s the most important thing.

3. One can’t just get a license, wait for a disaster, and show up.

You're a liability if you haven't had training. The guy behind the glass at the police station won’t give you the time of day. This is not a decision you make and sit on until the stuff hits the fan.

You have to work at it. The best place to start is with Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training. That’s because it’s more important that you and your neighbors work together to secure your home and neighborhood and collect some information about damage and injuries to communicate to the public safety people than that you show up and immediately get cluelessly underfoot.

CERT training will also introduce you to the Incident Command System, giving you some idea of what might need to be communicated, and by whom and to whom.

There’s a choice of potential organizations. The classic is the Amateur Radio Relay League’s (ARRL’s) ARES and RACES organizations. They’re explained here:

But that’s not the only option, and you may find that, in your area, other groups are better organized, or have better leadership, or for whatever reason are more compatible with you. I’m a member of the local ARES group, which has excellent organization and a wide range of practice activities. (For example, you have no idea how challenging it can be to participate in a networking operation until you have been involved in keeping up with all the groups participating in a city Fourth of July parade. Or with a day-long bicycling event for hundreds of participants over a hundred-mile course with sag-wagons, aid stops, lost bikers, and terrain that challenges the use of repeaters.)

Alternatively, in some areas, the Red Cross may be the most interesting group. When one of our communities had a major gas main explode, killing eight people and leveling 35 homes, there was a massive evacuation, and the job of the Red Cross was to manage the task of finding food and shelter for all those people. It was a massive logistics effort that the trained Red Cross hams executed brilliantly.

Locally, we also have a special unit of volunteer communicators who work with the county Sheriff’s organization, particularly on Search-and Rescue activities. These are all good alternatives, but you wouldn’t have time to work with them all. It’s a good idea to look around before you decide where to commit your good intentions..

4. You will learn useful stuff.

Quick! What’s the most unexpectedly dangerous kind of common vehicle in a highway crash? My CERT trainer, a Sheriff’s deputy, says it’s a pool-services truck. Mix those chemicals and you can send out a cloud of chlorine gas across a whole neighborhood. That’s good to know any time you’re out on the freeway.

Maybe more importantly from a ham radio perspective, is that you learn where stuff is. Most of our local hospitals, schools and firehouses, even the manager’s office at the local general-aviation airport, have ham antennas, at least for 2-meters and 440-MHz. Where are the antenna drops? The local volunteers know, and without that knowledge, the drops are useless.

Then, what’s the drill for getting into the police station? What do you say at the intercom by the door? Once you get in, where’s the ham radio equipment? How does it work? How do you run a net with simplex, if that’s what’s called for? What are the fallback plans when Plan A is a bust? What’s it like to “shadow” a politician or an incident commander during an event? There’s stuff you learn from being taught and stuff you learn from doing.

If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably an alpha geek. You may or may not have a ham license, or if you once had one, it may be defunct or out of date. Or you may be young enough to have decided that ham radio is just too “twentieth-century,” too much “getting the serum through to Nome” to be relevant. Well, yeah. Until the next time the text messages start backing up in the cell-tower buffers and the freeways are blocked by fallen overpasses. . . or the subway tunnels are full of seawater. Give it a thought. You’re needed.

PRAGMAE
5th December 2012, 14:26
Is there a way to do that without being traced ? I mean, ok, if all our usual way of communication become useless, no one will come to track us because of the possible transitional chaos. But what if I use it now ?

Anyway, thanks for those infos.

Bill Ryan
6th December 2012, 13:29
-------

Hi, All --

To all the hams who are members here! :)

In Ecuador, a group of us have a Yaesu 857D.

http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/hamhf/0857.jpg

This is a compact mobile unit, designed to be mounted in a car or truck. We have the vehicle antenna, and all the kit.

We also have a power supply for use as a base station -- but no base station antenna. I'd very much welcome specific recommendations for a high quality antenna that could be mounted on the hillside above where I'm living (which is in a fairly broad valley with hills that rise to about 800 ft above the valley floor). What I'd like to get from the base station antenna is a maximization of performance and range. I'd like to be able to reach the US, Canada and Europe from Ecuador.

What antenna should I get, and where should I order it from?

Many thanks -- all advice appreciated.

Operator
6th December 2012, 14:31
-------
In Ecuador, a group of us have a Yaesu 857D.
......
I'd very much welcome specific recommendations for a high quality antenna that could be mounted on the hillside above where I'm living (which is in a fairly broad valley with hills that rise to about 800 ft above the valley floor). What I'd like to get from the base station antenna is a maximization of performance and range. I'd like to be able to reach the US, Canada and Europe from Ecuador.
.....


Hi Bill,

The set you have has a wide range of frequency bands. It is probably very difficult to get one antenna which covers it all.
Antennas need to be tuned to the particular wavelength used.

This set covers a range from 160 meters to 70 centimeters

You can use 6 and 2 meters (VHF) and/or 70 centimeters (UHF) for local traffic. The wavelength is so short that compact
directional antennas can be applied. The problem here is however that you need to place a tower and rotor with remote
control on top to put it in the right direction. Look for Yagi antennas.

The 20 meter band is a very popular band for DX (long distance) traffic. There are a lot of antennas that will cover the
whole range of HF (160 meters ... 10 meters) with tuners integrated. There even are directional antennas too for HF.
But they are heavy and big. Probably not the type of antenna you could place on a windy hilltop.

http://www.umich.edu/~umarc/photos/tower/dpa14.jpg

A more practical solution could be a simple dipole antenna either specifically for 20 meters or one with tuners.
Dipole antennas are somewhat directional too. For the USA you would place it in East-West orientation to get North-
South directionality. You would need a second one for the Europe direction or East-West direction in general.

Dipole antennas are very basic and can even be constructed from simple wire.

http://teledataschool.com/bc/pictures/horisontal_transportable_dipole.jpg

Because I am more into making instead of buying I have no advice on where to buy them.
There are lots of articles and images on how to make them ...
Google is your friend (in this case) ;).

P.S. The height of the antenna above ground is also important. At least half a wave length is advisable.

norman
6th December 2012, 16:18
Here's an initial response from one member of a radio user group I'm a member of:




High quality, maximum performance, maximum range? But no mention of budget.
The sky's the limit! The most important consideration is the antenna site.
He does not want to be on the south side of an 800 ft hill; ideally, it will
be at the top of a hill or on a north facing slope, with the horizon no more
than a few degrees above horizontal. Then the difference between a wire
dipole supported a half-wave above ground and an expensive, high-gain Yagi on a tower of the same height will be just 1-2 S-units and thousands of dollars.





I'll keep you posted with any more tips from that source.

I'm not going to ask any real Ham groups, because they are likely to get festered about whether you are a licensed user or not.


added:




If he wants something very transportable but not for use while mobile, moderately efficient, then a BuddiPole with a telescoping mast would be a good bet.





more....




I'd love to give you a quick and easy one-size fits all, but the truth
is that it's an extremely complex question with literally dozens of
best answers from simple wire dipoles, to triband beams, to cubical
quads, to various kinds of verticals and even large rhobics.

I'd suggest getting a copy of the ARRL Antenna Book as a starter.

Now, having said all that, if I were in Ecuador or Ohio, I'd put up a
simple wire dipole -- or several -- as high and clean as I could. This
can be done really fast. Then, if I had a tower or a tall phone pole,
I'd put up a four element tribander with a rotator.

I'd also get a small linear -- maybe 1Kw PEP -- which won't be too
costly or suck too much AC.





more.......




If you're just receiving, anything will work. Transmitting, now that's a real problem! You have standing waves reflected back so nothing goes out the antenna unless properly matched.

Nick Matkin
6th December 2012, 17:14
Hi Bill,

Beware of commercial antenna claims that say they cover "all bands" without tuning. Most are a con (and all are very inefficient) and have been exposed as such by the ARRL some years ago I believe. Anyway, there's no advantage really in buying antennas, they are only wires and insulators. All you have to do is cut them to the right lengths!

(A few years ago I designed two multiple HF-antenna array sites for two very well-known organisations.)

For intercontinental work you'll be using the HF bands 3.5 MHz to 28 MHz (more likely 7 MHz to 21 MHz) depending on day/night and solar activity influencing propagation conditions.

For antenna supports, you don't need elaborate towers, etc. Trees, wooden poles and buildings are more than sufficient as long as at least one support is 30 or more feet high.

I'd agree with Operator above. Your best/simplest is to make horizontal dipoles for each HF band if you have the space. A fan dipole (http://www.hamuniverse.com/multidipole.html)does not need to be switched to each band of use. For example, the 20 metre/14 MHz dipole resonates when the antenna is fed with 14 MHz. If each dipole is cut to the right length, the coax from them can be connected directly to your transceiver.

Alternatively, a random length of wire strung up as space permits (if possible at least 100 ft long and at least 30ft up, best if straight, but not essential) will get a signal out BUT for this arrangement...

1) You will need a decent earthing arrangement. Lots of wire laid along the ground. Ideally a separate quarter-wave wire for each band in use. Failing that, then as much as you can lay along the ground under the random wire. And I mean as much as you can, 100 feet or more!

2) A good electrical connection to the earth. Two, three or more copper earthing stakes (from electrical suppliers) or just 5ft copper pipes (but they tend to buckle when hit into hard ground) joined/soldered together with thick wire and banged into the ground as near as possible to the radio - my equipment is upstairs so the earth stakes are 15 feet away! These earth stakes are connected to the transmitter end of the counterpoises and to the transmitter's earth/ground connection.

3) A random-wire antenna will need tuning to the band in use. An antenna tuning (or matching) unit (ATU) must be connected between the 50 ohm RF output of the Yaesu 857D and the earth/counterpoise and antenna wires. There are automatic ATUs, but manual ones are cheaper and one thing less to go wrong! It is usually one of the first things a competent radio ham builds for themselves!

If your site is small, you'll either have to consider a vertical antenna of some type, or restrict yourself to the higher bands (10 MHz and above) where shorter dipoles (or sloping dipoles) are used.

Whatever antenna you go for, there is no special requirement regarding the wire. Any plastic covered multi-stand wire strong enough to support its own weight in a gale without stretching too much is good enough. Also insulators for the ends; not essential, but good practice. No need for fancy ceramic ones, this (http://www.2i0nie.com/store/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=17)sort of thing will do, and are widely available. (The plastic holes keeping six-pack together folded in half will do, but not UV stable long term!)

I guess you don't really need insulators if you tie the antenna wires to non-conducting nylon/polypropylene ropes. If possible, try to keep the antennas - including their ends - away from buildings and trees to minimise losses. It's also a very good idea to keep them away from buildings containing modern electronic devices as they can generate interference on the radio section of your transceiver.

A doublet is another design for multi-band use (also needs an ATU), but that's enough for going on with.

Do you have a spare transmitter/receiver? If it goes wrong do you have the resources to fix it? If you have qualified radio amateurs using the Yaesu 857D (and I understand that you may not!) they will know how to use it and should also have a good working knowledge of HF propagation, antenna design, SWR, baluns, tuning and matching.

If 'the balloon goes up' a spare Morse-code (CW) transmitter/receiver will be useful. Needs no computer, are very simple in design and to fix. Unfortunately you will need a Morse operator! However, Morse signals will get through when SSB won't. If you Google CW transceivers there is a lot of info. A competent radio ham would be able to build a 10 to 20 watt transmitter from one of the many kits or buy one ready built.

There's huge amounts on the web about all this stuff, but I'm more than happy to help. Please PM me if you like, especially if you don't have access to any trained radio operators.

Nick

PS: I see a BuddiPole has been suggested. Nothing wrong with those - apart from the price! It looks well built and particularly suited good for portable use. I'd still use dipoles/wires strung up in the trees for a fixed location.

Theoretically dipoles are directional as Operator said, but in the real world where ideal height is not possible and nearby trees and buildings affect the radiation pattern, especially at the lower bands, they are more or less omnidirectional.

You might also like to bear in mind that wires in trees are inconspicuous...

Operator
6th December 2012, 18:05
Oh, one more thing ... don't push a lot of power just like that into an antenna. If the antenna is poorly tuned it will not
emit the power but rather reflect it back into your final amplifier stage and blow up your transceiver.

There are SWR (Standing Wave Ratio) devices that can measure how much power is reflected. Start with little power
enough to do the measurement. Only after the antenna is tuned correctly switch to full power (if necessary).
Less power (QRP) will of course keep your batteries longer operational.

Operator
6th December 2012, 18:11
PS: I see a BuddiPole has been suggested. Nothing wrong with those - apart from the price! It looks well built and particularly suited good for portable use. I'd still use dipoles/wires strung up in the trees for a fixed location.


Hi Nick,

If you refer to my 2nd picture ... I only showed the picture to illustrate what a dipole is and chose this one because
it displays the tuning devices in the middle too. I agree with you that a wire dipole is much cheaper and easier to
construct (And can be used mobile too ... just hook it up on some available tall structures).

Nick Matkin
6th December 2012, 19:22
Hi Op,

The Buddipole was referred to in post #66. When used horizontally it looks like its maximum height and (telescopic?) dipole arms limits it to say 21 MHz and above - without reading through all the guff!

I'm assuming it can be used against a good ground as a loaded vertical on the lower bands can it? I can't see how a 40m/7MHz dipole is going to work at the stand height in the photo - and presumably the telescopic arms must be extended with wire to make a resonant dipole, unless it's got loaded dipole elements. Looks quite faffy if you want to change bands! But I may stand corrected as I've not used one...

I can understand Bill's desire to buy an "off-the-shelf-just-plug-in-and-use-on-any-band-without-tuning" antenna if there isn't anyone who knows how to adjust the ATU for min SWR etc. to set up the correct lengths for a dipole or three before they plug it in for the first time.

I see the Yaesu YA-30 Broadband HF Antenna would probably do the trick (theoretically it doesn't need an ATU) but it costs about £300 just for some wires and a high-power resistor that absorbs about half the transmitter power.

It's just a glorified T2FD (http://www.hard-core-dx.com/nordicdx/antenna/wire/t2design.html) (apparently developed as a wide-band, no-tune antenna by the US navy) which you can make yourself for about £20, even if you can't make your own balun and have to buy one! On the other hand, perhaps ready-built ones are available. Check it will handle the transmitter power! But you need to know how much space you have first.

All wide-band, no-tune antennas are a compromise, and although half the power of the T2FD is lost in the resistor (OK, that's not even one S-point on a receiver!) it seems a waste when you are running the transmitter from solar panels or battery. Still, those sorts of limitations wouldn't be a handicap for the US navy!

===

Bill,


How much space do you have and what can be used as the highest point? Corner of building, building with added pole, tree...?
How high is the highest point?
Do you have anyone who can make the technical measurements and adjustments for the antenna?


If you don't get the antenna right, you will waste much of the transmitter power, may well not receive as many signals as you should, and as Operator has already said, you may even damage the transmitter section of the rig!

Regards,

Nick

Operator
6th December 2012, 20:28
Oh, one more thing ... don't push a lot of power just like that into an antenna. If the antenna is poorly tuned it will not
emit the power but rather reflect it back into your final amplifier stage and blow up your transceiver.

There are SWR (Standing Wave Ratio) devices that can measure how much power is reflected. Start with little power
enough to do the measurement. Only after the antenna is tuned correctly switch to full power (if necessary).
Less power (QRP) will of course keep your batteries longer operational.

It just crossed my mind that the SWR meter could be already built in too (such a complete rig).
And apparently it is ... albeit ostensibly a very simple one:

http://forums.radioreference.com/amateur-radio-equipment/236249-yaesu-ft-857d-swr-meter.html

Ron Mauer Sr
6th December 2012, 23:24
Bill,

My recommendation is to make a simple dipole antenna as shown here.

http://www.hamuniverse.com/multidipole.html

Start with the 20 meter version and add wires for other frequency bands later. The antenna length is important for transmitting but not as important for receiving.

My antenna is a dual band dipole made from aluminum wire intended for electric fencing. It works great and is inexpensive.

I looked for local amateur radio operators who might offer assistance near Vilcabamba. The closest one I found is in Machala. There is also a radio club there.

Clubs here in the states are usually very helpful to those interested in getting a license. Maybe it is the same in Ecuador. Here is contact information for one of the Machala hams. Cesar is a civil engineer.

HC3AP http://s3.amazonaws.com/files.qrz.com/static/flags/120.gif (http://www.qrz.com/atlas?dxcc=120) Ecuador (http://www.qrz.com/atlas?dxcc=120)
Cesar Palacios
P.O. BOX 07-01-918
MACHALA 0701
Ecuador

HaveBlue
7th December 2012, 12:21
Just want to say thank you to everyone taking part in this thread. HAM radio is something I have been wanting to get into for a few years now but keeps slipping further down my 'get around to' list. I have very much enjoyed reading it so far and am gathering inspiration from you all.

I do now have my bank of 12v deep cycle batteries and am slowly getting my solar panel collection going, along with still dreaming of a suitable wind turbine or two.

I am impressed by Win Keechs' 'Ridge Blade' concept of wind turbine, talked about briefly in his Ammach presentation, a conference organized by Miles Johnstion and Joanne Summerscales, who have kind of picked up the baton of a sorts from Bill and Kerry and run with it!

Do take that comment in a light hearted way as Ammach and the Bases series are a wee bit different from Camelot and are certainly no 'Johnny come latelys'. It is the one man and one woman style of things that have us drawing comparisons.

I am not sure if Wins' Ridge Blade product is available for purchase just yet. He and his people have and continue to do extensive testing on this and intend to get it right first time out of the box and not have a product that might need to be recalled somewhere down the track.

I wish them all the best. Win was a turbine blade designer for Rolls Royce aircraft engines in England so he knows his stuff.
His competition has already reacted and copied his concept and produced an inferior product, but with a similar name to the Ridge Blade.
I will plug for him by saying, beware any cheap imitations!

Apologees for wandering slightly off topic, however I feel HAM radio and off grid power sources go hand in hand.

It is truly great to see so many people worldwide taking their futures into their own hands, becoming as self sufficient as possible, whether they do it as doomsday preppers or just as people wanting to be more personally responsible for themselves.

Alot of innovation and breakthroughs in this area will come as more and more people get into it. Brian O'Leary would/will be pleased to see this!

It is more viable than it was even a few short years ago, as the technology becomes cheaper, while the costs of grid power climb, along with other forms of generation such as diesel.

Please correct me if this is wrong but I understand that data, as in the internet, particularly texts can also be transmitted by HAM radio, just like a satellite type cellphone internet connection, which are very expensive to use at present.

Bouncing your data off the moon or ionosphere instead of satellites would probably mean less efficiency than using the telcos and corporations, but it is the idea of not being 'owned' by them that is appealing to me.

Bill Ryan
7th December 2012, 13:18
-------

Wow -- many thanks to all for the many immediate, detailed and helpful replies.

My problem here is that I'm a rank beginner with zero ham experience. I simply bought the rig on eBay. I also have no immediate access to anyone with experience, either. Essentially, I just have the radio (plus vehicle antenna, cables, power supply etc) in a bunch of boxes. I've been way too busy on other projects -- so far -- to even connect it all up!

Therefore zero experience here really means zero. Thanks indeed for the Machala contact, which I'd not known about -- I'd been aware there are radio clubs in Guayaquil, Cuenca and Quito. It's not impossible that some of those guys may speak at least some English, though I have good friends who speak fluent Spanish and would be happy to interface and translate.

My opportunity is to spend several hundred dollars on an antenna which friends could bring in from the US in a 40 ft shipping container (they're moving here). I'm not really a hands-on techie, and would better be in a position to buy something -- shared with a group of friends -- than try to make something myself from DIY components.

The physical locale is that the house is on the valley floor while the land available to use is basically south-facing, extending up maybe half a mile horizontally and several hundred feet vertically. The overall general angle of the hillside is something like 30 degrees. There are many trees, some of which are on open bluffs with a wide view of the horizon -- to the east, south and/or west. Not to the north! It would be relatively easy (no permission required) to erect a tower just about anywhere there.

Nick Matkin
7th December 2012, 13:33
Hi HaveBlue, and anyone else who is curious...

Yes, ham or amateur radio is a fascinating hobby, and if you have the time and inclination it's great fun. You can buy all the equipment ready made, but for me the real fun is in:

Building equipment from kits
Rebuilding/repairing old radio gear
Designing my own radio gear
Oh, yes... and operating it!

Of course ham radio does have practical uses, even in these days of mobile/cell phones and internet, but this 'practical use' is diminishing, except of course in developing countries or after natural disasters.

To be honest, it is now difficult to attract young people to the hobby since there are so many other things for them to do. If you show them ham radio, most just shrug their shoulders and say: "Why do that? My smart phone does all that and far, far more!" On the other hand, if you show them a simple one-transistor transmitter, and simple receiver running off a nine-volt battery exchanging information over hundreds or thousands of miles, without any intervening infrastructure, if you're lucky you might get a "Oh that's cool" reaction - for a minute or so!

The 'magic' of radio is no more for most people - you have to be er... slightly unusual these days to be enthralled by the science of communication without wires!

I think some people forget that ham radio is not really like CB, or the kind of communications used by the police or other services where generally only one band is allocated and the antennas are simple. To get the best out of ham radio you need to be able to understand radio wave propagation especially via the ionosphere, and the different transmission modes (AM/FM/USB/LSB/data) and how to rig up an antenna and match it to the equipment; no point spending hundreds/thousands of dollars/pounds on equipment and and connecting an antenna without having someone who understands a bit about antenna matching, SWR, etc. at least for the initial set up.

You're right about using ham radio to send data. This is not my area of expertise, but large amounts of data can be transferred now. When I first started in radio, Morse code was still thought to be the most robust way of sending data - readable through noise and interference and even when the bands were not propagating, even if it is a bit slow! But with computers and signal processing, quite high speed data can be exchanged when the signal is well below the noise, i.e. is completely inaudible!

The esoteric transmission mode of moon bounce is generally for the more powerful serious radio ham stations, but using amateur radio satellites for long-distance contacts is quite common.

On a rather tenuous link to the paranormal, there is still one aspect of radio - including ham radio - that is quite mysterious and that is Long Delay Echoes.

It has all the aspects of the paranormal; unpredictable, rare, theoretically not possible! I've been skeptical of the phenomenon, but it may be genuine. LDEs are delays of signals taking seconds, sometime many seconds. There is no known mechanism for this (although some are emerging), but an alien spacecraft holding signals and releasing them in a mathematical way has been one explanation - unnecessarily complex explanation if you ask me, just because we haven't yet got a conventional scientific explanation yet. For more info Google "Long Delay Echoes".

Enough for now...

Nick

Nick Matkin
7th December 2012, 20:58
Hi Bill,

Now you’ve given a few more details I’ve got some more suggestions…

You say you’ve got zero ham radio experience, fair enough, so how about keeping everything as simple as possible – at least to start with?

Since amateur/ham radio allows use of many bands/frequencies, if you stick to just one band it’ll certainly make antenna matters easier. I suggest 14MHz/20m (as already suggested by rmauerse in post #72) will be a band that will give coverage of much of the Americas, and probably further afield. It won’t always be the optimum band, put it should be ‘open’ (i.e. carrying signals) for much of the day/evening and possibly also into the night. Not a good band for local contacts though. Each band has different characteristics; some best for local, distant, very distant, day, night, etc.

We’ve not mentioned the G5RV antenna so far. I thought about it today. A bit of a compromise antenna, but if set up properly should work on a number of bands without the need for an antenna tuning unit, which is something you probably don’t want to get your head round if avoidable!

This ad looks ok: Optimized G5RV / ZS6BKW Multi Band Dipole Antenna for $68 (http://www.w8amz.com/W8AMZ_G5RV_Page.html). Claims no antenna tuner is needed for 10m/28MHz, 12m/24MHz, 17m/18MHz, 20m/14MHz & 40m/7MHz bands. It needs some extra 50 ohm cable but expect it’s available from the supplier. Check the spec for location/space requirements. As rmauerse stated, try and get some local ham help for initial setup and antenna optimized for 14 MHz. But:


Local hams my be a bit sniffy about helping someone who hasn’t sat the exams to get a license
Some people want to help but don’t appreciate the limits of their knowledge
You’ll need a convincing but unallocated call-sign
I doubt local helpers will be familiar with your philosophy and that you’re preparing for a possible “Future Event”

Don't get too bogged down when you hear about antenna SWR (or VSWR). All you need to know is that is should be kept below 3:1, preferably below 2:1, and 1:1 is ideal, though not essential.

You have access to a tower. How tall? Any ham would love one, especially if it’s going to have large antennas on it with a rotator. But an antenna for 14 MHz is pretty damn big and conspicuous to have on a mast. And antennas for 7MHz, and 3.5MHz are too big to be made from rods and are made from wire and strung from supports. I’d suggest you have a G5RV supported at one end by the top of the mast, and the other by the next tallest nearest object. Bit of a waste of a mast, unless you really want to get some big rotating antennas on it in future.

Disconnect your antenna in a thunderstorm! You don’t want your rig fried by the EMP from a nearby strike!

I guess the antennas that came with the rig are for VHF/UHF? OK for local contacts - 10 to 30 miles depending on terrain.

I see the Yaesu 857D includes a general-coverage receiver. Very useful if you want to listen to international broadcasters, but check out where in the bands to look or you’ll be wasting your time searching. Have you got the manual? If not it will be available online. Some manuals assume some ham radio knowledge, others are quite detailed.

Nick

scanner
7th December 2012, 21:20
Cobweb and long wire with ATU , is all you need .

Ron Mauer Sr
7th December 2012, 22:01
Hi Bill,

Now you’ve given a few more details I’ve got some more suggestions…

You say you’ve got zero ham radio experience, fair enough, so how about keeping everything as simple as possible – at least to start with?

Since amateur/ham radio allows use of many bands/frequencies, if you stick to just one band it’ll certainly make antenna matters easier. I suggest 14MHz/20m (as already suggested by rmauerse in post #72) will be a band that will give coverage of much of the Americas, and probably further afield. It won’t always be the optimum band, put it should be ‘open’ (i.e. carrying signals) for much of the day/evening and possibly also into the night. Not a good band for local contacts though. Each band has different characteristics; some best for local, distant, very distant, day, night, etc.

We’ve not mentioned the G5RV antenna so far. I thought about it today. A bit of a compromise antenna, but if set up properly should work on a number of bands without the need for an antenna tuning unit, which is something you probably don’t want to get your head round if avoidable!

This ad looks ok: Optimized G5RV / ZS6BKW Multi Band Dipole Antenna for $68 (http://www.w8amz.com/W8AMZ_G5RV_Page.html). Claims no antenna tuner is needed for 10m/28MHz, 12m/24MHz, 17m/18MHz, 20m/14MHz & 40m/7MHz bands. It needs some extra 50 ohm cable but expect it’s available from the supplier. Check the spec for location/space requirements. As rmauerse stated, try and get some local ham help for initial setup and antenna optimized for 14 MHz. But:



Local hams my be a bit sniffy about helping someone who hasn’t sat the exams to get a license
Some people want to help but don’t appreciate the limits of their knowledge
You’ll need a convincing but unallocated call-sign
I doubt local helpers will be familiar with your philosophy and that you’re preparing for a possible “Future Event”



Don't get too bogged down when you hear about antenna SWR (or VSWR). All you need to know is that is should be kept below 3:1, preferably below 2:1, and 1:1 is ideal, though not essential.

You have access to a tower. How tall? Any ham would love one, especially if it’s going to have large antennas on it with a rotator. But an antenna for 14 MHz is pretty damn big and conspicuous to have on a mast. And antennas for 7MHz, and 3.5MHz are too big to be made from rods and are made from wire and strung from supports. I’d suggest you have a G5RV supported at one end by the top of the mast, and the other by the next tallest nearest object. Bit of a waste of a mast, unless you really want to get some big rotating antennas on it in future.

Disconnect your antenna in a thunderstorm! You don’t want your rig fried by the EMP from a nearby strike!

I guess the antennas that came with the rig are for VHF/UHF? OK for local contacts - 10 to 30 miles depending on terrain.

I see the Yaesu 857D includes a general-coverage receiver. Very useful if you want to listen to international broadcasters, but check out where in the bands to look or you’ll be wasting your time searching. Have you got the manual? If not it will be available online. Some manuals assume some ham radio knowledge, others are quite detailed.

Nick

Bill,

I agree with Nick.

The antenna can be ordered online. Estimate the length off coaxial cable you will need between the radio and center of the wire (G5RV) antenna. That also can be ordered online. I suggest using this cable (http://www.packetradio.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=6&products_id=1298) (RG8X) which the has the correct connector for your radio already installed.

Waterproof the antenna end of the coaxial cable with electrical tape.

Here is a link to frequency bands used by hams in the USA (http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Hambands_color.pdf).

Ron

norman
8th December 2012, 03:21
Bill!,

As a non hands-on Techi' as you are, The big deal here that you HAVE to get on top of, is, IMPEDANCE !


Impedance matching is the big "pro" secret with all electronic work. I wish I was up to a full spectrum breakdown of the subject for you, but I'm only trained up to a level 2 City and Guilds electronic and servicing qualification. This stuff is VERY technical, believe me.

Unless you can GET A KNOWLEDGEABLE expert, locally to grab a pile of kit and set it up for you, you will have to keep it very 'consumer friendly'.

That's reasonable, in normal situations, but, you are on a south facing slope and that's obviously NOT ideal.

Your vehicular mobility may turn out to be the way you need to get this sorted.

That 'mobile' antenna you have may be quite useful just as it is, as long as you park up in the right places.

Obviously, receiving isn't the same as transmitting, but, I once met a bloke on a hilltop in Mid Wales who had fallen asleep listening to USA truckers talking to each other on nothing more than legal CB radios. He'd driven his 4X4 right up onto the top of Middletown Hill near Welshpool, Powys, Wales. All he had was a receiver mounted in the dash' and a bloody great big swinging 'whip' antenna centered right atop the roof of the 4X4 he was snoozing in.

As I approached him on foot, I could clearly hear the "Yanks" boasting away on the radio, even from 200 yards away from where he was 'parked'.

norman
8th December 2012, 04:45
Bill, I think the first very simple thing to try is for you to get that kit installed into a decent hill climbing vehicle and take a swig from your flask, and then try something very simple though just a bit abstract.

Hope like hell that the output isn't crashing itself with detuned energy and bang out a simple signal at maximum power.

My reciever here in northern UK is nothing too special, but, if we agree a frequency, and agree a signal (AM only - in my case ) we can begin to assess what's what and what's possible.

EDIT:

I've just remembered that you may not be aware of how the banding works best for weaker ( amateur ) signals. Most transmitters with lower power usually confine themselves to "single sideband". That can be lower sideband ( LSB ) or upper sideband ( USB ).

It's not really so different from full band but it's a crafty mix of available power and reception fidelity. A sort of blend between talking like a GOD and coding like a peasant.

Raw morse code is the last thing to fail in a bad electro-magnetic environment. All it has to do is distinguish between a short burst and a long burst. Even when conditions are well past hearing a human voice and comprehending it, distorted dots and distorted dashes are separable and useful.

On another thread here I even suggested devising a code that only used short ( dot ) codes. That's because it's a quite serviceable utility to create emergency signals with only raw power cable as a medium. Longer 'dashes' are likely to cause power sinks and fuse the protection devices in the grid.

A raw power cable, like the national grid, will generate a very broad spectrum noise in all directions if you break and join it's circuit manually. It's not something you'd want to do for no great reason, but as an emergency signal, it's quite useful.

The sheer simplicity of the idea above is the point of what I'm trying to say here.

As bafflingly complex as the manual for any number of expensive radio kits might be, The bottom line is, as long as the listener knows what to listen for, anything is possible.

Nick Matkin
8th December 2012, 09:36
... but, I once met a bloke on a hilltop in Mid Wales who had fallen asleep listening to USA truckers talking to each other on nothing more than legal CB radios.

This sometimes happens, but unfortunately propagation of lowish-power CB from mobile antennas over long distances (more than about 2000 miles) depends upon very good ionisation of the F2 layer, usually during solar max, and when the sun is over the centre of the propagation path. Such good propagation conditions are very unpredictable!

Shorter "skip", beyond ground-wave coverage (say north Scotland to southern England) on these freqs (27/28MHz) depends upon Sporadic-E, another extremely unpredictable (sporadic!) ionospheric propagation mode. But this is beyond what Bill needs to know to get started.

The mobile antennas that came with Bill's rig are probably for VHF/UHF. They may be antennas for the other bands (possibly 27 MHz CB if the rig transmits there - it's certainly within its coverage - but may be "locked out" as it's not a ham radio band. Note: There are usually hacks to get modern transceivers to transmit on a very wide range of frequencies. The rigs are designed for many uses but programmed for their specific, intended market.).

As others and I have previously stated, sticking to 14MHz/20m will give good enough coverage until Bill gets familiar with the rig and other technical details.

The antennas Bill bought with the rigs may be mobile antennas for most or all of the ham bands (do you know what they are Bill?) which will be useful, though not as effective as balanced dipole-type antennas supported high up at a base station.

Nick

Operator
8th December 2012, 12:34
I've just remembered that you may not be aware of how the banding works best for weaker ( amateur ) signals. Most transmitters with lower power usually confine themselves to "single sideband". That can be lower sideband ( LSB ) or upper sideband ( USB ).


Sideband modulation is a clever variant of Amplitude Modulation (AM) which has sufficient quality for speech communication.
There are 3 main components in an AM signal: the carrier wave, an upper sideband (USB) and a lower sideband (LSB).

The information signal (speech) is only in the sidebands and is redundant. So you can save significant power by only
transmitting one sideband. The carrier wave is taken out by a clever hetrodyne mixing technique. One of the unwanted
sidebands is than filtered out before being amplified in the final stage. The missing carrier must be added again in the
receiver as a reference for received sideband info. Incorrect tuning does make the voices sound higher or lower.
There is another advantage on the receiving side: the needed bandwidth is a lot smaller so very fine filters can the also
reduce the amount of white noise energy coming in.

As a rule of thumb: LSB is used < 10 MHz and USB is used > 10 MHz

On HF bands Single Side Band (SSB) is the main speech communication modulation method.

Operator
8th December 2012, 12:49
The antennas Bill bought with the rigs may be mobile antennas for most or all of the ham bands (do you know what they are Bill?) which will be useful, though not as effective as balanced dipole-type antennas supported high up at a base station.


Mobile whip antennas are vertically used and dipole antennas usually horizontally. This is causing a different polarization (in theory).
Vertical antennas are often used for local mobile communication or in Ground-Plane traffic (see GP antennas).

Horizontal polarization should (again in theory) give you better angle beaming away the signal ... However in practice there is so
much reflection around (Buildings or hills, trees etc.) which changes the polarization. That's why Bill in an ideal situation should
have his dipole antenna high above ground on the hill top with horizontal free view.

Bill Ryan
8th December 2012, 13:30
-------

Many thanks again, Nick, Ron, Norman, Everyone --

Very much appreciated indeed. I'll order the G5TV double 10m-160m (http://www.w8amz.com/W8AMZ_G5RV_Page.html) straight away-- and I have a large bunch of questions, to come later. :)

Nick Matkin
8th December 2012, 17:41
NO BILL! I think the OPTIMISED one 6m to 80m is the one that does not need (or claims not to need) a tuner for most of the bands - the one I suggested in post #76. It is much smaller, and unless you have all the space needed for the 160m/1.8MHz version (and you probably won't use that lowest 160m band anyway) I don't see any advantage in getting the 160m version. In fact it may need a tuner for the main band of interest 14MHz/20m.

It's this one: Optimized G5RV / ZS6BKW 6m - 80m $68.00 on the W8AMZ website.

If the 'double size' 160m version doesn't need an ATU for 14MHz/20m you should be ok. But I think for 14MHz the one you're going to buy may not be good for this band - 14MHz/20m - without a tuner.

(I'm trying to find some data to confirm the specs on 14MHz/20m for both types.)

Ask when you buy - ask them which is best for use without a tuner for 14MHz/20m.

Or to keep things really simple the single band only dipole for just 14MHz/20m is this one:
20m Half-Wave Dipole $26.00 the first on the list on this page (http://www.w8amz.com/W8AMZ_DIPOLES_Page.html) but that really does limit you to just that band.

Yes, I'm sure you'll have a bunch of questions soon. No prob!

Nick

EDIT: I think I've found the info. The resonant band (i.e. most efficient) is 14MHz/20m on the one I suggested, not the double-size, 160m version which has a resonant band on 7MHz/40m...

Ron Mauer Sr
8th December 2012, 20:14
The 160 meter version of the G5RV antenna requires an elevation of 70' above ground level.

The 80 meter version of the G5RV antenna requires an elevation of 40' above ground level.

Something to consider when considering how the antenna will be supported.

My gut feeling is that the specifications above are not critical.

Bill Ryan
8th December 2012, 23:42
NO BILL!
[snip]
It's this one: Optimized G5RV / ZS6BKW 6m - 80m $68.00 on the W8AMZ website.


Got it -- my apologies (and thanks again) :)

(to Ron) : 40' above ground level isn't a problem.

Questions about the coaxial cable:


I need to run that all the way from the radio to the antenna -- yes?
Assuming so, is distance a factor? It might well be several hundred yards or more.
To reach the antenna from the radio, I may have to bury it for 12-15 ft, to get across a dirt road. Alternatively, I could erect a couple of high posts to carry it across the road aerially. Does it matter if the cable runs underground?

noxon medem
9th December 2012, 00:08
I need to run that all the way from the radio to the antenna -- yes?
Assuming so, is distance a factor? It might well be several hundred yards or more.
To reach the antenna from the radio, I may have to bury it for 12-15 ft, to get across a dirt road. Alternatively, I could erect a couple of high posts to carry it across the road aerially. Does it matter if the cable runs underground?


It is best to run it all the way, unbroken, from antenna to receiver .'

If you keep the coax in the air it might work as part of
the transmition reception-system , allthoug a coax cable
is shielded , the shield normaly operate as neutral (minus)

( Dug into the ground the length of cable would probably
matter less on the reception calculations )

Anyway :
The length of the cable do matter, since there is a resistance
on a specific ratio for every meter of any cable, coax or not ...

Ohm , per meter, should be described for any cable available
and taken into account when calculating the frequence (hz)
and even more to power ( push ) received signals
( Power Volts have a natural curve to it ..).

Plan for some more (sources) to feed the Ham-Radio.
& enough diameter for a sustainable currentflow , to
the apparatous ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ohm%27s_law )

So, use a coax, but find the biggest (diameter) size of copper core
as possible, if there is a long stretch of cable .

Be well.

..
-

Ron Mauer Sr
9th December 2012, 01:08
NO BILL!
[snip]
It's this one: Optimized G5RV / ZS6BKW 6m - 80m $68.00 on the W8AMZ website.


Got it -- my apologies (and thanks again) :)

(to Ron) : 40' above ground level isn't a problem.

Questions about the coaxial cable:



I need to run that all the way from the radio to the antenna -- yes?
Assuming so, is distance a factor? It might well be several hundred yards or more.
To reach the antenna from the radio, I may have to bury it for 12-15 ft, to get across a dirt road. Alternatively, I could erect a couple of high posts to carry it across the road aerially. Does it matter if the cable runs underground?




Here is a link to calculate feedline loss: http://www.timesmicrowave.com/cgi-bin/calculate.pl

Notice that as frequency gets higher, attenuation becomes greater.

On the 20 meter (14.150 MHz to 14.350 MHz, U.S. Amateur) band and using RG8x, attenuation is 1.335 dB per 100 feet. You can purchase more expensive cable that will not attenuate the signal as much.

"Several hundred yards or more" is a very long distance for RG8x coax. For each 6dB loss in the antenna system, the S meter will drop approximately 1 S unit.

It might be better and simpler to find a place where the antenna can be located closer to the transmitter. Perhaps using a 20 meter dipole (total length 33 feet)(See Nick Matkin's post #85) would be a good first experiment. The ends can droop significantly. The center should be as high as you can conveniently get it.

Antenna height is more important on 144 MHz (2 meters) and higher frequencies than it is on 14.3 MHz (20 meters). Communications on 2 meters is primarily (but not exclusively) line off sight. On 20 meters the primary signal path from the antenna is to the upper atmosphere where it is reflected (when conditions allow) back down to the earths surface, many miles away. Multiple hops are common and will be the signal path between Ecuador to Europe.

If you decide to bury the coaxial cable under a dirt road, run the cable inside PVC pipe for the width of the road to reduce the risk of repeated abrasion on the coax from vehicle traffic.

Nick Matkin
9th December 2012, 10:34
Yes, agreed with all above. Several hundred yards is a lot for ordinary coax. For every 3 dB of loss you have lost half your power! So as rmauersr states above in post #89, 300 feet of RG8x (from the loss charts) at 14 MHz means you have lost more than half your power in the cable. That sounds more dramatic than it is, but is not to be recommended! The site that sells the antennas should be able to advise on other suitable lower-loss cable types if you roughly explain the situation.

(In practice, if a transmitter drops its power by half, the perceived drop in strength at the receiver is hardly noticeable. It's a non-linear effect - don't worry about it, but it's good engineering to keep losses down!)

RG213 cable has much lower loss, but is thicker, heavier and more expensive. See this cable-loss chart. (http://www.w4rp.com/ref/coax.html) Just remember, for every 3dB loss (attenuation), you lose half the power to the antenna - with a corresponding drop in received signal strength to the signals you are listening to. So a 6dB loss is a quarter of the transmitter power, 9dB an eighth...

If you use a heavier coax cable on the G5RV, check that the antenna can support the extra cable weight if it is mounted quite high. You could use lighter cable for that bit, but it means joining, possible water ingress - you don't want to be bothered with all that!

Cable losses also increase with frequency, and at VHF/UHF with such a long cable run, just about any cable will dramatically reduce the power at the antenna (and reduce signals reaching the receiver). Losses below 30 MHz should be manageable. But if you use VHF, I suggest you put the rig in the vehicle and use the vehicle's vertical antenna. (You can always set up a better VHF base-station antenna later if necessary.)

(Obviously VHF/UHF transmitter towers hundreds of feet high need long cable runs, but they use expensive heliax cable. Expensive, quite difficult to handle and rarely necessary in a ham radio installation!)

Putting coax cable underground is OK if it doesn't get damaged by animals, compression or abrasion. You don't want water getting in, which will gradually but dramatically increases losses. Putting it in some sort of conduit is what the pros do (in concrete, but plastic pipe should be sufficient) but that can be an expensive and big job - but as rmauersr says, at least do that as it passes under the road.

Overhead OK too, provided it's not stressed under its own weight.

And the general rule - keep the actual antenna as high as possible. For all practical purposes in the real world it can't be too high. The 70 and 40 foot quoted above and in the adverts are recommend minimum heights. But the higher it is, the more exposed and conspicuous it is and the longer (and heavier) the coax feeder cable must be before the ground takes the strain.

Carefully check the installation info here (http://www.w8amz.com/uploads/G5RV_-_Manual.pdf) - you may have other questions.

Ideally the 'arms' of the antenna should be be horizontal, (but this is not essential) with the 30ft of flat ribbon feeder cable which comes from the centre hanging vertically down. Do not shorten this flat cable as it's an integral part of the antenna. It's often called 'ribbon', 'window' or 'ladder' line because that's what it looks like. The 30 or so feet of this flat cable will be terminated with a coax socket (probably an SO239 which in this case should also contain a device called a balun - but don't worry about that) to which the plug (PL259) has the long run of coax cable (RG8x or whatever) connected which is plugged into your transceiver.

Alternatively you can mount the antenna with the highest point in the middle like this (http://www.heitbrink.eu/g5rvn4ja.gif) in an 'inverted-V' configuration, trying to keep the ribbon cable away from the vertical support.

You must waterproof the connector joining the ribbon cable to the coax. Self-amalgamating tape is probably the most common and successful way of doing this. The antenna supplier may stock this.

I hope you're not being put of by all the technical hurdles...

Nick

PS: It's not uncommon for ready-made dipole-type wire antennas to need adjusting after installation. The final hight, mountings, nearby trees, buildings etc. will affect the performance slightly. As the main 'resonant' band of this antenna is 20m/14MHz, I expect the small print suggests the ends are trimmed for minimum SWR on this band. This means checking SWR with an SWR meter (or maybe the rig's inbuilt SWR meter or using a fancy antenna analyser), and trimming an couple of inches of both ends, re-mounting it antenna and measuring SWR again. This can take sometimes ****** ages. But it needs to be right because if you want to avoid using an antenna tuning unit, the least that will happen is that the rig will back-off its power if it senses a poor match (high SWR) with the antenna. The worst is a blown rig!

Anchor
9th December 2012, 22:15
For a base station, why not have aerials set up well for each band you want to use. The UHF one is likely to require a lot of different considerations than the HF one. I thought most bigger radios had more than one RF input for that reason.

Nick Matkin
10th December 2012, 09:52
For a base station, why not have aerials set up well for each band you want to use. The UHF one is likely to require a lot of different considerations than the HF one. I thought most bigger radios had more than one RF input for that reason.

Yes that's right, the FT857D has two antenna connections, one for 1.8 to 50 MHz (HF) and 144 to 430 MHz (VHF/UHF) as the requirements are quite different. Since the VHF/UHF signals are (more or less) line of sight, they also need mounting in the clear and high up if possible at the base station, which is not something you can guarantee when out mobile!

I've just checked out the FT857D documentation. That's one hell of a manual Bill! Have you been able to check the rig to see if it works on all bands/modes?

Nick

Ron Mauer Sr
10th December 2012, 16:03
Bill,

It is easy to check the receive portion of the radio. Just connect any length (longer the better) wire to the center of the antenna connector. You might be surprised to hear some stations in Europe. Commercial broadcasts are most likely to use AM (amplitude modulation). Amateur radio transmissions are most likely to use USB (upper single sideband) on 20 thru 10 meters, or LSB (lower single sideband) below 20 meters.

To play it safe, set the transmitter output power to minimum to avoid accidentally transmitting into an antenna that is not tuned properly, or when the antenna is not connected.

Ron

Bill Ryan
17th December 2012, 16:22
-------

Many thanks yet again to all of you for your many valuable and detailed contributions. I've ordered the Optimized G5RV / ZS6BKW Multi Band Dipole Antenna (http://www.w8amz.com/W8AMZ_G5RV_Page.html) plus 200 ft of LMR-240 coaxial cable. You can be quite sure I'll be back here early in the New Year (after it's delivered) with a whole bunch more questions.

:)

Nick Matkin
17th December 2012, 17:36
-------

You can be quite sure I'll be back here early in the New Year (after it's delivered) with a whole bunch more questions.
:)


Like how to attach the plugs to the coax! :) (You did buy some plugs to fit to the cable...? One to connect coax to the antenna and one to connect the other end to the rig. I completely forgot to suggest these earlier, but they are not difficult to obtain.)

I'm sure we can find something on Youtube if there's no one who can fit them for you. Actually, the cable supplier may have done it for you already.

Fitting them (probably PL259 plugs) is not that hard, but you may need to practice a couple of times - there are things to watch out for when doing it if you're not familiar...

Nick

Bill Ryan
18th December 2012, 01:04
-------

You can be quite sure I'll be back here early in the New Year (after it's delivered) with a whole bunch more questions.
:)


Like how to attach the plugs to the coax! :) (You did buy some plugs to fit to the cable...? One to connect coax to the antenna and one to connect the other end to the rig. I completely forgot to suggest these earlier, but they are not difficult to obtain.)

I'm sure we can find something on Youtube if there's no one who can fit them for you. Actually, the cable supplier may have done it for you already.

Fitting them (probably PL259 plugs) is not that hard, but you may need to practice a couple of times - there are things to watch out for when doing it if you're not familiar...

Nick

Thanks, Nick: I asked the supplier to fit the plugs!

Much appreciation for all your kind help and constructive suggestions. More questions later, for sure.

:)

eaglespirit
4th January 2013, 12:47
I am sure there are some 'somewhat' experienced operators somehwhere in the neighborhoods in Ecuador, nearby...
if it is a possiblity to connect with them for help too.

And I'm sure this has been thought of...there are good people everywhere/somewhere to help with practical knowledge and hands-on experience..

Nick Matkin
26th January 2013, 18:32
I've just been collating data for an amateur radio HF band plan. I was amazed to see frequencies marked: "GLOBAL EMERGENCY"

Before anyone starts thinking TPTB know something we don't, I suspect they have been allocated for decades. But it seems someone was thinking ahead and managed to get unwieldy international radio conferences to agree allocations for them!

For anyone needing to use such communications during a disaster, the frequencies are: 14300 kHz on 20 metres; 18160 kHz on 17 metres; 21360 kHz on 15 metres. Presumably they are SSB (USB), although I dare say anything that will work could be used.

Nick

Referee
29th January 2013, 12:12
I just found this video, Eric Dollard explains why Ham radio operation may not be possible during the next solar minimum. This info seems to fit with Suspicious Observers view of the Electric Universe. It is late and been a busy day I did not look into Eric very much. Any credibility here?

asesblfb4zI

scanner
29th January 2013, 21:40
I don't disagree with Eric , however there are other methods . IE, ground wave and Doppler meteor transmissions . Also EME (Earth Moon Earth ) commonly known as Moon bounce . Also you would still have line of sight , so it wouldn't be a total loss of communications .

Nick Matkin
30th January 2013, 17:06
Oh... where to start with this Eric Dollard character:

1) The solar cycles didn't 'start' during the renaissance, that's just when Western science noticed them and started counting.

2) The 'Dark Ages' had nothing to do with the sun. They refer to a so-called "intellectual darkness" after the collapse of the Roman Empire. There are those who suggest climate change over Europe during this period didn't help, but I don't know if there is any sound evidence for that.

3) The sun "operating on half power"? Even allowing for hyperbole, is grossly misleading.

4) Ask an astronomer if it's possible (or was recoded in 1980) for the Earth's orbit to wobble following a CME.

5) Anyone who knew what they were talking about would never use the words "radio astrology" - even in a slip of the tongue.

6) Sorry, I couldn't watch any more... It seems this guy has gleaned a few facts, not really understood them, and made a video.

Yes, this solar cycle has been less active than we are used to. I remember listening to New York taxis on 40-odd MHz in the UK during the peak of cycle 21. That hasn't been possible this cycle - but maybe NY taxis don't use those frequencies now. But ask any HF broadcaster (BBC, VOA, etc,) how the sun's (in)activity has affected them. Not that much.

There's too much misunderstanding distributed by (well-meaning?) pundits about the sun that is keenly consumed by those eager to be scared by what they don't really understand.

I was a professional radio engineer. I use amateur radio frequently. I used it to chat to a guy in MASS, USA on 26 Jan and I was only using 10 watts of SSB on 21 MHz. The ionosphere is there and 'working' normally. Yes, really!!

Meteor-scatter is a bit of an esoteric communications medium, although is (or was) used commercially for low priority, low data-rate communications, and is used by some radio hams. Moon bounce is another, possibly even more esoteric form of communications; it requires very high ERP and very high gain receive antennas. Not something easily done when the mains supply is gone.

When the mains has been out for a month, and your solar panels and batteries are not working as well as the brochures said they would, get your Morse Key out if you need to communicate!

Nick

norman
30th January 2013, 17:48
This is a recording of a recent transmission picked up in Virginia.

Does anyone here have an idea of what it was ?




In the early morning on 1-26 I came across what sounded like ATC traffic on 5600 LSB. Sounded like the controller was in New York. I am located in Norfolk, Va. I could not find out exactly where it originated and if it was on any air traffic lists. If anyone could give me some insight as to what it was I would be grateful. I have tried on other nights since then to listen to that frequency and I have heard nothing else there. Thanks, M B

Link to the audio:
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B04lBb_SZ4vZYzltdXdOU3IxRXc/edit

Nick Matkin
30th January 2013, 18:03
Aviation traffic, complete with selective call tones. Probably trans-Atlantic where HF is still used when outside VHF range. There are many aviation channels in the 5 - 6 MHz range, and elsewhere.

Nick

Nick Matkin
30th January 2013, 20:33
I've just read here (http://projectavalon.net/forum4/showthread.php?54979-Eric-Dollard-A-Modern-Day-Nikola-Tesla)that Eric Dollard is being hailed as a modern-day Nicola Tesla.

Perhaps when he made the above video he was having an off day, or perhaps he was just testing - trying to see who's awake...

Nick

Anchor
31st January 2013, 11:24
I've just read here (http://projectavalon.net/forum4/showthread.php?54979-Eric-Dollard-A-Modern-Day-Nikola-Tesla)that Eric Dollard is being hailed as a modern-day Nicola Tesla.

Perhaps when he made the above video he was having an off day, or perhaps he was just testing - trying to see who's awake...

Nick


Some very important questions have been asked about this on the forum - and I am really glad they have been. I am happy you posted this on that thread - so I'll follow the Eric conversation there instead of here.

My solar panels and batteries have been in use for long enough now I can tell you exactly how well they will perform :)

Lets just say, the word SOLAR is a bit of a give away about thier usefulness - the marketing hype is a secondary factor.

Getting a solar installation up and running properly (ie: fully off grid) is very very expensive.

Conchis
9th February 2013, 16:06
If this is off topic please move this somewhere else. There has been some talk of radio communications and obviously HAM is the choice for long distance. If you are interested in a handheld to communicate with people for shorter distances, just to coordinate activities which might be useful in a small group of organized people. One radio you might want to look at is a Bearcom BC95 UHF radio. It can be modified by the manufacturer to operate in the GMRS frequency ranges and carries a full 5 watts of power. This in not one of those toy walkie talkies but is a genuine piece of equipment. You'll need to get a license (just pay a fee, like everything else in the world) to operate it.

Operator
9th February 2013, 17:01
If this is off topic please move this somewhere else. There has been some talk of radio communications and obviously HAM is the choice for long distance. If you are interested in a handheld to communicate with people for shorter distances, just to coordinate activities which might be useful in a small group of organized people. One radio you might want to look at is a Bearcom BC95 UHF radio. It can be modified by the manufacturer to operate in the GMRS frequency ranges and carries a full 5 watts of power. This in not one of those toy walkie talkies but is a genuine piece of equipment. You'll need to get a license (just pay a fee, like everything else in the world) to operate it.

I bumped into this by accident yesterday:

BAOFENG UV3R Handheld Mark II UHF VHF Dual Band FM 2M 136-174/400-470Mhz Radio
I saw one on Amazon for sale for only US$ 35 ...

It might go against some 'American' feeling because it is Chinese made. But hey, for that
amount you can buy a couple of them. They are also 2 Watts 'only'. That is probably
sufficient though (I had a 2 Watt handheld for the 2 meter band once).

I don't know what GMRS is (possibly similar to CB?) But it might be in the range of 400-470Mhz.

Does anybody have experience with this type of handheld? I am curious what the quality is.

Nick Matkin
9th February 2013, 19:44
I have a mate who bought one of these. For the price he says they are very good. (They work even without a ham radio licence - don't tell anyone!)

But bear in mind they only have a range of a few miles in open country, and much less in built-up areas.

Nick

Operator
29th August 2013, 02:05
I bumped into this link by accident: http://websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901/

Wow, what a great web interface ... it has been built at the Twenthe University in the Netherlands.

It's a shortwave receiver that can be remotely controlled by multiple users !! (112 at the time I used it).
I have been listening on 20m USB and it was great. Sensitivity, might be a bit low because they use a mini whip antenna.

Especially the waterfall function us great. You can quickly jump from QSO to QSO

Nick Matkin
2nd September 2013, 10:11
It's good isn't it? I use it when testing antennas or transmitters in the UK. Depending upon propagation conditions when I make adjustments I can and SEE and HEAR the effects. It's a bit disconcerting using it to listen to your own Morse signals as the propagation through the internet can be a second or two.

There are others here: http://www.websdr.org/

Many new ham transceivers have some sort of spectrum display these days, so you can look for gaps, strong signals, etc. in the band you're operating on. (Sort of takes the magic out of it if you ask me!)

Nick

Harley
2nd September 2013, 19:09
I used spectrum analyzers for years, mostly in EMC/EMI research, and I think it really cool that the cost of the tech has come down enough now where they can incorporate it into off the shelf ham equipment and most hams can afford it. It's a great tool for just everyday operating or an amateur scientist!

But I also still get much enjoyment working with the old school basic stuff too. It's just plain fun! :)

Operator
2nd September 2013, 20:03
I used spectrum analyzers for years, mostly in EMC/EMI research, and I think it really cool that the cost of the tech has come down enough now where they can incorporate it into off the shelf ham equipment and most hams can afford it. It's a great tool for just everyday operating or an amateur scientist!

But I also still get much enjoyment working with the old school basic stuff too. It's just plain fun! :)

I've worked with professional spectrum analyzers too 30+ years ago when I worked for a cable television company.
They are so convenient, especially when you need to adjust filters in order to suppress harmonics etc.

It also showed why you shouldn't use SWR meters all of the time but only for short measurements: the diode to
rectify the signal works as a tripler (and further). My 2m signal was almost as strong on 70cm en 23 cm !

Nick Matkin
28th March 2014, 11:31
Just spotted this:

US Ham Radio Operators and Government Test HF Communications (http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2014/march/us_ham_radio_operators_and_government_test_hf_comm unications.htm#.UzVcE86qnIU)

For conspiracy theorists it's just more evidence that FEMA is preparing for some "Big Event". For the rest of us it's just another prudent exercise to test how well modern ham radio (amateur radio) equipment operates in difficult conditions and to smooth out the technical and logistical problems.

Nick

panpravda
6th June 2014, 09:20
Interesting re FEMA and Hams, Nick ... thanks.

Here in the UK, as I gather from posts elsewhere you already know, the "equivalent, government body", perhaps GCHQ or some "cover entity" controlled by them, would need to coordinate a similar exercise with RAYNET (Radio Amateurs' Emergency Network). I wonder if you or anyone else here knows if that's been suggested or done?

I've been a licensed Amateur for 42 years, but instead of operating on the air, which of course I have done and enjoyed, especially using morse, my own focus has been on construction, digital modes, weather satellites, and radio astronomy ... amateur radio being what it is, a vast range of possible involvements with so many of our existing technologies, experimental modes, and areas of science research. Don't get me wrong, I'm no expert in any of these areas, I've just had a very satisfying, long-term interest, one which has led many other things.

Nick Matkin
6th June 2014, 10:50
Hi panpravda,

Well I know of no "equivalent government body", but I do know that certainly in the 1980s there were numerous Home Office civil defense exercises coordinated from various local-government bunkers throughout the UK.

The equipment was EMP proof, so this meant much of it was ancient electro-mechnical teleprinter (Creed 7Bs) and 332 baklite phones with manual exchanges.

I understand that in at least one region, RAYNET were invited to participate, but were considered unprofessional and brought inappropriate, over-complex equipment. I hope this wasn't reflected across the whole country!

I too have had a license for almost as long as you, and it seems we share some common interests.

Some of my friends laugh at the pointlessness of my ability to send and receive Morse, but I tell them that when the lights go out and Tescos closes, us 'hams' with solar panels and QRP equipment will be amongst the key players in re-establishing national and international communications. But this is usually just met with an in-comprehending shrug...

Nick

panpravda
6th June 2014, 12:28
FB, Nick ...

I looked again at what I wrote and saw that I had probably given the impression I am currently "capable" using Morse ... I'm not, I don't have much proficiency now. However, my previous enjoyable time with it was around 40 years ago after I passed my RAE when I made my first contacts. It was soon after that when I pretty much left the Telephony/Morse side and began following the other paths I described. In these later years, however, as a result of digs from mates at the local club, and considering the practical challenge of my own failing hearing, I've been toying with the idea of brushing up on the old Carrier Wave and have actually taken a step by looking out my old straight key. We'll see what happens, as I have so much going on in other areas as well. Further, I am significantly beholding to Morse, as my then Morse Tutor, to whose house I would go for lessons, eventually turned into my father-in-law!

Okay on the past activities of the Home Office's civil defence folks; you jangled some memories by mentioning that, as I was somewhat aware of but not much interested in those events at the time. And it's true, there's not much that's EMP proof these days. I remember the old Creed 7B which an older amateur friend used to get me interested in data modes way back then; it worked as a machine and as a ploy!

Fine on your RAYNET comments ... I choose to hope they're a tad more professional these days!?! I know that with good leadership and organisation, we can be ... Lockerbie, for instance.

And let your friends laugh ... for we know who'll have the last laugh!

73s ...

scanner
6th June 2014, 12:37
The equivalent in the UK is , The Emergency planning office . They are responsible for all the Emergency events in the UK . They work along side the Police , Fire service and Ambulance . They use RAYNET as an back up system and other sources if an event were to take place . All councils have an EPO (emergency planning officer ) They are the highest authority on the ground and have many powers to evacuate , detain, and yes imprison you if need be .


If you want an EMP proof radio ,buy the older valve sets, they're still around and will take alot more stick than the Chinese solid state radios that are out there on the market .

panpravda
6th June 2014, 12:59
Fine, Scanner, you, too, have jogged my memory of things I've heard in the past but to which I never paid that much attention. Between yourself and Nick, I now consider my self updated! Yes, there are some old tube-based rigs still available, but it's normally a seller's market, so the decent stuff, so I hear, can be rather expensive. I'm not in the market, anyway. I've got my little Chinese box here, ready for when things go dark !:cool:!

Nick Matkin
6th June 2014, 13:40
Yup, valve sets are orders of magnitude more EMP proof than most modern gear, but military equipment must be hardened against EMP as it's solid state.

Years ago I mentioned "Tempest Testing" (a specification of hardening solid-state equipment against EMP) at work once; heads turned and I was met with aggressive "How the hell do you know about that?"

"Er... someone at Racal told me. It's not a secret..." Well maybe it was back in 1986!

Anyway, perhaps I'm giving too much away... :gossip:

Valve/tube gear is great. No complex menus, all analogue and you can actually fix the stuff. Trouble is it's a lot more difficult to operate (but not impossible) without mains electricity.

73,

Nick

Operator
6th June 2014, 13:50
The equivalent in the UK is , The Emergency planning office .
...


How convenient, in the UK they actually 'plan' the emergencies ? ... :p :rolleyes: :eyebrows:

Nick Matkin
6th June 2014, 13:59
The equivalent in the UK is , The Emergency planning office .
...


How convenient, in the UK they actually 'plan' the emergencies ? ... :p :rolleyes: :eyebrows:

Oh, yes, we don't leave our emergencies open to chance. That would be reckless now wouldn't it ;)

sound consciousness
6th September 2014, 20:51
I have a midland CB with a small antenna, and 40 channels, I cannot link up to anyone , does anybody know why? thanks

Nick Matkin
6th September 2014, 21:05
1) Are you using it in an area where other CB stations are likely to be operating?
2) Is the 'small antenna' designed for CB 27 MHz? Have you checked the antenna connections for open circuits or short circuits?
3) Is it a 27 MHz CB set? I guess it is but you haven't provided the model number.
4) Have you any way of confirming that the transmitter is transmitting?
5) Have you any way of confirming that the receiver is receiving?
6) I guess you may not be too familiar with the workings of RF. Nevertheless, do you have any relevant test equipment?
7) Did you see it working before it came into your ownership?
8) Are there any CB or amateur radio groups near you? If so there would be someone who could probably help.

Unfortunately it could be so many things, but some information may help narrow it down a bit.

Nick

sound consciousness
6th September 2014, 21:37
Hello Nick ,
I have not got a clue about this hand held radio, cannot find the paperwork about it.IT has 40 channels red button EMG...AFTER THE CHANNEL it has EC and it runs on batteries and is a hand held set thanks

Nick Matkin
7th September 2014, 10:11
Red button 'Channel 9' emergency. If it's a UK set it's likely to be 27.68125 MHz.

There is probably a model number somewhere in the battery compartment, or on the back unless it's fallen off.

Nick

KevBoh
27th November 2014, 22:36
Hi Bill hope you are well. Out of curiosity, did the Ham radio idea off you kick off? Very good idea. My father in law is an EXPERT. He also is an expert at Morse code. Just wondering if you ever broadcast and did you get round to obtaining a licence. If so, I would love to hear from you.

http://hackgreensdr.org:8901/

The above link is for a massive Antenna based at an old RAF base called Hack Green. Not far from Chester in the UK. Have a look :) I think you will find it interesting :)

All the best

Kev :)

Nick Matkin
1st December 2014, 11:48
There are now a number of radio remotely accessible by anyone now spread across the globe.

New technology (obviously back-engineered from the Roswell crash :lie:) allows multiple listeners access to any particular receiver.

This is one of the lists of showing the receivers available. Hack Green is included. http://www.websdr.org/

Nick

norski
4th July 2015, 13:15
My husband and I just purchased a reasonably priced ham radio set-up for Ready Made Resources. The next obstacle is to locate another ham operator who will mentor us toward the goal of obtaining a license. So, if there are any lists which people know of, please let us know. If I find such a list a head of time, I will share it on the forum.

Thank you,
KL

Nick Matkin
4th July 2015, 20:50
I expect you bought the equipment knowing it was in full working order and whether it was most suitable for local or international communication.

As you're in the US, the American Amateur Radio Relay League (arrl.org) would probably be your first point of contact.

A quick search in QRZ.com brings up 46 listed radio amateurs sharing your zip code.

There are various levels of amateur radio licence, and the higher the qualifications you achieve the more privileges you get, e.g. higher power, more bands, etc.

If you just put the equipment names/numbers into Youtube, you'll probably find out quite a lot if you are not already familiar with it, but you will almost certainly need the operating manuals. Most are downloadable for free.

The biggest problem many people have (even relatively experienced operators!) is installing an efficient antenna, designed correctly for the appropriate band(s) to get the signal out and be able to receive signals with minimum interference. Remember also that connecting a bad antenna or the wrong type can damage the transmitter stages of the equipment leading to a very expensive repair, unless you can fix it yourself.

There's not as much 'woo-woo' junk science associated with ham radio antennas (most radio amateurs are technically savvy) as there is in say Hi-Fi or medicine, but there is some. For the HF bands I'd suggest making your own wire antennas to known designs and for VHF/UHF buying from reputable dealers.

Good luck and good DX!

Nick

Ron Mauer Sr
4th July 2015, 21:20
My husband and I just purchased a reasonably priced ham radio set-up for Ready Made Resources. The next obstacle is to locate another ham operator who will mentor us toward the goal of obtaining a license. So, if there are any lists which people know of, please let us know. If I find such a list a head of time, I will share it on the forum.

Thank you,
KL

Practice exams for U.S. licensing are available several places on the web. Here is just one http://www.hamtesting.com/ptChoose.php

Practice exams can be very helpful, especially when they respond to an incorrect answer with the correct answer.

If you post your zip code or city, I may be able to find and send information to connect you with a local radio club or nearby amateur radio operator.

M0JFK
18th November 2015, 00:07
I think in conclusion... just buy any set you can afford because in a apocalyptic situation I doubt very much someone will be asking to see your license to operate.

scanner
18th November 2015, 10:05
You need a licence , Oops :facepalm:

Harley
18th November 2015, 19:35
I think in conclusion... just buy any set you can afford because in a apocalyptic situation I doubt very much someone will be asking to see your license to operate.

True.

But if you watch the TV series The Walking Dead (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1520211/) you may decide that it's probably not such a great idea to try to find other survivors!

:)

Gillian
6th November 2016, 23:22
It is my understanding that the Smeter grid uses the same frequencies as (ham) amateur radio operators.

Nick Matkin
7th November 2016, 22:13
It is my understanding that the Smeter grid uses the same frequencies as (ham) amateur radio operators.

What is the frequency of the Smeter grid? Some of the amateur radio bands are shared, but not many because mutual interference would be a significant problem.

TargeT
7th November 2016, 22:33
It is my understanding that the Smeter grid uses the same frequencies as (ham) amateur radio operators.

when a smart meter system intentionally transmits data on a so-called ISM (Industrial, Scientific and Medical) band that is shared with the Amateur service there CAN be interference.. but normally when (they don't ALL have RF transmitters) a smart meter contains an RF transmitter:

The frequency of operation is typically in the 902 MHz and 2.4 GHz bands.
Power output is typically 1 watt in the 902 MHz band and much less in the 2.4 GHz band.
The intended range of a transmitter in a smart meter is typically very localized. While the utility-side radio needs to reach a neighborhood concentrator, typically mounted on a nearby pole, smart meters can also mesh through other smart meters to communicate with the concentrator. (using five hops or less).The smart meter only communicates when it is commanded to do so, typically several times a day.

Flash
7th November 2016, 23:24
Thank you thank you thank you

Now I understand why the electrical utility company here wanted to change the traditional meters, even if we paid not to be on the smart meter check up. IT was for the jumping grid meshing smart meters togethr, in order to get information from my neighbours

This means that even if I am not connected to the Electrical utility company, my meter still behave as a smart meter and is still dangerous for health, true or not?





It is my understanding that the Smeter grid uses the same frequencies as (ham) amateur radio operators.

when a smart meter system intentionally transmits data on a so-called ISM (Industrial, Scientific and Medical) band that is shared with the Amateur service there CAN be interference.. but normally when (they don't ALL have RF transmitters) a smart meter contains an RF transmitter:

The frequency of operation is typically in the 902 MHz and 2.4 GHz bands.
Power output is typically 1 watt in the 902 MHz band and much less in the 2.4 GHz band.
The intended range of a transmitter in a smart meter is typically very localized. While the utility-side radio needs to reach a neighborhood concentrator, typically mounted on a nearby pole, smart meters can also mesh through other smart meters to communicate with the concentrator. (using five hops or less).The smart meter only communicates when it is commanded to do so, typically several times a day.

TargeT
8th November 2016, 00:38
Thank you thank you thank you

Now I understand why the electrical utility company here wanted to change the traditional meters, even if we paid not to be on the smart meter check up. IT was for the jumping grid meshing smart meters togethr, in order to get information from my neighbours

and every service that they had to actually drive to your house for can be done remotely with smart meters (this is the biggest reason).


This means that even if I am not connected to the Electrical utility company, my meter still behave as a smart meter and is still dangerous for health, true or not?

maybe if you have your electric meter as a pillow.

people need to get familiar with the inverse-square law (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inverse-square_law) its S U P E R important when working about radiation. (RF is radiation, sunlight is radiation, your cellphone = radiation, etc, they all are constrained by the inverse-square law)

Summary: no your health is not at risk.

Nick Matkin
8th November 2016, 09:19
[...]people need to get familiar with the inverse-square law (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inverse-square_law) its S U P E R important when working about radiation. (RF is radiation, sunlight is radiation, your cellphone = radiation, etc, they all are constrained by the inverse-square law)

Summary: no your health is not at risk.

Agreed, and those of us familiar with the subject all know that. But there are plenty of people who unwittingly accept he nocebo effect, and will present various non-scientific websites to support their belief.

TouchTone
1st January 2017, 20:00
What do you need to know or start to do/organize ?

Somehow we probably need a list of existing HAM radio operators ... or a special interest group.
I've met other HAM radio operators on this forum ... but people are reluctant to exchange call signs because you can look up a lot of them
via the internet and literally get to know who is who and where they live.

Although I have no doubts that everything is monitored and some agencies exactly know who I am and where I live I can imagine
that it still is another thing to share it with everybody publicly on the internet.

Yes, I am very reluctant to disclose my ham radio callsign on any public forums for exactly that reason. I expended a lot of effort, time, and money, in the process of going off-grid. Ham radio takes a back seat to the safety and security of myself and my family, even though it is a part of my overall plan of keeping in touch when I choose to do so.

Ron Mauer Sr
15th October 2019, 17:11
Ref: http://projectavalon.net/forum4/showthread.php?108762-Turmoil-in-Ecuador&p=1318752&viewfull=1#post1318752

It is important to test radio, feedline (coax) and antenna before it is needed.
Studying for an amateur radio license will help very much.
Having a local friend who is an Ham will also be of much help.

It is no longer necessary to learn Morse code (in the US).

To avoid damaging the transmitter the system needs to be checked for reflected power (power not radiated by the antenna and reflected back to the transmitter) to avoid damage. This requires an SWR bridge to measure reflected power. Tests are conducted at very low power settings.

Separate SWR checks are required for each antenna system.

I am not encouraging anyone to transmit without a license but in a life threatening emergency it would be the right thing to do.

scanner
15th October 2019, 17:52
I don't know if this is true or not. I was informed, the ham radio repeaters around California, were to be shut down. Can anyone with first-hand knowledge confirm this please ?

Nick Matkin
15th October 2019, 18:17
I don't know if this is true or not. I was informed, the ham radio repeaters around California, were to be shut down. Can anyone with first-hand knowledge confirm this please ?

Where did you get this information? What band repeaters - 2m, 70cm...?

The ARRL has nothing about it on the website that I can find. It also sounds most unlikely and would kick up quite a stink in the ham radio community, along with the retailers of ham radio equipment designed to use repeaters.

scanner
15th October 2019, 18:49
I don't know if this is true or not. I was informed, the ham radio repeaters around California, were to be shut down. Can anyone with first-hand knowledge confirm this please ?

Where did you get this information? What band repeaters - 2m, 70cm...?

The ARRL has nothing about it on the website that I can find. It also sounds most unlikely and would kick up quite a stink in the ham radio community, along with the retailers of ham radio equipment designed to use repeaters. That's why I'm asking for clarification. I'm not at liberty to tell you where I received this info. Here's an extract and link https://offgridsurvival.com/california-officials-declare-ham-radio-no-longer-a-benefit/

California Officials declare Ham Radio no longer a benefit; Demands Ham radio repeater infrastructure to be Removed.

Bill Ryan
15th October 2019, 18:55
I don't know if this is true or not. I was informed, the ham radio repeaters around California, were to be shut down. Can anyone with first-hand knowledge confirm this please ?

Where did you get this information? What band repeaters - 2m, 70cm...?

The ARRL has nothing about it on the website that I can find. It also sounds most unlikely and would kick up quite a stink in the ham radio community, along with the retailers of ham radio equipment designed to use repeaters. That's why I'm asking for clarification. I'm not at liberty to tell you where I received this info. Here's an extract and link https://offgridsurvival.com/california-officials-declare-ham-radio-no-longer-a-benefit/

California Officials declare Ham Radio no longer a benefit; Demands Ham radio repeater infrastructure to be Removed.Wow, that's so hard to believe. Or to rationalize (without going into Orwellian scenarios, which seem the only explanation).

Why force them to be shut down? Who benefits? That's all a bit like trying to make Morse Code illegal.

YoYoYo
15th October 2019, 19:01
I heard this and spent a tiny amount of time looking into it, there is a fight back against the legislation that junks the CA Ham relay network - this is what I found - link to post (http://projectavalon.net/forum4/showthread.php?100187-Deadly-unusual-wildfires-in-California-as-well-as-worldwide&p=1318142&viewfull=1#post1318142)

Hervé
15th October 2019, 19:16
California Officials declare Ham Radio no longer a benefit; Demands Ham radio repeater infrastructure to be Removed (https://offgridsurvival.com/california-officials-declare-ham-radio-no-longer-a-benefit/)

October 10, 2019
Off Grid Survival (https://offgridsurvival.com/author/admin/)
OFFGRID Survival News (https://offgridsurvival.com/category/news/),
Police State (https://offgridsurvival.com/category/news/police-state/),
Prepper News: Threat Reports and Preparedness News (https://offgridsurvival.com/category/news/prepper-watch/) 341


https://offgridsurvival.com/wp-content/themes/church_10/images/2019/10/hamradio-678x356.jpg


The People’s Republic of California is at it again; through unelected state officials, California is severing ties to ham radio repeater owners throughout the state, jeopardizing the lives of millions of Californians who depend on these repeaters to operate during emergencies.



Last month, repeater operators were sent emails (http://www.shastadefense.com/FAX-CalFireHamRadio20190923.pdf) telling them the State would no longer allow them to operate repeaters on public land without paying substantial rental fees. In the letter sent by CAL FIRE, the state claims Ham operators no longer provide a benefit to the state or public safety. They claimed that “constantly changing technological advances” has made Ham radio obsolete during an emergency.

Keep in mind; this is a state that is currently shutting power down in 34 of its counties (https://offgridsurvival.com/california-to-cut-power-in-34-counties-for-over-a-week/) because its infrastructure cannot handle 20-30 mph winds without risking wildfire breakouts throughout the state.

What is a Ham Radio Repeater
An amateur radio repeater system is a two-way radio system that takes weaker or low-level amateur radio signals and retransmits them at a higher level or higher power so that the radio signal can cover longer distances without degradation. It is a vital part of the local emergency communications system, and Ham Radio operators have been using them for decades to provide support during disasters that take out local communication infrastructure.
Why would they remove something that is the last line of defense during a disaster?
What is infuriating here is people are going to die because of this decision. It costs the State of California nothing to allow these repeaters on public land; in fact, Ham Radio (https://offgridsurvival.com/hamradiofaq/) Operators pay for the equipment and maintain the equipment at their own cost. Ham Radio operators also make nothing from running these radio repeaters; they do so as a service to the public to help ensure the public’s safety during natural disasters and emergencies.

Here is a good explanation of what’s going on from a Ham Radio operator in CaliforniaWhile paying billions of dollars a year to cater to illegal immigrants and welfare bums, California is now targeting hard-working Ham operators who provide critical and vital Disaster Emergency Communications. These people have absolutely lost their minds!

There is a nationwide effort to Kill Ham Radio


https://offgridsurvival.com/wp-content/themes/church_10/images/2013/10/offgridhamradio.jpg


Even most Hams haven’t taken notice, but in 2012 the federal government launched FirstNet, a public safety nationwide broadband network that many in the government think will make Ham radio operators obsolete. In reality, its nothing more than a $47 Billion Federal Cell Phone Network that itself is already obsolete (https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/09/the-47-billion-network-thats-already-obsolete/492764/). In fact, it needs LOTS of infrastructure to function, and it creates multiple, single points of failure.



The real story here is Ham Radio is a threat to the government. We make them look stupid! They spend billions on infrastructure that breaks down, while we can literally take a hundred bucks in equipment, some random wires, and in minutes set up a radio system that can communicate with anyone in the world. Hell, I’ve used my kid’s slinky, some Television Coax Cable, and a solar battery system to build a mobile rig that I’ve used to talk to people around the world — You can check out the Radio Rig Here (https://offgridsurvival.com/offgrid-hamradio/).

They don’t want the public to realize that we can take care of ourselves, and do a much better and cheaper job doing so!

scanner
15th October 2019, 19:20
I heard this and spent a tiny amount of time looking into it, there is a fight back against the legislation that junks the CA Ham relay network - this is what I found - link to post (http://projectavalon.net/forum4/showthread.php?100187-Deadly-unusual-wildfires-in-California-as-well-as-worldwide&p=1318142&viewfull=1#post1318142)Makes interesting reading. I can only surmise two reasons, 1 it's a free service and cannot have pecuniary gain, by Worldwide agreement. 2, if you want to blind your enemy shut down their comms. That is purely my assumption of course, if anyone can better my assumption, be my guest.

Ron Mauer Sr
15th October 2019, 19:41
From what information I've gathered, what California has done was ban amateur radio antennas from public property. Antennas on private property are not effected. Amateur radio antennas are often found on water towers and towers where other radio service antennas (commercial and public communications) are located. A high antenna is very helpful to extend the range of very high frequencies (VHF) and ultra high frequencies (UHF) which are popular frequency bands for amateur radio repeaters.


Some California bureaucrats incorrectly think that amateur radio is useless in an emergency. The truth is that amateur radio will be the last man standing when things start to collapse.

Those who are looking for the real reason might consider this:
41673

scanner
15th October 2019, 19:47
Indeed, it is.

Ron Mauer Sr
15th October 2019, 20:05
Amateur radio repeaters are widespread over the planet and their locations can be easily found. For example, I searched for repeaters near Cuenca, Ecuador using this link (https://www.repeaterbook.com/row_repeaters/location_search.php?state_id=EC&type=city&loc=Cuenca).

There are two repeaters on the 2 meter band near Cuenca.
146.7900 -0.6 MHz Cuenca
146.9400 -0.6 MHz Cuenca, Santa Ana

Some repeaters (not these two) have internet access which dramatically increases the number of people you can talk with, radio->internet->radio (or computer). But this feature goes away when the internet goes down.

The most useful amateur radio band for long distance communication is 20 meters. Depending on time of day and atmospheric conditions the 20 meter band can be used to talk around the world. In this frequency band the signal can be bounced off the upper atmosphere then back to earth's surface. Multiple hops (skip) is possible (sometimes).

I would not encourage anyone to transmit without a license. It takes a little education and training to set up a radio, feed line and antenna to operate effectively. Learning Morse code is no longer a requirement to get a license in the US.

If the equipment is to be used in an emergency, it needs to be set up before it is needed. If set up incorrectly the transmitter can be damaged.

I encourage all who are interested in fun with radios, or in emergency communications to find a local ham and ask for some help/advice, and please get a license.

Nick Matkin
15th October 2019, 20:16
Oh dear. What a lot of muddled scary stuff in those links from mostly non-technical sources.

Just in case anyone thinks ham radio is going to be closed down in California, no it's not. The fuss seems to be about the fact that if the repeater antennas are mounted on any structure that is not privately owned (like a well sited house) the local repeater group will have to pay the site owners considerably more for use of the site. Seems a bit petty as it doesn't actually cost anything (maybe a few dollars a month for the electricity to power the repeater equipment) to host a repeater. I know because I am familiar with such a set up. So rather than get a few hundred dollars rent a year, now the site owners will get nothing as the equipment will be relocated.

Anyone can look into all the conspiracy, closing down free communication clap-trap if they like, but it's just that - clap trap. Unless that is someone can present accurate data from an ARRL press release to suggest otherwise.

It's well recognised that ham radio is still very important in national emergencies. However in such cases the repeater network is of limited use since once the back-up batteries have expired (if there were any in the first place) the repeater is useless and ham communication will just have to fall back on local HF bands like 160 and 80m.

scanner
15th October 2019, 20:41
No one is suggesting ham radio will be closed down. These people, LAW OFFICE OF A. NATHAN ZELIFF, seem to think it's a tad more serious than clap trap. Sending a fourteen-page email to the relevant departments.

http://www.shastadefense.com/FAX-CalFireHamRadio20190923.pdf

This is just the second page,
Page 2 of 14Dear Ms. Pisi: I am writing you concerning your e-mail to Ham Radio Repeater owners advising them that they must remove all repeater equipment from various mountain locations unless they pay huge fees. (See Exhibit A – which is a copy of your e-mail). I am advised that this action is being done for the entire State of California. Many of these repeaters have been in public safety use for decades. They have saved lives. They have in fact been used for public safety and to protect life and property when the public communication systems have completely collapsed and failed during disasters. The cost to the State of California is nothing for these repeaters. Rather, Ham Radio Operators pay for the equipment and maintain the equipment at their own cost. The Ham Radio Operators do not make any money off of these repeaters. Your actions will destroy the existing Ham Radio Repeater System Infrastructure and Network that is a critical and vital asset for Disaster Emergency Communications. This Ham Radio Emergency Communications Infrastructure has existed for decades. Additionally, once removed, these Ham Radio assets will be cost prohibitive to rebuild. Moreover, your actions will serve to eviscerate the SHINGLETOWN EMERGENCY RADIO PLAN (SER PLAN), and directly expose residents of Shingletown (and other areas) to increased risk of being trapped by raging wildfires as well as subjecting residents to increased risk of loss of life from disasters. The result will be the same for all areas throughout the Entire State of California if this Cal Fire “DISASTER IN THE MAKING” is not IMMEDIATELY TERMINATED AND RENDERED PERMANENTLY - DEAD ON ARRIVAL! One of the foundational elements of the SER PLAN is: Early observation and reporting. This facilitates rapid response by Cal Fire and other emergency resources. In Shingletown, we have been warned that we could be the “next Paradise”. In order to try and avoid that prediction, Shingletown has continued implementing the SER PLAN. This PLAN has taken over 4 years to design, build, and refine. It is an operating emergency communications plan (combining HAM and NON Ham Neighborhood allocated frequencies). There are no fees, no dues and no one has to join any group. Hams and Neighborhoods just get on board, plug in and follow the plan. The SER PLAN has been described by a Shasta County Sheriff Lieutenant (Office of Emergency Services) as “robust”. The Lieutenant told me that he had reviewed the SER Plan and he was very impressed. Briefly, the SER PLAN involves coordination and communications within and between neighborhoods. We conduct weekly drills involving exactly the type of items recommended by the Sheriff and Cal Fire