Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Are you a license amateur radio operator?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    Yes I am, and an ARES member too! I've only had my license for a few months, but it has already come in handy.
    I live in a very rural and remote part of Washington. We have very frequent issues with landlines, cell phones, and internet, mainly due to being overly-dependent on a single fiber optic line. During the recent Carlton Complex fire in the county next door, several miles of that line burned. Right after that, a windstorm near Spokane dropped trees on the line in that direction. Virtually all phone communication and much internet access was down for a couple of days, county-wide. Those of us who could communicate by radio helped keep others in the community updated on the fires, storms, and infrastructure issues.
    It has also been invaluable for SAR, where our old FRS radios proved nearly useless as soon as we enter the woods. We currently have three hams on the team, and are working to get others on board. Reliable communication is vital in conducting any kind of wilderness SAR mission!
    Finally, I am now the official emergency communication man at the hospital where I work. If the regular radio doesn't get through to dispatch in an emergency, we have a ham radio on site that will easily reach the repeater and get through to anyone monitoring. However, I'm the only one there who can legally use it. I'm working to recruit others to remedy that lack of redundancy too.
    Hopefully some others here will see the utility in getting licensed. I highly recommend it!
    Hildegarde and ASurvivor like this.

    Comment


    • #17
      I think that even if a person can't (or doesn't want to) go through the process of getting an amatuer radio license; having at least a CB radio is a good thing. When I used to have one in my vehicle; it was a great help. If there was an accident up ahead, or even just cows out on the road; driver's would be relaying the information on the CB.
      As was mentioned, local police and SO often monitor the CB channels, and you can even report an accident through the CB emergency channels.
      If you are out in the woods and break down, or get lost; you need a CB to call for help. Maybe not so much anymore because most people now carry cell phones along with them, and can call for assistance, or report an accident on the cell phone; but it is still a good idea to have one. If I were still driving all the miles each week as I used to; I would definitely still have a good sideband CB in the truck.
      One of my all-time favorite movies is "Frequency", which is about HAM radio communication between a father and son, and kind of a time-warp. Every time I watch it, I still enjoy that movie !

      Comment


      • #18
        Amen to the CB in the rig, Tumbleweed. It may not be the best sounding, nor have the best range, but a good old fashioned CB in the vehicle can be a huge help. In several of the rural areas in which I've lived, the Sheriff's department's vehicles all monitored channel 9 and 11 on the citizen bands. Since there were plenty of "dead zones" for cellular phones, it was a nice backup to call in the cavalry.

        P.S. I've never heard of the film Frequency, but just googled it now and it sounds interesting. One of the major plot points involving a Heathkit homebrew rig brought back some memories. I built one of those a long time ago. Good times.
        "Success is survival." ~ Leonard Cohen

        Comment


        • #19
          So my father-in-law stopped by today. He's a fellow amateur radio operator (Amateur Extra), involved with county-level emergency management, and is, as you'd imagine, very preparedness minded. Anyway, he dropped of a few books for me whilst here that look very interesting. They are:

          Emergency Communication Handbook. Its put out by ARRL and appears to be a great primer on emergency communications for amateur radio operators.
          Lower Power Communications. This one is also published by ARRL. It appears to be a fantastic "cookbook" for low-power radio communications for when the infrastructure is disrupted or simply doesn't exist (remote areas).
          The Invasion from Mars: A Study in the Psychology of Panic, by Hadley Canlril. I never heard of the book until today. It was original published in 1940 (reprinted in 1966) and uses the (in)famous Orson Welles broadcast as a basis for the study. I really look forward to reading this one.

          Anywho, I just thought I'd pass the info along. Cheers!
          "Success is survival." ~ Leonard Cohen

          Comment


          • #20
            I am not a license amateur radio operator and will never be myself. I do not have the talent for it. It is a good method to keep people informed and organized in disasters.

            I like the guides you have posted here, too.

            Comment


            • #21
              I always thought that if I really need the help and a radio is nearby. I'm going to use it, license or not. I'm going to use it. If this was my profession, then I can see the need of having one, but this is survival, and I don't have to speak in codes or flash a badge to use a radio.

              Comment


              • #22
                JoshPosh Well, that's true to a point... In an actual emergency (life-threatening), you can use a radio without a license, and the authorities will not have a problem with it. The question though is whether you would know how to use the radio effectively. During a crisis is not the time to broadcast on a frequency that nobody is monitoring, simply because you don't know the local frequencies. Would you be able to reach dispatch or a nearby repeater to get a message to the appropriate personnel? Or, would you randomly go through frequencies with no idea whether you were getting your call out?

                Also, any hams who do hear are much more likely to listen to someone who has a valid call sign. I'm afraid you might encounter skepticism if you are unlicensed, from those who think you are merely fooling around. That's not to say they wouldn't help once they ascertained that it really was an emergency, but having a ham license simply provides more legitimacy when you transmit a distress call on those frequencies.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by JoshPosh View Post
                  I always thought that if I really need the help and a radio is nearby. I'm going to use it, license or not. I'm going to use it. If this was my profession, then I can see the need of having one, but this is survival, and I don't have to speak in codes or flash a badge to use a radio.
                  There are real world cases in which an unlicensed individual used particular bands and were exonerated due to the circumstances. There are also cases in which individuals used frequencies they were not allowed on, even during an emergency, who were later successfully prosecuted and were made to pay massive fines. Don't get me wrong, between life and death, you've got to use whatever tool is available to make it through. Still, having a ticket is pretty cheap insurance, and can be a fun hobby too.

                  And Jim makes a very good point. The time to learn how to effectively use radio equipment is now, not after the caca has hit the fan.
                  fcphdJim likes this.
                  "Success is survival." ~ Leonard Cohen

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    I am a licensed ham, and spend a fair amount of time staying current with the technology, software and such that is ham radio today. I also have completed a great deal of FEMA training to be able to step in and actually help when disaster strikes. Our club practices throughout the year providing communications for events. One of the bigger events is Field Day 2015 on the June 26th Weekend, where hams take their gear to the field and communicate, many off the grid completely.

                    Sadly there are those in the Gov't that still think the ONLY way to provide help in a disaster is to do it from afar, and with in their cabinet and on their terms. But just like Jeh Johnson, who proved today that he has no idea what a gyrocopter is - these organizations ASSUME that cell phones, towers and LEO operations continue to work when power is out. While they may for a few hours, if fuel is not compromised, long term the ONLY solution is local ham radio operators who know what they are doing and have their own "infrastructure" that is not dependent on mains power to operate.
                    fcphdJim likes this.

                    Comment

                    Working...
                    X