Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

donate to eham
   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
Author Topic: band selection for wilderness  (Read 1517 times)

Posts: 1

« on: February 24, 2002, 05:47:36 PM »

This summer I will be part of a large group rafting down the San Juan river in New Mexico.  By virtue of my (recent) aquisition of a ham license, I have been given the duty of emergency communications, should they become necessary.  The San Juan river is located in a remote wilderness in the Four Corners area and often runs in a deep canyon.  My question is what frequencies are most likely to be picked up from the river?  I'm afraid 2M may not cut it, but I don't have the experience to say for sure.  Any suggestions?

Posts: 1

« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2002, 06:41:41 PM »

I think 40 meters would work, or 80 at night.

Posts: 10

« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2002, 07:23:18 PM »

Check to see what frequencies the local government entities (police, forestry/parks service, fire) monitor, if any, before you make a selection for your emergency comms.  It won't be of much help, say on 40m to call for an emergency and only be able to raise help halfway across the globe.  Also, since you will be rafting, make sure all of your gear is water proof *and* floats. (If it won't float on its own, make it float)  You may have to chase it downriver, but at least you should be able to see its location.
73, mike k0rfi

Posts: 1045


« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2002, 08:38:11 AM »

Contact the ARRL Section where you will be going, as well as the local emergency management for the area.

First ask the local EM if the park or National Forest where you are going has reliable cellular or PCS coverage.  If you have a cell phone I would absolutely take it with you.  Then ask the ARRL Section Emergency Coordinator for a referral to a local club which can tell you which amateur repeaters are in common use in the area, and what their coverage area is.

Find out if there are regularly scheduled nets which you can check into to advise someone of your location and condition, and who may be able to place a phone  call, if needed. If there are gaps in repeater coverage, ask the local ARES or RACES group to set up a schedule to contact you on HF or VHF simplex during that part of your trip.  This is a good drill for them.  Our RACES and Skywarn group does this for hikers on the Appalachain Trail in VA all the time.

Also ask local emergency management if marine VHF communications on Channel 16 are monitored at all in the area. In coastal and some inland marine areas with heavy recreational and commercial traffic the Coast Guard monitors Ch. 16.  In other inland areas where local public safety has a marine patrol unit they will also "guard" Marine VHF Channel 16 - 156.800.

Marine VHF may not be used for casual chit-chat in a manner similar to amateur radio, but "voluntary ships" not required by regulation to carry a radio such as civilian pleasure pleasure craft, are encouraged to carry a marine VHF and monitor channel 16 for safety purposes. You may use Ch. 16 to contact another vessel and then move to a suitable noncommercial channel such as 68 or 69, to conduct communications related to the operation of your "vessel."  You may not use an "opened up" amateur rig to transmit on marine VHF, because it is not type accepted for use on that band.  If you frequently go rafting or canoeing, I would suggest that you buy a marine VHF portable for that purpose.  They are not that expensive and some of the better models such as Vertex-Standard and Raytheon are rated waterproof for complete immersion.  

In most parts of the country it is very likely that one or more 2 meter repeaters will cover into your expected travel area.  Out west many repeaters are on high mountain tops and may be connected into linked repeater systems which give surprising coverage.  The Cactus Intertie is a system I have used which comes to mind.  That would be your first choice to maintain contact, check in daily and let the outside world know that you are OK.  Scheduled nets are a good place to do this.  If there are not daily nets, arrange with a radio club or ARES group in the area to set up a schedule so that you can check in with someone locally at the same time each day.  Someone nearby who can reach EM with a local phone call will probably do you more good in a real emergency than somebody halfway across the country on 40 meters, but in a pinch any contact is better than none.

Don't put all of your eggs in one basket.  When I go out on the water I have a dual-band ham rig, a marine VHF and a cell phone.  If one doesn't work, the other hopefully will.

73 de KE4SKY
Virginia RACES State Training Officer
Pages: [1]   Go Up
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!