Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
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
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: Prev 1 [2] 3 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Non "disaster" emergency situations  (Read 14300 times)
KS4VT
Member

Posts: 142




Ignore
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2011, 12:57:28 PM »

Doesn't this seem a bit silly? It has to be all encompassing or nothing at all?
I have been involved in the off road community for the last 20 years. Some folks like to break their trucks on rocks. Some like to just set up camp with their families and hang out. All are equally welcome and there is no peer pressure to be or do anything more than what you're comfortable with.

So because I'm not immersed and using my radio every day, I won't know how to use it? I've been an engineer for the last 30 years. I'm pretty sure I'll figure it out. It's a radio you know.

Yeah but what about everyone else you have "convinced" to get their license.  Gotta think outside the box as there are many in the general public who can't even store a phone number and name in their cell phone and you expect them to operate a complicated amateur radio when there is a crisis going on?  You don't want to know how many phone calls we received when we had 3 hurricanes in SE FLorida what basic questions like how do I set the PL on my radio or why can't I talk to a repeater 20 miles away with just my HT?  We were just hours away of major hurricanes making landfall and we were just beside ourselves as to the number of calls from those who should really know the answers.

Does it have to be all or nothing? No it doesn't but the person has to have some sort of technical apptitude.  At least with Part 90 gear you turn on the radio, set the volume, and put to talk and receive to listen.

As for me...almost 25 years managing in public safety radio systems and numerous years dealing with volunteers who "think" they know how radio stuff works.

Logged
K1CJS
Member

Posts: 6055




Ignore
« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2011, 07:37:44 AM »

This hobby accepts everybody--but everybody does NOT accept everybody else.  It is that simple.  You want to use 2 meter ham radio for a specific purpose, but you seem to expect that everybody else will want to use ham radio for the same purpose.  Just like your off-roaders all have different things they like to do--

Quote
....I have been involved in the off road community for the last 20 years. Some folks like to break their trucks on rocks. Some like to just set up camp with their families and hang out. All are equally welcome and there is no peer pressure to be or do anything more than what you're comfortable with.

--so it is with ham radio.  Some hams like to do public service, some like to simply listen and converse, and so on.  There is room in ham radio for you and your reasons for using it, just don't expect everybody--or ANYbody else to share THAT reason for using it.

Now, to your problem.  Have you attempted to join a local club and get involved with the people in it?  If so, you could probably get a little more co-operation from them, once they know you and see what you're involved with.  Probably some of they would want to join your off-road group too.  But just don't expect them to fall over themselves to offer assistance to you when they don't know you from a hole in the wall.  It just doesn't work that way.  Sorry, but that's life--everywhere, not only in ham radio.  73!
Logged
KI4SDY
Member

Posts: 1452




Ignore
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2011, 08:22:48 AM »

I personally don't know of any hams that would fail to answer a call for help on the radio in an emergency. Maybe the last poster is talking about himself!  Wink
« Last Edit: June 19, 2011, 11:42:37 AM by KI4SDY » Logged
KS4VT
Member

Posts: 142




Ignore
« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2011, 10:06:51 AM »

It is a tool. Why wouldn't I use it for whatever means I see fit?

I re-read some of your posts and if you think that ham radio is a "tool", your thinking is off as it is actually a "hobby".  It would be a tool if you were a cop, fireman, or some other occupation that utilizes a two-way radio and compensated for using it, but that isn't what ham radio is about.  Did you ever read the beginning of Part 97 where it states:

97.1 Basis and purpose.
The rules and regulations in this part are designed to provide an amateur radio service having a fundamental purpose as expressed in the following principles:

(a) Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the
public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service, particularly
with respect to providing emergency communications.

(b) Continuation and extension of the amateur’s proven ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art.

(c) Encouragement and improvement of the amateur service through rules which provide for advancing skills in both the communication and technical phases of the art.

(d) Expansion of the existing reservoir within the amateur radio service of trained operators, technicians, and electronics experts.

(e) Continuation and extension of the amateur’s unique ability to enhance international goodwill.

As I said earlier, Part 90 or even 95 MURS would be a better fit for the organization for its "internal communication needs" or Part 95 GMRS if it isn't considered a business under IRS rules.

Being an engineer you will probably enjoy what ham radio brings to your profession as it does mine for personal satisfaction.
Logged
KA2ODP
Member

Posts: 35




Ignore
« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2011, 12:07:07 AM »

I agree with the previous warning:

"Be very careful with the above information. While it is technically true, and the FCC probably will not punish you for such actions, the licensee of whatever service you commandeer may very well prosecute you for unlawful use of their frequency and/or interference."

I expect a police department would take action to discourage folks from operating on police frequencies.  A judge would make "an example" of the offender to discourage others from doing the same.

If you slide into the ditch on a winter day, causing no damage to your car or surrounding property, most would say "no harm, no foul".  But most policemen would still issue you a ticket for "going too fast for road conditions".  In similar fashion, the Police Department would think of some violation to charge you with after you popped up on their frequency.  They are under no obligation to ignore it as the FCC might be willing to do. 

Sure, you could hire a lawyer and fight it - how much time and money do you have?  Plus, as a bonus the FCC might find out about the court case a few years later and decide not to renew your license because of the conviction.  Is the lack of prior planning and the resulting bootlegging on police frequencies really worth it?  It looks like a Part 90 business band license or GMRS might be a better match for what you are trying to do.  Perhaps even a satelite telephone as previously mentioned.  It is a case of using the right tool for the job.  Amateur Radio is not always the best answer to every situation, as much as we would like it to be.
Logged
LA9XSA
Member

Posts: 376




Ignore
« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2011, 01:01:16 AM »

So I reached out to several HAM clubs that are somewhat local to the event area. Got zero responses. Reached out to local HAM clubs in my area to see when and where I could have a VE test administered. Sent over 50 emails. Got zero responses. Do I smell?
Sounds like you might have gotten unlucky with that club. Some clubs are more active, while some clubs have sort of gone into hibernation/death. Try contacting the ARRL's Emergency Coordinator in your area, or the local ARES or RACES group, if one exists. That's more likely to have like-minded individuals.

I mean I realize that it's cool to discuss the finer points of different types of technology and to geek out over antenna design and all that, but I'm really trying to use this stuff in a practical way for a purpose other than "because I can" and I'm finding that most folks aren't interested in that.
Discussing radios and antennas used to be almost the only things hams were allowed to talk about with each other about on the air. While you're allowed to talk about politics and religion these days in some countries, it's still frowned upon. Amateur radio is a big hobby, so on some repeaters they might be talking a lot about mobile radios, while other places they like talking about digital modes or flying UAVs.

Why wouldn't I use it for whatever means I see fit?
As long as it's within the rules, non-commercial use, you should be fine.

As for satellite phone, you can look into renting the phone rather than buying it. That might be an economical option. Just be aware that satellite coverage might be poor if you're in a steep valley. In those situations, you might want to look into mobile NVIS (Near Vertical Incidence Skywave).

In similar fashion, the Police Department would think of some violation to charge you with after you popped up on their frequency.  They are under no obligation to ignore it as the FCC might be willing to do.
We're talking about life and limb situations here, using the frequency to talk to the police in a real emergency. Not using their frequencies to say "Hay Jim-Bob, can you come pull me out of this ditch real quick?" Hypothetically, an incompetent police officer could be imagined to file charges even if you saved somebody's life, but I don't think it would ever make it into court. Likewise you could theoretically be sued for assault by some idiot after you cracked his ribs while performing CPR on him too, but it's not really a serious worry. Saving his life was more important, and in some jurisdictions you could be punished if you don't help using all means necessary.

What's more likely to cause prosecution or a lawsuit would be if your emergency situation was caused by gross negligence, or perhaps illegal activities. In other words, you might be punished not for how you got out of the life threatening situation but how you got yourself into it.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2011, 03:47:15 AM by LA9XSA » Logged
JONHELD
Member

Posts: 10




Ignore
« Reply #21 on: June 20, 2011, 06:24:03 AM »

It is a tool. Why wouldn't I use it for whatever means I see fit?

I re-read some of your posts and if you think that ham radio is a "tool", your thinking is off as it is actually a "hobby".  It would be a tool if you were a cop, fireman, or some other occupation that utilizes a two-way radio and compensated for using it, but that isn't what ham radio is about.

Please allow me to explain. By "tool" in my mind it equates to another "accessory" or another piece of equipment that is always at the ready in my truck. I never travel without fully stocked first aid kits, fire extinguishers, winches and recovery gear for vehicle extraction, etc. I consider all of these "tools" for my hobby. Communication equipment is no different in my mind. I wouldn't think of venturing out without a cell phone, GPS, CB radio, and now my 2M HAM setup. 4-wheeling has always been a hobby of mine and I enjoy it immensely, but I have witnessed my share of injuries and have experienced a severely damaged vehicle. When dealing with large trucks on unpredictable terrain, sometimes the unexpected happens. I like to be prepared, or as prepared as practical. So while it is and always will be a hobby for me, there are always tools involved.

As far as the use (or as stated by several other posters) abuse of police or EMS frequencies, that would never even cross my mind. My original query asked if local police and EMS monitored the national calling frequency or local repeaters.

I do appreciate all the input and I do realize that I am coming in as an outsider. I was hoping to get more support from my local HAM clubs, but maybe they're all away on vacation. The web site seems to have been updated recently, but who knows. At any rate I will keep trying to get more information and make more contacts along the way.
Logged
KF7CG
Member

Posts: 862




Ignore
« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2011, 11:09:57 AM »

Remember! The ONLY hams that will be interested in going along on the 4x4 outings, and believe it or not there may actually be zero hams in the area that are interested.

Add that to the very real threat that if large numbers of the 4x4 crowd become licensed the local repeater may become unusable due to becoming the 4x4 club com channel. None of which would be welcomed by the locals.

KF7CG
Logged
K1CJS
Member

Posts: 6055




Ignore
« Reply #23 on: June 20, 2011, 12:28:40 PM »

I personally don't know of any hams that would fail to answer a call for help on the radio in an emergency. Maybe the last poster is talking about himself!  Wink

Why don't you crawl back under your rock.  That isn't what I said--at all.  I was referring to the gentleman going to a ham club and asking for help with one of his off-road trips without seeing what the club was about and trying to get involved in their activities.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2011, 12:31:35 PM by K1CJS » Logged
LA9XSA
Member

Posts: 376




Ignore
« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2011, 03:05:36 PM »

KI4SDY seems a bit over-excited. He's on my ignore list for until he calms down a bit. No offense intended, KI4SDY.
Remember! The ONLY hams that will be interested in going along on the 4x4 outings, and believe it or not there may actually be zero hams in the area that are interested.
Perhaps suitable relay points can be reached by road, so you can bring those who want to go 4x4'ing out in the outback while the rest set up a relay station. Perhaps CB can be the local communications between the club members, while amateur radio can provide the link between the local area and the outside. AFAIK, your technician license gives you 200 watts PEP on a part of the 10 meter band, for example. Could that be used to form a link out of the area?

I hope you hear back from the clubs, if not try the Emergency Coordinator.
Logged
KS4VT
Member

Posts: 142




Ignore
« Reply #25 on: June 21, 2011, 12:30:34 PM »

As far as the use (or as stated by several other posters) abuse of police or EMS frequencies, that would never even cross my mind. My original query asked if local police and EMS monitored the national calling frequency or local repeaters.

Some do and some don't, as far as monitoring Part 90.  YMMV locally, but the NIFOG provides all of the interop. frequencies and a ton of other information that I always keep handy:
http://www.safecomprogram.gov/NR/rdonlyres/00C9EE56-397F-43D5-BD63-9A1CFC078B4E/0/NIFOGversion14RotatedForViewing.pdf

I don't know of any at all that listen to amateur, at least not around here.
Logged
JONHELD
Member

Posts: 10




Ignore
« Reply #26 on: June 21, 2011, 01:23:02 PM »

KI4SDY seems a bit over-excited. He's on my ignore list for until he calms down a bit. No offense intended, KI4SDY.
Remember! The ONLY hams that will be interested in going along on the 4x4 outings, and believe it or not there may actually be zero hams in the area that are interested.
Perhaps suitable relay points can be reached by road, so you can bring those who want to go 4x4'ing out in the outback while the rest set up a relay station. Perhaps CB can be the local communications between the club members, while amateur radio can provide the link between the local area and the outside. AFAIK, your technician license gives you 200 watts PEP on a part of the 10 meter band, for example. Could that be used to form a link out of the area?

I hope you hear back from the clubs, if not try the Emergency Coordinator.


Since the club I'm referring to only has 5 HAMs as of today, the overuse of a local repeater is unlikely. As far as I can tell, most repeaters that I have been monitoring are hardly used at all. Of course this might be different out there. I'll find out in a few weeks. In any case, CB is still the dominant means of communication on the trail in the east, but I see the trend slowly changing within the 4WD community. I like to be ahead of the curve and well prepared. Several of us plan to make the trip out to Utah again next year and 2M is very popular out there. Event organizers have their own band plan in place during the event. In the future, I hope to do the same with events that I organize. It makes communications neat and tidy and everyone knows in advance how to contact trail leaders and basecamp personel by radio. I like that.
As far as new operators not knowing how to properly use their equipment, most of these folks are pretty sharp and, if I'm not mistaken, even the most seasoned operator started out right where I am now.

Logged
K1CJS
Member

Posts: 6055




Ignore
« Reply #27 on: June 21, 2011, 06:33:11 PM »

Another thought.  Since you're all going to be in the same general vicinity, why not just pick a fairly quiet 2 meter SIMPLEX frequency to use?  You really don't need a repeater unless you're trying for a contact outside of the localized area you'll be in.

For emergency uses, have a cell phone handy anyway.  Could be that all you need is to try for high ground to get a cell signal out--at least in the New England area.

 

Logged
KI4SDY
Member

Posts: 1452




Ignore
« Reply #28 on: June 21, 2011, 07:22:40 PM »

If a local ham club or group of hams have gotten together and set up a repeater for the community to use, you don't need permission to access it for emergencies, nor do you need to join the "club." In fact, they may not want you to invading their inner circle!  Wink

However, I do agree that you would be better served and more welcome by the local repeater owners if you use CB or 2 meter simplex for short range communication on your off road jaunts. Probably, the majority of your off road buddies will not be interested in earning their ham licenses. I have never known an off road group that did. Just because you may be interested in expanding your knowledge of radio does not mean everyone else is.  Tongue

It is strange how the same people that claim they have me on "ignore" stalk me on eHam.net and make feckless comments about my posts, across the ocean from Norway! Do I get a special QSL card for that? Grin
« Last Edit: June 22, 2011, 06:39:20 AM by KI4SDY » Logged
N2EY
Member

Posts: 3908




Ignore
« Reply #29 on: June 22, 2011, 08:01:23 AM »

His response was, "That's not what HAM radio is about. HAM radio is about reaching out and contacting other HAMS." I was totally taken aback by this statement. A radio is a means of communication. It is a tool. Why wouldn't I use it for whatever means I see fit?

Jon,

A couple of points:

1) It's "ham radio" not "HAM radio". Not an acronym nor a proper name. Where the all-caps thing came from I do not know, but it's recent.

2) I think that what the person you spoke with was trying to say was that amateur radio is fundamentally about "radio for its own sake". IOW, radio as an end in itself, rather than as a means to an end. 3)There's nothing inherently "wrong" or illegal about using amateur radio as a means to other ends (as long as those ends are within the Part 97 rules) but you can see how the "tool" reference might upset some people. (Imagine someone saying that a vehicle is just a tool to get you from Point A to Point B, and nothing more.)

3) Because amateur radio has been around for a very long time, there are a number of standard practices and traditions that have developed within it. A newcomer who seems to be disrepecting those standards and traditions is likely to get some push-back.

4) One of the best and worst things about amateur radio is the wide variety of things a ham can do. Such a variety means there's something for almost everybody, but it also means that there will be relatively little common ground among various groups.

73 de Jim, N2EY
Logged
Pages: Prev 1 [2] 3 Next   Go Up
  Print  
 
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!