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Author Topic: Non "disaster" emergency situations  (Read 13821 times)
KC7YRA
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Posts: 256




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« Reply #30 on: June 22, 2011, 09:28:52 PM »

There is nothing wrong with using ham radio for utilitarian purposes.  I initially got licensed as a way to communicate from remote mountain property, back to my family.  Cell phone coverage was (and still is) non-existent in Wyoming and totally worthless.  It wasn't until several years later that began to enjoy radio fro the sake of radio.

Today, I still use radio as a backup for communications.  Since a majority of this state is covered by completely dead repeaters, we all hang out on 80 meters while mobile.  At any time of the day, you can usually find somebody who can make a phone call or summon help.

Now, using ham radio while off roading.  It is a great idea IF everybody is licensed.  That is usually a big hurdle and a BIG if.  2 meters is perfectly suited for trail comms.  Much better than CB.  Except for that pesky license thing.  Because of the licensing thing, I don't expect you to find much 2 meter activity on the trail.

My wife and I just returned (within the last 24 hours) from a 4 wheeling trip in Utah.  I can safely say that 2 meters was DEAD DEAD DEAD.  I have gotten so used to it that I really don't even try to raise other hams.  The repeaters sit idle.  Simplex is just as quiet.  We make several yearly trips, and I have NEVER had a 2 meter conversation while in Utah.  And this is in some of the hottest recreation areas in the state.

So, for the original question.  NO, 2 meters are not monitored by any public service agencies that I know of.  And I would certainly not count on repeaters being able to raise any help.  I once asked for assistance on a very wide coverage 2 meter machine here in Wyoming.  Needless to say, I never got an answer.  I then got onto the 20 meter MMSN and asked.  That was an even bigger and more worthless waste of time.  Like you said, ham radio is a tool in the toolbox.  But don't make it the only tool.

For emergency comms, I have several layers which I compliment with ham radio.  I always carry a cellphone and it is my primary emergency communications.  I have a cell booster and it greatly helps the coverage.  I also carry a SPOT locator.  It is a little more drastic, but in an emergency, it does work.

For comms between riders on the trail, I would recommend GMRS.  It is a licensed service, but there is no test.  You can buy GMRS mobile equipment and have very good vehicle to vehicle coverage.  This would be easy for everybody in your group to do.  And since 2 meters probably wont be useful in an emergency, you may a well have decent communications between your group, without all the hassle of having to pass the ham radio tests.

Brad
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KC8OYE
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Posts: 297




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« Reply #31 on: June 23, 2011, 12:22:30 PM »

it's a sad state of affairs when someone who is involved in the ham radio hobby says 'don't rely on us'.

as hams we need to be pushing the public in general to think 'we can always count on a ham to get the message through'

as for your trail situation.. have you considered setting up a mobile repeater?  you could easily set up a cross-band repeater (to avoid using cans and filters etc) in a vehicle.. park it up high, then see if you can make some arrangements for someone to monitor the two frequencies in the event that help is needed..

but your local ARES group should be able with what you need.
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K7RBW
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Posts: 392




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« Reply #32 on: June 24, 2011, 06:47:30 AM »

it's a sad state of affairs when someone who is involved in the ham radio hobby says 'don't rely on us'.
as hams we need to be pushing the public in general to think 'we can always count on a ham to get the message through'
Not sad, just practical.

The fact is not everyone uses a ham radio (nor would you want them to). During my summer vacation road trip last year I had 2m FM, CB, and was broadcasting my location on APRS, yet after 3000 miles, I only made one ham QSO. I learned more about traffic conditions from the CB. My APRS plot was cool, however.

I think YRA's view is quite practical and seems to try to find the right tool for the situation. When I was wheelin' I had a ham rig and a CB and used the CB much more than the ham rig because that's what all the other wheelers had. I could have used the ham rig, but I'd have been talking to myself.

While it'd be nice to think that with ham radio, the message always gets through, the reality is that's not always the case and if it does, it's rarely the fastest way for the message to get through. There's been tremendous advances in commercial communication systems in the past 20-30 years and it would be anywhere from silly to stupid to not take advantage of them, especially in a pinch.

If all else fails, sure ham radio doesn't need much infrastructure. But for the other 99.99999% of the time, there are many other, superior options available.

Use the right tool for the job. Sometimes it's ham radio, oftentimes it's not.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2011, 06:50:14 AM by K7RBW » Logged
K1CJS
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Posts: 6034




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« Reply #33 on: June 24, 2011, 09:03:26 AM »

it's a sad state of affairs when someone who is involved in the ham radio hobby says 'don't rely on us'.
as hams we need to be pushing the public in general to think 'we can always count on a ham to get the message through'
Not sad, just practical.

The fact is not everyone uses a ham radio (nor would you want them to). During my summer vacation road trip last year I had 2m FM, CB, and was broadcasting my location on APRS, yet after 3000 miles, I only made one ham QSO. I learned more about traffic conditions from the CB.....

I have to agree here.  After cell phones came out in force, ham radio 2 meter comms started to decline.  When driving a cross country 18 wheeler, I too could get much more info and use out of CB than the ham rig I also had in the truck.  It wasn't that ham radio couldn't do the job, it was that there were a lot more people--truckers and others out on the road--that had CBs, and didn't have ham radio.

Its always nice to say that hams can get the message through, but when speaking of practicality of ham communications in some areas, it just isn't there.  After all, how many of us monitor the calling frequencies of the bands we frequent?  The answer is not a whole lot of us even bother to keep the radio on when we're doing something else!
« Last Edit: June 24, 2011, 09:09:51 AM by K1CJS » Logged
KC8OYE
Member

Posts: 297




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« Reply #34 on: June 24, 2011, 01:57:09 PM »

i guess i'm in that small percentage then.. I always have a scanner or a radio on near me.. and the 2m and 70cm call freqs are programmed in everything.

but i have to agree with the lack of activity on 2m.. I just drove from Flint, MI, to Houston, TX, and only managed to make 3 contacts on 146.520 over all 1100 miles...

i don't bother with repeaters when Im mobile over long distances like that because by the time I get a repeater programmed in.. it's drifting out out range again..
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K7RBW
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Posts: 392




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« Reply #35 on: June 25, 2011, 09:16:42 AM »

i guess i'm in that small percentage then.. I always have a scanner or a radio on near me.. and the 2m and 70cm call freqs are programmed in everything.

You are.

Just by having a ham radio license (congratulations!) puts you in the vast minority. You're in an even smaller percentage if you monitor ANY ham frequency on regular basis, let alone, all the local ones. I'd wager that an even smaller percentage pick up the mike to talk. The good news is that keeps the bands quiet (unlike CB). The bad news is that there are few people to talk to (unlike CB). So you can't have it all.
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AE6ZW
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Posts: 100


WWW

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« Reply #36 on: September 16, 2011, 01:37:23 PM »

here in Southern California , they have ham radio net on 2 meter repeater 146.385 MHz,  it is about people who go to remote area with their 4 wheel drive vehicle,  it is called [ Outdoor Adventure Net ],  if you live outside of repeater coverage, those repeaters has ecolink to link with internet to listen to.
I have heard from some HAM, that HF mobile can be more useful than VHF 2 meter FM, if you have google the keyword like  [ HF MOBILE ] you get a hit on a lot of web site talk about HF mobile operation and how to set them up,  many HF HAM radio can also monitor CB band, and some can transmit on CB band also if it is emergency.
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ALCO141
Member

Posts: 71




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« Reply #37 on: October 31, 2011, 11:34:54 AM »

everyone has their reasons to be involved in radio, there is room for all of us here, because i dont use my radio like someone else does does not exclude me from the group.

 i would suggest you use your 2 meter radios, there are cross band repeat radios that can be placed at relay positions and that could forward your traffic on to a base station.  all you need is someone at  a base station to be monitoring and handle the phone comms for you.   good if you have a gps to relay precise coordinates as to where the casualty is,    sounds like this is not that much of a problem,  if you were to do a recon as to where to preposition your crossband repeater to reach the base and where you can hit the crossband repeater you may be set to make this work for you.  it takes a couple of folks, even someone in the campgrond that is in cell phone range would work.  as far as cell phone there are directional cell phone antennas as well that will increase your access to the cell phone network, so there are a lot of ways to make this work for you.   as we say there are a lot of ways to skin this cat.

alex
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