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Author Topic: Non-Licensed operators  (Read 49198 times)
KD2HPQ
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Posts: 61




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« Reply #45 on: March 23, 2019, 09:45:21 AM »

Why would folks working in a hospital plan to use amateur radios for emergency communications.   If this is their plan, they have some serious planning issues.  Hospitals have radios systems, usually several.  They have backup generators, you know because people would die otherwise.  Where's the need?  How can 2 radios be of any real impact to an entire Hospital?  In an emergency, they're going to pick up a ham radio and call in the blind for help - from a Hospital?!  Wow...  

Which raises the point, the 900-lb gorilla who's been hanging out in this particular room for several decades now: How useful is amateur radio, generally, for emCOMMs? IMHO, not very. It's fun to dress up and pretend the world is coming to an end, but those exercises are remnants from the tin-can-and-string days of communications.
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W9FIB
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Posts: 2498




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« Reply #46 on: March 25, 2019, 02:49:08 AM »

Depends on your location. Some more rural areas can't afford to pay for the infrastructure that larger cities install. So they look for alternatives. If you work together with your local community, you can be a valuable asset to the community.

If you do live in an area that is well served by multiple systems and back up systems, then yes HR does become less relevant. But to make a blanket statement for everyone is quite inaccurate.
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73, Stan
Wisdom is knowledge you gain after you know it all.
KG7LEA
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Posts: 57




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« Reply #47 on: April 01, 2019, 04:30:56 PM »

Why would folks working in a hospital plan to use amateur radios for emergency communications.  Hospitals have radios systems, usually several.  They have backup generators, you know because people would die otherwise.  Where's the need?  How can 2 radios be of any real impact to an entire Hospital?  In an emergency, they're going to pick up a ham radio and call in the blind for help - from a Hospital?!


Hospitals with dissimilar radio systems need to communicate with each other and to move data. In the event of a general comms failure, AR can help. Within the hospital? Maybe, but regs preclude just handing out handhelds without the ham attached.
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LYFAN
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Posts: 50




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« Reply #48 on: April 15, 2019, 06:01:47 PM »

"How useful is amateur radio, generally, for emCOMMs? IMHO, not very."
 A colleague was on shift at a city EOC last years during hurricane season. At one point, that EOC, with landlines, cell phones, redundant internet, all the modern communication systems, totally lost contact with the county and state systems.
 And the EOC Manager, with a stack full of ham radio (RACES) messages in her hand, asked the entire room "With all of this equipment, how the hell is it that the only communications I am getting are from HAM RADIO?!"

 Yes, it is slow, crude, disorganized and unreliable. But ham radio still requires no fixed infrastructure to work, so when the infrastructure fails...the ham radios are still working. And sometimes that beats all hell out of nothing at all.

 This is not an isolated incident. There's no reason that the ARRL should have sent ham operators into Puerto Rico after last year's hurricane, there are options. But if you do something really old school like, read newspapers? You'll find that ham radio keeps on working, before, during, and after disaster incidents all over the country, and world.

 It will never be "the second coming" but it still is proving damned useful to many agencies.
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KA1VF
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Posts: 176




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« Reply #49 on: April 16, 2019, 12:31:26 PM »

A few years ago there was a related thread somewhere here that got a lot of
responses from licensed Hams, and that thread was the fact that the Mormon
Church was encouraging their members to use Ham Radio freq’s rather than
Business Band freq’s.

             73,
                  Bob
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MACGUFFIN
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« Reply #50 on: May 20, 2019, 10:32:40 PM »

I was sitting in on an Emergency Preparedness meeting on friday at the hospital where I work.  Our Emergency Preparedness coordinator stated that in the case of a major emergency, we would have to use non-licensed operators for the 2 ham radios we have.  I stated that as far as I knew, there was never a time when non-licensed individuals could operate an amateur station.   For those of you with more experience, Am I correct, or can a non-licensed individual operate an amateur station in a major emergency?

thanks, Phil     

A non-licensed individual may operate an Amateur radio in an emergency but planning on this shows a lack of any real plan.

I'm curious on what kind of radios this hospital has.  Are they 160 to 10 meter SSB?  2 meter FM?  How much power can they output?  5 watts?  50 watts?  500 watts?  Do they have backup power?  I assume in a hospital that there is a plan for a loss of utility power but does this plan include the radios?

The reason I ask is because if there is a "plan" (I use that term loosely in this case) for unlicensed operators then they will need some kind of training on how to use these radios or they are going to be quite useless.  The kind of training they'd need would be different for the kind of radio.  If the "plan" is to use a low power FM station to contact local Amateur radio operators on pre-planned frequencies (and hopefully pre-programmed into the radios) then I might not be terribly concerned.  It's still in a legal grey area but the fact that is it local and there are others in the community in on the "plan" then hopefully the need to use this "plan" is only to alert someone in the community to come to the hospital and man the station.  If this is a high power HF station, and there are no pre-planned frequencies or any real idea on how these stations work then this is a plan to fail.

Basically my question is, did they have a plan for these radios at all?  I guess that having the radios is better than nothing but if there aren't enough people to operate them, and no plan for someone somewhere to talk to, then why have them at all?
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W9IQ
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Posts: 3212




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« Reply #51 on: May 21, 2019, 05:23:48 AM »

Do you guys realize that you have dusted off a 7+ year old thread?

In any case:

Quote
A non-licensed individual may operate an Amateur radio in an emergency...

Is not supported by any regulatory clause. This is sometimes confused (as some posters from 7 years ago seem to suggest) with the right of an amateur station to use any means at its disposal to communicate when the safety of life and protection of property is under threat and when normal communication systems are not available or in the case when an amateur station in distress.

Consider that the non-licensee doesn't even know what legally constitutes an emergency as defined in part 97 nor the regulation regarding third party communications (which are not exempted during an emergency). If there is an activation in the area, the operation of an amateur radio station by a non-licensee could interfere with real emergency communications. We could moot whether or not the FCC would prosecute the issue but the assertion that it is permitted is not defensible within the context of the FCC regulations.

- Glenn W9IQ
« Last Edit: May 21, 2019, 05:27:19 AM by W9IQ » Logged

- Glenn W9IQ

I never make a mistake. I thought I did once but I was wrong.
W0BTU
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Posts: 2251


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« Reply #52 on: May 22, 2019, 03:13:21 PM »

Good answer, Glenn!
I see that I should spend more time here, rather than exclusively at https://ham.stackexchange.com. Wink
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KB8VUL
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Posts: 278




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« Reply #53 on: June 13, 2019, 09:29:28 PM »

Well since someone kicked this dead horse...
I would like to add a couple things, in a slightly less tyranical tone.

ARES needs to be rebranded and retrained with a new book and purpose.
I haven;t paid alot of attention lately to the ranks getting their licenses, when this was active last time we had a glut of SAR types getting their tickets for teh sole purpose of being able to communicate and because ham radios were cheaper than commercial radios... BaoFung vs Motorola it ain't even close.

As far as the rebranding and new purpose. 
Do we still need the ability to communicate into teh next town, sure and to the state EMA.  But there are other needs that are going unfilled.
Here are a couple to support the general pubilc.

1. A freely accessible wifi network for the general public to access their social media.  While this sounds like silliness, consider that people communicate over social media... and the quickest way for them to contact their families that are away from the disaster location is social media.
2. Kiosk computers on some level of Internet for the same purpose.  Again, it's how we communicate now.  If you have some way of making this happen in a real disaster, you are a freaking hero to the public.
3. Video feeds to Incident command.  A picture is worth a thousand words.  So what is  24 frames a second worth.  Drones can't be legally flown in a disaster area.  But a camera on top our favorite hamfest fiberglass antenna poles with a wifi link back to the ICC (incident Command Center) that is quickly deployable and cheap is a very effective tool for real time information for alot of things,, not just disaster damage, but at the front gates of the hospital.  It will give indication of the work load at the local hospital and as long as it's in the front yard, there is no expectation of privacy and therefore OK to be done.  ANd if you have several of these that can be deployed from the trunk of a car or the bed of a pickup then all the better to set it, power it and go on to the next one.  If you loose it, have the discussion ahead of time with your served agency,,, they will probably pay for the loss after the smoke had cleared. 
4. COMMUNICATE with your served agency and see what needs they perceive having.  And plan for those needs, but don't stop there.  The truth is that the cool little books that are put together for a disaster never get pulled out, we have them because someone required them to be created.  Don't train to deal with a specific disaster.... plan and train to deal with the common issues with all disasters.  Things like displaced citizens, the need of water, ice, food, shelter, toilet paper.  Do you realize how valuable ass wipe is after a disaster when the shelves at the Walmart are bare and you are needing to take a crap?  Toilet paper is like rolls of money about 3 days after the shelves are bare and people are resorting to magazine and newspaper pages to do their business.  Got nothing to do with radio, but know where you can find toilet paper and you are a hero.  So how does ham radio fit into this.  Because you can communicate and provide logistics.  There will be needs for materials.  If you know what those materials are and can communicate where they are at, you are helping.   
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N9AOP
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Posts: 1149




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« Reply #54 on: June 14, 2019, 08:31:50 AM »

The cartels use unlicensed operators.
Art
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KD9FRQ
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Posts: 359




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« Reply #55 on: June 14, 2019, 12:53:17 PM »

2. Kiosk computers on some level of Internet for the same purpose.  Again, it's how we communicate now.  If you have some way of making this happen in a real disaster, you are a freaking hero to the public.
The PiGate system fits this niche for e-mail at least.  Waiting on the update to ARDOP for the Raspberry Pi so it can use HF.

At least those inside the disaster zone can get message out - limited coming back (but available).
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KB8VUL
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Posts: 278




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« Reply #56 on: June 15, 2019, 10:48:19 AM »

2. Kiosk computers on some level of Internet for the same purpose.  Again, it's how we communicate now.  If you have some way of making this happen in a real disaster, you are a freaking hero to the public.
The PiGate system fits this niche for e-mail at least.  Waiting on the update to ARDOP for the Raspberry Pi so it can use HF.

At least those inside the disaster zone can get message out - limited coming back (but available).

Exactly, and you know how to make it work... the average Joe don't... so again you are providing a valuable service.  Does the government think it's valuable?  Maybe not.  Does Susie homemaker that just let her mom know that her and the kids are ok and they survived the disaster but the house is a mess and unlivable?  Sure does.  And when you can tell her you heard back for her mom, letting her know that her dad is on the way to get them for one state away and will be at location X at such and such time on whatever date.  You are now once again a hero. 

Point is that you need to think outside to box that we have lived in for years.  States are spending millions of dollars on very robust and redundant communications systems that they are convinced can't reasonably fail.  And you have a Baofung and the old VHF repeater they GAVE you 10 years ago to operate on.  THey don't understand what you bring to the table and think they are covered.  And honestly, they are covered for the most part.  If you understood what goes into these systems and the level of redundancy of them you would see what I am saying.  And in truth we serve the public, not the government.  If the government needs something, you bring it along, or they take in under the regulations of a disaster.  So serve the public.
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