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Saturday, June 20, 2009

CQ CQ.....


I'm all for helping get a APN ham radio net started up, but I would suggest that if anyone subscribes to the philosophy APN was created around, anyone would seriously consider learning more about ham radio. The hobby embodies so much of the essence of the Preppers movement...self-reliance, preparedness, and Independence.

There's a singular reason Ham Radio Operators were able to provide reliable communications immediately in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina's onslaught of the Gulf Coast of America, a Ham Radio operator can function in a disaster as an independent communications entity, commonly without need of normal external support.
The simplistic nature of Ham Radio allows it to work without an infrastructure most other communication "modes" require.

Due to the nature of radio wave propagation in the range of frequencies that include Amateur Radio, a radio operator, often working with minimum power on batteries, can effectively communicate with other stations, hundreds of miles away, far removed from a effected disaster area.

That's exactly what happened when a Ham, using a battery-powered HF Mobile Radio in New Orleans, was able to contact a fellow Ham in Oklahoma, who, by phone, was able to get a Coast Guard unit to rescue people stranded and trapped by flooding. The two Ham Operators were instantly capable of maintaining a link to the outside world.

It's a fact that when everything else fails, Amateur Radio works.

But to participate, you must be licenced, and to be licenced, you take a test.
Why a licence? Consider it's to establish the necessary level of responsibility, integrity, and foreknowledge of the science behind the ability.

A civics teacher would tell you there's responsibility that goes hand in hand with freedom of speech... it's what makes it wrong to yell FIRE in a crowded room when there is no fire. To a extent, it's the same with Ham Radio, to use the ability wrongly can greatly effect safety and security of others.

There are several sources of information online that can get the ball rolling toward anyone getting their Ham Radio Licence, first and foremost is the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) at www.arrl.org .

To practice for the ham radio license tests online, there's no better place than QRZ.com, start taking the online practice tests and in short order you'll be able to pass the test for real.

Ultimately, the best place to learn is to talk to someone at your local Ham Radio Club. Trust me, clubs are everywhere, and probably meeting in a public location nearby. Your local city or county government would know if and where is a local club. Just give them a call. There's a tradition in Ham Radio of experienced hams helping new operators or those interested in becoming Hams, called "Elmering", that is a vital part of the hobby, and it shares learned experiences, passed down personally, which greatly enriches the craft.

Naturally, you can just do a web search for "Ham Radio,+ "your town", I'll bet you get some hits.

Finally, next weekend, June 27-28 is "Ham Radio Field Day". It's a annual event held by Hams everywhere to practice the ability to establish communication under "Field" conditions...a kinda simulated emergency condition. Look for where a local ham club may be holding their field day. The general public is usually always invited to come and experience Ham Radio first-hand.

Field day is the pure embodiment of personal preparedness, a central keystone of American Preppers. Find one, go to it, and experience it first-hand.

Now, as for establishing a "Preppers Net" I'd like to suggest all Ham Radio operators aquire a free copy of "NetLogger" a simple, free, windows-based logging application, offers a live remote web server database that tracks radio nets live, in realtime. It makes tracking and conducting net operations a breeze. Easy to set up, easy to use, easy to conduct net operations, it also offers real-time chat, file transfer, and standard logging formats. Those who have used it, often swear by it, and seldom swear AT it.

With Netlogger it'd be easy to establish a scheduled net, once a net gets underway, anyone can in a instant see who is on the net, where they are located, and other pertinent info. The net's control operator can update the database in realtime and everyone involved can see the updates when they occur.

For practical reasons, the first American Preppers Net was accomplished last Thursday night, June 18th. at 8PM EST, when myself, KI4HEE and Dave W4DMH (aka SantaClaus) established communications on 7.245 Mhz. (40 Meters) we roundtable discussed with two other stations: KA4KID|FL (alex) & N4RSS NC(Rodger) Despite poor conditions it was no problem to convey traffic to stations that had coverage in excess of 400 miles.

There is not a scheduled time yet for a formal net format, however we can continue to make tentative steps to establish one. I suggest that I'll be keeping a ear out on Thursday Nights after 9PM out on 40 meters, right around 7.245 Mhz. Anyone want to stop by and "chew the rag" is welcome.

73' KI4HEE / QRT


CherB said...

Thanks for sharing this message for people to read. I know from experience it is sometimes hard to describe the world of Ham Radio to an "outsider", but once you get to know little bits here and there, it becomes less mysterious.
Some people think its just people who go around with radios in their cars to talk to other radio people,where as some its listening to dots and dashes the represent letters and abbreviations to say "Hello out there! I am here! Where are you?"
Ham radio operators are known for doing alot of volunteer civic activities as spotters for races, neighborhood patrol during Halloween, or just passing through an area and want to hear a friendly voice tell them the best safe harbor or something to eat, or even that someone is stuck with a flat tire on the highway. In fact until people started carrying expensive cell phones; hams used the FREE airwaves and the only expense was maintaining equipment and keeping up with FCC regulations about proper transmission. Which includes being a good neighbor, courtesy and helping people in need.
Some radio operators do civil defense, Civil Air Patrol, and Even in conjunction to Red Cross Disaster work. Most of all there was a sense of responsibility almost that of Scouting along with the adventure and the learning experience of how the airwaves work.

I do not know alot about radio, but have learned some from participating with my husband with contests, helping to shoot antennas up in trees with a bow and arrow and run a unit off a portable battery as well as set up tents for an overnight competition trying to make the most contacts to gain points as well as other points for locations, and working with field equipment not attached to the grid (electric plugged into houses) or if you can make code contacts. Why would people want to do this if we got cell phones? Well ham radio doesn't need a prepaid card but you can charge it like a cell phone. You can take it with you when your mobile in your car as well as in the woods where a cell might not reach. You can even chat with people in other countries, or even link with loved ones overseas where as a long distance call like that would be a major cost. PLus did I mention its fun? So may I add..
*- *-* * **- *-* * *- -** -*-- **--**
and if you like to know what that means; follow this link:


Cher - NYPrepper CNYPlantcycle

wvsanta said...

Great post my friend and really enjoyed the QSO Thursday night and look forward to this coming Thursday night
what a great comment you have said it so well

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