A World Wide Field Exercise for Amateur Radio Operators, June 28, 2003

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posted on Jun, 24 2003 @ 11:28 AM
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The following is an excerpt from an email I received from our area Volunteer Coordinator. Thought someone might find it interesting




"A World Wide Field Exercise for Amateur Radio Operators, June 28, 2003 Field Day, a 24 hour field exercise for Amateur Radio Operators This world wide contest helps prepare hams for wide area disasters similar to Hurricane Andrew around Miami Florida and the Alaskan earth quake in 1964, the largest in the US or even the small asteroid, one missed the earth just a year ago by only 75,000 miles.
When a wide area disaster occurs the communication infrastructure begins to fail.Telephones, cell phones and the internet will stop working and the neighborhood hams will be the ones to assist in getting urgent messages to their destinations. Most of these hams will not be in the emergency organizations. The emergency organizations will set up the infrastructure for communications long before the government agencies appear in the neighborhoods. Even travel may be prevented by debris on the roads. Neighborhood hams will set up their radios, use car batteries or gas powered generators to provide power for their equipment and set up antennas (just like ON field day) and start communicating. They will also use short wave radio to communicate beyond the disaster area using what is sometimes called skip. This is the bouncing of radio signals off the ionosphere. Ham radio is a voluntary public service, established by Federal Law, that helps during disasters, enhances good will between nations, advances radio communication technology and maintains a large pool of radio operators just waiting to help when the time comeS. Just think of it. Hams on their own time and at their own expense study or go to volunteer instructed classes to pass exams given by qualified ham volunteers examiners. The exams are then results to national Volunteer Exam Coordinators who then check the exams to maintain the integrity of the system licensing system and finally send the results to the FCC who issues the license. All of this cost the public nothing except for the issuing of the licenses by the FCC. Now, on top of that, they gladly spend their own money to buy the equipment and help each other in the setting up their stations. Again, no cost to the public. And then, when there is a disaster they volunteer ( hams are not obligated by law or contract) at no cost to the public to set up their stations to help people in their community. In fact, by law, the hams cannot be paid for their service.
Now imagine what would happen if we did not have the Amateur Radio Service and the GOVERNMENT tried to provide the same service. First they would have to recruit radio operators for pay to do all of the above at a tremendous cost to the tax payers. These operators would have to be paid a contingency fee just to maintain their skills and equipment and stay within their communities. And then be paid much more when they go into action (active duty) during a disaster. On top of that there would probably be some bureaucracy that would make it difficult for the people in need to send messages. The equipment would be substandard, out dated and very expensive due to the fact that it would have been designed and built to government specifications and paid for with government funds. The equipment hams use now has been produced by companies that have competed for the ham radio market and by doing so the millions of hams around the world have kept prices down and advanced radio technology. A number of hams build their own radio equipment.
Amateur Radio is a necessary Voluntary Public Service cleverly disguised as a hobby. I don't think anyone could have come up with a better system to do what hams do at any price."




posted on Jun, 24 2003 @ 12:35 PM
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Amateur Radio is a necessary Voluntary Public Service cleverly disguised as a hobby. I don't think anyone could have come up with a better system to do what hams do at any price."



I agree 100%.

Indeed, communications were greatly assisted by HAMs during Hurricane Andrew, as well as the Oakland Earthquake. Without HAMs, assistance and other communications would have been severley limited and delayed likely for days.

I am surprised that HAM isnt more strictly controlled, simply because it represents a facet of communication that is not readily controlled by the Cabal.



posted on Jun, 24 2003 @ 01:04 PM
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Originally posted by IronDragon
I am surprised that HAM isnt more strictly controlled, simply because it represents a facet of communication that is not readily controlled by the Cabal.


Hmm, hadn't really considered that. It is regulated by the FCC which I guess falls under that catagory but most Hams are far from Cabel material as they are mostly technical minded people who are very inquisitive by nature and just have that "I have to know how it works" mentality which doesn't make them easy to manipulate as a group. The great thing about most Ham networks is they are self-supporting/self sufficient even repeaters have back-up power systems and can't be just turned off by the government.



posted on Jun, 24 2003 @ 01:06 PM
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I am working on my Technician licence and have been in various forms of the telecommunications industry most of my life. ARRL is the U.S. agency for amateur radio.
This link will take you to the hamfest data base. Hamfests are swap meets/ flea markets for all types of electronic equipment, also it's a great place to get 1st hand knowledge of Ham radio. This link also contains links to other Amateur radio info.

www.arrl.org...



posted on Jun, 24 2003 @ 01:10 PM
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Field Day

This happens every year.

I participated several years ago (WA2AVQ) as the captain of 40 meter CW for our club north of Buffalo, NY.

It's an intense marathon of 24hour activity, made worse by allowing only 6 hours of set-up, 24 hours of on-air, and 6 hours of take-down.

One year (1979), my operation (40m CW) got 3rd overall... no cash though, just bragging rights.



posted on Jun, 25 2003 @ 07:09 AM
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William, sounds like you had quite a time there. I've never been to my local club's site for it but I keep up over the local 2 meter repeater and simplex. I'm hoping to make it there this year for a while. I'm a technician but I think if I could get exposed to more DXing, it might give me motivation to progress. And yes, its the code thats getting me. At one time, I think I had it down enough to get my 5wpm but slacked off before I got a chance to take it. I have done some as third party before I took my tech test and thats what really got me into it.



posted on Jun, 25 2003 @ 07:15 AM
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I used to be Extra Class. My license expired about 18 years ago... never got back into it.

I was able to crank along at just over 40wpm. At that speed, you're beginning to "hear" words and not individual letters.

My contest strategy was cut-throat... find a spot on the dial, and own it, even if it means taking a good spot from someone else! I would usually locate a buys area where I could hear 10-20 cw'ers at once... then jump in with a series of fake contacts... it didn't hurt that our club's call letters were... get this... W2SEX ... everyone wanted us! After about 10 minutes of 100+ fake connections... everyone would start trying to get my attention... then I'd jump into responding... usually would be about 5-6 contacts per minute. We had a hacked-up TRS-80 doing the logging.

Damn... that's all geek!



posted on Jun, 25 2003 @ 11:35 AM
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William, well I see you really did take it seriously. Does your former club still have that call sign? I'm sure it was snapped up quickly if not. I'll probably just keep the call I got from the FCC at first even if I advance.

You were in it when CBing was cool too weren't you. The guy that introduced me to Ham claimed to have once talked into California from KY on 1 watt on CB before he really got into Ham. I do little more than 2 meter now and not much is on there anymore aside from ARES and trader nets. Yep, the net has made what Hams used to do accessable for anybody. I think its still a viable service and I hope we can hold onto it but pressure from private industry for the frequencies increases every year.


Hey, do they still make Pabst Blue Ribbon? haven't seen it here in forever.


73



posted on Jun, 25 2003 @ 11:41 AM
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A friend and I once used his hand helds from Marburo miles to talk to people out of state. I ran 50 feet of antenna wire up a pine tree then dished out the splayed end. We could talk and here freqs from states away! On just a hand held! I doubt that was FCC legal though...




posted on Jun, 25 2003 @ 12:01 PM
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As long as you didn't use any more power than allowed or restricted freqs, you are within the law. The FCC doesn't limit antenna effectivness only their efficiency and exposure levels.



posted on Jun, 25 2003 @ 12:15 PM
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My next goal then, is to run a antenna network among the tops of the tallest Redwood trees. Then broadcast ATS anouncements from a simple portable hand radio.

Hmmm, now if I can just remember where those militia nuts when this week...



posted on Jun, 25 2003 @ 12:24 PM
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I wasn't much into CB... except with the high school electronics club (I was geek). I designed a "Veritcal Dipole" antenna that ripped up the airwaves on the CB band. The signal went our something like this:

|
|
| ---->---->---->---->---->---->
| ---->---->---->---->---->---->
=---->---->---->---->---->---->
| ---->---->---->---->---->---->
| ---->---->---->---->---->---->
|
|

Parallel to the ground, rather than at 45 degrees like a typical vert antenna. And it had built-in impedance matching, for a perfect 52ohm fit. The FCC received so many complaints about our signal strength, that inspectors came to the school looking for our illegal power amp.

What fun!

But otherwise... no... total DXer... not much CB, and limited 2m involvement.



posted on Jun, 25 2003 @ 02:54 PM
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Whoa, you really gotta be causing some problems for the FCC to come looking, especially for CBers. I think they have really just abandoned it as a lost cause now. I have one in my truck and people are using them to advertise fuel prices and roadside services/sales and everything which is strictly prohibited. It was such a good thing at first from what Old-Timers tell me, I don't guess there is a chance it will ever be anymore than a truckers cursing tool. Shame too.

I would like to have seen that diopole, 11 meter band , it would have to close to 18 feet high! How did you change the angle of propogation and didn't it limit the ability to "skip" long distances? Maybe I'm wrong , I'm no expert in DXing at all but I sure can see how it would boom using line of sight.



posted on Jun, 25 2003 @ 03:08 PM
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Well... a dipole naturally sends out signals at 90degrees... tip it up verticle, and it's 0degrees.

But true 1/2 wave dipoles have a 300 ohm impedance... but not if your run your coax up through the bottom element. We used pretty tough aluminum tubing (forget the diameter) and ran the coax up the middle (with spacers) of the bottom tube. The main problem with antennas is the impedance mis-match, even a small percentage off, and you loose power. If your antenna is 60 ohms, and your transmitter wants 52, your 5 watts will only be an effective 4.2xxx. We also used donated hardwall foam filled coax which has nearly zero loss.

This was in 1975-77, the FCC was much more interested in CB back then.

Our long distance skip wasn't much... but we killed anything within 50 miles.



posted on Jun, 26 2003 @ 01:23 PM
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Originally posted by William
Well... a dipole naturally sends out signals at 90degrees... tip it up verticle, and it's 0degrees.

But true 1/2 wave dipoles have a 300 ohm impedance... but not if your run your coax up through the bottom element. We used pretty tough aluminum tubing (forget the diameter) and ran the coax up the middle (with spacers) of the bottom tube. The main problem with antennas is the impedance mis-match, even a small percentage off, and you loose power. If your antenna is 60 ohms, and your transmitter wants 52, your 5 watts will only be an effective 4.2xxx. We also used donated hardwall foam filled coax which has nearly zero loss.

This was in 1975-77, the FCC was much more interested in CB back then.

Our long distance skip wasn't much... but we killed anything within 50 miles.



Ah, I see. very slick indeed. In the 5 years since getting my tech ticket I have seen some real astounding homebrew antennas and really, I take more interest in them than in commercially produced units. ( although I'd like to have a new Cushcraft yagi for my VHF). My father-in-law just finished a beauty of a 10 meter beam over the winter and he's smokin' into Europe on it. Truly there is so much to learn about building them starting with soldering connectors the right way. Since moving, I haven't done much more than put up a 2 meter diopole on a 10' mast off my deck but I'm reaching out there some 70 miles with it so I haven't taken the time to build a good yagi. I've got a little quarter wave drilled in on my truck and I take my mobile when I go on long trips. Just for everyday, I carry a little HT Kenwood for emergency.






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