Saturday, September 03, 2005

We keep trying to tell them 

One of the ideas that ham radio operators keep try to drive home to the FCC and other elected officials is that when the deification really strikes the rotating blade that amateur radio is one of the few forms of communications that are reliable. Commercial providers like cell phone companies which are in business to make money invest only enough to insure the continuing flow of revenue under mildly abnormal conditions.

Don't get me wrong, this is not a criticism it is what they do and I understand. It would not be pragmatic for a cell phone company to maintain the state of disaster readiness that amateur radio can provide. What does continue to amaze me is that public officials who obviously don't have the technical knowledge, and shouldn't be expected to, don't seek the guidance of those that do. Then when confronted with a monumental disaster like Katrina wonder why their high tech communications infrastructure collapses. I have my doubts but perhaps this time in the aftermath they will learn from it.

Here is an example of what I'm talking about from EE Times.

Louisiana governor blasts faulty wireless network

WASHINGTON — Struggling to cope with widespread chaos in
hurricane-ravaged New Orleans, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco
blasted telecommunications providers for the apparent collapse of the
state's wireless network.

"The communications network is completely gone," Blanco said Thursday
(Sept. 1) as the situation in New Orleans grew more chaotic by the hour.
Blanco said wireless networks throughout the state remained down, and
that state officials were unable to use hand-held communications devices
like Blackberrys.

Hurricane Katrina has again exposed shortcomings in emergency
communications networks and the vulnerability of wireless networks
during emergencies. Critics said more spectrum needs to be earmarked for
emergency communications, and that networks need more redundancy to
function in disasters.

As of Friday, calls to hurricane relief centers in Louisiana were still
not being answered. The only response was that "all circuits are busy."

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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

HAM Radio and rescue efforts on NPR's All Things Concidered 

All Things Considered, August 30, 2005 · While cell phones and other communication networks were demolished by Hurricane Katrina, a group of radio operators volunteering with the Red Cross have been instrumental in assistance and relief efforts. Robert Siegel talks with Ben Joplin, a ham radio operator in Tulsa.

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HF frequencies for those involved in disaster relief 

Here are some frequencies that you can tune on the HF bands to keep up with the relief efforts from Hurricane Katrina. We continue to pray for those affected by this event.

Hurricane Katrina HF Response and Recovery Frequencies

02802.4 USB American Red Cross Disaster (F-91) **

03171.4 USB American Red Cross Disaster (F-92) **

05136.4 USB American Red Cross Disaster (F-93) **
05141.4 USB American Red Cross Disaster (F-94) **
05211.0 USB FEMA
05236.0 USB SHARES Coordination Network (nationwide HF voice coordination)

06859.5 USB American Red Cross Disaster (F-95) **

07507.0 USB USN/USCG hurricane net (pri)

07550.5 USB American Red Cross Disaster (F-96 - primary) **
07698.5 USB American Red Cross Disaster (F-97) **

09380.0 USB USN/USCG hurricane net (sec)

10493.0 USB FEMA

14396.5 USB SHARES Coordination Network (nationwide HF voice coordination)

** Type-accepted equipment and an issued US FCC license are required to
transmit on Red Cross frequencies


03845.0 LSB Gulf Coast West Hurricane
03862.5 LSB Mississippi Section Traffic
03873.0 LSB Central Gulf Coast Hurricane
03873.0 LSB Louisiana ARES Emergency (night)
03873.0 LSB Texas ARES Emergency (night)
03873.0 LSB Mississippi ARES Emergency
03910.0 LSB Mississippi ARES
03910.0 LSB Louisiana Traffic
03923.0 LSB Mississippi ARES
03925.0 LSB Central Gulf Coast Hurricane
03925.0 LSB Louisiana Emergency (altn)
03935.0 LSB Central Gulf Coast Hurricane
03935.0 LSB Louisiana ARES (health & welfare)
03935.0 LSB Texas ARES (health & welfare)
03935.0 LSB Mississippi ARES (health & welfare)
03935.0 LSB Alabama Emergency
03940.0 LSB Southern Florida Emergency
03950.0 LSB Northern Florida Emergency
03955.0 LSB South Texas Emergency
03965.0 LSB Alabama Emergency (altn)
03967.0 LSB Gulf Coast (outgoing traffic)
03975.0 LSB Texas RACES
03993.5 LSB Gulf Coast (health & welfare)
03995.0 LSB Gulf Coast Wx

07225.0 LSB Central Gulf Coast Hurricane
07235.0 LSB Louisiana Emergency
07235.0 LSB Central Gulf Coast Hurricane
07235.0 LSB Louisiana Emergency
07240.0 LSB American Red Cross US Gulf Coast Disaster
07240.0 LSB Texas Emergency
07243.0 LSB Alabama Emergency
07245.0 LSB Southern Louisiana
07248.0 LSB Texas RACES
07250.0 LSB Texas Emergency
07260.0 LSB Gulf Coast West Hurricane
07264.0 LSB Gulf Coast (health & welfare)
07265.0 LSB Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio (SATERN) (altn)
07273.0 LSB Texas ARES (altn)
07280.0 LSB NTS Region 5
07280.0 LSB Louisiana Emergency (altn)
07283.0 LSB Gulf Coast (outgoing only)
07285.0 LSB West Gulf ARES Emergency (day)
07285.0 LSB Louisiana ARES Emergency (day)
07285.0 LSB Mississippi ARES Emergency
07285.0 LSB Texas ARES Emergency (day)
07290.0 LSB Central Gulf Coast Hurricane
07290.0 LSB Gulf Coast Wx
07290.0 LSB Texas ARES (health & welfare)
07290.0 LSB Louisiana ARES (health & welfare) (day)
07290.0 LSB Texas ARES (health & welfare)
07290.0 LSB Mississippi ARES (health & welfare)

14265.0 USB Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio (SATERN) (health &
welfare) 14300.0 USB Intercontinental Traffic
14300.0 USB Maritime Mobile Service
14303.0 USB International Assistance & Traffic
14313.0 USB Intercontinental Traffic (altn)
14313.0 USB Maritime Mobile Service (altn)
14316.0 USB Health & Welfare
14320.0 USB Health & Welfare
14325.0 USB Hurricane Watch (Amateur-to-National Hurricane Center)
14340.0 USB Louisiana (1900)

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Radio Reference Home Page 

Here is a web site that I am adding to my links on the blog and one that you should be checking into if radio is one of your hobbies. The Radio Reference Home Page has so much information it will take a while for you to digest even part of it. It is of particular interest if you are interested in trunked scanner monitoring. There are complete databases of frequencies and talk groups for just about anywhere you want to listen in on.

In addition there are over one hundred thousand postings in their discussion forums. A real wealth of knowledge that can be tapped into with just your web browser. Everything from HF listening to trunked VHF/UHF two way systems. A highly recommended web resource.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Really interesting web site 

Here is a link to an interesting web site that was posted to the Skyview Radio Society club mailing list.

This site, while not entirely a ham radio site, there is some really usefull information here. Check out the software they offer like a spread sheet for doing Smith Charts. Good stuff. Almost forgot here is the link to The RF Cafe.

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Sunday, August 28, 2005

Great joy and prayers 

As promised here is a picture of the proud new Grand Ma with baby Kelsey. Mom and Dad and baby are all doing well.

In light of all this joy I wish to add that our thoughts and prayers are all with the people who are in the path of hurricane Katrina. May God watch over them and their families. Also keep in mind that the local traffic nets will probably be very busy after this storm makes land fall. Help out in any way that you can.

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Its a girl ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 

Well for the second time in my life I am a grand pap! God has once again blessed our family and at 09:14 this morning Katie gave birth to Kelsey Marie Sprouse. Call sign not yet issued. A picture will follow upon return from the trip to the hospital. Kelsey was twenty and one half inches long and weighed seven pounds and five ounces. She has beautiful brown hair, mother and daughter are both doing fine.

If you don't hear me on the Sunday evening net you will know why.

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Did you know that you can have a web page for FREE? 

In addition to blogging I also dabble in HTML coding. I have a web page dedicated to amateur radio on the QSL.NET web site. Did you know that through the dedicated efforts of Alan Waller, K3KTJ, that hams have the opportunity to create a web page on the Internet free of charge? This is a fantastic service and something quite frankly that I think the ARRL should be doing for its members.

All you need to do to have your very own corner in cyberspace is visit the web site QTH.NET and create an account with your call sign. Of course it is up to you to author your web page and generate the appropriate HTML code but it isn't nearly as difficult as it first appears. I knew nothing at all about creating web pages when I got started on QSL but managed to put a page together. While not as impressive as some of the other that I have seen there it does the job.

If you are interested please visit the QSL web site and give it a try. If you do take advantage of Alan's kind offer of free web space consider making a contribution to the site. He keeps QSL.NET running on the web through banner adds and contributions from users. As I said before a real asset to the amateur community.

I spent a little time this evening updating my page and hope to continue to make improvements in it over the next few weeks. You can follow this link WA3FKG to my web site to view my efforts. Let me know what you think.

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