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Messages - RadioRay

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Batteries & Solar / Re: Man Portable Off-Grid Power for Amateur Radio
« on: October 15, 2017, 02:50:14 PM »
The Caribbean communication infrastructure failure is a terrible event, but a superb example of WHY stand alone, rapidly portable stations are so important.  The question I had put to friends as well as myself was:

"Can you, walk out the door, even only 100 feet away and be on the air in HF in five minutes?

The follow-on question is addressed here:

Are you able to recharge your own station in the wild?

Forget ARRL Field Day and other contests: this is about sustained communication with zero infrastructure, not giant motor homes, generators and photo-ops during a weekend.

Good thread -

>RadioRay  ..._  ._

General Discussion / Re: Where Ham Radio Shines -
« on: September 25, 2017, 12:45:51 AM »
A note from one of the hams operating emergency relief -

General Discussion / Where Ham Radio Shines -
« on: September 22, 2017, 10:36:38 PM »
Dominica (and many other Caribbean islands, including much of Puerto Rico).

Infrastructed destroyed...

Morse Code / Re: Morse using Inexpensive Stations
« on: September 18, 2017, 09:52:37 AM »
Another factor for Morse is it's simplicity. 

I am active on a few ham radio boards and the dominant topic is usually computer problems of one kind or another: Windows update kills digital software, interface box not being seen as USB soundcard, driver updates,,, cables, power supplies, boot time, configuration errors for HTML forms for EmCOMM, RF interference from the computer. ....

"how do I make my radio change frequency? My rig is not listed in this configuration table...

- uh, did you try turning the knob?

In Morse, a message is passed with none of that.  Yes, the final throughput is slower, but there is NONE of the set-up, weeks to purchase, hours to configure and of course, no boot-up time and typin in a message.  The only burden with Morse is a slight training burden, in that you need to learn it once in your life, then you own the skill, which continues to grow with use - and it's enjoyable.

I've worked in tech most of ly life, and for me - and your mileage may vary - I enjoy the simplicity of chatting with friends (old and new) at 20 words per minute or so, in a very relaxing, relatively inexpensive and yes - historical - manner.  I prefer that I do not get MACROS dumped on me, in fact, the one thing which will make me leave a conversation mid-stream immediately, is when I detect that I am having a computer MACRO dumped on me, not a human being... gone. If I want telephone sales calls, I can get them elsewhere.  Finally;  filters for a single tone/frequency make Morse in difficult conditions far more productive and enjoyable than voice under the same circumstances.

If we didn't had radiotelegraphy today - we'd have to invent it for me to be a happy ham.

>RadioRay  ..._  ._

Morse Code / Re: Morse using Inexpensive Stations
« on: September 14, 2017, 09:43:27 PM »
Gil = wasn't your first contact on the loop from Florida to France?  Or something like thaT?  HF Radio really is amazing.

Morse Code / Re: Morse using Inexpensive Stations
« on: September 14, 2017, 02:07:02 PM »
yes - full wave, 80 meter loop for NVIS. This contact was on 40 meters.


Bob -  ha ha ! who knows how LITTLE power was really involved before your QRP rig passed-out from exhaustion ?!?! 

Morse Code / Morse using Inexpensive Stations
« on: September 14, 2017, 10:27:15 AM »
Literally the other side of the world; that was this morning.  The operator on the other end is part of a French Antarctic expedition, sending from aboard their ship - FT5XT/mm.  My station is an older Kenwood that a friend found at a truck stop and sold to me for $450.  My antenna is a piece of house wire formed into an 80 meter horizontal loop up only 15 feet. I looks like this contact was 40 meter band long path along the greyline to reach him, 12,717 miles distant.  Not bad for a sub-urban ham with a fairly common station.

Morse/CW is what makes this possible.  SSB would not have made it, signal levels were too low.

General Discussion / Re: Anything interesting going on?
« on: September 12, 2017, 02:13:42 AM »
To be perfectly frank, when politicians tell you 'All is well.' you should be prepared to take care of yourself, because this is a common theme.  I remember one particular earthquake in the Los Angeles area, where the commercial radio and TV were reporting 'no damage' and that we should continue our day, however, the ham 2 meter system was rife with first hand reports of broken gas MAINS spewing fire, cracked overpasses on the highways , buildings collapsed and more.  "All is well" rarely is.

One other was a loss of power over several Western states, which was being reported as a local outage, but my HF ham radio running on a vehicle battery told a very different story in real-time from hams in those States, using emergency power.

RadioRay  ..._  ._

Net Activity / Re: Global Radio Relay Network
« on: September 02, 2017, 12:38:39 PM »
I joined RRI and as a beginning monitor their 80/40m nets. I've checked in once QRU. I'll wait until I am on their roster before I do more.


Tactical Corner / Re: Nuclear War Survival How To Survive a Nuclear War
« on: August 31, 2017, 09:58:03 PM »
Example from the UN-reported news in the controllededia :

A fire team operating with LPOPs tactical /voice comms &etc. would be a force multiplier.

Tactical Corner / Re: Nuclear War Survival How To Survive a Nuclear War
« on: August 31, 2017, 01:27:54 PM »
The problems to me:

1.  Immediate shelter, water, kitchen.
2.  Rioting from the same miscreants who burn down sections of town when their football team WINS.   :o
3. U.S. government overreaction to people defending, feeding and generally taking care of themselves and their homes from the usual suspects in large numbers.
4. Long term shelter, water, kitchen.

The is an old saying that society is only three meals from pandemonium. Here in the US, many parts of the country have large portions of the population who, for generations, have received their needs and wants by having it extorted from those of us who work, through political taxes.  This basic income is often supplimented by crimes such as robbery, theft &etc., which also serves as entertainment for many. If the 'entitlements' are interrupted or stop, expect criminal tantrums of epic proportions in every major city and even smaller ones.  After these places are burned-out, expect an exodus into the more rural areas - often seen as easy prey. The natural response, when local law enforcement is unable to cope and Federal assets are taking care of politicians and their concubines, is for citizens to form self defense groups and armed perimeters on their neighborhoods.  Politicians don't like common people protecting themselves.  Only politicians are allowed to live in gated and guarded communities.

It's not the attack I would be as concerned about as the aftermath, both governmental and social.

Net Activity / Re: Global Radio Relay Network
« on: August 31, 2017, 01:15:43 PM »
RETRO works for me.  It says what it means.

de RadioRay  ..._  ._

Ps.  I joined RadioRelay International and have been monitoring their nets. Very efficient: ON - pass traffic - off.

Net Activity / Re: Global Radio Relay Network
« on: August 30, 2017, 12:40:34 AM »
Check these stats for speed and accuracy of TRANSCONTINENTAL message delivery during the Cascadia Rising exercise last year. CW ruled and ran when other systems began to (simulate) no fuel for generators & etc. as would happen in a wide area emergency. No computers, interface boxes and more needed.

Transceiver + Skills + a way to tap code = high rel, accurate communication of message traffic.

Remember:  Skills Weigh Nothing, yet carry a lot of weight.  Gil and I held a sked for two years at a distance of over 800 miles.  Power levels were anywhere from modest to ridiculously low.  One week of skeds, his entire station, antenna, spare batteries and solar panel fit easily into his cargo pants pocket for the walk in to his camp, Another sked was from a coffee shop that he peddled to on his velo.

Here is is on YouTube -

Morse Code / Re: Q Codes, Z Codes and Battery Life
« on: August 28, 2017, 09:26:40 PM »
Here are a couple :

QPP : I will be away from the key for a two minute break.

QBM : I will be 5-10 minutes away from the key.

QOOOPS!  Never mind.

Morse Code / Re: Fewer Lids: one more reason I like the code
« on: August 28, 2017, 08:23:25 PM »

Thanks !!! RadioRelay International - 

I  was on the periphery of that Cascadia Rising and got to read some of the inside information from non-ARRL screened sources and WOW , the ARRL went into a tail spin when Morse code slightly outperformed their coveted digital NTS for end-to-end throughput and accuracy and blew it away in reliability per Watts consumed.  Error correcting GIGO was a problem.  Typos on an error correcting mode as still typos. The grid down portion is especially impressive , with no computers to power.

Radio + Ears and a way to push the key is all that's needed for a person with Morse a dn tiny bit of practice.

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