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Messages - RadioRay

Pages: 1 ... 51 52 [53]
Morse Code / Re: Starting the Morse Code Board.
« on: September 10, 2012, 04:20:34 PM »
Duck Works!  I love those guys. "Swaggie" with a Chinese lug.  That is a survivor's boat, in that you can reef in a few second and maintain her without a lot of specialized marine 'stuff' and the special marine prices. That hull shape is designed to survive the occasional 'ooops'!

Now you're talking -  In the words of Sven Yrvind: "Little boats: little problems."


Sorry to hear about the dirt bags ransacking your boat. Sailboats are so much more than transportation, so in my book piracy - no matter how far or close to shore, only has one basic penalty, with a little wiggle room for mercy - on rare occasions, lest we be barbarians. Ours was a Bayfield 32c (34'6") cutter with tan bark sails, forest green hull and a ton of blonde teak trim. She is a Ted Gozzard design with classic lines, a fine bowsprit and excellent sheer line.  She was a bit showy for me, but it doesn't hurt to be gorgeous when she sails like a dream, especially in rough weather.  Then "Life Happened" and we basically had little choice but to move ashore:  call it 'Providence".


Glad to know that you understand 'the dream'.


Morse Code / Re: Starting the Morse Code Board.
« on: September 10, 2012, 01:27:04 PM »
The use of Morse or any other 'tool' is dictated upon what problem(s) we're trying to solve using radio and then applying the appropriate technology (if available).  For sending a list of refugee names, their medical needs, next of kin and etc. : use digital IF ABLE.  Zero question there, and that's how we set-up our Emergency Operation Center for my surrounding counties.  OTOH, if the problem to be solved is checking in with people,  situation reports, advisories and etc., withOUT the overhead of a computer, then Morse (CW) fits quite nicely.  Basically as pointed-out, if it requires basic communication, or even passing short messages (think SMS texting on steroids) under rough conditions, then Morse is a great tool when/if you require the minimum of Size, Weight & Power consumption.

If I were in my house, I absolutely use WINMOR (e-mail over radio) and some of the modes in the FLdigi program, because I can keep a laptop alive here.  I did the same when I was a sailboat cruiser, using e-mail over radio and etc. for my corrospondence as well as my weather (with back-ups).  However, if you do not have commercial power and/or if manpacking, or even vehicular mobile, CW beats voice (we all know that) for reliability and saves me having to keep a laptop alive.

Different tools for different jobs.

Again, lists, files and imagery - all handled by WINMOR and other digital modes.  JIC, primitive, but easily supportable in the field:  Morse.  Everyting that I have a computer glitch, or an MS update that causes a problem for my laptop and etc. I realize that I am glad that I am conversational in Morse.

>>>  As WA4STO can EASILY testify (I am not qualified to speak for him) being able to handle message traffic is a skill to practice on TOP of basic Morse fluency. There are specific methods for handling message traffic which takes it from casual -doing a Buddy a favor- to professional quality, correcting errors ('getting fills') and etc. which the average ham has never used and probably never even heard of.  A maritime Morse operator would be an expert in such things.  These traffic handling methods can be learned.

Nothing like having a good Sparkie ashore or aboard whether it's digital or Morse. 

ZUT de RadioRay ..._ ._


Licensing / I highly recommend 'Lice
« on: September 09, 2012, 08:05:14 PM »
WHAT !!?!?!?!   

"I highly recommend 'Lice..."


I thought this was a survival food topic!   :P


Glad that you mean licensing.  Maybe having known good/useful licensing LINKS on this site as part of the 'float to the top' greeting message.  This would assure that newcomers to this site would have this useful information presented from the beginning, yet not repeatedly consuming forum time as a discussion, only to then run off the bottom as it ages (like fine wine  ;)    This would present the GOOD ham license sites we know about which are already out there.  List a few different links of differing flavor to suit the variable tastes of different people.

>>> Those of us who already have a ham license know how to do it, but when you're NEW, it's a total mystery , or at least unfamiliar enough to make it seem unobtainable.  A deffinate direction fromt hose who have done it, like :"Go to this URL, take the practice tests, using THIS as a study guide then get back to us when you're over 75%."  could really change people's world.  From there, WE who know ham and the internet can locate nearby ham tests, ham fests & etc for them. It's just a thought.

de RadioRay ..._ ._

Licensing / Re: Do you REALLY need that ham license?
« on: September 09, 2012, 07:44:10 PM »
This is the same question that is brought-up on every board. That tells us that it's on people's minds, but it generally creates more heat than light.

When the BIG ONE hits, license won't matter anyway, so I'll just buy the stuff (or steal it ) and talk...     -- Let's think about this...

I own a nice shiney field surgical kit and have 'heard about things' like how to cut a windpipe so that a person can breathe, or tie-off a spurting vein (or was that an artery?  Ooooh, I'll figure that out later...)  and etc. In a dire life and death emergency I can cut with the same tools as an experienced surgeon: and STILL PROBABLY kill my 'patient' deader than a bag of rocks. WHY? Because I have never done this before. Please understand: I'm a VERY techincal guy, I am a 'fast learner' and can build & fix almost anything, but you REALLY don't want my on-the-job-training to be inside of your chest cavity.  right?     :o      ...because I have never done this before.

In the same way, communications - REAL WORLD communications requires knowledge and experience to use that knowledge efficiently. Radios and communications systems, I have a lot of experience with. The reason that I do have more than a casual aquaintance with radio communications, all began with my ham license a looooong time ago. Since then it's been special military applications, using what I was trained to do and my ham experience (yes - ham came in handy) in foreign countries and yet I lived to tell about it. Thank God and good training and experience. The reason that I routinely communicate with friends in-state or across the continent (yes - daily) is because I know the how's & why's of radio communications, especially on the HF bands ("shortwave") which can do your heavy lifting in communications when you have lost all infrastructure. You must learn theory, because learning WHY something works is very important in getting it to work properly, then practice, because there is a difference between knowing about something and actuall 'owning your skills'. A few examples are, antennas (#1 importance), radio propagation i/e which bands to use at what times & seasons to reach what distances reliably. Electrical theory AND methods is so that you can power your equipment when you have no commercial power. . .  The list goes on, and you can learn and USE (i/e practice) it everyday, perfectly legally WITH a ham license. 

The ham radio license is a superb way to learn now - when mistakes are nothing more than a tiny Ooops, then to use what you've learned to build your experience level/reliability and then to improve upon your abilities as a communicator. The "I'll buy a radio and use it when TSHTF" is a poor plan, though not immediately as poor as the 'I bought the surgical kit, now let's get cutting so I can gain some experience!...' plan.  The other aspect is that those who you are communicating with on the radio NOW are the persons you'll likely be communicating with in a grid-down situation. Are you talking on a handi-talkie 2 miles, are you sending e-mail over HF radio to someone 100 or a few thousand miles away? We hams are - everyday . . . The ham radio ticket is your open door to LEGALLY and safely learn these skills. Should you ever need to use them, such as during hurricanes, ice storms or when driving to the Piggly Wiggly, then you can do it with zero risk. These ham skills are useful everyday, long before TSHTF.

Your #1 'survival tool' is not your rifle, not food storage & not even your ever present knife: it is your mind. Learn new skills,  use new skills until you 'own them'. That applies for everything from fire making to home canning to communicating and it makes us better people, better team members better at taking care of our families and friends. Other than that, learning new things & growing as a human being doesnt mean  . har! 

TAPRN and American Redoubt are both great websites to learn about applied/practical communications in a grid down situation. There is so much more than pushing the button on a handi-talkie and WOW is it handy!

de RadioRay ..._ ._

Morse Code / Re: Starting the Morse Code Board.
« on: September 07, 2012, 11:57:42 PM »
oh!  A couple of points here:  The G4FON program is excellent and as for finding someone else who knows Morse code...

The ham bands are FILLED with Morse code - worldwide!  I've been tuning around and talking with guys from a hundred to thousands of miles away using Morse - depending upon which band and time of day I select.  Advantages of Morse QRP rigs are tremendous, it's much simpler, smaller/light weight & less expensive equipment with the ability to cut through noise with very low power.  Low power means that it consumes MUCH less power and the transceiver batteries are therefore much easier to recharge. QRP rigs are generally small enough to fit into a rucksack along with all of your other stuff, rather than instead of it! I've done a lot of wilderness operating and QRP worked VERY well as long as I set up a dipole (wire) antenna and that's also simple, inexpensive and reliable.

Yes, Morse and QRP are a natural combination for someone wanting to keep a station operating during field conditions or difficult times.  Even when it's NOT a hard time, it's a lot of fun.

>Ray ..._ ._

General Discussion / Re: A question for all prepper hams
« on: September 07, 2012, 02:39:25 PM »
"...civilians..."   mooo--ha-ha-ha'nuf said.


First and formost, what is on your doorstep is most important, so local repeaters, local 'public safety frequencies' and etc. are most likely to tel you what is seen happening in your area, which will effect you soonest. I was in more than one earthquake in L.A. , Ca. After the shaking stopped, ALL of the commercial radio stations were all giving the 'limited damage... all is well' speach.  However: the 2 meter rig in the car told a different story of broken & flaming gas lines, downed power lines, cracked overpasses...  Remember: when the government says "all is well", it really means "run like hell!" .

For the wider view I rely heavily upon the Maritime Mobile Service Network //14300USB//.  It 'IT' is happening in the world, they usually know about it and keep people posted, not only sailors, but eveyone.  Antoher, after an 'event is the Salvation Army Emergency Radio Network, usually on 14265USB coordinating relif efforts, heling refugees and etc.  We aso have a very active 80 meter nets frequency tht serves as a hub to keep track of what is happening in this grouping of states.

SHORTWAVE RADIO NEWS: If you REALLY want to know the news in the USA, you listen to foreign broadcasters. Everyone has an agenda and tilts their news different ways.  By listening to a few differeing nation's views on events, you can 'read between the lines' to know more of what it really going on.  Because our controlled media inside of the USA is largely the same, this leaves few differences in actual reporting to read between the lines.

The Colonel is correct:  HF direction finding does NOT a produce a precise location until they are well within your line of site, either by DF car or DF aircraft. HF, particularly NVIS is very, very difficult - nearly impossible to precisely locate a station because all of the signal is coming in from nearly straight UP.  If the transmitting station is NVIS in a city , it's simply not going to happen unless the transmitting station is ratted-out by a neighbor or via his own computer,  or lays a brick on his key to leave a constant carrier after coming to the attention of a three letter agency. Even then, it has to be sooooo long and strong that the DF'ers have time to get to the block he's on and even then ,it's very very tough. Send your traffic, change you modes, frequencies and patterns and move out casually, blend in and most of all - zip your lip.

First Though: consider whether what you're sending is REALLY that important.  Listen much,  transmit little.

73 de Ray ..._ ._

VHF/UHF cellphones...


General Discussion / Re: Call Sign OPSEC...
« on: September 07, 2012, 01:59:13 PM »
Well -

For me, I have lees than the average home for someone wanting to steal. The largest threat that I can forsee are the huge number of 'entitlement' types, going without two meals after the government checks stop.  THEN they hop in their shiny , chrome covered cars to go 'grazing' on the rest of society in person, rather than indirectly by taxation.  Like some here, I live waaaya back on a single lane remote country road which is isolated from the rest of the world by a few water crossings on one side and a mile of open water on the other.  If 'they' are coming here to steal my TV - I don't own one. For food, they can wait for the harvest, because nature cannot be rushed and my experience is that most of those guys prefer KFC or McDonalds to vegetables and rice, with occasional meat or fish, which is how I eat.

"They" also face the problem of a bunch of armed citizens, most of whom are veterans and know every car and face that "belongs" in this area. Never under estimate the power of 50 old guys with combat experience and rifles defending their families.  Napolian said that a man defending his family is worth ten professional troops on the assault - and he should know. Looters are worth less than troops on the assault. Once mobilized, that gives us about five rifle companies worth of actual fighting power to defend one skinny, two lane road and to rotate sentries on the water. Remember too: Looters are not valiant soldiers, willing to die for their objective - we are.

As for my callsign and Google searches - it's a fact.  I've made my decision.

de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._

General Discussion / Re: Elitism in Ham Radio and Further Thoughts.
« on: September 07, 2012, 01:38:49 PM »
Something to consider - if there are those who are jerks ('elitist' is too good of a word to waste) then so what?  Do not let their personal problems limit your own life.  Those same jerks drive cars, but you don't turn in your driver's license because of it - if you did: THEY WIN!  Besides, I can tell you that there are acutally very few of them.  Most hams are at WORST neutral and many are just fun people, community minded and more than you might think are into 'preparedness' at a level which would surprise you, it's just that they do it quietly...

As for community service like working with the city and county emergency organizations, there is a lot of good in that. 

1. Building your local community preparedness is probably the second most valuable 'survival' tool that you can have.  Remember: villages were formed as a survival necessity, voluntarily pooled resourses, mutual defense and the ability to patrol and stand watch in shifts are a few reasons which come to mind.  Lone survivors, rarely lasted long in the real history of the world - despite what the TV says portrays.    ???

2. It's good community service, helping others when you are able. In my 5 county area, we are largely on our own, because the State politicians are going to take care of 'their cities' first.  We know this from experience and as country people, that's fine with us.

3. It's great intel...  when you are in the center of the communications  hub, you are able to know many things which never hit the outside world. Use this wisely.

4.  Training and experience. When I was a soldier, we all knew to 'Train as you will fight!" and it's the same with anything, including ham radio.  If a ham has been 'talking' for years,but has never passed a message, it's going to be tough the first few dozen times. 'Just Talking' on the radio is fun, but not overly productive. //any 13 year girl with a cell phone does that...//  Morse and Digital modes are ideal for passing TEXT messages.  In an emergency people need a written copy of any message, you're going to be busy and people forget.

OK - enough pontificating from me  (ha ha) for the moment.

In short - passing the written test is a very good first step and should be respected and celebrated!  Have confidence in yourself and don't let the stray nay-sayers have an effect. They're not the ones actually DOING anything anyway. Look for the person who is active in many areas: shooting, hunting, sailing, hiking, food gardening, or mental pursuits like an historical knowledge outside of The History Channel (ha ha ) and brings ham radio WITH them.  They are usually the ones who are worth their salt when things are difficult. 

73 de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._

General Discussion / Re: PLEASE READ! Welcome to Radio Preppers.
« on: September 07, 2012, 01:12:09 PM »
Hello Gil and the rest of the Fellows -

I'm new to Gil's forum, a long time ham - going on forty years on the air now.  I've done a lot of backwoods radio, both in the US and outside of the country and even aboard a sailboat for a few years. Having worked communications under some pretty dire field conditions and also played a lot in the mountain west with my QRP rigs, CW is absolutely my favorite and most dependable mode. 

These days, I'm looking more at how to make our little home more self sufficient, communications being the strong point, followed by 'mini-farming' and etc. It's clear that we're in trouble as a nation.  In my past, I worked a lot with refugees from the communist bloc.  Virtually all of them said of their over-run homelands: "we never thought that it would happen here". At least they had an America to escape to.  I think that learning to communicate withOUT commercial infrastructure would be very helpful, even if nothing drastic ever happens. If - God forbid - it should happen, then at least we have some options and sources of raw information outside of the controlled media.

73 de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._

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