Public Service

Started by cockpitbob, March 13, 2016, 08:00:59 pm

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Quote from: gil on March 22, 2016, 05:59:58 am

Now that just sounds creepy, kind of like Ray's ARES guy.  I actually had the courage to click and was surprised to see the premise is making fun of and breaking the stereotype of the old, fat, unwashed and arrogant ham.  Still seems just a bit creepy though.


March 22, 2016, 03:39:52 pm #16 Last Edit: March 22, 2016, 03:51:19 pm by gil
Best entertainment value: Go to and search for hamsexy.
The badges are creepy..
Not making fun of public service, but it does attract weirdos.. Which must make the work of serious hams in emcom all the more difficult.



T-shirt in the suggested search:



April 07, 2016, 08:15:28 am #18 Last Edit: April 07, 2016, 08:18:21 am by cockpitbob
I got my assignment for the Boston Marathon.  I'll be at a first aid station 1 mile down the course.  This should be easy duty.  To be in the Boston Marathon you have to run a qualifying marathon somewhere else, so the runners have some experience.  I doubt there's many medical issues after running just 1 mile.  The bad news is I have to be out of bed at 4:00am to make the pre-meeting at 5:30.  The good news is we'll probably close shop 4 hours earlier than the stations towards the end of the course.  That will give me time to go home, have a meal and take a nap before going to the volunteer's after-party at the Red Sox's Fenway Park  8)

It should be fun being this close to the start line.  This will be my 3rd year and all I've done is work the middle of the course.  I think next year I'll put in for a spot at the starting area, finish line or on a shuttle bus.  It's a big, big even with amazing logistics going on.  They have more than 8,000 volunteers making it happen.  This year they have about 300 hams and that's fewer than they wanted.


Have fun with that!  I worked a water stop at the Fort Worth Cowtown Marathon this year, mile 22.  I was there from 6:00 AM til a little after 2:00.  All I wanted to do afterwards was go home and take a nap.

I'm working the March of Dimes Walk for Babies next weekend.


This reminds me.  I need to finish a little project.  My hearing sucks in the higher frequencies.  Most of the time it's OK but there have been some radios or repeaters that sound like someone is in the shower, talking into a coffee can, way down the hall.  The conference room speaker-phones at the home office I web-conference with are like this.  For my desk web conference setup I made a little equalizer that kills the low frequencies and raises the high freqs.  It makes a big difference.  I started making a little 9V powered box I can put between my HT and ear buds.  I should finish that so there's no chance I'm straining to understand someone.


April 11, 2016, 03:00:48 pm #21 Last Edit: April 11, 2016, 03:06:15 pm by cockpitbob
Normal background radiation being measured around Boston prior to Boston Marathon.

The 80 sq-mile area doesn't begin to cover the whole 26 mile long (linear) Marathon course, and no mention of doing it at the Marathon staging area 26 miles to the west where they will have about 35,000 people concentrated in a small area. 
It makes perfect sense.  If you want to detect someone with an imperfectly shielded dirty bomb, you need to know what the naturally occurring background radiation looks like.  Now I have 1 more interesting thing to look for while on duty; a helicopter with an instrumentation pod.

On a bizarre, humorous note, wouldn't it be something if a bunch of radiation therapy patients all decided to watch the Marathon as a group. Maybe our detectors can tell the type of radiation so it wouldn't trigger a massive response.


As usual, the Boston Marathon infrastructure is amazing.  I'm bringing 2 HTs, one for a backup, so I need to program both.  I only need to program in 3 frequencies:  Primary and back-up medical, and the transportation(tired runner's bus).  But we all program in everything in case we get re-assigned, or the SHTF and we have to change things.  There are 19 simplex frequencies (with tone squelchs) and 27 repeaters!!!  The Start and Finish areas are mostly simplex while the course (water and medical stations), transportation and "net intertie" are repeaters.  About 10 are backups, so that's 36 frequencies/repeaters in use for the day  :o

Today I drove to my assigned station and verified that I had my 2 HTs programmed correctly.  As usual, I found a few errors.  It was also good just to see the location.  There's no place to park.  We're going to have to carpool or walk 1/2mile with our gear :-[ .  The good part is there are 2 hams assigned to this tent and other ham has been working the same first aid tent with the same medical crew the last 6 years.  This should go like clockwork and I should learn a lot  :) .


Another Boston Marathon is in the bag. 

Up at 4:00am for the 6:00am briefing.  This is just for the medical staff and hams covering the middle of the course.

There were 2 of us hams at Med Tent-6.   Our 2 main jobs are to call in the hourly reports of how many runners we had in the tent, how many they've treated and how many left by ambulance, plus call for transportation for runners that had to drop out.  We  had really bad problems with the repeater.  It was coming in S9++ but half the time it couldn't hear us or we would break-up in the middle of the transmission.  It acted like someone had a stuck mic into the repeater, but you usually hear audio from the mic and there wasn't any. It was weird. Later we realized one of us should have pulled our car up to the tent and used the car's rig with 50W.  The stuck mic stuff stopped after a few hours making me think the guy who's mic kept sticking ran out of battery.

Regarding the buses, it was really bad.  We'd request a bus, then after half an hour call to ask for status on the bus and be told "well get back to you" but they never would.  They have special buses for "elite" runners (world class runners, often from other countries).  We had an elite runner at our station and it took over 1.5hrs to get her a bus.  Every 20 minutes or so we would call for status on the bus and they would ask for the runner's bib number and other information like it was the first they've heard of it.  At one point the other ham got hot under the collar and chewed them out (justified IMHO).  At one point I got out my backup radio (cheap UV-5R which works great) and monitored the transportation net.  Things weren't going smoothly or on schedule, and I heard no indications anyone was headed our way.  I was just getting ready to break protocol and call the transportation net directly (knowing I'd probably get spanked for it) when the bus arrived, almost 2hrs after I called for it.  In the whole event we only had 2 "tired runner" buses arrive (should have been about 5), and they were both well over an hour late.  The transportation infrastructure needs an overhaul.

Other than the bus stuff, it was a great day with great weather.

This always gets me.  Those are tongue depressors with gobs of Vaseline. The runners grab one and grease whatever is chaffing.  There is no modesty after 13 miles of a marathon. ::)