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Posted: 10/12/2017 7:46:41 AM EDT
Well, I got my detail late yesterday afternoon. I leave for Puerto Rico today. I'm supposed to provide "reliable comms" to a hospital somewhere down there. I really have no idea what I'm walking in to.

I've got my Yaesu FT-991, MFJ-939 tuner, Chameleon EMCOMM-II end-fed half wave, a laptop for running Winlink, 25ft of LMR-400, and a Yaesu VX-8DR HT for short-range VHF/UHF. For power, I've got a Bioenno PowerPack 400 (35Ah LiFePO4) and a 100W solar panel along with paracord, velcro straps, and Nobendium tent stakes.

Conditions have been stated as being "austere". Not sure what that means exactly but one of the Safety guys on Tuesday basically went thru his schpiel and the message I got was "Pack for the Zombie Apocalypse and you'll be fine, otherwise you gonna die."

Nothing like going into the middle of a real disaster to sharpen your disaster comm skills. Hopefully I won't let anybody down.

Wish me luck. It's supposed to be a minimum of 30 days, max 45. Once I get back, I'll post an AAR (when I have internet).
Link Posted: 10/12/2017 8:02:56 AM EDT
[#1]
Good Luck.  Will require a detailed debriefing with pictures when you get back.  Prayers for you for a safe trip...

Prosise
Link Posted: 10/12/2017 8:14:44 AM EDT
[#2]
Wishing you and everyone down there the absolute best of luck.  This is important work - do good (and be well)!
Link Posted: 10/12/2017 8:16:39 AM EDT
[#3]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Good Luck.  Will require a detailed debriefing with pictures when you get back.  Prayers for you for a safe trip...
View Quote
This.
Link Posted: 10/12/2017 8:21:18 AM EDT
[#4]
Good luck.
Dont wander too far from the hospital.
Link Posted: 10/12/2017 8:38:57 AM EDT
[#5]
Ok man, I'll be praying for your safety & success. Take notes and pictures so we can create a great Podcast episode following your return!  

FWIW: Keep in mind the show has allowed me a big auidence that would be happy to help in anyway possible!

7Three
Link Posted: 10/12/2017 9:04:59 AM EDT
[#6]
Be safe and best of luck in this noble endeavor.  

Standing by for pics and AAR!
Link Posted: 10/12/2017 9:07:45 AM EDT
[#7]
I will pray for your safety and success.  Sounds like quite an adventure.  Interested to hear the AAR.
Link Posted: 10/12/2017 9:11:08 AM EDT
[#8]
Quoted:
...the message I got was "Pack for the Zombie Apocalypse and you'll be fine, otherwise you gonna die."
View Quote


Unarmed? No way in hell.

Good luck!
Link Posted: 10/12/2017 9:50:45 AM EDT
[#9]
good luck. interested to hear the stories when you get back
Link Posted: 10/12/2017 9:53:33 AM EDT
[#10]
Should we set up a time an frequency for you to check in?  It would be cool to hear how you are doing while you are down there.  Maybe some arfcom folk could help pass traffic as well?
Link Posted: 10/12/2017 9:56:55 AM EDT
[#11]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Should we set up a time an frequency for you to check in?  It would be cool to hear how you are doing while you are down there.  Maybe some arfcom folk could help pass traffic as well?
View Quote
I might try to get on the ARFCOM Digital net next Wednesday but I'm not sure what the situation is going to be as far as setting up and operating.

If I can get internet access down there once I'm set up, I'll suggest some times/freqs.
Link Posted: 10/12/2017 10:01:47 AM EDT
[#12]
Be safe and good luck. Pics and an AAR will be needed. Take notes please, especially of what did and did not work. Gear failure and a wish list.

Thank you

Kold
Link Posted: 10/12/2017 10:03:36 AM EDT
[#13]
Best of luck!  I have received tentative plans to deploy, but nothing definite yet.  I started packing a bag when the flooding started in TX but had not been activated.

Stay safe and come back with lessons learned for us.

Bill
Link Posted: 10/12/2017 12:01:38 PM EDT
[#14]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


I might try to get on the ARFCOM Digital net next Wednesday but I'm not sure what the situation is going to be as far as setting up and operating.

If I can get internet access down there once I'm set up, I'll suggest some times/freqs.
View Quote
Best of luck to you!

I'll switch the radio to monitor guard frequencies 24/7.

From the looks of WSPR reports, 20M seems to be the most likely band, but mostly to the east coasts -- I'm probably too far --
but I'll keep it on 14067.5 + 1500 during the day. Hopefully others to the East will as well.
Link Posted: 10/12/2017 12:38:34 PM EDT
[#15]
Yep, be safe and good luck!

I'll leave my radio monitoring 14067.5 + 1500 during the day, as well.
Link Posted: 10/12/2017 3:09:33 PM EDT
[#16]
They are going to hand him a VHF radio and make him do local, point-to-point comm's for the gov't. That seems to be what happened to all of other teams over there. The are pushing everything to San Juan by VHF, where it goes further by telephone or email. This explains why I've heard zip for HF traffic. The hams that went have no time for HF, and no time for health/welfare messages.

Nevertheless, I will also monitor 20M digi for traffic.
Link Posted: 10/12/2017 4:59:30 PM EDT
[#17]
Good luck!

I thought about going for a couple hours when the Sal Army sent out the request. Sadly my personal timing wouldn't allow it.
Link Posted: 10/12/2017 5:19:28 PM EDT
[#18]
Safe travels my man.
Link Posted: 10/12/2017 5:44:06 PM EDT
[#19]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
They are going to hand him a VHF radio and make him do local, point-to-point comm's for the gov't. That seems to be what happened to all of other teams over there. The are pushing everything to San Juan by VHF, where it goes further by telephone or email. This explains why I've heard zip for HF traffic. The hams that went have no time for HF, and no time for health/welfare messages.

Nevertheless, I will also monitor 20M digi for traffic.
View Quote
Oddly enough, they were specifically asking for folks that could do HF. I don't have the MARS mod on my radio but the guy who's got the team going in says that's not a showstopper, they want folks that can use the HF ham bands. But, there is a lot of mass chaos going on simply due to the magnitude of the problem. I was "processed" thru Anniston, AL in what was being called "Wave 13". There were 500 folks in our wave. They've got two more scheduled in the next two weeks. Some of the folks that jumped in to the Harvey relief are coming up on their 45 day limit and will have to be rotated out. I had 3 different potential destinations (and mission tasks) before they settled on being a comms guy in PR.

When I get back, I'm getting the MARS mod done on my two Yaesu HF rigs (991/857d). Hopefully there won't be a next time, but if there is, I want to be ready.
Link Posted: 10/12/2017 5:55:20 PM EDT
[#20]
Assigned to a hospital? Stay there!

A hospital is pretty likely a fairly secure area and shouldn't be too bad.

DON"T go wandering around unless you have some kind of a recon report from the locals. The small handful of reports I have heard suggest that you use caution.

You know the drill. Don't display cash, stay out of dark alleys yada yada yada.

Stay safe! An injured relief worker is just another liability so don't get hurt.
Link Posted: 10/12/2017 6:49:44 PM EDT
[#21]
This is with the Salvation Army bunch, correct?
Link Posted: 10/12/2017 7:11:14 PM EDT
[#22]
Good Luck to you.
Thanks for volunteering.
Try and check in to digital net. Everyone will listen for you.
Be safe 73
Link Posted: 10/12/2017 7:54:25 PM EDT
[#23]
I typed a lot, trying to give you some advice on how to survive your endeavor but have decided not to post it. Who am I to give this advice?
Good luck to you and stay safe. Don't forget to print out a list of Arfcom emergency frequencies and bring it with you. Holler if you need help passing any traffic. I have a fairly capable beam for 40 meters.

If possible, please keep us posted. I'll PM you my personal callsign and my e-mail address.


Thanks for being a volunteer to help people in need!

73!
Link Posted: 10/12/2017 8:12:30 PM EDT
[#24]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted: I was "processed" thru Anniston, AL in what was being called "Wave 13".
View Quote
Looking forward to the inside story on what really goes down! Stay safe!
Link Posted: 10/12/2017 10:54:53 PM EDT
[#25]
Just a thought: should we not be monitoring 40M at night and early morning, and 20M in the day? Just in case @planemaker wants to drop us a line in the evening or early morning some time?
Link Posted: 10/12/2017 11:35:54 PM EDT
[#26]
I've been monitoring 40m for the last few hours while watching the football game.  Nothing heard but a (unrelated) CW QSO.
Link Posted: 10/13/2017 12:26:41 AM EDT
[#27]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Just a thought: should we not be monitoring 40M at night and early morning, and 20M in the day? Just in case @planemaker wants to drop us a line in the evening or early morning some time?
View Quote
Wouldn't hurt, especially for you eastern folks.

WSPR does show a reliable 20M path during the daytime, but there doesn't seem to be any stations sending on 40M to check nighttime prop.

Keeping it simple, if you see the sun, 14067.5 and if you don't, 7114.
Link Posted: 10/13/2017 1:01:02 AM EDT
[#28]
Late to the party.  Hope you packed some DEET, a Sawyer Mini, and some Imodium. 
Link Posted: 10/13/2017 3:47:38 PM EDT
[#29]
Copied @weaponeer1911 standby message on 20M at 1825UTC
Link Posted: 10/13/2017 4:31:26 PM EDT
[#30]
Listen to a local station this afternoon who said that he was on the east coast on emergency power. Could not contact him. Only have 10 meter wire hanging in the attic with a old Kenwood ts 440s


28.460
Link Posted: 10/13/2017 6:25:32 PM EDT
[#31]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Copied @weaponeer1911 standby message on 20M at 1825UTC
View Quote
I have both of you guys in my buffer. I think weaponeer's note went out when I was out getting lunch,
'cause the alarm is set to something far from quiet right now.
Link Posted: 10/13/2017 7:51:13 PM EDT
[#32]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


I have both of you guys in my buffer. I think weaponeer's note went out when I was out getting lunch,
'cause the alarm is set to something far from quiet right now.
View Quote
Don't mean to sidetrack this thread but have a quick question:
Could you please remind me what the latest digital frequencies and modes are for 20 and 40 meters? I hate digital modes but need to have this capability. Do you guys still use Olivia and FLDIGI software?
Link Posted: 10/13/2017 7:55:52 PM EDT
[#33]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


Don't mean to sidetrack this thread but have a quick question:
Could you please remind me what the latest digital frequencies and modes are for 20 and 40 meters? I hate digital modes but need to have this capability. Do you guys still use Olivia and FLDIGI software?
View Quote
Sure thing -- these are on the digital net sticky thread as well:

40M is the primary frequency, and it's 7114 (+1500 on the waterfall) KHz USB Olivia 16/500.
20M is the secondary, 14067.5 (+1500 on waterfall) KHz USB Olivia 16/500.

FLdigi isn't required, just something that will do Olivia 15/600. I think someone has even checked in on a tablet.
Link Posted: 10/14/2017 6:55:42 AM EDT
[#34]
Got delayed but finally made it to San Juan yesterday afternoon. Power in the airport was spotty and so A/C wasn't working. Power in the city is mostly out except there are a number of folks running on generators. Cell coverage is spotty, even in the city. Outside the city, it's almost non-existent.

I'm going to try to get on the air sometime today and make sure my gear still works after the plane ride down here. Since I have internet access here in the Convention Center, when I get ready to fire things up, I'll post something.
Link Posted: 10/14/2017 12:50:38 PM EDT
[#35]
Lunchtime buffer check netted me BigDaddy and weaponeer1911 on 20M.
Link Posted: 10/14/2017 3:03:03 PM EDT
[#36]
I'm on the air right now. Tried a CQ w/50 watts, got nothing. Tried with 100W, still nothing. At 1515 Eastern, I'll try again.
Link Posted: 10/14/2017 3:09:47 PM EDT
[#37]
Received your message in my receive buffer on 20M, but must have missed you because you did not respond to my reply.

If you have any messages for us, just transmit them in the blind. Many of us are monitoring and will find them in our receive buffers and will act on any requests. We are generally monitoring 40M from 1600 EDT to 0900 EDT and 20M in the day.
Link Posted: 10/14/2017 3:15:49 PM EDT
[#38]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I'm on the air right now. Tried a CQ w/50 watts, got nothing. Tried with 100W, still nothing. At 1515 Eastern, I'll try again.
View Quote
What freq?
Link Posted: 10/14/2017 3:24:00 PM EDT
[#39]
Listening.
Link Posted: 10/14/2017 3:28:32 PM EDT
[#40]
I'll try one more CQ. I'm being told here propogations sucks. I'm trying 20m, 14067.5 + 1500 Olivia 16/500
Link Posted: 10/14/2017 3:35:17 PM EDT
[#41]
Got partial copy on you, Planemaker!

(nCOM CQ ARFCOM Ze Mk"YOURCALL" +LUO "YOURCALL"5X
View Quote
Link Posted: 10/14/2017 3:43:45 PM EDT
[#42]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Got partial copy on you, Planemaker!

View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Got partial copy on you, Planemaker!

(nCOM CQ ARFCOM Ze Mk"planemaker" +LUO "planemaker"5X
Well, if you got a partial, maybe later on when the band improves, it should be good.
Link Posted: 10/14/2017 3:49:45 PM EDT
[#43]
No copy on planemaker here, but I have stuff in the buffer from both 7114 and 14067.5 from everyone else,
with close to 100% copy. I suspect prop will improve in my direction later in the day.

ETA: I re-checked the buffer, I actually have partial copy on planemaker's call, probably at the 20% level at most.
Link Posted: 10/14/2017 4:19:49 PM EDT
[#44]
just copied weaponeer abt 60%
hopefully 40 will be decent tonight
Link Posted: 10/15/2017 12:13:31 AM EDT
[#45]
PM me if you get over by Rincon - I have a few family friends who can hook you up if needed (as best they can of course)
Link Posted: 10/15/2017 8:49:35 AM EDT
[#46]
The ham situation is interesting here. There were 20 hams that got sent down here by the Red Cross. They've been working with local hams to provide comms for several places and a net control station at Red Cross HQ here. There is a group of 10 of us that will be here as part of a Fed SHARES program to relieve them. I don't have an assignment yet.
Link Posted: 10/15/2017 9:20:46 AM EDT
[#47]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
The ham situation is interesting here. There were 20 hams that got sent down here by the Red Cross. They've been working with local hams to provide comms for several places and a net control station at Red Cross HQ here. There is a group of 10 of us that will be here as part of a Fed SHARES program to relieve them. I don't have an assignment yet.
View Quote
All VHF, I assume?
Link Posted: 10/15/2017 10:00:40 AM EDT
[#48]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
All VHF, I assume?
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
The ham situation is interesting here. There were 20 hams that got sent down here by the Red Cross. They've been working with local hams to provide comms for several places and a net control station at Red Cross HQ here. There is a group of 10 of us that will be here as part of a Fed SHARES program to relieve them. I don't have an assignment yet.
All VHF, I assume?
Nope, a mix of VHF and HF on 7.085. The Red Cross has been camped out on 7.085 since they got here. The group as a whole have been working to have a small number of repeaters for VHF that will cover most of the island. Note that some areas are still inaccessible via road. They would need to airlift fuel and such for the generators so only the highest priority spots are being re-supplied.

The Governor down here made a statement that he expects power to be back to most of the island by Christmas. Based on my observation, that's wildly optimistic.
Link Posted: 10/15/2017 10:20:20 AM EDT
[#49]
how fo you have internet access
Link Posted: 10/15/2017 10:43:44 AM EDT
[#50]
Tag for the AAR...
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