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Link Posted: 4/21/2019 3:12:17 AM EDT
ZILCH.
Link Posted: 4/21/2019 7:32:19 AM EDT
Gents, a gentle reminder: no personal information, e.g. call signs, real names, etc., in the Ham Radio forum without permission.

I'd recommend those who posted them, @D_Man, @mojohn, to please go back and edit their posts.

P.S. not a mod, just a concerned arfham.
Link Posted: 4/21/2019 9:11:50 AM EDT
I heard Gyprat pretty much the entire time on 40m. Good copy even out the back of his antenna.
Had static crashes on 80 even though the storm passed 12+ hrs earlier. didnt even try 20
I was rec through a local online sdr. I dont have an HF antenna right now.
I was keeping elcope in the loop via APRS
Link Posted: 4/21/2019 9:25:08 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By elcope:
Much like Hiroo Onoda I am still awaiting messages until Piccolo tells me it's over.

0/3
View Quote
Go to 14.313.

Set your rig to CW and Corporal Taki Yagasumi will send you a stand down.

Link Posted: 4/21/2019 10:00:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/21/2019 10:03:46 AM EDT by piccolo]
This ran as I sort of expected it to.

It gets chaotic at first and then generally someone centrally located or with a good rig/antenna/whatever becomes the Big Gun and winds up with taking the bulk of all calls.

Gyprat was fielding stragglers for about 1.5 hours after the start time.

I was not surprised whatsoever to see that all three parts were out there in the open inside of less than 10 minutes.

Once the entire message is out things REALLY travel fast.

The Gyprat/Medicman/Jupiter7200 did a good job getting things rolling.

Thank the Three Stooges for the message and thank the Moose and Squirrel net for the Rocky and Bullwinkle idea.

There is a certain amount of seemingly stupid in these drills but stupid works. It also leaves us covered from accusations of using ham radio for militia purposes/whatever. For example a message like 'Janie's prescription is ready" could be taken out of contest as a drug deal.

We have to avoid even the appearance of evil.

Incidentally Gyprat deserves a blood donor pin for working his ass off to take care of stragglers and 2x2 reception hams. He really showed a lot of patience.

More later.
Link Posted: 4/21/2019 10:03:45 AM EDT
Was just having my coffee this morning, and thinking about next weekend's drill.

Then I realized it was yesterday. Was so busy enjoying the nice weather and getting a metric shiite ton of work done that I completely lost track of things.

On the plus side, while picking up some yard work supplies, I found that Menards had deck cleats on sale for .10 each (normally $4), so now I have something nicer to anchor the paracord holding my antennas up.
Link Posted: 4/21/2019 11:41:19 AM EDT
For the most part, SSB only works for me on 20m and higher.  For 40-160m, I'm  stuck using my random wire in the attic, and I only run 10 watts on that to avoid RF in the shack (plus, I'm only about 3 feet from the antenna). Basically, if we do this at night, I become nothing more than a SWL on SSB.    I think I could have made contact with Gyprat on CW, but according to the rules, that was not allowed.
Link Posted: 4/21/2019 12:06:23 PM EDT
I spent some time yesterday morning to rehang my end fed antenna in the yard so I could participate.  I got the wire hung and started to make a clear path around some branches with a pole saw.  On my last branch I needed to cut the branch fell on the wire and broke it in half.

I felt like a fat kind watching his ice cream cone fall on the ground.

So I missed participating in this but had hoped to participate.  I hope something similar will happen again.  It would have been the first time I pulled a radio out in a couple of years.
Link Posted: 4/21/2019 1:19:24 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By piccolo:

Incidentally Gyprat deserves a blood donor pin for working his ass off to take care of stragglers and 2x2 reception hams. He really showed a lot of patience.
View Quote
This x100.  He had excellent signal and it seemed damn near everyone that came in was able to copy with him.  He ran the frequency like a dedicated net controller and even brought in a bunch of non-Arfcommers who probably thought he was running a contest station.  He kept at it and ran a tight ship.  

My short AAR:

My QTH is awful noisy with all the power lines that run through and around my yard, so I decided to kill three birds with one day and combine this drill with an early season camp-out to shake out some new gear, and also do a Parks-on-the-Air activation at a state park about an hour from home.

This allowed me to go portable with my go box, in the spirit of Emcomm use and going off the grid.

I arrived about and hour and a half before the drill and just managed to setup camp and get my 80M OCF dipole strung up with only ten minutes to spare (my MFJ fiberglass pole broke a section when setting up, so I have to struggle with tree branches to get the antenna tossed up in the air).

Once everything was all together, tent pitched, and fire started I got on the radio and started jumping around the designated frequencies.  I soon ran into Gyprat and got two parts of the message within 5 minutes of start time, and picked up the last part shortly after from another station on frequency.  That was all on 40m, so I tuned up on 20m and called CQ for a bit to see if I could relay the message.  I didn't get any involved stations, but piqued the interest of a couple other Hams and had a couple short QSOs.  I dropped back to 40 and could tell everyone seemed to be piling up there and getting the message, so I called it done and PM'd the traffic.  The rest of the night was relaxing with a few random QSOs.

Overall, a nice drill.  Simple, but even I was surprised how fast things came together.  It was fairly sterile and I half expected there to be deliberate false-messages getting circulated to add an element of confusion, but maybe that was me just reading into the narrative too much.

Thanks to piccolo and everyone else involved in planning and all who took part.

Link Posted: 4/21/2019 5:30:26 PM EDT
One thing I hope people took away from this is that the prepper vision of HF commo is not sufficient for success. If you are not in range of a "big gun", e.g. Gyprat or, dare I say it, myself, although I'm more of a "medium gun" , you are going to need more than just a wire in a 20ft tree. And if that's all you've got then you at least better know what you are doing.

That said, there could not have been a worse time for this exercise. 40 and 80M on a Saturday night? Fuggetaboutit! Anyone who was able to work through that mess has something to be proud of.

Now that we are so awesome, what does it really mean? If there is a disruption of social services and rabid zombie hordes come my way out of Boston looking to raid my local supermarket of what benefit is talking to Gyprat 800 miles away? He can't load my mag's.
Link Posted: 4/21/2019 6:10:01 PM EDT
My takeaway, if you're a Technician, expect not to get the message.
Link Posted: 4/21/2019 6:19:01 PM EDT
I enjoyed myself but was disapointed with 20 and 80 meter. I thought that 80 meter would be the Frequency to be the one to contact with. I'll give the operator from Carolina
a high five for the great job he did to keep the excersize organized and moving along. Something was learned by all who signed in with him.

When are we going to do this again? Soon I hope

73
Link Posted: 4/21/2019 7:48:51 PM EDT
It's stuff like this that the average prepper with a tech license would have no clue what to do.
Link Posted: 4/21/2019 8:24:15 PM EDT
I was listening to a local SDR in FM18 hooked to a ZS6BKW dipole @45ft+400ft loop @60ft + 350ft long wire.

40m is the only place I heard anything. Must've been Gyprat that was the booming SC station. piccolo was also strong most of the time.  Also believe to have heard some stations with callsigns in NH and Yonkers, NY.  Sound familiar to anyone?   Also possibly a station in Louisiana if I copied the callsign correctly?  Anyone in Louisiana?
Link Posted: 4/21/2019 8:35:32 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By USMC2671:
 Anyone in Louisiana?
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Jupiter 7200
Link Posted: 4/21/2019 8:40:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/21/2019 8:43:04 PM EDT by piccolo]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By elcope:
My takeaway, if you're a Technician, expect not to get the message.
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Pretty much this which is good motivation to get a General.

Guys that have had actual emergency conditions (flood, hurricane, etc) have told me VHF is totally worthless except for VERY limited local line of sight use.
Link Posted: 4/22/2019 3:23:11 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By elcope:
My takeaway, if you're a Technician, expect not to get the message.
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and nobody will talk to you on the aviation emergency frequency

bastards
Link Posted: 4/22/2019 3:27:51 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/22/2019 3:36:56 AM EDT by Mach]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By aa777888-2:
One thing I hope people took away from this is that the prepper vision of HF commo is not sufficient for success. If you are not in range of a "big gun", e.g. Gyprat or, dare I say it, myself, although I'm more of a "medium gun" , you are going to need more than just a wire in a 20ft tree. And if that's all you've got then you at least better know what you are doing.

That said, there could not have been a worse time for this exercise. 40 and 80M on a Saturday night? Fuggetaboutit! Anyone who was able to work through that mess has something to be proud of.

Now that we are so awesome, what does it really mean? If there is a disruption of social services and rabid zombie hordes come my way out of Boston looking to raid my local supermarket of what benefit is talking to Gyprat 800 miles away? He can't load my mag's.
View Quote
is it really an emcomm exercise if some are running QRO from grid power?
Link Posted: 4/22/2019 3:36:25 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By piccolo:
Pretty much this which is good motivation to get a General.

Guys that have had actual emergency conditions (flood, hurricane, etc) have told me VHF is totally worthless except for VERY limited local line of sight use.
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Originally Posted By piccolo:
Originally Posted By elcope:
My takeaway, if you're a Technician, expect not to get the message.
Pretty much this which is good motivation to get a General.

Guys that have had actual emergency conditions (flood, hurricane, etc) have told me VHF is totally worthless except for VERY limited local line of sight use.
around here VHF is very much used when everything else it out

the repeaters are solar and battery and solidly built

local ARES uses them extensively and the main functional areas in the local area to include shelters, police, fire, hospitals etc all have permanent pre-posistioned VHF ham antennas  and ARES people assigned. that bring go kits and batteries and solar setups and portable antennas in case the fixed antennas blow away.

The only resl emcomm I have done so far is passing Health and welfare messages out of PR after the hurricanes and that all came out on HF by hams with batteries, radios and portable antennas
Link Posted: 4/22/2019 3:46:03 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By aa777888-2:

Now that we are so awesome, what does it really mean? If there is a disruption of social services and rabid zombie hordes come my way out of Boston looking to raid my local supermarket of what benefit is talking to Gyprat 800 miles away? He can't load my mag's.
View Quote
Just get into your helicopter (I think you once mentioned that you have one) and head my way. We'll have a room for you to stay in and will share our food with you. No pun intended.

IMHO (In My Humble Opinion), ham radio can be very useful during disasters. Of course it depends on a type of a disaster, whether it's local or state/nationwide and what services were affected.
First of all, we can simply contact hams from other areas and collect useful information about their areas or any other information they have collected.
Second, we can provide welfare status check services to people in your neighborhood. They may simply want to pass short messages to their relatives in other areas of the country, not affected by the disaster. You can also volunteer to be the guy who receives the messages from a disaster area and forwards them to the recipients by e-mail or a phone call.
Third, we can offer our services to a local government, law enforcement, National Guard, FEMA etc.
Link Posted: 4/22/2019 8:03:26 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By Mach:
and nobody will talk to you on the aviation emergency frequency

bastards
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Originally Posted By Mach:
Originally Posted By elcope:
My takeaway, if you're a Technician, expect not to get the message.
and nobody will talk to you on the aviation emergency frequency

bastards
But I am sure you heard plenty of cat meow noises. There is something to be said for that.
Link Posted: 4/22/2019 8:08:21 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By Gyprat:
Just get into your helicopter (I think you once mentioned that you have one) and head my way. We'll have a room for you to stay in and will share our food with you. No pun intended.

IMHO (In My Humble Opinion), ham radio can be very useful during disasters. Of course it depends on a type of a disaster, whether it's local or state/nationwide and what services were affected.
First of all, we can simply contact hams from other areas and collect useful information about their areas or any other information they have collected.
Second, we can provide welfare status check services to people in your neighborhood. They may simply want to pass short messages to their relatives in other areas of the country, not affected by the disaster. You can also volunteer to be the guy who receives the messages from a disaster area and forwards them to the recipients by e-mail or a phone call.
Third, we can offer our services to a local government, law enforcement, National Guard, FEMA etc.
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Originally Posted By Gyprat:
Originally Posted By aa777888-2:

Now that we are so awesome, what does it really mean? If there is a disruption of social services and rabid zombie hordes come my way out of Boston looking to raid my local supermarket of what benefit is talking to Gyprat 800 miles away? He can't load my mag's.
Just get into your helicopter (I think you once mentioned that you have one) and head my way. We'll have a room for you to stay in and will share our food with you. No pun intended.

IMHO (In My Humble Opinion), ham radio can be very useful during disasters. Of course it depends on a type of a disaster, whether it's local or state/nationwide and what services were affected.
First of all, we can simply contact hams from other areas and collect useful information about their areas or any other information they have collected.
Second, we can provide welfare status check services to people in your neighborhood. They may simply want to pass short messages to their relatives in other areas of the country, not affected by the disaster. You can also volunteer to be the guy who receives the messages from a disaster area and forwards them to the recipients by e-mail or a phone call.
Third, we can offer our services to a local government, law enforcement, National Guard, FEMA etc.
Having seen what a real disaster looks like, I'm reminded of a few things:

- VHF is the public safety backup comm mode. It also relies on power. The solar powered ham repeaters in PR really couldn't stay working enough to be useful. They either needed more solar, battery, or be used less. The public VHF repeaters were targets of generator and/or fuel theft. They, too, couldn't be counted on for comms.
- Having the ability to operate off-grid is a necessity in a real disaster. Fuel supplies were non-existent for most folks in PR until about week 3 or 4. Think about that when you are planning your "emcomm" capabilities.
- Having widely distributed hams providing SitReps for the region/country is exceptionally valuable. The local hams in PR had island-wide SA within 24 hours of the hurricane's passing. It took FEMA assessment teams over a WEEK to come to that same level of awareness. You know what pieces of infrastructure are in your area and you'll be the first to know whether it's working or not. That knowledge is critical to organizing and distributing resources.
- Propagation sucks sometimes.
- If you're at your home QTH, you probably have a decent antenna set up. If that gets damaged/destroyed, you'll either have to repair it or use something else.
- If you're not at home, you'll be stuck with what you have when the balloon goes up. Make sure you have what you might need. In my case, I'm stuck in an apartment 1500+miles from home. But, I can make do at least for a while.
- Having a specific set of frequencies that everybody knows about is critical to passing messages. It's like the ICS-205 comm plan. It tells everybody who is using what frequencies for what.
- Having a specific time for people to maximize their likelihood of making contact is also a critical feature. In a real disaster, randomly throwing out CQ Arfcom isn't likely to be all that productive. Throwing out that same thing at 87 seconds after each hour would maximize the likelihood that if anybody was listening, they would be heard.
- It's nice to have an amp when prop is crappy. But, an amp isn't likely to be something that can be supported 24//7 for a couple of weeks simply because the power required is too high.
- I wish I could have a better antenna here. I'm stuck with what the landlord will let me have. (At home, most of us are stuck with what our YLs will let us have. Mine's pretty good about that, though. I chose well.)
- Propagation sucks sometimes.
- Your actual performance is a combination of a whole bunch of things, many of which are out of your control, like propagation, which sucks sometimes. Since we were using voice, I had to go in to the radio and fiddle around with the digital noise reduction, noise filter, bandpass width, RF gain and audio gain to eek out the message. Getting practice doing that once in a while is a good thing. Just being forced occasionally to remember HOW to do that is important as it like anything else, a skill seldom used is a skill easily forgotten.

I liked the event even though I was a little disappointed at first. When I'm using JS8Call, I frequently look on pskreporter to see where I'm able to reach. More often than not, on 40m at night I can reach coast-to-coast. In theory, being (temporarily) in the center of the country should make it easy for me to pass messages from east coast to west coast. This exercise taught me that may not always be the case. Did I mention propagation sucks sometimes?
Link Posted: 4/22/2019 11:02:17 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By rustypigeon:
But I am sure you heard plenty of cat meow noises. There is something to be said for that.
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Originally Posted By rustypigeon:
Originally Posted By Mach:
Originally Posted By elcope:
My takeaway, if you're a Technician, expect not to get the message.
and nobody will talk to you on the aviation emergency frequency

bastards
But I am sure you heard plenty of cat meow noises. There is something to be said for that.
GGUUUAAARRDDDD!!!!
Link Posted: 4/22/2019 11:44:35 AM EDT
All practice is good practice, and that exercise was well worth the short time it took to undertake.  
I also agree with Planemaker's idea about having a common time, ie 15 minutes past the hour or whatever for calling CQ.  Makes sense to add something like that to the freq sheet if everyone can agree on something.
Link Posted: 4/22/2019 2:27:37 PM EDT
This thread really started interesting me when I managed to snag my local repeater WX5FL ONCE! Now I am full tilt studying for my tech and general.

My UV5R might turn this into an expensive hobby.
Link Posted: 4/22/2019 11:25:36 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Gyprat:Just get into your helicopter (I think you once mentioned that you have one) and head my way. We'll have a room for you to stay in and will share our food with you. No pun intended.
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Thank you most sincerely for the offer. SC is a long haul to bug out to. The good news is that I can be quite comfortable for 90 days with little effort. After that I revert to a 19th century existence, as will pretty much all others. The other good news is that if I have to bug out I have a very defensible position on the Maine coastline that I can easily reach by helicopter, even after the Maniacs blow all of the bridges to the island. I have everything I need to replace my wire antennas if they are destroyed. I have DirecTV as my source of news and information if the internet and cellular networks go TU. Amateur radio will be very low on my priority list, particularly if I'm too busy planting gardens and stealing livestock to kickstart my 19th century farm.
Link Posted: 4/23/2019 3:01:15 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By elcope:
My takeaway, if you're a Technician, expect not to get the message.
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Hey hey....give me a break.
I was doing something else, plus this is my first exercise.
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