Friday, October 23, 2009

Ham Radio


You seem precisely like the kind of guy who would be into Ham Radio. In addition to always-ready-communication with nothing more than handheld radio and a car battery. During a disaster, such as Katrina, Ham Radio operators are organized and "in the know" and frequently the only people who can communicate -- not just radio stations 10,000 miles away, but sometimes just a few miles away. Post Katrina, the Bush Whitehouse issued a report on "what went right." One of the things in that report was the activity of Amatuer (Ham) radio operators. Hams are also a tight-knit bunch that will come to your aid when you need help -- you can count it.

From my radio, I can get help when cell service is down and in areas where there is no cell coverage. Here's a nice article on Hams to the rescue:

In short, it's a hobby that is custom tailored to your philosophy! So here's my first question: What gives, Ferfal? Why aren't you a licensed Ham? Here's where you might get started:

Secondly, I don't know what the laws are in Argentina, but I listen to Police Radio scanners. I would see this as an essential tool for survival. Especially when there's social unrest. When I'm listening to that radio, I know what's going on -- precisely -- within 50 miles of my home. This is useful for weather, crime, a general sense of where the "trouble homes" are in a neighborhood and much, much more. What are the laws for police scanners there? Get one, my friend, I think you'll find that you didn't know *half* of what was happening near your home.

I'm just starting your book -- review forthcoming!

Kind Regards,

Hi Ray,
My old man was licensed and was a big fan of CB radio. We had a huge antena on top of our house, he sold it to one guy that saw it after he lost interest many years ago. (great way to buy yourself a cheap antena by teh way, look around and ask people if they'd be interested in selling it)
For many years he would use it to talk with people, I remember doing a bit of talking myself when I was little, and he taught me how to use it though I suppose now there's a lot more to it.
You're right about being a great source of info to know whats going on and isn't getting reported. Around here, you'd be glued to the radio all day since there's a lot of crime going on and most doesn't even get reported.
Once I'm somewhere where I plan to stay put I'll sure get into Ham radio.
Take care, and thanks for your email.



Idahoser said...

Thanks FerFAL! I'm a licensed ham but I'm having a difficult time getting motivated to get an antenna up and actually start doing something with the equipment I have already bought. You've inspired me to slack until I'm "somewhere I'll stay put". Even though wire antennas are the perfect solution for temporary situations I just can't seem to find the time to get out and throw a wire into a tree...

Unfortunately, while the above statement is written with sarcasm, it also happens to be true...

Anonymous said...

I read this blog everyday. I've also read the book, it's great.

I think it may have been here that FerFAL linked to a site discussing surviving in Sarajevo after the siege. On that site they talked about how valuable ham radio was for people to communicate with the outside world.

I'm well settled in my suburban/rural home (only thing that's going to get me out is fire or being carried in a body bag). I also just passed my General exam, and I think ham radio may prove to be a valuable skill set to have as things deteriorate. It's just trying to find that point at which I have everything else covered so I can go hang an antenna.

BlackPR said...

Hanging an antenna isn't a big deal at all. At the very least, get your license, pick up a handheld like the Yaesu VX8 that will fit in your pocket and start talking to locals. Not being somewhere you'll stay put, and no time to put up an antenna are terrible excuses! People use mobile and small radios with portable antennas all the time!

Using things like IRLP on a handheld radio you can STILL talk around the world.