Global Skywatch

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition


introducing new communication systems

The following is a convoluted way to explain my realization today that two-way radio communications networks must be developed in an organized, methodical way. I became an “Office Automation Coordinator” when the term was first introduced within the Hewlett Packard Corporation. We sailed uncharted waters, figuring out how to integrate the new “microcomputers” into the office and manufacturing environment. Tasked with putting computers on the desks of every manager in our 2,000-person division, I focused on training their secretaries so I wouldn’t have 50 high-powered managers jerking me around all day long every working day for the rest of my career. I developed my own classes to teach them installing computers, peripherals, word processing, spreadsheets, and graphing software. I taught […]

comms preps

I keep imagining people will strive to set the magic of radio to work for them before they need it. I consider myself a rank beginner in the radio world, but have made the personal leap into visualizing its value in emergencies … AND a serious commitment in hardware to ensure that can work for my family and my community. Heck, I talk about a “serious commitment”, yet people spend more on “smart phones” that will be deaf, dumb and blind in an emergency. I have a friend who claims to be “deaf”, but is simply overstating that she is “hard of hearing”. Nevertheless, the amateur two-way radio world is full of people who have reduced hearing abilities. Both the […]

grid jeopardy

Three major actions of the sun may hit the Earth hard September 8th and 9th. The possibility of SOME EFFECT is near absolute. We WILL KNOW something hit us. The likelihood of some damage to electronics and electrical transmission somewhere on Earth is very high. Some communities somewhere will lose their power. The probability of global grid failure is around 10%. It is not likely to be catastrophic. That is also to say that it could be catastrophic. Check your preparations for that sort of catastrophe TODAY. While in the midst of moving, I cannot drop everything and go on a prep-shopping binge today. But I can certainly re-prioritize some of my moving activities focusing on electronics and power-failure gear. […]

Become a HAM radio operator

Thursdays 4:30-6:30pm Darby Library meeting room July 13th – September 7th Handy in many situations, radio communications can be life saving when phones and Internet are down or out of reach Ham radios start where walkie-talkies leave off, with licensed radio operators communicating around the corner and around the world. ARRL License Manual costs $29.95 includes chapters on every aspect of the licensing exam and numerous practice tests Darby Thursday study sessions are FREE YOU can be an amateur radio operator No electronics background required Click below for a .pdf poster advertising the class Ham radio class poster 2017

deployable radio

This ammo box is actually a handy way to carry a 2-way, 2-meter radio. I built this organizer for a friend’s radio setup. He gave me the radio, battery and fuse block to work with. Customer specifications said it should be tipped on its side, opened and operational from that position. The radio was 20 centimeters too deep to fit as requested even pressed against top and bottom. Plus I wanted room to keep it from contact with the metal box. What you see here is actually my third prototype. With the first, I ASSUMED the radio would fit in the box exactly as specified by the customer. It is not so much that ‘the customer is always right’, […]

two-way radios for you

Yaesu FT=60R Dual Band Handheld $172Baofeng dual band UV5R handheld $36Below, I am republishing information about a class this coming Saturday. Today and tomorrow I am refining the information I will be presenting and the exercises we will be doing. As I assemble the video clips, handouts and class outline, I recognize the value I am offering. Even my family and best friends won’t get the information out of me in a more organized, concise way. On either side are two choices of dual-band radios. To the left is the $172 Yeesu. It could be a Motorolla, Kenwood or other well-established amateur radio producer. The price could run from around $170 on up to $300 or more. They feel dense; […]

purchase and use of BaoFeng two-way radios

BaoFeng UV-82HP$62.89UHF / VHF128 ChannelsOutput: 7 Watts I have helped well over a dozen people earn their amateur radio licenses. But I recognize the effort to study for, and pass the FCC exam is not for everybody. Much more accessible is The General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) licensed radio service. A $70 FCC GMRS license has no testing requirements and covers your entire family’s use for 5 years. BAOFENG makes good, affordable radios that can listen to several other bands and legally enable you to transmit, that is communicate, via GMRS channels. Significantly, unlike the inexpensive blister-pack big-box-store radios, these transmit at much higher powers, and are capable of utilizing repeaters for long-distance communications. My favorite of their current offerings […]

Darby ham radio classes

Earn Your FCC Amateur Radio License HAM radios can communicate across the yard and around the world. They reach places, and in times when no other form of communication available to us can. Yes, there is a test. Everyone in my study groups has passed those tests. Amateur radio license categories are Technician, General, and Amateur Extra, with the knowledge and testing requirements going up as the licensed uses expand. This course will focus on achieving passing grades on the Technician exam, with appropriate understanding of the knowledge expected of Tech-licensed radio operators. Our textbook will be the ARRL Technician Class License Manual. It includes all the information you need to correctly answer every test question, along with text of […]