Global Skywatch

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

Archives

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 […]

Darby Dog Derby … after action report

The Bitterroot Mushers put on another fun and interesting dog sledding and skijorning event last weekend (Jan 14-15, 2017). Brandi and Nicki do an impressive job of pulling this event together and making it run smoothly and efficiently. I was happily able to provide radio communications to and from workers spread out over 30 miles of mountain trails. My hero on the comms side is Rick who both days hitched a ride on a snowmobile to the COLD mountain top where he set up the radio repeater that enabled signals from hand-held radios reach to and from the entire course. I spent most of the two days in The Beast where I could monitor all the radios. I deployed […]

sled dog racing

The 10th Annual Darby Dog Derby will take place January 14th & 15th, 2017 at Lost Trail Pass at Gibbons Pass Road. The Bitterroot Mushers club created this exciting, fun event. Go to their website for more information. Pay particular attention to the spectator information. The energy of nearly 100 high-performance, high-strung dogs is impressive. Be there for the start of the first races, on through the last. It is a sight, and moreso, a sound you won’t forget. This is my fourth time leading a team of radio operators to provide communications up and down the mountains. This is a perfect example of amateur radio serving where nothing else will do. We are pleased to add a measure of […]

up your comms

I have spent the last half-dozen years improving my ability to support community communications. Well, more accurately, I spent a tiny fraction of my time and brain power learning 2-way radio … As I do with nearly everything else in my life: Jack of all trades; master of none. This morning I was guided to an excellent overview article with links covering what SOMEONE in every community needs to know before we can consider comms covered. Crumb! I have a long ways to go, yet I want it all NOW. That leaves me three choices: 1) Get cracking; focus on my radio studies and applications 2) Recruit, encourage and support a real radio operator in our area 3) Lower my […]

Darby Adult Education

I am again offering to teach two-way radio communications to my neighbors in the Darby area. I have formatted the classes differently, and added significantly to the offerings. There is a sequence to these classes, from easiest to acquire to more challenging. The first class is strictly about GMRS radios. This license has no training, knowledge or testing requirement. You send 70 bucks to the FCC and get their permission for your whole family to use the frequencies for the next 5 years. The class I am offering for these only takes 2 hours out of a Saturday mid-morning. I encourage the whole family to sign up and come get started. GMRS radios can be powerful tools for Bitterrooters. Next […]

radio communications

The amateur license database is not what I consider a high risk place to occupy. A bunch of radio geeks scattered across the country is not an attractive target to anyone. Many of them are radio poor. That is like being horse poor. They have a lot of very expensive … belay that… very, very expensive radio gear and live on beans and rice to afford their radio habit. No guns. NO gold. No consumer electronics. Nothing worth stealing. That isn’t completely or universally true, but as a target group for evil-dooers, they aren’t a good one. On the other hand, having people who can transmit and receive information to and from your entire area, region and the world is […]