Published: Saturday, 23 September 2017 08:14
Written by Greg Mossop
Earthquake and hurricane emergencies
The 7.1 earthquake in Mexico that downed many buildings and killed more than 250, plus Hurricane Maria that swept through a number of Caribbean nations, have kept emergency communications frequencies busy with coordination and traffic. Networks not in the affected areas, particularly the Colombia Amateur Radio League (LCRA), and in the USA, are seeking information about relatives in the Caribbean islands. Reports are continuing from Hurricane Maria, a Category 5 storm, which hit Puerto Rico, Dominica and Turks and Caicos.
LCRA is using 7.117 MHz for SSB and 7.085 MHz for digital modes, as well as EchoLinkCOL_LCRA conference.
The Amateur Radio League of Cali's HK5VD is in support, under the guidance of Juan Manuel Yanguas HK5AKN, the LCRA Emergency Coordinator. The Columbian national VHF repeater system is also involved as the last delivery point trying to reunite families displaced by the hurricane and its aftermath. The ARRL even suspended normal use of its Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station W1AW, to assist in handling outbound health-and-welfare traffic from Puerto Rico for the evening of Friday September 22.
The Salvation Army SATERN frequency of 14.265 MHz and similar activities are happening elsewhere as desperate people are trying all means to make contact with their loved ones. Meanwhile Cesar Pio Santos HR2P, EMCOR IARU R2, has reported that radio amateurs are providing rescue groups and authorities with coordination help, and communications. In Mexico the station XE2A is in control sending some radio amateurs to Morelos to help there with a radio base station to be installed for emergency traffic and coordination. Typical of the volunteer work in Mexico is Jesus XE2JTC and Octavio XE2JUM, who have travelled with others in 4-wheel-drive vehicles carrying hydraulic equipment and units to support breathing. Authorities in all affected places say the recovery work is continuing and will do so for a long time.
Jim Linton VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee
& Greg Mossop
As Hurricane Harvey approaches the Texas coast in the USA, various nets are activating as part of the emergency response. In addition to tropical and hurricane-force winds along the Texas coast and further inland, the main concern with this storm is heavy rain and flooding in an area which has not has a hurricane make landfall for 9 years.
Many of the frequencies used will be outside Region 1 allocations in 80m and 40m but there are some in 20m which may suffer from European QRM if operators are not careful.
The US National Hurricane Centre station WX4NHC will activate at 1900UTC 25th August on 14.325 MHz
The Hurricane Watch Net is operating from 1500 UTC on their daytime frequency of 14.325.00 MHz. When the 20 meter band closes they are likely to move over to 7.268.00 MHz or from 0000 UTC.
VOIP Hurricane Net likely to activate at 2 PM EDT/1800 UTC on Friday 25th August
The Southern Territory SATERN Net will activate for one day (so far) on Saturday, 26 August 2017 during local daylight hours on its regular frequency of 7.262 MHz.
Radio Amateurs are encouraged to listen carefully before transmitting to avoid QRM to Emergency activities.
Published: Friday, 25 August 2017 10:43
Written by Greg Mossop
International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 (IARU R1) President Don Beattie, G3BJ, told an audience at Ham Radio 2017 (Friedrichshafen) that he is "deeply concerned about our ability to maintain a usable radio spectrum in some parts of suburban Europe." Beattie said that Amateur Radio spectrum allocations are of little value if they are "made unusable by the presence of multiple sources of interference -- be it electrical interference or intruders in the amateur bands." Beattie said the IARU "is deeply involved in the work of the international standards organizations, arguing for common sense in the setting of emission standards for electrical and electronic devices." He cited solar photovoltaic arrays, wind generators, digital devices, VDSL+ and wireless power transfer technology as areas of current concern. "Some would say that even with the work we are involved in on standards, much of the radio spectrum is becoming unusable in the suburban environment," Beattie said, "and I have sympathy with this view."
Credit: Southgate Amateur Radio News
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