Saturday, July 14, 2018

#BeatTheHeat this summer


Beat the Heat this Summer
Stay safe as summer heats up. Prepare yourself for the high temperatures. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sickness from the heat occurs when your body cannot compensate and properly cool you off. However, heat-related illness and death are preventable. 

Before the next heat wave, or outdoor activity, follow these protective actions from the CDC and stay cool this summer:
  • Stay in an air-conditioned location as much as possible.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, even if you do not feel thirsty.
  • Take several breaks from the heat, especially midday when the sun is hottest.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing, and sunscreen. Remember that you should reapply sunscreen as indicated on the package.
  • Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
  • Check on friends or neighbors during extremely hot days and have someone do the same for you.
  • Never leave children or pets in cars.
  • Check the local news for health and safety updates.

Find more information on extreme heat preparedness at www.ready.gov/heat.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Don't you just hate radar indicated warnings? #Skywarn #WRN @wrnambassadors

You are sound asleep at 2 a.m.  The weather radio alarms for a tornado warning.  The warning reads this is a "radar indicated" storm.

Outside ... you went outside? ... the wind is breezy and, in the distance, there's a thunderhead with lightning.

As you stagger back to bed, grumbling what the Weather Service was thinking that caused your loss of sleep, realize there is a better way.


At two AM, surely there was someone awake upstream of the warning area.  Were there any reports of funnels or tornadoes or wind damage or hail?  Why were those reports not getting to the weather service?  Were there no reports?  Now the weather service has to rely on radar  but a trained spotter report takes away or adds to the nature of the warning.  

There are so many ways to get a report to the National Weather Service.  CALL them.  There number is listed on every Weather Forecast Office.  Locate your WFO by going to Weather.GOV and typing your zip code in the search box.

When you found your local weather page,  look for "your local forecast office is" and click that link.  There Skywarn and Weather Ready Nation efforts, along with the phone number is found there.

Ask them how they want Citizens to report.  Most will accept a phone call. 

When you see hail, damaging wind, flood, ice storms, etc., CALL the local office.

They also follow on Twitter and Facebook a lot.  Tag them in your post.  @NWSTulsa, for example, is the Tulsa NWS office on Twitter and Facebook.  How selfish is it of you to tag your friends while disregarding the place that can give the warning to your friends and your neighbors?

Hashtags are also a good way to use social media.  #XXwx where XX is the two letter identifier for your State, ex. KSwx 

Photos also tell a thousand words.  That hail stone looks great next to a ruler or a quarter.

Be part of your community.  Report your weather to the NWS and your local emergency manager.  Maybe we can all get a good rest if there are fewer radar indicated storms, maybe.



Saturday, July 07, 2018

Steps to Prevent Vehiclular Heatstroke #LookBeforeYouLock #Skywarn


In just 10 minutes a car can heat up by 20 degrees and become deadly
On hot days, the temperature inside your car can reach deadly levels in just 10 minutes.

In 2017, 42 children died of vehicular heatstroke. Heatstroke begins when the core body temperature reaches about 104 degrees. A core body temperature of about 107 degrees is lethal.

When left in a hot car, a child's temperature can rise quickly. A child's body temperature rises three to five times faster than an adult's.

Help prevent vehicular heatstroke with these eight steps from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
  1. Never leave a child or pet in a car unattended—even if the windows are partially open or the engine is running, and the air conditioning is on.
  2. Make a habit of looking in the car—front and back—before locking the door and walking away.
  3. Ask your childcare provider to call you if your child does not show up for care as expected.
  4. Place your purse or briefcase in the back seat so you do not accidentally leave a child or pet in the car.
  5. Write a note or place a toy in the passenger's seat to remind you of the child or pet in the car.
  6. Teach children not to play in cars and store keys out of a child's reach.
  7. If you see a child alone in a locked car, get them out immediately and call 911.
  8. Remove the child from the car and rapidly cool them if they are in distress due to heat.

Learn more extreme heat preparedness at www.ready.gov/heat. If you would like to help spread the word about extreme heat safety, you can visit the Extreme Heat Social Media Toolkit for resources. Download the FEMA App for heat advisories and safety tips.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Saturday, June 30, 2018

See a Flash, Dash inside #WRN #Skywarn


Lightning
According to the National Weather Service (NWS), summer brings an increase in lightning strikes.

While the warm weather invites many outside activities, if you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you. Take a moment during National Lightning Safety Awareness Week (June 24-30) to learn how to stay safe in a thunderstorm with tips from NWS.

Outdoors:
  • When thunder roars, go indoors - move inside a sturdy building or hard top vehicle with the windows up as soon as you hear thunder.
  • Do not take shelter in small sheds, gazebos, dugouts, bleachers, under isolated trees, or convertible automobiles.
  • Avoid open fields, the top of a hill, or a ridge top.
  • Stay away from water, wet items, such as ropes, and metal objects, such as fences and poles. Water and metal do not attract lightning, but they are excellent conductors of electricity.

Indoors:
  • Stay indoors. Stay inside at least 30 minutes after you hear the last clap of thunder.
  • Do not touch anything plugged into an electrical outlet.
  • Use a corded telephone only for emergencies; cordless and cellular phones are safe to use.
  • Avoid contact with plumbing; do not wash your hands, and do not take a shower or bath.

To learn how to prepare for a thunderstorm, visit the Ready Campaign’s Thunderstorms page. For more lightning safety information, visit www.lightningsafety.noaa.govRemember: lightning can strike any time of year.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

#Skywarn lives in Hurricane Season #ARRL #hamradio

Skywarn is a good program to support local communities with information from the National Weather Service and to the local NWS County Warning Area.

The Voice Over Internet  Protocol Weather Net has weekly nets during hurricane season with activations during landfalling hurricanes in support of the National Hurricane Center.

Please tune your Echolink and IRLP nodes to the WX-Talk Conference (7203) and IRLP reflector 9219 and see what's going on, especially during hurricane season.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

This is why you evacuate on watch #Skywarn #WRN

It's easy to forget to be weather aware when vacationing on the lake.  There's not a cloud in the sky and then BOOM.

If you live in manufactured housing, even more substantial than these shown in the media report from KSWO, consider finding more substantial shelter NOW before the watch is issued.  Don't wait for the warning to hunt.

When the watch is issued, be it tornado or severe thunderstorm, be closer to the substantial shelter than in one of these.  Clearly, one would not want to be ON the lake during severe weather.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

When too much is too much #ARRL #hamradio

Social media is great.  One can add lists on Twitter, Facebook, YahooGroups, Google Groups ... and then what?

There's an emergency management list that is orphaned on AOL (remember that?) and an active one on Yahoogroups.

There's a buy and sell on Facebook but one already existed on Yahoo and before that on QTH.net

How many is too many?  Do you really have time for a new group?  

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

When is too much too much? #ARRL #hamradio

Practice.  Move to an area.  Program the local repeater and simplex frequencies in your radio or scanner.

Listen.

What do you hear?

Unless you find yourself in a major metropolitan area, pretty much nothing.  Kerchunks?  Repeater Identification?  

It works like this.  If you are going to put something up, have people monitoring it.  One can't answer a MayDay, if one does not hear it.  

Does the club NEED the added expense of maintaining an additional repeater when the primary repeater sits unused and unmonitored?

How much is too much?  

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Where are the #teamJesus nets? #hamradio


It seems to me that Jesus would have been an amateur radio operator, though, realistically, He would not need a radio, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIN, or Google+ technology to reach the hearts and minds of men.

However, I'm a Christian ham ... a member of the Christian Amateur Radio Fellowship and have participated in the Bible Fellowship Net.

Here's some others who mix their hobby with the Faith.






A number of RemoteHams stations are dedicated to Christian Networks.  Can't reach your favorite net because of propagation?  Check the remotes.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

League Criticism #ARRL #hamradio

There's plenty of folks being critical of the ARRL   Some of the Comments are valid points that the League is addressing.  Some are not.

At Hamvention, the ARRL was out in force.  It was quite obvious that every badge had a name and every name was a person.

While the League is an organization, every organization has members.  If you want to complain, join.  If you don't join, you have NO vote.  

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Bucket List item #hamvention #ARRL #hamradio

Following a successful retirement date of 1 February, the Hamvention was a sure item.  It's been planned for over a year.

First time visitor to Hamvention but with plenty of friends who have been there revealed a lot to expect among the unexpected.  

Members of the Christian Amateur Radio Fellowship
regularly plan to have a booth at Hamvention.
Hamvention, like social media, is about being social.  There were hams there that the author has known, over the air, for years but, until now, only could imagine their appearance, other than images on a web page, like this.

Hamvention is so much more than vendors but the vendor space was overwhelming.  Had one visited every vendor and bought something, the economy would be improved, yet, there would be no time for forums and socializing.   

Hamvention is so much more than forums.  The forums were educational.  From Automatic Packet Reporting System to D-Star to Military Affiliate Radio System to Shared Resources to Skywarn, there was a topic for everyone.  

Hamvention was well planned and executed.  The Nixle text messages were beneficial in alerting to strong storms to advising on the parking lot issues.  For all the work being done, Greene County and Hamvention should join the Weather Ready Nation effort.  

The media outreach was impressive.  Local television covered the event.  The media outreach was so effective the media parking lot was full at one point.  HamTalkLive and W5KUB were just a few of the amateur radio media in attendance.

The food trucks assembled at Hamvention was impressive.  From Cajun to Southern to Ice Cream and a variety of drinks, there was something for everyone.  Certainly, there was no need to starve at Hamvention, expect one would be too busy shopping or in forums to eat.

The ARRL, Radio Society of Great Britain, Radio Amateurs Canada, as well as the German and Japanese National Organizations of the International Amateur Radio Union had booth space and lots of it at Hamvetion.  It seemed that almost everyone from the ARRL was there but a phone call to Headquarters confirmed that was not the case.

Hamvention, even with the rain, was worth the bucket list item.  Follow KC5FM on APRS and Twitter to see if the trip repeats.  Regardless, put Hamvention on your to-do list.


Sunday, April 29, 2018

Calling the MAYDAYl

It's the OFFICIAL emergency call ... "MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY this is YOURCALL YOURCALL YOURCALL OVER" or on CW "SOS SOS SOS de yourcall yourcall yourcall K"

That's not taught much anymore but it should be.  Another blog discussed it.

First, receiving the call is easy (and difficult).  Acknowledge the caller and inquire of the nature of the emergency.  If it's a local emergency, call 911 on the phone.  One should also know the local number for emergency services apart from 911.  Can you reach your fire department, police department, emergency medical services, public works without calling 911?  It's important you do so.

The hard part of the receiving part is in listening.  A recent Amateur Radio Newsline Report noted an amateur radio operator answering the MAYDAY but the report also noted caller had to  call on a half-dozen repeaters before he got an answer.

If folk insist on putting up devices, one would expect them to also insist on monitoring them.

Next, stay on channel.  Assure the caller that help is on the way.  Be prepared to offer first aid tips and other information, ex. weather conditions that may change the way the emergency will play out.

If you are on High Frequency and have requested Federal Assistance, ex. Coast Guard, Military, FEMA, give them the frequency of the emergency.  Coast Guard and other Department of Defense resources have frequency-agile radios capable of tuning to ham radio frequencies.  Once they are on your net, listen in case they lose contact with the station.

If you are not going to monitor 24x7, use the Wilderness protocal.  Listen at the top and bottom of the hour for five minutes.  Proposed by K0NR, the protocol is simple and takes the guesswork out of 24x7 monitoring.

At night, it would be easy to sleep with a radio tuned to 146.52 for that important MAYDAY call.

Finally, you have done the MAYDAY.  Folks are rescued.  The fire is out.  The medics have started the line.  Call your section manager to let him know the story for QST and other ham radio media.  Help others learn.  


Sunday, April 22, 2018

American History ReWrite

A few weeks ago, @60Minutes Tweeted

Now a personal note, folks in the South can't help where they lived.  So many can't help that "Bobby Lee" is a cousin. 

It's really interesting that over 100 years after the "losers" lost, the statutes and building names are coming down.  If the person was so vile, one would think the statutes and building names would have come down within years of the of the War of Northern Agression, much less be put up years after the tragic time.  Who says Civil War ancestors can NOT be remembered by their offspring?  It's HISTORY.  It's not a pleasant part of our Nation's history but, if we don't remember it, we will be doomed to repeat it.

Andy Stanley said it well when he mentioned that, if the church had done the ONE commandment Jesus said to do at the Last Supper, THIS war, World War I, and even World War II would have been unnessary. 

Can't we spend our time and money on something more productive?  Don't we need to focus on LOVE rather than HATE?


Sunday, April 15, 2018

Being Storm Ready in a Weather Ready Nation

By this time, Oklahoma weather has produced a tornado warning or 15.

Are you just now getting ready? 

Weather Ready Nation participants know how to get ready.  Skywarn volunteers have been preparing in the "off-season" for "show time"

If you're reading this, it's not too late for you to get #OKready.

1.  Make a plan
2.  Build a kit to support the plan.
3.  Practice the plan.
4.  Help others #UntilHelpArrives



Sunday, April 08, 2018

Green Country Hamfest coming soon

Oklahoma's Largest & Most Attended Hamfest!!!
 2018 Green Country Hamfest - April 13th & 14thin Claremore, Oklahoma.Only 30 minutes from Tulsa! Claremore Expo, 400 Veterans Parkway, Claremore, OK, 74017  MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/X9kEaTalk-in on: 147.09+  
Free Parking!!! - Low Cost ON-SITE RV Parking!
 
Terrific Prizes! Fantastic Forums - Learn something new! See 
Flea Market - Great Bargains!
Free Test Table - Check It Before You Buy It!
On-site VE Testing Get or upgrade your license!
Admission is $10.00 per person at the door (One ticket covers both
Days) Children 12 and under are Free!
Hours: Fri. 4pm-9pm  -  Sat.8am-3pm
Flea Market Tables are $15.00 at the door 


Sunday, April 01, 2018

Sound the Alarm with @RedCrossOK #volunteer

This spring, join fellow Red Cross volunteers in more than 100 communities across the country as we launch Sound the Alarm, a series of home fire safety and smoke alarm installation events to help save lives.

Did you know that the American Red Cross responds to a disaster every 8 minutes, and the vast majority of these are home fires? Sadly, every day seven people die from home fires, most in homes that lack working smoke alarms, with children and the elderly disproportionately killed. That’s why the Red Cross launched the Home Fire Campaign in 2014. Since then, volunteers and partners have made over 300,000 households safer. Now we’re on the cusp of something big, and we need your help.

This year in the State of Oklahoma, 2,057 homes made safer by installing  5,232 alarms and together with volunteers across the country we have saved over 381 lives. This year, from April 28th – May 13th, we will install 100,000 smoke alarms in over 100 cities across the nation. We are counting on volunteers like you to help us achieve this major milestone! Here is how you can help: Volunteer to help Sound the Alarm. Save a Life Registration is open! Click here Sound the Alarm OKC - Red Cross Volunteer Registration to sign up for our May 5th OKC Sound the Alarm event and commit to joining 35,000 volunteers across the country to make homes safer by installing smoke alarms, replacing smoke alarm batteries and helping families create escape plans.

Support Sound the Alarm through Personal Fundraising You can amplify your impact through Personal Fundraising with your friends and family to help save lives! Join your chapter’s fundraising team and then ask your network to donate to your page and help save lives. Join your chapter’s fundraising team page here: www.crowdrise.com/stacentralsouthwestok

Spread the word! Invite your friends and family to volunteer with you or to join your fundraising efforts! Ask them to sign up at www.soundthealarm.org.

Thank you for all that you do to serve communities in Central & Southwest Oklahoma. Together, we can Sound the Alarm about fire safety and help save lives

Sunday, March 25, 2018

What does the League do for #hamradio?

Has the American Radio Relay League done stuff you don't agree should have been done?

Probably everyone will answer that question with YES!

However, the ARRL remains the only truly active voice for amateur radio operators in the United States.

Please ask yourself these questions.

1.  Who has an office in Washington, DC and staff to advocate for amateur radio before Congress?
2.  Who has the ear of the Federal Communications Commission for amateur radio operators?
3.  Who has the most active volunteer examiners who recently held a record-setting VE session?
4.  With over 700K licensed amateur radio operators in the United States, why do International amateur radio operators join the League but only about 20% of USA hams have joined?
5.  Who has the most active awards program in amateur radio?
6.  Who has the most active field organization in the hobby?
7.  Did you know about the Social Media links?

Now, ask yourself one more question.  Why have I not joined?



Sunday, March 18, 2018

Hamvention HO!!!!

Who's going to Hamvention?

With retirement comes adventure.  The wife has agreed to join me on a road trip to the Buckeye State.  One can follow along on APRS, Echolink, IRLP, and Allstar.  Tune to the South Coast Amateur Radio Service resources.

If anyone needs a room, I have reserved a few that will be unreserved at the week's end.  

When the trip is done, that's one item on the bucket list done.  

Sunday, March 11, 2018

When too much is too much

Back in the day, there was ONE repeater in an area supported by ONE club.  When one wished to know something, one listened to the one repeater and the club covered the meetings, social and otherwise.

Now there are over a dozen repeaters in a 25-mile radius (according to RepeaterBook and Rfinder) most of which remain quiet except for the morning, noon, and evening kerchunks.

The clubs have a variety of social events which remain unknown except for a few.  Meetings are not published in local newspapers, radio stations, etc., including the repeaters mentioned above.

Folks really need to help folks enjoy the hobby.  Are you having an antenna party?  Are you having a burger burn?  What's the topic at the next club meeting?

Is your club needing help with a project?  Ask your neighbors.  That HF DX club might be willing to help with that Bicycle Rally.

Every ham can be a public information officer.  A bunch of you are on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, and Blogger/WordPress.  Light up those tubes and transistors with information that Scanner and Shortwave Listeners can use.  Lets work together for the Best Hobby On the Planet.

Saturday, March 03, 2018

Falling League Membership @KB6NU

At his popular blog, KB6NU made a good point about the need of elmers in amateur radio.

While that's true, the League also needs to enhance membership and elmers too.  There's a problem with folks thinking the League is only QST.  It's not.

Enhancing the membership experience is important.  An important step came with the ARRL branded VISA card.  It was a good first step.

When one joins AARP, AMAC, Farm Bureau, and a host of other "You Pay Me" groups, one gets a plethora of membership discounts.

The more members one has, the greater number of AVIS, Hertz, and Enterprise vendors line up to give discounts to the membership.

The problem is that the League is in a Catch 22.  In order to get more members who want discounts, more members need to join.

The vendors don't seem to get that the League is THE voice for amateur radio for a lot of the world.

This Little Engine That Could is doing this:
Become a Sustaining Member and get discounts from participating companies. Here's how. @K0STH
#hamradio 100wattsandawire.com/donate/

Could we start in the amateur radio community?  If equipment dealers, distributers, and the like would give a discount to League members, the program could get a start.  The more discounts, the more value the membership could see in an already good program.

Hams, join the League.  It's the best National organization representing you in the Nation.                                           

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Will you join your local #Skywarn program?

The Storm Prediction Center has a tornado watch in your area.  Your local weather service office has broadcast a tornado warning.

The radar went down 15 minutes ago.

What does one do?

With only a very few exceptions, the radar on your desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone is provided by your tax dollars.

Skywarn folks know the answer

In Oklahoma, Skywarn offers training to everyone so everyone know what's fake and what's not as well as how to report to whom the observation.

There are tools like MPING to  help.see who is reporting what.

In Oklahoma, the Mesonet has a network of Stations giving wind speed and direction.  For the public safety folks, there's a plugin that displays lightning using the Nationwide Lightning Network. 

Skywarn folks know the answer.

So, the storm has passed.  Your weather radio went off while it was in the area.  The radar will come back in six hours.  In the mean time, what did you do?  What were you supposed to do?

Skywarn folks know the answer.  Find your local emergency manager and ask him or her how to be involved in Skywarn.  Your life may depend on your being aware, especially when technology fails.






Saturday, January 20, 2018

Where will you go when the repeater is gone?

Are you using FM Simplex?  What frequency or frequencies do you monitor and your location?

Locally, I use 147.51, 146.52, and 446.000 in the scanner.  Traveling, I use 146.52 mostly but occasionally monitor the APRS alert (144.39 with 100 PL tone).  

One might even find me on 10-meters FM around 29.6


73



Lloyd, KC5FM

Sending Email from a handheld

Using only a Handheld! You can send your Satellite EMail from the Kenwood TH-D7(g) shown above, or the new Yaesu VX-8R (or the TM-D700 and 710 APRS mobile radios) via PCSAT-1, ISS, or GO32. . . Just press the MSG button, select INPUT on the MSG Menu, enter EMAIL as the address, and make the first text of the message be an email address followed by your message. . In the example below, an EMAIL to A3XYZ@AMSAT.ORG says OK in OceanCity with HT & whip!. .

If your email is digipeated via the satellite, then you will see MY MESSAGE flashed on the screen indicating success. . Now, all we need is a plan, a schedule, and some volulnteer SSET net-controls to take check-in\'s on the appropriate birds. . Then we need a coordinating team to assemble the results into a meaningful format for consideration. . And that is only a hint of what these HT\'s can do (see event data entry example).

ANY TNC WILL DO: . If you do not have an APRS radio or mobile, you do not even need APRS to participate in this test. You can use any packet TNC or packet softare and any radio to send your Simulated Emergency Test check in. . It is trivial to do. . Just type your email into your BTEXT and send.

73

Aprs Moving Hams On Radio And The Internet: A Guide to the Automatic Position Reporting System

Monday, January 01, 2018

Have you heard that 10-meters is OPEN? @tentennet


Ten Meters is one of my favorite bands. Even when it's not "open", it's frequently open. With the sunspots on the rise, so should the activity on the band increase.


Have you found http://ten-ten.org/daily_nets.html yet? Nets listed there will help determine if the band is open. If you look at http://www.qsl.net/steelcity/nets/whichnet.html, one will see a search box that lets you know which nets are in operation.

http://www.dxwatch.com/dxsd1.php?f=92 or http://hamspots.net/10/ will also give you DX Cluster spots, just for 10 meters.

At http://www.vhfdx.info/spots/warnings.php, one can get email alerts when six meters is open. If SIX is open, it's almost a given that TEN is open.

http://www.dxmaps.com/spots/map.php?Lan=E&Frec=28&ML=M&Map=W2L&DXC=N&HF=N&GL=N also offers a map of openings AND the ability to post spots all in one place.


There's a number of 10 meter software defined radios that one can use to see where's the band is open. Two are dedicated to the "Beacon Band".

http://userpages.troycable.net/~wj5o/bcn.htm is a list of beacons on Ten. Tune here to see where the band is open, even when it's not.

Ten Meters is one of my favorite bands. Thankfully, there's plenty of tools to take some of the Magic out of the Band.  What is your favorite band?

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