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KE5VMO
02-01-2009, 03:53 AM
In my county, there is not one single amateur radio repeater. My county is small in population, but is very big if you consider the rural areas(which is most of the county). I think a repeater in my county would be very useful in an emergency since the closest repeater to my county is about 35mi. to the north. I was wondering if there was anykind of grant money to get from the U.S. goverment or state to go towards the funding of a repeater. Has anybody ever wrote a grant for ham radio?

73,
Nic Day KE5VMO Cotton County Oklahoma

N7WR
02-01-2009, 04:11 AM
The Department of Homeland Security has Public Safety Interoperability Grants available to government agencies to improve their communications systems and to assist with the transition to narrowbanding. These grants are intended to buy public safety radios--however, some government agencies have included amateur radio equipment in their grant applications and have gotten them approved. I have written successful PSIC grant applications every year that they have existed. However, the amount of money just released for 2009 is smaller than in the past and the grant process itself is much more complex.

Here is something to think about. Somewhere near your county there must be a public safety agency that is using DHS PSIC grant money to replace their current VHF wideband repeaters with narrowband (and possibly P25 digital) repeaters. You might have some luck getting them to donate one of their old but still very servicable repeaters to your county's RACES or ARES group. If you are lucky they will donate the duplexer and antenna as well as the repeater. As a general rule public safety VHF repeaters and duplexers can be re-tuned into the 2 meter amateur band with very little difficulty.

AC0YW
02-01-2009, 06:08 AM
You may also contact Ron, k0rgt about this,as he set up a very powerful repeater in Ava, Douglas county Mo. I am the VP of the club here, and it is a real asset in times of crisis. We are currently recovering from an Ice storm here and to the south. If you have echo link we are there. The contact information here is correct, tell 'em Dave sent you!

W7GIB
02-01-2009, 09:10 AM
How about, instead of putting your hand out to the Government (IE taxpayers), you get a Radio Club going and use dues from like minded individuals to build your repeater.

If you tell me that there is no intrest in a club, then there will probably be no intrest in using a repeater in an actual emergency. IE another dead repeater.

If you look into it, you will find that setting up a repeater is not some HUGE expense that can not be reached by mortals.

Good luck.

GeorgeRaft
02-01-2009, 10:17 PM
Seriously now, if the adults in your county, who hold amateur radio licenses, felt that there was some sort of need for such a repeater, physically right in your county, one of them, or a group/club/association of them, would have put one up long ago...and without any handouts from Uncle Sugar (the taxpayers).

Obviously, they see no reason for such a thing, or they find the nearby repeater(s) physically located in the neighboring county/counties quite adequate.

Having amateur radio operators asking for handouts from the gub-mint (the taxpayers) gives the entire service a bad name.

WB2WIK
02-02-2009, 01:16 AM
You might contact the local Department of Emergency Services and see if they have any provisions.

Here even in densely populated and very wealthy Los Angeles, several repeaters are "government sponsored" to some extent by City-County-State-Federal funds as they are part of D.E.S. Even the L.A. County Sheriff's Department operates several amateur radio repeaters at their expense, as the ham "emergency reports," especially regarding wildfires and auto accidents, are a valuable service to the County. The repeaters are monitored 24/7 by not only other hams, but by the Sheriff's Dept.

WB2WIK/6

K0RGR
02-02-2009, 02:47 AM
Here in our county, we have an active ham radio club. But we do submit grant proposals to the two largest employers in town every year, and they typically respond with generous donations. The last time we replaced our downtown repeater, one of those companies bought the replacement, a new antenna and hardline for us, and installed the thing on their tallest building downtown!

We also have a very high level repeater serving the region that is owned by the county. This is because ARES and SKYWARN have enjoyed a great relationship with the county for many years. Our club, ARES, and SKYWARN all provide lots of public service work throughout the year, for both public and private events.

So, yes, you can get others to pay for it, but it takes a lot of work!

I would think that if you can get a good SKYWARN group together, there would be some interest!

W5HTW
02-02-2009, 04:01 AM
If you manage to have your county Emergency Manager's Office acquired DHS or FEMA funding for a repeater, it will belong to the county, not to the hams. That doesn't mean the hams can't use it, of course. But DHS is not going to give an individual grant money for a repeater. Simple as that. If they did, we'd have a gajillioon of unused repeates, and a double dajillion of poor hams with big repeater systems. And a lot of increased taxes.

But contact your county EM. If he or she is savy, a grant may be written requesting a repeater. If so, it will be under county goverment control and will not belong to any ham.

You would be better off to organize the many hams in your county who ARE interested in funding a repeater, setting up a repeate club, and putting on one the air. Many hams? Yeah, round 'em up. Then it is a club repeater, and not linked to emergency services.

Ed

N7WR
02-02-2009, 04:07 AM
Before someone jumps on WIK about government sponsored ham repeaters it is important to note that L A Sheriff has had an active amateur radio group since I was in grade school (and since I'm now 63 that is a LONG time). To support that group they have had amateur repeaters which they sponsor...again, that has been for a long time--in fact back to the AM days. When I was in college (I commuted 35 miles each way) I used to be a regular on the Mt. Disappointment repeater during those commutes and could always count on Jerry (W6BGV I think???) or Sgt. Frank Oakden (K6TOW) being there in case I ran across something. They and Sgt. Tommy Thompson recruited me into law enforcement back in 1967 after I had served as a DCS amateur radio volunteer for a few years.

W9GB
02-02-2009, 04:22 AM
If you manage to have your county Emergency Manager's Office acquired DHS or FEMA funding for a repeater, it will belong to the county, not to the hams. That doesn't mean the hams can't use it, of course.
These repeaters are worthless without properly trained amateur radio volunteers. Just in Illinois over the last 35 years, I have seen this go both ways -- no government assistance -- and too much control that alienates everyone. It is a relationship that has to be ACTIVELY managed -- for success and longevity. When you look close enough, you find it is a handful of very dedicated and modest volunteers that mantain the balance.

w9gb

KB7QPS
02-02-2009, 05:56 AM
One thing you might do to help is see if you can have a licensed professional engineer design and approve your repeater system. I believe this will help give the people reading your grant application confidence that your system will be beneficial and work well for the situations they are envisioning.

ARRL has a list of PEs and I believe they have a few in Oklahoma. I can also do it, but currently licensed in Montana. I'd do it at no cost for a club applying for a grant to install a repeater.

W9PSK
02-02-2009, 06:40 AM
The Department of Homeland Security has Public Safety Interoperability Grants available to government agencies to improve their communications systems and to assist with the transition to narrowbanding. These grants are intended to buy public safety radios--however, some government agencies have included amateur radio equipment in their grant applications and have gotten them approved. I have written successful PSIC grant applications every year that they have existed. However, the amount of money just released for 2009 is smaller than in the past and the grant process itself is much more complex.

Here is something to think about. Somewhere near your county there must be a public safety agency that is using DHS PSIC grant money to replace their current VHF wideband repeaters with narrowband (and possibly P25 digital) repeaters. You might have some luck getting them to donate one of their old but still very servicable repeaters to your county's RACES or ARES group. If you are lucky they will donate the duplexer and antenna as well as the repeater. As a general rule public safety VHF repeaters and duplexers can be re-tuned into the 2 meter amateur band with very little difficulty.

This is the best idea so far.

AB8ZL
02-02-2009, 03:56 PM
In my county, there is not one single amateur radio repeater. My county is small in population, but is very big if you consider the rural areas(which is most of the county). I think a repeater in my county would be very useful in an emergency since the closest repeater to my county is about 35mi. to the north. I was wondering if there was anykind of grant money to get from the U.S. goverment or state to go towards the funding of a repeater. Has anybody ever wrote a grant for ham radio?

73,
Nic Day KE5VMO Cotton County Oklahoma
Being licensed less than a year, have you listened and searched the bands for active repeaters already in place that you could use? Have you listened during tornado activity to any Skywarn nets? That is a form of emergency communication used several times a year (especially where youíre located) and Iím fairly sure that if there was some gap in coverage that they would be aware of it.

There may not be a repeater in your particulate county, but radio waves donít stop at the county line. A quick search on one repeater directory shows 21 repeaters covering your QTH. Of course not all of those may still be active as no repeater directory I know of is that accurate but still it would seem that there are usable repeaters available to be used not requiring my tax dollars. This is amateur radio and amateurs should fund their own activities, not depend on the government especially in those economic times. If you hadnít noticed, our government is broke and hardly needs to be funding yet another amateur radio repeater to set dead 99% of the time.

KB7QPS
02-02-2009, 04:15 PM
I'm reading a few posts on here criticizing the OP for looking for a gubmint bailout of ham radio.

Something I'd like to point out is the grant money that may fund a repeater will get spent one way or another. The government will fund one project or another whether or not the OP writes an application for the amateur radio repeater. (Remember how it works in government: If you do not spend all of the money you are budgeted in 2008, you will get less in 2009. So the government agencies are highly motivated to spend every penny in 2008 so they will get at least the same amount in 2009.)

The other thing that one poster mentioned is they can request a grant for surplus radio equipment that would have been disposed of anyway. Most government agencies require that surplus items be destroyed or sold at market value. The agencies are oftentimes allowed to give away items if an entity requests a "grant" of equipment. So that's a great use of grant-writing.

I recently applied for a government grant to plant trees on my property and I live in Seattle! Now that's comical. But the money is out there and I applied for it. Somebody will get the money, so it might as well be me, right?

AB8ZL
02-02-2009, 04:51 PM
I recently applied for a government grant to plant trees on my property and I live in Seattle! Now that's comical. But the money is out there and I applied for it. Somebody will get the money, so it might as well be me, right?

And itís exactly that type of attitude that has us in such a financial mess.

Just because you can doesnít mean you should. Iíll bet your one of the first to complain about wasteful government spending when its not going into your pocket.

KB7QPS
02-02-2009, 05:09 PM
And itís exactly that type of attitude that has us in such a financial mess.

Just because you can doesnít mean you should. Iíll bet your one of the first to complain about wasteful government spending when its not going into your pocket.

I'm a Montana native and don't care for big government. I don't agree with people expecting the government to take care of them as back in Montana we took care of ourselves. And when I looked at my tax bill this year (somewhere around $15,000 - $20,000), I sigh and wish that our government would shrink in size so they take less of my paycheck.

However, I don't see anything wrong with using the programs once they have been created. They are open to all and it makes sense to use them.
Somebody will receive the money - why not put your name in the hat if you have an idea? The government will rank them according to the requirements of the grant, and if your concept ranks high, they'll fund it. If your concept doesn't meet the requirements, they won't fund it.

WA4ILH
02-02-2009, 05:16 PM
[QUOTE=KB7QPS;1474609]I'm reading a few posts on here criticizing the OP for looking for a gubmint bailout of ham radio.
... Most government agencies require that surplus items be destroyed or sold at market value. The agencies are oftentimes allowed to give away items if an entity requests a "grant" of equipment. So that's a great use of grant-writing.

QPS, What governments are you referring to? Most federal surplus equipment is listed on a GSA website and typically goes to the lowest bidder, sometimes pennies on the dollar.
If it's destroyed, we have to PAY a qualified (green) salvage company to come and pick it up, this would be our last option.
Tom WA4ILH

KS4VT
02-02-2009, 05:46 PM
Being an individual who is the co-chair of our DHS Regional Domestic Security Task Force Comms. Sub-Committee I can say that this year (2009) most of the Federal grant monies for communications is going mostly to training and governance.

For many years in the past the $ has been availble for equipment but not the same for 2009. Now that a lot of equipment has been purchased and put in place DHS wants us to actually use it and create agreements allowing for the use of it.

This is the body of a recent e-mail that I received:

Dear Public Safety Communications Interoperability Stakeholder,

For many years, practitioners have spoken of the need for greater ease in the transmission of:
• Interlocal Agreements (ILAs)
• Joint Powers Agreements (JPAs)
• Memoranda of Agreement (MOAs)
• Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs)
• Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

The National Emergency Communications Plan (NECP) recognizes this need as well, stating, “DHS will establish a central repository of model formal agreements (MOA, MOU, and Mission Assignments) and information that will enhance interstate and intrastate coordination,” and “DHS will identify and refine model SOPs for emergency communications during specific types of incidents and all-hazards response, beyond tactical communications.”

In order to meet these milestones OEC needs your help! OEC is in the process of building a reference library of ILAs, JPAs, MOAs, MOUs, SOPs, and related agreements that can be used to assist agencies with the development of their specific document needs for improving communications interoperability.

If you possess examples of any of the documents mentioned above and are willing to share them with your colleagues, please forward the documents in Microsoft Word format to ***@hq.dhs.gov (or simply reply to this e-mail) by February 11, 2009. Upon receiving these materials, OEC will review, evaluate, and generalize the collected information into model templates that stakeholders can leverage in the creation of future governance agreements. These templates, along with links to real-world examples, will ultimately be made available to the public through a secure website.

Throughout this process, OEC is committed to maintaining the security of all practitioner submitted materials. OEC encourages practitioners to perform any necessary redactions prior to the submission of materials. Once received, all submitted materials will be housed on a secure server.

Last year the PSIC was a very large grant that I do not belive will be repeated this year. http://www.ntia.doc.gov/psic/

Are smaller grants available?...probably but they will be difficult to find and will have lots of competition.

KS4VT
02-02-2009, 05:47 PM
[QUOTE=KB7QPS;1474609]I'm reading a few posts on here criticizing the OP for looking for a gubmint bailout of ham radio.
... Most government agencies require that surplus items be destroyed or sold at market value. The agencies are oftentimes allowed to give away items if an entity requests a "grant" of equipment. So that's a great use of grant-writing.

QPS, What governments are you referring to? Most federal surplus equipment is listed on a GSA website and typically goes to the lowest bidder, sometimes pennies on the dollar.
If it's destroyed, we have to PAY a qualified (green) salvage company to come and pick it up, this would be our last option.
Tom WA4ILH

I think you mean the highest bidder. :rolleyes: j/k

W8JI
02-02-2009, 05:53 PM
What bothers me is sending money to people who are inexperienced and have no idea how to run a repeater system or how to spend the money.

Most of the repeaters on the air probably should not be on the air. The FCC should have kept the license requirements, and the repeater coordinating bodies should try to screen it so people who have no idea how a system works just don't take up valuable pairs.

The system really should have had better national planning.

Someone can put a great repeater system on the air for less than $2000 by modifying commercial gear. Someone else might spend $10,000 for all new stuff that is crap.

73 Tom

KB7QPS
02-02-2009, 05:58 PM
[quote=KB7QPS;1474609]
QPS, What governments are you referring to? Most federal surplus equipment is listed on a GSA website and typically goes to the lowest bidder, sometimes pennies on the dollar.
If it's destroyed, we have to PAY a qualified (green) salvage company to come and pick it up, this would be our last option.
Tom WA4ILH

"Fair market value" is established when the something is sold on the GSA website to the highest bidder. It might be pennies on the dollar compared to the price paid for it but is amount the item is worth today. Yes, it can be sold on the cheap.

Destroying perfectly good stuff makes no sense to me, but alas, that is how they do it.

WA4ILH
02-02-2009, 06:03 PM
[QUOTE=wa4ilh;1474673]

I think you mean the highest bidder. :rolleyes: j/k

Yes, I did mean highest bidder..... sorry about that, ...it's Monday
Tom WA4ILH

KS4VT
02-02-2009, 06:04 PM
No problem....

AB0WR
02-02-2009, 10:26 PM
If you are going to set up a repeater system for emergency purposes you do not want a *single point of failure*.

Putting up ONE repeater gives you a single point of failure.

The people that suggested you get a professionally designed system and that you use repeaters in adjoining counties got it right.

Both will give you systems that do not have single points of failures.

Putting up a repeater and depending on it for emergency services is just asking to be embarrassed. Think about it.

tim ab0wr

KE5VMO
02-03-2009, 11:10 PM
I was simply inquiring. There are some HAMS who are interested in putting one up. I guess I'll get bashed on this just beacuse of my age. I thought it wouldn't hurt to ask. I didn't say anything about taking taxpayer money and spending it all up just because I thought it would cost you money. I didn't say anything about getting something up like this without any knowledge or help either.

N8EKT
02-03-2009, 11:20 PM
Hams should NEVER entangle themselves financially with the Government.
Repeaters are relatively cheap.
I own 5 UHF repeaters
Pick one up on ebay and find a high spot to put it on.

KB7QPS
02-17-2009, 01:38 AM
Too late. You alright have entangled yourself financially with the government because the government subsidies our hobby.

(Ever heard of spectrum auctions? The government kindly provides frequencies for us to use at no charge.)

KB7QPS
03-13-2009, 04:03 PM
I was at a club meeting last night and they had a letter requesting proposals for grant money to support emegency communications in the city. The city has a $15,000 set aside for non-profits to improve their own communications system.

A repeater would certainly fall into this category.

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