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When you least expect it--Your radio CAN help!

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KE6ENI, Apr 7, 2012.

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  1. KE6ENI

    KE6ENI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Dateline Baja 03:15 UTC……..Okay, I just always wanted to say that!

    What follows is not much of a story—it was simply HAMs helping fellow HAMs—and reminds me why I keep the radio turned on.

    It's Friday night and I’m working at my computer in the motor home here in Playas de Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico—the grandkids are here raiding my potato chips and M&M stash (I need a better hiding place)—even with all that QRM in the background I am able to hear a scratchy call on the PARC repeater (147.730) across the border in San Diego County.

    It went something like this: This is KJ6KPR...... I need someone to make a call to my propane company as we are up here at Mount Laguna and are out of gas for heating, and it’s freezing up here.

    There were a couple of come backs one from N6KI a PARC member who was mobile at the time and a couple of others tried to copy the message to be relayed a couple of times—in any case, I chimed in as well—said I had copied all but wanted a verification on his location which was at: – the Shriners’ camp --approximately 6000 feet up, near Mount Laguna.

    I called the propane company on my VOIP line from here in the Baja and got a night-time answering service; Tracy was at the other end of the line; I explained to him Steve's (KJ6KPR’s) predicament and that I was relaying this message to him via HAM radio. He responded with the usual surprise "Really??" Yes, we are still around and doing what HAMs have always done—helping out when help is needed. Tracy, the night phone OP, said he would have the company call me within 30 min....and I relayed that back to Steve (KJ6KPR).

    Of course, by now you are asking yourself WHY he didn’t just call on the phone, himself, RIGHT? Up there at the camp there is no public phone and no land line available at that time of the evening, and his cell phone had no signal up there either. But—he DID have his HT that did, with a marginal signal, get in to the Palomar Amateur Radio Club repeater.

    How cold was it, you might be wondering as you sit in your warm home?

    @ 03:15 UTC 44.0 °F 42.0 °F -1.0 °F -100.00in ENE 4.0mph 7.0mph 15%

    I get a call back from Kamps Propane. Rick was on the phone; he wanted to know if Steve (KJ6KPR) had an account and the usual info. He said he would call me back after he consulted his files. A short time later the VOIP line rang again and Rick, the propane guy, was unable to locate Steve's (KJ6KPR) account. So another relay or two or three from me on the phone with Rick and on two meters with Steve ensued. Finally Rick said he would head up the hill to replenish Steve’s propane gas.

    AT 5:03 UTC Steve (KJ6KPR) calls me (his signal still marginal on the repeater) and reports happily that Rick, the propane guy, arrived and was in the process of filling his tank. He thanked me and all those on the repeater who tried to help out.

    Tom KI6IET—a PARC member, also made contact with the night service, but got cut off.

    Thanks to Steve’s (KJ6KPR’s) new HAM radio license and radio, he was able to help himself and his family late on a cold evening—one that would shortly turn into a truly frigid night.

    Dave XE2/KE6ENI
  2. W1QT

    W1QT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Way to go Dave,...Good Job...Ya never know when a helping hand comes Via the air waves. Any call for help no matter the reason,...its nice to know that someone IS listening and responding.
  3. KF6OZF

    KF6OZF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Great to hear stories like this. Good work, KE6ENI and all those who tried to help a fellow HAM.
  4. N5DUX

    N5DUX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Great story. Love hearing about hams helping hams.

    For what it's worth:
    There's no need to capitalize "ham" - it's not an acronym.
  5. KD8NGE

    KD8NGE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good show and well done!
    Yours is not the only story of a ham extending assistance to another ham in distress ...
    It is, however, a ... no, I can't call it a heart warming story ... hands, ears and rest of self, yes ...
    (I better quit while I'm ahead. My foot is trying hard to insert itself between my pearly whites!)
  6. M1WML

    M1WML Ham Member QRZ Page

    sounds to me that he,s in a dangerous place if the phones don,t work.. what if he had needed the emergency service like an ambulance.. i would not like to think about what could happen.. sorry to be negative.. but it,s a fact..
  7. KF7PCL

    KF7PCL Ham Member QRZ Page

    But places without phone service do exist. Radio is pretty much your only chance.
  8. AG6CF

    AG6CF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Dave. Good job, and good writeup. I was listening while this was going on, and stories like this are great to hear (read). Thank you for sharing this.
  9. W4RAV

    W4RAV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Great story and told well. Thanks Dave.
  10. W7ASA

    W7ASA Ham Member QRZ Page

    That is great! I have assisted and BEEN assited by hams. What a fraternity of friends around the globe.

    For those who don't live in a place like the US or Canada, these are HUGE countries with much of it being wild, remote country, not covered by phones and etc. In the western United States, it's very common to have ONLY HF radio and if you are fortunate (like in this article) VHF or UHF repeaters.

    I once used my QRP rig (Morse) to call-in a bush plane for an early pick-up of our group from a remote location by relaying through a Ham in Arizona who graciously made the phone call for us then relayed back via Morse that our pick-up would be 'maybe tomorrow'. ha ha It was a great time to be a ham with my little , homebrewed QRP rig. We had a default pick-up scheduled before this - of course, but having completed our work early and living out of our rucksacks on short rations and foraging for two weeks; steaks and Tequila were sounding PRETTY GOOD - especially a day early!

    Thanks for sharing the story of this repeater relay for heating fuel. That was just delightful to read.

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