FCC May Revise Rules Concerning Disruption to Comms During Disasters

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by N1FM, Sep 27, 2021.

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  1. N1FM

    N1FM Ham Member QRZ Page

    There's nothing that would prevent hams from deploying an Internet network around an affected area and using an app to connect people to the 911 call center but it would require effective coordination with the PSAP and telecom providers. As long as hams are fixated on HF/VHF and hanging around the EMA using antiquated comms devices/protocols like Winlink, that will never happen. All the tools are readily available, but most of the "ham emcomm leadership" are undoubtedly still learning how to use a Smart Phone.

    Different frequency ranges are available to connect the mesh nodes that are required in order to fulfill the purposes for a network. As frequencies are deployed at specific locations, it may be helpful to use a spectrum analyzer for identifying ranges that are already in use. The ultimate goal is to have a reliable data network that accomplishes its purpose for providing services to the intended destinations and users.

    https://github.com/aredn
     
    TIERONE likes this.
  2. KV6O

    KV6O Ham Member QRZ Page

    How are hams going to blanket a city / county with WiFi during a storm??? Keeping the existing infrastructure up would be waaaay easier!
     
    N5PZJ, N0TZU and (deleted member) like this.
  3. AI9F

    AI9F XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Our local EOC has HF, VHF, UHF Amateur Radio equipment in our EOC with RMS express Packet, ARDOP Etc. and it also is a licensed SHARES Station! The Coordinator of our EMA is also an Amateur Radio Operator hams are very active in our area!
     
    N5PZJ likes this.
  4. N5PZJ

    N5PZJ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Commercial folks couldn’t even keep PSAP, 911 and commercial telephony online during a storm, how in the he double toothpicks does anyone else top that? If the hams do that, ARRL can sell ARES teams as prime contractors!
     
  5. N1FM

    N1FM Ham Member QRZ Page

    And yet, they can't do it, and year after year, the same committees come up with the same recommendations.

    Unfortunately, the "ham emcomm" folks are kind of stuck on WL and their usual antique bag o' tricks, and being "servants" of agencies who can't do the job. And the commercial folks are paying overtime for their (too few people) to repair and troubleshoot the lines.

    However, Cajun Navy Relief uses Zello (and other comms), integrated with the Internet, boats, crews with chainsaws, mobile kitchens, water trucks, weather feeds, government feeds, and the usual training from FEMA and DHS, and they are relative newcomers to emcom. A few COLTS and COWS and they'd be a complete turnkey disaster package. Thinking outside the box and keeping their distance from bureaucrats is what makes them successful where others aren't.

    It would be a great service if you could find some data regarding what, when, where, why, who, and how they serve the public. Just a simple spreadsheet in excel if you can find the data. What was the disaster; when was it; where was it; why were they called up; who called them; how many messages and; what type of messages were passed and to whom. Anything that happens on ham radio is public knowledge, so it would be really helpful if we could gather and collate that kind of data.
     
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  6. K8NY

    K8NY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Same thing here, been doing that for years and every time they look like a deer frozen in the headlights
     
  7. N4EGA

    N4EGA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just to pat myself on the back, I do something similar with the generator I have a home. It's just a small portable 2000 watt quiet gen. But once a month I take it outside, start it up and put a load on it for 30-60 minutes. Years ago, I found out during this inspection that an older genny went bad. I was going to fix it, but the replacement part was more expensive than the generator, lol. Point being, I'm glad I found out during an inspection than during a power outage.

    I also talked to a small engine repairman during that time and asked him what the most common problem is with generators. He said that when most people bring them in not working, it turns out to be a fouled up carburetor. Starting them monthly, using fuel stabil, and even keeping 100% gas in them takes care of this.
     
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  8. N1FM

    N1FM Ham Member QRZ Page

    And you can check plugs for fouling, clean and reinstall, then remove the carb bowl and clean out the varnish with gasoline, dry it, reinstall it, and then squirt some starter fluid in the carb butterfly and start. The ethanol content in gas can also destroy older hoses and plastic parts, so they sometimes need to be replaced, depending on the age of the unit. My new Generac runs on propane, but my old generator had a gasoline carb and those are all good tips.
     
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  9. N4EGA

    N4EGA Ham Member QRZ Page

    All true. Matter of fact, I must have ran it a little too much the last real time I used it as it was a few ounces low on oil. So, I am glad I checked. Plug and air filter looked good!

    I think the main thing though is that lots of stuff like this gets bought "in case of an emergency" and is often neglected until there is an emergency. Then Murphy shows up and all heck breaks loose! I don't believe there is much in my house that does not get used at least once a month and more likely at least twice. This keeps me spun up on how it works and if there is a problem.
     
  10. N5EKF

    N5EKF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Some of the traffic included road closures for EOCs trying to route electrical and other relief workers to their parish (county), Interop numbers for relief operations to government agencies, ambulances for medical evacuations, and tons of damage reports.
     
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  11. N1FM

    N1FM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ok, thanks.

    More good tips! I forgot about the air filter. That should be checked, and changed if need be, and the oil needs to be checked once a season, and the oil filter changed when needed, if present -- and also the fuel filter ought to be changed per scheduled maintenance in the manual. Basically, just run the thing for a little while every few months, to make sure everything is in order, and pay attention to routine maintenance. Check wiring for fraying, clean out the hornets and mouse nests, and while you're at it, check the starting capacitor in your outside AC unit for bulging, and keep a spare cap on hand at all times.
     
  12. KX4O

    KX4O Ham Member QRZ Page

    But Joe Citizen can do this as well with the same equipment. Sure it won't have higher available ERP and certain select frequencies, but the gear is all available through many outlets. While I commend hams (i.e. AREDN) who have explored this space, at the end of the day, it's just network gear any group of network able folks can deploy.
    Rare though the need may be, this may well be the only logical use of hams. There's nothing inherently wrong with layering this capability atop the VHF&UHF (MURS, FRS and GMRS have replaced the previously unique utility of hams), 802.11 and Cellular solutions. And let's not forget Blue Tooth meshing (secure) capabilities that require no central infrastructure and is "just an app" available to anyone.

    Oh there are a few cool cases where knife edge diffraction of 6m or 2m through rolling hills or use of some handy repeater may well be splendid, fruitful, and truly helpful... few and far between these days... and that's okay.
    I think the big problem with organized ham emcomm is the, all too often, stance they seem to take to want to be "the only" commo scheme rather than subservient to a larger more modern (and hip) approach.

    No doubt CNR's flexible nature will make good use of "all" commo tools available... and that might include ham assets in a tertiary role... if yesteryear egos are muted.
    ^^^^ Oh man... this. Quote of the year.
     
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  13. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Since many cell phones today have voip calling built in, it might be wise in an emergency to set up wifi hot spots where people can come and use their phones. Possibly every mile or two in a devastated area. It wouldn't be complete coverage, but it would allow the average citizen to access communications without going through a lot of hoops. The hot spots could be linked by inexpensive Ubiquiti (or similar) radios that are attached to a wifi router serving as a hotspot. This could all be solar powered. The Ubiquiti point to point links can communicate over 10 miles and cost around $60 each, and work very well on 5.8GHz:

    upload_2021-10-8_9-14-45.png
     
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  14. KX4O

    KX4O Ham Member QRZ Page

    The key point being this and next year's technology can be applied organically by the citizenry to fit the moment's need. Any "plan" won't keep pace with the quick pace of technological evolution we are witnessing. Amateur emcomm can only augment these new approaches, not supplant them.
     
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  15. K0IDT

    K0IDT Ham Member QRZ Page

    There was a photo of a woman in PR after hurricane Maria holding a cardboard sign that simply said "we want wifi". Give the citizens a way to connect with their devices and get out of the way, but that doesn't fit the current amateur emcomm paradigm. Other than the ARDEN guys there doesn't seem to be much ham interest in setting up systems like this. I have a good idea why the lack of interest by "real emcomm" hams, but I'll shut up at this point.
     
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