Ham radio technology used in Thailand cave rescue

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by G4TUT, Jul 12, 2018.

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  1. G4TUT

    G4TUT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ham radio technology used in Thailand cave rescue

    UK radio amateur John Hey G3TDZ (SK) designed the special low frequency radio equipment, the Heyphone, used in the recent cave rescue in Thailand

    On Facebook Phil Karn KA9Q posted:

    Naturally I got interested in the technical aspects of the cave rescue in Thailand, particularly communications.
    They used the "Heyphone", a voice radio designed by a UK radio ham, John Hey, G3TDZ, as open-source hardware specifically for cave rescues.
    It uses upper (single) sideband voice on 87 kilohertz in the VLF (very low frequency) band. (That's what it says -- 87 kHz is actually LF).

    The "antenna" consists of two stakes driven into the ground about 20m apart. Enough of the current between them fringes outward to couple to another antenna up to a few hundred meters away (or down).

    John Hey passed away in 2016 so he didn't get to see his work used here. But ham radio should get some of the credit.

    Phil Karn KA9Q

    John Hey G3TDZ Heyphone Cave Rescue Communication System http://bcra.org.uk/creg/heyphone/

    Al Williams WD5GNR has written an article on Hackaday about the cave equipment


    WY6H, K2NCC, AG5IX and 13 others like this.
  2. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

  3. VA3ECO

    VA3ECO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Fascinating. Thanks for posting!
  4. NA4RA

    NA4RA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thank you for posting this very interesting information! 73.
    BTW sorry about the WC loss to Croatia.. I had money on France vs England..oh well.
    WA2CXA likes this.
  5. VE3VCG

    VE3VCG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Very impressive technology to be sure. When I was studying for my Amateur Radio License recently I came across a number of examples of how HAM radio operators have created or imporved radio related technology over many years. New and exciting innovations and developments continue to keep this a very interesting hobby with some very practical applications.
    G7GNS likes this.
  6. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    G7GNS likes this.
  7. G3SEA

    G3SEA Ham Member QRZ Page

    W1YW likes this.
  8. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    In the US, its in the mission statement of Part 97:)
  9. WB1E

    WB1E Ham Member QRZ Page

    87 Khz? Now we're talking!

    I predict a movie, hopefully without the damnation that hollywood is all to famous for.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
    K9BPS likes this.
  10. VE3VCG

    VE3VCG Ham Member QRZ Page

    While I am still an Amateur novice, and still learning radio, I have a particular interest in the development of the emerging technologies associated with HAM radio. This is an interesting hobby to be sure, but in fact, as we all know, it serves a serious purpose. It's common to hear HAM's say that we "play radio," and that's all fine. However, I take some exception to saying things which might diminish the real value of a well tested and tried technology which can and does impact directly on the lives of others. Without being overly dramatic the cave rescue in Thailand illustrates the point rather well.

    As another example, recently, major fires in western Canada dislocated thousands and totally destroyed communications infrastructure. Volunteer amateur operators successfully stepped in to help coordinate evacuations over a wide area. Using their unique skills and equipment those amateurs made a difference. There are countless examples like this as we are all aware. However, we may well be facing even larger emergency situations in the future. It is fairly well recognized that the aging power grid is vulnerable to all manner of issues. It is not hardened against the kinds of EMP's which the sun is able to produce. Indeed emergency planners everywhere have cited such an event as being critially important yet commonly overlooked as a budgetary priority.

    As is the case with many infrastructre issues, all to commonly politics not practicality tend to dictate both policies and priorities. So it is that we are faced with crumbing roadways, unsound bridges and a power grid subject to failure when stressed. With those points in view, it's nice to join a community of people who well understand the real value of radio and are pushing ahead technology which will work when everything else fails.
    KD9FEK, K7YB, WA2SVM and 1 other person like this.

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