Ham Radio's Role in California Outages?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W2JKT, Oct 9, 2019.

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  1. N7WR

    N7WR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I would guess no role at all. The government agencies in all those counties have back up power so they will be able to communicate. I think anyone, anywhere, who must have electrical power for life support equipment would be well advised to have a B/U generator. We have always had one even though we don't need it for medical equipment. In the years we lived in one of the impacted CA counties (SHASTA) we had a generator and used it a few times. The longest period was 4 days when a huge wind storm knocked out power poles/lines from Chico to Redding. One other time was when a forest fire took out some power lines that fed our place BUT the electric company was quick to replace those.
  2. W3SY

    W3SY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Haha.. Just to show you how my mind works, I thought this article was about California hams' role in CAUSING outages. Remember the old California Kilowatt?? Not sure if that's still a "thing" in today's ham radio. But I mean running enough power to melt the street lights. Oh well. You're talking about something else. Carry on.
    WJ4U likes this.
  3. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    (Unfortunately) I'm sure there are some that will use the "California Kilowatt" :eek:merely as a driver stage...:(:mad::rolleyes:
  4. KG7LEA

    KG7LEA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hams are a good way to track local conditions which cellular cannot do as well. Cell is one to one assuming you have the right number. Radio is potentially one to many. This would be important in broadcasting service stations still in operation and traffic conditions. The Devils Slide tunnel is reported closed (no ventilation) so all traffic goes to 92. Don't try to sell your Bao Feng yet. Oops, that's illegal.
    WA9SVD likes this.
  5. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not necessarily completely true, but good. We will be needed if or when needed. Unfortunately, some of the "decision makers" will wait far too long before we are needed or can provide some support or help..:( THAT is at the expense of those they are SUPPOSED to "Serve.":(:mad::rolleyes:
  6. AG6QR

    AG6QR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Careful there! Hams are explicitly prohibited from broadcasting.

    97.113(5)(b) An amateur station shall not engage in any form of broadcasting...
  7. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm not sure "broadcasting" is intended or involved. Allowing severe weather or other dangers are often allowable, as long as not on a"frequent" basis. Saying "on the half hour, every hour" would probably be not allowed, but things as "there's a tornado approaching route xxx" are probable OK, even if transmitted frequently.
  8. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Well, I’m not suggesting that ham radio will necessarily play much of a role. I’m just pointing out that there are going to be some problems, and it’s vital for the authorities and EOMs to have good plans to deal with them.

    How communication is provided isn’t a big issue for me because I don’t feel that hams’ have some Devine right to provide it. If the authorities need assistance from hams they will ask for it.
    KA4DPO likes this.
  9. AG6QR

    AG6QR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    It's all in the rules, available to all who would read them. Broadcasting as defined in 97.3(10) is not allowed. But there is an exception in 97.113(5)(b) which allows that communications directly related to the immediate safety of human life or the protection of property may be provided to broadcasters for dissemination to the public where no other means of communication is reasonably available before or at the time of the event.

    That's a pretty narrow exception to the general prohibition, but if there's a tornado heading for the trailer park, you can call the news desk of the local radio station via phone patch and let them know, unless your cell phone is working, in which case you should use the cell phone.
    K3XR likes this.
  10. KD8DEY

    KD8DEY Ham Member QRZ Page

    WZ7U and W4POT like this.

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