New Hurricane Heading for Florida Panhandle

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by NL7W, Oct 9, 2018.

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  1. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    So am I to assume the storm took down a satellite? I am finding that one a little tough to swallow that a ham operator was the only one in the world who could help her. They have a sheriffs department, and they have stuff that works. She couldn't find a deputy? Please......
  2. N5PZJ

    N5PZJ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The call is being answered. The SE area is rising to the occasion.
  3. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    It is already back up in 90% of the affected area.
  4. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Sat phones ain't what they are cracked up to be but better than nothing. I was able to use one about a week after our storm to call my Dad and although it got signal without much difficulty the audio on my end was basically unintelligible. Like listening to fone thru a CW filter.
    As far as that "stuff that works" didn't.
  5. KB1PA

    KB1PA Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    yes, this is going to take months of work (if not years) lots of people have no dwelling left.
    They will have to live in long term shelters, which are very expensive to run. A cash donation
    will do more than anything else.

    Some of the towers survived. 2 911 centers were flattened and 2 more have major damage.
    Any land line based communication or links lost the lines. cell service is at 85%, but since any links or land line services will take a long time to replace the wires, that will overload soon.
    There are lots of unverified and unauthorized rumors being generated. Hams are acting as
    backup communicators for the government, and assisting the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Baptists and other groups that want to help. Not hero's, but doing what is asked.
    KA4DPO and N5PZJ like this.
  6. N5PZJ

    N5PZJ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    John, Assumption is the mother of all screwups! First, Michael cut a path about 100 miles wide through the panhandle of Florida. Not to mention Georgia also. COWS (Cellular On WheelS) are on the roll and being set up.

    Every JoE Blow, ET, and Mother’s son/daughter with an Iriduim Phone is trying that whiz bang gadget out and it is limited to x amount of channels (phone circuits) available! One thing I noticed about satellite phones is that most people don’t keep them charged and running in tiptop order since most “Communication” designees plug it in and never test it!! The load capacity is not there. Sorry , those are de facts.

    Sheriff’s departments might have a State Whiz Bang Radio but the weak link is switching/relay tower and it’s backup system, but another factor is the Antenna and Coax system which is easy to damage. Internet links are gone, so there goes the Statewide Thingy. Fuel ⛽️ backups also are a weak link. Since some bright fool in our area decided to run the Generator off propane tanks in stead of Natural Gas which is easy to obtain and plentiful in the area and convenient to run! Money is limited in rural areas due to taxing limitations and sparse populations. Volunteer Fire Departments in rural areas usually are sparsely funded and that is another subjective Matter.

    The reason ham radio remains as a focal point in emergency communications is due to its ability to use various frequencies with different propagation characteristics. We hams have FM Type VHF and UHF capabilities they can usually overcome obstacles Like distance and number of “channels” allowing for multiple users! Don’t mention our HF capabilities and the ability to reach out and touch people across the county, the state or across the nation. Most emergency managers are not trained in communication areas, technique And Usage(procedure) which Could be a hindrance in a response situation.

    John, For full disclosure I am an elected official and a “small” rural Louisiana parish (County). The parish president (We have a councilmatic Form of government) has discussed emergency management with me and admits we are woefully unprepared and underfunded. The Sheriff has the LWIN system which I am a part of due to my office as Parish Magistrate. That can hiccup occasionally and several times Deputies have had to borrow mine and The Constable’s Radio due to malfunction. Pricey radios are scarce when one goes for repair.

    If You know anyone besides the hams that have large amounts of frequency agile radios and equipment that can be placed in service quickly to alert the public to an emergency situation or send messages on a back up basis at almost no cost, let’s discuss.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
    KP4SX likes this.
  7. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I used Iridium Satphones for a number of years and never had a problem getting a connection, ever. The audio was not always the best but all of the newer satellite phones have text message capability same as your smartphone. They are also far more robust and have much better audio. I just have a lot of wonderment regarding the Emergency Manager not being able to contact anyone except an amateur radio operator.
  8. N5PZJ

    N5PZJ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I run satellite phones off shore in the oil field and yeah they work great, little pricey but great, they work in Africa too. But I want to point out that when any communication system gets overloaded in an emergency anything is subject to failure.

    Ham radio was never designed to be a primary communication system in any emergency situation but the reality is it’s the back up when everything else fails, you may not like to hear that John, but those are de facts. Commercial radio systems sellers, emergency managers, Professional Dispatchers and the like are not fond of Amateur Radio but when it is down to the Brass Tacks, Amateur Radio will work due to its stand alone capabilities.

    It would be wise to lose those parochial attitudes and get everyone on the same page, you need everyone in an emergency fighting together.

    The sad thing was the Emergency Manager had to go to a neighboring County to poach a Ham!!!
  9. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    That also applies to AR. Just check out any major contest.
    Then it should be easy to support that with facts. After all, FCC does studies all the time on cell site outage rates in disaster areas. Where are the studies showing complete communication failures in all LMR system, yet AR somehow able to fill in any significant part of the communications deficit?

    In 2018 the "go-to" guys for "when all else fails" are people like this:

    When there is a communication deficit, people aren't looking for Morse code or FT8. They want high-bandwidth email, VoIP/Skype, text messaging, etc. That's not AR.
  10. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Sure, the county sherrifs and State police have radio systems that can link to other areas outside of the disaster area, this works car to car or through repeater centers, or both (mobiles can automatically become repeaters). Not all centers were lost, in fact very few of them, and the throughput on the Harris public safety system (which is satellite linked by the way) is much higher than any amateur radio system.

    The terrestrial radio system is also designed to interface and directly coordinate with federal and local government radio systems via satellite. The cost is sunk so I don't get "the almost no cost" comment. In a situation such as that cost is a non issue.

    I'm glad that you are an elected official, that's nice and I hope you get re-elected, and I am also sorry sorry your Parish is poor but please don't pee on my back and tell me it's raining. Ham radio is not a focal point for any communications, it's a hobby, period. I have never seen any amateur or commercial HF system, that could cover the same distance of a commercial satellite system with 100 percent reliability. I'm not making this up, those systems are in place there now and the important stuff is being handled by the part 90 systems and the professional responders.

    Amateur radio does have a place in passing routine/non-emergency traffic in the aftermath of such a terrible storm but lets not pretend that it is something it's not. As for discussing it, there is no point in discussing it, I suggest you coordinate with the Plaquemines Parish EOC and look at the mobile systems they have. I'm sure there is State and Federal money available for such equipment.

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