What happens when the infrastructure fails?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W2BLC, May 13, 2018.

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  1. N2NH

    N2NH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    We had 5 tornadoes in the area, 4 dead, high winds, hail, downpours and lightning too. Metro-North has been shut down from Croton-Harmon north which is half of the line including here. Nets were up and most had power or backup power. Thankfully, the city here took it seriously this spring and cut back the trees and tore down most of the ones that were in danger of falling.
     
    W1XWX likes this.
  2. KD8CGF

    KD8CGF Ham Member QRZ Page

    At a local amateur radio club meeting I stood up & took an informal poll. How many members had a 12V/110VAC inverter installed in the vehicles they had parked outside, ready to go at the flip of a switch. About 10% did. A few had loose inverters in their vehicles that they would have to rig one way or the other. A few more had inverters sitting on their shelf at home. My home has no genset backup. The last time my home internet & power went out, I ran an extension cord out to my car to keep my DSL modem powered up. The phone system itself worked fine throughout & I continued to use the internet.
     
  3. KC7FIK

    KC7FIK Ham Member QRZ Page

    If we have an EME blast over our heads, It's all over for ALL electronic devise's anyway-- ham or NOT.!!!
     
  4. KC7FIK

    KC7FIK Ham Member QRZ Page

    If we have an EMP blast over our head up maybe 100 miles, everything electronic would be fried -includeing Ham Radio. were just SOL.
     
  5. W4IOA

    W4IOA Ham Member QRZ Page

    images (1).jpeg I have an ht, a.22 pistol, and a wheelbarrow. I'm ready for anything
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2018
    K8PG likes this.
  6. KB0RTQ

    KB0RTQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ironic that the "DMR Kool Aid" Crowd are preaching that DMR is perfect for EMCOMM. Last spring here in Iowa, right after The NWS station in Des Moines (DMX) agreed to "officially" start using DMR to communicate with the ham weather spotters, a weather event took place. Internet went down in some areas, rendering some of the DMR repeaters useless except for local coms in many places. Their link to the NWS was essentially gone. It was funny to listen to them determine that they needed to go back to the analog repeater link for the rest of the event. I listed my DMR equipment for sale on the bay the next day.

    But...whatever floats your boat.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2018
    NX6ED, WN1MB and K1FBI like this.
  7. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page


    I can certainly see a role for these Internet/digital radio system in some cases...but some widespread calamity? I don't think so.
     
    NX6ED, N2NH and KB0RTQ like this.
  8. KC6KNL

    KC6KNL Ham Member QRZ Page


    A couple of years ago, I was driving up US 24 to Nashville, TN from Georgia to visit a TV Station outside of Nashville. I was using Google Maps to navigate me there.

    As I was passing Murfreesboro, TN, my Google Maps stopped working. I pulled off the freeway and went to a nearby McDonalds.

    My AT&T Phone was showing 5 bars, but it was not showing any data indicators like LTE, 4G, or 3G.

    I jumped on the McDonalds WiFi, managed by Wayport using AT&T Network. The WiFi was excruciating slow. Like sub-10kbps slow.

    I was able to locate the nearest AT&T store, about a mile away. It took 30 minutes to get the info on the WiFi uso g my MacBook Pro and Browser.

    I drove there. There was a hand written sign on the door that said that AT&T was experiencing a Nationwide Outage.

    I went inside to talk to the employees. They said that there was an accidental fiber cut by construction machinery in Western Tennessee that disrupted data for AT&T and a few other carriers.

    I went back to my truck parked in front of the AT&T store. I watched numerous cars pull up. People got out with phone in hand and go into the store., About a minute later, they walked out of the store and drove off in frustration.

    I decided to test my phone to see what type of communication could go through.

    I called my wife in Georgia, which worked. I called my buddy in California. I got a “circuits busy” recording.

    I was able to text [SMS] my wife, no attachments. I tried to send her a a picture attachment [MMS], which did not go through.

    I drove to the Verizon store across the street and went inside. I tried out the data on some of their phones and Tablets. No issues.

    I had to check into a nearby hotel since I couldn’t use Google Maps to navigate me to the customer site near Nashville.

    I was upset that I didn’t have my Garmin Nuvi GPS in my truck. I had left it at home.

    That evening the data service on AT&T was restored. It had been out for 5 hours. The next day, I used Google Maps to navigate me to the customer site near Nashville.

    When i got home, I found my Garmin Nuvi GPS and put it in my glovebox as a backup in case a similar incident ever happened again.

    I am not sure what other carriers were affected by the fiber cut, but it was an experience that I will never forget.

    Unfortunately, many people depend on communications that depend on an infrastructure.

    When an infrastructure goes out, Communications and/or power goes out.

    Digital communications like DStar, DMR, Echolink, WinLink, P25, C4FM, WiRes, all depend on an infrastructure which consists of Computers, Internet Connections, and Repeaters.

    Analog VHF/UHF Repeater Communications also rely on an infrastructure, mainly power for the Repeater. Battery backup may only last a finite amount of time.

    If communication infrastructure goes out, you may lose Digital communications. Analog Repeaters will still work as long as there is power to the Repeaters.

    If power and communications go out, then CB, HF, and VHF/UHF simplex May be your only communication options.

    2005 Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans
    Cellphones and Emergency Service communications stopped working. P25 Trunk Systems stopped working. Police had to communicate by eyeballing face to face.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Katrina

    2003 NorthEast Blackout that affected NYC
    No power. Cellphones stopped working and people ran to PayPhones to make calls.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northeast_blackout_of_2003

    1989 Earthquake in San Francisco
    Pre-Internet, but power and natural gas outage for 2-3 days for some areas of San Francisco.
    Disrupted World Series
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/1989_Loma_Prieta_earthquake

    1985 México City Earthquake
    Telecommunications went down. Ham Radio operators setup 3rd Party traffic on HF.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/1985_Mexico_City_earthquake

    The above are great examples where infrastructure dependency either disrupted power, communications, or both for lengthy periods of time.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2018
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  9. NY7Q

    NY7Q Ham Member QRZ Page

    i KEEP A HF AND UHF/VHF RIGS WITH TUNERS, POWER SUPPLY, AND IN A STEEL SECURE BOX. I HAVE COMM BATTERYS WITH TRICKLES ON THEM AT ALL TIMES. I HAVE A BUG OUT CAVE ABOUT 25 FEET UNDERGROUND STOCKED WITH PROVISIONS FOR NO LESS THAN 6 MONTHS AND ENOUGH AMMO TO LAST A YEAR OR SO. I ALSO HAVE A COUPLE UPPERCRUST GENERATORS WITH LOTS OF GAS AND PROTANE.
     
    WN1MB likes this.
  10. KD9HLC

    KD9HLC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I guess we're all coming to your place then.
     
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