More on FRS radios for emergency use

Hartford, CT (PRWEB) May 3, 2006 — The Midland Radio Corporation, REACT International, the DC Emergency Radio Network, and have jointly announced their support for the National SOS Radio Network — — a free communications network based on the estimated 100 million FRS-compatible radios already in the hands of the public… and growing by up to 12 million radios per year.

This idea first surfaced after hurricane Katrina. I wrote about it in October 2005, but I haven’t heard much additional news until I noticed this press release. Having REACT and Midland supporting this idea will certainly help, but it is still not clear where this will head, if anywhere.
73, Bob K0NR

ICOM Introduces D-STAR Dualband Handheld Transceiver

Just in time for the Dayton Hamvention, ICOM has announced the IC-91AD 2M/70cm handheld transceiver with D-STAR capability. I’ve written some about the new digital voice standard, D-STAR. Universal Radio has this new rig priced at $525, a definite premium over equivalent FM radios. This is the first dualband handheld that supports D-STAR.

73, Bob K0NR

The Wilderness Protocol

From the web site:

“The Wilderness Protocol” (ref. June 1996 QST, page 85), recommends that stations (both fixed, portable or mobile) monitor the primary (and secondary if possible) frequency(s) every three hours starting at 7 AM local time, for five minutes (7:00-7:05 AM, 10:00-10:05 AM, etc.) Additionally, stations that have sufficient power resources should monitor for five minutes starting at the top of every hour, or even continuously.” The primary frequency is the National Calling Freq…146.52 MHz. The secondary freqs. are 446.0, 223.5, 52.525 and 1294.5 MHz.

Here in Colorado, the summer months mean that many people head for the mountains. Mobile phone coverage has improved in many parts of the high country but is still not reliable in all areas. Ham VHF repeater coverage is extensive but also does not cover the entire state. This is where the Wilderness Protocol comes into play.

Let me take the liberty of modifying the Wilderness Protocol for use in Colorado:

Principle #1: Don’t ever rely on a radio or mobile phone to get you out of trouble in the backcountry. Your primary strategy must be self-sufficiency. Avoid trouble. Be prepared for the unexpected.

Principle #2: In remote areas, monitor 146.52 MHz as much as possible. This applies to backcountry travelers, mobile stations and fixed stations.

Principle #3: Know what repeaters are available in your area. The Colorado Connection is a linked repeater system that covers many (but not all) remote parts of the state.

Just my opinion.
73, Bob K0NR