Global Skywatch

practical, tactical communications training

We have a unique opportunity coming to the Bitterroot. It is a big deal to have this particular North Carolina based trainer offering these classes here. For me, traveling there will never happen no matter how high-value the training is. The timing of next month’s classes does not suit my personal needs, but I am adjusting to fit the offering. Opportunity doesn’t always knock at the moment you are prepared to open the door. Take it on its terms and schedule … or miss it. The local sponsoring organization looks credible, possibly excellent. You can do your own research on The Order of the White Rose. The Hamilton, Montana classes may well include a number of people I will prize […]

Radio Field Day at Hamilton Airport

Amateur radio’s biggest event of the year is this weekend all across the USofA. The main event is to encourage individuals, groups, clubs and teams to deploy their radios into “field locations” – that is, to set up and practice the use of mobile, temporary radio communication centers. Part of the game is to contest and see how many contacts each unit can make across the nation. That particular aspect of the program runs from noon Saturday to noon Sunday. The Bitterroot Amateur Radio Club (BARC) typically will share contact information with other temporary field stations in 20 or more states during the 24-hour contest period. This also happens to be the weekend of Hamilton’s annual Fly In, which this […]

BEARS in the air

BEARS Bitterroot Emergency Amateur Radio Services —————————– When normal communications systems – phone lines, cell phones, internet, 911-call-centers, broadcast TV & radio – are unavailable or overtaxed, amateur radio can provide flexible communications resources. MISSION Provide our neighborhoods and communities with a pool of trained radio operators, technicians and resources to deliver essential communications during emergencies. ———————————————————- BEARS is an organization dedicated to preparing, practicing for, and being able to provide radio communications via amateur radio whenever requested , whether for emergencies or planned events throughout and beyond the Bitterroot whenever radio is superior, or other means of communication are compromised We are eager, able and willing to work with related organizations and other emergency service providers, but retain […]

Faraday comms case

Long on my ToDo list, today this one got TA-DONE! ๐Ÿ™‚ … HOORAY!!! PROBLEM: More often than not heading out without key components of my communications plan. RELATED PROBLEM: Want some protection from an EMP for my comms gear. I have tried less expensive solutions, but they always fail to satisfy form, function, utility and aesthetics. I finally recognized that I had to spend a little more to achieve satisfaction. The $140 T.Z Molded Aluminum Attache Case is an excellent choice. Real Aluminum – not plastic with a spray-on aluminum-colored coating. I looked above and below that price point with nothing competitive showing up. The other component that has had several false starts in my projects was THE FOAM. I […]

handheld radio recommendation

Tytera MD-390 Progress in two-way radios is similar to that in all other electronics. That is to say this recommendation will not be the optimum choice years from now. Nevertheless, this radio can serve you well for many years. The other caveat is there are many good choices. This is only one of them. I am making this suggestion to help the novice find a solid handheld transceiver that is well received within the amateur radio community. In a crowded field of feature-rich radios, the MD-390 has most of what you would want while being in the lower part of the $25 to $500 price range ($130). IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure you order this in the 400-480MHz UHF (ultra-high-frequency) model […]

Darby Dog Derby

The Bitterroot Mushers are running their 11th annual sled dog races January 13th & 14th, 2018 at Lost Trail Pass at Gibbons Pass Road. That is mile marker ZERO. It is as close to you as whatever your nearest Highway 93 mile marker indicates. That is to say, sled dog racing has practically come to you so you don’t have to go to it. This is the fourth time I will be spearheading radio communications throughout the course for this event. We all learn from experience, and we have had several teaching moments for the comms team in gear, setup, deployment and use. We have also become a highly prized part of their race organization. Other partners include the Bitterroot […]

I did math today

I have been off the air for A LONG TIME. As most of you know, I try to remain connected to the amateur radio bands – those folks who will still be able to share information over significant distances when the phones stop working. Since we began the move from our riverside cabin to The Homestead, I have been off the air. My FCC-licensed radio stations have been silent, and worse, unlistening. I have worked at remaining sanguine about it. As I continue to progress on EVERYTHING THAT HAS TO BE DONE, the radios I packed away several months ago will reappear … when they are supposed to … in the right order, in the grand scheme of things. […]

November 4th EMP

Next Saturday may well be very interesting. (As in the Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times) PART 2 As Elias Alias covered handsomely in the post EMPBS, coronal mass ejections or man-made EMPs could thrust us violently into the stone age. If you just arrived at my website and haven’t heard of these, use the above link to study up in a hurry. Next weekend The Deep State’s Department of Homeland inSecurity is running an EMP drill. Eeeek!!! Federal drills have a bad habit of coinciding with a very real version of what they are practicing for. Even more disconcerting, The Drill coincides with the widely publicized beginning of the Soros-and-Friends financed revolution against Trump and FOR […]

comms preps

I keep imagining people will strive to set the magic of radio to work for them before they need it. I consider myself a rank beginner in the radio world, but have made the personal leap into visualizing its value in emergencies … AND a serious commitment in hardware to ensure that can work for my family and my community. Heck, I talk about a “serious commitment”, yet people spend more on “smart phones” that will be deaf, dumb and blind in an emergency. I have a friend who claims to be “deaf”, but is simply overstating that she is “hard of hearing”. Nevertheless, the amateur two-way radio world is full of people who have reduced hearing abilities. Both the […]

grid jeopardy

Three major actions of the sun may hit the Earth hard September 8th and 9th. The possibility of SOME EFFECT is near absolute. We WILL KNOW something hit us. The likelihood of some damage to electronics and electrical transmission somewhere on Earth is very high. Some communities somewhere will lose their power. The probability of global grid failure is around 10%. It is not likely to be catastrophic. That is also to say that it could be catastrophic. Check your preparations for that sort of catastrophe TODAY. While in the midst of moving, I cannot drop everything and go on a prep-shopping binge today. But I can certainly re-prioritize some of my moving activities focusing on electronics and power-failure gear. […]

become an amateur radio operator

Thursdays 4:30-6:30pm Darby Library meeting room July 13th – September 7th Handy in many situations, radio communications can be life saving when phones and Internet are down or out of reach Ham radios start where walkie-talkies leave off, with licensed radio operators communicating around the corner and around the world. ARRL License Manual costs $29.95 includes chapters on every aspect of the licensing exam and numerous practice tests Darby Thursday study sessions are FREE YOU can be an amateur radio operator No electronics background required Click this link for a .pdf poster advertising the class:Ham-radio-class-poster-7-2017 Below is a .jpg image of the class advertisement. TESTING SESSION JULY 17th For those ready to test for Technician, General or Amateur Extra […]

Become a HAM radio operator

Thursdays 4:30-6:30pm Darby Library meeting room July 13th – September 7th Handy in many situations, radio communications can be life saving when phones and Internet are down or out of reach Ham radios start where walkie-talkies leave off, with licensed radio operators communicating around the corner and around the world. ARRL License Manual costs $29.95 includes chapters on every aspect of the licensing exam and numerous practice tests Darby Thursday study sessions are FREE YOU can be an amateur radio operator No electronics background required Click below for a .pdf poster advertising the class Ham radio class poster 2017

deployable radio

This ammo box is actually a handy way to carry a 2-way, 2-meter radio. I built this organizer for a friend’s radio setup. He gave me the radio, battery and fuse block to work with. Customer specifications said it should be tipped on its side, opened and operational from that position. The radio was 20 centimeters too deep to fit as requested even pressed against top and bottom. Plus I wanted room to keep it from contact with the metal box. What you see here is actually my third prototype. With the first, I ASSUMED the radio would fit in the box exactly as specified by the customer. It is not so much that ‘the customer is always right’, […]

two-way radios for you

Yaesu FT=60R Dual Band Handheld $172Baofeng dual band UV5R handheld $36Below, I am republishing information about a class this coming Saturday. Today and tomorrow I am refining the information I will be presenting and the exercises we will be doing. As I assemble the video clips, handouts and class outline, I recognize the value I am offering. Even my family and best friends won’t get the information out of me in a more organized, concise way. On either side are two choices of dual-band radios. To the left is the $172 Yeesu. It could be a Motorolla, Kenwood or other well-established amateur radio producer. The price could run from around $170 on up to $300 or more. They feel dense; […]