Bitterroot Bugle post categories

Global Skywatch

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; […]

purchase and use of BaoFeng two-way radios

BaoFeng UV-82HP$62.89UHF / VHF128 ChannelsOutput: 7 Watts I have helped well over a dozen people earn their amateur radio licenses. But I recognize the effort to study for, and pass the FCC exam is not for everybody. Much more accessible is The General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) licensed radio service. A $70 FCC GMRS license has no testing requirements and covers your entire family’s use for 5 years. BAOFENG makes good, affordable radios that can listen to several other bands and legally enable you to transmit, that is communicate, via GMRS channels. Significantly, unlike the inexpensive blister-pack big-box-store radios, these transmit at much higher powers, and are capable of utilizing repeaters for long-distance communications. My favorite of their current offerings […]

Darby ham radio classes

Earn Your FCC Amateur Radio License HAM radios can communicate across the yard and around the world. They reach places, and in times when no other form of communication available to us can. Yes, there is a test. Everyone in my study groups has passed those tests. Amateur radio license categories are Technician, General, and Amateur Extra, with the knowledge and testing requirements going up as the licensed uses expand. This course will focus on achieving passing grades on the Technician exam, with appropriate understanding of the knowledge expected of Tech-licensed radio operators. Our textbook will be the ARRL Technician Class License Manual. It includes all the information you need to correctly answer every test question, along with text of […]

radio communications

The amateur license database is not what I consider a high risk place to occupy. A bunch of radio geeks scattered across the country is not an attractive target to anyone. Many of them are radio poor. That is like being horse poor. They have a lot of very expensive … belay that… very, very expensive radio gear and live on beans and rice to afford their radio habit. No guns. NO gold. No consumer electronics. Nothing worth stealing. That isn’t completely or universally true, but as a target group for evil-dooers, they aren’t a good one. On the other hand, having people who can transmit and receive information to and from your entire area, region and the world is […]

Radio Communicating Options

Darby Adult Education has a couple of classes in their fall program that interest me. One in particular is near and dear to my heart. The main reason is that I am a major proponent of having two-way radios for communicating where phones are unavailable and yelling is ineffective. I am so much in favor of using two-way radios that I created and teach the class. Sign-ups are open officially through next Monday, September 26th. As you can see in the course listing below that this 3-hour overview session only costs $6 regular and $3 for seniors. Click the headline below to see the entire set of course listings for the fall semester. Radio Communicating Options Handy in many situations, […]

radio field day in Hamilton

Annual Field Day is this weekend 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 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. Members of the Bitterroot Amateur Radio Club (BARC) and the Bitterroot Emergency Amateur Radio Services (BEARS) are setting up for Field Day at the Hamilton Grange on Highway 93 – across from Murdoch’s south of Hamilton. More important to me than the contesting are the aspects of setting up comms […]

radio planning

A friend did a VERY THOROUGH analysis of amateur radios as communication tools when other means are unavailable. A strong motivator for him was to reach home or help from the deep woods, but there are other factors, including grid-down disaster planning. He is a high-order professional computer scientist who is very recent to amateur radio. I am hugely impressed by his methodical, thorough attack on problem and solution definition. Thus, with his permission, I share these documents with you here. The first is the overall analysis and conclusions. Radio Plan 2016 Second is a Vietnam-era US Army analysis and conclusions … that taught me a lot. beyond line-of-sight

radio communicating options

Handy in many situations, radio communications can be life saving when phones and Internet are down or out of reach. This 2-hour overview covers walkie-talkies across the yard to ham radios around the world. What radios should you have for emergencies? What do they cost? What do they do? How can you be sure they will be available when you really need them? Regular, non-technical people become Ham radio operators all the time. Should you? If so, how? I am offering one of the classes on the calendar for the Darby Adult Education Spring 2016 session. Darby School District Adult Education The class currently has 5 people signed up. It will be canceled if there are not 7 or more. […]

radio, reloading bench

I am more than a little surprised today to discover I never shared my finished product here. Ta Da! One of the endearing bits of me as far as the Missus is concerned is my role as “Shelf-Meister”. I have squeezed just about as much shelf space into this (and prior) homes as imaginable. Of course they are STRONG, but also functional and suit the spaces handsomely for us. The white shelves to the left were TEMPORARY with those metal shelf brackets that everybody uses and scrap lumber that happened to be somewhat close to the right shape. Lots of putty and paint later, they are as temporary as the rest of the house (and probably nearly as strong). The […]

2-way radios

Assuming that phones and Internet will work unfailingly forever is extraordinarily popular. This is despite the fact everyone knows they don’t, can’t and won’t. Worse, they will fail when everyone most wants information on what is going on and wants to share information on their needs and situations. I recognize this better than most. While to me the need for a radio-based communication network seems obvious, it obviously isn’t. Planning and preparing for the uninterested is challenging, but I’m up to the challenge. Here you have the best tool I’ve heard of. I made up this graphic intended to be printed two-sided on cardstock, cut into fourths and shared with people who might store it near or with their radio. […]

amateur radio saves the day

Radio Call Saves SOTA Climber Following Fall A Littleton, Colorado, radio amateur and mountaineer was happy to have his handheld transceiver along on May 17 after he slipped and fell from an icy ledge in Berthoud Pass while snowshoeing. Summits On The Air (SOTA) enthusiast Brad Byland, WA6MM, said he’s been climbing and mountaineering for many years now and never before came this close to what he called “a possible life-ending disaster.” “I’m doing fine,” Byland told ARRL. “I didn’t get hurt…only bad wind and sunburn on my face! My daughter says my geeky hobby — ham radio — saved me from my dangerous hobby — climbing and mountaineering!” Byland said that while this was his first climb in the […]

emergency radio cards

Assuming that phones and Internet will work unfailingly forever is extraordinarily popular. This is despite the fact everyone knows they don’t, can’t and won’t. Worse, they will fail when everyone most wants information on what is going on and wants to share information on their needs and situations. I recognize this better than most. While to me the need for a radio-based communication network seems obvious, it obviously isn’t. Planning and preparing for the uninterested is challenging, but I’m up to the challenge. Here you have the best tool I’ve heard of. I made up this graphic intended to be printed two-sided on cardstock, cut into fourths and shared with people who might store it near or with their radio. […]

on the radio this evening

daily @ 1830 hrs 3.910 KHz Montana Traffic Net Wed @ 1900 hrs 146.720 KHz BEARS Wed @ 1930 hrs 146.900 KHz LDS Missoula Wed @ 1930 hrs 14.342 KHz national AmRRON net … 3rd Wednesday Wed @ 2000 hrs 146.580 KHz LDS Stevensville Wed @ 2015 hrs 146.720 KHz BARC Wed after BARC emds 28.350 KHz BARC Thu @ 1800 hrs 14.342 KHz regional AmRRON net … 3rd Thursday These are amateur radio networks that I often participate in. They are on the 2-meter, 10-meter and 80-meter HAM bands. I am not, nor have I ever been an electronic geek, yet I have helped over a dozen people with even less electronic background earn their amateur radio licenses. They […]

Radio Lessons from Afield

Darby Dog Derby 2015 For timed and timing-related events, wearing your watch would be a good thing to remember. Having emergency cold-weather gear always in your pickup in cold climates is smart. Remembering they are there when your are chilled to the bone is smarter still. Sadly, really cold and really stupid go together. Avoid becoming really cold. The 7-inch upgrade to Baofeng antennas are good. The 14-inch are better. 27-year-old Kenwood hand-helds beat 2-month-old Baofengs on both transmit and receive. Batteries do not like COLD. Extra batteries, better batteries, spare radios are all good ideas. Practice is a very good thing. Regardless of what you think you know, the real world is quite different from the imaginary one. […]