A Shameless Plug for my new go-kit

We all say we are prepared for when disaster strikes.  Are we ready?  Get out there and test your gear!

Edgewater Park - Cleveland

Edgewater Park – Cleveland – Lake Erie

During the off-season, I built myself a bit of a VHF/UHF  Go-Kit.  I can quickly and safely transport my gear to the outdoors.  I haven’t yet used this kit much for public service.  At today’s event, it was way overkill; we could have used bullhorns and yelled at each other from across the way.  I wanted to test my new setup.  It worked splendidly and now I have a better idea of what I am still missing.  Unfortunately, I had to call for a First Aid kit, this is something I should be ready for.

My Kit:

  • ICOM ID-5100a (2M/440Mhz)
  • Super Antennas MP-1 (80M-70CM with loading coils)
  • Room for one of my HTs (Currently a VX-8DR)
  • Battery (with powerpoles!)

Things I learned I’m missing:

  • First Aid kit
  • Cutout for a 2nd HT
  • A Vest letting people know I’m with the Amateur service.

Hamvention: New Toys and Learning to use them

The 2015 Dayton Hamvention is in the books!  It was a wonderful time.  This year truly proved the popularity and wild growth of digital forms.  Even in a hobby, one can relate the lessons learned to the workplace.  I’m quite fortunate, being a HAM and a Network Engineer I can really study both in tandem.

I finally have a good 2 Meter and 70CM kit!  I decided to splurge and purchase an ID-5100a giving me the capabilities of Digital Voice and hopefully soon Data.  I don’t see a problem with this “newfangled” methodology of radio.  The POTS line is dying and frankly maybe too should FM.  Digital Voice ushers in a new age of radio with less static and more efficient use of precious bandwidth.  In terms of business Digital Voice means replacing multiple DS3s with single OC circuits.  IT calls this Converged IP.  It’s here to stay so maybe the old HAMs need to embrace it.  It’s evolution and I believe it’s here to stay.

Where HAM radio falls behind the professional world is the lack of inter-operable communication methods.  Yaesu’s System Fusion and ICOM’s D-STAR are not able to talk.  Even being in the same family tree these two versions lack what FM will always enjoy.  DMR, P25 and other forms exist too in the professional space with walled gardens between vendors.  For the professional world the lack of is less of a big deal as businesses choose a single vendor for standardization.  In the Amateur world there must exist basic inter-operability.  A major purpose for HAM Radio is to perform public service.  In an emergency we as HAMs must be able to communicate.  If we cannot communicate, than we aren’t doing out job.  I hope the systems of future are inter-operable, without this functionality FM is here to stay alongside.

I can’t wait to send pictures using Data and Bluetooth.