Back in March I tested and passed my General license exam. Upgrade posted to the FCC website for KE0JIT.
State governments and local emergency groups in the path of the upcoming eclipse have contingency in place for Eclipse 2017.
The concern is large groups of people gathered and the potential for a mass casualty situation. Think World Series and a lot of cops and ambulances being nearby. Except in this case you have lots of tourists and schoolchildren on field trips to catch the big event, not baseball or a state fair. They are scattered along the path of an astronomical anomaly, in smaller towns and odd places where they normally wouldn’t be.
There is potential to simply overwhelm local communications (cell towers) and ambulance service if an accident occurs. Or a whole string of accidents with a large crowd.
So local Red Cross, your town emergency manager in the eclipse path, and Ham radio groups, are on ‘stand-by’.
You never know, so their being prepared is just good discernment of the possibilities. Mini disasters are more likely. The elderly Japanese tourists expected by the bus load could end up dehydrated. The school kid that doesn’t wear the eclipse glasses right and ends up with an acute eye issue. Emergencies like that.
And then there is the possibility of stampede and resulting injury because the crowd in one of the towns getting spooked. Who knows?
If you go to a prime eclipse viewing spot be sure to take along water, bug spray. Things you’d take on a short hike or picnic. Oh, and the eclipse viewing glasses. Prepare just a little yourself. You might get stuck with a crowd longer than you expect. Traffic alone in some spots will be bad.
Looks like I will be helping @STL_ARES. I am looking forward to the radio training classes and weather spotter classes.
Will try the KC0TPS repeater from west St Louis City tonight and see if I can hit it mobile.
Amateur Radio News Hour says Hams in Sri Lanka helped with a big comms event during a recent disaster. A first. Really good to hear.
Tried checking into the KC0TPS repeater/Net from Blair & Sullivan Ave and got a choppy signal. Surprised I got one at all. Just over the hill from the repeater’s range. Net closed before I had success. They heard my attempt to check in, however, I caught bits and pieces of them saying the signal was noisy and I needed to increase the power. Using an HT at 4-5 watts, ducky antenna tonight. Ok, so looks like I’ll need to fab a J-pole and put it up on the roof. I suspect that will connect well on my 5 watt HT. No doubt a mobile rig and the J-pole would work.
Every occupation and interest has its own lingo and custom. Amateur radio is no different. The disappointment, maybe discouragement I see are people truly friendly enough to say, ‘hey, let me help you’. So far I’ve heard friendly voices on the air. Clubs, less so. Even less so on some internet gathering places. The ham snobbery is terrible. You would think it’s wine connoisseurs discussing a ’68 Rothschild wine, except it’s about some and their lack of knowledge while using 20 meter. Whatever.