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Wilderness Protocol


Gaius

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I don't recall posting this bit of info before I apologize if I have.

The Wilderness Protocol is a suggestion for Amateur Radio Operators outside of repeater range to monitor or use standard simplex channels at specific times in case of emergencies or other urgent calls. This protocol plan was developed to assist with contacts between Amateur Radio Operators that were traveling in uninhabited areas and outside repeater range.

There are three frequencies monitored the primary frequency is 146.520 MHz with 446.00 MHz and 223.5 MHz acting as alternate frequencies. The other frequencies are 6 meter (52.525) and 23cm (1294.50), the most likely protocol frequencies to be heard will be 146.520, 446.00 MHz and 223.5 MHz.

There are amateur radio wilderness protocol monitoring times, these can be see along with other protocol info at http://k4jwm.com/wil...ocol.htm. Since I have a dual-channel Yaesu FT-8900 I monitor 146.520 100% of the time and use the other channel for making contacts (QSL). When I stop for the night I have Kenwood handheld TH-F6 tri-band dual channel radio that allows me to monitor during the evening hours.

The Wilderness Protocol should not be viewed as something just for hikers, off-roads, or prospectors it is available for use by everyone anywhere repeater coverage is unavailable. The protocol only becomes effective when folks put it to use.

Cheers, Beers, & Gold

Chuck

KG6SYX

:old:

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Before you can get on the air, you need to be licensed and know the rules to operate legally. US licenses are good for 10 years before renewal (no cost for renewal and no testing) and anyone may hold one except a representative of a foreign government. In the US there are three license classes: Technician, General and Extra.

Amateur radio requires a license and the most basic is the entry level Technician Class license. To earn the Technician license requires passing one examination totaling 35 questions on radio theory, regulations and operating practices.

The simplest and easiest way to get a Technician Class license is thru Gordon West Technician Class Study Guide. Gordon's study guide is based on the FCC Element 2 Question Pool that is currently effective July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2018. This and Gordon's other study guilds are similar to the old cliff notes study guides. Gordon's web site is http://www.w5yi.org/

AA9PW has one of the best amateur exam practices pages I've seen and the web site is http://aa9pw.com/radio/. The practice exam is format the same as what you will see when you take the test, only the response to the questions order changes so you can't just remember "A" for question One.

This may sound a bit over the top but using Gordon West study guides and AA9PW practices will keep it simple and on target.

What type of radio to buy is like who's best Ford, GM, or Toyota's. I would recommend a radio with two channels and dual band meaning 2 meters and 70cm. The best way to decide is by visiting Ham Radio Outlet (HRO), I recommend HRO because overall they seem to have the best prices. HRO in Anaheim, CA has a number of radios on display and working so you can actually put one to work before buying; and they provide help if needed.

Lastly I need to let you know about American Radio Relay League (ARRL), http://www.arrl.org/home. The ARRL has been around since about 1914 and is the advocacy group promoting amateur radio. When you are ready for the Technician Class license tests this is the one best source for finding a Ham radio club in your area that has schedule test.

ARRL also post which club is offering class with you're local area, but they might be using ARRL study guides with a higher cost and lots of tech info. However on the positive side there would be someone available to answer any question you may have. Web site - http://www.arrl.org/licensing-education-training

Cost - Per Gordon on line catalog his technician class study guide is about $22.00. Taking the test used to be about $25.00 to help the club cover the testing cost. Once you're ready and have identified a club for testing the club should be able to provide the cost of taking the test. Visit the HRO web site (http://www.hamradio.com/) for radio cost, but don't let the opening web page give you sticker stock. When I checked it this afternoon its open up with home radio stations and not the mobile ones we are interested in. Here the latest HRO catalog - http://www.hamradio.com/catalog/summer2014/HRO_2014_Summer.pdf

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It sounds worst than it really is and currently there are between 700,000 and 750,000 amateur radio operators in the US and I've been told there are 3 million world wide. If you're near Anaheim, CA some time we can meet at the HRO on 933 N Euclid St after 10:00 am when they open. I think you will find it's not quite as bad as it seems. When I took my general class exam there was a 12 year old girl taking the technician and general class exams the same day.

If there are others who would like to meet at HRO and walk thru some of this just let me know.

Cheers, Beers, & Gold

Chuck

KG6SYX

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A bit overwhelming but thanks for the info. Obviously not for the casual user.

NOpe, and it helps to know local ordinances /permitting/fees regarding antennas before making any investment in a base station.

I wonder how those frequencies overlap( if at all)or fit into the spectrum of channels available on all the hand-held 2-way radios made by MIdland/MOtorola?

Edited by weaver hillbille
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The Midland and Motorola hand-held 2 way radios are General Mobile Radios (GMRS) and Family Radio Service (FRS). I belong one club that use GMRS/FRS which is why I carry two and I have given some as Christmas gifts. They work well but over time GMRS/FRS have become the new CB's and folks where suppose to be license to use them. That didn't seem to work out well for the FCC folks.

GMRS/FRS are basically designed to work on frequency range 462.5625 (channel 1) - 462.700 (channel 21). Amateur radio transmit frequency range for this band 420 - 450 so there is no transmit overlap but I can receive GMRS/FRS transmissions, I can't send. There is supposedly GMRS/FRS home base stations but I've never seen one and some where down the line I heard they are mainly for businesses.

So from an emergency point of view if you are with a group prospecting, they all or most have GMRS/FRS and they are turn on you might be able to get help from the group you are with. However if there is no cell phone coverage that emergency help might be a little harder to get.

While not the only answer amateur radios increase my changes of getting emergency help. Went I stop for the night or a couple of days of prospecting the first thing I check for is a repeater. I know went I'm south of Barstow, CA working a claim I can reach Table Mtn repeater and a couple of others. I have been east of Baker, CA work a GPAA Claim and have used Table Mtn repeater which is about 100+ miles west of my location. The other answer for emergency help is satellites phones, something I've not been involved with.

ps: Since about Feb 2007 Morse Code is no longer required.

Cheers, Beers, & Gold

Chuck

KG6SYX

:old:

Edited by Gaius
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The other answer for emergency help is satellites phones, something I've not been involved with.

I always carry a SPOT with me when out prospecting alone. It gives me some semblance (moreso the S.O.) of security. For a backup, I'm seriously considering getting an aircraft radio. I figure there's usually enough air traffic in the areas I ride or prospect, that the chances of me being able to communicate with a jetliner or private plane is pretty high. Way cheaper than a sat phone. Besides, if something bad were to happen, they'd have to send a helicopter to pick me up anyways, might as well be able to communicate with them. :brows:

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I've had one of those here with me for years AZB lucky I've never had to use it. The emergency freq. for AC is

121.5. Some airliners monitor that but not all. If that doesn't get any response let the radio scan any freq. it

can lock on to. Then be sure to have you GPS locked onto your location so you can give it to any AC quickly.

Another freq. you might try is 122.9 that's the freq. AC use at uncontrolled airports. Or 123.0 that fixed base

operators monitor at controlled airports.

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I've had one of those here with me for years AZB lucky I've never had to use it. The emergency freq. for AC is

121.5. Some airliners monitor that but not all. If that doesn't get any response let the radio scan any freq. it

can lock on to. Then be sure to have you GPS locked onto your location so you can give it to any AC quickly.

Another freq. you might try is 122.9 that's the freq. AC use at uncontrolled airports. Or 123.0 that fixed base

operators monitor at controlled airports.

Yep… I use to fly a 210 so I'm familiar with the most common frequencies. I guess they're still the same as they were 25 years ago. :idunno:

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I recently got this posting on another prospecting forum and wanted to pass it along so folks thinking about getting their licenses can see it may not be as difficult as it may seem.

"Great idea using radios. It would be a good idea if several club members had their amateur licenses. I recently got my technicians. Maybe you or someone else with experience could give a demonstration. If I had known how easy it was to take this first level I would have done it sooner."

Cheers, Beers, & Gold

Chuck

KG6SYX

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