K0GKJ – Just Another Ham
The New QTH – A Floating Shack

Jun
27

I stopped by the Peace River Radio Association’s field day location, so I thought I’d share a few photos I snapped while there:

View 2010 PRRA Field Day at Tropical Gulf Acres

A good looking antenna farm was already up, including dipoles, yagis, a vertical with ground radials and what appeared to be either a log periodic array or a highly directional high gain VHF/UHF antenna. Oh yeah, also a J-pole or two, at least one a solar cell that appeared to be charging a portable station’s battery. Cool.

A crank-up tower, an extended vertical stuck in the ground, wire support lines flang through trees or tied to a tower and supports tied to a chimney.

I saw voice and digital modes operating, no CW though, although I possibly wasn’t there at the right time.

In the short time I was there, I didn’t observe any fever pitch contesting underway. Again, maybe just not during my visit. The entire atmosphere was wonderfully relaxed.

I didn’t know anyone going in, but knew a few before I left. I had an especially interesting ragchew with Tom, N4FOB as I impeded his ability to make PSK31 contacts on his laptop connected to his Yaesu FT897 through an LDG YT100 auto tuner and a thirty-plus foot ground mounted vertical with 4 random length ground radials. Sorry ‘bout that, Tom. Nice rig, and congrats on the contacts you were able to complete while I bent your ear.

Nice array of field work, gang.

Oh, by the way, the boat QTH is working nicely. Worked Balfast, Northern Ireland during what must have been some decent gray line propagation near sunset a couple of weeks ago. Several more shorter range contacts on 40 and 20, and have also been checking into the local VHF Sunshine Net at 0830 local. Just so busy traveling. Need to make more time. But good to see some of the gear operational at last.

73 Gene K0GKJ

Mar
22

I finally screwed up the courage to hit the ‘tune’ button on the 746 and successfully ((I think) tuned up the entire rig on my sailboat (mast, shrouds, stays, etc.) since I have not yet installed my backstay insulator. That insulator will complete the installation of my boat QTH…

At least my SWR meter indicated I had close to 1:1 SWR. Turns out I was also successfully radiating…

Just couldn’t wait to get on the air.  Y’all know how it is, right?

So after dialing up 7.268 LSB to listen in to the Waterway Radio & Cruising Club daily net to ostensibly get the ‘lay of the land’, I still managed to check in and give my position report at the wrong time (during the ‘boats underway’ portion of the net when I was, in fact, securely tied to the dock) and before position reports were formally requested. Oh well…

At least I checked in (and was heard!) during the ‘traffic from boats’ portion of the net.

The NCS’s (net control station’s) QTH for yesterday was Marietta, Georgia, and Al heard me just fine, although I didn’t even get his call sign completely and accurately recorded in my log. I informed the net that this was my very first WRCC net check-in ever. They were extremely polite and seemed to understand any unintentional protocol transgressions. I felt very welcomed.

And not wanting to check in with a wimpy signal, I of course cranked my RF power up to max (only 100 watts), and gratefully received a solid report.

I found it fascinating how this formally directed net efficiently solicited reports from regularly attending stations in the north, the Bahamas, offshore, etc., and used relay stations for signals not heard directly by the NCS.

Although from my relatively noisy location (in a large marina with lots of RF reflections and interference), there were many stations I could not hear, there were also many that I could.

So on balance, I was pleased with the initial performance of my onboard installation so far.

WRCC net (at 0745 ET daily) is a well-run net, and fascinating to monitor an amateur radio net specifically directed to serving maritime ham operators.

Great job, gang!

Mar
19

Here is where I was at recently (as reported by my handheld ham radio):

http://aprs.fi/K0GKJ-7

I was sitting on my boat, with my ham radio turned on and set to automatically transmit my APRS beacon to the world. Unlike my SPOT satellite tracker, no subscription fee, just a little amateur radio ingenuity, and it passes more information including short emails, weather info, altitude, etc.

Automatic Packet Reporting System, or APRS, is essentially a fascinating do-it-yourself position reporting technology, text messaging & information reporting network (e.g., weather, altitude, operator info) via amateur radio.

I can take it anywhere with me since its capability is built into my HT (handheld transceiver), although unlike my SPOT satellite tracker, its transmission capabilities are more similar to marine VHF, essentially local area line of sight range. Combined with Internet Igates, however, this tactical two-way real-time coverage can be essentially global.

And with cool work going on by interested hams in support of initiatives like the APRS Universal Text Messaging Initiative, any two hams can communicate essentially independent of the type of device used!

For those of you not familiar with APRS, its a pretty cool ham radio technology that’s been around for awhile, and can be quite experimental. Until recently, it required some fairly sophisticated gear that was largely “roll-your-own”, at least at the component level. Nowadays, there are more commercial offerings that require less homebrew hardware skill, but still require non-trivial operating skills.

For example, I report my GPS-derived position, either manually or automatically on a predetermined interval (from every 30 seconds to every 30 minutes) programmed into my GPS-enabled handheld transceiver (HT) and it shows up on various web sites on the internet (e.g., Google Maps), assuming my transmission(s) get picked up by a nationwide network of ham operated and owned “digipeaters”. Not unlike VHF/UHF repeaters, these stations receive and repeat packets for broadcast to other similar stations and to the Internet.

I can also send text messages directly to another ham radio operator using his or her unique ham call sign as their texting or email address.

Democratic technocracy at its best!

There is great general information out there on APRS if you’re interested. A few of the more popular references:

APRS Introduction 

http://www.aprs.org/

http://www.aprs.fi

http://www.winlink.org/aprslink

Enjoy!

Oh, and if you’re interested in the progress made on my HF station installation on the boat, check out www.oursojourn.wordpress.com.

View HF Rig in the Boat QTH
View Full Album

73 de Gene K0GKJ  dit     dit

 

Mar
14

Since I built my VHF/HF rig (Icom 706MkIIG) into a suitcase for portable ops, my relatively new HT (Yaesu VX-8R) is performing mobile duty on the road. Just got the GPS feature too, so now I can broadcast realtime position data (APRS) as I’m rollin’ down the road.

Looks pleasingly funky, and works pretty darn well too!

Loaded all the repeaters onto the VX8R between here (Punta Gorda) and St. Augustine (romantic B&B weekend with the YL) using Travel Plus for Repeaters software and my VX8 Programmer software. Cool beans! Oh, so easy…

Finishing up the HF rig install on the boat. All that’s left is the backstay (antenna) insulator. Great receive on all bands using the entire sailboat rig (mast, shrouds, etc.) as an antenna, but afraid to hit the tune button until I get the backstay isolated (long wire) from DC ground. Looks pretty good too!

Even the 30A breaker looks like it belongs (ran outa black on white labels, all I had was black on clear, so had to put a piece of white teflon tape behind the label – will replace when I get a new black on white cartridge for the label gun…

ham xyl 006

Speaking of the YL, is this somethin’ or what!  She stole one of my T-shirts, but did it with a smile…

ham xyl 004

73  dit    dit

Mar
08

A radio shack aboard a liveaboard boat falls somewhere in between a shack at the house and a mobile rig in the car. Best of both worlds, I say!

I’m borrowing on my experience with mobile ops as well as gyrations in setting up a QTH at the house. Add to that those aspects of an HF rig on salt water and it makes for a fascinating exercise.

Mobile power rules of thumb:

  1. Use heavy gauge wire to minimize (12VDC) voltage drop. I’m using 8 gauge – even though my total run is about 25 feet (round trip). Marine practice dictates soldered connections which I then wrapped in Scotch Super 88 heavy electrical tape and covered all with marine grade shrink tubing: hf radio install 002
  2. Fuse positive and negative DC power cables as close to the battery(s) as possible…  hf radio install 003
  3. I also doubled up my protection on power with a 30A breaker which will go on this panel (notice the empty spot near the bottom: hf radio install 020

Snaking cables was one of the more challenging aspects of this installation.

Worst nightmare for any boat owner is drilling holes in his boat. Check out the two holes below (left hole drilled through 1.5” of the pilothouse bulkhead for the antenna feedline and tuner control line; the right hole through over two and a half inches of teak paneling and plywood bulkhead for power line from batteries !  hf radio install 008

Ultimately, I’ll have a neat electrical installation (I’ve been pretty fastidious on this phase of the install so it lasts a good long while as trouble-free as I can make it): hf radio install 018 

and the final result is actually sort of anticlimactic in appearance, but I’m hoping orgasmic in practice!

hf radio install 019a 

Since this baby will be just forward of my right shoulder as I’m sitting in my La-Z-Boy, I’ll need some sort of lap desk to operate from. Another design challenge!

I had to tear up much of the pilothouse to snake all the wires and get access to all those better-forgotten spaces:

hf radio install 011

hf radio install 012

INCLUDING uninstalling (temporarily) one of the bolted in safes on board):

 hf radio install 010

Unique to a marine installation is the technique for creating a strong RF ground, or counterpoise, via a combination of coupling to the salt water ground through the hull of the boat as well as direct (electrical) attachment TO the salt water via fixtures on the bottom of the hull that has bronze studs penetrating the hull. Here’s a view of the attachment from the antenna tuner located in the left rear corner of the boat to the bronze blocks in the bottom of the right side of the boat halfway forward – a place I seldom visit under the floorboards of the engine room…

Attachment via two bronze nuts, washers, lock washers and gobs of Ox-Gard to the smaller (twelve inch long) bronze block – the wood is the “backing plate” inside the hull to which the bronze block on the outside of the hull is securely bolted:

 copper etc 003

Forward of that twelve inch block is a larger eighteen inch long block. The RF ground copper strap is mated to its four bolts similarly…

copper etc 004

and here is a view of the two in tandem:

 copper etc 005

I then sprayed as much of the thirty feet of copper strap as I could with clear lacquer to protect it (at least partially) from tarnishing. In and of itself, that shouldn’t affect performance. It’s more just to increase its longevity. I figured any clear lacquer would do;

copper etc 008 

Notice the bronze floor latch in front of this cheapo Wal-Mart lacquer. The reason it still is untarnished after many months of walking on it? Yup.. sprayed it with the same stuff back then.

Now I have to climb the mast (54 feet high), take down one of the two backstay wires, saw about fifteen inches out of it to install an insulator, and that should just about get me on the air after I put that wire (antenna) back aloft and get my new breaker delivered. Oh yeah!

73   dit    dit

Mar
05

Now this is my primary mobile VHF setup:

And work continues on my primary “base station” (which is also sorta mobile) – the boat… below I’m constructing the high voltage cable that will connect my (end-fed) wire to the antenna tuner. After putting ring terminals on both ends,

vx8r and copper install 012

I found that I needed a different terminal on the antenna end to fit around a half-inch bolt (instead of connecting to the bolt with a hose clamp as originally planned. So this is the tuner end of the feedline (soldered, crimped & shrink-wrapped):

vx8r and copper install 011

and this is the antenna end:

vx8r and copper install 018

Nice since there’s only two feet between the bottom end of the antenna (essentially a forty-five foot long wire, the top end of which is 50 feet up off the water, the lower end less than five feet off the water, a.k.a., salt water counterpoise) and the AH-4 coupler.

Now, I had to descend into some deep dark places on the boat to connect the antenna feedline and route the copper strap comprising my RF ground connection to the sea.

Here, I’m bidding good-bye to sunlight for awhile to make the feedline connections:

vx8r and copper install 022

vx8r and copper install 030

and again to route copper strap, the unbalanced (coax) feedline and tuner control line:

and this is where the RF ground strap will terminate – on the backside of two sintered bronze blocks on the OUTSIDE of the boat’s hull (bottom). What you see in the pic below are the plywood backing plates (and connecting bolts) INSIDE the hull, below the engine room floor boards.

vx8r and copper install 047a

Note the heavy green wire lower left that ties to the ship’s bonding system (DC ground). Obviously, that will have to come off as I intend keeping my RF ground separate from my DC ground (obviously?).

For approximately ten feet or so, the 3” wide 22 mil thick copper strap runs along the inside of the boat’s bottom a mere 1.5 inches (thickness of the hull) from the best practical counterpoise in the world–sea water.

That’s 30 square feet x two = 60 square feet (two sides) capacitatively coupled to the sea through the hull.

Plus the two bronze blocks (one boasts the equivalent surface area of 100 square feet, the second half again as much) will be directly connected between the strap and the sea via four bronze bolts and two gold-plated ones smothered in Ox-Gard and mechanically bolted lock tight.

That’s about as good an overkill on “the bottom half of my near-vertical (sloped) multi-band dipole” as I can contrive!

Tomorrow, I finished the copper strap install and start (and hopefully finish) on the feedline and control line to the radio.

The final step will be the power run from a new 30A breaker on order that will reside on an auxiliary breaker panel with eight gauged power cable.

Gettin’ close, radio fans!

73 dit    dit

Mar
03

Since we were at anchor away from home for a couple of days, the YL pursued her favorite on-the-hook passion (read) as I pursued mine (putz on projects, one of which was making progress on my radio installation).

Installing my Icom AH-4 antenna tuner (coupler) was priority one for me now that I had materials on board to work with.

Four priorities for this part of installing my HF and VHF QTH aboard:

  1. weatherproof installation (tuner and all connections to it),
  2. close to the end of my 45 foot end-fed wire antenna (a piece of sailboat rigging called a backstay, once insulated from the rest of the rig – but that’s another phase of this project I’ll post later),
  3. out of the way, protected from physical impact, but easy to pull out for visual inspection of all connections, and
  4. the best RF ground connection I could manage with my feeble brain and diminishing resources.

First, I assembled the tools necessary for the job.

feb 2010 027

I had used a plunge cutter (lower left in pic above) to cut a slit in my port cockpit lazarette (locker) for the 20 mil (16 ounce) 3” wide copper RF ground strap to pass through. Worked handily!

feb 2010 028

Next, I wanted to bolt the tuner to a removable shelf (slides out) so I could periodically inspect the ground and antenna connections for corrosion.

Two years ago, I had constructed these shelves out of maintenance free house decking material, and these hold up great in the hostile salt water marine environment, and a helluva lot cheaper than anything with the word “marine” associated with it!

One of these shelves, composed of two planks, slides out between two horizontal pieces of deck railing material glued ‘n screwed to the lazarette bulkheads. This shelf, removed, is shown below with the tuner bolted onto it with 316 stainless wood screws, washers and lock washers:

feb 2010 039

I wanted ample clearance around the tuner, and to provide it with good protection from locker stuffers as well as the weather. Even though the AH-4 is ostensibly weatherproof (it did survive three Minnesota winters under the eaves of my house before we moved south), I wanted all my connections to it to be below decks and out of the weather.

Now being a simple guy who likes to figure out simple solutions to complex problems, one of the more interesting puzzles to piece out was how to “fold” my rather stiff copper strapping to cleanly route it to the tuner, so I made a paper template based on my wife’s input from her experience sewing. This helped me, fold by fold, twist the copper the right direction the right number of turns,

feb 2010 042

Given what copper costs, and how much farther I need to route it through the rest of the boat in order to get it to my bronze block way down in the bilge, and given that I’m not sure if my strap is long enough (30 feet), I only wanted to use the length absolutely needed in the lazarette.

So after figuring out the folding pattern, and twisting the strap in the right direction the right number of times, I attached the end of the strap to the tuner by drilling holes for the RF ground lug and for the mounting bracket:

feb 2010 044

burnishing the contact points and using liberal amounts of Ox-Gard:

feb 2010 048

I also drilled a hole in the strap and screwed it into the shelf itself as a strain relief since I plan on being able to occasionally slide the entire assembly in and out without disturbing these electrical connections with that movement:

feb 2010 046

After I slid the copper strap from below decks into the lazarette (using leather work gloves, obviously – this stuff has SHARP EDGES), via my newly cut slot,

feb 2010 040

You can also see where I’ve flattened the first twist into a neat 90 degree “turn” .

feb 2010 050

I temporarily slid the shelf into place with the tuner firmly bolted to it. Notice the maintenance-free deck “railing” material (upper left in the pic below) into which the shelf planks slide. Pretty cool, huh?

feb 2010 052

After running out of daylight (remember, we’re out in a DARK anchorage away from any lights of civilization),

feb 2010 054

and after trying the YL’s patience with my absence “putzing” for hours (no hurry, no worries), I secured the project for the time being, went down below to light some oil lamps for her, start the generator to charge the house battery banks and to eat dinner.

By the way, our house batteries (four Trojan T105 6VDC golf cart batteries) have about a 440 amp-hour capacity. Just running lights, refrigeration, fans, radar (when on), satellite radio/weather, Internet connection, ragchew QSOs, etc, easily eats up 100AH or more in less than twelve hours, so she’s a power-hungry ship, making it necessary to run the generator a couple hours every morning and again a couple hours in the evening while we’re away from the dock and shore power (60A of 110VAC piped aboard from the dock).

But it is fun managing our own little eco-system, including water, electrical power, waste, heat, food, drink, navigation, mechanical systems like two diesel power plants, corrosion, wind power for propulsion, etc.

I am looking forward to the day when we can afford a decent array of solar panels and a wind generator, if for no other reason, to get away from the noise of the diesel genset and the 1.5 liters per hour she burns while hummin’ away feeding the beast !

Like they say, a boat project takes (should take) five times longer than the same project in/on a house. That’s ok – it’s F-U-N, and I know I’m blessed !!

After dinner, I temporarily jumped power to my Icom 746 and connected it to the marine VHF antenna atop my 54 foot (sailboat) mast and made a few 2M contacts:

feb 2010 074

I also occasionally hook up my HT (Yaesu VX-8R) to that antenna to fire out our APRS position or to get onto 70CM.

Til next time… be it ever so humble, here’s a view of our (mobile) QTH from the dinghy after returning from a hike ashore the next day. For more info on the boat itself, see www.oursojourn.wordpress.com if interested… also, the ship’s online log can be found at: http://freepdfhosting.com/740b51021b.pdf (pretty boring stuff, though!)

feb 2010 077a

73 dit dit

Feb
24

When you gotta sneak around, slipping antennas toward the sky without anyone bitching about it, the results can be rewarding in a rather perverse manner. Especially when the results are SPECTACULAR !!!

Plus, with portability as a priority, it’s a lot of fun knowing you can set up anywhere, literally in minutes, and get on the air.

Enter my second portable tower and antenna (recall the first was for HF, i.e., longer range communication).

This one is a two inch fiberglass pole in four foot sections resting atop a heavy-duty five foot satellite dish tripod. Gets my homebrew copper tube slim-jim up about twenty feet, and THAT, my friends is a recipe for a satisfying afternoon in the garage!

I’m in dark territory for HTs (handheld transceivers) with small (“rubber duckie”) antennas at ground level. Not much better standing on a second or third floor balcony. The nearest repeater is over twenty miles away, and HTs with those little antennas need serious help out here. While I might be able to hear them, they don’t hear me.

So I needed an antenna with some altitude and some gain.

Enter the copper tube slim-jim. Ostensibly, with over 6db of gain, my only remaining challenge was altitude, and the tripod and fiberglass pole sections (government surplus poles for supporting camo screens over artillery, etc – they sell ‘em at most hamfests), the results today were very satisfying…

 I had earlier tuned the antenna for minimum SWR, so I was confident it could now “be all that it could be”.

With my trusty VX-8R HT with speaker-mic attached, and an adapter to attach a PL-259 connector to the radio’s SMA antenna jack, I connected the HT directly to the newly erected antenna.

I was delighted to have made some great contacts through a repeater on the 440MHZ band over forty miles away!

VHF UHF antenna VX8R on 440 009

This repeater (in Murdock, FL) is linked to several other repeaters in the Sarasota, Tampa and Bradenton area, so I was chatting loud and crystal clear with several guys on their commute home one to two hundred miles away. Very cool.

Now repeaters are terrific, and provide great capability, as long as they’re operational.

In an emergency (remember I’m now focusing on emcomm with what promises to be an energetic hurricane season only a few short months away), you can’t count on ‘em, and an antenna/tower like this one that can be literally thrown up in five minutes immediately after a storm, for example, when repeaters may or may not be on the air, operating simplex without repeaters can be a tremendous asset to disaster relief agencies.

And now I’M PACKIN’ !

73 dit dit

Feb
24

Well, I finally got my modest unprepossessing new forty-eight year old (1962) Vibroplex bug–mostly cleaned up.

vibroplex vids pics 001

Turns out that is painstaking work, cleaning with a Q-tip, isopropyl alcohol and metal polish (Flitz), while keeping track of lots of itty-bitty parts during the take-apart and put-back-together-again-without-screwing-it-up operation.

I tried not to disassemble too much at one time so I was never too distant from its lovely operating condition when I bought it.

But it sure was dirty!

I LOVE the mechanical (not electronic) clacking cadence of this semi-automatic bug (as it’s called after the red bug on the logo plate – beyond that, there are probably more stories of the history of that, but escapes me right now).

Quite the little machine. I’m really enjoying learning this monster! Still rough, but it’s coming… see for yourself in the following video calling CQ…

I’ve been working steadily on  a great code speed-building course by Chuck Adams, K7QO (http://www.kc5cqm.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php?n=Main.K7QOcwCourse). Have been, off and on, for a couple of years. Tried many, this one just keeps progressively building your speed, almost without you being aware of it, but unlike me, you gotta stay with it a little bit every day.

73 dit dit

Feb
22

This was my first deployment of the completely portable and self-contained antenna system & station – great receiving, no contacts, however (didn’t try too hard) – mostly testing setup time, operational deficiencies, etc)… I only deployed four tuned elevated radials for twenty meters, but was able to load the antenna up nicely on forty as well, but the noise difference was noticeable. 

View Antenna Set Up in 20 Minutes

 So it turns out this (portable, i.e., easily raised and lowered) antenna is also a lot less conspicuous than my (now uninstalled and sold) big ‘n bold hex beam. Not invisible, but nearly so. Can you spot this 33 foot vertical just to the right of the largest palm trunk below? 

antenna setup 044

antenna setup 043 

 It’s all about stealth, and having an antenna that can move around with literally less than 20 minutes’ notice is pretty stealthy! 

 Loaded the kit for both voice and CW: 

 antenna setup 026 

 40M was noisy but tuned up. Didn’t expect much with only the twenty meter radials deployed: 

 

But twenty meters, with radials deployed, sounded very strong and relatively noise-free: 

 

An attempted CW contact – no joy – but I am a patient man. I was pleased that my little station seemed to be working, and more to come! 

 

So after a gentle rain last night, I’ll see how the antenna faired (my new balun is only water-resistant – gotta goop it up with silicone, etc. It’s on the list!). N

ext on the hit list for the SS (suitcase station): 

  •  manufacture various spare jumpers (to alligator clips for attachment to car or golf cart battery, to bare wires for that surprise connection that will always be necessary, etc.) all terminating in the ubiquitous standard APP30s (Anderson Power Pole 30 amp) for connection to the SS’s 12VDC distribution panel
  • lay in a compliment of spare automotive style blade fuses (blew a 7.5A tuning up 40M when powered by the radio through that single fuse – now I know to use a 10A or possibly greater in that slot on the panel),
  • incorporate two little stick-on 6-LED lights (only a 50 ma draw) for op lighting (power cord will be speaker wire, switched, and terminated in APPs,
  • wire in the tiny RigBlaster Nomic for digital ops with the laptop (HOO-yah!),
  • external power connector (110VAC) for internal battery charger, and tee off the alligator clips (which I’ll retain) with APPs so I can be charging the internal battery whenever 110 is available, even while operating. Retain the alligators in case I need to ‘jump’ to another battery (bank),
  • external SO-239s for HF and VHF antenna feedlines,
  • possibly external jacks (mounted in the case wall) for headphones and (waterproof) key so I could operate with the lid closed in particularly hostile conditions. Gotta think about cooling a hot rig, though. And I’m not anxious about drilling holes in that beautiful (airtight) case. Maybe…
  • experiment with a RED (rapid emergency deployment) high gain VHF antenna (maybe ‘harden’ my experimental copper tube slim jim & mount on the five foot tripod – maybe add a rollup two-wave twin lead for 2M and 70CM bands for the go bag)
  • add elastic straps in the SS’s lid to retain the HT, or maybe more practical, a second (soft) bag for the HT/accessories, antenna analyzer, tool kit, first-aid kit, etc.)
  • create a car trunk kit, including 100’ extension cord and other items useful when deploying by car for extended deployment prep.,
  • Perfect the personal, car and remote deployment go bags (see resources below) adapted to my own style.

What else? who knows? create, use, refine, use, refine, etc. Repeater directory, band plan with key (calling, emergency) freqs, FCC license, ARES ID card, maybe lug the laptop along on a deployment with a copy of a Ham Call CD in lieu of QRZ.com…)

Net: this is a lot of fun setting up, getting a little (my first) experience with a vertical antenna and elevated HF radials on one band (walking before running), with a more complete (multi-band) set ready to roll. All of this got me thinking seriously about my personal jump kit (also referred to as a ‘go bag’), not only for portable radio ops, but also disaster preparedness in general. 

 The concept: be ready to go at a moment’s notice, prepared for one or more of the following: 

  • Survive, preferably comfortably, for some period of time without external assistance (food, drink, warmth, light, power, shelter, communicate…),
  • Be able to provide assistance to others in an emergency (first aid, emergency communications…)
  • Be prepared with training and credentials (CPR/AED training, CW when voice not possible, ARRL, ARES & RACES emergency training…)

Some interesting & informative resources at:

When you live in the heart of hurricane country, and wish to serve your community, PREparedness is a watchword. So now I’m trying to strike a balance between being well prepared and having fun doing it! In my mind, I’m choosing between possibly becoming a victim, OR being part of a team who takes care of others who have become victims. I choose the latter. Now it’s a matter of walking the talk while enjoying all the other cool things retirement has to offer…. balance!

73 dit dit

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