AMATEUR RADIO EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION NETWORK
IN HAMNET's Amateur Radio Report........early preparations for the summer holiday season......
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WHEN ALL FAILS AMATEUR RADIO SUCCEEDS
Something has gone terribly wrong. Normal ways of doing things are not working. The fastest way to turn an emergency into a full disaster is to lose communications.
Radio Amateurs understand emergencies. For over 70 years they have provided emergency communications for organisations. When normal ways of communication fail or get overloaded Radio Amateurs will be there.
HAMNET, the National Emergency Communications division of the South African Radio League (SARL), provides communications for emergencies and can mobilise experienced communicators who with their own radio equipment will back up official channels or take over when all else fails.
The SARL represents all Radio Amateurs in South Africa at all levels of Government and through the IARU at the International telecommunications Union.
Radio Amateurs or "Hams" use two-way radio communication to make contact with other radio amateurs all over the world. They are even able to use satellites and on occasion speak with astronauts. Radio Hams can do this from home or while mobile in cars, boats or on foot.
Radio Hams have a full range or communication modes at their disposal. These include plain voice, Morse code, numerous digital computer modes and even graphical modes like television. A licensed radio amateur is able to join in experiments using all these modes.
HAMNET REPORT 28 September, 2014
Last weekend around 19H30, parts of Gauteng was hit by a severe hail storm and rain after the initial storm. Many pictures appeared on Facebook showing stones the size of Pidgeon eggs and some even larger! We sincerely hope that with climate change, this is not an early warning of more bad weather to come.
As this bulletin is being compiled, large cumulous nimbus clouds are on the horrison and the weather bureau did indicate that we may get some rain this weekend.
This brings me to a comment I made just casually on Facebook a few weeks ago namely the uncoupling of antenna lines from our equipment to protect them against lightening. This is now the beginning of our rainy season and by all accounts it will produce many lightning strikes and rain.
Please ensure that when that first bit of thunder is heard – even in the distance, it is a good time to uncouple all equipment.
The N3 is also busy preparing for the summer holiday season with items on Twitter indicating that there are lane closures in certain areas where the surface is being repaired. Hamnet has already been in touch the N3 toll Concession and advised them that we will be doing duty over the holiday period and will advise them of any untoward conditions.
Traffic Net in Cape Town – Rob Byrne – will also appreciate comments from Hamnet regarding road and other conditions which they will channel through to the appropriate authorities. Contact details will be published nearer the time.
Tests on the various emergency frequencies indicate that apart from static build-up the 17m band or 18.160 MHz frequency has come alive and often produces better quality ‘traffic’ than the other frequencies. It is less noisy and audio quality even with an inverted V is absolutely perfect.
Various Regions are busy with radio support this weekend supplying information to various organisations involved with sporting and other activities.
We believe that the team on Gough Island are also on their way home via Tristan de Cunha Island and will probably be back in Cape Town in a few days’ time. We have had contact with Paul Johnson, ZD9ZS on Tristan where it was raining heavily during the past few days!
We wish them a safe journey home!
Reporting for Hamnet, this is Francois Botha – ZS6BUU.