AMATEUR RADIO EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION NETWORK
IN HAMNET's Amateur Radio Report........amateur radio assists and on stand by around the globe......
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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 19 October. 2014
A number of items caught our attention this week spreading right across the globe from the Far East to the American East Coast.
Firstly, when typhoon Hudhud swept into the Bay of Bengal, authorities again called on amateurs to help out with emergency communication. The National coordinator for Disaster Communication, Jayu Bhide, VU2JAU indicated that in the city of Odissa, six amateurs were working hard to maintain communication covering the state.
Odissa was hit very hard in 2013 by typhoon Phailin but fortunately this was not a repeat of that storm. So far only about 6 deaths have been reported despite winds reaching over 200 km/h when it made landfall.
Along the coast in the Andhra region all communication was handled by the National Institute of Amateur Radio. Infrastructure was slowly being restored by removing fallen trees, blocked road and restoring electrical power to the affected regions.
India’s Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi surveyed the cyclone hit area from the air on Tuesday and attributed early evacuations and the clever use of technology in India’s weather office helped to save lives. More than 40 Disaster Response teams were engaged in rescue efforts.
It will take at least five to six days before life can return to normal.
Across the globe this week along the United States East Coast, the Hurricane Watch Network was activated to keep an eye on cyclone Gonzalo that was heading north west up the coast.
The network was operating on 14,300 MHz as well as 14.325 MHz assisting people with emergency communication. The frequency of 7.265 MHz was also activated and amateurs were asked to stay clear of these frequencies in order for traffic to be sent unhindered.
The latest on the cyclone indicates that it is still out over the Atlantic and moving north to north west skirling the mainland.
An item that really raised eyebrows and caused goose pimples when the news broke is that Lockheed are working on a fusion plant the size of a small truck that can turn cheap and plentiful hydrogen into helium plus enough energy to power a small city.
It's safe, it's clean, and Lockheed is promising an operational unit by 2017 with assembly line production to follow, enabling everything from unlimited fresh water to engines that take spacecraft to Mars in one month instead of six.
A lot of research is constantly on the go and let’s hope this plant actually comes to fruition. The results could be mind blowing!
Reporting for Hamnet, this is Francois Botha – ZS6BUU.