If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Some ham radio operator)   Not News: Communications at the Boston Marathon were vital. News: The high-tech cell network in the area was overloaded. Fark: The ham radio network that is vital to the operation of the marathon performed flawlessly   (w3atb.com) divider line 96
    More: Cool, Boston Marathon, amateur radio operator, auto racing, last mile, need to know, commercial radio, Financial District, Boston, cramps  
•       •       •

1974 clicks; posted to Geek » on 27 Apr 2013 at 3:18 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



96 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

Archived thread

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all
 
2013-04-27 11:40:51 AM
I do at least one public service event a year (generally the Tour de Cure), helping to provide communications.  I call it "paying the rent" for getting to use a bunch of spectrum for free that others can't use.
 
2013-04-27 11:50:43 AM
Please don't feed the Doomsday preppers, subby
 
2013-04-27 01:07:27 PM

Britney Spear's Speculum: Please don't feed the Doomsday preppers, subby


As an ARES (amateur radio emergency services) participant I would tell you that communications issues are not doomsday type things.  A good storm can cause enough damage to the cell infrastructure that emergency communications need to be set up for a few days.

/unless you trollin'
//in which case, get out of my bunker!
///don't really have a bunker
//// slashies!
 
2013-04-27 01:10:07 PM
Happens all the time during a disaster.
 
2013-04-27 01:44:24 PM

RedPhoenix122: Happens all the time during a disaster.


Pretty much every major disaster. HAM has been a lifesaver.
 
2013-04-27 02:12:24 PM
i57.photobucket.com
"The more they overwork the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain."
 
2013-04-27 02:14:49 PM
Ham Radio seems like a cool idea.  Until you meet the people who do Ham Radio.
 
2013-04-27 02:49:25 PM

RedPhoenix122: Happens all the time during a disaster.


Does Alex Jones know about this?
 
2013-04-27 02:55:17 PM

Thoguh: Ham Radio seems like a cool idea.  Until you meet the people who do Ham Radio.


Like me, Noghri, and RedPhoenix122?

Side note:  If you are a ham operator, let me know so I have your name for the next Fark QSO Party.  Not scheduled yet, but if there is interest we can probably set something up towards the end of summer or early fall.
 
2013-04-27 03:10:16 PM

Britney Spear's Speculum: Please don't feed the Doomsday preppers, subby


Subby here.

You don't need to be all about preparing for TEOTWAWKI.  But having some supplies and alternate methods of cooking, lighting, heating, and communicating isn't a bad thing for stuff like hurricanes, other natural disasters, or even something like a 9/11 sized event.

Even the government says you need to be prepared to be on your own for a number of days after a major disaster, because even with pre-positioning of supplies, it's still going to take time to get stuff to the people who need it.
 
2013-04-27 03:17:45 PM

Nogrhi: Britney Spear's Speculum: Please don't feed the Doomsday preppers, subby

As an ARES (amateur radio emergency services) participant I would tell you that communications issues are not doomsday type things.  A good storm can cause enough damage to the cell infrastructure that emergency communications need to be set up for a few days.


It doesn't even have to be that:  back in December of 2000, a Verizon switch center in Schenectady NY got flooded from a water main break.  It knocked out all land-line communications, and all cell communications except at the fringes of the outage area.  That meant no 911, no phone calls of any kind.

Local hams (including myself, though I live at least 50 miles away) stepped in to provide communications assistance until the outage was over.

A relatively minor incident, but consider the ramifications if there were *ZERO* alternatives and something else happened.
 
2013-04-27 03:32:52 PM

dittybopper: Britney Spear's Speculum: Please don't feed the Doomsday preppers, subby

Subby here.

You don't need to be all about preparing for TEOTWAWKI.  But having some supplies and alternate methods of cooking, lighting, heating, and communicating isn't a bad thing for stuff like hurricanes, other natural disasters, or even something like a 9/11 sized event.

Even the government says you need to be prepared to be on your own for a number of days after a major disaster, because even with pre-positioning of supplies, it's still going to take time to get stuff to the people who need it.


This.

This difference between someone preparing for emergencies and a Doomsday prepper is that the person who owns a bugout bag, a wind up radio, and a weeks supply of water isn't actually hoping they'll get a chance to use all that stuff.
 
2013-04-27 03:39:49 PM
And yet, the government keeps trying to nibble away at the publicly available sections of the radio spectrum to sell them to the Cell networks.
 
2013-04-27 03:41:30 PM
Just last weekend some hams helped me transport some people to the hospital. Huge cycling event with mountain bike races that went far enough that the emergency channels we have access to wouldn't work. I'm very glad there are people out there that do this.
 
2013-04-27 03:46:11 PM
images3.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2013-04-27 03:50:14 PM

dittybopper: If you are a ham operator, let me know so I have your name for the next Fark QSO Party.  Not scheduled yet, but if there is interest we can probably set something up towards the end of summer or early fall.


I'm not one yet, but I'm interested. Any material or references you recommend?
 
2013-04-27 04:01:28 PM
I should probably renew my license.  I let it expire years ago after my gear got stolen and couldn't afford to replace it.  Technician class.  When you had to learn that stupid morse code.
 
2013-04-27 04:01:43 PM
An outdated technology that few use wasn't overwhelmed during the Boston bombing?  This proves........something.  Thanks  Subby
 
2013-04-27 04:03:31 PM

DubyaHater: An outdated technology that few use wasn't overwhelmed during the Boston bombing?  This proves........something.  Thanks  Subby


Hams have been innovating since the first days of radio.  A lot of technology used commercially were first developed by the ham radio community.  But thank you for publicly expressing your ignorance.
 
2013-04-27 04:10:34 PM

OgreMagi: Hams have been innovating since the first days of radio. A lot of technology used commercially were first developed by the ham radio community. But thank you for publicly expressing your ignorance.


While the statement that the technology is outdated is obviously off, the greater point being that it wasn't overwhelmed due to fewer users still stands. I doubt the ham radio would have held up if there had been hundreds of thousands of people trying to access it all at once either.
 
2013-04-27 04:26:33 PM

dittybopper: I do at least one public service event a year (generally the Tour de Cure), helping to provide communications.  I call it "paying the rent" for getting to use a bunch of spectrum for free that others can't use.


I don't do PS events anymore, but I do operate with the local club for Field Day. 

ARRL Field Day is June 22nd and 23rd this year.

Field Day is a weekend where ham operators operate for 24 hours, using emergency power and portable antennas to basically practice the ability to operate using emergency power and portable antennas.

I primarily operate HF DX contests, mainly CW, so the local club likes having me come out and operate.

Field Day locator:  http://www.arrl.org/field-day-locator     Will allow you to find a local radio club that is operating Field Day.   Typically they will have a table set up to for the public to explain ham radio.  Also many clubs will have a GOTA (Get On the Air) station, which hams that don't have their own station can make some contacts, and even non-hams can make contacts.
 
2013-04-27 04:29:22 PM

heypete: dittybopper: If you are a ham operator, let me know so I have your name for the next Fark QSO Party.  Not scheduled yet, but if there is interest we can probably set something up towards the end of summer or early fall.

I'm not one yet, but I'm interested. Any material or references you recommend?


start here:  http://www.arrl.org/get-involved
 
2013-04-27 04:35:38 PM

dittybopper: Thoguh: Ham Radio seems like a cool idea.  Until you meet the people who do Ham Radio.

Like me, Noghri, and RedPhoenix122?

Side note:  If you are a ham operator, let me know so I have your name for the next Fark QSO Party.  Not scheduled yet, but if there is interest we can probably set something up towards the end of summer or early fall.


KB9KRO
 
2013-04-27 04:38:48 PM
i.istockimg.com
 
2013-04-27 04:40:10 PM

MBrady: heypete: dittybopper: If you are a ham operator, let me know so I have your name for the next Fark QSO Party.  Not scheduled yet, but if there is interest we can probably set something up towards the end of summer or early fall.

I'm not one yet, but I'm interested. Any material or references you recommend?

start here:  http://www.arrl.org/get-involved


Shiny. Thanks. I've been meaning to get involved for years, get my license, etc. but grad school has been sucking away any free time and money I have.
 
2013-04-27 04:40:14 PM

OgreMagi: DubyaHater: An outdated technology that few use wasn't overwhelmed during the Boston bombing?  This proves........something.  Thanks  Subby

Hams have been innovating since the first days of radio.  A lot of technology used commercially were first developed by the ham radio community.  But thank you for publicly expressing your ignorance.


and the Model T was an innovation for the modern day automobile, but alas, I do not see Model T's on the road.  I'm glad I got your panties in a bunch though.
 
2013-04-27 04:42:27 PM
The sad thing is that HAM numbers are dwindling. We had the local RRL guys at our Mini Maker Faire and there wasn't a single one under 40. These guys are vital and they work for free.
  How do we get information in a disaster? Ever since we transitioned to digital TV we've been farked. If I get a little rain the DTV signal degrades so bad it's not watchable. Old school analog TV got snowy and staticy but it was still a source of info. DTV is useless in an emergency. What else do we have? Internet and cel phones are the first to go. What does that leave us? Radio is great in disasters but commercial FM and AM stations get their info over the internet, phone lines and other compromised systems. Weather radio is great, but most folks don't own one and their scope is limited to basic weather info.
  A good HAM operator using morse code on single side band can get a signal out farther than anyone. Even in bad conditions the dits and dahs of morse code can be heard through the static. Most local HAM traffic will be clear enough to use voice signals. Anyone with a scanner can listen in and be informed.
HAMs are vital and we really need to find a way to get more kids interested in the hobby.
 
2013-04-27 04:45:56 PM
So the cell network was overloaded, but a network that's orders of magnitude less popular was not overloaded? Holy cow!
 
2013-04-27 04:47:49 PM

DubyaHater: An outdated technology that few use wasn't overwhelmed during the Boston bombing?  This proves........something.  Thanks  Subby


That's the point. HAM licensing requirements insure that few people are able to use the technology. It's only use by licensed and regulated radio operators so that in the case of an actual emergency it doesn't get overwhelmed.
 
2013-04-27 04:52:20 PM
This 'Ham' radio of which you speak sounds intriguing.  Can Vegans and Vegetarians be licensed to communicate with these devices, too?

/Has one.

//The Vegans communicate telepathically
 
2013-04-27 04:52:53 PM
My only beef with HAM radio is that it's boring. I'm not talking about emergency operations which can be quite exciting, but the day to day HAM talk is dull as dirt. A guy sitting in his garage in Iowa can talk to a guy in Zimbabwe. This could be a fascinating opportunity to learn more about the world around you. Unfortunately all they talk about is their radios. It's like learning to read just so you can read books about the publishing industry.
 
2013-04-27 04:54:43 PM
FCC:  Win
Private Capital:  Fail

Me:  No shiat.  What did you expect?  Capitalism isn't built around the lower bounds of a bell curve, there is no profit in it.
 
2013-04-27 04:58:45 PM

heypete: dittybopper: If you are a ham operator, let me know so I have your name for the next Fark QSO Party.  Not scheduled yet, but if there is interest we can probably set something up towards the end of summer or early fall.

I'm not one yet, but I'm interested. Any material or references you recommend?


There are links at www.arrl.org.  That should get you started.
 
2013-04-27 05:10:31 PM

redsquid: My only beef with HAM radio is that it's boring. I'm not talking about emergency operations which can be quite exciting, but the day to day HAM talk is dull as dirt. A guy sitting in his garage in Iowa can talk to a guy in Zimbabwe. This could be a fascinating opportunity to learn more about the world around you. Unfortunately all they talk about is their radios. It's like learning to read just so you can read books about the publishing industry.


Part of the problem is that one of the core requirements of amateur radio is a public readability requirement.  That means that for the most part you talk about things that you would talk about in public as you can neither encrypt nor obsificate<sp?> your traffic in any way.

One of the other core requirements is that NOTHING you do can be construed as commercial enterprise on a ham band.  Neither buying nor selling is allowed if you follow the letter of the laws laid down.

You also can't rebroadcast commercial signals on a ham band.  Get caught with a FM radio playing in your background and you get a STIFF fine.

This means that you can't use a Ham band to transmit SSL encrypted web traffic for packet radio.
This means that you can't use SSB or other technologies to hide your traffic.
This means that you can't use a packet radio or a SDR to rebroadcast youtube videos (although that may not be true in light of some recent rulings.

Currently this is what is constraining wide scale adoption of younger ham techs and it's a sad state to be in.  Combine that with big telco's wanting to take away amateur bands (440 anymore?  Thank's Verizon :|) for theoretical expansion of their own wireless projects....  (nevermind that these frequencies aren't even good for this type of rollout) and you get a situation where people who would rather amateur radio just quietly go away and leave things to the big businesses who want whole blocks of spectrum for expansion 25 years from now are happy to never remind people there's such a thing as amateur bands.
 
2013-04-27 05:10:50 PM

dittybopper: If you are a ham operator, let me know so I have your name for the next Fark QSO Party. Not scheduled yet, but if there is interest we can probably set something up towards the end of summer or early fall.


Alcohol over VHF? Is that possible now? ;-)
/runs off to sign up for the next exam...just in case.
 
2013-04-27 05:17:29 PM

DubyaHater: OgreMagi: DubyaHater: An outdated technology that few use wasn't overwhelmed during the Boston bombing?  This proves........something.  Thanks  Subby

Hams have been innovating since the first days of radio.  A lot of technology used commercially were first developed by the ham radio community.  But thank you for publicly expressing your ignorance.

and the Model T was an innovation for the modern day automobile, but alas, I do not see Model T's on the road.  I'm glad I got your panties in a bunch though.


You can send an e-mail from anywhere in the World via ham radio, without having to pay any money.  You could be in the middle of the Pacific Ocean without any infrastructure around, and your message will get through.

Try that with your smart phone.

In reality, if you look at the cutting edge of what hams are doing *NOW*, then make it faster, smaller, and more user-friendly, that's what everyone else is going to be doing in 10 or 15 years.  It's been like that since the 1970's.  We did wireless networking long before anyone heard of WiFi.  We were doing autopatch phone calls through repeaters before cell phones were invented.  We had GPS tracking before cell phones did.  The list goes on.
 
2013-04-27 05:21:40 PM
It's almost like technology isn't automatically more reliable just because it's newer.
 
2013-04-27 05:23:56 PM

redsquid: My only beef with HAM radio is that it's boring. I'm not talking about emergency operations which can be quite exciting, but the day to day HAM talk is dull as dirt. A guy sitting in his garage in Iowa can talk to a guy in Zimbabwe. This could be a fascinating opportunity to learn more about the world around you. Unfortunately all they talk about is their radios. It's like learning to read just so you can read books about the publishing industry.


this can absolutely be true. my xyl is constantly giving me grief about the number of "sandwich" qsos she hears. descriptions of lunches is what kept her from getting her ticket. that and a sense of self respect, I suspect.

that said, the repeater I hang out on is full of EE types. lots of very cool rf, hardware hacking, sdr and technical discussions. not much 2m CB going on there.

I also own the w1mhl repeater that the busses coordinate on during the Boston marathon. the net operators were the very definition of professional. once they shut down finish line operations, most of those operators went to other locations to pick up the slack. hell of a day to listen to BPD on the scanner too.
 
2013-04-27 06:05:13 PM
What HAMM radio may look like:

24.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-04-27 06:06:30 PM

Britney Spear's Speculum: Please don't feed the Doomsday preppers, subby


How is he "feeding the preppers"? There's no reason for HAM radio not to work, it's not the same as the cell system. If someone's on a frequency, you go to another, if information is being given out on a frequency, it doesn't matter how many people are listening. It's common sense, not "Doomsday prepping". Seriously, this is the new annoying trend, everything is suddenly a secret code word for these "preppers". It's another word that got completely misused the day after it got coined. Not everyone who believes in having extra food round the house in case of a flood is some kind of "prepper", and not everyone who believes that a HAM radio is a good thing to keep lying around in case of an emergency is a freak, either.

Although, I don't actually understand the people who sit on their radios all of the time and don't seem to accomplish anything. It doesn't change the fact that cell hone systems get overloaded, and straight radio communication doesn't.
 
2013-04-27 06:10:59 PM
That's a big 10-4, good buddy, er, I mean roger out.

/Hi, hi
//Dit dit
 
2013-04-27 06:11:28 PM

dittybopper: Britney Spear's Speculum: Please don't feed the Doomsday preppers, subby

Subby here.

You don't need to be all about preparing for TEOTWAWKI.  But having some supplies and alternate methods of cooking, lighting, heating, and communicating isn't a bad thing for stuff like hurricanes, other natural disasters, or even something like a 9/11 sized event.

Even the government says you need to be prepared to be on your own for a number of days after a major disaster, because even with pre-positioning of supplies, it's still going to take time to get stuff to the people who need it.


People make fun of the Mormons for believing in having a year's worth of food, but I feel far more secure being around people who might have food(And would actually be willing to share it) living on a major fault line.

Besides, if I had a year's worth of food, then running out of groceries in between paydays wouldn't be so damned traumatic. The stuff my adoptive mother would put up during the summer was amazing. Jam, cherries that would melt in your mouth, peaches, pears, veggies(Far better than any canned ones you buy) even rainbow trout, cooked up into awesome fish patties, kind of like crab cakes. People think that the "prepper" types that they are making fun of only believe in having 450 lbs. of freeze-dried roast beef, or shiat like that. Apparently ignorance is this season's color of choice.
 
2013-04-27 07:09:48 PM

poot_rootbeer: So the cell network was overloaded, but a network that's orders of magnitude less popular was not overloaded? Holy cow!


The rules that guide HAMs minimize such an event. A cell system is agnostic. It treats every user the same and divides the time slots equally. It also requires a constant signal back and forth from the towers and relies on backhaul. If the system got jammed, it probably wasn't the towers but the digital backhaul amd packet switching having to process all the commands.

If a disaster hits, you won't ever have thousands of HAMs fighting over frequency even if you did have thousands of HAMs trying to talk. They'll self-prioritize and hop around to get their messages out. Griefers may pop up but individual operators have ways to deal with problem people. It's actually a good example of spontaneous order.
 
2013-04-27 07:09:58 PM

dittybopper: Thoguh: Ham Radio seems like a cool idea.  Until you meet the people who do Ham Radio.

Like me, Noghri, and RedPhoenix122?

Side note:  If you are a ham operator, let me know so I have your name for the next Fark QSO Party.  Not scheduled yet, but if there is interest we can probably set something up towards the end of summer or early fall.


NV5E, if I'm not already on the list.
 
2013-04-27 07:11:31 PM
73s from VA3-land
 
2013-04-27 07:28:38 PM

Old enough to know better: This difference between someone preparing for emergencies and a Doomsday prepper is that the person who owns a bugout bag, a wind up radio, and a weeks supply of water isn't actually hoping they'll get a chance to use all that stuff


I totally agree. Having supplies to get you through a short term emergency is just good common sense, but stockpiling a year's worth of food is overkill. It is just not an efficient use of resources if everyone keeps huge stockpiles of supplies that they are unlikely to use outside of the end of the world. Part of the point of paying our tax dollars is for the insurance of having the government stepping in if something major happens, which overall is cheaper than having everyone have to plan for contingencies, which frees up those resources for used elsewhere more productive. A lot of the Doomsday Prepping seems like a rejection of government, even when it is a sensible way to share the cost of things like infrastructure or public welfare. There's just a lot of situations where being a rugged individualist is just bad economics, not just in a micro sense but also macro.
 
2013-04-27 07:37:03 PM

Mad_Radhu: Part of the point of paying our tax dollars is for the insurance of having the government stepping in if something major happens, which overall is cheaper than having everyone have to plan for contingencies, which frees up those resources for used elsewhere more productive.


You cycle in the food. A year is a bit of a stretch but a month or so is good planning. Keeping a year's worth of rice and flour though is a trivial expense and gives the gov't far less to worry about. Besides, apologies from the fed won't feed you.
 
2013-04-27 07:39:00 PM

Thoguh: Ham Radio seems like a cool idea.  Until you meet the people who do Ham Radio.


Agreed.

/Ex-HAM radio operator.
 
2013-04-27 07:41:56 PM
Also, cell phone pro-tip: Text your friends and family during an emergency to check in. Don't call. Text messages are sent in a part of the digital transmission that can't be used for anything else, and they are very low bandwidth, so text messages typically will make it through even when voice and data is at capacity.
 
2013-04-27 08:01:03 PM

Mrbogey: Mad_Radhu: Part of the point of paying our tax dollars is for the insurance of having the government stepping in if something major happens, which overall is cheaper than having everyone have to plan for contingencies, which frees up those resources for used elsewhere more productive.

You cycle in the food. A year is a bit of a stretch but a month or so is good planning. Keeping a year's worth of rice and flour though is a trivial expense and gives the gov't far less to worry about. Besides, apologies from the fed won't feed you.


Yeah, somewhere between a couple weeks and a month is fairly reasonable for the expected kinds of disasters that could happen. Yes, it is always within the realm of possibility that you could have something like a Yellowstone mega eruption that overwhelms the government, but to me something like that seems statistically unlikely that preparing for the end of civilization as we know it is a bit extreme. I'm just saying there is a happy medium between doing due diligence and going overboard, like the difference between keeping a handgun for self defense and keeping an arsenal of semi-auto rifles big enough to outfit the cast of The Walking Dead.
 
Displayed 50 of 96 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report