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Old Jan 15, 2010, 3:26 PM   #21
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I saw COWs all over Washington in preparation for Inauguration Day.

They always deploy them for the NYC marathon, and New Years in times square. They have gotten way smaller. T-Mobile has Cow's on the back of a humvee pickup with a 30 ft antenna mast. Drive up drive out. No need to tow in.
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 4:24 PM   #22
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... T-Mobile has Cow's on the back of a humvee pickup with a 30 ft antenna mast. ...
Actually, I think they're called COLTs (Cell On Light Truck.)
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 4:27 PM   #23
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I keep an HF Transceiver (Yaesu FT-747GX), Antenna Tuner, Antenna (Wire Dipole), coax, Fishing line and Nylon rope (to hang it the antenna with), along with a DC/AC power inverter on the top shelf in a closet. From my perspective, as long as I've got a car that runs with gas left in it (to keep it's battery charged), I can communicate (and the HF Transceiver is DC powered anyway, although I also have an AC/DC power supply for it). The whole kit would fit into a small suitcase. My guess is there are amateur radio operators with similar gear in many areas.
Another Ham radio operator (I'm N6TNK), wonder how many more of us are on this board? New sub forum, just kidding.
Reading some of the posts listed so far, I have to say it sounds like a lot of the rules have changed since I last work a major earthquake and for the better too.
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 5:06 PM   #24
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What rules? I didn't say it would actually be legal for me to use it. :-)

Actually, I haven't been active in years. I started out learning code on an old Hallicrafters General Coverage receiver and got my Novice License, putting together a Heathkit HW-16 CW transceiver (swapping crystals to change frequencies at the time), stringing up antennas, building home made tuners, etc. About 6 months later I got my General Class License and built a HW-101 to use. But, I dropped out of that hobby many years ago.

I bought the Yaesu new in the box at a Hamfest a while back, intending to get back into it again. But, it's been sitting on a shelf in a closet. In an emergency, it would sure come in handy though (which is one of the reasons I keep an antenna, coax, antenna tuner, etc. with it). IOW, if I needed to communicate, I could communicate. ;-)
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 6:12 PM   #25
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Have to admit that I haven't been active the last six years myself. The wife and I took Gordon West's ham class back in 1986, wife is a General and I am Advance class. We too keep gear in the cars and house just in case something happens. After all we live in earthquake central right on top of the San Andris fault.
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 7:01 PM   #26
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I don't think I've been active since the late 70's. I bought the Yaesu about 10 or 12 years ago at a hamfest, intending to get back into it. But, I've never gotten around to it. So, it's my emergency communications system, sitting on a shelf in a closet. ;-)
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 7:35 PM   #27
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I am not a ham but I have a Motorola 15 channel 2 way fire rescue radio for communications. Might not do me much good as its all line of sight and we have a lot dead areas around here.........

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Old Jan 15, 2010, 9:02 PM   #28
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I spent a number of years in communications of one form or another (Military, Interconnect Telephone Company, Major Long Distance Carrier, Wireless Company).

I got into it early though. I'll have to find it, and you guys would probably laugh at the photo. But, somewhere around I've got a newspaper clipping of me in a Civil Defense Center during a drill/contest using a CW transceiver (communicating with Morse Code). I was 13 years old at the time.

I was using a home made antenna tuner (variable capacitor on one side of a board (literally, just a piece of wood), with wire wrapped around a ceramic insulator to act as an inductor on the other side of a board, using alligator clips to the wire on it, combined with a neon light to tell how my tuning was working) with a long piece of wire literally hanging out the window of the Civil Defense Center acting as the antenna. I managed to have the longest contact during that contest from there (from Savannah, Georgia to Brisbane, Australia) using a 75 Watt CW transceiver with that home made antenna hanging out the window. :-)

That is becoming a lost form of communications (Morse Code). From what I understand, you don't even need to learn it anymore to get an Amateur Radio license.

But, in tough conditions, it can hammer through the static when voice communications would be impossible, especially if you don't have state of the art gear (powerful transmitters, high antennas, etc.), and need to reach out and touch someone.

I haven't kept up with it. But, I suspect there are still a number of people around that communicate that way, and in a disaster, that would one way to get through to the outside world (using an HF transceiver with CW, and whatever you can string together using wire to make an antenna). So, I keep that kind of setup on a shelf in a closet. LOL
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 9:05 PM   #29
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Satellite phones, expensive, but unless someone shots down one of them, you have service all over the world.
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 9:47 PM   #30
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Jim C just make sure its alll packed in a box, metal ammo container or you have a spare suitcase around in case you have to evac the house in a hurry for a period of time and need to take that stuff with you.

My disaster kit - long duration fire standby kit is in a duffle bag all ready to go -- as the weather changes I change out certain items like going from sweat shirt to extra t-shirts etc

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