Amateur Radio

For the record, regarding listening to Emergency Services (and such like) on Scanners and other receivers, here's the relevant extract from the Radiotelecommunications Act:

Offence to disclose contents of radiocommunications

After years of one-way-fairness, Our VK Colleagues are finally catching up - WIA.org.au reports a reciprocal licensing scheme applicable to visitors comes into effect Feb 14. It's about time!!!



Updated!

Recent discussion on the AREC Mailing list caused me to update this article. There are three types of connectors cited; a decision on which of the two high-power options should be used by AREC is yet to be made but I am aware of both types in service. I use the SBS connector.

I recently had an email from Andrew ZL3AME (a ham who i've also come across in Linux circles) who had been browsing this site and presumably came across the documentation of my Radio Install (Old and New. He noted the high-amperage DC connectors that I have fitted (as shown here) and pointed me at this article which also notes that it is fast becoming the RACES/ARES standard in the USA for plenty of very good reasons. The article also has some very nice cross-sections, etc, which may be of interest. He even pointed me at a likely dealer for the connectors although I sourced mine from John ZL1PO some time ago.
Interestingly I was googling and also found it documented as a standard for an Australian Equivalent to AREC (At least in NSW) as per the linked newsletter.

So here it is in a nutshell, starting with the higher-current options:

Anderson PowerPole PP series

These have been strongly advocated by some parties. They are widely used in the Radio Control Scene.

As discussed on Slashdot, Ham Radio Operators have been recognised for their contribution to the emergency situation there. Good on em.

A link the discussions within that article pointed me at the story of James Kim [Wikipedia] which is a tragedy, but at the same time highlights one potentially valuable aspect of Amateur Radio - comms in areas where other means (like Cellphones) would fail. Also some interesting use of Technology to finally find the missing party.

A colleague from #ZT, as it turns out, is a licensed Amateur Radio Operator and pointed me at this little BSD build: HamFreeSBIE. Cheers!!

For more info check out the Wellington VHF Group Website and my Gallery.

Good stuff.

I decided to finally see about sorting out my Scanner Audio and tidy up the speaker installation at the same time.

I've thusly started moving the Caldina Radio installation imagery across the Gallery.

Also, this morning I was lucky enough to score a tour of the HMNZS Canterbury, tied up at Queens Wharf. Photographic Evidence exists!. :)

Bit of a yoyo coupla days in the radio space...

Earlier this week received the sad news that my old friend Robert Cazalet ZL1BNN has gone Silent Key (passed away). This was sad news indeed, as I was quite good friends with him (and also his son Raymond) through the Papakura Radio Club. A bit of googling tonight and I managed to find some email addresses, so have sent through my condolances. Definately sad news to hear - rest in peace my old mate.

On the upside, todays AREC training event in Upper Hutt was interesting. Well turned out (around 50 people) and material covered included Police SAR's perspective on emergency communications (and how Amateurs can - and do - help out) as well as some perspective on LandSAR (especially Wellington) and Civil Defence.

The AREC manual has been updated/replaced (the older edition released in 1997) and the new one looks pretty good at first glance. I'm yet to analyze whats missing/deliberately ommitted and decide if it's of value, though.

Still good to see some consolidation of AREC training material and some logic to its layout and delivery. I think part of what remains, though, is to ensure that individual AREC Sections maintain a level of 'competency' or at least some assurance that they are not 'incompetent'. One would think that meeting more than once a year would be a good start. ;-)

Beyond that it was a timely reminder that in order for volunteers to be of value in an emergency situation, they must first have their own house in order. That means, suitable equipment; power supplies and batteries; food and water; making sure their loved ones are sorted. Living in Wellington this is all stuff that is all too important, notwithstanding any other committments...

Have you got a survival kit?
Have you got a plan for when the Telecommunications networks (phone/fax/email) grind to a halt? (As they will...) [As soon as they are fixed, they'll overload.]

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