Arizona Emergency Net - Maricopa

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This site currently includes recordings from 2010-2012

AEN-MAR

Every Monday night, the Arizona Emergency Net – Maricopa meets on 2 meters FM for training and exercise in the public service communication arts. We focus on preparation and readiness for public service – be it scheduled events like bike races or drills, or emergencies such as storm damage or terrorist attacks. Someone has to be ready. This net is dedicated to addressing that challenge. The Arizona Emergency Net – Maricopa also activates during threats or emergencies affecting Maricopa County

1-2-2012 - HT Operations - KF7CCC

05-01-2012

We discussed a number of features that made us pick the HTs we owned. Among them were:

Multiband capability
- can transmit on more than one band
- not necessarily dual simultaneous receive or even dual receive
- some radios allow RX on non-Ham bands (air, sheriff, business bands)

Dual simultaneous receive
- can hear two separate frequencies at the same time
- some radios do "half duplex" (can listen to two frequencies when not transmitting); others do "full duplex) (can listen to one receive frequency when transmitting on another).
- disadvantage: you can accidentally transmit on the wrong frequency

Accessibility
- if you have limited vision, some radios will talk to you in English or Chinese

APRS/GPS
- APRS is good to send messages / bulletins to other hams
- also used to beacon location (eg if you're offroading)
- some radios have built-in GPS, others need separate receiver

Ease of use
- Like cell phones, HTs can be simple with just a few features, or complex with hundreds
- newer radios aren't necessarily simpler - some older radios are better in this respect (although batteries can be an issue)
- the Yaesu FT-60 and Icom IC2AT, IC3AT, IC4AT were mentioned as being easier than others
- simple radios are often more useful in emcomm (where not everyone will understand all features)
- often the menu system for a simpler radio will carry over to a more complicated one

Programming software / cables
- If you have a radio with 1000 memories, programming them is not something you want to do by hand
- A lot of radios use a USB serial port with a special connector
- Downside: in an emergency, you might not have computer/software handy. Make sure you know how to program the radio without software.
 - Read the manual cover-to-cover before your first event
 - Have Nifty manual or just a laminated card with the instructions for programming freq/tone/offset into a memory.

Size / weight
- smaller is easier to carry, can keep inside coat in the cold
- smaller is harder to use (smaller buttons, fewer buttons), easier to lose
- a speaker mic or boom mic can make life easier (especially one with programmable function keys)
- smaller radios often have smaller battery packs, sometimes lower power

Batteries
- useful to have AA battery pack (before a disaster) - it's sometimes easier to get AAs than charge up rechargable batteries
- most radios have a power-saving mode that increases life by putting receivers to sleep for 100ms every 300ms or so
- power saving can be a problem on digital modes if you miss the beginning of an APRS packet
- keep batteries away from cold, heat

Antenna:
- most modern radios have SMA antenna jacks
- some have SMA-F, some have BNC
- An adapter from SMA (or whatever your radio has) to BNC F is very useful to have; some are low-profile to put less torque on the radio's connector
- Improve the radio by getting rid of the rubber duckie. Some users mentioned:
 - JPole
 - Smiley halfwave antenna
 - Tiger tail (1/4 wavelength of wire to act as counterpoise to your 1/4 wave HT antenna)
http://www.hamuniverse.com/htantennamod.html

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