Simple & Easy – Emergency Preparedness
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LDS Emergency Resources – Communications pt4

LDS - Communications

Bottom line is this, and this comes from ARRL, Amateur Radio Relay League, who says that bottom line, the origin of the term HAM, has been lost in the mist of time. But I’m sticking with ham fist. But I do really like though is what we describe people who are coming into the service, we refer to them as HAMs. When they first come into the hobby, it means “Has A lot of Money” and when they end it, it means “Had A lot of Money”.

The Church has adopted this system of Amateur Radio for several reasons. First of all, you’ll see this occasionally, when all else fails, there’s amateur radio. And the reason for that is, let’s look at a couple of things here: half our radios are great radios, they work on. Amateur radios have lots of bands, but the two most common, they call them the 2 meter band and the 40 band. That actually designates how big the wavelength is.

If you have a guy who’s a tinkerer and has modified his radio, which is illegal, but one would do that, you can pick this up on a radio like this. What’s the difference though, why don’t we just use these? The definition of FRS on these radios is that it has a fixed antenna. You can’t take this off. Trust me, if I could take this off, I could make it work the way I wanted to. But you can’t. So it’s a fixed antenna. Amateur radio – no fixed antenna. What does this mean to me, to you?

Radios have to look up the antenna to see a certain resistance and certain – they have to have some electrical properties to function and be happy. Okay? If you look at some of the car radio antennas, you’ll a see wire wrapped around them, underneath plastic. You’ll see that. That’s to trick the radio, to make it think the antenna’s this long, when it really is only this long. Or fake the radio out here – this will function, it’s okay. This is better, okay? We’re getting a more efficient antenna here, this is alright. Oh yeah, now we’re talking. We’re getting better here. This is closer to what we want. Oh yeah, now we’ve got coils stuck in here to really fake out the antenna – excuse me, the radio.

This is even better – in this case, bigger is more efficient. Good range, high quality. Here – power on this. You know what the max power is on this? 250 milliamps. That’s a quarter of a watt. Everything now is theoretical calculated, it’s not practical. The rule of thumb in radio is, and all of these, by the way are with a line of sight. If you get a mountain in the way or a massive steel concrete building, your signal is going to be reflected, it’s gonna bounce, it’ll probably come back and hit you in your face, it’s not gonna go where you hope it goes. These are all theoretical calculations.

The rule of thumb is: 1 watt equals 50 miles. So, theoretically, if you stand on a mountain and see a mountain 50 miles away, you should theoretically be able to get to it with an efficient antenna. So let’s go back here. 1 watt = 50 miles, half a watt = 25 miles, quarter watt = 12 miles. How many of you seen on these packages that say “12 miles”? That’s a theoretical calculation.

So first of all, you have a quarter watt inefficient antenna. It’s theoretical, it’s true, but it’s not practical. If I ever took it and I stood here on range, watch his daughter drive away and they got about ¾ or a mile away, and that’s about as good as it gets. Don’t expect any more out of them – I use these all the time. They work very well; they’re inexpensive, great to have.

These here are 5 watts. Remember, anything on top of that, is theoretical. What makes amateur radio important to us, to the church in emergency communications, is that we can take that antenna off and the more efficient you can make your antenna, you can take that low power and make it behave like a whole bunch more power. For example, this happens to be a follow-up design of an antenna put on your house.

This is what we call a Jay Hole – this is a really interesting design. This actually functions on two meters and 4/40, it depends on some harmonic things that go on. This happens to be looped into itself, but I can take the coax and push into here, into here and remember – this was when it was extended, was better – guess what? This one’s even better. This one actually has some game to it. Now, in our last emergency preparedness test that we had, Steve actually, when we set up our stations, I was over at the Institute, Steve was over at the State Center, used on of these and I don’t know if you know this or not – but his was transmitting with this.

By the way, elevation always helps. Higher, the better. These tall guys can see what I’m talking about. More efficient the better. Steve was working – when we were talking – it just so happened that another group was doing an emergency test the same day, located down in San Clemente, Irvine. And guess who was interfering with their conversations?

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