Roane County Amateur Radio Club

Uniting The World Through Amateur Radio

The “Wilderness Protocol”

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As some of you may know, I’ve been working on an up to date and accurate listing of repeaters in the East Tennessee area. That project is still in the works and getting closer to being complete. While gathering data for my list, I’ve done numerous searches online and have been on countless websites.

One of the things that I’ve ran across several times now is the “Wilderness Protocol.” As I’m sitting here tonight looking through an ARRL Repeater Directory, I see something about it again, and that’s the inspiration to write this post.

Here is what the Repeater Directory has to say…

“The Wilderness Protocol is a suggestion that those outside of repeater range should monitor standard simplex channels at specific times in case others have priority calls. The primary frequency is 146.52 MHz, with 52.525, 223.5, 446.0 and 1294.5 MHz serving as secondary frequencies. This system was conceived to facilitate communications between hams that were hiking or backpacking in uninhabited areas, outside repeater range. However, the Wilderness Protocol should not be viewed as something just for hikers. It can (and should) be used by everyone anywhere repeater coverage is unavailable. The protocol only becomes effective when many people use it.”
 
“The Wilderness Protocol recommends that those stations able to do so should monitor the primary (and secondary if possible) frequency every three hours starting at 7 am, local time for 5 minutes (7:00-7:05 am, 10:00-10:05 am, ….). Additionally, those stations that have sufficient power resources should monitor for 5 minutes at the top of every hour, or even continuously.”

What this all boils down to, is that it’s a recommendation that we all monitor the designated calling frequencies. Last summer while on my cross country road trip (over 4,400 miles), I had my Yaesu 857 in the car with me. For the vast majority of the trip it stayed on 146.520 MHz. Sure, I wasn’t hiking that distance, but as the Repeater Directory says, this isn’t just about hiking.

The calling channels are there for just as their name says, to place calls to other amateurs. We may be in an unfamiliar area and not know the frequencies or the required tones to access local repeaters if we need directions or have some type of emergency. If more hams simply monitored the calling channel(s), amateur radio could be MUCH more useful when it’s needed.

Back to my road trip… Because of prior planning and knowing that I’d be without cell phone coverage for much of the time I was travelling across Wyoming, I did some research weeks before the trip about what repeaters were out there. I had a list of the frequencies, tones and the mile markers where they have coverage. However, there were still gaps in coverage where I relied on 146.520 simplex and the hope that if we needed anything, someone somewhere would be monitoring.

Out of 79 hours in the vehicle driving with probably 65 of those hours monitoring 146.520, I heard one conversation on it between two hams in Wyoming who were so close, they preferred not to tie up a repeater. While inside Yellowstone, I saw several amateur radio license plates and almost every one of these vehicles had at least one antenna, but every CQ I put out on 146.520 was met with dead silence.

Back home to East Tennessee, I keep 146.520, 446.000 and several of the common simplex frequencies from each band in my radios scan list. Unless I’m talking to someone, my radio is in scan and monitoring those frequencies. Same for my truck’s radio. I have heard stations traveling on I-40 calling on simplex and answered them. Thankfully none of the calls were for emergencies, but I know I enjoy when someone answers my call. I’m sure those hams were grateful also.

I know there are a few hams that like to carry on conversations on 146.520, making it undesirable to listen to. Those still seem to be few and far between.

All of that was just to make a suggestion… Whatever radios you may have, check to make sure you have these frequencies programmed in and keep an ear on them when you can. You never know when someone may be passing through and just looking for someone to talk to, or when someone may be in need of some type of assistance and the calling channels are the only frequency they know because they’re not from the area.

It’s a simple act that may make a big difference someday.

Written by Cody Anderson

April 15th, 2015 at 11:03 pm

Posted in General

April 2015 RCARC Meeting and Newsletter!

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Click Here to Read the April 2015 RCARC Newsletter

Our April meeting will be on Thursday April 9th @ 7:00 pm in the Roane County Rescue Squad builiding in Midtown, 2735 Roane State Highway, Harriman, TN. Talk in will be on 147.015 (pl 110.9) Come on down and bring a friend.
See you at 7:00 PM on April 9th.
Jim White
K4APY
RCARC 2015 Treasurer

Written by Jim White

April 4th, 2015 at 3:23 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

RCARC March Meeting and Repeater Vote Results

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Hello everyone
On Thursday 3/12/15 at the RCARC meeting / SKYWARN training, the members present voted to buy 2 new Yeasu repeaters while there was a significant price discount by Yeasu. Cliff KD4GT is ordering the repeaters. These repeaters will be the primary KE4RX machines when they are installed and the old repeaters will serve as backups in case one goes down. The repeaters will cost $1000 which is about 1/4 of the total RCARC treasury. Several members have voluntarily offered special repeater donations to help offset the cost by the club. Although it is not a requirement, anyone else who wants, and is able to make a special contribution may do so by simply mailing a check to RCARC PO Box 1104, Kingston, TN. 37763. Don’t forget that RCARC is a 501c3 charitable organization. Hopefully soon RCARC will have 2 new digital/analog repeaters on the air. 147.015 (pl 110.9) 443.976 (pl 110.9)

The next RCARC meeting will be on Thursday April 9th, at 7:00 PM in the Roane County Rescue Squad building conference room. Talk in is on 147.015 (pl 110.9)

C-ya there.
Jim
K4APY
www.ke4rx.org.

Written by Jim White

March 19th, 2015 at 11:34 am

Posted in Uncategorized

RCARC March Meeting and SKYWARN Training

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Click Here to Read The March 2015 RCARC Beacon Newsletter!!

Hello Everyone!

Don’t forget that RCARC will hold our monthly meeting on Thursday March 12th @ 6:30 PM in the Roane County Rescue Squad building at 2735 Roane State Highway, Harriman TN. in Midtown just across the road from the old drive in theater. We will hold a short meeting at 6:30 to vote on the repeaters we are interested in purchasing. SKYWARN Training will be at 7:00 PM by the NWS Morristown folks and should last about 2 hours +/-. I hope to see everyone there.
So come on down! It should be warm inside and we look forward to seeing you!!

Also, don’t forget that membership dues are up for renewal for 2015. The application is in the “About Us” tab at the right column.

C-ya
Jim
K4APY

Written by Jim White

March 3rd, 2015 at 11:12 am

Posted in Uncategorized

RCARC February Meeting and Newsletter!

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Click Here to Read The February 2015 RCARC Beacon Newsletter!!

Hello Everyone!

Don’t forget that RCARC will hold our monthly meeting on Thursday February 12th @ 7:00 PM in the Roane County Rescue Squad building at 2735 Roane State Highway, Harriman TN. in Midtown just across the road from the old drive in theater. I hope to see everyone there. Last Months meeting was cancelled abruptly due to the loss of our meeting site that night due to remodeling work and a big fire in Midtown that caused the Rescue Squad to be activated and we couldnt’ get in.

So come on down! It should be warm inside and we look forward to seeing you!!

Also, don’t forget that dues are up for renewal for 2015. The application is in the “About Us” tab at the right column.

C-ya
Jim
K4APY

Written by Jim White

February 4th, 2015 at 12:39 pm

Changes to the Newsletter and E-mail group.

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After a run in with my ISP last October and having my e-mail blocked for SPAM (Someone must have reported it so my outgoing e-mail was blocked), Cody KI4FUV has been working on finding a mailing list for our club website that will be easy to use and comply with the CAN-SPAM act. After a couple of months searching, he found one that uses the Captcha verification method to prevent non-humans from signing up on the mailing-list and causing problems.
With that said, This will be the last group mailing of The RCARC Beacon Newsletter I will be sending out and everyone who wants to keep receiving The Roane County Amateur Radio Club E-mails and Newsletter will need to subscribe to our mailing-list on www.ke4rx.org, or follow this link to subscribe now.

Click Here To Subscribe To The RCARC Newsletter and Mailing List!

After entering your name and e-mail address and the correct response to Captcha verification, you will be e-mailed a link that you will need to confirm when opened to be successfully added to the list. IF you do not get the link within a few minutes, be sure to check your SPAM or JUNK mail folders. I had mine on Gmail get tossed into that, so don’t forget to check your junk mail for the link. At the end of each e-mail, you will also have the opportunity to unubscribe if you wish.

If you have any problems using the link, send me an e-mail and I will try to help, or forward it to Cody.
I hope to see everyone Thursday 2/12/15 at the RCARC Meeting , 7:00 pm in the Roane County Rescue Squad building in Midtown.
Jim
K4APY
k4apy < at > arrl.net

Written by Jim White

February 4th, 2015 at 12:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

January’s RCARC Meeting Cancelled

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Hello Everyone.
Because of the reasons below and not knowing if we can get a key for the building, tonight’s RCARC meeting has been cancelled. I’m sorry for such short notice. We just found out.
E-mail me if you have any questions. Thanks!!
I hope to see everyone in February.

Jim White K4APY

From: Harry Tirrell
To: ‘Jim White’

To all members of RCARC

I just went down to get the key for the meeting and was told the room was
still under construction. There was no one at the rescue center so I don’t
know if I can get the key for that. I will go back to the rescue center
later to see if anyone is there. If not I will be at the meeting place to
let people know that there is no meeting.

If this e-mail does not go to everyone, please relay.

Harry
KB4AA

Written by Jim White

January 8th, 2015 at 4:20 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

RCARC Meeting and Newsletter

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Click Here to read the January RCARC Newsletter

The Roane County Amateur Radio Club will meet this Thursday January 8th 2015 at The Roane County Rescue Squad Building 2735 Roane State Highway, Harriman, TN. In Midtown.

Come and bring a friend. Everyone is Welcome!!

Written by Jim White

January 6th, 2015 at 6:23 am

Posted in Uncategorized

2015 Roane County Amateur Radio Club Almanac

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The RCARC Almanac is back from the printers and was distributed tonight at the Christmas dinner. Phil, KE4LSH, has provided a PDF copy of the almanac that can be viewed online or downloaded.

Please note that the pages are “out of order” as this is the same file that was used to print the almanacs.

Download the PDF.

Written by Cody Anderson

December 11th, 2014 at 11:15 pm

Posted in General

KE4RX D-STAR Repeater

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As announced at the RCARC Christmas dinner tonight, the KE4RX D*Star repeater will be:

KE4RX A – 1298.5000 MHz DD

KE4RX B – 441.8125 +5.0000 MHz B

Start programming radios. We expect it to be on Mt Roosevelt in Roane County before the end of January.

More information will be posted as it is available. The repeater is being built and tested at this time!

For any questions, contact dstar@ke4rx.org

Written by Cody Anderson

December 11th, 2014 at 9:42 pm

Posted in D-STAR