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  • Writer's pictureGabriel Zacchai

Radio Waves

Updated: Dec 2, 2023

When the shit hits the fan and everybody rushes for their smart phone to try and make sense of it all... there's a decent chance that the digital networks will be overwhelmed, jammed and of no use (at least temporarily). Amateur (or Ham) Radio is an alternative, analog, mode of communication that doesn't rely on existing network infrastructure to function. In addition to being an interesting hobby that can help ward off early onset dementia, it's also a gateway to offgrid emergency communications that, in my opinion, is the antithesis of social media. It's an inclusive community of people with the expressed purpose of promoting good will and sharing knowledge. I got my technician's license in 2020 and graduated to my General class license in the spring of 2021, I'm currently studying for my amateur extra and became a Volunteer Examiner (VE) for the ARRL to help administer license examinations in 2022.

I'm also a member of the Pen Bay Amateur Radio Club, a trustee on their board of directors, and active with the local ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) chapter.

Whoopie. (and such).







At any given time, whenever I am working in the recording studio or driving my truck, I'm also connected to a radio network that gives me access to most law enforcement and emergency services communications in real time. A short study of the local police "10-codes" used on their communications bands allows me to avoid traffic accidents, speed traps and other undesirable local goings-on as well as getting the inside scoop on what's happening in my town and county on an ordinary day (it would blow your mind how many strange, violent and just downright weird things your neighbors are up to) as well as being a direct information network during any kind of emergency. As they say: "Knowledge is power."


Equipment:


Base station: 50w anytone 5888uv transceiver connected to a 5 Element YAGI directional on rotor control at approx 200' above sea level.




Mobile HF (and 2m/70cm) deployment backpack rig (minus mast) Yaesu 817 qrp all band radio with 35w amp, aux battery and solar recharging system. Recently made multiple contacts over 3,500 miles on 20 meters with a diy used electrical wire dipole. I’m digging antenna science


HF: Yaesu FTdx 1200 100W transceiver to a resonant 40 meter wire dipole and random long wire w 9:1 balun








Base station GMRS radios for local mountain activities, contesting and TEOTWAKI


And satellite/ space station chasing gear: 5w Baofeng UV5R and YAGI directional beam antenna




My Call sign is KC1OJR. I frequent 2 m/ 70 cm repeaters and nets in midcoast/central Maine. Look me up if you're within transmission distance: (approximate)


73!

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