Attention Coastside Emergency Preppers! Our communication system consists of two fiber cables, one over Hwy 92 (ATT), and the other via La Honda, Hwy 84 (Comcast/Xfinity). When Comcast/Xfinity goes down it’s affects Verizon Wireless. They use the same backhaul. When ATT Fiber goes down much more is affected including ATT Wireless and many local phone landlines. (Thanks Mike Alifano of Alifano Technologies). The fiber cables are on the ground, in trees and on poles. In an earthquake, we will likely lose one, if not both cables, in multiple places. If they go out, we will have only HAM radios, FRS and GMRS family radios, and terrestrial radio (KHMB 100.9 FM), with which to communicate.
We need a minimum of 25 HAM radio operators, one in each neighborhood, to have effective communication with the EOC (Emergency Operations Center) in Half Moon Bay. Given people might be over the hill when a quake strikes, or hurt, we should have more than 25. The first couple of hours will be critical in determining scope of damage and triage of that damage for the first responders. That’s how important HAMs are on the Coastside.
Remote Learning is the wave of the future. There are many different video courses to choose from. You can Google around. Here are links to videos teaching the Technician License material.
“My channel is “Ham Radio Answers,” and this video series invites those visiting my channel page to subscribe. My channel includes videos for Technician, General, and Amateur Extra training. They’re unique on YouTube in that they closely follow the ARRL License Manuals. My new video series is “Ask Dave!” which answer questions of particular interest to new hams. Be sure to subscribe to get notice of upcoming videos!”
Online Training Course presented by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL). Has ton of info. Entire course is a single continuous video.
There are two study guides available on Amazon to help you prepare for your HAM License exam. The standard manual by ARRL contains all the information necessary. The Gordon West publication is gaining in popularity as it presents the same information in a more relevant sequence and with more background conversation and diagrams.
By Gordon West and WB6NOA. Paperback edition costs about $22.00 on Amazon while the softside edition goes for $35.00.
Cost about $31.00 on Amazon. Be sure to get the 4th edition covering the question pool good for July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2022.
I haven’t tried this one, but I really like its instructional design. Give us feedback, if you like it.
The general secret to easily passing the HAM Technicians test is to take the practice tests available for free on the internet. Look up the questions you missed and do the test again and again over a couple of weeks. Keep taking the test until you are confident to take it for real. Use different practice test web sites to be certain you have been exposed to all the possible questions in the question pool.
Here is a HAM Radio Exam App.that you can use from your iphone. It is what I used. The super-duper secret to passing is to just do the test over and over until you recognize / memorize the answers. Memorize the answers. You can try understanding, but I didn’t because the real learning comes when you turn your radio on. They call it a HAM Cram for a reason. As a teacher and instructional designer, the HAM content for technician can be intimidating, but the App made it easy peasy. I missed 8, only 1 short of oops ~ I call that Just-in-Time Learning ;-)
Check the web for baears.com for reoccurring HAM CRAMS in the Bay Area for times and locations of reoccurring HAM CRAMS in the Bay Area. In a CRAM teachers lead you through a study of the questions and answers to the HAM Test. The session is immediately followed by a test session. They enjoy over a 90% pass rate with their program.
Also check the web site http://www.amateur-radio.org/ for scheduled Ham License Exams in the Sunnyvale area and occasionally in the Redwood City Library.
What Radio to Buy?
On the Coastside, beginners usually buy the Yaesu VX6 ($284) OR BaoFeng BF-F8HP ($25). It helps with programming and training to have a bunch of the same radios. I love mine. I got a whip antennae and earbud/microphone, and I plop it in my coffee cup holder on my bike, and off I go!
We have several experienced HAMs that will help you to program you radio after you pass. We will also help you practice. We need you, so we will help you, until you are comfortable. I was intimidated at first, but now I love it.