ARS NB9M

HAM-DESIGNED GEAR USED IN THAILAND CAVE RESCUE


Recognizing Radio Amateurs 0 Comments 07/12/2018 (This is a Level 0 News item)

Unless you live in a cave, you’ve probably heard a little about the thirteen people — mostly children — trapped in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Thailand. What you may have missed, though, is the hacker/ham radio connection. The British Cave Rescue Council (BCRC) was asked for their expert help. [Rick Stanton], [John Volanthen] and [Rob Harper] answered the call. They were equipped with HeyPhones. The HeyPhone is a 17-year-old design from [John Hey, G3TDZ]. Sadly, [G3TDZ] is now a silent key (ham radio parlance for deceased) so he didn’t get to see his design play a role in this high-profile rescue, although it has apparently been a part of many others in the past.

The HeyPhone is actually considered obsolete but is still in service with some teams. The radio uses USB (upper sideband, not universal serial bus) at 87 kHz. The low frequency can penetrate deep into the ground using either induction loop antennas like the older Molephone, or — more commonly — with electrodes injecting RF energy directly into the ground.

 

You can find a very detailed article about the radio from 2001 if you want more details. The system is somewhat dated, but apparently works well and that’s what counts.

What we find interesting is that in today’s world, people take wireless communications for granted and don’t realize that cell phones don’t work underground or in the face of widespread disasters. We would imagine most Hackaday readers know how cell phone towers use “cellular reuse” to support more than a handful of phones. Ask some non-technical friend if they know how a cell phone works and you’ll be surprised how few people understand this. Ham radio operators and hackers are vital to building and deploying specialized radio systems in times of disaster or — in this case — where people need rescuing from an odd environment.

We were glad to see a nod to some hacker gear in the popular press. But we almost wish there had been more reporting on the volunteer divers and their hacked radio gear.

We’ve talked about VLF radios before, but not for caving. Of course, in the old days, all radio was VLF and it might have even had some unintended consequences.


   W9RAN started playing with RTL-SDR dongles about 6 years ago, and knew they were going to have a big impact on the radio hobby.   But since these $15 receivers only tuned the VHF and UHF bands, he designed a wideband upconverter to make HF coverage possible, and described how it worked in an article in Jan. 2013 QST "Cheap and Easy SDR".   The "RANVerter" as...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (rnickels),  08/09/2018 
  

2018 Cave City Hamfest

Cave City, Kentucky, 3/3/2018
Category: Activities
Barry, AC9NK and I attendended the 2018 Cave City hamfest, which was awesome this year.  The facility was packed, with lots of vendors.  We enjoyed the company of my friend Tom, N4LID for dinner the night before. Tom, who is blind, had not been able to get to the hamfest for many years.  You will find more pictures at the Kentucky Phone Net site.  A big thanks to Rod, N4ZIF, fo...  READ MORE
- Bradley Stone (UncleBrad),  03/04/2018 
   For nearly five years, spanning 1978 - 1983,  I worked as an Electronics Technician in the original Bearcat manufacturing and service facility in Cumberland, Indiana.  Electra was one of the best places I've ever worked, and were among the many innovative consumer electronics companies which sprang up in and around Indianapolis.  Al Lovell, a former employee of Regency (also in ...  READ MORE
- Bradley Stone (UncleBrad),  02/22/2018 
   The tube-type Linear Master Oscillators (“LMO”) used in the Heathkit SB-Line equipment is a very stable and accurate means of controlling the frequency in the equipment. Unfortunately, as the units age, many LMOs develop a “warble” when tuning. This “warble” usually stops when the frequency control knob is not rotated. However, accurately “zero-beating&rdq...  READ MORE
- Bradley Stone (UncleBrad),  02/08/2018 
  

NB9M Studio C Installed

A creative solution to managing big boxes in limited space.
Category: The Radio Shack
(Shown: 1/7/2018 checkin with the DX-60 Net on 3880, using the DX-60/HG-10B/HO-10 and the RME-6900)Using furniture-grade 5/8" plywood, simple tools and cold garage during Christmas vacation, I constructed Studio C, which occupies the south wall of the shack.  Exploiting a sturdy, existing cabinet with drawers that I've had since I was a kid, I devised a scheme to reliably handle the ...  READ MORE
- Bradley Stone (UncleBrad),  01/07/2018 
  

Remembering Fielden Farrington

CBS announcer, writer, author and announcer
Category: OTR
Remembering Fielden FarringtonAuthor, announcer and long-time CBS writer Fielden Ward Farrington was born July 4, 1909 in Clinton, Indiana.  He was my great-uncle; the younger brother of my grandmother, Thelma (Farrington) Stone.  Two weeks prior to his birth, his older brother Leo passed away with scarlet fever.  His father Harry, a talented carpenter, built the house in which...  READ MORE
- Bradley Stone (UncleBrad),  12/16/2017 
  

Super Hoosier DynaLoop

Construction and Description of a 160M loop antenna
Category: The Radio Shack
The Super Hoosier DynaLoop consists of four 35ft (average) utility poles buried an average of 5ft, 125ft LMR-400 from R&L Electronics, a 5KW-rated 4-1 balun, rope and marine-grade hardware (mostly from EBay) and a 20ft length of 300ohm ladder line..  The closest pole is nearly 100ft away from the shack.  The poles are 140ft apart.  The antenna is far away from any powe...  READ MORE
- Bradley Stone (UncleBrad),  11/25/2017 
   The hamshack is the result of a lot of thought. Featuring four 120V circuits on 200A service, as well as a 240V circuit for the amps, the idea was to have at hand dedicated equipment per band.  About 12 'X 18', carefull planning allows for sufficient room to both work and play.The shack is air conditioned and heated, with numerous switched antenna options for HF/VHF and UHF. &nbs...  READ MORE
- Bradley Stone (UncleBrad),  08/04/2017 
   I picked these up at the 2107 Sturgis, MI AM Swapmeet, amidst a pack curious OMs.  What a find!  Jerry replaced the original transformer in the linear power supply with a new AL-811H transformer.  The cosmetic condition of these relatively hard-to-find Gonsets is astonishing.  There is one front panel scuff on the GSB-101, and a few inperfections in the cases (original pai...  READ MORE
- Bradley Stone (UncleBrad),  07/30/2017 
  

W9DYV Jonesborough, TN 2017 Event

Pictures of forums, swapmeet and other activities
Category: Activities
Here are some pictures from the 5th annual event at the estate of W9DYV, Wes Schum.  This is truly becoming THE place to be for serious vintage communications enthusiasts.  Thanks to Nick Tusa, K5EF and all the others involved in the forums and hands-on workshops.for their participation, and also to John and Diane Voght, our hosts in the beautiful Storybrook Farm Bed & Breakfast. &nb...  READ MORE
- Bradley Stone (UncleBrad),  07/30/2017 

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