This is one of those times when I remind people that it might be a good idea to get an amateur radio license and have a charged handheld always available. If you do, you'll be able to talk to people locally (and halfway across the world) for free, with no centralized infrastructure to fail. (All you have to do is get 26 out of 35 multiple choice questions correct and buy a $40 radio from Amazon. Then, free communication forever.)
It requires a little more planning, however, as you have to have a communication protocol established with the parties you want to communicate with (primary and secondary frequencies, and when - i.e. 5 minutes past the hour or something like that). You also are likely going to have to rely on simplex, since repeaters will be jammed or used be ARES/Red Cross/etc during a major disaster or emergency.
Now if only the engineers who design handhelds would learn a thing or two about user interfaces...
73 de KJ6FON
My point may have had more "meat" to it, had the rumours been true that government ordered local cell service to be shut down in Boston. That rumour has since been debunked. But if government can shut down cell service, surely they could order some sort of ham radio shutdown as well? It doesn't mean that it would be easy to enforce, of course.
The FCC and the government takes a very hands off approach to Amateur Radio. They'd rather have them be self-patrolled than get involved. the only time the FCC really gets involved is when people transmit out of amateur bands or when someone transmits without a license, but even in those cases it's usually amateurs that initiate the action.
Yes and no, only to the extent that some hams would respect such an order. The practicality of actually preventing someone, especially a ham from broadcasting ^H^H^H communicating via a radio is a dubious prospect.
HF (1.8 MHz - 30 MHz, in select bands) will propagate around the world if the conditions are right, just like shortwave radio. It's really the same thing, except lower power. That "if the propagation is right" is a big if, however, and also requires a large antenna. I also would not have wanted to set up a portable HF antenna in Boston this afternoon - even if perfectly legal, spreading out wire along the ground and throwing a wire up in a tree doesn't really sound like the best idea right now.
Of course, most of the time it's the HF stuff that's the most fun... and although somewhat reliable, and likely to get you talking to someone, somewhere fairly quickly, it's not going to let you talk to a specific person at a specific time with a lot of reliability, even if you've schedule things in advance.
But one also has to distinguish old-school repeaters covering a medium-diameter area from the worldwide, internet-connected relays (such as IRLP). Whereas the former are easily put up freestanding on an amateur budget, and hence will stay in operation independent of all the other infrastructure, the internet-bound systems will cease operation once the internet links break down.
I'm guessing that most people that are serious about making contacts across the world when "the big one" hits have mobile rigs and lots of charged batteries, and there are many capable mobile HF transceivers on the market.
And HF antennas are still going to be large, no matter what you do. Yeah, with enough loading coils you can get the size down a bit, but then you compromise efficiency. Physics is working against you for small HF antennas.
Terrorism: Mission accomplished.
Pardon my ignorance, but what are you referring to? A license? Purchase choices? Thanks!
The question pools are all posted online. If you remember basic physics from college, you can easily cram for the exam in an evening. (And if not, there's plenty of online lessons available to walk you through the material.)
There is no difference other than looks in all the variants that are out there (UV-5RA, UV-5R+, etc.)
I have been thinking about it for a long time but I get stuck on the size. Also I read somewhere that - somehow/maybe - all that can be simulated on PC too with some smaller and additional equipment. Is it?
And, halfway across the world? They are supposed to be high power are they? Besides a conversation halfway across the globe would need some kind of repeater. Questions questions.
You also don't need high-power for long-distance work; the Elecraft KX3 almost fits in your pocket and only puts out 10W (it runs off of 8 AA cells), but many of its users report regular worldwide contacts. (Mine is in the mail, so I'll let you know.) The key is to have a decent antenna.
On another note: It is crazy that the authorities can simply disable wireless networks en masse. Just crazy.
Okay, I'll see your cell network shutdown with a slight change to the bomb trigger logic. Now it they're triggered if they receive a trigger signal OR if they don't receive ANY signals for some time.
Or, use Gmail to make unlimited domestic calls. Its disturbing that companies are looking to get marketing even out of tragic events like these.
Twillio doing this doesn't take away from the tragedy and it's not preying on vulnerable people. It's helping people through their service. If they get press for it, so be it.
It's unfortunate that people think that in order for one party to "win", another party has to "lose." I think this is a good case of win/win.
But if you have access to this website (internet access), then you have access to Skype and 100 other phone services... so why does this web site exist?
This is false. Verizon, Sprint and AT&T have confirmed its false, hours ago. The networks are likely overloaded and, as a result, spotty, but they have not been shut down.
No idea what the diagnosis or prognosis on the situation is there - we'll keep it up until we hear all the telecom infrastructure is nominal.
EDIT: mostly SMS, but at least a couple of incoming and outgoing calls without problems.