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n0wae

Has Ham Radio Saved Your Bacon?

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I've been a ham and avid 4-wheeler for a long time now and just got to thinking about the times when there was no cell phone coverage and I used Ham Radio to rescue myself.

 

My first story was about 10 years ago when I was 4-wheeling high in the mountains above Georgetown when my jeep fuel pump died. It seems to be a rule that cell coverage is always zip where you break down. I used Amateur Radio to make a phone patch and called my 4x4 club in Longmont. Three hours later I had a brand new fuel pump in my hands.

 

My second story is mentioned here.

 

I'd like to hear of other such stories.

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Well I can't say it has saved my bacon but last year when elk hunting I did arive in camp to find out I forgot my boots. And yes there was about 12" of snow on the ground. I was able to use the Colo Connection to have a friend make some calls and My boots were picked up at my house by the next guy coming up.

 

I also have had a chance to make calls for people stranded on the hwy.

 

Keeping in touch with fellow hams during hunting season is a nice plus also. Last year watching the look on my buds face while I walked around camp chatting away to folks back in town while they climbed rocks and trees holding one arm and one leg in funny possitions just to get to there voice mail was amusing to watch. By the way one person in the party has got his ticket now and another is working on it.

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Well from a teenage point of few it's saved me from getting grounded. I was up in the mountains going after this one cache.

 

Needless to say it took a lot longer than I thought it would, I was able to use the radio to get a message to my parents. We have plenty of autopatches here that are open but I don't understand how to start them up. Easy enough to just have a fellow ham deliver the message anyways.

 

My parents were glad I checked in.

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Long story short:

About 20 years ago I was single handing a 32 ft sailboat in the Bahama's when I awoke one moring in great pain and passing blood. I put out a call on the water way network 7268.0 and within minutes I was in contact with a doctor. With in hours where was a crew on a power boat headed my way. They picked me off the sail boat a crew returned my boat to Marsh Harbor and secured it. (And kept watch on it in my absents) I was wisked to the airport in Marsh Harbor where a ham pilot had flown to to pick me up and take me to the states. I was back in Orlando by the end of the day. Kidney stones !!!!! This was and is my testomeny about how ham radio can do amazing things. The boat crew that came and got me, the folks in Marsh Harbor who minded my boat nor the pilot that came to get me would acept any thing other than a THANK YOU for payment.

 

Dan

KC4GO

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I used it once to call in a traffic accident I was involved in. I was out about 7 PM, and a slushy snow was just starting to accumulate on the road. A young girl lost control of her car and started fishtailing. Even though I saw it coming and was heading for the snowbank, I was unable to avoid the collision. Along this road there is about a mile stretch where cell coverage is zero. Naturally, the accident occurred here. After checking on the occupants of the other vehicle to determine injuries, I used the autopatch on one of the local repeaters to call 911 and request the police, EMS, and even a wrecker for my vehicle. :ninja:

 

To end the story properly, I was later subpoenaed as a witness to testify, as the young woman was contesting the ticket she received for driving too fast for conditions. :D

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While on a family trip around this great country of ours in 1992, we found ourselves in a precarious situation. We were on I-40 WB between Fort Smith AR and OKC. There were tornados behind us and some pretty ominous cloud formations looming ahead. I was pulling a 25' trailer with a Ford fullsize van, both pretty high profile items. As I approached the outskirts of OKC, I checked into "skywarn" and got info that OKC was under a tornado warning. I pulled off the highway and parked between two bigrigs in a motel parking lot. The next morning, we found out that just a mile from where we had parked, the entire roof of a high school had been ripped off and major damage to a strip mall. Yeah, I gotta say HR saved our bacon bigtime!!! BTW, the folks at the motel insisted that we all come inside as it was a brick and concrete building. They offered food and shelter for which they took nothing for, saying it was the neighborly thing to do in this kind of situation.

 

73's de NB1K

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Thank god for the autopatch. I worked late one night and was so tired I left my cell phone at work. The next morning on the was to work I has a tire blow on me. I reached for my phone out of habbit and guess what was not there!!! I got on the repeter got the autopatch up and had helpmon the was in short order.

 

73,

 

K4LAB

Edited by rescue_ranger

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If you can't change a flat tire you probably shouldn't be on the road. :wub:

 

Ham radio hasn't saved my bacon but I've called in enough accidents and crazy drivers that I'm certain others have benefitted from it. :wub:

 

73

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The radio shop I used to work for (Motorola), most everyone was hams. One of my buds there went 4wheeling with us. I ended up in a mudhole that was mostly water... after someone with 44s dug it out. My little S-10 Blazer just nose dived. An hour later and 3 trucks tugging it was out, but we found the fan blade flexed into the radiator. Doh. So anyway, he was able to reach someone that called around to find a car dolly (2 wheeler) so we could tow it back to town. There wasnt one in town to be had, the ham helper called like 10 places for us to try and find a rental. That impressed me.

 

Im still wanting to get my 2 meter, and with it still being no-code, I should go try to test out. :-) I *think* my RF theory is still strong enough I should be able to get it. I reckon I should still go by Radio Shark and get a study manual.

 

11B out...

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The radio shop I used to work for (Motorola), most everyone was hams. One of my buds there went 4wheeling with us. I ended up in a mudhole that was mostly water... after someone with 44s dug it out. My little S-10 Blazer just nose dived. An hour later and 3 trucks tugging it was out, but we found the fan blade flexed into the radiator. Doh. So anyway, he was able to reach someone that called around to find a car dolly (2 wheeler) so we could tow it back to town. There wasnt one in town to be had, the ham helper called like 10 places for us to try and find a rental. That impressed me.

 

Im still wanting to get my 2 meter, and with it still being no-code, I should go try to test out. :-) I *think* my RF theory is still strong enough I should be able to get it. I reckon I should still go by Radio Shark and get a study manual.

 

11B out...

 

Good luck finding much of anything amateur radio related at Radio Shack... I had to go to three different locations the other day to find some snap-on RF chokes. And I won't even go into the response I got from the "helpful salesperson" when I asked for them. As long as I was in the stores, I did take a look around and didn't see any of the Gordon West study books/tapes that they used to carry.

 

You are probably better off ordering the Ham Radio License Manual.. from the ARRL. I recently gave a copy of this book to two of my frequent caching partners and they are nearly ready to take their exam.

 

On Topic: Ham radio hasn't (yet) "saved my bacon" per se, but in the pre-GPSr days I have used it several times to get directions in cities I've visited.

Edited by NoLemon

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Thanx for the info Lemon.. Its a shame ARRL doesnt just put all the study guides on line for free (AFAIK, havent visited in years). Ill do some research and see what I can find. If nothing else, the local ham club should be able to offer assistance even.

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Long story short:

About 20 years ago I was single handing a 32 ft sailboat in the Bahama's when I awoke one moring in great pain and passing blood. I put out a call on the water way network 7268.0 and within minutes I was in contact with a doctor. With in hours where was a crew on a power boat headed my way. They picked me off the sail boat a crew returned my boat to Marsh Harbor and secured it. (And kept watch on it in my absents) I was wisked to the airport in Marsh Harbor where a ham pilot had flown to to pick me up and take me to the states. I was back in Orlando by the end of the day. Kidney stones !!!!! This was and is my testomeny about how ham radio can do amazing things. The boat crew that came and got me, the folks in Marsh Harbor who minded my boat nor the pilot that came to get me would acept any thing other than a THANK YOU for payment.

 

Dan

KC4GO

It/they saved your life! Wonderful ending.

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didn't save my bacon but some one elses

Used the Local Autopatch Years ago to Call in a Structure Fire out on a old Camp road where there are no land lines and Cell service is almost nill

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Hasnt saved my beacon, yet... shucks, I havent even bought my rig yet! :-O

 

But, Im hoping it will come in good use for cell-less ventures into the neverland. (deep woods). We have a lot of mountians and many have rptrs, Im giveing serious thought into a DualBand HT so I hope to work SOMETHING, SOMEWHERE no matter where I go around here.

 

KI4QFY

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Each question pool is on line in pdf format for free. I printed out all 70 something pages complaments of my school. Now with no code requirement, it is as easy as ever.

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Each question pool is on line in pdf format for free. I printed out all 70 something pages complaments of my school. Now with no code requirement, it is as easy as ever.

 

Our tax dollars at work. :signalviolin:

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Has Ham Radio Saved Your Bacon?

 

Yes, it has... But, so has my GPS.

 

Broke down at night in winter on mountain top. Gas line pluged on the pick-up truck. I was able to reach the Snow Bird link in Cedar City, Utah the link was open into AZ. The AZ ham's waited for me to contact a SLC station. Then cleared. The SLC station made phone calls for me until we reach my brother in SLC. He drove 130 mile and fix my truck gas line. No heat for hours... I was in a bad way when he found us... Thank Heaven I had my HT with me...

 

But, so has my GPS.

 

Yep! Cachen at night in fog got losted... Back tracked to pick-up...

YB

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I haven't, but a member of my Jeep club has...

They were running the Rubicon when a vehicle in another party rolled, seriously injuring one of the occupants. The HAM radio and coordinates from a GPS led to the quick arrival of the Medivac helicopter.

Edited by karstic

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The radio shop I used to work for (Motorola), most everyone was hams. One of my buds there went 4wheeling with us. I ended up in a mudhole that was mostly water... after someone with 44s dug it out. My little S-10 Blazer just nose dived. An hour later and 3 trucks tugging it was out, but we found the fan blade flexed into the radiator. Doh. So anyway, he was able to reach someone that called around to find a car dolly (2 wheeler) so we could tow it back to town. There wasnt one in town to be had, the ham helper called like 10 places for us to try and find a rental. That impressed me.

 

Im still wanting to get my 2 meter, and with it still being no-code, I should go try to test out. :-) I *think* my RF theory is still strong enough I should be able to get it. I reckon I should still go by Radio Shark and get a study manual.

 

11B out...

 

Good luck finding much of anything amateur radio related at Radio Shack... I had to go to three different locations the other day to find some snap-on RF chokes. And I won't even go into the response I got from the "helpful salesperson" when I asked for them. As long as I was in the stores, I did take a look around and didn't see any of the Gordon West study books/tapes that they used to carry.

 

You are probably better off ordering the Ham Radio License Manual... from the ARRL. I recently gave a copy of this book to two of my frequent caching partners and they are nearly ready to take their exam.

 

On Topic: Ham radio hasn't (yet) "saved my bacon" per se, but in the pre-GPSr days I have used it several times to get directions in cities I've visited.

 

As a former Radio Shack employee, I can say that I have the honer of purchasing the LAST Ham Radio at Radio Shack. In 2005 I had the last remaining Ham Radio shipped to my store from a store from Tennessee. I had corporate run all sku's for Ham Radios and this was the last one. Now this is for company owned stores. There might be one hanging around a dealer store.

 

KC0JPD

Edited by gecko901

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Has Ham Radio Saved Your Bacon?

 

Yes, it has... But, so has my GPS.

 

Broke down at night in winter on mountain top. Gas line pluged on the pick-up truck. I was able to reach the Snow Bird link in Cedar City, Utah the link was open into AZ. The AZ ham's waited for me to contact a SLC station. Then cleared. The SLC station made phone calls for me until we reach my brother in SLC. He drove 130 mile and fix my truck gas line. No heat for hours... I was in a bad way when he found us... Thank Heaven I had my HT with me...

 

But, so has my GPS.

 

Yep! Cachen at night in fog got losted... Back tracked to pick-up...

YB

 

Amateur radio saving your bacon:

 

A few quick stories:

1) Just recently in the news, a Southern California man is credited with saving the life of a sailor who was sinking off the coast of cape horn while on an attempt to circumnavigate the globe solo in his sailboat. The Southern California amateur radio operator coordinated the communications between the sailor in grave and life-threatening danger and an international rescue operation. The two were separated by thousands and thousands of miles.

 

2) I was flying into Long Beach Airport in a Cessna 172. My electrical failed (not so common) along with my radios (a common thing in rental aircraft), and I picked up my two-meter handheld and asked someone to call Long Beach tower and relay a no-radio situation and pre-clear me for landing on runway 25right.

 

After landing, my two-meter radio on the seat next to me squaked up and said... the tower told me to let you know that you are also cleared to taxi to aircraft parking. Talk about service.

 

Now, this was no emergency because this was a cloud-free day and there are procedures for landing using colored spotlights from the tower. I've tried to see those lights before, and letting them know I was coming was a MUCH easier situation. I was told to make an S-turn on final, and rock my wings to identify myself as the guy with no radio. I got the colored light from the tower and was sequenced inbound with no problem.

 

3) Many years ago, before I was a licensed amateur, I was driving down from Big Bear when I turned the corner to find a fresh accident with a car on its side. I was studying for my license at the time and already had a radio. One of the rules is that you don't need a license in the event of an emergency, and there were injuries, so I considered it an emergency. My call in was the first call that rescue and medical personell recieved. Some local Big-Bear old-timer ham got all in a huff about me being without a license and refused to pass the message on to emergency services. Someone down in the southland some 100 miles away made the phone call.

 

4) Certainly no emergency, but a convenient thing. I had APRS installed in my car for a while publishing my location live to a website at all times (findu.com). While travelling, my schedule got all changed around and my directions became useless and I was lost. I called up a friend, gave him the website where he could see me on a map, and had him tell me how to get where I needed to get.

 

5) Several years ago in Hollywood, someone sideswiped my car and took off. Foolishly (I was young) I gave chase and used my radio to get somoene to call the cops. The cops relayed back a message stating that they would not respond until I stopped following the car. (I guess they don't want the public chasing people.) The cops met me at a gas station and took athe report. A few weeks later, my friend was able to identify the guy in a photo lineup. I couldn't identify the guy. (Just like the movies.... they put 6 photos in a small cardboard frame and have you pick the bad-guy.)

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