TO: ALL WOOD COUNTY ARES MEMBERS (OFFICIAL)
ALL ARES AND NON-ARES AMATEURS ANYWHERE (INFORMATION)
FROM: KEN HARRIS WA8LLM ARRL DISTRICT 3
EMERGENCY COORDINATOR WOOD COUNTY EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS INC.
WOOD COUNTY ARES BULLETIN NR 18.34 DATE: August 26, 2018
SUBJECT: LOW POWER RADIO OPERATIONS
As most Amateur Radio operators know, handheld radios usually operate at 1 to maybe 6 watts. But did you know that the majority of Public service radios available may only operate at 1 to 2 watts. In any event, the possibility that you may not be able to communicate thru a repeater from certain locations is very likely, especially for the public service radio operator.
Breaking in on a busy repeater, in an emergency, is possible if the operator remembers a couple things. This is especially important to you Public Safety Radio Operators as well. Always position yourself so you are facing either the repeater, or a remote receiver, if there are any. Get that key finger ready, because in many cases you will need to be quick on the key. As one of the users un-keys his radio, key your radio and just say "BREAK". Amateur radio operators have used this method for years and it works. If you don't get their attention try again. If this fails, move to a different location, three or four feet one way or the other to possibly hit the repeater better, and try again by saying "BREAK BREAK". If this fails, you may just have to move your position to a higher location or use another repeater which may have a different line of sight.
There have been many bulletins on when and how to use the radio to report accidents or emergencies. Public Service radio operators please take note; Reporting accidents or emergencies by radio is fine, but if you are in, or at, a place that has a telephone, that is functioning, USE THE PHONE! or have someone else use it. Don't use the radio, to call in an incident that you come upon in a place of business, restaurant or home, if the phone is working. USE THE PHONE! or have someone make the call. This is still the best and most reliable route of communications, if it's available. Radio communications are for use only when phone service is not available, or out of order.
Ken Harris WA8LLM
Wood County WV