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My interests include Amateur Radio, Message Traffic Handling, Disaster Preparedness, Space Weather,

Terrestrial Weather, APRS, Doppler Radio Location Direction Finding,  Emergency Communications, Packet-Radio,

Scottish Kilts, Smoking Pipes, Sustainable Organic Gardening, Composting, Worm Farming, Constitutional Rights,

Food Preservation, Microbiology, Soil Microbiology, Sustainability, Long-Term Food Storage, and much more.

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By Dr. Tamitha Skove

Updated:  09/02/2020

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#64 - Should You Use APRS After SHTF?

We have talked a little about communication after a disaster, and especially the use of amateur radio, or HAM radio, but there is a newer aspect to amateur radio that a lot of people are getting into that concerns me regarding a SHTF situation. Automatic Packet Reporting System or APRS is a system where your handheld radio shows its exact position on the internet, including your heading, elevation, and speed using GPS. Now why would that be a bad thing, let's think about that for a moment. If it were a true SHTF situation, letting everyone know exactly, precisely, right where you are at may not be such a bright idea. If you are smart, you have already stockpiled your supplies to ride out a m

#63 - MFJ-422D Keyer/Paddle Combo Review

About a month ago I ordered the MFJ-422D Electronic Keyer Paddle combination unit for the Morse Code class that I am taking. After using this unit for about a month I decided to give you my review. One reason I chose this particular combination unit is that I can use it to practice sending code without it being attached to my radio, so I am not limited to where I can practice at. The MFJ-422D is actually two items combined into one. It is fully functional iambic paddle with a very nice responsive feel to it. Sitting on top of the back of the paddle is a self-contained adjustable electronic keyer to product the tones created by the paddles. On the side of the unit are adjustment knobs to set

#62 - Baofeng RD-5R DMR Radio Review

I received the brand new Baofeng RD-5R Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) yesterday and wanted to give my first impressions of it. This is the replacement radio for the DM-5R that had some issues previously and is made from a partnership between Baofeng and Radioddity. The RD-5R is a budget-friendly DMR radio that sells for $75 directly from Radioddity or it is also available from them on Amazon for the same price. I chose the Amazon route so that I would not have to wait for shipping from China. If you are familiar with the popular UV-5R dual-band handheld radio from Baofeng, then you will notice a lot of similarities with the RD-5R. They are very similar in design. The RD-5R is basically a UV-5R r

#61 - Mobile Weather Station Addition to EmComms Setup

I have decided to add a Vantage Vue Wireless Weather Station by Davis to my EmComms equipment. With this new weather station I will be able to monitor temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed and direction, dew point and rainfall onsite at my EmComms station. It is a portable solar powered unit with lithium battery backup that can be deployed and ready to go in minutes and transmits the sensor readings wirelessly up to 1,000 feet away to the console using a similar channel hopping type system as my Viper vehicle alarm. I am an Official Storm Spotter (#1094) with Skywarn, a part of the National Weather Service (NWS), which is a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Ad

#60 - GMRS License Renewal Scam

A while back I did an episode comparing various types of radios to help you decide which is right for you. You can see that episode by clicking here. This time I want to go into a little more detail about one of the radio services that I mentioned, General Mobile Radio Service, or GMRS and a glitch in the system when it comes time to renew your license. As I stated in the previous episode, the FCC operators license requires a fee of $75 and is valid for 10 years. At the end of the 10 years many GMRS licensees are shocked when they try to renew their license and run into a glitch in the system that the FCC is well aware of, but are seemingly unwilling to resolve. If you go online to renew you

#59 - $7.7Million Coverup?

According to Russian sources, the Syrian military were successful in intercepting 71 of the 103 cruise missiles launched in the early morning strike on Syria yesterday using Russian made defense systems. Russian defenses were not used in the attack since none of the missiles targeted areas within the Russian AD responsibility area. The strike took place in the very early morning hours of the very day that the OPCW fact finding team was to start their investigation in Douma where the chemical attack allegedly occurred on April 10th. As of 2015, the United States Navy has a stockpile of around 3,500 Tomahawk cruise missiles of all variants, with a combined cost of approximately US $2.6 billion

#58 - SHTF Threat Level Has Been Raised

Due to the increased tensions concerning Syria I have decided to raise our SHTF Threat Level to HIGH. AMMRON has also decided to raise their AmCON communications condition to Level-3. The AMMRON announcement is shown below: //All Stations// Due to increased tensions and the maneuvering of military assets by multiple nations in and around Syria, we are raising the AmCON to Level 3. This increase in AmCON is to increase awareness of an increased probability of an event which could disrupt conventional communications. We will continue to monitor the situation. At this time, no immediate action is called for beyond the general guidance outlined for AmCON 3. More guidance will be forthcoming and

#57 - Syrian Airstrikes Have Begun

Airstrikes against targets inside Syria by the United States, United Kingdom, and France have begun. Both ships and aircraft were used in the attack. The US, UK and France launched coordinated strikes in Syria, hitting targets associated with the Syrian regime's chemical weapons program. President Trump is now in Washington DC waiting to see if there will be retaliation from Russia and Iran. Russia has stated that if missile strikes against Syria are carried out, the missiles will be shot down and they will target the launch sites. Ground explosions are reportedly being heard from within Syria leading to speculation that some, if not all of the missiles launched made it to their intended tar

#56 - Macron 'Has Proof' Even Before Investigators Arrive?

France's President Emmanuel Macron says he has "proof" that the Syrian government attacked the town of Douma, near Damascus with chemical weapons last Saturday. This is remarkable considering the fact that no investigation to actually find out what really happened and who is to blame for it has even occurred yet. Must be some sort of French intuition or perhaps he is psychic or something. Both Syria and Russia have requested that an investigation take place which will determine who is responsible for the attack on Saturday. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) sent out the following on Twitter: "In response to media queries, the Spokesperson for the Organisation fo

#55 - The "Mainstream Media" Push Toward War

I have been watching the reactions over the past 24 hours to the situation in Syria, and I am sickened by what I am seeing. Even though there is still no evidence whatsoever that Syria was involved in any way with releasing chemical weapons on its own citizens, and even though the release of such weapons by the Syrian government does not make any sense the "mainstream media" along with politicians on both sides of the isle are determined to push us into a war. Considering that the Syrian government is currently winning the war, and the announcement that the United States was pulling out of the area right before the incident on Saturday, why would the Syrian government do such a thing? It jus

#54 - Mexico's Migrant Troubles

The Mexican government thought they were going to get back at the United States for building the Border Wall on our Southern border by assisting 1500 migrants from Central America to illegally enter into the United States. For the past couple weeks a caravan of migrants 1500 strong have been making their way toward the United States - Mexico border. Mexican authorities have been assisting them by organizing busses to take them on their journey to the promised land. Unfortunately for them, their dreams of the Promised Land just got Trumped. One week ago today President Trump came up with an ingenious plan to secure our Southern border with Mexico that our spineless wastes-of-space legislature

#53 - Syrian Missile Strike Imminent

With John R. Bolton being appointed as National Security Advisor to The White House on April 9th, many have suspected that the United States' approach to foreign diplomacy would be changing based on Bolton's past record. Less than 24 hours after his appointment the tensions between the United States and Russia escalated to a fevered pitch. Over the past several hours the situation has become more grave as the United States and Russia each toss threats back and forth at each other over the situation in Syria. Here in Hawaii military exercises have stepped up over the past 24 hours as artillery shelling could clearly be heard from Scofield Barracks yesterday afternoon and both yesterday and to

#52 - A Sticky NCS Situation

This video shows a sticky situation that I found myself in last night as I was acting as the Net Control Station for our local emergency amateur radio club nightly Net. Normally no one ever sees these videos, but I decided to post it as a lesson for other NCS operators in case they ever find themselves in a similar situation. Until next time, Aloha & 73

#51 - Morse Code Progress

About a week ago I decided that I was going to try to learn CW or Morse Code. I have been listening to the CW code lessons online all week and began practicing for several hours a day every day since I received my keyer/paddle combo on Friday. I have made some progress, but so far I am not completely happy with the progress that I have made. I am learning the letters, and learning to form words, but there is a catch that has plagued me all my life. Throughout school whenever I would take a foreign language class I always ran into a problem. I was able to speak the language and say what I wanted to say, but when it came time for me to translate what other people were saying I had a problem. S

#50 - Learning Morse Code

This past week I started learning CW, more commonly referred to as Morse Code. This is a system that uses dots and dashes of sound to represent letters, numbers, and even words. CW can be extremely useful in many situations. It cuts through noise and static easier than spoken word does, and it does not take as much power to transmit a signal using CW as it would using voice. With CW a person can literally talk around the world using just a few watts of power, whereas using voice for the same transmission may take 100 watts or more. By using CW you can use a low-power battery-operated radio setup (also known as a QRP rig) in a backpack and a portable antenna to transmit from the top of a moun

#49 - Don't Desecrate My Flag

I am sick of seeing the desecrated United States flag with the blue line running across the center of it that represents the largest terrorist organization and gang in the world as they continuously terrorize, extort, and violate the rights of the citizens of the country. This "blue line flag" is just one more thing to drive the wedge further between law enforcement and the citizens, ripping the divide ever wider. Far too long now we have sat back and allowed law enforcement in this country to morph into the behemoth that we have today. They have long ago forgotten their true role in society and far too many of them treat the citizens as slaves, or chattel to do with as they wish. Many of th

#48 - Should Citizens Be Allowed To Have An AR-15?

I have been asked this simple question several times over the past couple months since the tragedies in Las Vegas and Florida, and I have a simple answer . . . Absolutely. The Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting, or sport, it is about protection plain and simple. Protection to ensure that a government never again places the American citizens under tyrannical rule as was the case in the 1700's under King George. Let's take a look at the Second Amendment and see just what it says: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. First off, the Constitution does not give rights to the go

#47 - Water Purification System

For water filtration at my home I use the Big Berkey® Water Filter which uses four black purification elements which remove harmful viruses & bacteria from the water but keep healthy minerals that your body needs. Each black purification element is able to purify up to 3,000 gallons of water for a total of 12,000 gallons before they need to be replaced. It holds 2 gallons of water and is able to filter up to 7 gallons of water per hour. The Big Berkey® is suitable for up to 16 people which is overkill for the needs of my family, but I would rather have the capacity to purify more water than needed than not enough. The Berkey® system uses a gravity flow design in which you pour unfiltered wat

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