While winter is upon us, some of us are working on trucks and some of us are studying up to get our Amateur Radio licences.
There are a couple of advantages to having our trail leaders equipped with amateur radios:
- Amateur radios can transmit at much higher power (250 watts with Basic certificate) than CB radio (4 watts maximum), which means greater distances with ground wave propagation
- Amateur radios have access to repeaters that can increase the range of the radio, even at low power, by a significant factor. There are at least 14 repeaters within 30kms of Calabogie
- Several of the repeaters in the area can also be linked to other repeaters via the Internet. These links can be activated from your radio with a simple DTMF code. Repeaters in Almonte, Lavant, Mississippi Mills, Perth and Tweed are all Internet linked repeaters within a reasonable distance of the area we usually play in
- Some repeaters are also equipped with an autopatch which allows you to initiate a telephone call from your radio
- A radio equipped with APRS can send text messages to other similarly equipped radios and even to cellular phones or e-mail addresses
I think any tool that can increases our ability to communicate, especially for events like Camp EOTB where we often have two or more trail runs going at the same time, would make it easier to keep everyone informed of what’s happening on the other trail runs and even keep folks who stayed at camp informed.
This wouldn’t replace the CB, as most members will still rely on their CB.
The EOTB web site has some Amateur Radio references to get you started: