Tag Archives: ham radio

Amateur Radios and Their Use Saving Lives

Recently our world was rocked with the news that Annie Schmidt, daughter of Jon Schmidt of The Piano Guy’s, had gone missing while hiking in the back country of Oregon State. Immediately Jaime and myself, along with many others, began praying for her safe return. Days turned into weeks as the search for Annie continued, which lead to my wondering of what may have happened to her. Tragically the news came in weeks later, that Annie had fallen from a cliff and sadly perished. Her body was found at the base of the cliff weeks later by Search and Rescue teams, led by cadaver dogs. We all were praying for her safe return, and were heartbroken to learn of her fate.

A few years ago, Geraldine Largay went missing while hiking the Appalachian  Trail in the great state of Maine in 2013. Searches were performed without success, and she was presumed dead, and the search halted. Unknown to would-be rescuers she survived for nearly one month, and weeks after the search was halted, in the back country of Maine, along the Appalachian Trail. She was left to die alone and afraid, waiting for help that never came. She tried to send multiple text messages to her husband requesting help from police. It would not be until the year 2015 that her remains would be found by a forester, two years too late.

http://www.pressherald.com/2016/05/25/report-geraldine-largay-kept-journal-during-weeks-lost-in-maine-woods/

What is the point of this article you may wonder? Well, when I heard of Annie Schmidt’s case where she was missing, and ultimately found deceased, I wondered what if she was like Geraldine Largray. Because I first poised the question when I heard about Geraldine’s case and her disappearance. What if they were so far back in the woods, conventional cellular telephone reception was not available. How would someone call for help?

Amateur Radio is how someone could call for help.

See, Amateur Radio is far more reliable than typical cellular telephones. Amateur radio operators, “Hams” as coined by our ranks, often build repeaters, similar to cell towers, that cover areas in remote mountainous regions where cell phones do not work. The only difference is our radios have far more power than cell phones, and they are far more reliable. If someone is stranded and in need of help, where cell phones fail, a simple 5 watt radio with Amateur Radio Repeaters programmed into the memories, may be the difference between life and death.

See I have a view from both sides of the coin, as a public servant, and as an amateur radio operator who enjoys his time spent in the mountains and back countries of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Cherokee National Forest, and everywhere in between.

While I am in the back country I employ the use of the Yaesu FT1DR, a handheld radio that is equipped with an internal GPS capable of use on APRS (Automatic Packet Reporting System) and transmits my location on 145.390 MHz, which is received by digital repeaters, and the information can be located at www.APRS.fi by searching the call sign of the amateur radio operator, and the SSID if one is used. For example my call sign and SSID is N2AL-7. If something should happen to me I can transmit messages via text on APRS to other stations, requesting help, and communicating back and forth with other stations. Most importantly APRS.fi can be used to find station locations when they have their GPS enabled.

I can also use my handheld radio to transmit on amateur radio FM repeaters which are programmed into the radio, and request help that way. I use a program called RT Systems for my radio, and I can automatically program all repeaters within a 100 mile radius of where I select, into the memory banks. This way I have all the repeaters available for use, and can signal for help if needed.

This can mean the difference between life everlasting, and death all alone. It would not have saved Annie Schmidt unfortunately, but it may have saved Geraldine Largray. The cost for amateur radio use is not expensive at all. My radio, with the software, and an extra battery, and an MFJ 12.5 inch dual band VHF/UHF antenna cost me close to $300.00 a few years ago. Add some solar panel chargers for the batteries, and you can take the radio with you, charge it on the go, and have the capability to signal for help if needed. You are not constrained to finding a wall power outlet to charge the radio with. You can use the solar panels and let them do it for you, while you hike.

The knowledge required for amateur radio operations, and testing to obtain a license, is not complicated at all. It actually is quite easy. I studied for three days, mostly consisting of watching The Ham Whisperer on YouTube, where he went over all the questions, then the answers, for the test banks. I received my Technician Class license a week later and I was on the air.

The Technician Class license, next the General Class, and finally the Extra Class license, are not difficult to obtain. But for the purpose of VHF & UHF FM communications while portable and hiking, or driving, about the back country or the city, all that is needed is the Technician Class license.

To conclude, Amateur Radio has the ability to save lives, and they save lives far more than someone might think. Where I live in East Tennessee is close to The Dragon, The Cherohala Skyway, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cherokee Forest, and other places that are prone to cell phone coverage lapses. Often when trouble occurs in these hard to reach places, Amateur Radio operators use their radios to summon help. It happens quite frequently, and as of this article, I know of two cases this week alone in East Tennessee. If we could get more people who spend their time outdoors in remote regions to use Amateur Radio’s, then we could save more lives when disaster happens.

Now as a side note I DO NOT recommend using Amateur Radio as the sole method of signaling for help. A lot of professional companies have developed ways of requesting assistance during an emergency.

One such device is a PLB, also know as a Personal Locator Beacon, which is very similar to an Emergency Position-Indicating Radio-beacon Station (EPIRB) used on marine vessels across the world. These devices are relatively inexpensive, although you cannot put a price on your life and safety. The basic concept is relatively simple -It can be automatically activated when certain conditions are met, or manually activated when emergency assistance is required. The devices are battery-powered and some work via GPS and radio beacon. More information on these devices can be found at the links below.

Please join me in continuing to keep the families of both Annie Schmidt, and Geraldine Largay, in our thoughts and prayers. These are two tragic cases where two families lost loved ones. God bless them, and God bless us all.

 

East Tennessee Amateur Radio Frequencies

Hey everyone! I am posting a spreadsheet, originally copied from my Yaesu FT-857D, with HF/VHF/UHF frequencies used around the East Tennessee area. I thought I would share this for those who would like to add useable frequencies into their radios rather easily.

This spreadsheet can be copied and pasted into Microsoft Excel, where you can create a .CSV file to upload to most radios. There is also a link below you may click, to view the Excel worksheet with this information, for easier reference.

Amateur Frequencies for N4AWL.com (excel)

For my personal use, you will see where some frequencies have TSQL and some have Tone settings. Depending on the amount of interference I receive on certain frequencies, I enable the TSQL to eliminate the interference. It is strictly user preference as to which tone setting you choose to use.

Should you have any additions or revisions, or questions, please send me an email via the Contact link, and I will get the information corrected.

 

10 meters

Name Frequency Duplex Offset Tone Rx Tone Tx Tone County
W4ZJM 29.62 - 0.1 Tone 100 100
AG4TI 29.66 - 0.1 Tone 91.5 91.5
KB4REC 29.68 - 0.1

 

6 meters

Name Frequency Duplex Offset Tone Rx Tone Tx Tone County
WA4BGK 52.71 - 1
KF4FTD 53.01 - 1 Tone 114.8 114.8
NO4Q 53.03 - 1
WD4GYN 53.11 - 1
WB4GBI 53.15 - 1 Tone 107.2 107.2
KQ4E 53.23 - 1
W4KEV 53.25 - 1
K4DHT 53.33 - 1
NQ4Y 53.45 - 1 Tone 114.8 114.8
KB4REC 53.47 - 1 Tone 100 100
W4BBB 53.77 - 1 Tone 100 100
W4KEV 53.93 - 1
KD4CWB 53.99 - 1

 

2 meters

Name Frequency Duplex Offset Tone Rx Tone Tx Tone County
WM4T 145.11 - 0.6
KA4OAK 145.13 - 0.6
KG4FZR 145.15 - 0.6 Tone 141.3 141.3 McMinn
K4MFD 145.15 - 0.6 Tone 118.8 118.8 Greene
WB4GBI 145.17 - 0.6 Tone 118.8 118.8
KD4XV 145.19 - 0.6
W4BBB 145.21 - 0.6 Tone 100 100
W4KEV 145.23 - 0.6
W4YJ 145.25 - 0.6 TSQL 100 100 Monroe
KK4DKW 145.27 - 0.6 TSQL 127.3 127.3 Blount
145.29 - 0.6 Tone 127.3 127.3
WM4RB 145.31 - 0.6 Tone 141.3 141.3
AC4JF 145.33 - 0.6 Tone 100 100
N4AZK 145.35 - 0.6
W4KEV 145.37 - 0.6 Tone 100 100
W4AM 145.39 - 0.6
W4WC 145.39 - 0.6 Tone 186.2 186.2
KI4OTQ 145.41 - 0.6 Tone 127.3 127.3
WB4YLC 145.43 - 0.6 Tone 127.3 127.3
KJA4M 145.45 - 0.6
WB4GBI 145.47 - 0.6 Tone 118.8 118.8
WB4LHO 145.49 - 0.6 Warren
VHF CALL 146.52 0
146.535 - 0.6
SEV ARES 146.55 - 0.6
146.56 - 0.6
146.565 - 0.6
146.58 - 0.6
W4AM 146.61 - 0.6 Tone 107.2 107.2
WB4GBI 146.625 - 0.6 Tone 118.8 118.8
146.64 - 0.6
W4OLB 146.655 - 0.6 Blount
K4BGW 146.67 - 0.6
K4DSZ 146.685 - 0.6 TSQL 88.5 88.5
KE4CCB 146.7 - 0.6 Tone 103.5 103.5
CATOOSA 146.715 - 0.6
WB4GBI 146.73 - 0.6 Tone 110.9 110.9 Knox
KI4KIL 146.745 - 0.6 Fentress
K4JP 146.76 - 0.6 Tone 103.5 103.5
KA4OAK 146.775 - 0.6 Tone 79.7 79.7
K4VCM 146.79 - 0.6 Hamilton
W4EYJ 146.805 - 0.6
K4EZK 146.82 - 0.6 TSQL 141.3 141.3
146.835 - 0.6
WB4GBI 146.85 - 0.6 Tone 127.3 127.3
W8EYU 146.865 - 0.6 Tone 118.8 118.8 Cumberland
W4SKH 146.88 - 0.6 TSQL 88.5 88.5
W4NSA 146.895 - 0.6 Tone 118.8 118.8 Cumberland
KC4ROG 146.91 - 0.6 Tone 203.5 203.5
W4GZX 146.925 - 0.6 Bradley
WB4GBI 146.94 - 0.6 Tone 118.8 118.8
W9QXW 146.955 - 0.6 Tone 100 100 Union, GA
W4SKH 146.97 - 0.6
KC4ZGN 146.985 - 0.6 Gilmer, GA
KA6UHV 147 + 0.6 Tone 131.8 131.8 Hamilton
KD4CWB 147 - 0.6 TSQL 100 100 Knox
KE4RX 147.015 + 0.6 TSQL 110.9 110.9 Roane
W2IQ 147.03 + 0.6 Tone 100 100
K4AIH 147.045 - 0.6 Tone 151.4 151.4 Cherokee, NC
KG4FZR 147.06 - 0.6 Tone 141.3 141.3 McMinn
WB4GBI 147.075 + 0.6 Knox
KI4KIL 147.09 + 0.6 Tone 100 100 Fentress
KG4LHC 147.09 + 0.6 Tone 203.5 203.5 Cocke
WA4KNI 147.09 + 6 Tone 91.5 91.5 Vance, NC
KD4NEC 147.105 + 0.6 Tone 100 100 Roane
K4EAJ 147.12 + 0.6 Tone 82.5 82.5
N4BZJ 147.135 + 0.6 Tone 141.3 141.3 Whitfield, GA
KE4KQI 147.135 + 0.6 Tone 114.8 114.8
K4EAJ 147.15 + 0.6 Tone 82.5 82.5 Morgan
147.16 + 0.6
KC4DSY 147.165 + 0.6 Tone 82.5 82.5 Unicoi
WD4DES 147.18 + 0.6 TSQL 118.8 118.8 Bradley
W4KEV 147.195 + 0.6 Tone 118.8 118.8 Sevier
W4NGT 147.21 + 0.6 Tone 100 100 Union, GA
WB4OAH 147.225 + 0.6 Tone 141.3 141.3 Hamblen
W4GHZ 147.24 + 0.6 151.4 151.4 Mcaon, NC
KJ4SI 147.255 + 0.6 Morgan
K4LNS 147.27 + 0.6 Tone 88.5 88.5 Carter
KF4JPU 147.285 + 0.6 Bledsoe
W4BBB 147.3 + 0.6 Tone 100 100 Knox
KE4VQM 147.315 + 0.6 Tone 141.3 141.3 Monroe
WD4ORB 147.33 + 0.6 Tone 82.5 82.5
W4KEV 147.345 + 0.6 Tone 118.8 118.8
KA4OAK 147.36 + 0.6 Tone 100 100 Campbell
KA4ELN 147.375 + 0.6 Tone 123 123
K4DPD 147.39 + 0.6 Rhea

 

1.25 meters

Name Frequency Duplex Offset Tone Rx Tone Tx Tone County
AJ4G 224.12 - 1.6 Tone 100 100 Bell, KY
N4OQJ 224.22 - 1.6 Knox
KA4OAK 224.28 - 1.6 Tone 118.8 118.8 Campbell
WB4GBI 224.34 - 1.6 Knox
N4OQJ 224.38 - 1.6 Tone 100 100 Knox
K4KKH 224.4 - 1.6 Knox
K4MFD 224.44 - 1.6 Tone 118.8 118.8 Greene
N4KFI 224.46 - 1.6 Tone 100 100 Knox
KD4HZN 224.48 - 1.6 Hawkins
W4BBB 224.5 - 1.6 Tone 100 100 Blount
N4KFI 224.58 - 1.6 Tone 100 100 Knox
K4IBW 224.7 - 1.6 Tone 100 100 Knox
K4PCK 224.76 - 1.6 Tone 100 100 Knox
K4IBW 224.8 - 1.6 Tone 100 100 Knox
AC4DR 224.84 - 1.6 Tone 88.5 88.5 Roane
KD4CWB 224.86 - 1.6 Tone 100 100 Knox
WD9JGI 224.9 - 1.6 Tone 127.3 127.3 Monroe
W4WC 224.9 - 1.6 Tone 100 100 Greene
KG4LDK 224.92 - 1.6 Tone 203.5 203.5 Cocke
KB4PSI 224.94 - 1.6 Greene

 

70 centimeters

Name Frequency Duplex Offset Tone Rx Tone Tx Tone County
K4BTL 442 + 5 Tone 100 100
WM4RB 442.025 + 5 Tone 100 100
K1AT 442.1 + 5 Tone 100 100 Loudon
WX4RP 442.15 + 5 Tone 100 100
WD4DES 442.25 + 5 Tone 118.8 118.8
KG4FZR 442.275 + 5 Tone 141.3 141.3
AJ4G 442.325 + 5 Tone 100 100
WB4IVB 442.35 + 5 Tone 100 100
KA4ELN 442.4 + 5 Tone 123 123
W4KEV 442.5 + 5 Tone 100 100
K4IBW 442.6 + 5 Tone 100 100
WA4ROB 442.85 + 5 Tone 103.5 103.5
N4WT 442.9 + 5 Tone 156.7 156.7
W4OAR 442.925 + 5 Tone 100 100
AK4EZ 442.95 + 5
AA4UT 443 + 5 Tone 100 100
N4UAG 443.025 + 5
W4WVJ 443.05 + 5 Tone 100 100
KA4AZQ 443.075 + 5 Tone 100 100
K4ETN 443.1 + 5 Tone 118.8 118.8
KD4PBC 443.15 + 5 Tone 146.2 146.2
W4WC 443.2 + 5 Tone 100 100
KJ4HPM 443.225 + 5 Tone 100 100
WA4FLH 443.25 + 5 Tone 88.5 88.5
WA4KJH 443.3 + 5 Tone 100 100
KF4PVQ 443.325 + 5 Tone 141.3 141.3
W2IQ 443.45 + 5 Tone 100 100
KD4CWB 443.5 + 5 Tone 100 100
AC4JF 443.55 + 5 Tone 88.5 88.5
K4JFT 443.6 + 5 Tone 100 100 Monroe
K4IBW 443.675 + 5 Tone 100 100
KG4LHC 443.75 + 5 Tone 203.5 203.5
KD4CWB 443.8 + 5 Tone 100 100
WB4JGI 443.825 + 5
AC4JF 443.85 + 5 Tone 100 100
KE4RX 443.975 + 5 Tone 110.9 110.9
KD4CWB 444 + 5 Tone 100 100
KC4PDQ 444.075 + 5
KB4REC 444.175 + 5
K4MFD 444.2 + 5 Tone 118.8 118.8 Greene
W4NCS 444.225 + 5 Tone 100 100
W4IC 444.25 + 5 Tone 127.3 127.3
W4GZX 444.275 + 5 Tone 114.8 114.8
WB4GBI 444.3 + 5 Tone 118.8 118.8
N4KFI 444.325 + 5
AC4JF 444.35 + 5 Tone 88.5 88.5
KC4NNN 444.425 + 5
KB4REC 444.525 + 5 Tone 123 123
W4BBB 444.575 + 5 Tone 100 100
WB4NKL 444.65 + 5 Tone 100 100
K4IBW 444.675 + 5 Tone 100 100
444.7 + 5
N4CKB 444.725 + 5 Tone 146.2 146.2
K4ETN 444.75 + 5 Tone 192.8 192.8
KK4DKW 444.775 + 5 Tone 94.8 94.8
KE4FGW 444.825 + 5
N4WT 444.875 + 5 Tone 156.7 156.7
KD4TZT 444.925 + 5
UHF CALL 446 0

 

DMR

Name Frequency Duplex Offset Tone Rx Tone Tx Tone County
K4MFD 444.0375 + 5 CC 1 1 Greene
KB4REC 444.175 + 5 CC 1 1 Knox
WB4GBI 440.575 + 5 CC 1 1 Sevier

 

Weather

Name Frequency Duplex Offset Tone Rx Tone Tx Tone
WX 1 162.55
WX 2 162.4
WX 3 162.475
WX 4 162.425
WX 5 162.45
WX 6 162.5
WX 7 162.525
WX 8 161.65
WX 9 162.75
WX 10 163.275