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May 09 2015

strangeutensil876

Radio 101: Operating Two-Way Radios Every Day and in Emergencies

Two-way radio communication may seem like a thing of the past with smart phones and the availability of more advanced technology. However, with the recent frequency of natural disasters, storms, and other emergency situations, more attention is being paid to radios as a reliable form of communication and a possible back-up communication option, including amateur radio operators.

Image courtesy: Decatur County Amateur Radio Club

For example, the Times of India reports that the recent monsoon flooding disaster in the northern India state of Uttarakhand in July 2013 has prompted officials in other flood-prone regions to establish Amateur Radio facilities to provide emergency communication.

What are two-way radios andhow do they work?

Two-way-radioImage: Amateur radio equipment. Image courtesy of the American Radio Relay League.

According to Wikipedia,

A two-way radio is a radio that can both transmit and receive (a transceiver), unlike a broadcast receiver which only receives content. A two-way radio (transceiver) allows the operator to have a conversation with other similar radios operating on the same radio frequency (channel).

Two-way radios are available in mobile, stationary base and hand-held portable configurations. Hand-held radios are often called walkie-talkies or handie-talkies.

Radio 101

9780160910012A recent training publication produced by the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health called Radio 101: Operating Two-Way Radios Every Day and in Emergencies provides training materials on how to operate two-way radios. Included are an instructor’s guide, a DVD with a power point presentation and a student handbook. These training materials practice what they preach, in that they are brief, straightforward and concise– just as two-way radio conversations need to be.

While many of the scenarios used throughout the training materials apply to miners and situations where miners would need to use two-way radios, the information is generic enough that it is applicable to any emergency.

Two-way Tips

The information provided in the training materials seems like common sense, but there are a few important tips to consider when using two-way radio communication in an emergency situation:

Less is more. Be brief and efficient; know what you are going to say before using the radio so you do not tie up the channel while you are thinking of what to say.

Don’t mind your manners. It is not necessary to be polite, saying “please” and “thank you.”

Repetition rocks. Repeat back information you receive to confirm that you heard the correct information.

No privacy policy. Be aware that conversations are not private on these open channels and may be heard by others picking up your frequency. However, this downside is a big plus in emergency broadcasts and SOS situations where the operator wants as many people possible to be listening in to be able to pick up and relay his message.

License to Help

To operate an amateur two-way radio in the United States requires taking a test and obtaining a license from the FCC (Federal Communications Commission). The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) is the national association for amateur radio (also called ham radio with operators being called “hams”) in the US and “provides hams and non-hams the resources to learn, get licensed, and help others on the air.”

Amateur-Radio-Emergency-ServiceAlready have your amateur radio license and want to help your community? Check out the ARRL’s Public Service page for training, resources, manuals and more. The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) consists of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes.

Recently, the American Radio Relay League hosted their national Field Day where amateur radio clubs across the country gathered locally to test their radio equipment and practice communication strategies in the event of an emergency. Learn more about Field Day.

Rules of the Radio



Together with the Radio 101 training guide, two-way radio operators who want to learn the “rules of the radio” often buy the latest United States Frequency Allocations: The Radio Spectrum Chart (shown below). This poster shows through color codes the parts of the radio spectrum that are allocated to each type of radio service, including amateur (ham) radio, commercial radio and television broadcasting, radio navigation, mobile, satellite, and others.

9780160908958Finally, the definitive sources of radio regulations, frequencies and procedures can be found in the Manual of Regulations and Procedures for Federal Radio Frequency Management and the Code of Federal Regulations Title 47 (FCC Rules and Regulations).

It is important to be prepared in any situation and not rely on only one form of communication. Thus, it is comforting to know that amateur radio operators are working on behalf of their communities to help during emergency situations.

Source - http://govbooktalk.gpo.gov/2013/07/10/radio-101-operating-two-way-radios-every-day-and-in-emergencies/

Tags: 2 way radio

December 05 2014

strangeutensil876

The Extended Street Home: Radios employed in Transport systems as well as Fleets

According to the UK Government, there were an estimated 5.2 billion bus passenger journeys undertaken on our roads in 2011/2012. Public and private transportation is not only big business; it is also of massive importance to the smooth running of the country.

Whilst only 14% of the UK’s 25 million commuters travel to work by bus or train, this still accounts for over 1.7 million people. In order for a country this reliant on public transport to survive and thrive, it is absolutely imperative that transport workers can communicate with each other in a quick, efficient manner, fuelling an industry that, by necessity, spans the length and breadth of the nation.

Two-way radios provide the solutions to this monumental challenge.

Rail, bus, here make use of two-way radios in order to keep up to speed with vital information. Drivers and managers can easily contact command and control centres, as well as liaising with depot staff and even customers, all due to using their radios. Together with integrated GPS systems, radios help transport and fleet workers to track deliveries in real time, as well as informing would-be passengers or commuters of any delays or early arrivals.

But it isn’t just truckers making deliveries, commuters travelling to and from work and trains running on time. Public transport is one of the most important aspects of the tourism industry, itself a large part of Britain’s economy. Visitors flock from almost every country on Earth in order to visit popular sites like Stonehenge, The The Tower of London, Buckingham Palace and the beautiful city of Bath. Without a reliable public transport system, our tourism industry would be seriously harmed.



So, in order to keep things running as smoothly as possible, all relevant personnel are equipped with a two-way radio so that they can keep in direct contact with their colleagues, peers and managers. This also allows for speedy customer service, as well as up-to-date and reliable information.

Health and safety is also a huge concern regarding public transport and, since the tragedy of the London bombings 8 years ago, security is also a large issue. Workers specializing in either area find their radios to be among the most vital of their tools.

Transport companies employ a veritable army of security staff, as well as first-aiders all of whom are connected via rugged and reliable two-way radios.



Without radios, the country’s public transport system could very well come to a standstill. The roads and railways of Britain are, at least in some ways, kept in operation via a network of two-way radios.

you can find the original article here

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