Universal Communications

B. Dean Berry

Moderator
May 25, 2014
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77
11
I am launching a new effort to get all of us on the same page in the field. I'm terming this "The 7's Initiative".



Storm chasers and spotters have long used two-way radio communications to keep in touch, most commonly amateur radio on a simplex channel of 146.550MHz. While this is well-known and universal, it implies that users have passed an FCC license exam.

This initiative uses incredibly cheap, widely-available equipment that is available at every sporting goods store, big-box retailer, and WalMart, anywhere in the country, and requires no license to use. This initiative is based around commonly-available FRS/GMRS radios.



This plan encourages all storm chasers and spotters to use FRS/GMRS channel 7, with a code of 7. All FRS/GMRS radios have the same channel 7, and the vast majority of all Cobra, Midland, Uniden, and Motorola radios of this nature feature the same code 7. These codes will be referred to as CTCSS, Privacy Codes, Quiet Codes, or Interference Eliminator Codes, but they all mean the same thing - CTCSS.

This is a medium that can be used for talkaround, safety, or information sharing. It would require no license test or fees, and is supremely easy to use.

For GMRS licensees, who also have access to these channels with commercial radios, the channel programming information is as follows:

Frequency - 462.7125MHz simplex
PL Tone - 85.4Hz
Bandwidth - 12.5KHz narrowband

Hope to hear people out there in the future!
 
Apr 25, 2009
64
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Scottsdale, AZ
We've used FRS radios for years when convoying, even when all involved are hams. But, we use CTCSS to *eliminate* hearing other chasers, and would go to a channel they are *not* on if necessary - since CTCSS only eliminates distracting transmissions (and only if they don't use the same one), it does not prevent interference.

The information processing requirements in serious chasing are high enough that having yet one more source of interruption seems like a bad idea.

If people were disciplined and only used it for emergency or safety important information, fine. But if people were disciplined - storm chasers in particular - we'd have a lot less of the crazy activities we see from so many chasers.
 

B. Dean Berry

Moderator
May 25, 2014
259
77
11
Well, this idea does not replace the idea of convoy comms. This is pretty much the open line to everyone else. I can see this being particularly useful during convergence.
 

B. Dean Berry

Moderator
May 25, 2014
259
77
11
I am pleased to announce that I have created a Sprint Direct Connect Plus (SDC+) talkgroup for StormTrack field communications. This is hosted on a business enterprise account, and anyone with a subscriber account for Sprint Direct Connect Plus (SDC+) can be added to the talkgroup. This is the Plus version of Sprint Direct Connect, relying on Kodiak's platform for PTT services, and is certified to Mission Critical standards.

Note that Sprint Direct Connect Now (the SDC legacy product based on Qualcomm's service) are not able to be used with this service.

If you wish to be added to this talkgroup, please send me a private message.