When Ham Radio Matters

Which it does, right now, in Hawaii.  Hurricane Lane is taking a swipe at the islands from the south-southwest:

With up to 30″ inches of rain coming, a lot of the island’s infrastructure may be damaged.  The American Radio Relay League – the largest of the ham radio organizations – has radio gear ready for deployment.  Some of the equipment is part of Ham Aid which provides for drop-in equipment for just this sort of thing.

It’s also notable that US amateur radio operators are not the only ones who help when comms go down.  Pay attention to how “Kerala, India, Flooding: Radio Amateurs Assist Rescue Operations...”

Other than a donation to Ham Aid, there’s one other thing you can do to support ham radio worldwide:  Due to budget cuts, the FedGov has plans to shut down the US-operated international time and frequency standard stations on shortwave.  Stations WWV and WWVH are on the block.

If you wouldn’t mind, please click over to the White House website and sign the petition to “Maintain funding for NIST stations WWV & WWVH.”  It’s free.

People who aren’t radio operators don’t appreciate that for some missions (time and frequency standards being two) there is no substitute for HF radio  It gets through when it’s raining like hell and that 50th state of ours will be up and down today due to “precipitation absorption” on things like satellite (TV and sat-phones) for the next day or three.

So please sign.  I think the current president is inclined to support first=responders more than others may have in the past and this one matters.  Thank you.

Another “Shake of Cooling”:

As we have been mentioning for some months now, as the Earth goes through a solar low, as Cycle 24 is over and we’re awaiting the ramp up of Solar Cycle 25, a lot of very good science has been warning in this period we would likely see a lot more earthquake activity around the Pacific Rim.

And sure enough, this morning we’re looking at another 7+ – this time down in Peru:

War Between  the Plates

The US Geological Survey has a very good map (PDF, Here, large, slow-loading) that you may reference.

But the high-level view is that the plate on which South America sits is smashing into the Nazca Plate which, down into Chile is impacting.

Of course, you can’t just smash on one side of the Pacific Ring of Fire without there being consequences.  And the two largest in recent times were the 9+ quakes on the southwest side of the Ring (Banda Ache, Boxing Day) and the 9+ off of Japan that gave the world “gifts” like Fukushima.

I apologize if the Thursday column on linkages between earthquakes and hurricanes was a bit too academic, but if you haven’t see it, reader Hank out in Hawaii (a ham radio op on the Big Island, BTW) who’s a retired broadcast TV (and news) engineer relates his story about quakes and hurricanes:

“I have observed the passing of two hurricanes near to the Big Island that have triggered earthquakes with their close pass. Around 4 to 5 magnitude if I recall. The volcano seems to have reached a pressure equilibrium now that the summit collapse earthquakes and lava flows have stopped. We have had two small quakes in the volcano area, around 2.6 magnitude, in the past two days. I keep watching for a bigger one as the storm bears closer to the west side of the Big Island.”

We weren’t blowing smoke.  Hank goes on to correctly point out that there’s no specific crustal fractures around Hawaii because it is a “mantel hot spot.”

That said, we can save you the trouble of hitting the usual assortment of “doom porn” sites today by simply laying out a “worst-case” for the increasingly pressured Pacific Plate.

Imagine waking up one morning to the following sequence of events:

  • There has been a 10+ earthquake in Chile or southern Peru.
  • At about the same time, a 10+ hits the Western US.
  • And all of this is caused by a rip in the vicinity of Hawaii as the Pacific Plate breaks in two.
  • Other than Hawaii dropping 20-50 feet of elevation, and the massive damage in the trillions of dollars, this might also trigger the long-feared quake on the Island of La Palma on the Atlantic side.  A day later, a massive tsunami hits the Eastern US (basically washing over Florida and scrubbing it off) while the FedGov reels to maintain continuity due to the 70- surge up the Chesapeake Bay/.

No, we’re not predicting this will happen in anyone living’s lifetime.  We’re just laying out the extremely low statistical probabilities to save you hunting for the DDODP (daily dose of doom pron).  Still, given that there are lakes along the Pacific well over 7,000 feet that were once down at sea-level, and the evidence is they moved in less than a month – we’re comfortable penciling out the worst.

Except, even that doesn’t capture it.  Because with such global bell-ringing effects, the New Madrid could let loose with a now-due 8+.  So, now imagine the wrecked West Coast, scrubbed-off Eastern Seaboard cities galore, and every bridge, pipeline, railroad, and power-line crossing the mid-section of the country broken.

Now you see why we live in a perpetual state of “Prepped” around here at almost 600 feet of elevation and a bit of food around for the longer-term.  We’ve developed a habit of eating a couple of meals per day, and until we pass over to the Big Sleep, it would be nice to keep up the route.

We now return you to the statistically more probable craziness of the day…

Durable Goods

Just out…some of the first evidence of what we’ve been hand-wringing about:  At what point will the Trump-bump begin to fade only to be followed by a 20%, or so, market correction?  The Durable Goods Report from Census argues this may not be a “pause that refreshes…”

New Orders
New orders for manufactured durable goods in July decr eased $4.3 billion or 1.7 percent to $246.9 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today. This decrease , down three of the last four months, followed a 0.7 percent June increase. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.2 percent. Excluding defense, new orders decreased 1.0 percent. Transportation equipment, also down three of the last four months, drove the decrease, $4.6 billion or 5. 3 percent to $82.8 billion.
Shipments of manufactured durable goods in July , down following two consecutive monthly increases, decreased $0.5 billion or 0.2 percent to $250.8 billion. This followed a 1.6 percent June increase. Transportation equipment, down three of the last four months, drove the decrease, $1.6 billion or 1.9 percent to $83.9 billion.
Unfilled Orders
Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods in July, up eight of the last nine months, increased $0.1 billion or virtually unchanged to $1,1 64.7 billion. This followed a 0.3 percent June increase.
As a picture:

After the report, the stock market looked set to bounce a bit.  Dow futures were still up 57 on the Dow, but not everyone’s smart enough to read UrbanSurvival, I reckon.  As I mentioned in the Monday column, there’s a chance this could be “peak week.”  We shall see…

We wouldn’t get too wildly bullish in here.  There’s still a hurricane, there’s still Mueller, and the wild-cards are flying hot and heavy in several corners of our “current threats” quad-chart.

Growing Evidence of Social Insanity

We’ve long-suspected that the advent of uncensored social media would be a very, very bad thing.  And sure enough, seems like more people than every at acting-out egregious behaviors.  Let’s go on this morning’s psychiatric rounds, shall we?

Florida judge retires after calling attorney a racial slur

Virginia father, whose young son was found dead inside dryer, charged with assaulting boy’s mother.

Woman held captive by South Carolina killer awarded $6.3M.

And get ready for a fresh slew of “Bitcoin going to the Moon” stories as the SEC to review decision rejecting bitcoin ETFs.

Yes, we live in a world where we CAN question “givens” (like a child’s gender) but we CAN’T question made-up Digital Tulips.

Yes, we’re in the midst of a Webolution and Digital Mob Rule Uprising…something to think about while you’re canning veggies this weekend, eh?

More Info-Ops are Coming…

An important bit of background-thinking from our military affairs contributor warhammer

“BuzzFeed News is reporting that “up to a dozen” major tech companies will meet in San Fran to discuss ways of countering intrusion in the commercial information environment.

U.S. Joint Publication 3-13, titled “Information Operations,” (link here: http://www.jcs.mil/Portals/36/Documents/Doctrine/pubs/jp3_13.pdf) defines the information environment as . . .

“ . . . the aggregate of individuals, organizations, and systems that collect, process, disseminate, or act on information. This environment consists of three interrelated dimensions, which continuously interact with individuals, organizations, and systems. These dimensions are known as physical, informational, and cognitive. The physical dimension is composed of command and control systems, key decision makers, and supporting infrastructure that enable individuals and organizations to create effects. The informational dimension specifies where and how information is collected, processed, stored, disseminated, and protected. The cognitive dimension encompasses the minds of those who transmit, receive, and respond to or act on information.”

There’s an interesting quote highlighted in the above pub, which states there is a war out there, old friend – a World War.  And it’s not about whose got the most bullets; it’s about who controls the information.” (Cosmo, 1992 Film “Sneakers”).

  • This ‘war’ is as much internal to the United States as it is external.  External ‘influence’ fuels internal dissent, weakening American power abroad.  Internally, divisive politics and divergent political philosophies result in self-inflicted wounds to the country’s reputation.  The Democrat party is fundamentally treating Republicans similarly to how the Soviets treated Americans during the Cold War, and the feeling is pretty much mutual for the GOP.

At a root level, America is under siege from within and without.  Internal squabbling is fueling the fire lit by the info ops of external adversaries, who then capture and deploy the vitriolic political rancor as propaganda abroad.  Think of it a ‘assisted suicide.’

The MSM is entirely complicit in the info ops strategy.  Media bites on anything juicy, no matter if it contains time-released poison that might eventually unzip the national order.  So foreign info ops are aided by a complicit media, adding still more gas to the bonfire.

You see where this is going.  Either the U.S. will experience a unforgiving information clamp down, inflicting pervasive censorship on all external and internal media, or America will unzip at the seams  from infighting and ceaselessly hostile diatribe which will eventually lead to domestic civil war.

Interesting times indeed!

Which is why though we continue to feed the odd bit to our social media, we’ve stuck-by-our-guns.  Maintaining our own servers and not being co-opted, though it’s been personal financial suicide-lite compared to the short-term bennies of a high social profile.   Notwithstanding, integrity does have a price but the benefits are coming over the horizon now..

SO…More prepping articles this weekend, of course, and there’s our Peoplenomics premium content Saturday’s for the grown-ups.

Do try to spend a few minutes in the sun this weekend.  Nothing worse after Labor Day than a sunburn, so start the slow ramp-up now,..

Moron the ‘morrow, then…

12 thoughts on “When Ham Radio Matters”

  1. One doesn’t need an actual ham radio license to enjoy some of the benefits.

    EVERYbody can afford a simple (or old and used) scanner that covers the two-meter ham band. Our huge fleet of local repeaters, often built with emergency power and “ruggedized” methods, provide coverage over typically county or multi-county wide areas. The hams chatter and participate in organized emergency “nets” (or messaging groups), and are one’s BEST and fastest source of local intel — “what’s happening…”

    Ask a local ham what the various repeater’s frequencies are — there usually won’t be too many; maybe ten or a dozen — and put those in your scanner for the best local and immediate intel that can be had.

    Yeah, the FedGov services like NOAA do a lot, and the local TV and radio stations do ok — them that ain’t fully automated, and just dispensing the usual canned and irrelevant Krappe from distant places.

    But ham radio is your BEST source of local information. Being able to (legally) talk with us is even better, but just listening in will do you a world of applicable good.

    Remember now: “two-meter FM” is the mode you want to be using for listening in. Before you buy, be certain the scanner covers that.

    That’s 144 to 148 megaHertz, FM.

    (…and no, we’re not encrypted, and “digital” is still a lab curio for us. We talk plainly, out in plain ear-shot.)

    “73” as we say. Means “Best Wishes.”

    have a look at this:

    It has a low-power transmitter, so when and if you do get your license, you’ll be all set to go as a beginner ham.

    Get this book, too, if you want more than the minimum one day:

    • Great points! Two meter is great for the local stuff, but having an HF receiver can give you a much longer range perspective. Obviously, having both makes the most sense. I’ve been holding off on getting a license since I really don’t know what to say. My comments here can and are edited carefully for content and relevance. I don’t have the same ability with voice.

      • NM Mike, don’t hold back, go get your license build a station and listen to how it works and when you’re ready answer someone’s CQ. You’ll find it quite easy not to stray into conversation mine fields. There is so much more to talk about. Learn morse code and operate CW, it is absolutely worth the effort. Cheers and 73s. Joel

    • Thanks again. Went online and readily found local groups and a list of local repeaters which I WROTE DOWN.

      Saw an article on one website about the care of one of the repeaters and what the group had to do to repair the equipment and building when someone stole the batteries fed from the solar array on the roof.

      These sound like the kind of people I want to get to know. I’m new to the area I’m in and this is very useful.

    • Oh Donald is worse than his own enemy. His shortened name, Don is what he really aspires to be. The Don of his own private mafia inside his fantasy world/reality show mind. He tries to sound tough, act tough and even threaten like a tough mobster…but he is too weak, too vulnerable and too stupid to actually execute any type of Mob like results….unless you call not paying bills, and paying off porn stars results.

      He tries to insulate himself with mob like protection to cover up his daily foibles, (Michael Cohen the fixer)but treats those around him with such disrespect that they end up eventually turning on him.

      He had Michael Cohens respect, but crapped on him so much that Cohen had to protect himself. He had Omarosa’s respect, but was so out of control, she had to protect herself. He has Sessions respect, but has destroyed that relationship. He had David Peckers and Weisselbergs respect, but they now have to protect themselves first, based on the many sloppy mistakes and screw ups that Trump has gotten himself into.

      About the latter two…You aren’t just granted immunity unless you were part of a crime and are willing to give up info on who you participated in that crime with. Let’s just say they aren’t getting immunity for unpaid parking tickets.

      I could go on with Manafort and Gates and others that have uniformly turned on this vile creature of a President. All the aforementioned people that originally associated themselves with him thought they were getting in on a winning team, only to find out he is a bumbling, egotistical con man. The deeper they got, the more they felt compromised and well, we have the situation we are in now. How could these psuedo henchmen have not known based on his prior reputation in New York, that he was a complete idiot?

      Back to point…Mueller needed the seized records of Manafort, Gates and Cohen to get to Weisselberg and Pecker. They hold the key to impeachment now…especially Weisselberg. He has the financials that can cook Trumps goose. It’s much deeper than campaign finance. The markets sense it too. I said earlier this week that a Trump resignation will have a positive impact on our economy and the markets. It’s the celebration of the wicked witch is dead syndrome…In this case…It’s the Wicked Wacko…

  2. George. Dems treating R’s poorly? MSM complicit? Ha. That’s rich. With Your Guy just on Fox Disinformation saying the Market will collapse if the corruption investigations not stopped.

    Well, at the least, yet another convincing display of innocence from The Cesspool.

    Are we worried? Note that Obama increased it almost 20x more. And Trump did it by borrowing $2.0 trillion of stimulus (in good times). And polluting ground water.

    Best, Mike.

  3. This is why I’m currently studying to upgrade my Tech(Plus) license. My initial motivation was that my daughter was caught in Irma and had her house destroyed last September. The inability to communicate with the USVI was an eye opener. That was my first push to upgrade. Hopefully I’ll pass in the next month or so.

  4. No big quakes on the Big Island (so far). Lots of little ‘shudders’ in the 2.7 or less range, but these mountains are constantly settling and it is more or less ‘normal’ action. I suspect that our last big 6.9 quake in May that triggered the subsequent eruption and settling pretty much relieved all the stress in the volcano for now. And Hurricane Lane is farther away offshore of this island than I have seen in previous close passes that have triggered earthquakes here.

    My storm total is 17″ rain so far. Hilo is flooding with runoff from above. Some highways closed due to landslides north of Hilo. Honolulu is shut down and waiting for the worst. The storm has slowed to only a couple miles per hour, which gives it time to weaken, but as it sits there motionless it continues to sling rain bands across the whole island chain. For the Hams, the ARRL “Hawaii QSO Party” starts tonight. Dandy time to contact some Hawaii hams that are hunkered by their radios.

  5. My intention is only to relate a recent experience with a ham radio operator. During our non-ham conversation, the conversation turned political and whether a sitting President could be indicted. The term impeachment followed, I inquired whether he would take up arms over an impeachment. His response was not solo only in a group.

    This take nothing away from the good ham operators can and do, do. It only reflects a voiced opinion of a single man. My opinion of this man’s character on a whole was favorable, although I had my own reasons not to accept his political leanings. As a human being, in my short exposure to him, he seemed to exhibit the quality of a good neighbor.

    It is this quandary that deeply conflicts the reasonableness of the American psyche. It may show the extent, of the lack of faith in the American political system to govern for all that our country may have reached.

  6. I am not a ham operator, but some great points were made in the article and comments. I signed the petition.

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