Discussion of general interest including club business and events. Please post ARES discussion in the SC4ARES group.
Question: Flock of FT-8900s
January 12, 2020 at 09:54 #10934
I’ve been asked to help Puente ( and by extension the P. HS ) get their radio scene back together. I am told there are 2 licensed amateurs on Puente staff.
Lisa @ Puente sent me a photo of the rig at Puente, and I think it’s a FT-8900. I believe this is the same radio Bob used at during last year’s Sequoia Century for coast-side communication. She’s co-coordinating with the highschool to get me the info as well.
As Puente would be effectively managing the Shelter down there they are hoping to get their radio comms returned to some readily manageable state.
The Venerable Lee from HMB related a story about a handful of these radios being distributed down the coast via a OES grant a few years ago. He suggested I ask this group for some context.
And I’m wondering if the context would come with a suitable programming cable I could borrow for a refresh. or if one was provisioned with the original kit.
I’ve ordered a cable just in case.
What am I planning on doing?
– double checking that the installed memories are up to date WRT channel plan
– double checking that scan banks are set up
– repackaging in a milk crate or some darn thing as opposed to laying about at odd angles on book cases / jammed in spare cardboard boxes
– providing the CERT section I&II repeater ‘map’
– figuring out a 1-pager ops cheat sheet. ( turn on – tune in – listen – scan-as-best-you-can )
– stretch goal: winlink. I’m looking at inexpensive TNC things to donate. it’s a windows ecology AFAIK so that’ll be awkward 4 me.
and I’m open to advice.
this will be happening within the span of the next 2 weeks.January 12, 2020 at 12:40 #10935Mary, AF6IEParticipant
Hi Casey: WOW ..So great to have a bunch of folks working the Pescadero/Butano area now!
I would like to take this chance to remind the relatively new folks to our club: We need to think in terms of the incident command system at all times. This may seem to be inapplicable to projects and events, but it is always a good idea so it becomes reflex when seriously needed.
Application in this incident: We do have, of course, an extremely competent Radio Officer who undoubtedly will be able to answer all your questions and should be consulted for the go-ahead and direction of this project. He, in turn, would take the issue to the board to establish a committee to handle the project.
I believe Peter is out of town right now, and you may be waiting for his return to do just what I suggested or have already done so. But I did think this was a good opportunity to remind folks of the hopefully orderly process that should be implemented.
And thanks so much, Casey, for your continuing enthusiastic support of all things SCR4 ❤️January 12, 2020 at 13:18 #10936Peter, KI6FAO (treasurer)Moderator
Puente purchased their FT-8900 and two or three FT-60 handy talkies for their staff. They could probably use an update on their programming as I can’t remember the last time I saw those. I’m guessing more than 2 years ago.
The Pescadero high school radio (an FT-8900,) power supply and antenna are owned by SC4ARC and have our asset tags on them. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to coordinate any changes to club assets.
There are a couple of Yaesu FT-5100 mobiles with power supplies and antennas in the Pescadero and Loma Mar fire stations that were purchased by Pescadero Emergency Preparedness back around 1999 with grant money. PEP and PMAC now consider those to be SC4ARC’s property and responsibility although there’s limited site access to test or to service them. They’re in rough shape and these old models have limited ability to be programmed. I would not count on any of that hardware being operational if we are called to staff those locations.January 13, 2020 at 07:21 #10945Neil, W6VGParticipant
I’d be happy to help with the Puente radios. I have cables, manuals, etc for both 8900 and FT-60s and a lot of experience using them. I also have one-pagers for basic programming. We could also make up “faceplate” diagrams like we use for Field Day HF radios.January 24, 2020 at 09:06 #10987
I’m surfing on-going schedule waves with this get go.
Mary thanks for introducing me to the idea of a radio_officer. Said radio officer is rather busy at all times, no?
Hi Radio Officer Peter. I now understand the hat in your profile. Thanks for the backgrounder.
strong>Peter if you would rather I hold off on all this just say so. The deal here is that I’m a known factor to them and they’re rather comfortable asking me for help. This issue came up in the Red Cross shelter training I attended at Puente this fall and this activity is follow-through. I didn’t realize there was a great deal of ceremony involved.
Otherwise here’s what I’ll do. It’s all simple stuff w/in my range of skills and licensing. This is a modified version of the OP list.
- Today I’ll visit Puente and catalog what they have. This is the first I heard about handhelds. I’ll also see who, aside from Rita, is licensed, and get their contact info.
- I’ve built out a CHIRP file with the Sept 2019 Coastside Channel Plan, acquired from Lee. I may also do an RT Systems file.
- I’ll deliver a thumb drive w/recent CHIRP, the 8900 manual, and various supporting documents (the HMB list of repeaters they hand out to CERT, this group’s list of repeaters )
- At Puente find the gear, ensure that its running. I may do some radio checks from Puente.
- download the current programming from the Puente 8900 and compare to the Coastside channel plan, put that on the thumb drive w/copy on my laptop
- write up the differences
the folks at Puente had hoped I could look at the School’s setup today, but now they also have schedule problems. If I do get over there I will just catalog and assess, and since it’s club gear turn it on if it looks viable and do another radio check. ( by viable I also mean following the feed line to the antenna to see if it’s still hooked up ) If the radio is in bits and pieces I will assemble it into a working configuration for said radio check. I won’t update the school radio channel plan.
Niel, given that you have suitable gear how about I get some following dates from Puente for a joint visit? I very much like the idea of my not writing one-pagers, as do most sensible people. If you have the 8900 one-pager in their original format Puente is interested in translating them to Spanish.
I have a PMAC meeting over there at 3:30, so this adventure will be proceeding that, most likely around 1:30ish. ( I had a different meeting over there yesterday but that didn’t allow this radio stuff to happen, and of course Puente is a rather active organization )
Neil if you’re available on such short notice you would be a great asset. LMK.January 24, 2020 at 11:33 #10988Peter, KI6FAO (treasurer)Moderator
A reminder to all of our club members that the official Coastside Communication Plan may be found on our website under Information ▷ Coastside Communication Plan in both printable (PDF) format and downloadable (CSV) format for programming. That list is kept current and is coordinated with San Mateo Co. OES.January 29, 2020 at 12:19 #10994
Update, `cuz I’m back and it’s time:
The Puente 8900 has
- a slightly outdated plan
- a broken knob ( actually the stem is broken, not just the knob )
- a precarious spot
- the antenna’s radials have been bonked / truncated, which is a natural side effect of its location. They are lopsided, with the longest remaining element pointing NNE.
I just received the serial number of the 8900 so I’ll open a ticket with Yaesu repair on behalf of Puente.
This upcoming Monday I’ll be returning to:
- add the CLARA stuff
- move CMD11 ( writing this from memory, my reconciliation notes are elsewhere today )
- add a head extension cable and 3rd party mount
- get the nearest Windows box configured w/CHIRP/USB et al.
- Meet the other licensed Puente operator
- double check the FT-60r HTs; they look to have what I think of as “Peter’s HT setup” but I’m not sure. One was produced while I was there and the others were in hiding or something.
and with any luck go to the H.S. to _asses_ the current state of play.
I’ll wrap up this thread with a note on what I find, and our Officers can decide if any further action at the H.S. is warranted.
I am holding off right now on winlink @ Puente
Disclaimer: I’m doing this as a Pescadero neighbor, and not as a representative of this club. In fact the club has only come up in answering the “…where do these repeaters come from?” question one gets.
edit: correct location of further action
January 29, 2020 at 12:21 #10996
- This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by Casey, KA5WAX.
Neil: you want to come along this upcoming Monday?January 29, 2020 at 12:23 #10997
There are a couple of Yaesu FT-5100 mobiles with power supplies and antennas in the Pescadero and Loma Mar fire stations that were purchased by Pescadero Emergency Preparedness back around 1999 with grant money. PEP and PMAC now consider those to be SC4ARC’s property and responsibility although there’s limited site access to test or to service them. They’re in rough shape and these old models have limited ability to be programmed. I would not count on any of that hardware being operational if we are called to staff those locations.
Thanks @Peter, no clue about those and I’m considering those out of scope for this Puente ask.
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