Shaine L. Mata Blog


At Home

We had a peaceful weekend. Nothing much going on at home. We mostly took care of a few errands and caught up on the Crisis on Infinite Earths tv crossover on the CW. On particular treat Alma and I had was that we were able to sleep in on Sunday morning. Typically, she and I are away by 7 am or so. However, this time we woke up way past that. I must admit to feeling refreshed as if I finally got enough rest. On the down side, it does cause the body to ache a bit.

Amateur Radio

I was able to learn a bit more about amateur radio. My license won't post for a few more days. In the meantime, I am programming all the local repeaters into the Retevis RT3S. I am considering replacing the GMRS radio in my car for a dual band radio. This would allow me to monitor ham bands and GMRS.

Similarly, I am also looking at network radios for my family. I suppose it is always possible that a major disaster that wipes out mobile service could happen. However, such an event is unlikely, given our history. Network radios rely on LTE or lower mobile services to carry communications. WiFi also serves as a backbone to carry communications. Except for remote places, we are likely to remain within service areas most of the time. Ultimately, my interest in radio is one of safety. The ham license is partially for communication and partially to develop a network of people who could provide assistance, locally or outside of the region. The distant contacts are on Zello and possibly even on DMR. Although, to not deceive myself, if network radios are in service, so would mobile phones. Thus, there is no real advantage for network radios over regular mobile phones. They are one and the same. As for DMR, it works well with a repeater, less well without, and requires an Internet connection for distant communications. Therefore, in an emergency situation, DMR would at least provide local communications.

Also of interest are Fusion radios. These are both analog and digital. They have some of the same features as DMR, in terms of linking repeaters and talk groups. In addition, Fusion includes APRS beaconing. DMR is capable of messaging too. However, I think Fusion may have a better implementation. The tradeoff is that Yaesu radios are a bit more costly.

Whichever way I go, it will be some time. With the holidays coming up, we are a bit tight on the budget. Furthermore, I already have a handset capable of DMR over a repeater, and GMRS radios. I think I can manage.