I’ve recently been approached by multiple, unrelated parties asking me to meet with them to give them personal, hands-on instruction on how to become familiar with their Baofengs and/or assistance with “determining a good frequency to go to in a crisis.”
Before this becomes epidemic, let me stomp on the brakes on the ‘needy’ train. I don’t mean to be a jerk, and we truly want to help folks, but if anyone needs to be spoon fed on something as basic as a Baofeng handheld transceiver, they’ll never truly be an asset to the network, much less to their group or the cause. They’ll fumble through a crisis, communicating for a short while, until Murphy shows up to kick them right between the radials and then they’re done.
Our mission is to produce radio operators and maintain a network where radio operators can meet up for mutual assistance. And when problems arise, each operator must be intimate enough with his or her gear that he can get it back into operation with minimal downtime or assistance.
We MUST become self-reliant and self-motivated patriots. If all you have is a shortwave SSB receiver, then own it and master it. The same goes for a Baofeng, a CB radio, a scanner, or any other piece of communications gear in your inventory.
We’ve provided a wide range of materials, resources, and tools, and we’re working on more (on the way). This is how we meet you half way. Now, meet us half way.
STEPS – this is what I say to every workshop I teach:
1. Watch Comms Up! and Comms Up! 2
2. Take ownership of your comms gear.
Go to https://www.amrron.com/communications-resources/communications-resources-2/ and scroll down to ‘Baofeng Tutorial Videos & Tools’
3. Go through and/or download each of those resources that we’ve researched, compiled, and made available. Print the PDFs.
4. Become proficient with your comms gear, to the level that you can teach others.
5. Acquire a copy of the SOI https://www.amrron.com/2014/01/28/communications-soi-signals-operating-instructions-2/
6. Begin participating in practice nets: https://www.amrron.com/nets-regional-national/amrron-local-nets/
7. …and if there is not one in your area, start one: https://amrron.com/net-resourcestools/join-or-start-a-net/
Now that you’re cringing and afraid to ask for help, let me back up and regroup… I have said many times, “If you need help, just ask. We want to help you.” However, I want to strongly encourage you to take advantage of the resources available to you. We want you to work through issues, figure it out, achieve victories and make strides and progress in your journey. This is all unfamiliar and new to many of you. We understand that. But make a diligent effort to work through problems, overcome obstacles, scratch your head and figure things out, and dig for solutions. You’ll be amazed at how much progress you’ll make, all the while reinforcing that self-reliance that is so necessary for us to be resilient people. Then, when you’ve tried and truly need assistance, PLEASE ASK. That’s the kind of patriot I will bend over backwards to help, and so will the other AmRRON operators.
Finally, remember “Youtube is your friend!” The resources there are abundant — A college-level education on radio communications for free, and it’s only a mouse click away! But you gotta want it enough. If you don’t, we won’t hand it to you on a silver platter.
Now you have your marching orders. Get your comms up! -JJS