Last night was my first time “responding” as a radio operator, and I did okay. But not great. I had two successes and one major – actually, debilitating – failure.
I went to a mini-activation of Ham radio emergency volunteers, in a parking lot in Ballard. It was great to meet my fellow disaster enthusiasts! I have a Ham license, but I’m not yet a member of the official volunteer group, the Auxiliary Communications Service. (Training on January 24!)
Success #1: I had a notebook and pen in my pocket to write down the radio frequencies that we were supposed to use.
Success #2: I had a battery-operated headlamp (with working batteries) so I could see my notebook to write down the frequencies.
MAJOR DEBILITATING FAILURE: I did not know how to program the “tone code” into my radio that would allow me to transmit on the assigned frequencies. Whoops! Imagine my dismay when I realized that if this were a real activation, I would be unable to communicate – I would be cut off and useless – even though I was holding my radio in my hands!
Never again. Came home, opened the manual, figured it out, and practiced! [Proof: On my Yaesu FT-60R: Function key => 1 (Set Squelch Type = “Tone”); Function key => 2 (Set Code = assigned code).] Not difficult, but if you don’t know, you don’t know!
I’m looking forward to the next drill! #proudtoprepare