Paging all Hams : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

I live in Southern Indiana and after the rollover will want to communicate with family in a 60 or 70 mile radius, and some friends down south. Ham seems to be the logical alternative but I don't know anything about it.We have a small solar system so power won't be a problem. I read somewhere that Radio Shack sells a handheld portable unit that is good, is it? How hard is the test? Can you really communicate from out here in the booney's to anywhere in the world? Is this interconnected system going to make it through the rollover? Or is this a waste of money? I'm posting this on TB2000 also. Thanks in advance!

-- server too busy (too much@of the, August 25, 1999


Get a good CB. Go to and bid on a 200 watt or bigger linear amp. Don't use the amp; it is illegal. 200 watts will get you 60-70 miles, if the other end has 200 watts...

even more after dark.

-- Fat_C (, August 25, 1999.


Check out the past threads on this forum (the prep forum) and also the main TimeBomb2000 forum in the "old messages" category --- quite a bit of good info directly addressing your inquiry. When you read those threads you'll know why the advice to buy a HT (to use with the repeater nets) or a CB rig (even with high power) is not the way to go.

I will be starting a Y2K ham radio Net (equivalent to an internet discussion group such as this) hopefully within several weeks.

Good luck,


-- William J. Schenker, MD (, August 25, 1999.


Thank you for assuming the responsibility of coordinating a Y2K ham radio network. I have had my ham license for several years. I have a nice world band radio and have three antennas installed. However, I only listen to the radio occasionally, usually out of curiosity.

I suspect that next year many of us hams will be using our radios much more than we ever have in the past. In addition, most of us will be facing the same set of problems: lots of other work that we must do manually, very little extra power available for communication, and too many bands to monitor and not enough time to monitor them adequately.

May I suggest that you select one or two frequencies on each band for us to monitor, starting with the 6 meter band and continuing through the world bands. May I also suggest that you specify two or three times each day for us to turn on our radios so we can communicate with one another. (Also specify some time zone and each of us can convert our time to that time zone.) This would allow us to use the little power we may have to its best advantage.

I don't have enough experience with ham radio to be of any assistance in this area. However, I do know how to follow someone else's lead.

Even if you decide not to act on my suggestions, I would still like to personally thank you for your knowledgable input on this and other Y2K forums.

May God Bless.


-- Grandpappy (Grandpappy@old-timers.hom), August 26, 1999.

There is a hamfest in Cincinnati, OH on Sunday, Sept 19. See this URL for details.


-- urth (, August 27, 1999.


Please include 6 and 10 meter freqs. i am NOT up on them now but hope to be sooner or later.


-- Chuck, a night driver (, August 31, 1999.

Errrr, ummmm, PS Doc Drop em in th ee mail? Please?? I don't hang here much for obvious reasons.


-- Chuck, a night driver (, August 31, 1999.


Translation: "Calling Y2K'ers (x3). This is KG4DHJ. Who is calling me? (x3)"

Getting close to setting up the net: have finished stringing up my 80m full-wave horizontal loop, 10 (TEN) feet off the ground (That makes it an 'NVIS' antenna.) and fed with ladderline, not coax. This makes it a 'cloudwarmer,' or an antenna which shoots its rays straight up. That doesn't make for good 'DX,' but it does work well for regional QSOs. Tested out the receiver on it tonite --- heard 5 over 5 and 5 over 8 all over the Carribean, South, Middle Atlantic, Mid-West, West Coast, and Australia. As soon as I get the ladder line hooked up to the tuner will check out the transmitter half of my transceiver. Then will announce here and on the Main Forum about starting the net.

To answer a couple questions and suggestions on this thread. Yes, we definitely have to have a sched: times and alternate times, and frequencies and alternate frequencies, certainly at the start.

My transceiver's good for 80m to 10m, can't go higher. Wouldn't even if I could --- the 6m band and higher is no good for post-y2k, unless you've got a giant linear amp or your own private repeater network. The only bands worth using RELIABLY will be 80, 40, and 20. I'm including 10 for now, because that's where most of the y2k'ers who've contacted me have privileges -- they've worked hard on their 5wpm code, and got their Tech Plus ticket, along with doing all their other y2k preps. So my strategy with them will be to try and use 10m to get them used to Net activity, and to persuade them to in the meanwhile get setup for 80/40/20 while there's still opportunity to buy the gear.

That specifically means putting up the ladderline-fed full-wave 80m horiz loop (cheap, lots of gain, less receiver noise, no problems with RF in the shack), getting an antenna tuner, and solar panels to charge a deep-cycle 12v battery (or else array-direct to the ham rig, using one of Joe Bobier's LCB-30 devices.)

If you're not prepared to do all that, why bother --- just plan on a post-y2k era that will keep the power grid up, and oil/gasoline industry from taking a nosedive. That way you'll have plenty power to drive your 10m rig with a 1000watt linear amp [before the FCC gets you], or alternatively, use your 2m HT's to access the statewide/regional/national repeater network presently in operation.

But reason this a little further: if the grid stays up, the fone companies will stay up --- which means you'll still be able to use your cell fone post-y2k. Why in tarnation would you want to fool with ham radio --- if you can dial up Timbuctu via Graham Bell??!!

On the other hand if you regard ham radio as the ONLY way to communicate if Y2K turns out to be a 7 to 9 (I plan on a 10+) then here's some of the nitty gritty. If you're ready to take the 80/40/20 plunge, buy your antenna gear (wire, ladderline, insulators, misc. small hardware) from "The Wireman," 800-727-9473. I met the owner, Press Jones, at the Huntsville, AL, hamfest 2 weeks ago. He has a wonderful presentation with live demos on antenna radiation patterns and lightning protection . He's very bright, knows a lot, and explains radio stuff like few others on the circuit today. Call his Techline, 864-895-4195, and he'll answer your antenna questions, and often as not suggest you buy a less expensive package than you had in mind. [Do I have profit in mind? Sure I do -- I receive an 80% kickback on every dollar he charges. Just like I do whenever I recommend Colloidal Silver to you folks.]

Buy your antenna tuner from MFJ -- great folks. I bought their 949E -- good tuner, good price. 800-647-1800.

Buy a transceiver with the following specs: used (1980s vintage), 100w, 80m-10m coverage, 100% solid-state, digital readout, and 12vDC power. Brand doesn't matter, but make sure it comes with a used equipment warranty. That means at this late stage in the game (Sept. '99) you don't have time to get your rig repaired -- it's got to work out of the box. So pay the price and buy from a reputable dealer who advertizes in QST. I bought my Kenwood TS-120S from Burghardt -- good people. 800-927-4261. You'll have to pay extra for a matching microphone. You'll also need to buy a 120vAC-driven power supply with a 20 amp continuous output. You'll only use it until 1/1/00 (unless the grid stays up), so if you already have your solar power system setup, you can go straight to it, and skip the commercial power supply, thereby saving $100-125.

Only exception to the above route is if you know a local ham in your local club, and can PERSONALLY attest to his honesty --- he'll give you a better deal on all your gear.

I know a lot of the above may be Greek to you ham radio newbies. That's OK -- we'll re-cover this ground in subsequent posts, and on the air when the Net starts.

As far as those who've asked me to email them when the net is ready -- I can't promise that -- too busy -- forget things quickly. So watch this forum around the middle of Sep. for the announcement.

Finally, let me make clear: my only reason for getting back into ham radio is to develop a comm system that ASSUMES A TOTAL LOSS OF THE ELECTRIC POWER GRID (maybe permanently), AND THEREFORE A TOTAL LOSS OF THE PUBLIC TELEPHONE SYSTEM, BROADCAST RADIO, AND BROADCAST TV. If you think you can drum up the power to run a 1000watt linear amp on 10m or 6m, or hookup to a repeater network on 2m --- then be my guest --- and start your OWN Net on those freqs. Rotsa Ruck.

Bill, kg4dhj.

-- William J. Schenker, MD (, September 01, 1999.


How will you operate on 80/40/20 if you only have a TechPlus license? Forget about going for your General, unless you're retired, and have ALL your other Y2K preps lined up and finished. So what's the alternative? Simple: if Y2K is mild enough to allow the FCC to continue in operation, don't even THINK of operating on 80/40/20 without the proper license. The ham fraternity will turn you in to the FCC, NO question!

On the other hand if the FCC dissolves into the sunset along with all the rest of our society's infra- and supra- structure then WHO CARES WHETHER YOU'VE GOT A GENERAL TICKET OR NOT?! The ham fraternity will be busy trying to find water, keep warm, feed their stomachs, and find a doctor who'll dispense antibiotics when they get sick. So bottomline is you'll operate on whatever frequency you need to get the job done -- if you've got the right equipment and the alternate energy source to power it.

73, kg4dhj

-- William J. Schenker, MD (, September 01, 1999.

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