[amsat-bb] Re: Amateur Satellites and the emergency on tornado in Oklahoma and Texas

Gary "Joe" Mayfield gary_mayfield at hotmail.com
Wed May 22 20:34:18 PDT 2013

I have been around tornados, and their aftermath.  The devastation can be
complete, but the area devastated is very small (a narrow strip).  An
enormous tornado is a mile wide...  All of the infrastructure two miles away
is generally completely intact.  Once the overload subsides, your cell phone
will work just fine in the worst part of the destruction.  Land line phones
a mile or so away will all work.  Handhelds and VHF/UHF mobiles are handy.
There generally isn't need for much else.

Hurricanes are a completely different story.


-----Original Message-----
From: amsat-bb-bounces at amsat.org [mailto:amsat-bb-bounces at amsat.org] On
Behalf Of Bill Acito
Sent: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 8:11 PM
To: Stefan Wagener; i8cvs
Cc: Amsat - BBs
Subject: [amsat-bb] Re: Amateur Satellites and the emergency on tornadoin
Oklahoma and Texas

Yep, I was going to raise the same point and link. They list the following

- providing Satellite based Amateur Radio 
						the long felt need for the
Amateur Radio Operators of 
						South Asian region
(especially a mode B bird)
- bring Satellite 
						Services within the reach of
the common man and 
						popularize Space Technology
among the masses.
- stimulation of technical interest and 
						awareness among the younger
generation by providing them 
						with an opportunity to
develop their technological 
- providing a low 
						cost readily accessible
reliable means of communication 
						during emergencies and
calamities like flood, 
						earthquakes, etc.

I never said the last one is a "falsehood". I am suggesting it does not hold
anywhere near the same weight as the first three.

I have never been in a tornado. But I would suggest that those hams in the
impact zone no longer have access to any working equipment, which means hams
in the surrounding areas are coming in to help, and have the choice. If I
was going into the impact zone and had the choice of what communications I
might bring, it would be 
- a portable cell site
- mobile/HT VHF/UHF
- mobile HF
...in that order. A portable satellite station would be a distant fourth.

If you read the summaries in the aftermath of Joplin, amateur radio
(VHF/UHF) played a critical role in the minutes leading up to, and the hours
after the tornado tore through. Then mobile phone, mobile date, and social
media took over when the mobile cell sites came on line. 

Back to prepping my FD station,

Bill W1PA
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