Scout Radio news Item
- Scout Radio Enthusiasts:
Here is what I am submitting to my local Council's newsletter. You might
want to submit it to your area council as well. PLEASE change the
Email address at the end to yours so that your area contacts you. I
was going to refer everyone to join the SCOUTRADIO Reflectors, but
thought including all the details of how to subscribe was too much
detail to include in this first announcement. (I still think we
need only 1 reflector so as to simplify things and cut down on copies).
This is written to appeal to the general public, so it tries to
simplify it to essentials...
Recent Government rules changes now make it
easlier than ever to stay in communications while
in the woods or on outings. This is Great news
for scouting. The new Family Radio Service (FRS)
is a license free radio band that can be used by
anyone for personal communications and because of
the mass market, these good quality FRS radios are
sold just about everywhere for $40 to $80.
While visiting Broad Creek Scout Reservation
open house last week, I noticed several families
who arrived outfitted with FRS radios including Mom,
Dad, and the kids. In order to share the experience
my family joined with one of the other families
on channel 1 so that we could all play radio and the
kids could meet new friends. Thats when we realized
that Scouting needs to have a published and agreed
SCOUTING CHANNEL. This way Scouts on outings can
have a good change of finding other Scouts in the area.
We propose Channel 1, Tone 0 for a National Scout
Calling channel. There are 14 channels and there are
38 private tones making for over 500 combinations of
ways NOT to communicate. Although there are only 14
channels, the tones keep your radio silent at all
times until someone else on the same channel and with
the same Tone calls. THen you will only hear them.
Note, only one conversation can occur on any one
channel at a time.
We choose Channel 1 for the very good reason that
until now, more than half of all radios sold were
single channel only and all were sold on channel 1.
Thus many scouts can only talk on channel 1. Also
most of these early radios (which are now deeply
discounted in price to less than $30 if you can find
them) did not have any Tones. THus Channel 1, NO
tones, or Tone 0, is the best place to use as a
"calling channel". Once you find out where everyone
is, and if the channel begins to get crowded, then
you may move off to another agreed channel and tone
combination. But always start on channel 1, tone 0.
Though lacking the range and power of good HAM
Radio Walkie-Talkies, these FRS radios give good
commercial quality communications over 1, to 2 miles.
These correspond approximately to the available power
ranges of .1 to .5 Watts respectively. Actual range
may vary greatly from 10 miles from a mountain top
to only a few blocks inside buildings in a dense city.
The FRS Radios are a good way to not only get good
quality off-the-shelf communications now, but also to
get your boys interested in Radio and then later
advancing them up to HAM radio. There is an E-Mail
news reflector on this new subject of SCOUTRADIO.
Contact Bob Bruninga at WB4APR@... for more info.