12-volt lighting

Last month in Studio wired I showed you my breakthrough getting my studio 12-volt emergency lighting operating. I accomplished a couple of refinements recently. Besides the obvious advantages of having lights regardless of power grid failures, my 12-volt LEDs provide lighting options in addition to, instead of, or in combination with the various 110-volt lights I have installed. Prior to connecting up my antique meters, I was running on a gut-feeling that I had to be real conservative in my… Read more12-volt lighting

Studio wired

I feel like it has been a long time coming. But when I really think about it, we moved into a trashed homestead 7 months ago. We have made tremendous progress on numerous fronts. Nevertheless, today’s big success is the proper lighting and wiring of my studio. I have had a solar-recharged 12-volt grid-independent electrical system for about 5 years. The primary motivation was for my short and long range 2-way radios; my HAM gear. All of these radios run… Read moreStudio wired

become an amateur radio operator

Thursdays 4:30-6:30pm Darby Library meeting room July 13th – September 7th Handy in many situations, radio communications can be life saving when phones and Internet are down or out of reach Ham radios start where walkie-talkies leave off, with licensed radio operators communicating around the corner and around the world. ARRL License Manual costs $29.95 includes chapters on every aspect of the licensing exam and numerous practice tests Darby Thursday study sessions are FREE YOU can be an amateur radio… Read morebecome an amateur radio operator

my first 1K

I thought of myself as a 600-yard rifleman. In DCM, CMP and NRA High Power competitions, the 600 yard target we shoot at is labeled “MR1”. That stands for “medium range”, standard target. Thus I don’t get an inflated ego from hitting that sucker on a known-distance course of fire. Upon selling The Gentleman Farmer business I owned/operated for 22 years, my gold watch was a nice trombone and a nice rifle. Two tools I had long wished for but… Read moremy first 1K

purchase and use of BaoFeng two-way radios

I have helped well over a dozen people earn their amateur radio licenses. But I recognize the effort to study for, and pass the FCC exam is not for everybody. Much more accessible is The General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) licensed radio service. A $70 FCC GMRS license has no testing requirements and covers your entire family’s use for 5 years. BAOFENG makes good, affordable radios that can listen to several other bands and legally enable you to transmit, that… Read morepurchase and use of BaoFeng two-way radios

wild painkiller

In slang terms, this really is WILD! A weed right under our noses that is so useful it ought to be outlawed. I hate to say that for a couple of reasons, but I do suggest that you get some seed to work with before your protectors take it away. I post it here to help insure its availability, but all the links are from the source article at Before It’s News.com. You might want to go there to see… Read morewild painkiller

mapping your neighborhood

Having the right resources in the right places is the essence of surviving and thriving. Disasters challenge that pleasant place. Proper planning includes mapping resources and features that may be useful to your community in emergencies. Also valuable is placing on that map any threats you know of, along with potential avenues for likely threats. Obviously, so you can plan to minimize their negative impacts on your community. This is a big topic that deserves thought, planning, organization from a… Read moremapping your neighborhood

Darby Dog Derby … after action report

The Bitterroot Mushers put on another fun and interesting dog sledding and skijorning event last weekend (Jan 14-15, 2017). Brandi and Nicki do an impressive job of pulling this event together and making it run smoothly and efficiently. I was happily able to provide radio communications to and from workers spread out over 30 miles of mountain trails. My hero on the comms side is Rick who both days hitched a ride on a snowmobile to the COLD mountain top… Read moreDarby Dog Derby … after action report

up your comms

I have spent the last half-dozen years improving my ability to support community communications. Well, more accurately, I spent a tiny fraction of my time and brain power learning 2-way radio … As I do with nearly everything else in my life: Jack of all trades; master of none. This morning I was guided to an excellent overview article with links covering what SOMEONE in every community needs to know before we can consider comms covered. Crumb! I have a… Read moreup your comms

community preparedness teams

It is foolhardy for people to think they will survive a major upheaval alone, with their immediate family, by retreating to a cave in the woods or other macho-man ideas I have heard voiced. We aren’t mountain lions in a place where game is plentiful for our population. Realistically, we humans need a huge variety of specializations, strengths and personalities that come from a fairly large tribe … not to mention significant genetic diversity for long-term survival of our offspring…. Read morecommunity preparedness teams

freeze drying economics

Freeze drying is superior food preservation technology that recently became available for home use. Units about the size of a woodstove enable home food preservers to put by meat, vegetables, fruit and completed meals for extremely long storage shelf lives without losing significant nutrient value. Friends of ours bought a freeze dryer and, with numerous batches under their belts, showed off the machine and their results. I am quite impressed with the claims of quality and potential longevity of the… Read morefreeze drying economics

Radio Communicating Options

Darby Adult Education has a couple of classes in their fall program that interest me. One in particular is near and dear to my heart. The main reason is that I am a major proponent of having two-way radios for communicating where phones are unavailable and yelling is ineffective. I am so much in favor of using two-way radios that I created and teach the class. Sign-ups are open officially through next Monday, September 26th. As you can see in… Read moreRadio Communicating Options