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Sunday 16 December 2018

The weather and radio

As you know I am in the progress of putting together the video on the Retevis RT87, however the outdoor parts of the test have been hampered by the bad weather of late, so I've not been able to get up to the old racecourse in Richmond, however I hope the weather tomorrow or Wednesday will be good to do this.

Also with the winter weather there can be treacherous driving conditions, ice on the roads can be an extreme hazard, though I have a mobile station so should I get into any difficulties and my phone for whatever reason does not work I can radio for help on 2-meters or even 70cm, and I also plan to keep a HT or two in the car whenever it is out, I plan to include PMR446 equipment as well as many people tend to use this just as a cheap means of communications, I am also working on 11-meters as well however I have no place to mount an antenna at present for that band.

I do intend to brush up on emergency procedure should I need to call for help as, of course, I've never made an emergency call and hope never to have to, however I feel it is best to be prepared, after all in the severe weather mobile phones simply may not work and the only way to call for help could well be the radio, which is why I recommend every driver carry two-way radio equipment in the car, be that CB, PMR446 or, if you're duly licensed, Amateur radio, I don't include taxis in this as they tend to already have a PMR set in the vehicle as part of their duties, and I don't include truckers in this as they tend to have CB radio as a minimum.

A pair of PMR446 radios costs £10 for a very basic set, even Baofeng make them now, a CB radio all in is less than £100 with antenna and cabling and can be run from the vehicle cigarette lighter socket, the only accessory you'd need is a cheap SWR meter and a patch lead which you'd only ever use when first installing the equipment and there are lots of guides on how to install a CB radio into a car online, forget the mobile phone if the weather turns nasty, use radio, it will never let you down in the bad weather if you get into trouble.

Perhaps vehicle manufacturers should include CB radio as standard equipment, or even PMR446 as the antenna, even external, would be permanently fixed and still meet the required standard, it makes sense, the mobile phone in times of adverse weather simply cannot be relied on

73 de 2E0EIJ

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