Tuesday, February 24, 2015

America's Volunteer Lifesavers

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Wants You!

USCG Auxiliarists Work Directly in Support of The U.S. Coast Guard
One of my most enjoyable volunteer avocations is being a proud member of the U.S.Coast Guard Auxiliary, the all-volunteer arm of the U.S. Coast Guard. Both Gordon West WB6NOA and I put our amateur radio skills to work, serving as Telecommunications Specialists, training radio operators, programming radios, and taking part in emergency drills, public affairs events, and on-the-ocean security patrols.  Click HERE to view Gordo in action, putting his radio amateur teaching skills to work in Auxiliary Radio Communications.

It's not all about radio comms either!  Auxiliarists fill-in for the U.S. Coast Guard in all support areas except law enforcement. And the benefits are fantastic! Let's see.. we have helicopter and fixed wing pilots, using their skills in aerial patrolling and search & rescue, boat crews on open water patrols, class instructors, public relations specialists, videographers, and get this: there's even a chef's training program for those who like to cook!

Teaching A Future Boat Crew Member "The Ropes"
The U.S. Coast Guard relies very heavily on the Auxiliary for boating safety training, search & rescue operations, public education, and my favorite -- radio communications!  Interested in learning more?  Just click on the link below for more information on how you can help the U.S. Coast Guard by being a proud, contributing member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.  This is one move, I guarantee you will not regret!

Preparing The Helicopter Rescue Basket in San Francisco Bay,California

Monday, February 2, 2015

Chinese Radio FCC Certification

FCC Part 90 Certifications

Many radio amateurs across the country are members of RACES, ARES, DCS, the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and other groups which support our emergency responders in the event of natural disasters, fires, floods, storms, and even acts of terrorism.  These "volunteer" responders often purchase FCC Part 90 Accepted land-mobile radios, which gives them the opportunity to monitor public service agencies in the event of local, regional, or national emergencies or take part in exercises with government-affiliated groups, such as MARS, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, or the Civil Air Patrol.

Recently, several inexpensive LMR handhelds and mobiles manufactured in China have been introduced to the American market.  Although these offerings are generally not as rugged as their commercial counterparts, such as Vertex, Motorola, Kenwood, Harris, and others, they are substantianly more affordable and thus, very attractive to hams like us.  Similarly, the question has arisen as to whether many of these Chinese products are really "FCC Part 90 Certified" as some claim to be.  That is, whether these radios meet or exceed the FCC's new standard for 12.5 Hz narrow band operation and 2.5 kHz steps for expanded frequency allocations.

As new "narrow band" products come to market, we will post for download the genuine FCC Part 90 Certificate here in the popular Adobe PDF file format, so that hams everywhere can be assured that their rigs are properly-approved for the outstanding emergency services to which they all contribute.

If you have any questions as to whether your own mobile or handheld radio is FCC Part 90 Certified, you can search your radio's unique FCC ID by entering it HERE.  The FCC ID may be found on a small sticker on the bottom of your mobile radio or inside the battery compartment of your handheld.
  • Click HERE to view / download the FCC Certificate for the Chinese import 5W dual-band VHF-UHF Wouxun KG-UV6D handheld.
  • Click HERE to view / download the FCC Certificate for the Chinese import 4W dual-band VHF-UHF Baofeng UV-5R handheld.
  • Click HERE to view / download the FCC Certificate for the Chinese import 2W dual-band VHF-UHF Baofeng UV-3R handheld.
  • Click HERE to view / download the FCC Certificate for the Chinese import 50W dual-band VHF-UHF Wouxun KG-UV920PA mobile.
  • Click HERE to view / download the FCC Certificate for the Chinese import 50W dual-band VHF-UHF AnyTone AT-5888UV mobile.