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HOW TO USE YOUR FRS RADIO DURING A CERT EVENT Navarre CERT Amateur Radio Club March 4, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "HOW TO USE YOUR FRS RADIO DURING A CERT EVENT Navarre CERT Amateur Radio Club March 4, 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 HOW TO USE YOUR FRS RADIO DURING A CERT EVENT Navarre CERT Amateur Radio Club March 4, 2011

2 H OW T O U SE Y OUR FRS R ADIO D URING A CERT E VENT Topics: Why Use FRS? What is FRS? So What About GRMS? FRS vs. GRMS Radio Range Radio Anatomy Radio Channels CERT Radio Procedures Pro-Words Call Signs Proper Radio Phonics Control of Communications

3 H OW T O U SE Y OUR FRS R ADIO D URING A CERT E VENT Why Use FRS? Better than yelling or using tin cans tied together with string Great for short distances Intra-team communication Inter-team coordination Not dependent upon other services Cell phones Repeater systems Radios are cheap and available in many places

4 H OW T O U SE Y OUR FRS R ADIO D URING A CERT E VENT What is FRS? FRS or Family Radios Service radios are compact, handheld, wireless 2-way radios that provide very good clarity over a relatively short range Operate on any of 14 dedicated channels (1-14) designated by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) expressly for FRS radio use To comply with FCC standards, FRS radios have a maximum allowable power of 0.5 watt (or 1/2 watt) FRS radio transceivers and their antennas may not be modified to extend their range

5 H OW T O U SE Y OUR FRS R ADIO D URING A CERT E VENT So What is GMRS? GMRS or General Mobile Radio Service radios operate on any of up to 8 dedicated channels (15-22) designated by the FCC GMRS radios typically have power ratings of 1.0 to 5.0 watts and have a maximum allowable power of 50 watts.

6 H OW T O U SE Y OUR FRS R ADIO D URING A CERT E VENT FRS vs. GMRS FRS use does NOT require a license to operate GMRS use requires you to have an FCC operators license GMRS radios generally achieve greater ranges than FRS radios While FRS radios may not legally be altered, GMRS radios may legally be outfitted or retrofitted

7 H OW T O U SE Y OUR FRS R ADIO D URING A CERT E VENT FRS vs. GMRS FRS/GMRS 2-way radios are simply dual-service, or "hybrid," radios that provide access to both the FRS and GMRS bands, utilizing FRS channels (1-14) and GMRS channels (15-22) Use of a dual-service radios GMRS bands requires an FCC operators license* Dual-service radios may be used without an operators license, ONLY IF the FRS channels are used * Note that a GMRS license can only be shared by FAMILY MEMBERS.

8 H OW T O U SE Y OUR FRS R ADIO D URING A CERT E VENT Radio Range FRS: Stated as "up to 2 miles" Realistically achieved under optimal conditions Actual range: ¼ to 1 mile Channels: 1-14 GMRS: Typically greater range than FRS radios Specified by manufacturers as "up to 5 miles" or more Actual range: 1-2 miles Channels: 1-22 (Channels 1-14 shared w/ FRS) FRS/GMRS dual-service radio: Essentially the same as those stated above, for each of their respective bands

9 H OW T O U SE Y OUR FRS R ADIO D URING A CERT E VENT Radio Anatomy Different makes and models of radios vary, so… READ THE INSTRUCTIONS!!! BECOME FAMILIAR with the controls on YOUR radio!

10 H OW T O U SE Y OUR FRS R ADIO D URING A CERT E VENT Radio Anatomy Power Supply Commonly use AA or AAA alkaline or a rechargeable battery pack Make sure the pack is charged Always carry spare batteries!

11 H OW T O U SE Y OUR FRS R ADIO D URING A CERT E VENT Radio Anatomy Power On-Off, Switch Combined with volume control on some models Or push-button on others

12 H OW T O U SE Y OUR FRS R ADIO D URING A CERT E VENT Radio Anatomy Push-To-Talk (PTT) Switch PUSH to TALK Let go to LISTEN LISTEN more than you talk! If somebody seems in control of things on the air, LISTEN to them!

13 H OW T O U SE Y OUR FRS R ADIO D URING A CERT E VENT Radio Anatomy Channel Selector Selects assigned channel Chosen by IC Found on Communications Plan Up-Down arrows Rotating knob

14 H OW T O U SE Y OUR FRS R ADIO D URING A CERT E VENT Radio Channels Assigned by CERT IC per Communications Annex/Plan Sub-channels Actually are CTCSS* codes (38 available codes) FRS Radios have 532 available Channels 14 channels x 38 possible CTCSS codes per channel Sometimes called Privacy Codes Does not block or scramble that channel Others can listen in or even use the same channel Should be able to find a clear channel to use under most crowded conditions * Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System

15 H OW T O U SE Y OUR FRS R ADIO D URING A CERT E VENT CERT Radio Procedures A RADIO IS NOT LIKE A TELEPHONE You cant hear anyone if YOU are talking No one else can speak when YOU talk If EVERYONE talks, NOBODY understands Results in CHAOS During an operation/event, needless conversations should be kept to a minimum

16 H OW T O U SE Y OUR FRS R ADIO D URING A CERT E VENT CERT Radio Procedures How To Talk On The Radio Speak when spoken to (called) LISTEN – dont talk over others Wait until others have finished Think about what you will say before you say it Use plain language Keep it short and to the point Wait a fraction of a second after pushing the PTT button before you start talking Use Pro-words effectively LISTEN

17 H OW T O U SE Y OUR FRS R ADIO D URING A CERT E VENT CERT Radio Procedures ANSWERING A CALL (Calling Station), This is (your ID) Go Ahead You acknowledge who called you You confirm to calling station that you are the one that they want to talk to You tell the calling station that you are ready to receive what they are about to transmit to you

18 H OW T O U SE Y OUR FRS R ADIO D URING A CERT E VENT CERT Radio Procedures CALLING ANOTHER STATION (Station to be called), This is (your ID) Wait until the frequency is clear (nobody else is talking) Tells everyone on frequency who you want to talk to Identifies to everyone on frequency who made the call

19 H OW T O U SE Y OUR FRS R ADIO D URING A CERT E VENT CERT Radio Procedures Good Radio Operating Practices Answer questions directly; no long explainations Dont speak louder in a noisy environment It will only distort your voice, making it harder to understand Shield microphone Speak ACROSS the microphone Use Pro-Words properly Expedites communications They are NOT 10-codes or other types of jargon

20 H OW T O U SE Y OUR FRS R ADIO D URING A CERT E VENT Pro-Words Procedural Words (Pro-Words) THIS IS: Identifies who the station is OVER: You have finished speaking and its the other stations turn to talk. Leaves no doubt whos turn it is to speak GO AHEAD: Ready to copy or listen OUT: Finished with conversation and expect no reply COPY: Understand SAY AGAIN: Repeat the last transmission AFFIRMATIVE or NEGATIVE: Used in place of Yes or No because the sound is distinctive and their meaning is clear

21 H OW T O U SE Y OUR FRS R ADIO D URING A CERT E VENT Pro-Words Procedural Words (Pro-Words) CORRECTION: Error was made and the correct information follows STAND-BY: Self-explanitory

22 H OW T O U SE Y OUR FRS R ADIO D URING A CERT E VENT Call Signs WHATS MY CALL SIGN? It depends… CERT uses different types of Call Signs Call Signs are assigned by CERT Command Commonly determined by operating event Strike Team numbers Operating Initials Location ID

23 H OW T O U SE Y OUR FRS R ADIO D URING A CERT E VENT Call Signs STRIKE TEAM NUMBERS Commonly used during an incident / emergency operations Easy to identify teams of individuals Easy for CERT Command to track

24 H OW T O U SE Y OUR FRS R ADIO D URING A CERT E VENT Call Signs OPERATING INITIALS Identifies individual Typical Combinations Used: First letter of first and last name (e.g. DN) First and last letter of last name (e.g. VR) Commonly known initials (e.g. TJ) May use any of the combinations, providing the combination is not already in use MAKE SURE TEAM LEADER AND/OR CERT COMMAND KNOW YOUR INITIALS!

25 H OW T O U SE Y OUR FRS R ADIO D URING A CERT E VENT Call Signs LOCATION Commonly used during an event Easy to identify where CERT teams are assigned Dont have to know who is at the particular location Easiest for CERT Command to track

26 H OW T O U SE Y OUR FRS R ADIO D URING A CERT E VENT Proper Radio Phonics MAKES SURE EVERYBODY UNDERSTANDS Numbers: Spell them out 100 becomes one zero zero 75 becomes seven five Letters: Use phonetic alphabet Improves understandability A becomes alpha B becomes bravo Time: Use 24-hour or military time 12:00 a.m. becomes twenty four hundred hours 2: 15 p.m. becomes fourteen fifteen hours Proper phonetics found in Communications section on CERT website

27 H OW T O U SE Y OUR FRS R ADIO D URING A CERT E VENT Control of Communications WHOS IN CHARGE? In communications between a portable/mobile unit and a fixed location (such as a command post), the FIXED station controls the communications (a.k.a. Controlled Net) Located with CERT IC (CERT IC may even be Net Control) Prioritize resources Quickly handle multiple situations Co-located with served agencies Able to log radio communications if necessary

28 H OW T O U SE Y OUR FRS R ADIO D URING A CERT E VENT Control of Communications CONTROLLED NET PRACTICES Net Control is in charge of the frequency Respond only to Net Control Get permission from Net Control before calling another station/team Answer promptly Monitor radio continuously Answer immediately when called Dont leave the air without checking out Wastes time trying to locate Wastes resources in thinking something may have happened to you

29 H OW T O U SE Y OUR FRS R ADIO D URING A CERT E VENT Control of Communications CONTROLLED NET PRACTICES Interrupt only if you have urgent information Thats why you leave short gaps in between transmissions When interrupting, speak only long enough to identify and say why you need to interrupt Emergencies supersede all other transmissions!!!

30 H OW T O U SE Y OUR FRS R ADIO D URING A CERT E VENT In Conclusion… Act Professional – people ARE listening! Correct bad or improper radio discipline by others Make a good radio communications a habit Remember… Questions?


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