Our next training and meeting will be on March 11, 2017 at 9am.  Located at the Sheriff Central Command, 7000 65th street, Sacramento, CA 95823.  This training will be hands-on and working with your HT.  It is important that the HT have a fully charged battery and be sure to bring the manual for the radio.  We will be focusing on field programming the radio, note that some of the cheap Chinese radios can only be programed by computer.  If you have any questions prior to the meeting/training contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  


We will be doing some exercises together and learning more about using those HTs. We will stretch our minds and help prepare for situations that could arise in the field (and HAVE arisen, in my own experience). Come and participate so YOU can be prepared.

A related topic: what sort of HT should you use for EMCOMMS? The best HT is one that supports dual bands (2 meters and 440) and dual receive (it has two VFOs). The display should show TWO frequencies that you can set separately. You should also be able to set the frequencies on different bands (i.e., one readout shows a 2 meter frequency, and the other shows a 440 frequency). A radio like this can be used with a cross band repeater and gives you a lot more options in the field than a radio that works only on one band or can only monitor only one frequency at a time. Everyone who does EMCOMMS with an HT should have a dual band, dual receive HT. It's also best to have car radios with similar (or better) features.

Some radios have "dual watch" which is similar, but not quite the same as dual receive. Dual watch radios can only "hear" one frequency at a time, so while it is receiving on one frequency, it will not "listen to" the other. Dual receive radios would allow you to hear both simultaneously. Usually that doesn't make a big difference, but there could be times when you would want to hear both transmissions simultaneously.

In addition, it's VERY important that the radio have full manual controls so that you can program it using only the controls on the radio itself. A lot of the cheaper (usually Chinese) radios can be programmed ONLY with a computer. Out on a deployment in the field, you may well encounter a situation where you have to add a new repeater to your HT. A radio that can't be programmed except with a computer would be USELESS in that situation.

So at the March ARES meeting, have your HT (preferably dual band, dual receive) with you. Make sure it's fully charged and BRING THE MANUAL. Be ready to have some fun and maybe even learn something.