Saturday, August 17, 2013

Last night we trolled 14.313 which is a frequency that some Canadian thinks he owns.

There has been a Canadian for quite some time that has used the frequency of 14.313 as his personal frequency to spout off profanity, hate and general discontentment on the air.

Sometimes he calls himself Radio Canada and a few other things, claiming to be the voice of Canada. To check him out go to

Anyway, a lot of things do not go as planned and the key to success when things go sour is flexibility and taking the initiative.

I was supposed to be the central operator and that fell apart fast as it didn't take long to find out that I wasn't the center of propagation. My signal wasn't getting out very well and it looked like the whole thing was going to fall apart.

However, another ham down south heard me and knew he DID have propagation and simply jumped in and started fielding calls. I was glad to have him do this because it instantly turned the operation around.

Most of us were running simple barefoot rigs, 100 watts and less, although one guy had a 600 watt amp which promptly died and he gets kudos for getting it up and running to jump back into the fray.

There were not really enough of us to create a big enough pile-up but we used the old Indian Trick to make it seem like we were bigger than we really were.

We've all seen an old western where the Indians walk between 2 trees and are spotted by the beleaguered settlers and they sneak back and walk between the 2 same trees again and again to make the settlers think there's more of them than there really is.

Once we established contact with mission control we waited a brief period of time and checked in with him using different power settings, accents and voices.

What we were doing is creating the illusion of a pile-up and waiting for people to jump in and join the fray. People will often join a pile up because they think there is something important going on.

Seeing we were all pretty much running barefoot rigs, we were trying to get some of the big guns with powerful linear amps to join in and add some power to the fray.

Last year the group had an emergency communications drill and got a message to a guy across the country in about an hour, which ain't bad seeing we used no infrastructure. It was a case of relaying a message.

It was chaotic and while about half the guys were in a dither running around in circles wondering what to do, this time things were different.

I was in the position where I could add to the pileup but could not hear too many other people so in effect I had a ringside seat because we had an open internet chat board in addition to our radios.

The Canadian bigot spooled up and tried to jam us bet we ignored him and because he was too far away he really couldn't silence us. We just kept going through the QRM (Man made noise) he created.

The internet chat told me a lot about this group. Unlike last year's drill, these guys started to think on their feet and started taking action on their own. I saw a couple posts like "How do I get this on the cluster...never mind. I'll get it." and a few minutes later I checked the cluster and there it was!

The clusters are internet reporting stations, generally for DX activity. You can report your findings there and when the clusters started reporting that some group of nuts is taking back 14.313 things slowly started taking off.

These guys were great to work with because they jumped in and took responsibility to make things happen.

The event ran about an hour and a half before we burned out but I stayed on frequency listening and later heard a couple of powerful stations on the air trolling the Canadian bigot. The US cavalry had come to the rescue.

It was interesting to see the guys had evolved and that instead of about half of them wondering what to do next, virtually all of them jumped in and added something to the effort.

I'll bet next month's emergency communications drill will be pretty good.

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