Hello Operators.

As I sit here enjoying the last week of my summer holiday, the disaster in Maui is an important reminder of maintaining our network capabilities at home and in our emergency go-kits.

This is JS8Call. It’s running completely off-grid, using a combination of solar and wind power. Like many other stations around the world, my station has run constantly for many years. The only exception to this rule Is during thunderstorms when the station is off-line and grounded.

Station configuration

To support other stations on the network, my station generally runs between twenty and forty watts. This is achieved using a tablet or raspberry pi running JS8Call, a small amplifier,  and the Icom IC-705.  There are other times when running the Xiegu G90 and Digirig from my home station is more advantageous. This is also an effective, but definitely a more cost-effective approach!

40 meters at night, 20 meters during the day, 80 meters for regional NVIS.

I have two different antenna set-ups for JS8Call networking. The N9SAB OCF dipole, and the Chameleon 80M Skyloop. Since I run multiple applications at times with multiple radios, it’s nice to have two unique antennas, both capable of simultaneous 80, 40, & 20M operations.

JS8Call isn’t fancy, but is effective! In the worst-case scenario, JS8Call might become a critical lifeline to the rest of the world. Why is this important? We all have unique skills, but the Operator on the other end of that keyboard might have knowledge and/or experiences you or I are lacking. Bottom line, the network makes us stronger. It is a powerful force multiplier! It is not as fast as a “Google search” at your fingertips. When there is nothing else, we’ll be grateful to have it.
Food for thought!

Julian oh8stn

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  1. Julian,

    As thought provoking as ever… I think you might how to enable the network community. It’s all well and good having the gear but surely we must build a community and capability around it? Regular check-in nets at pre-determined times and frequency perhaps, and using @OGHR as a group for operators to listen for if they are interested in Off Grid Ham Radio, I’ve just added it to my setup, let’s see if anyone calls.


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