HAMNET Report 31st October 2021


In an update by GDACS on the Canary Islands Volcano, I learned that a new rupture of the main cone was reported on 27th October and that lava has been flowing westwards over the coast. An increase in Sulphur dioxide (SO2) values has been recorded on the west side of the island as well as seismic activity, with earthquakes greater than magnitude 3.5 at medium and deeper depths of more than 20 km.

According to the Copernicus Emergency Mapping Service, 2,183 buildings have been destroyed, 113 damaged and an area of 911 ha affected.

Following the possibility that the northern lava flow could reach the sea, the Maritime Captaincy established a perimeter of exclusion from Puerto Naos to Tazacorte and 0.5 nautical miles off the coast.

So this eruption and seismic disaster is still far from over.

HAMNET Western Cape’s Regional Director, Michael, ZS1MJT, has issued a comprehensive report about a prolonged search for a missing hiker in the Stellenbosch mountain area, which was called off after 4 days of intensive searching.

He says that Wilderness Search and Rescue (WSAR) received a call from Metro on 21st October saying they had reports of a missing 27-year male in the Stellenbosch area. He had gone hiking in the area around his house in Stellenbosch on Wednesday 20th October after lunch, and had not returned home. He was familiar with the mountain area in the vicinity of his house, across the road from the start of the hiking trails.

The Incident Commander and Emergency Medical Services gathered as much information as they could and then called for assistance from the various WSAR teams. HAMNET, Mountain Club of SA (MCSA), K9 and drone teams were initially dispatched. A small ground team was available and activated. Skymed was also authorized and did a thorough search of some areas. No signs or clues as to the hiker’s whereabouts were found.

The search resumed on 22nd October at 08h00 with HAMNET, the K9 team, MCSA and ORRU, and Delta Search and Rescue involved. ORRU did extensive patrols into the Jonkershoek nature reserve and all access roads to Vriesenhof, Blaauwklippen and Stellenrust on Friday and Saturday. The EMS drone searched the lower slopes of Stellenbosch mountains, and a notification of a missing person was posted on neighbourhood watch and trail runner group social media platforms, all being asked to keep a look out for him.

Weather conditions deteriorated and the decision was made to resume the search on Saturday, 23rd October after assessing the weather conditions and cloud cover, safety first being of utmost importance to all parties involved.

More field operatives were requested as the area of the search was extensive and growing. 4×4’s were dispatched to drop off and collect field operatives deeper into the mountains. A communications relay was set up as the search stretched to the other side of the mountain where communications were challenging. Skymed was also assisting again with an aerial search, an opportunity to use the helicopter being grabbed by the IC as the weather had cleared for a brief period. Teams stood down for the day around 20h00 as they awaited the last of the searchers to come off the mountain and report back to the base. The search was set to resume on Sunday 24th from 08h30.

On Sunday morning, a large number of private volunteers and trail runners were also at the search base and dispatched with MCSA team leaders. HAMNET members were there, serving as Incident Commander, and Logistics Field manager, and providing communications and relay services. ORRU and MCSA members were also present and managing the ground teams. HAMNET set up SARTrak tracking software and handed APRS units to the search parties to track their movements. This tracking was exported on to Google maps and the Incident Command could clearly see where they all were and the areas covered. The SARTrak system worked very well indeed.

A decision was taken at about 15h30 to call off the search until more information was available. At this stage, all possible areas and leads had been followed up and resources extended to their limits.

This was a very extensive 4-day search in very rugged mountain terrain, involving a large number of personnel from all facets of the WSAR family as well as involvement from the public. Donations of food, snacks, refreshments and coffee were brought to Metro 4 (the Incident Command vehicle) at the rendezvous point, and distributed to the various teams where possible. Public support, well-wishes and thanks were in endless supply. Communications proved in the end to be a major success and SARTrak was well implemented, to give a great overview of the areas searched. A successful operation in the end, but sadly, the missing person has as of now, still not been found.

His family has thanked all involved in this search. Michael personally thanks all those involved. And thank you, Michael for heading up the HAMNET team, and for the report.

HAMNET in the Western Cape was contacted this week by the organizers of next year’s Two Oceans Marathon, with the news that they are going ahead with plans to run the event over the Easter Weekend, which occurs from 15th to 18th April 2022. As is customary, Hamnet has been asked to provide communications for the sweep vehicles used to ferry drop-out runners back to the finish, and to provide rapid response rover vehicles to respond if needed to logistical or organisational problems along the route. We usually have stationary vehicles at all major cut-off points for the 21km half marathon, and for the 56 km ultra.

The organisers have had to split the short and long races over two days, to allow for Covid restrictions on numbers present per event, so the short race will take place on Saturday the 16th, with about 15000 runners sent off in batches, and the long race on Sunday the 17th, with about 11000 runners, also dispatched in groups.

The organisers understand fully that all plans may be scuppered if the next Covid wave takes place later than December, meaning that there are still too many infected but asymptomatic people in the community by April, to allow the race to take place in safety.

With an air of optimism, HAMNET Western Cape is preparing itself for the 99er cycle tour in early February and the Two Oceans in April. As Alexander Pope said “Hope springs eternal in the human breast”!

This is Dave Reece ZS1DFR reporting for HAMNET in South Africa.

HAMNET Report 24th October 2021

There’s yet another Tropical Cyclone sneaking up the West Coast of Mexico, this one called RICK, with maximum windspeeds of 167km/h, and threatening the lives and comfort of some 500000 people on coastal Mexico. Will it turn inland like PAMELA did last week? We wait to see.

The ARRL reports that The HamSCI Antarctic Eclipse Festival in December is seeking amateur radio participation. As the shadow of the moon passes across Antarctica on December 4th, it will generate traveling ionospheric disturbances that will, in turn, affect radio propagation. The unusual geometry of this year’s eclipses will give researchers an opportunity to investigate complicated ionospheric dynamics over the poles as the long daytime of polar summer is briefly interrupted by the eclipse.

During this and other HamSCI eclipse festivals, hams and citizen-scientists are asked to collect Doppler-shift data from time-standard stations, such as WWV. All that’s needed is an HF radio connected to a computer. A GPS-disciplined oscillator is helpful for collecting data, but it is not required. Data collection will run from December 1 through December 10, and the results will be made available for scientific analysis.

All radio amateurs and shortwave listeners are invited to join in, even those located far from the path of totality. In 2020, more than 100 individuals from 45 countries took part in eclipse festivals.The instructions are available in multiple languages.

HamSCI is an initiative of ham radio operators and geospace scientists dedicated to advancing scientific research and understanding through amateur radio activities. Eclipse festivals are pilot campaigns for the Personal Space Weather Station (PSWS), HamSCI’s flagship project. The PSWS team seeks to develop a global network of citizen-science stations. Participants monitor the geospace environment to deepen scientific understanding and enhance the radio art.

For more information on the Antarctic Eclipse Festival and how to participate, visit the HamSCI website.

Thanks to Kristina Collins KD8OXT for the write-up.

Michael ZS1MJT, our HAMNET Western Cape Regional Director, was responsible for putting together a team of volunteers last weekend to assist at the Cape Town Trail Marathons, which took place on Saturday the 16th, the day before the Cape Town Marathon on Sunday the 17th.

He says he needed 7 radio operators, 3 4×4 vehicles, 4 medics, and 10 technical or mountain savvy members. A long 46km race and a shorter 22km race started early on Saturday from the Cape Town Stadium. The long race runners climbed Signal Hill, Kloof Neck, Platteklip Gorge to Maclear’s Beacon, across the top of Table Mountain to de Villiers Dam, down the Kirstenbosch side to the Blockhouse, coming back up again over Kopppelskop, along the contour path below the cable car, down to the lower cable station, along via Kloof Neck, up Signal Hill again and down to the finish at Cape Town Stadium. Blimey – I get tired just reading all that!

There were radios and APRS trackers at various points along the routes, and some quick-response teams, up on the mountain, but fortunately, their services were not needed, and the trail races passed fairly uneventfully. The stragglers came back to the finish late in the afternoon, so it was 18h00 bravo before the base station closed down.

Michael thanks ZS1ZV, ZS1OSK, ZS1PDE, ZS1TAF and ZS1SCH for their volunteerism. And I thank ZS1MJT for his willingness to drive the event. Well done to the team.

Michael also reports that Sybrand ZS1SJ, our Deputy Regional Director, has been in discussion with the Western Cape Local Government Fire Services to provide help in setting up or manning communications when there are fires in and around the Western Cape.

Sybrand has assisted in testing their equipment, and ensuring interoperability amongst their systems, and HAMNET’s, if needed. HAMNET Western Cape is therefore looking for volunteers willing to help with the communications equipment the Fire Service has, to enable fast and efficient set-up of these radios and mobile repeaters.

I’m pleased to report that the Western Cape Repeater Working Group very rapidly sold all 100 raffle tickets in its competition to raise funds, and the draw took place over the weekend. The winner of a Retevis RT 84 dualband DMR Radio was Daniel ZS1ND, and the winner of the Baofeng UV9 Plus dualband analogue radio was Pierre ZS1HF. Well done to you both. Thanks are again due to Andre ZS1F and David ZS1DDK for donating the Baofeng radio.

Finally, Science News reports this week that, when ivory poachers target elephants, the hunters can affect more than just animal numbers. In Mozambique, past hunting pressure led to an increase of naturally tuskless elephants in one park, a study finds.

During the Mozambican Civil War, which lasted from 1977 to 1992, armies hunted elephants and other wildlife for food and ivory. This caused the number of large herbivores to drop more than 90 percent in the country’s Gorongosa National Park.

Now, video footage and photographic records show that as elephant numbers plummeted, the proportion of tuskless female African savanna elephants (Loxodonta africana) rose from about 18 percent to 51 percent.

Decades of poaching appear to have made tusklessness more advantageous from an evolution standpoint in Gorongosa, encouraging the proliferation of tuskless females with mutations in two tooth genes, researchers report in the Oct. 22 Science.

Jake Buehler says that the rapid culling of tusked individuals changed the makeup of traits in the elephant population in only two decades, leaving behind more tuskless individuals, say evolutionary biologist Shane Campbell-Staton of Princeton University and colleagues. The tuskless trait is heritable, and the evolutionary change in the population may stick around for several generations at least, even as poaching eases.

The team also analysed the genetic instruction books of 18 tusked and tuskless females, zeroing in on two genes rife with mutations in tuskless females. In humans, the disruption of one of those genes can cause tooth brittleness and the absence of a pair of upper incisors that are the “anatomical equivalent of tusks,” Campbell-Staton says. Abnormalities in the other gene’s protein product can cause malformations of the tooth root and tooth loss.

Poaching “changing the course of evolution” in Gorongosa’s elephants, Campbell-Staton says, can have reverberating effects through the ecosystem given elephants’ dramatic impact on their surroundings.

“[Tusks are] not just ornamental. They serve a purpose,” he says, detailing how elephants use tusks to dig for water and strip tree bark for food. “If an elephant doesn’t have the tool to do those things, then what happens?”

It would be like humans developing without thumbs. We’d be severely handicapped.

This is Dave Reece ZS1DFR reporting for HAMNET in South Africa.

HAMNET Report 17th October 2021

As Hurricane season continues in the lower latitudes, we have two tropical cyclones to mention this week.

One is Tropical Cyclone KOMPASU, which headed across the South China sea, brushed the top of the Philippines, and went westwards directly into the coast of Vietnam this week. Forecasts predicted it would cross the coast of Vietnam on Thursday the 14th at 06h00 local time.

The other is Tropical Cyclone PAMELA, which was travelling innocuously up the West coast of Mexico, until Tuesday this week, when it turned north-eastwards, and crossed the Mexican coastline on Wednesday at roughly midday, with wind speeds of the order of 120 km/h. It is threatening the safety of about 130 000 people in its path.

The Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System has been reporting regularly on both these storms, but has not made mention of casualty numbers or structural damage, so hopefully they will soon pass into history.

Sotirios Vanikiotis SV1HER, the National Emergency Communications Coordinator for IARU Region One in Greece, reported this week, that another large 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit the Greek island of Crete on Tuesday the 12th, and a tsunami warning had been issued.

The quake struck the east coast of the island at a depth of 10km under the village of Palekastro, according to the US Geological Survey. The village is 84km from Agios Nikolaos, which is a popular destination.

It comes three weeks after an earlier tremor killed a man on the island and damaged hundreds of buildings.

The quake struck the east coast of the island at a depth of 10km. Crete’s deputy regional governor, Yiannis Leondarakis, said the quake was felt ‘all over the island’

There were no immediate reports of serious damage or injury after Tuesday’s earthquake, which, according to the Geodynamic Institute in Athens, was followed by aftershocks measuring 4.1 and 4.6 in magnitude. Authorities said police and fire crews were checking buildings in eastern Crete for damage.

In the ARRL Newsletter of the 14th, there is a write-up after that successful ARISS contact by hearing impaired school children with the ISS. It states:

“Ten students at the Mary Hare School for deaf children in the UK took part in what appears to have been a world-first event for Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS). Facilitating the late-morning direct contact with astronaut Mark Vande Hei, KG5GNP, at NA1SS were ARISS-UK volunteers and members of the Newbury and District Amateur Radio Society (NADARS).

“The ground station used the call sign GB4MHN. ARISS-UK volunteers handled the technical aspects, while NADARS members provided students with the “amateur radio experience” through events and activities.

“Students asked their questions orally, and the astronaut’s replies — as well as questions and answers posed by the audience before the contact began — were displayed in closed caption format beneath a huge video screen.

“The Mary Hare School is an aural school for the deaf that teaches students to develop lip-reading skills and to make use of technology. Students range in age from 5 through 19 years old. An enthusiastic audience of some 250 individuals was in the auditorium, where the contact took place, while another 600 students at other locations in the school observed the contact via a web feed.

“Leading up to the contact, students at the school learned about radio- and space-related topics that touched on physics, chemistry, and biology. Student activities have included designing and flying model rockets, making astronomical observations, and observing authentic spacesuits.

“Students wanted to know if the astronauts used sign language in space in case something goes wrong, how the ISS would be evacuated in the event of a fire, and whether mobile devices such as cell phones work in space.”

Thanks to the ARRL for this report.

It is very gratifying to note that even those with hearing impairment can participate in a totally auditory experience, using modern technology to sidestep the inability to hear the spoken word. May this kind of technology only improve? I am on record as being certain that auditory impairment is a more difficult disability to overcome than the impairment associated with blindness.

Now TechXplore reported on Friday that, between September 1982 and December 2020, at least 51,512 people were rescued on land and at sea with help from a network of Earth-orbiting satellites able to detect and locate emergency distress beacons.

ESA’s OPS-SAT Space Lab recently demonstrated that by processing data from these beacons in space, instead of on Earth as currently happens, the whole process could be made more efficient, saving data and perhaps helping to save lives.

The international Cospas-Sarsat cooperative was established in 1979 and remains a fundamental, life-saving system. Using a network of instruments on board more than 50 satellites, it detects emergency beacons from aircraft, ships and people anywhere on Earth, passing the coded information to ground stations to be processed and then forwarded to local Rescue Coordination Centres for a response.

Distress beacons are fundamentally radio transmitters that can be activated in emergencies, either manually by pressing a button or automatically upon detection of certain triggers—a physical shock, contact with water, a sudden drop in altitude etc.

The Cospas-Sarsat system detects radio transmissions in the protected 406-MHz frequency band, gathering information on the type of vessel in distress and relaying its signals to ground stations on Earth known as Local User Terminals (LUTs). While some beacons contain the location of the vessel in question, many don’t, and for these ground stations must perform a mathematical analysis to determine the location of the beacon.

Many satellites in low, medium and geo-stationary orbit carry ‘repeater instruments’ which shift the frequency of the 406 MHz beacon transmissions to a different frequency in order to avoid interference with the original transmissions. The so-called ‘up-converted’ signals are sent to User Terminals where they are processed and decoded.

Once verified, beacon information is forwarded to the nearest Rescue Coordination Centre.

In a recent “In Orbit Demonstration,” OPS-SAT Space Lab, an orbiting Cubesat, performed the first in-orbit decoding and processing of radio-signals from emergency beacons on Earth, using open-source software running on the satellite.

This reduced the amount of unnecessary data sent back to land stations, making for more efficient communications, and, more rapid response times

This is progress, clearly to be applauded.

Reporting for HAMNET in South Africa, I’m Dave Reece ZS1DFR.

HAMNET Report 10th October 2021

Here’s a problem that hadn’t dawned on me before, and which is going to prevent future Mars explorers from easily phoning home.

It appears that every two years Mars and Earth end up on opposite sides of the Sun at a distance of 245 million miles in what is called a Mars solar conjunction.

During this conjunction, in Earth’s sky, Mars is close to the Sun, as the Earth is close to the Sun in the Martian sky. This is more than a bit of astronomical trivia; it’s also a major headache for space engineers. Mars doesn’t actually pass behind the Sun, but it is close enough for the Sun to interfere with radio communications between the two planets. Not only does it take 22 minutes for a radio signal to travel one way between Earth and Mars, but the proximity of the Sun affects communications because it is a major radio wave emitter and the ionized gas that makes up its giant corona acts like a barrier to radio signals.

Though this solar interference isn’t total, it can degrade communications to the point where data and command signals can be distorted and might cause robotic spacecraft to start acting in unpredictable ways – which is something you definitely don’t want to happen on a hostile alien planet hundreds of millions of miles away.

To prevent this, NASA mission control will stop sending signals after ordering its Mars spacecraft to go into a go-slow mode until the conjunction passes. Give or take a couple of days for particular missions, the communications shutdown will start on October 2 and end around October 16.

Though mission control will not be sending signals, the probes will send status updates and some data back to Earth at a low transmission rate. During this time, the Perseverance and Curiosity rovers will sit still and take weather, radiation, and other sensor measurements, the Ingenuity Mars helicopter will be grounded, and the InSight lander will continue seismic measurements. Meanwhile the Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and MAVEN orbiters will gather data and relay transmissions from the surface.

Once the conjunction is over, the spacecraft will transmit their backlog of images and other data to Earth through NASA’s Deep Space Network for about a week before resuming normal operations.

Thank you to New Atlas for this revelation to me.

The ARRL says that the oft-cited figure of 3 million radio amateurs worldwide may need updating. That number was what the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) published in 2000 for the global head count. The IARU once regularly collected amateur radio population statistics, but stopped the practice around the point when the worldwide amateur radio population began to decline.

Data available elsewhere for a few major countries shows a steady decline in radio amateurs since 2000, with the exception of the US, where ham licenses — not necessarily licensees — number some 780,000 to date in 2021. Japan’s ham radio population has dropped by more than 600,000 over the past 2 decades; as of 2015, it was 435,581, according to JARL. China boasts more than 174,000 radio amateurs as of 2021. According to 2018 statistics, Thailand has 101,763 hams; the UK has 75,660, and Canada has 70,198.

But, the specific size of the worldwide amateur radio population remains open to speculation, although a 2021 figure of 1.75 million may be closer to the truth. The ARRL thanks Southgate Amateur Radio News, and other sources for these details.

Evidence that South African sporting life may just be returning to some semblance of normality comes in the invitation in Cape Town, from the organisers of the annual 99er Cycle Tour, to HAMNET to assist at next year’s event, to be held on 12th February, if the wretched Coronavirus will let it. We are hoping it will take place, having missed 2021’s event because of COVID-19. In 2020, the race happened just before the disease took off in South Africa. Let’s hope 2022 will signal a return to relative sporting freedom.

The Western Cape Repeater Working Group is running a raffle to raise funds to assist with the maintenance and repair of the repeaters they manage. Tickets are R50 each, and the lucky one whose ticket is drawn will win a brand new Baofeng UV-R 9 Plus, donated by ZS1DDK and ZS1F. If you buy two tickets for R100, you’ll get three chances in the draw, so don’t delay. Use your call sign and UV9 as a reference when you make an EFT into the Working Group’s bank account, which is available on www.wcrwg.co.za  The draw will take place once 100 tickets have been sold!

Here’s a doggy rescue story to end this week’s bulletin.

A pug sparked a widespread rescue mission involving two coastguard teams and a social media campaign after it got stuck in the mud.

The dog went missing near Rhyl’s promenade in North Wales and an online appeal found its way to both Rhyl and Flintshire coastguard teams who sprung to action.

The dog’s family was greatly concerned over his whereabouts, especially 12-year-old James, who is autistic and relies on Buddy to keep his anxiety levels low.

Thankfully, Buddy was soon found near the River Clwyd where it was discovered he had become stuck in the mud.

Rescuers were able to free him allowing owner Sarah to share the good news on Facebook.

Speaking to North Wales Live, she said: “I would just like to say thank you to everyone from the bottom of our hearts. We are over the moon with finding Buddy and James is the happiest boy alive right now.

“Nobody ever gave up and they travelled out to help look, they phoned, visited, messaged and shared anything they could to help.

“We were given the best support anyone could wish for, so thank you to everyone; you kept me going all night and day.”

After his ordeal, Buddy was given a much-needed bath.

Sarah added: “James and Buddy have been snuggling since being back together and slept right through the night.

“Buddy means the world to the entire family and helps keep James calm and his anxiety levels low, giving him comfort and making James feel safe.”

I’m sure you’ll agree this is altogether a better story than last week!

This is Dave Reece ZS1DFR Reporting for HAMNET in South Africa.

HAMNET Report 3rd October 2021

This weekend we first turn our attention to the Island of Crete, Greece, which experienced a magnitude 5.8 earthquake last Monday the 27th. Sotirios Vanikiotis SV1HER, Emcomm coordinator for Greece, reported that one person had been killed and twelve injured. Radio amateurs were not activated as the quake time was very short. The nearest village Archalochori sustained some minor damage.

Sotirios says interestingly that, in the previous 30 days, Crete had been shaken by 1 magnitude 5.8 quake, 10 between 4 and 5, 60 between 3 and 4, and 166 between 2 and 3 magnitudes. 86 quakes of less than magnitude 2 were measured, but would not have been felt by the inhabitants. That is a total of 323 jolts in one month, an average of 10 a day. Difficult to carry on normal daily life, I should think, waiting for the really big one to happen. Happily, so far, it hasn’t!

RTE reports that Spain has classified La Palma as a disaster zone, a move that will trigger financial support for the island where a volcanic eruption has wrecked buildings and destroyed crops over the past nine days.

The government announced a first package of €10.5 million, which includes around €5 million to buy houses, with the rest to acquire furniture and essential household goods, government spokesperson Isabel Rodriguez said.

Lava has been flowing down the volcano’s western flank towards the sea since 19th  September. It has destroyed almost 600 houses and banana plantations in La Palma, which neighbours Tenerife in the Canary Islands archipelago off the North African coast.

Thousands have been evacuated and three coastal villages were locked down yesterday in anticipation of lava meeting the Atlantic Ocean and releasing toxic gases. But authorities cannot determine if and when the molten rock will reach the sea or how long the eruption will continue.

For several hours yesterday, the eruption slowed to a near halt before roaring back into life in the evening.

“We are still waiting [for] whatever the volcano wants to do,” said Miguel Angel Morcuende, director of the Pevolca response committee. “When the lava reaches the sea, the lockdown must be strictly observed.”

Now, in the “Ag Shame” category, we read a story from the National Sea Rescue Institute’s monthly newsletter of an inland rescue on Hartbeespoort dam in September. The NSRI writes:

“When reports came flooding in that a dog was in the middle of Hartbeespoort Dam struggling to make her way to shore, Station 25 (on Hartbeespoort Dam) wasted no time in launching to find and save her.

“On the afternoon of Friday, 17 September, Hartbeespoort Dam’s community Facebook page was abuzz with reports of a dog in the middle of the dam in danger of drowning. At the same time, Station 25’s station commander Arthur Crewe received call after call (more than 20, he says) from concerned members of the public asking the NSRI to help. Arthur and three crew members mobilised quickly, launching the rescue vessel Sea Legs and within minutes had reached the area where the dog had last been spotted.

“They noticed a jetskier trying to guide the dog in the direction of the shore. They reached the frightened, exhausted animal and brought her to shore where two bystanders, Jaco and Anne, from Kosmos, were waiting with blankets and water. They gently warmed the dog, rehydrated her, and offered her a little food, all the while trying to keep her as calm as possible.

“Anne then took the dog, which we named Sea Legs to the Hartbeespoort Animal Welfare Society (HAWS),” Arthur says. “When we found her, she was about 100 metres from shore, and it’s unlikely she went for a swim by herself,” he adds. While reluctant to speculate, it’s very telling that despite all the publicity, no one has claimed the dog, and when she was found she had quite a severe head wound. She was also on heat.”

“Thankfully, Sea Legs is in the capable and safe hand of HAWS personnel who are attending to her injuries and taking care of her. A foster family has been found, and she can look forward to a safe and loving home in the future.

“Grateful thanks to all who reported the incident and to Jaco and Anne for their loving assistance.” Close quote.

One does not have to be Sherlock Holmes to realize that a doggie does not just end up in the middle of a dam with a severe head wound all by herself. This appears to be another example of man’s inhumanity to animals. Thanks to the NSRI for reminding us of the love we ought to be showing to man’s best friend.

Finally, Cision PRWeb reports that Tait Communications, a leading provider of critical communications solutions for the public safety, utilities and transportation industries, announced the TAIT AXIOM® Wearable on Friday the 1st, a compact, broadband-connected device that allows mobile teams to work beyond the radio network edge and in challenging areas like building interiors, automatically switching communications bearers.

“Emergency response can send workers into areas where radio communications are suddenly not available, and critical conversations between the dispatcher and team members stop,” said Yoram Benit, Tait Communications Chief Executive Officer. “The Wearable provides an alternate communication path through broadband networks to ensure the conversations keep going.”

The lightweight, standalone device mounts on a uniform like a radio speaker microphone and accesses TAIT AXIOM® cloud-based Push-to-Talk services using broadband networks, including public/private LTE, WiFi and Ethernet. Heads-up operational controls, like a rotary dial and large dedicated buttons for PTT and distress calls, keep eyes looking safely forward. Interoperability with Tait LMR networks allows companies to invite broadband-connected workers outside the LMR network into radio conversations regardless of their location, and without the expense of a dedicated radio or network expansion.

“Now, support personnel can become part of the larger conversation, helping front-line workers be safer and more productive by communicating one-on-one or through talk-groups, without the added step of sharing information through a dispatcher,” said Benit.

When attached to a Tait TP9000 Series portable radio via cord or Bluetooth, the Wearable performs the function of a powerful speaker microphone, delivering exceptional audio via a 3W front-facing speaker and three active noise cancellation microphones. In the event the portable radio loses connection with the LMR network, communications automatically switch to the Wearables broadband connection, providing a path for voice conversations as well as emergency alerting and location information.

Clever technology that I hope will filter through to all levels of rescue comms.

This is Dave Reece ZS1DFR reporting for HAMNET in South Africa.