Tuesday, June 09, 2015

When all else fails

We bandy this about. When all else fails, Amateur Radio will still be a method of communication. A nice thought, and very true, but I sincerely hope to God we never get to that point - where we're needed to fill that void.

A case in point.  This morning, along with my coffee, I went to go check e-mail, as has become my routine.  No e-mail, no Internet, no nothing.  I went over to the modem/router and the indicator LED for the Internet was amber.  Tried cycling the router power on and off - no joy.  Hit the router "reset" button - still no joy.  Finally, I unhooked the cable and power from the router, waited 60 seconds, and then re-connected everything. Still no joy. That was when I noticed that my tablet, as well as Cara and Joey's wireless devices were connected to the router - just no Internet. 

When I got into work, I got online and had a "chat" with Verizon. Turns out that it's an area-wide outage and they expect service to be restored sometime this afternoon. Life without the Internet. How quickly we've become dependent on it! Imagine - if I was lucky enough to be home today, there'd be no checking that callsign on QRZ, not looking at RBN to see where my signal was going, no checking DX Summit to confirm the callsign of that LZ station who was sending at 60 WPM.

How quickly I forget!  Later this year, it will be three years since Hurricane Sandy came to call. We were lucky, as we were without power for only five days. That was tough enough - although I did have Amateur Radio, because I always keep my batteries ready to go. But no e-mail, no TV, no telephone, no anything else really - I wouldn't like to experience that again, if I didn't have to.

"When ALL else fails" ....... if Amateur Radio ever becomes THE method of communicating around the region, the country, the world - that means everything - EVERY single way of communicating that we're accustomed to, has gone the way of the Dodo. That's a scenario I hate to imagine, because at that point, there'd be no telephones, possibly no electricity, along with inevitable disruptions of the delivery of all kinds of goods and services that we've grown accustomed to. It's enough to make you shudder.

The chaos that would ensue would be mind boggling. Not a happy thought.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!


  1. Hello Larry, no one ever imagines what would happen if there is no electricity and no internet or phone. It happened in Nepal lately. Lucky enough some radio amateurs there had power from solarpanels and good radio stations, they could help. Don't forget the knowledge we have as experienced radio amateurs. These days people don't know how to use a mike or a radio and antennas. When all else fails however things would be very chaotic in the modern world. Shops have to close, traffic lights not working, no traffic, no food, no water nothing....people in poor countries are used to a simple life. But we are not. We will probabely get sick and some will even die. Not a happy thought so I hope this will never happen. Thanks for your post, it kept me mind boggling for sure. 73, Bas

  2. Great post, Larry. A cautionary tale for all of us. Living on Hawaii Island, I'm well-acquainted with the forces of nature--active volcanoes (one is still going strong, bad earthquakes, tsunamis, and Tropical Storms (the latest being Iselle, which came ashore south of Hilo in early August 2014). I've made it a practice to maintain a land-line telephone and a slow, but dependable dial-up internet connection. Both worked very well during our last tropical storm. It's all about having several backup plans ready to go. And, like many of my fellow Hawaii Island hams, I have a low-power HF rig, antenna, and related equipment in my van as part of a "go-kit." As our British cousins would say, "Spot on, mate!" Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).