Wednesday, September 15, 2021

What's in your kit? + SSTV Enabled Missions


We continue onward with UNDR Net by embracing the National Preparedness Month (NPM) weekly themes by looking at "Build A Kit" as part of this  past Tuesday 8:00 PM EST session.

Following discussion summarized below, another slow scan television (SSTV) over FM test took place.

A total of 10 participants made it to the September 14th UNDR Net and was led by Steve K2GOG, net control and backed up by Jim KD2VAH as alternate net control.

The next UNDR Net taking place on September 21st will focus on "Low-Cost, No-Cost Preparedness" along with another SSTV test, so be sure to tune in to 146.805 MHz repeater WA2MJM thanks to the Overlook Mountain Amateur Radio Club next week.  

Quick Notice:  On September 28th, we will move to testing SSTV over DMR using the Brandmeister Talk Group 31368 which is reserved for Mid-Hudson Valley.   Moving forward, UNDR Net will move one week per month to DMR, so stay tuned for details on that.


be prepared FEME ready.gov  UNDR Net


Summary of "Build A Kit" Discussion

To spur the discussion beyond essentials, here is a great article about "Buy or die:  27 prepper items you need to survive the apocalypse" thanks to Inverse.com

Jumping off of this, our participants shared the top items they think would be useful to have on hand after having the shelter, food, water, fire and security aspects taken care of.

  • KD2GGF - Matt - Kerhonkson - Ulster County (NY) -  Vice grip plyers or pair of forceps
  • KD2TQS - Ken - Rhinebeck - Dutchess County (NY) - Sturdy knife, approximately 4 inch length
  • KD2TLF - Guy - Xena - Ulster County (NY) - Water filtering device
  • KD2QAK - Bob - Red Hook - Dutchess County (NY) - Swiss Army knife or multi-tool
  • WA2RKN - Jerry - Hyde Park - Dutchess County (NY) - Solar battery & E-Reader w/ books
  • KD2TVS - Lou - Hewitt - Passaic County (NJ) - Knowledge on surroundings
  • KD2VAH - Jim - Poughkeepsie - Dutchess County (NY) - Proficiency with a "pew pew" device
  • N2ZFC - Tom - Fishkill - Dutchess County (NY) - A bicycle
  • KD2IWC - Paul - New Paltz - Ulster County (NY) -  Joined later
  • K2GOG - Steve - Poughkeepsie - Dutchess County (NY) - Plastic bags (Net Control)

Lots of great ideas and we hope to release an Amazon.com Smile product list of specific recommendations with the purchase proceeds going direct to OMARC to help support its VHF repeater costs.

SSTV Test #2:  A Real Life Scenario

Our second week of SSTV over FM took on a different approach compared to our first week. This week we created a fictitious scenario involving a MEDEVAC flight looking to understand field landing conditions including obstructions and possible threat actors which may be in the area.


First image sent using PD120 mode this week was of the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome air field.  The large cluster of buildings in lower left are smaller hangers, gift shops, food stalls and support buildings.  Across the field in lower right are larger hangers and support buildings.  

North of the larger hangers are a cluster of smaller buildings used for entertainment purposes part of the famous air shows conducted at the site.

Sharing an image like this helps provide situational awareness in real time from an aircraft to be shared with users on the ground.  Another option could be using a tethered balloon to continue to provide imagery to ground users who may only have very basic reception equipment such as a handheld two way radio and a smartphone, but with no internet access.

Here is a fun image from the air show story line which you would only understand if you visit this wonderful living history museum in person, but in the case of our example scenario, sharing an image like this with a rescue team could be important to help with some planning needs.

How to use SSTV?

The focus of promoting SSTV over FM is through the lens of a basic user who only has a hand held radio and a smartphone available.  The goal is to not promote the use of this aged technology to users in a fixed home position with more advanced equipment.

Having the most inexpensive FM analog dual band amateur radio which is only capable of voice communications still permits other ways to share narrow band information that can be visual.

Two common applications to explore are the ROBOT36 application for Android or the SSTV Slow Scan TV application for Apple devices.

It is very easy to hold your radio speaker near your microphone on your smartphone to receive an image or to hold your radio microphone while transmitting the sounds of SSTV coming from the speaker of your smartphone to send an image.

Please download the above images and use the great simple conversion tool from https://www.vr2woa.com/sstv/ to experiment with different modes.  

You can simply play the files back over your computer speakers and hold your smartphone nearby to decode them while running the application of choice.

What is next?

Next week we will attempt to play some type of game using images.  it may be simple tic-tac-toe or possibly something more complicated like chess, connect 4 or battleship.

If you did decode images, please share them to get posted in future articles.   Visit hvdn.org/undr for details.

Hope to hear from you all next week

-Steve K2GOG






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