Keith Trinity is going to be our Ham/MURS leader for our NRG Firewise community. He is a long-time ham radio operator and he even works in the industry. Eric Swenson is going to be next in line, as a new ham and a tech expert. Thank you to Keith and Eric for taking the lead on our communication during emergencies through our Micro Community leaders.
The NRG Firewise community participated in the Countywide MURS/Ham Communication exercise on April 3rd. We learned a lot about the areas where we can’t communicate using the Dakota MURS radios. Keith Trinity (Outlook Ridge) and Eric Swenson (HVR) worked with the CERT and ARES (ham radio) people who orchestrated the Santa Cruz County test.
In order for us to communicate from the north end of NRG to the south end, he recommends that all of the Micro Community Leaders (and any neighbors who want to be part of our relay team) to use a more sophisticated and powerful MURS radio than the Dakota Alert that I originally recommended. If you have already purchased the Dakota Alert MURS radios, you can continue to use them – you don’t need to purchase the new radio.
If you haven’t purchased the MURS radio, we recommend that you buy the BaoFeng UV-82C. With this radio, you’ll be able to do everything you can with the Dakota Alert and you will also be able to hear Central Fire, the police, and PG&E. It is a bit confusing because it needs to be programmed to our NRG Firewise channel and programmed to scan fire, police, PGE, and other stations (with locks so you don’t accidentally interfere with emergency conversations.) Keith just set me up with the UV82R and we tested it today. Wow!
Keith has graciously offered to program all 260 residents’ BaoFeng UV-82C radios to ensure that we can easily find our station (he’s locking it in place). That way, it’ll be just as easy as the Dakota Alert MURS radios! As a bonus, he’ll also program everyone’s radios so they can hear Central Fire, the police, and PG&E. Keith and I listened in on these stations this evening and it is really amazing to hear. We actually heard about a fallen tree that took out power lines in a nearby neighborhood. With these stations programmed into our radios, we could listen in on PG&E to find out when our power will be reinstated before it actually goes on. That way, when you hear sirens, you can check your radios to learn what’s going on in your neighborhoods.
You can buy the BaoFeng UV-82C radio here:
Make sure that you get the “C” version to be FCC “type-accepted.” It’s $76.18 with tax.
Keith has graciously offered to program all of our BaoFeng UV-82C radios for free. If you would like to order one, please order from Amazon and have them delivered to Keith’s home address. He’ll program them and have them ready for you at the NRG Firewise event on April 23, 2022. If you order the radio after the event, make sure you include your phone number so Keith can let you know when you can pick them up at his house. He recommends that families order 2 radios so he can program them on a different channel to give families the ability to talk to each other on a unique channel (not our NRG Firewise channel). Thank you Keith! You are awesome!
c/o Keith Trinity
130 Outlook Ridge
Soquel, CA 95073
Thank you to Keith Trinity and Eric Swenson for managing the Countywide MURS/Ham Communication exercise last week. Thank you to Karen Ow, Rahel Lyons, Sean Gomez, Melody Meyers, Carolyn Stallard, Marianne Mejia, Deo Robbins, Zack, Kelly, and Amy English for representing their Micro Communities and helping us all test out our communication system so we’ll be ready during a real emergency.
I hope you’re all going to join us at the NRG Firewise event on April 23rd (10:00 AM - 1:00 PM). Keith will be speaking about our communication system. I’ve got over 15 speakers who will give us up-to-date tips on evacuation, shelter in place, and more. Harpin’ Jonny and Clark will be entertaining us during the lunch break. We’ll have lunch from Taqueria Vallarta (come hungry – it’s a fundraiser!). We even have demonstrations on how to use chainsaws and how to put out fires with a fire extinguisher! It’s going to be entertaining and enlightening!