New Ham/MURS leaders and an improved MURS radio for NRG!

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!

Your Name
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!

1 Like

Thank you Susan & Kieth. Just bought a radio and appreciate your willingness to program.
See you all at the ranch!

Matt Paiss
4400 NRG

Thank you Matt! Appreciate you alerting us here in the forum so we know to watch for your radio. You’re going to love it. I played with mine yesterday and loved hearing the fire and police channels (we can’t use them to talk to them – Keith locked it to make sure!). We’ll have your radio for you at the event!

Will the Firewise event be recorded?

Also, as Keith’s backup, I’ll also be available to help with programming and technical questions. I’ve ordered my UV82C as well (I also have a ham radio and BTECH MURS-v1 radio). I’ve purchased the programming cable for the UV82C as well as software for programming it.

Thanks Susan for organizing this, and thanks also to Keith and Eric for the tech help. That’s a really big load off of all of us. I just purchased a UV82C for each of us and having them shipped to Keith on 4/14.

I will be there on the 23rd as well, but Linda is questionable at this time.

Thanks Steve! You’re going to love the UV-82C radios. Glad you got 2 for you and Linda. Keith will program them so you’ll have your own communication line, separate from NRG Firewise, so you can talk when you’re walking around your property. See you at the event! If Linda decides to join us, please RSVP for her. We’re setting chairs aside for those who RSVP. Last year we had 25 people standing in the back…

Will do. Also, don’t know if Linda told you, but she finished her CERT training a couple weeks ago.

Quick question for the techs. Will these radios work anywhere or are they “network bound” so to speak? In other words, could we talk to each other while driving 280 in separate vehicles just like with a mobile phone?

Yay! We have 2 CERTS in our Micro Community! That’s fantastic. The Live Oak-CERT people will be at the event to encourage others to get certified. Imagine how wonderful it will be to have an effective ham/MURS communication system that talks to the OR3 and CERT? We could have incredible support from our own community.

Dave Warren helped me gather addresses for all medically trained people in our NRG Firewise community so I can create an overlay on my map to see where they live. That gives us an additional layer of medical support!

BTW, Nicole, my daughter who is an ER doctor, will be speaking at the event.

I’m thrilled with our line up of speakers, vendors, and demos.

Bring your metal fire extinguishers to get refilled at the event!

They will work anywhere.

Great. Better than a cell phone is there’s no cell coverage.

Hey there Susan. I will be coming to the event of April 23rd.

I ordered 2 radios
Thanks Keith!
Amy English
3344 NRG

Perfect Amy! I’ve added you to our MURS spreadsheet so Keith knows to expect your radios! You’ll be all set for our next MURS radio test on May 21st at 9:00-9:30 AM. And, thanks for helping me with the new map creation project! :slight_smile: