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Severe Weather / Storm Chasing - Forum for the discussion of severe weather radio communications and storm chasing radio communications related topics.

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Old 08-05-2016, 12:21 AM
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Default Ham channels and other stuff

Since I have the new truck I am:
1. Looking for common channels used during spotting/chasing
2. Looking for someone to go spotting with. Following works too since I can bring up the rear with the amber lights I have on the truck.

I am located in the Whiting Indiana area so I guess any channel type works. Also for anyone wanting me to go spotting.....I am on limited income due to 4 hours a day job but that changes in a few weeks hopefully. That means I can only spot right outside Whiting because of gas. I will not go south of 30 but once I get the orientation done at Walmart(yeah I know it sucks but they pay good and give the best hours around here) I will be making more money to go further out. All I have right now is a VHF 2900R radio also......

73
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Old 08-05-2016, 5:09 AM
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Here is a link to information about Skywarn operations associated with the Chicago NWS office:

WFO Chicago Amateur Radio
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Old 08-05-2016, 3:14 PM
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To add to the great info provided by W9BU,

Ham Radio:

146.55000 Simplex
146.46000 Simplex
446.10000 Simplex
446.07500 Simplex

Some chasers also use cb , FRS, or MURS radios
Citizens Band (CB) Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference
FRS/GMRS combined channel chart - The RadioReference Wiki
Multi-Use Radio Service - The RadioReference Wiki
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Old 08-06-2016, 9:55 AM
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And to add my own personal opinion to WB9U's post, here is what I posted in another thread:

I think a lot of people are confusing storm spotting with storm chasing. When one takes a storm spotting class, they will tell you that under no circumstances at all whatsoever do they condone the practice of pursuing an active severe weather situation.

Yes, storm chasing is "romanticized" on the Discovery Channel, but this should only be done by trained meteorologists who are collecting scientific data and who understand the nature of these storms and who also understand that things can, and do, go terribly wrong which can lead to fatal results.

If you decide to chase storms, you are doing so at your own risk. NOAA will not pay for any damage to your vehicle OR YOU!

And to add to this....

If you really want to go chasing, you should (IMHO) only do this with someone who has been professionally trained, not with someone who just goes "for the thrill of it" without any meteorological credentials.
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Old 08-06-2016, 11:44 AM
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And you don't need any flashy lights.
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Old 08-06-2016, 3:36 PM
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I agree with Scott about the confusion between spotting and chasing.

The Skywarn program was developed by the National Weather Service to allow them to tap into a network of trained amateur radio operators who can serve as severe weather spotters. The NWS needs people who can provide "ground truth" to back-up what the NWS radar and other instruments are telling them. Severe weather spotting may involve you going to an assigned location where you simply wait for the weather to come to you so you can report what's happening.

This is completely different from the severe weather chasers that you may have seen on television or YouTube. In my opinion, chasers are driven primarily by two motivations: they are collecting data for research purposes or they are collecting video for sale. These motivations force them to take extreme risks in order to get their data or video. The smart chasers try to mitigate those risks by arming themselves with extensive training and, over time, they amass the experience to keep themselves from being harmed.

One of the most experienced and knowledgeable chasers I ever met was Tim Samaris. Tim and another member of his chase crew were killed when their vehicle was struck by a "sub-vortex" attached a major tornado. Investigators estimate that the sub-vortex tumbled his vehicle along the ground for approximately a half mile. Even with all of Tim's knowledge and experience, he got caught by an unusually large multi-vortex tornado. Tim died doing what he loved, but is a love of storm chasing worth anyone's life? The troubling aspect of Tim's death is that I had talked to him about 6 months before the accident and we discussed chaser safety. Tim was afraid that some chaser was going to be killed. Sadly, it was him.

Chuck Doswell is generally regarded as the "father" of storm chasing. Mr. Doswell is a former NWS severe weather forecaster and researcher and is now a professor at the University of Oklahoma. You can go to his opinion page, scroll down to the section on Storm Chasing, and read his opinion of storm chasing and the people who engage in it.

I've ranted long enough. If you are truly interested in serving the public, get as much training as you can and work with an established team under the auspices of the NWS. And, remember, that when you are out spotting, you are setting an example for the non-spotter, non-amateur radio operator public. Make sure their impression of you is positive.
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Old 08-06-2016, 7:27 PM
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Trainguy, just a point.
There's no such thing as a "ham radio channel". The amateur radio service is not "channelized" and you will never see a "channel" on a ham radio.

Hams have full and arbitrary use of all the FREQUENCIES that their license allows, and they will use those frequencies in differing and often contradictory ways. While there are voluntary "band plans" and gentlemen's agreements about particular frequencies to use for particular purposes, that doesn't make them CHANNELS.

And they are never referred to as such.

FWIW.
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Old 08-06-2016, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rred View Post
Trainguy, just a point.
There's no such thing as a "ham radio channel". The amateur radio service is not "channelized" and you will never see a "channel" on a ham radio.
Rred, just a point.
On 60 meters, there are 5 channels or specific frequencies on which amateurs may operate on a secondary basis.

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Hams have full and arbitrary use of all the FREQUENCIES that their license allows...
Rred, just a point.
Amateur radio operators do NOT have full and arbitrary use of all the FREQUENCIES that their license allows. While CW may be operated anywhere on any band, phone and image transmissions may only be used on certain portions of the HF bands. By the same token, RTTY and data may only be used on certain other portions of the HF band. Those band segments are delineated in the Code of Federal Regulations. IOW, you CAN NOT just pick any portion of any band on which your license allows you to operated and arbitrarily pick a mode to use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rred View Post
...and they will use those frequencies in differing and often contradictory ways.
I have been licensed for nearly 25 years and I don't understand this. I do not see an amateur radio badge in your profile so I have to ask (well I don't really have to ask, but I am curious), are you a licensed amateur radio operator? Judging by certain parts of your post, I am thinking the answer may be no.

FWIW
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Old 08-07-2016, 9:53 AM
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To late to edit:

OK, my bad. I apologize. I took your statement about arbitrary use of the bands the wrong way. Unlike, for example, CB radio where there are specific designated channels (1-40), with amateur radio you can transmit anywhere within your band privileges and using a mode allowed in the segment of that band.
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Old 08-07-2016, 12:29 PM
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No problem. Sixty meters is, after all, not your typical "ham" band, so the regulation and use of those five frequencies isn't quite typical either. Unlike a maritime HF radio, you won't find "channels" on the dial of a ham radio, even for 60 meters though. Not yet.(G)
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Old 08-09-2016, 1:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W9BU View Post
Tim and another member of his chase crew were killed when their vehicle was struck by a "sub-vortex" attached a major tornado
Tim and two other TWISTEX (his son Paul and team member Carl Young) members were killed

Quote:
Chuck Doswell is generally regarded as the "father" of storm chasing.
Actually, that title resides with David Hoadley.
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Old 08-09-2016, 11:13 PM
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Short answer for those contemplating this activity:

DON'T DO IT! Stay off the roads and in your house where you belong. There is no reason to chase or spot and you are in the way of actual emergency personnel. Around here Skywarn is even frowned upon. Take off the yellow lights and throw them in the trash while you are at it.
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Old 08-10-2016, 8:35 AM
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I encourage people to learn all they can about severe weather/safety and possibly become a spotter or a chaser.

Trainguy1997, learn all you can, attend your local Skywarn training sessions, and have fun. But remember, be responsible and safe.
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Old 01-14-2017, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K5BBC View Post
And you don't need any flashy lights.
Ah Gee man THAT'S the fun part LOL [just kidding]
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Old 01-18-2017, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I_am_Alpha1 View Post
Short answer for those contemplating this activity:

DON'T DO IT! Stay off the roads and in your house where you belong. There is no reason to chase or spot and you are in the way of actual emergency personnel. Around here Skywarn is even frowned upon. Take off the yellow lights and throw them in the trash while you are at it.
Here in Texas SKYWARN is very much needed and appreciated. Even members of the NOAA family have received Ham tickets and gt on SKYWARN nets. if no ham is available to go to NOAA building. Without the SKYWARN and Hams in it NOAA would be some what in the dark on some things [YES ,there is Fire and Police BUT the most information comes from Hams and SKYWARN. Of course it all depends on the mindset of the Ham and the local authorities.
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Old 03-29-2017, 8:05 AM
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Three of them died in Texas either yesterday or this morning. Just saw it on the news. Apparently one of them blasted a stop sign and hit the other. Seems that things get hectic when all eyes are on the sky and not on the road. I often wondered just how dangerous it is to chase, watch, video, report, etc,... all at the same time.
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Old 03-30-2017, 3:38 PM
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Part of that comes down to actual operating. If you are mobile, it's wise to have a 2nd person to watch the skies. If you are behind the wheel and the vehicle is in gear, your PRIMARY concern is always what is on the road, and the relevant signage. Now, that's not to say it can't be done solo, but extra precautions must be made. Stop before looking up. I know in the past, when I had a fairly decent drive time home, I've adjusted my route to help cover areas where spotters were sparse, and found damage that wouldn't have otherwise been as timely reported to NWS.
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