Zello ARES Group

Please fill out the form in order to be confirmed to use the group. Users must be verified ham radio operators in order to connect.

Thanks,

Dustin Cox, N0DRC
Colorado ARES

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ARRL Field Day 2012

“Who ya’ gonna call? Pueblo’s Radio Hams!”

Public Demo of Emergency Communications June 23-24

ARRL Field Day 2012 Logo

June 23-24, 2012

By: Dustin Cox, N0DRC

Pueblo, CO June 2, 2012 – Despite the Internet, cell phones, email and modern communications, every year whole regions find themselves in the dark. Tornadoes, fires, storms, ice and even the occasional cutting of fiber optic cables leave people without the means to communicate. In these cases, the one consistent service that has never failed has been Amateur Radio. These radio operators, often called “hams” provide backup communications for everything from the American Red Cross to FEMA and even for the International Space Station. The Pueblo area “hams” will join with thousands of other Amateur Radio operators showing their emergency capabilities this weekend.

Over the past year, the news has been full of reports of ham radio operators providing critical communications during unexpected emergencies in towns across America including the California wildfires, winter storms, tornadoes and other events world-wide. When trouble is brewing, Amateur Radio’s people are often the first to provide rescuers with critical information and communications. On the weekend of June 23-24, the public will have a chance to meet and talk with Pueblo’s ham radio operators and see for themselves what the Amateur Radio Service is about as hams across the USA will be holding public demonstrations of emergency communications abilities.

This annual event, called “Field Day” is the climax of the week long “Amateur Radio Week” sponsored by the ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio. Using only emergency power supplies, ham operators will construct emergency stations in parks, shopping malls, schools and backyards around the country. Their slogan, “When All Else Fails, Ham Radio Works” is more than just words to the hams as they prove they can send messages in many forms without the use of phone systems, internet or any other infrastructure that can be compromised in a crisis. More than 35,000 amateur radio operators across the country participated in last year’s event.

“The fastest way to turn a crisis into a total disaster is to lose communications,” said Allen Pitts of the ARRL. “From the earthquake and tsunami in Japan to tornadoes in Missouri, ham radio provided the most reliable communication networks in the first critical hours of the events. Because ham radios are not dependent on the Internet, cell towers or other infrastructure, they work when nothing else is available. We need nothing between us but air.”

In the Pueblo area, the Pueblo West Amateur Radio Club will be demonstrating Amateur Radio at Pueblo West Fire Station #1 51 East Hahns Peak Avenue on June 23rd & 24th . They invite the public to come and see ham radio’s new capabilities and learn how to get their own FCC radio license before the next disaster strikes.

Amateur Radio is growing in the US. There are now over 700,000 Amateur Radio licensees in the US, and more than 2.5 million around the world. Through the ARRL’s Amateur Radio Emergency Services program, ham volunteers provide both emergency communications for thousands of state and local emergency response agencies and non-emergency community services too, all for free.

To learn more about Amateur Radio, go to http://www.emergency-radio.org. The public is most cordially invited to come, meet and talk with the hams. See what modern Amateur Radio can do. They can even help you get on the air!

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Comedian Tim Allen Brings Amateur Radio Mainstream

For more information, contact:
Dustin Cox, N0DRC
Public Information Officer At Large
ARRL – Colorado Section
(719) 422-3722
n0drc@arrl.net
For Immediate Release
Comedian Tim Allen Brings Amateur Radio Mainstream

Ham radio has been around since the early 1900s, though lately there has been an increase of new amateur radio operators. There are approximately 2.5 million Amateur Radio operators in the world. The numbers, while believed accurate, can vary somewhat because different countries use different systems to count licensees.

Now it appears that amateur radio has gone mainstream on television. “Tim Allen — star of Home Improvement, Toy Story, The Santa Clause and Galaxy Quest, just to name a few — stars in Last Man Standing, an ABC comedy airing at 8 PM (EST) on Tuesday nights. Allen plays Mike Baxter, KA0XTT, a married father of three and the director of marketing at an outdoor sporting goods store in Colorado whose life is dominated by women. While Amateur Radio has not been prominently featured in the first episodes, according to John Amodeo, NN6JA — the producer of Last Man Standing — it is a part of the show and an important part of Mike’s character. The episode that will establish Mike as a radio amateur is currently scheduled to air on January 17th.”

“Tim’s character Mike is involved in creating the sales strategy for the store, including their catalog and Internet identity,” Amodeo told the ARRL. “The store is like Bass Pro Shops or Cabelas. There is a strong self-sufficiency overtone to Mike’s approach to life. Ham radio fits in the story as a means of emergency communication.

It’s not directly featured in the foreground story, but at the moment, it’s a background element on the home set. Once I allow something to be put on the set, there’s a chance the writers will feature it. Now that we have actually established Mike Baxter as KA0XTT, we can do more things featuring Amateur Radio.”

To make Mike a ham, Amodeo needed Mike to have a call sign. So he contacted ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP, to help him out. “In film and TV, we create fictitious telephone numbers, addresses and brands,” Amodeo explained. “We do this mostly to avoid being sued by real brands and to avoid complications with advertisers. As a producer and a ham, I was torn between wanting the show to be accurate and needing to keep my studios out of trouble. An accurate and positive portrayal of ham radio on TV would be a good thing.” Many TV shows and movies use telephone numbers with a 555 exchange (such as 555-1212), as that exchange is not valid.

Together with Pitts, and with input from Tim Allen, Amodeo created a call sign for Mike Baxter: KA0XTT. Since the show is set in Colorado, they wanted Mike to have a call sign with a 0 in it. “We wanted a call sign that sounded real, but was not valid,” Amodeo said. “The call sign is a 2×3 format with an X suffix. A call sign in this format is an experimental call sign and is not assignable to a radio amateur except in special circumstances. We especially liked the suffix, as it is a play on Tim’s character from his former show, Home Improvement: ‘ex-Tim Taylor.’”

Amodeo told the ARRL that both his studio (Fox) and ABC were “delighted to have a useable call sign. In the past, TV shows just made up some crazy call or used someone else’s without permission. And because we’ve had so much talk about Amateur Radio here on the show, a few of my production assistants took their Technician exam.” Amodeo applied to be an ARRL Volunteer Examiner so he could help administer the exams. On October 6, Amodeo and two other ARRL VEs administered the Technician exam to seven prospective hams. All seven passed, with two making perfect scores.

If you are interested in learning about upcoming ham operator classes, you may contact Dustin Cox, N0DRC the Public Information Officer at Large for the Colorado Section of the American Radio Relay League.
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Photographs:

Tim Allen – Last Man Standing On Set.jpg


Comedian Tim Allen plays Mike Baxter, KA0XTT, on the new hit television show Last Man Standing. The ARRL has been working with John Amodeo, NN6JA — the producer of Last Man Standing — to make sure that Amateur Radio is correctly portrayed on the show. Photo by American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.

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Ham Radio in Hollywood: Comedian Tim Allen Stars as Radio Amateur on New TV Show

12/12/2011

Tim Allen — star of Home Improvement, Toy Story, The Santa Clause and Galaxy Quest, just to name a few — stars in Last Man Standing, an ABC comedy airing at 8 PM (EST) on Tuesday nights. Allen plays Mike Baxter, KA0XTT, a married father of three and the director of marketing at an outdoor sporting goods store in Colorado whose life is dominated by women. While Amateur Radio has not been prominently featured in the first episodes, according to John Amodeo, NN6JA — the producer of Last Man Standing — it is a part of the show and an important part of Mike’s character. The episode that will establish Mike as a radio amateur is currently scheduled to air in mid-January.

“Tim’s character Mike is involved in creating the sales strategy for the store, including their catalog and Internet identity,” Amodeo told the ARRL. “The store is like Bass Pro Shops or Cabelas. There is a strong self-sufficiency overtone to Mike’s approach to life. Ham radio fits in the story as a means of emergency communication. It’s not directly featured in the foreground story, but at the moment, it’s a background element on the home set. Once I allow something to be put on the set, there’s a chance the writers will feature it. Now that we have actually established Mike Baxter as KA0XTT, we can do more things featuring Amateur Radio.”

To make Mike a ham, Amodeo needed Mike to have a call sign. So he contacted ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP, to help him out. “In film and TV, we create fictitious telephone numbers, addresses and brands,” Amodeo explained. “We do this mostly to avoid being sued by real brands and to avoid complications with advertisers. As a producer and a ham, I was torn between wanting the show to be accurate and needing to keep my studios out of trouble. An accurate and positive portrayal of ham radio on TV would be a good thing.” Many TV shows and movies use telephone numbers with a 555 exchange (such as 555-1212), as that exchange is not valid.

Together with Pitts, and with input from Tim Allen, Amodeo created a call sign for Mike Baxter: KA0XTT. Since the show is set in Colorado, they wanted Mike to have a call sign with a 0 in it. “We wanted a call sign that sounded real, but was not valid,” Amodeo said. “The call sign is a 2×3 format with an X suffix. A call sign in this format is an experimental call sign and is not assignable to a radio amateur except in special circumstances. We especially liked the suffix, as it is a play on Tim’s character from his former show, Home Improvement: ‘ex-Tim Taylor.’”

Amodeo told the ARRL that both his studio (Fox) and ABC were “delighted to have a useable call sign. In the past, TV shows just made up some crazy call or used someone else’s without permission. And because we’ve had so much talk about Amateur Radio here on the show, a few of my production assistants took their Technician exam.” Amodeo applied to be an ARRL Volunteer Examiner so he could help administer the exams. On October 6, Amodeo and two other ARRL VEs administered the Technician exam to seven prospective hams. All seven passed, with two making perfect scores.

Since Mike Baxter is a ham, he needed a shack. So Amodeo and the set designers installed an Amateur Radio station in the corner of Mike’s set office. Allen, as Baxter, uses an ICOM IC-9100 HF/6 meter/2 meter transceiver and an IC-92AD handheld transceiver, both provided to the show courtesy of ICOM America. Amodeo told the ARRL that he has plans to add vintage equipment to the shack in the future. “The radio equipment was originally intended to be used as props and set dressing items,” Amodeo told the ARRL. “But since eight of the show’s staff members are radio amateurs, it didn’t take long before we made the radio equipment ‘practical,’ which is to say, actually capable of making radio calls live from the stage when we’re not shooting.” He said that radios will always be on and lit whenever they are shooting scenes in the office.

Pitts and ARRL News Editor S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA, have been working with Amodeo to make sure that Amateur Radio is correctly portrayed in the show. Keane also provided ARRL and Amateur Radio-related materials that are used on the set, such as issues of QST, NCJ and QEX, as well as a call sign map, a 2012 ARRL Handbook, a 2012 ARRL calendar and various ARRL stickers (look for one on the HF rig). “We also sent fake versions of DXCC, Worked All States and Worked All Continents certificates, as well as a Morse Code Proficiency Certificate,” Keane explained. “Each certificate bears the name Mike Baxter and has KA0XTT as the call sign. All the certificates have issue dates of December 25, playing upon Tim Allen’s role in The Santa Clause movie series.”

Amodeo told the ARRL that he also installed a Comet CHV-5X HF dipole and GP-1 antenna for 2 meters and 70 cm (courtesy of NCG/Comet) “up high, about 50 feet, inside the sound stage. The ultimate goal is to have the hams on our staff make contacts from our stage during down times.”

Last Man Standing also stars Nancy Travis (Three Men and a Baby) as Mike’s wife and Hector Elizondo (Pretty Woman, The Princess Diaries, Monk) as Mike’s boss. Amodeo also produced the critically acclaimed Sports Night and Arrested Development.

Credit: American Radio Relay League (ARRL), Allen Pitts
Story used with permission from the ARRL, Allen Pitts, Public & Media Relations Manager.

———
Dustin Cox, NøDRC
Public Information Officer At Large
American Radio Relay League (ARRL)
n0drc@arrl.net

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