News and Announcements

If you've not received a "Thank You" for . . .

E-mail sent by BG1RS 22PLINKER, Thursday, February 28th, 2019 @ 9:24am

If you've not received a "Thank You" for a PayPal donation you initiated, it's probably pending in limbo
because I screwed up!
When I made the graphic containing the instructions, I did not put a DOT (".") betweeen Russ and Spriggs. 
The corrected version reads, "Russ.Spriggs@earthlink.net"
Like I say, needs Mental Floss . . .
Thanks for all your support, Team . . .emotional, physical and financial.  It means more than you know!
Stay well -
Russ

InwPrep thanks ALAN B. for the generous donation!

E-mail sent by BG1RS 22PLINKER, Thursday, February 28th, 2019 @ 9:07am

InwPrep thanks ALAN B. for the generous donation toward this group's operating expenses!

Thousands of dollars have been privately expended over the past dozen years; re-compensation is greatly appreciated.

This public "Thank You" is well in order.

Many Thanks and Blessings!
Russ - KI7BIV

InwPrep thanks Bill "U". for the "initial donation"!

E-mail sent by BG1RS 22PLINKER, Wednesday, February 27th, 2019 @ 8:16pm

  InwPrep thanks Bill "U". for the "initial donation" toward this group's operating expenses!

Thousands of dollars have been privately expended over the past dozen years; re-compensation is greatly appreciated.

This public "Thank You" is well in order.

Many Thanks and Blessings!
Russ - KI7BIV

InwPrep thanks RICK G. for a MONTHLY donation!

E-mail sent by BG1RS 22PLINKER, Wednesday, February 27th, 2019 @ 8:11pm

  InwPrep thanks RICK G. for a MONTHLY donation toward this group's operating expenses!

Thousands of dollars have been privately expended over the past dozen years; re-compensation is greatly appreciated.

This public "Thank You" is well in order.

Many Thanks and Blessings!
Russ - KI7BIV

InwPrep thanks LINDY B.!

E-mail sent by BG1RS 22PLINKER, Wednesday, February 27th, 2019 @ 7:37pm

InwPrep thanks LINDY B. for the donation toward this group's operating expenses!

Thousands of dollars have been privately expended over the past dozen years; re-compensation is greatly appreciated.

This public "Thank You" is well in order.

Many Thanks and Blessings!
Russ - KI7BIV

InwPrep Thanks MICHELLE D.

E-mail sent by BG1RS 22PLINKER, Wednesday, February 27th, 2019 @ 7:35pm

InwPrep thanks MICHELLE D. for the donation toward this group's operating expenses!

Thousands of dollars have been privately expended over the past dozen years; re-compensation is greatly appreciated.

This public "Thank You" is well in order.

Many Thanks and Blessings!
Russ - KI7BIV

Okay. I FINALLY broke down . . .

E-mail sent by BG1RS 22PLINKER, Monday, February 25th, 2019 @ 10:21pm

and listened to what so many of you have said and offered . . .

Yes, I can use some help in the $ department.  Running this labor of love for the past 12 years has been - and continues to be - most enjoyable. 
I don't know of any other venue in our American Redoubt that has - without charge - continuously and consistently maintained a website with over 50 training events per year.

Aside from fuel, office, signage, website, training, hosting, equipment and other costs, now the hours spent per week are approaching the full-time (unpaid) job status, and the mortgage still comes due.
So, I've changed some verbiage on the front of www.inwPrep.com to read:

Welcome to our "by donation" group!  Please see the unabashed request, at right.  It's almost a full-time job, running & paying for this site and events; your help is GREATLY appreciated!




Of course, for those not in paypal mode, an envelope dropped by at a meeting or addressed to 300 Walnut Lane, Spirit Lake, ID 83869 is just dandy, too!

I'm just throwing this out there, as it's been a tough lesson to learn:  Good folks will often chip in, if they only know that their help is appreciated. 
Believe me, you ALL are appreciated, as I learn so much from you, and you all make my life so much richer . . . in SO many ways, for so many years!

Thanks and Blessings . . .
Russ

OathKeepers Presents: STOP THE BLEED Training . . . Save a Life - With the Bramwells

  • Saturday, March 30th, 2019 at 6:30pm - 8:30pm
    Location: Hospitality House, 216 S. Washington St., Newport, WA

    OathKeepers Presents:
    STOP THE BLEED Training
    . . .  Save a…

    • 21 people attended

STOP THE BLEED Training . . . Save a Life - With the Bramwells

  • Saturday, March 30th, 2019 at 6:30pm - 8:30pm
    Location: Hospitality House, 216 S. Washington St., Newport, WA

    STOP THE BLEED Training
    . . .  Save a Life!
    With the…

    • 16 people attended

Welcome, JOSH from SPIRIT LAKE!

E-mail sent by BG1RS 22PLINKER, Sunday, February 24th, 2019 @ 7:24pm

Glad to have you aboard!

Public Name:
Witness to the King

Town / Group:
Spirit Lake

HAM call sign:


Skills / hobbies to share with this group::
Power Generation
Solar Power

What topic(s) would you like to learn?:
HAM
raising chicks
raising livestock
Gardening
erbal remedies

Introduction:
Raised in ID. Love the outdoors and self sufficiency. I want to be ready in case of an emergency.

How did you hear about us?:
CH. 3 Project.

Welcome, MRS. Z from BLANCHARD!

E-mail sent by BG1RS 22PLINKER, Saturday, February 23rd, 2019 @ 9:26pm

Glad to have you aboard - Keep an eye on the calendar for events!

Public Name:
Mrs.Z

Town / Group:
Blanchard

HAM call sign:


Skills / hobbies to share with this group::
Cooking and baking

What topic(s) would you like to learn?:
HAM radio communication, situational awareness, gardening…I am open to learning!

Introduction:
My husband and I moved here to get away from the rat race. With that in mind, we have created a home that is away from the beaten path and love the pace of life now. I enjoy spending time with my husband and our family. Additionally, I enjoy reading and taking long drives exploring our new area and working on our homestead.

How did you hear about us?:
A chance meeting with a member.

Ten Cent Modification Doubles Your Radio’s Range

E-mail sent by BG1RS 22PLINKER, Thursday, February 21st, 2019 @ 10:10pm

http://www.askaprepper.com/ten-cent-modification-can-double-radios-range/

I'd like to hear knowledgeable comments on this - is it real?
R

The Ten Cent Modification You Can Do to Double Your Radio’s Range

Some things in life you can never have too much of.  But for this article, we’ll concentrate just on radio range/efficiency!

There are many ways to boost the range of your two-way radios.  The suggestions we offer fall into one of two categories – either getting a more powerful radio transmitter and more sensitive radio receiver, or boosting the effectiveness of your antenna.

Between these two choices, improving the effectiveness of your antenna is always the better approach.  More powerful transmitters and more sensitive receivers are, of course, more expensive than standard grade units, and a more powerful transmitter is also going to need much more power to operate – chewing through batteries maybe ten times faster, and/or becoming a power-hog when you’re off-grid and power is precious and limited.

One more important issue – the more powerful your signal, the further it goes, and the greater the number of people who might receive it.  This is seldom a good thing, particularly when you are trying to keep a low profile.

This is why our focus is not just on greater transmitting power, but also on better overall efficiency of the antenna so it can receive weaker signals more clearly, and – with our radios – if we improve our antenna, we often then cut back on our transmit power, keeping it at the minimum needed for the range we require.

Enough introduction.  By now, you’re probably keen to understand the 10¢ device and how it can double your radio range.  Actually, we may have misstated the truth – the device might cost you less than 10¢!

How a Piece of Wire Can Double Your Radio Range

This device is simply a piece of wire which dangles down off your hand-held radio transceiver.  That sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it, and a bit like the ‘patch’ devices that used to be sold to gullible fools to add to their cell phones, with claims either that they would magically filter out harmful radiation or boost the phone’s range or something.

But we’re not trying to sell you anything, and there is actual solid radio theory that readily explains how and why this works as it does.  And, most of all, you will actually perceive the great boost to your radio’s signal yourself – you will know if it works or doesn’t work.

Without going too much into the theory, but also giving you enough to understand that this is a bona fide scientific real thing, most antennas need two parts in order to work properly.  Sometimes the two parts are obscured as part of a single overall antenna structure, but any good antenna definitely does have two parts to it.

However, with a hand-held transceiver (HT) the people who design them have pretty much unanimously decided that people prefer small portable robust units rather than larger, bulkier, and more fragile units.  They have taken that perception and used it to justify making the antennas small and inadequate.  They know the antenna is inefficient, but it is also small and strong, and they feel that is more important to most people, most of the time, than is a bulkier more fragile antenna but with better range (and with removable/replaceable antennas, if you do want/need a better antenna, you can simply buy one, as most of us do).

The manufacturers are probably correct in their assumption, and most of the time, we accept the limited performance we get from our HT antennas – but sometimes we need better performance, and that’s what this article is all about.

We explain this so you understand the answer to the question ‘If this is so great, how come it isn’t already being offered on all radios?’.

To be more technically precise, the antenna on most hand-helds is typically some type of quarter-wave monopole radiator, usually inductively loaded to shorten its physical length while preserving its electrical length, most commonly a normal-mode helix.  Adding this extra piece of wire changes it to a half-wave dipole.

The first thing you should do with any HT is to replace its standard ‘rubber ducky’ stub antenna with a better antenna, with ‘better’ being in part synonymous with longer/bigger.

But even these improved antennas are still massively inadequate because they don’t provide some type of radiating element for both halves of the antenna.  Instead, the radio designers use various compromises in their design that basically end up as using your body as the other (‘ground’) half of the antenna system.  You’ll be unsurprised to learn that the human body, while wonderful in many ways, is not very good at doing double duty as a radio antenna!

So, to address this limitation, you can add the missing other half of the antenna to the radio yourself.  All it needs to be is a specific length of ordinary wire (bell wire or phone wire, ideally multi-strand so it is flexible, and insulated).  For 2M, this would be about 19.5″, for 1.25M, it would be 11.5″, and for 70cm, it would be about 6.5″.

For best results, you want to strip the insulation off a short piece of the wire and then connect the exposed wire to the ‘ground’ or outside part of the antenna connector.  This is very easily done with the Baofeng units – just unscrew the antenna sufficiently to be able to poke in the wire then screw down the antenna again to secure it.  It might help if you break off/file down/drill a bit off the side of the plastic shroud surrounding the antenna mounting screw, making it easier to get the wire in and firmly clamped by then antenna.

You can also use various types of washers or electrical clamps and connectors to create a connection too, depending on how much work you want to put into this enhancement.

Once you have connected your wire, just let it hang down freely while using the HT.  Don’t grip the wire when holding the HT, but let the wire hang down separately.

When the radio is not in use, you can wind the wire around the set or do whatever else you like to store it conveniently.

What Sort of Improvement Will You Get?

You will notice a significant improvement in both transmitting and receiving on 2M, some improvement on 1.25M, and much less improvement on 70cm.  We’ll spare you the antenna theory issues as to why this is.

But on 2M, you can expect your signal strength to increase by perhaps 6dB.  Some hams report as much as a 9dB improvement, but we find that improbable.  A 6dB improvement is the same as increasing your transmitting power four-fold, so it is a huge/massive improvement, and truly could double your range – or could now allow you to reduce your transmitting power while still getting a signal out as far as before, and getting a greatly improved receive signal.

Now for an interesting extra point.  Not only do you not always need to boost your transmit and receive capabilities, but sometimes this can be inappropriate.  Sure, you can maybe offset a more efficient antenna by reducing your transmit power, but if you are already receiving very strong incoming signals, and particularly if you have some unwanted signals on nearby frequencies, boosting the signal from the antenna to the receiver can sometimes cause problems.  If you find, after adding this extra wire to your HT, that it actually receives more poorly than before, even though it is transmitting better, you have a problem with your receiver circuitry being de-sensitized by strong adjacent signals, and in such a case, you should stop boosting your antenna.

For this reason, there is another way you could conveniently control your antenna, making it easier to selectively add or remove the extra wire.  Have just a short lug connected to the antenna ‘ground’ base on the HT, and protruding slightly from the radio.  Then if you need a boost in capabilities, you can conveniently clip whichever antenna you want onto the radio, but if your receiver is being overloaded, you can unclip it again without any great hassle or bother.

Some Extra Tips and Suggestions

First, if you use your HT on more than one band, you will need different length wires for each band (19.5″, 11.5″ and 6.5″ for the common 2M, 1.25M and 70cm bands).  If you regularly switch bands, what you might want to do is have the 6.5″ wire mounted permanently, and keep two extender lengths, 5″ and 13″, then if you switch bands from 70cm, you connect the extender onto the bottom of the 6.5″ wire.

Note that the connection needs to be electrical, not just physical.  There are easy and complex ways of doing this – the easiest is stripping a bit of insulation off the end of the 6.5″ wire and off one end of the two extender wires, then simply twisting the two together.  Slightly more elegant would be to have an alligator clip on the extender wire, and more elegant still would be to have a paired socket and plug connector at the end of each wire.

Second, you don’t actually need to have your antenna wire physically connected to the ground of the main antenna at all.

You will get best results if it is connected, but if that is difficult – or if it is impossible, for example, with a radio that has a fixed antenna that you can’t unscrew to access its ground – you can create a capacitive coupling between the radio and your antenna, by simply terminating your wire in a metal path (tin foil or copper or whatever) and affixing the patch somewhere on the radio.  The bigger the patch size, the better, and some locations will work better than others.  Some trial and error experimentation might be called for to work out the best place to place the patch.

Of course you could also open up the radio casing and hard wire/solder the wire to a ground point on the radio’s circuit board or access the antenna’s connector internally, then have the wire coming out through a hole in the case, and that would be slightly better than the capacitive coupled device, but is more hassle.

Third, some people have chosen to connect the extra wire to the antenna’s connector rather than to the radio.  There’s no reason not to do this, and if you don’t want to do anything to your radio, and/or if it is easier to add the extra wire to the antenna’s connector rather than to the radio’s connector, that’s an equally fine solution.

Lastly, if you’re still not convinced about how a simple piece of wire can add so amazingly to your radio’s range, Google ‘tiger tail antenna’ to see many credible articles confirming it works.  But, really, you don’t need to do this, because it only costs you 10¢ and only takes you five minutes to do it yourself.  You’ll hear the difference, as will the people you’re communicating with.

And surely that’s what counts.

This article was written by David. If you liked it, you can visit his website at CodeGreenPrep.com.

New HAM RADIO CLASS Starting!

E-mail sent by BG1RS 22PLINKER, Thursday, February 21st, 2019 @ 9:07pm

New HAM RADIO CLASS Starting!

Contact Don G, below:

I am tentatively set to start a new HAM license class on March 11, 6:30PM at the Priest River Community Church between the Bridge and the signal in Priest River on HWY 2 in the Horizon Center.  The weekly 90 min class will run for 9 weeks with a 10th for review and questions.  The exam will follow by a week same time and place.  All levels will be tested (Tech, Gen, and Extra)

 

Attendees will need to acquire the ARRL Technician License Manual 4th Edition. About $30 on Amazon or in most book stores.

 

Can you pass this along to your respective groups and have them contact me with their eMail and phone.

 

Don Goodrich
don.goodrich@Cheerful.com
AF7DG - Extra/Instructor/VE

Welcome, ZOOKEEPER Dav from BLANCHARD!

E-mail sent by BG1RS 22PLINKER, Thursday, February 21st, 2019 @ 1:29pm

Welcome, ZOOKEEPER Dav from BLANCHARD!
See you tonight!



Public Name:
Zookeeper Dav

Town / Group:
Blanchard

HAM call sign:
none yet

Skills / hobbies to share with this group::
I previously worked for 16 years as a Network Administrator. Computers, Servers, Networks and Security.

What topic(s) would you like to learn?:
Ham Radio Communications, Planting and caring for an Orchard

Introduction:
I grew up in the woods but lived for many years in the desert. Back where I belong now and building out the homestead. My interests include self-sufficiency/Prepping , Camping and Off-roading and just being in the woods. My wife and I came here for the clean air, clean water and more Freedom!

How did you hear about us?:
A chance meeting with a current INWPREP member.

Welcome, GARDEN NUT Mich from Spirit Lake!

E-mail sent by BG1RS 22PLINKER, Thursday, February 21st, 2019 @ 12:35pm

Welcome, GARDEN NUT Mich from Spirit Lake!
See you tonight!


Public Name:
GardenNut

Town / Group:
Spirit Lake


HAM call sign:


Skills / hobbies to share with this group::
Gardening, water bath canning, cooking, baking.

What topic(s) would you like to learn?:
HAM Radio and radio usage in general (the meetings at Brickle Creek have been awesome!)
Carpentry
Solar power hookups (how to go from panel to battery to usable energy).
Local herb knowledge

Introduction:
Hello,
my name is Michelle. I've lived here in Idaho for eight years now. We used to live in an area where the power would typically be out for a week or two at a time due to winter storms. I greatly enjoy learning historical methods of how things used to be made. I'm here to learn skills and meet new people who don't suffer from city-itis.

How did you hear about us?:
From the meetups at the Brickle Creek Coffee House.

Please SAVE This BAO FENG Ham Radio Manual!

E-mail sent by BG1RS 22PLINKER, Wednesday, February 20th, 2019 @ 10:29pm

Please SAVE This BAO FENG Radio Manual (attached)UV-5R-Owners-Manual-2.pdf!
This is for the UV5R Family of radios, and is FAR better than the pidgin english ones generally provided.
BTW, the price of these are at an all time low, less than $25 each.  You can even buy a ten-pack for $194!
Hoping to see you all Thursday night . . .
Russ

Welcome, ERIC from SPIRIT LAKE!

E-mail sent by BG1RS 22PLINKER, Wednesday, February 20th, 2019 @ 1:56pm

Welcome, ERIC from SPIRIT LAKE!

Public Name:
Eric

Town / Group:
Spirit Lake

HAM call sign:
KG7VXD

Skills / hobbies to share with this group::
HAM Digital Modes
Software Development
Electronics Tinkering

What topic(s) would you like to learn?:
Gardening
Wood Gathering ( species, techniques, etc …)
Off grid power generation
Comms ( always comms )

Introduction:
Move here in 2015 with the family from Denver area. Getting crowded and overrun with folks I don't see eye to eye with. Hobbys are software development, ham radio, electronics. basically i like to build things.

How did you hear about us?:
Sign at Brickel Creek

Milk & Eggs, nearly free.

E-mail sent by BG1RS 22PLINKER, Tuesday, February 19th, 2019 @ 4:02pm

Milk & Eggs, nearly free.

Members Ben & Christina, owners of GrabbaGreen in CDA, need to uproot & move due to family considerations.  You may have seen the email he sent out regarding goats & chickens.  One of the 4 does is even registered (That's usually worth over $200)!
Layers are going for as much as $20 apiece these days, and he has 20.  A registered doe can easily go for $275.  4 does & 20 hens add up to far more than $400.
Ben & his wife care for their critters organically & well - So I'm sweetening the deal -
Buy ALL critters from them, and you can bring a doe over for a mating with our REGISTERED Nigerian buck, Copper - FREE!!
See:
https://spokane.craigslist.org/grd/d/spirit-lake-at-stud-organically-raised/
6797786434.html 

Hey everyone!

 

I have 4 Nigerian dwarf goats, just under 3 years old. They are all female and have not been bred yet. 1 (the tan one) has papers. I also have 20 chickens. $400 takes ALL of them! Need new home ASAP.

Russ you need more goats lol??

Thanks!

 

Ben

208 6600768.

Welcome, ELMER from ATHOL!

E-mail sent by BG1RS 22PLINKER, Tuesday, February 19th, 2019 @ 2:25pm

Sign in to get details on Tonight's meeting!

Name:
Elmer Zimmerman


Public Name:
Elmer Zimmerman

Town / Group:
Athol

Skills / hobbies to share with this group::
FISHING and working on old cars

What topic(s) would you like to learn?:
Anything to do with living off the grid

Introduction:
Married for 43 years. Love this country and the area around here

How did you hear about us?:
Facebook

Tuesday 5:30: SAW SHARPENING in Spirit Lake!

E-mail sent by BG1RS 22PLINKER, Saturday, February 16th, 2019 @ 4:48pm

Tuesday 5:30: SAW SHARPENING Demo in Spirit Lake!
This meeting is posted on the www.inwPrep.com calendar , but is only visible when you actually Sign In.
Bill Ellis Demonstrates on Chain, Bow & Hand Saws at Brickel Creek Coffee, Rt 41 & Maine.
Show up early for a seat!
Order Coffee & snack at 5:30, then mix & mingle for a bit. 
Presentation is from 6 sharp (ha-ha) till 7PM.  Come tonight to see the tools and techniques.

At a future date, Jim McGinty is scheduled to present a hands-on Sharpening Workshop, a couple hours long, at one of our Second Sunday Afternoon Meetings! 

Thursday, join us for an important meeting in Blanchard!


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