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Weird or Unusual Experiences Had On MURS?

Discussion in 'MURS / FRS / GMRS' started by Mr Q, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. Mr Q

    Mr Q Member

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    Many years ago, before they started calling some of the low power VHF business channels MURS, I discovered some very interesting uses of these channels and would like to hear about any you may have encountered.

    One I remember was at my town's annual 4th of July fireworks displays that was long past its usual starting time . A Ham friend of mine was with me at the display site and to pass the time, we listened to the fireworks crew's coms over their LP business band freqs on the VHF high band as they were trying to solve some issues that was holding up the display start. By now, the start was behind schedule by 30 minuets and we all were getting very restless with the delay.

    At each start of a display, the town's high school band would play the national anthem at the show's start. The band and other groups involved in the show were all on walkies trying to sort things out when I lost my patience and grabbed my friend's ham walkie. The last TX of the group was from the display guys telling the band he would tell them when to start the music at the first lighting of the first firework fuse. The problem was that most of the people on the portables didn't know each other by voice and after a few minuets of waiting, I (as a joke to my friend) transmitted, "OK guys, start the music!"

    As you can guess, the display people were furiously trying to start the display as the band was playing and after a few anxious moments, the first rocket went up. My friend and I looked at each other in disbelief as my transmission started the display. Along with being in shock that they started at my command, I also felt so proud that I was the starter of the display that year :D And the display ended up as good as past years...finally ;)


     

  2. RatsoW8

    RatsoW8 Supporting Member, W9WDX ARC Member - WD8T

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    In order to keep my hard earned Amateur Radio license I generally don't make unauthorized transmissions on frequencies I have no privileges on. That's just me though. Is this your first post?
     
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  3. Brake Weight

    Brake Weight Active Member

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    Appears to be.
     
  4. w9cll

    w9cll W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member

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    What if someone got hurt on the fireworks team that was rushing to get the show started because someone yelled start over the radio? Kinda a stupid idea if you ask me.
     
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  5. GnG8d

    GnG8d Well-Known Member

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    I can easily see where that could have had a disastrous ending.
     
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  6. Mr Q

    Mr Q Member

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    First of all, I was NOT a licensed Ham at the time.

    Second, they were using a LP (no license required) frequency.

    Third, and most important, the last person in the chain of safety during these displays is the "shooter" (the guy with the flare that lights off each rocket or shell) and he is the LAST PERSON that decides when and if anything gets shot up. He was ready for the display to start but the delay was due to the discussion of the sequence of the shots only. At no time was anyone's safety at risk.

    By my transmission, the band did start prematurely, which signaled the shooter to start the display. These pyrotechnics are always lit off with safety issues as a priority and when all is ready to go, the shooter(s) are the trigger people and they are well trained to know what is to be shot and when. If there were ANY safety issues during the set up or shooting, the shooter has the last word in deciding IF the start is safe to commence or not.

    What I did was no more risky than giving the command to start a play with a "curtain up" or lighting direction prematurely.

    And IF there was any safety issues involved in this (and many other displays) show, its the use of communications using devices that are NOT in the control of the staff, such as using portables that anyone can purchase and use. So why do they use these "itinerant" frequencies? Because these companies travel around the country doing displays and IF licensed, their mobility concerns are often utilized by these LP frequencies.
    In fact, I have attended many displays where the pyrotechnics were directed with FRS radios - a sure invitation for grief with lots of kids using these channels with their "toys".

    Sorry, but what I did may have been a bit unethical but otherwise harmless.
     
  7. w9cll

    w9cll W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member

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    Thanks for clearing it up but regardless of the outcome it was not a good decision.
     
  8. Nick23

    Nick23 Desperado, 785

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    All this person did was tell the band to start. The fireworks people then shot of the fireworks as the band started. If it was not safe I think they would not have shot off any fireworks. Its not like he snuck up their and lit the fuses on all the fireworks.
     

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