Category Archive: Fact or Fiction

Who can say? Maybe we are just making it all up as we go.

Today is Too Late

ACE bent the old battery taking it out of his iPhone

ACE bent the old battery
taking it out of his iPhone

ACE worked on his own equipment a lot, in the example above, a very recent project, took the battery out of his iPhone and replaced it himself, a large saving compared to the experts at the Apple store. That was only part of the problem of course, the major power outage inconveniencing everyone.
Bob’s previous callsign was a KE- prefix, but he liked the ACE suffix and searched around until he found one with an acceptable prelude, and then told everyone he did it because it ‘sounds so good on CW’ except that Bob doesn’t do Morse. When all the power went out he was on his way home, too tired from work to either talk on the repeater or even listen to the commercial AM band. The first thing he noticed was that the garage door wouldn’t work, and then on opening the other side manually, the disaster inside. ACE knew that Lithium batteries were dangerous, and specifically set aside the bent one removed from his iPhone. However, it was on the garage workbench, close enough to the plastic weed sprayer that when it finally ‘went off’ the sprayer side melted, and that released the pressure inside, spraying half the back side of the garage with super poisonous commercial strength spray.
You may have heard Bob, not bragging, just mentioning the fact that he was partially prepared: generator, 2 cans of gas, food, some water, and a Ka-bar knife. He was lamenting the damaged food and supplies when his wife came out of the door from the kitchen and said, “Did you hear about it? They just announced two more cities, Austin TX, and San Diego.”
They sat there a long time, ’til nearly sunset trying to decide whether to salvage the poisoned bags or even whether to touch them since there was no water pressure to wash.
ACE didn’t mention it on the net that night.

In this view the battery is out of the phone, visible in back Notice the slight bend

In this view the battery is out
of the phone, visible in back
Notice the slight bend

If this bit of fiction is too subtle, then you should know:
Both ‘Bob’ and his Amateur Radio callsign suffix, ACE, are fictional.
The SWIARC club runs a DISASTER PREP net Tuesdays at 9 on 146.82
Recent national news included reports of simultaneous power outages in major cities.
This is hinted at when Bob’s wife says, “Austin & San Diego”
Bob has made some preparations by storing food and fuel
and finally, an unfortunate coincidence, the battery fire, ruins some of his prep.
There are three more short articles on the Disaster Prep subject on this SWI-radio site. Go back to the main page and look over on the right-hand side under NEWS & ARTICLES where Today Is Too Late is the first in the list. About 2/3 the way down are GOOD TIMING, another fictional piece; NOVEMBER PROGRAM ON READINESS with a list of items nice to have in an emergency, and DISASTER NET. You can comment on these by radio on 146.82 or via E/Mail to WA0ZQG at Hotmail.

  • Rich WA0ZQG
Tuesday 9:00pm, Prepper’s and Survivalism Information Net

Tuesday 9:00pm, Prepper’s and Survivalism Information Net

Good Timing

Quake shattered all roads

Quake shattered all roads

It was a dark and stormy night, very humid, just as it had been first three months after the quake
‘heard round the world’ as they used to say. Those three months saw a lot of changes, and to be
clear, a lot less people because the quake was in November and you can’t grow a whole lot of food
those months in the Northern Hemisphere. The few who survived, our estimate less than a
percent, included a surprising number of Hams, in fact the first couple of weeks the bands were
crowded with a lot more activity than usual, everyone on solar power or generators. That subsided
too as food ran out, but we still had a lot of guys on various bands all over the place.
One guess was it measured an 11.3 on Richter, but no one really knew, and as the mountains in
Colorado were the only thing that stopped the ocean now, most of the earthquake experts were gone
along with everyone else in California. There were a few 6s on the bands, but they were the guys
with maritime stations on their pleasure boats.
The big problem right after that no one saw, was the worldwide intensity of the quake disrupting
every road, no way to get around anymore except by walking or on horseback. Thus, the guys who had
stockpiled food in addition to batteries and solar power were the only ones who survived except for
a few lucky ones or those in tropical areas like KH6. One of them said that if he had his way he’d
never eat a banana again, except it was still his main option.
The stories you heard on the radio, a few who actually saw it coming, like waves but earthen, not
liquid water, were astounding. One guy on a hill said he was out back admiring his 20M dipole and
happened to look up when he felt it, watching hundred foot high ‘waves’ of earth roll up a valley
leading to his house where it stopped, more or less. He was knocked to the ground and thrown back
and forth for awhile, but the itneresting part was his house, a regular stick built two story,
surviving in a recognizable shape. Destroyed certainly, and a total loss insurance wise, but he
was still living in it. Metal structures didn’t have the resiliency and of course all skyscrapers,
anything over 2 or 3 stories, were totally flattened.
It was as if the creator had decided to ‘start over’ everything you ever saw in a book gone
and no way to get there to see it anyway. One result was the 24 hr day changed. Not by much,
a few seconds, but it was permanent. We had a guy whose other hobby was astronomy, and our big
accomplishment, averaging the observations after 3 years, was to reprogram an HP Atomic clocks
that one guy had, to count a different number of oscillations to make up a second. Then we took
the ‘new standard’ 10 Meg output from the HP and put it on the air. No more 5, 10, 15, and 20,
just our one 10 Meg reference signal on the air, but with it everyone with a receiver can
find out the time. Worldwide. That’s useful.

You can't get there from here

You can’t get there from here

We were no more fortunate in our area, identifying fewer than two dozen out of the nearly
two thousand guys in the area. Most of them lived on hills but there were a few with lower
QTHs. Interestingly, the two former Net Control stations for the Tuesday Disaster Prep Net
both survived, and of course had plenty of supplies through the first summer after. A report
relayed from South of town said there was a Colorado type mountain South toward Kansas City.
One of our group went over to the airport and found an undamaged Cessna 180 tail dragger
parked outside the hangars that first year. His previous flight experience was commercial
and all he knew was ‘pull back and the houses get smaller – push forward and they get bigger.’
Flying South, he got to 14,500 and said the mountain went up another 3 or 4,000 feet. That
also explained why we didn’t get anything, HF or VHF SSB from that area. He put the Cessna
down in a field not far from his house. You can land those things in less than 1,000 feet.
It’s still there. Got any hundred octane fuel you care to drag over ot his house?


– Rich WA0ZQG