RAYNET are Radio Amateurs, licensed by OFCOM, and are able to provide flexible radio communications in emergency situations, when normal systems of communication have failed, or perhaps when a more localised system is required, to avoid overloading the normal networks.Our members are all volunteers, and give up their free time to train and provide these services, using local events to practise as well as providing safety coverage.
RAYNET can be called on by 'User Services' - these are primarily the Emergency Services, such as Police, Fire and Ambulance services, but extends to the volunteer services as well, St. John (St. Andrews in Scotland), British Red Cross. Local authority Emergency Planning Officers and other utilities are also included.
We also provide communications for local community events, such as marathon runs, cycle rides/races etc. Being a rural county, some areas do not have great mobile phone coverage, the undulating nature of the ground leaves many dips and hollows that little or no reception. This is where RAYNET can help, by putting an operator into the area, and others setting up repeater networks that can link-in the poor reception areas into our networks linking back to a control point wherever it's required.
Different situations means that some normal radio set-up's do not work particularly well, which is why Radio Amateurs usually have range of options available to them. Some frequency bands (70cms/2m) usually work well for local working withing a small radius, however long distance working is sometimes required, where we can use alternative bands (4m/6m/10). The ability to use different bands gives us that flexibilty to find a solution when normal methods fail.
One of Kent's major risks is flooding. Consider for a moment what it would be like if flooding were to cause other issues, such as widespread and prolonged power outages. Mobile phone cells usually have a battery back-up which could last for up to 24hrs, depending on usage, but after that?? And how many people now use cordless phones at home?? The cordless system uses a base station that is usually powered from a 240v socket, so when the power goes, you lose your cordless signal and cannot use your phone-line, unless you have one of the old style phones that plugs directly into the phone extention socket. Even then, the telephone exchange uses power to keep it's networks running, backed up with generators. How long would the generators run for, if they even managed to start?
Our modern world relies heavily on communications and technology, which in turn relies on a stable electrical supply, consider what it would be like if those were to suddenly disappear....
Last Updated on Saturday, 23 June 2012 14:34
First video clip from start of London to Canterbury Cycle Ride
Written by Administrator
Tuesday, 17 September 2013 18:57
Here's a clip from Greenwich Park on Sunday 15th September for one of the batch of riders to leave on the London to Canterbury cycle ride - raising money for The Children's Trust.
Filmed using a DJI Phantom quadcopter with a GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition video camera.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 September 2013 19:19
Medway RAYNET awarded PIP grant
Written by Colin Spice
Sunday, 09 September 2012 08:58
This weeks RAYNET news contained the following announcement:
The First P-i-P Grant Award
The Network is pleased to announce the first recipient of the P-I-P Grant.
Following a substantial legacy which was received in 2009 from the estate of Charles Bottoms, G4PIP, the Network's Committee of Management set up the P-I-P Fund in Charles' memory and has awarded the first grant to Medway RAYNET.
Medway's application would support a project that will, in the event of a major emergency, allow high speed data to be transmitted across Kent over a radio link between key locations.
During any major emergency, local authorities have a responsibility to provide humanitarian support for those involved, and this may include setting up and running rest centres for evacuees, supporting relatives who may come to the area to meet with those involved, or operating a general support service through Humanitarian Assistance Centres.
There is need to capture basic personal information, to be shared with the relevant responding services, so that the best and most appropriate care can be provided. This proposal provides a communications system, rather than transmitting open personal information, as well as offering high speed data transfer capability between relevant control rooms, and provides a resilient alternative to transfer via the Internet.
Reports on the progress of the project will appear in future editions of RAY~Link.
Last Updated on Sunday, 09 September 2012 18:09
Written by Colin Spice
Sunday, 02 October 2011 06:58
Medway RAYNET Group is looking for new members, licenced or not.
As a Group we assist local community events with safety radio cover, as back-up with mobile phones sometimes cannot be relied upon.
Kent is one of those geographical areas that is far from flat, which means that there are always dips and hollows where phone coverage is poor or non-existent. We specialise at providing full coverage, using our operators to put in networks of amateur radio repeaters, allowing us to cover any situation.
However, at the moment we are small in numbers and could do with extra operators, to assist in setting up and running these networks, allowing us to continue to provide not just safety cover for events such as cycle rides, marathons etc, but we are also part of Kent County Councils resilience plan, in emergency situations such as large incidents where rest centres are setup.
As well as licenced operators, others can also help with setting up, message logging, liasing between organisers, marshals etc to pass on or collect messages to transmission back to control. In some cases it's crucial for a licenced operator to have support, so that the radio is constantly manned, having two licenced operators can be a wasted resource if we needed extra radio links out in the field. Having extra volunteers allows us to make the most of our members equipment and expertise.
If you are interested, or want to know more, please contact us!
Colin Spice (2E0CMS)
Last Updated on Thursday, 29 March 2012 22:22
We welcome donations!
Written by Administrator
Friday, 23 September 2011 00:28
Medway RAYNET is a purely voluntary organisation, our amateur radio licences do not allow us to charge for our services, but we do accept donations from the organisers of the events we participate in, to help cover the running costs for for our Mobile Control Unit (MCU), such as fuel, road tax, service & MOT, insurance etc.
Our members do not accept any form of payment, unless there is exceptional cost of fuel, in most cases our members pay their own membership fees which cover issue of ID card and insurance, for the fuel used in travelling to/from and during events, and all radio equipment used is usually personally owned, or borrowed from another member.
Our group pretty well runs on the good-will of it's members, however, in these difficult financial times any additional help is gratefully received. We would be quite happy to accept sponsorship for vehicle or trailer, will additional coverage on the website.
If you would like to make a donation, however small, please contact us, or use the PayPal button below.
Note that the whole transaction would be done on the PayPal secure servers, this website does not record any personal or financial details.
Colin Spice (Callsign 2E0CMS) - Chairman / Group Controller.