News Gathering Volunteers Helping to Meet the Needs of Cities and People on the Olympic Peninsula.

In the event of a natural or man-made disaster information-gathering is vital for broadcasters! Each day, thousands of area residents turn to their radio for information about events that impact their lives and property. Broadcasters HAVING that information is a prime concern! Consequently, a system that will STILL work when normal land-line and cellular service is disrupted, is a must!

The Oly-Comm two-way radio systems not only fulfill this need, but also have sufficient operational space to accommodate additional operators active in various forms of community response. We have chosen to construct and operate Oly-Comm in the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) mostly for practical purposes. Although access to additional radio spectrum exists there, communicating business operations within Amateur (Ham) Radio is prohibited and significant operator-restrictions (even within a family) exist. This caused us to look for a radio service with enough flexibility to allow for all circumstances and the GMRS provides just that. There are no technical tests, just registration and licensing (with a modest fee) that covers many family members for ten years! Condensed rules hereComplete GMRS eligibility details here.

Oly-Comm has a Tri-Level Structure

*** Tier One - News-Gathering Volunteers

Operators who are willing to gather and report reliable information regarding items of interest, the condition of the public infrastructure and general state-of-being in their particular area are encouraged. Links to area designation maps will be posted on-line.

Volunteers can register their intentions here. Please provide complete contact and licensee information. Multiple-service Operators are encouraged.

*** Tier Two - Community-Service & Support Traffic

Operators who typically have traffic to pass, regarding preparedness or response activities by either public or private agencies (ACS, Red Cross, Food Banks, Shelters, etc.), are welcomed. Local agency communications infrastructure may occasionally be subject to physical damage, or other operational limitations as disasters may generate, so said operators are welcomed here as needs may dictate.

Operators wishing to establish advanced-notification of this nature can register their intentions. Please provide contact and licensee information as appropriate.

*** Tier Three - General Operations

When Tier One or Tier Two Traffic is not present, communications of a more general nature are permissible, as prescribed in CFR 47 Part 95E. While transient usage is also permitted, we encourage all frequent/regular operators to make their presence known and to regularly contribute to the Oly-Comm on-air Family.

In the future, weekly Practice Nets are anticipated on Tuesday evenings at 19:00 hours for "Maynard", at 19:15 hours for "Uptown", 19:30 hours for "Metro", 19:45 hours for "West" and 20:00 hours for "North".

Be sure to review the helpful Operational Protocol documents.

Compassion in Action!

Emergency-Preparedness and Disaster-Response Communications Support for the Peninsula & Beyond.

Why is Radio of Hope involved in a project of this nature? Service! While Jesus did say that His Kingdom "was not of this world" (John 18:36) that doesn't mean that His people are never to be concerned with the issues that surround or disrupt daily life for their fellow human beings. Christ took a personal interest in men and women while He lived on this earth. Wherever He went He was  a medical missionary. We are to go about doing good, even as He did. We are instructed to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and comfort the sorrowing. Persons impacted by man-made or natural disaster (whether large or small) are opportunities for the Kingdom to be seen in a loving and practical manner. However, there is no religious requirement for Oly-Comm membership. If you care about people we are happy to have you working together with us! Our radio operators are community-service minded individuals who are willing to be helpful when practical needs arise.

Radio operator participation (especially neighborhood leaders depending upon FRS radio capabilities), overlapping within other public-service, private agencies, NPREP, CPREP and Amateur Radio are encouraged for purposes of broad interoperability. Additional frequencies to carry vital information during times of congestion and stress...who can argue with that? The question remains...and is always helpful...can there ever be too many backups?

Send E-Mail Here.

In the event that you have not had much experience with repeater-based, UHF-FM, two-way radio systems, some basic configuration details are presented below. Knowing what to expect, by way of system performance, will assist all operators in achieving their best usage.

Documents outlining Operational Protocol Are Here.



As can be seen from this image the ability to communicate over significant distances, and to overcome local obstacles to a sufficient response, is accomplished with the proper system design. The radio service in which this installation is licensed is the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) which began as the "Class A Citizens Radio Service" with roots dating back to the late 1940s & early 50s. Bearing little resemblance to the 27 MHz "Class D CB Radio Service", so popular (and frustrating) in the 1970s & 80s, the GMRS is operated with modern UHF-FM communications equipment with performance nearly identical to current Police, Fire and other First-responder systems, yet still permitting "family-style" operation.

Base, hand-held, and mobile units can communicate directly between individual units, when the local need exists, BUT they also have the ability to conduct wide-area communications by connecting THROUGH the mountain-top repeater. In fact, this is the typical mode of communication as it helps to regularly connect all Oly-Comm members thus developing their two-way radio skills and sense of community. 

The first repeater ("Maynard") upon which this system is based is a Kenwood TKR-850. Operating at 462.675 Mhz, PL 100.00, it operates in a dual-back-up mode with a UPS which is, itself, backed-up with an on-site generator powered by 400 gallons of LP gas. The current antenna (Tram-1485) is a proof-of-concept device (5db gain) that will be replaced with a larger and more capable antenna (10db gain) mounted on our main tower and another 60' above ground. Tower elevation is 2077 feet above sea level. As means permit, expansion plans call for additional repeaters to provide coverage over Kitsap County, the Seattle-Tacoma-Olympia area ("Metro") and West-end of Jefferson and Calallam counties ("West"). Our second "close-in" saturation repeater ("Uptown") for Port Townsend (462.675, PL 210.7) is operational and is enhancing operations over the difficult terrain of the northern Quimper Peninsula.

Contributions toward the various projects (Maynard Peak about $2,000.00 and SeaTacOly about $3,400.00) can be made via our donations page or by postal mail.

Service area map - "Maynard" Comm Site Repeater

(This display is based upon typical equipment performance histories and the known terrain.) Green and gold shading indicate areas of operation, depending upon specific transmitter power. This map was generated with an arbitrary distance cut-off beyond about 100 miles. This UHF-FM system was designed from a regional-coverage perspective. 


Service area map - "Uptown" Repeater

While this display is also based upon typical equipment performance histories, and the known terrain, actual performance exceeds the boundary-line. 


Service area map - "Metro" Repeater

This prediction is also based upon typical equipment performance histories and the known terrain. Field-verification will occur upon completion of construction and any updates will be posted here.

Service area map - "West" Repeater

This prediction is also based upon typical equipment performance histories and the known terrain. Field-verification will occur upon completion of construction and any updates will be posted here.