|Emergency/Aircraft Field Party||8998 kHz||All but orange|
|McM Field Party and Weather Reporting||4770 kHz||All but blue|
|McM Secondary||7995 kHz||All but yellow|
|McM Secondary/Field Party and Weather Reporting||11553 kHz||All|
|Scott Base||5400 kHz||All but green|
3. Attach the antenna to the antenna cable located in the front pocket of the backpack. Attach the other end of the antenna cable to the front panel connector labeled "ANT."
4. Attach the ends of the antenna and the antenna center block to bamboo poles.
5. Place the bamboo poles so the antenna is elevated as far off the ground as possible, either perpendicular to the station you are calling, or at a 45-to 90-degree angle, with the apex pointing away from the station you are communicating with. The apex should point to your radio set.
Note: In an emergency, if your antenna is lost or damaged, some alternate antenna materials may be used: tent poles, metal crevasse ladders, ice drill extension shafts, pack frames, or snowmobile wiring.
8.4c Setting up the Solar Panel: PRC-1099
1. Remove the solar panel from the front pocket of the radio backpack, open it, and position in a sunlit area. Make sure the panel won't be shaded by tents or equipment. The solar panel is not effective if any of the cells are shaded.
2. Attach the solar panel connector to the front panel connector labeled "ACC".
8.4d Using Your PRC-1099 Radio
1. Attach one end of the cable provided in the backpack to the front panel connector labeled "ANT." Connect the other end of the cable to the dipole antenna cable.
2. Attach the handset to either of the two "Audio" jacks. This should be done in a warm environment; it's difficult to attach in the cold.
3. Turn the "Volume Control" knob until the noise level is comfortable.
4. A flashing light on the display means the battery is low. If it is low, refer to Section 8.4e: Troubleshooting PRC-1099 Radios.
5. Select the desired channel. PRC-1099s have been channelized to the following frequencies:
|Aircraft/Field Party Emergency||8998 kHz|
|McM Field Party (Dry Valleys and surrounding area)/Weather Reporting||4770 kHz|
|McM Secondary||7995 kHz|
|McM Secondary/Field Party and Weather Reporting||11553 kHz|
Note: If the memory is inadvertently dumped, rechannelize the radio by following the steps below:
1. Set Channel switch to "MAN."
2. Turn the Digit switch up or down to select the desired digit. The selected digit will flash.
3. Turn the Tune switch up or down to select the correct number.
4. To change frequencies in channels l-8, set the Channel control to desired channel number, press/hold the whip tune button and repeat steps 2 through 3.
5. Turn the Function switch to "USB."
6. Set the power toggle to "HI."
7. Press the transmit button on the handset's side to transmit.
8.4e Troubleshooting PRC-1099 Radios
Make sure you're in "HI."
Make sure you're on "USB" on the Function switch.
Check all connections.
Make sure all antenna shorting plugs are connected properly for your frequency.
|No Power/Low Power||Dead/weak batteries or solar panels not properly attached.|
|No Transmit||Faulty handset/antenna connection. Not enough voltage. Front panel
display flashes In the event that power is interrupted at MACOPS.
Try 11553 kHz (South Pole) or 5400 kHz (Scott Base).
Incorrect shorting plugs attached to the antenna.
|No Receive||Handset poorly connected. Volume control too low (control must be set at mid-range).|
Standard radio and audio frequency transmissions are made continuously by the Central Radio Propagation Laboratory, National Bureau of Standards, Washington, D.C., over stations WWV and WWVH. Both stations broadcast on 5, 10, and 15 MHz (15,000 kHz). Signals are sometimes weak in the mornings.
These broadcasts are interrupted at times for maintenance purposes. The standard audio frequencies are interrupted at two minutes before each hour, and every five minutes thereafter (e.g., 1958, 2003, 2008, etc.), resuming after an interval of two minutes. Thus, you can take a series of checks at, say, 2000, 2005, 2010 etc. During the two-minute intervals, Eastern Standard Time (GMT minus 5 hours or NZ time minus 17 hours) is announced by voice, and GMT time is signalled slowly in morse code.
A 0.005-second pulse may be heard as a faint click every second, except for the 59th second of each minute; this gives a warning of the return of the audio tone exactly on the hour, 5 minutes past, 10 minutes past, etc.
The BBC's General Overseas Service also broadcasts its "six pips" time signal on the hour throughout the day, and is accurate to one tenth of a second. (The sixth pip marks the minutes, e.g., 2000, 2300 etc.) These can be picked up in the usual shortwave bands between 9.0 and 9.8 MHz, 11.6 and 12.1 MHz, and 15.0 and 15.5 MHz.
8.6a Sending a Distress Message
In an emergency, stay calm, assess the situation, and use the following steps to call for help:
1. Select the correct frequency.
2. Speak clearly and take your time.
3. Call MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY.
4. Listen for a reply.
5. When a reply is received, tell the other station who you are, where you are, the nature of your emergency, and that you are trying to make contact with MACOPS at McMurdo Station. Give any information that may assist a rescue operation.
6. If no reply is received
Check your equipment. Repeat your call at regular intervals and allow listening periods between calls.
8.6b Action on Receipt of a Distress Message
1. Listen carefully. Write down the message and time received.
2. Listen for an acknowledgment from McMurdo or other major station.
3. If another station does not acknowledge, acknowledge the distress call and then retransmit the distress message to McMurdo, using the words MAYDAY Relay, MAYDAY Relay, MAYDAY Relay. This is. . . (give your station call sign three times).
4. Give the distress message as broadcast by the station in distress.
5. Give assistance to the station in distress if possible. Advise McMurdo of what you're doing.
6. Continue to listen in.
Unnecessary traffic should be avoided at all times!
8.6c Cancellation of Mayday Messages
If/when help is no longer required, don't forget to announce cancellation of your distress or urgency call!
LC-130 aircraft (Hercs) are capable of communicating on any of the frequencies programmed into the PRC-1099 radio. Aircraft communications with field parties will normally occur on 8998 MHz. If an aircraft cannot be reached on that frequency, try 4770 kHz or 11553 kHzor MACOPS.
Hercs are identified by the call sign prefix "X-Ray Delta" followed by the large number painted on the aircraft's fuselage. The call sign for Aircraft One would be "X-Ray Delta Zero One."
Assuming you are Event S-001, proper communications would proceed as follows:
You: "X-Ray Delta Zero One, This is Sierra Zero Zero One, Over."
LC-130: "Sierra Zero Zero One, This is X-Ray Delta Zero One, Copy You Loud and Clear, Over."
You: "X-Ray Delta Zero One, This is Sierra Zero Zero One". . . (Proceed with your message. . . )
VHF radios are used for local, "line-of-sight" communications, such as between your field party on the sea ice and McMurdo, or between field-party members working some distance from a base camp. The USAP currently uses MX300 and SABER hand-held radios.
VHF radios can be used in the field only if you will be operating in "line of sight" of MACOPS or a VHF repeater. If you are out in the field for more than 24 hours, you will need a HF PRC-1099. VHF (hand-held) radio batteries will go dead in the cold after 24 hours.
A limited number of experimental solar rechargers are available for VHF radios and batteries.
8.8a Operation of Handheld Radios
1. Ensure that both the battery and antenna are properly attached.
2. Select the proper channel for the area you are in and type of operation (see the following table for frequencies).
3. Turn the radio on.
-MX300-R and SABER at volume control. -Midland at switch on side of radio.
4. Turn the squelch on until a "hash" noise is heard. Set the volume control to a comfortable listening volume, then back off the squelch control until the noise ceases. Inability to get the noise often indicates low or no battery charge.
5. Listen to ensure you won't be transmitting over the top of other transmissions. "Stepping" on other transmissions will cancel them both.
6. Hold the radio in a vertical position. Press the transmit button on the side of the hand-held (or the top of the extension mike). Talk slowly and clearly.
|3||142.8||138.8||NZ Portable Repeater|
|4||139.3||143.8||NZ Crater Hill Repeater|
|8||138.6||143.225||Field Party Ops Repeater|
|10||139.8||143.725||Crater Hill Repeater|
Note: All MX-300 SABER and Midland radios issued to field parties are programmed with the same channelized frequencies.
8.8b Troubleshooting VHF Hand-Held Radios
|No Power||Dead battery.|
Poor battery connection.
Inability to adjust the squelch often indicates a low or dead battery. (Batteries will last longer if you keep both the radio and batteries warm under your clothing.)
Mode select switch is flipped to the wrong position.
|No Transmit||Out of "line of sight" with receiving party or repeater. Try climbing
to higher ground -- even holding the radio as high as possible with
a remote clip-on mike will sometimes help. Moving away from a vehicle
may enhance transmission.
Try transmitting to other stations, field parties, or repeaters that are not in a "shadow" (Williams Field, Scott Base, Vanda, Field Safety Training, Marble Point, etc.) and ask for a relay.
Poor antenna connection.
Low battery. Weak light or no light indicates no power.
Faulty hand mike.
Repeater may be down. Trigger the mike/transmit switch and release. If you are operating through a repeater, a noise burst should be heard for approximately one second. If there is no noise, you are either not transmitting or receiving, or the repeater is down. Try another channel.
|No Receive||Weak battery. Check both the squelch and mode select switches.
Party transmitting may have a weak radio, or poor vantage point for transmitting. Get to a better site for reception or ask for a relay from another station or party.
If party transmitting is coming across poorly, try breaking squelch to receive weak incoming signal.
8.8c Troubleshooting Vehicle-Installed VHF Radios
|No Power||Radio disconnected.|
Ignition is not turned on.
|No Transmit||Faulty mike.|
Faulty or disconnected antenna.
|No Transmit||Out of "line of sight" with receiving party or repeater.. Try another channel. Try for a relay/radio check.|
|No Receive||Faulty antenna.|
Test speaker with squelch.
Try a radio check.
8.8d MCX-1000 Problems
Many of the new, digital MCX-1000 VHF radios are directly hooked up to the vehicle's batteries. If the MCX-1000 is not turned off and the vehicle is not running, the radio will rapidly drain the vehicle's battery.
Note: When the vehicle's batteries go dead, and the vehicle is subsequently jump-started by the Heavy Shop, the jump start will create a power surge and short out the radio's programming if the radio is not turned off. If this happens, the radio will need to be reprogrammed by the ET shop. To test for this problem, turn the radio on (at the volume control). The radio will perform a self test function. If the radio remains in the self test mode for more than one minute, or gives a fail indication, notify the MEC (if a science vehicle) or the ET Shop.
8.8e VHF Communications Procedures For Helicopters
You must have a radio if a helicopter leaves you in the field -- no matter how short your stay may be at that site.
A helicopter's primary means of communication with the field parties will normally be on VHF Channel 8 (FP Ops: TX-138.6, RX-143.225). Secondary communications by PRC-1099 (HF) is normally on 8997 kHz. HF communications should be prearranged with the VXE-6 helicopters prior to departure.
VXE-6 helicopters are identified by the call sign prefix "Gentle" followed by the large number painted on the aircraft's fuselage. Helo Number Eleven would be "Gentle One One."
Assuming a helo is too far away to see, and you are S-001, proper communications would be as follows:
You: "Gentle, Gentle, This is Sierra Zero Zero One, Over."
Helo: "Sierra Zero Zero One, This is Gentle One One, Copy You Loud and Clear, Over."
You: "Gentle One One, This is Sierra Zero Zero One. . .(proceed with your message)"
. = "dit" - = "dah"
|Alphabet||Morse Code||Morse Code Abbreviations|
|C||Charlie||dah-dit-dah-dit||CC||Break/I wish to interrupt|
|E||Echo||dit||CL||I'm closing my station|
|F||Foxtrot||dit-dit-dah-dit||CQ||Call any station|
|G||Golf||dah-dit-dah-dit||DE||This is an identifier|
|J||Juliet||dit-dah-dah-dah||ETA||Estimated time of arrival|
|K||Kilo||dah-dit-dah||K||Transmit now, I'm listening|
The following two pages contain diagrams of ground to air emergency signals. If radio communications with aircraft are not available, you can communicate with these signals.
* [See figure ³radio4²]
* [See figure ³radio5²]