Signaling

Scouts learn how to talk to other scouts and how to do that in times of emergency when cell phones and regular phones are dead or when there are no phones anywhere around.

By now you have learned how to use a telephone and a cell phone.
Better with a bright piece of cloth used as a flag.

But what if you were caught in the wild with no phone or had to communicate with your friend in another building that is in line of sight. Here are two old and reliable methods to do that. Also there is flash light blinking at night and tapping if they can hear by sound. So how does one make a dot and dash if one can only tap. One suggestion is two quick taps are a dot and two taps at a slower rate for a dash.





A better way to learn code is learn by sound. A dot is a short dit and a dash is a longer dah. Practice often and this will help you master it. Once you do you can talk to people all over the world with a little transmitter. See ham radio below.

ones are dots twos are dashes.
Flag signaling is called wig waging. Sender directly faces receiver. Starts with flag vertical held above head.
To send a dot bring flag down on senders right side and as far right as possible, almost to ground then back up again. Avoid going too fast unless there is an expert receiver.
To send a dash Start vertical above head and bring flag to left as far to left as possible and down almost to ground then return to vertical.



Although now out of use by most the top flags were used for morse code and the bottom for semaphore.


Some camps make a signal tower for practice.
Safe way is to build it on the ground then erect it.

Fine if you can remember them.

Building a fire and making smoke to get attention and show rescuers your location. Smoke signals might work but a lot depends on the wind. And now days you can't just go around starting fires.


Faster than signal flags is a cell phone. But that costs money per call and what if there is no cell phone service? Did you know that cell phone service may be jammed during an emergency. Plan on alternative methods of contacting people.

IMPORTANT When you go out with a group decide on a place to meet and a time to meet perhaps half way thru the day or for lunch. If your cell phone should fail you can meet there. Also if seperated you can also have an agreement to meet at the last place you were together. If phones are working and you are away from home you can leave a message on the home answering machine (or with a friend who is at their home.) Everyone should know the code to have the home message machine play messages remotely. Have a designated meeting place such as at a certain eating place at the park or at the end of the day such as at the car. Good ideas to put into practice.

The Walkie Talkie is great and some can go for several miles. Some have channel blocking to lock out unwanted signals. Some have multiple channels.

CB radio may have longer range than walkie talkies. But they still have a very limited range.


Ham Radios can go around the world. You have to study and qualify for the license to use them. Non licensed people are not allowed to use them. Besides they don't know how and which band to use for what and what bands are best for the distance involved.



S Crew 3 Commander Frank Culbertson, USN Ret. Astronaut in space station talking to scout ham radio operators at Scout Jamboree.

The little Ham radio on the left was the one used ty the astronaut to talk with the scouts. So Ham radios can be very small or much larger.

International Space station screen showing scouts radio operators contacted around world.






K2BSA
In 2012, nearly 700,000 Scouts were involved operating from over 13,500 stations operated by 22,500 amateur radio operators from 142 countries around the world.


Ham Radio and Scouts