SR99 Tunnel Radio Project

If you’re like me, then you read every ACS email, in which case you also know we got to play with radios today and not just our own! We had about 30 people out today to assist with our SR99 testing project. Most of those being ACS members, but we were also supported by SFD and WSDOT. The task was to determine the range of effective communications of our radios in and through the new tunnel.

We were also loaned 800 MHz radios by SFD for the exercise. Our testing consisted of staging a ham every three-tenths of a mile for the entire 2.1-mile stretch, end to end on both the north and southbound lanes. We tested simplex frequencies on VHF, UHF, and 800 MHz.  We found that the higher frequencies had the best coverage. The 800 MHz radios were readable from start to finish, while 440 covered a majority of the length for HT’s with the standard “rubber ducky” antenna.

Overall, it was a fun afternoon despite the chills of the first day of Winter. Thanks to Franz (N3HFS) for the idea, everyone who assisted, and leadership for making it happen!