20150719_123327Operation Grid Down Commo Class was a success! We had a great weekend in the Connecticut wilderness.  Day one: classroom instruction.  We discussed QRP operations, scanning, intel collection and analysis, equipment options, non license radio services, field expedient antennas and related gear and many other “topics” of interest. Day two: Field Training Exercise.  Day two was an outdoor FTX in the Connecticut wilderness.


Lots of gear, lots to learn. ….


K9 unit patrols our secure perimeter

We discussed and constructed field expedient antennas.  The sudents learned techniques that can be applied to real world conditions and were able to get “hands on” with the material.  Students set up their equipment, and were able to see how field conditions can be challenging for the low power, covert operator. By Sundays end, the field operatives had completed their mission and everyone had a great time!


A “fielded” ft-817. This was a popular rig this weekend.


Intel collection with civilian MRE…..


Opposition force photo: unidentified field operations post.


The ft-817 makes a good HF field receiver

It was a great class with great people. Thank you to all who attended and all who labored to make this class possible. If you missed this one, get to class in September!  Watch the blog for further details soon.



“Tactical” picnic table in use. …


Can you see the jungle antenna? Almost camouflaged against the northern woods backdrop.


Home patrol on patrol


Woody the Owl says ” Get your comms squared away now. Get to class!”


4 thoughts on “MISSION COMPLETE

  1. Joe/Dialtone ran a great class and I’d fully recommend it to anyone. There was a range of experience in students from brand new ham to experienced ham, a range in backgrounds from no comms to folks with prior intelligence and comms responsibilities, and a range in student interests from simply wanting to communicate with local family during weather-related outages to folks who are tuned into national events and run nets. For the record, I was the newbie. Joe was able to relate to all of us and convey information that was easily understood and useful. His explanation of conventional systems versus trunked, how talk groups work, and how to determine analog vs. digital and how to program your equipment accordingly cleared up a lot of mystery for me and I suspect for some of the other students as well (I saw nodding heads and smiles). He continually asked us if we had any questions, was happy to stay late to answer questions, and when we finished, there were no questions left unanswered. On field day, Joe helped students debug their equipment and get it up and running. During the field improvised antenna building sessions, we learned not only about the various antenna types and how to construct, but Joe showed us all the different kinds of connectors, adapters, and plugs and how to jury rig antenna and power connections. Throughout he emphasized the need to be flexible, creative, and adaptable. My thanks to Joe for a great class and my thanks to fellow students who were generous in sharing their knowledge. I now have a long “to do” list.


    • Joe’s a natural born instructor, he really has a great way of delivering the information and making it relevant. I thoroughly enjoyed that class, and will be a much better communicator for having taken it. Got point search? Take Dialtones class and learn how.


  2. Worth your time at twice the price. It is one thing to talk about Jungle Antennas completely different to go hang one. The same principal applies that does for boom sticks, you would not think you were good to go by just reading about their use, so it is with field expedient comms.


  3. It was a great class, with something for all levels of experience. I learned a lot and had a great time. Great class, Dialtone!


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