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Thread: Coast guard outages.

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    I know a little something about this, and can state definitively from 3+ decades experience that coordinating helicopter and personnel availability, along with narrow weather windows and all the associated peripheral support necessary to safely fly radio techs to several dozen extremely remote mountain top radio sites every spring, and then as needed thereafter throughout the year is NOT a casual undertaking.

    The crux of the challenge has little to do with who the contractor is; it really doesn't matter whether it's CIRI or NANA, or Bubba Bob's Construction in Palmer. It has everything to do with owning or having ready access to helicopters, and having trained personnel with the requisite skill set readily available and paired with the helicopters so the mission can be efficiently and safely executed when weather windows permit. The irrefutable reality is that it's exponentially more complicated and inefficient from a logistical coordination standpoint for an entity like Bubba Bob's Construction to try to schedule flights with a commercial helicopter vendor to accomplish this type of mission...and ultimately much, much more expensive for the taxpayer than it would be for the USCG to do the job themselves.

    The simple fact is that there are things that government can do better, safer, more efficiently and more cost effectively; some jobs simply should NOT be farmed out.
    Yes and yes....end of discussion....

  2. #22
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    The SBA 8a program was one of the reasons I left the federal government. I was building stuff for the BLM back in the 70's and had a project with a good engineering estimate which was way lower for a bid type contract than the no-bid 8a cost given me by a "local" 8a contractor, which I refused to accept. I wanted to put the project out to bid but then got a visit from Dept. of Interior contract officers that told me they'd make up the difference if budget was a concern. I told them that wasn't it, I'm an engineer and told them I expected to get good value for the taxpayers' dollars and they then told me I didn't understand. The government uses 8a contracts as a "social tool!" That did it for me. I hated those 8a contracts. We had to train the contractors how to do the job! Social tool my ass!

  3. #23
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    I bet MacGyver could do it for $8.51. Just sayin’...


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  4. #24
    Member Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    According to the latest published notice to mariners, there are now at least 13 VHF sites offline throughout the state.

    • Bede Mountain
    • Cape Fanshaw
    • Cape Gull
    • Deception Hills
    • Mount McArthur
    • Sukkwan Island
    • Point Pigot
    • Althorp Peak
    • Marmot Island
    • Raspberry Island
    • Tuklung Mountain
    • Duffield Peninsula
    • Duke Island

    Keep in mind that 5 of these downed sites have power systems that are less than 18 months old.
    Pass this along to anyone heading out on the water. Stay safe and have a plan. It's not enough to just carry alternative communications devices - know that they work (test them); and most importantly - know how to use them.

    Hillary moved to NY and I moved out.


  5. #25
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveinthebush View Post
    According to the latest published notice to mariners, there are now at least 13 VHF sites offline throughout the state.

    • Bede Mountain
    • Cape Fanshaw
    • Cape Gull
    • Deception Hills
    • Mount McArthur
    • Sukkwan Island
    • Point Pigot
    • Althorp Peak
    • Marmot Island
    • Raspberry Island
    • Tuklung Mountain
    • Duffield Peninsula
    • Duke Island

    Keep in mind that 5 of these downed sites have power systems that are less than 18 months old.
    Pass this along to anyone heading out on the water. Stay safe and have a plan. It's not enough to just carry alternative communications devices - know that they work (test them); and most importantly - know how to use them.
    "You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Daveinthebush again."

    By my experience, the age of the power system isn't necessarily relevant. Batteries die in winter when panels are snow/ice covered and/or during winter periods of extended darkness; components get damaged by winter storms (whole systems even get blown of mountaintops by winter storms, even tho they're very robust, housed in shelters, and seriously anchored); bears chew on cables and tear down solar panels, masts and towers; and sometimes electronics simply suffer inexplicable failures. There is no such thing as a maintenance free mountain top radio site. All the sites I've worked with require annual spring visits, at a minimum.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It

  6. #26
    Member Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    You would think that most of the sites had solar panels to charge batteries at least. Next time I see a CG person in town I'll have to ask some questions. I wonder if the cold spell has anything to do with it.

    Hillary moved to NY and I moved out.


  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveinthebush View Post
    You would think that most of the sites had solar panels to charge batteries at least. Next time I see a CG person in town I'll have to ask some questions. I wonder if the cold spell has anything to do with it.
    One would think this would be the case. But the sun would have to shine in order for them to work. It’s been a super dismal Fall/Winter so far in SE until about 3 days ago. It was looking like we should build an Ark notwithstanding the comms issues.

  8. #28
    Member Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    You don't need a 100% clear day. Even with some overcast mine produces something.

    Hillary moved to NY and I moved out.


  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveinthebush View Post
    You don't need a 100% clear day. Even with some overcast mine produces something.
    If you want to know how much, measure the voltage across the battery and the current going into it.
    Keep a record of the reading and it will tell you if your having a problem.

  10. #30
    Member Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    I played with the one on the camper quite a bit measuring at odd times during the day. Interesting on angle, sunlight and sun location in the sky. Surprised me how well one works.

    Hillary moved to NY and I moved out.


  11. #31
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    Here's some older information on a link to the ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT FOR US COAST GUARDRESCUE 21 COMMUNICATION SITE IN GLACIER BAY
    https://parkplanning.nps.gov/documen...cumentID=37856

    "two generators that would run alternately as required, andtwo sets of battery packs to power the communication shelter and its electronicequipment. The shelter would be made of green coated metal and the generatorwould produce 7 kW of electricity. Batteries would be sealed, non-spilling,absorbed glass mat (AGM) type. There would be two banks of 100A17 batteries.Each bank would consist of 12 two-volt cells and would weigh approximatelyone ton. The generators would have mufflers to reduce the noise and would runonly when batteries need to be charged. Solar panels would minimize the need torun the generators in the summer. In the winter, when solar panels are lesseffective, generators would run more frequently, with average run times of 6hours at 3-day intervals."

    These sites are stand alone sites with multiple redundancies built in, with years worth of fuel supplies for the multiple generators, with solar and in some cases wind generation to augment the generators. They are designed to last through the harshest environments and operate year round with minimal maintenance. 18 month old equipment shouldn't fail at these rates, older equipment should be failing at these rates with proper maintenance. This is caused by a massive systemic failure, and somebody should be held to account for these failures. Hopefully nobody loses a life over this failure.

    We should all be contacting our elected representatives about this situation, if you haven't already.
    “I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” Physicist ― Richard Feynman


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