Direct digital receiver – when HAM radio can save your life

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Staying safe with SDR in a hurricane

We Europeans can not imagine how terrible a hurricane can be. Watching the news on TV or surfing the internet, I see several heart-smothering pictures of the destruction caused by storms. Collapsed houses, broken trees, people who lost their homes and all belongings due to something they can not stand up against. I feel deep sorrow for all of them.

These days Patricia – lovely name for a Category 5 hurricane – reached Mexico. According to meteorology experts, she became the strongest hurricane on record, passing both Linda in the eastern Pacific and Wilma in the Atlantic. This morning I was wondering what I could do in a dangerous situation like this.



Keyword is: up-to-date

In case of heavy wind, rain, and extreme weather, the communication infrastructure could brake down. TV, cell network, and commonly used news sources may become unavailable. Without up-to-date news one can not prepare for impending emergency situations. HAM radio has always been the last line of defense for these scenarios. It is independent of infrastructure, and can reach the other side of the globe.

The signals of the disaster recovery forces can be found somewhere around 125-135MHz in the VHF band. This information can be used to warn friends, relatives, or your local community if necessary.

Check out these pages for more useful frequencies:

If you are using a direct digital receiver equipment, like DRU-224 or Quadrus, you can receive VHF and UHF signals not only HF. Thus, you can get the latest news about the upcoming catastrophe from a fail-safe, trusted source. However, you need a pre-selector filter to receive a VHF band in direct digital receiver mode. You can learn more here:

The filter design and layout files are available from here:

The essentials for hurricane news reception

Let’s summarize the basic equipment for a state of the art radio:

  • direct digital receiver
  • pre-selector filter
  • wide band antenna

If you receive something interesting, strange, or amazing, don’t hesitate share with us on our Facebook page!

Stay safe!

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