This article was last updated on March 15th 2023
A typical handheld HAM radio, this model is used by multiple Willemstan citizens.
While developing the SHART, Charlie had the idea of adding radio activation but ultimately this idea never came to fruition due to laziness and cost constraints. Additionally, the development of WENIS meant purchasing a lot of HAM radio equipment. HAM radio equipment is good for surveillance, as well as trolling, and obviously communication, and is just fun to mess with. Having an old police car meant it would be easy to install a radio. So, in early April of 2022, Charlie purchased a couple HAM radios.
This idea was one of few that actually worked well in terms of Charlie's strange endevors. Unused frequencies in VHF and UHF were chosen for use and short distance tests were conducted to determine if radios would work, which they did. Then, more radios were purchased. A strange vehicle solution involving some adaptors and old WENIS equipment was tested, but ultimately it sucked so Charlie bought a proper car radio, and eventually a permanent antenna as well. Radios at that point (June 2022) were tested working at over 4 miles distance with 1 long-range radio and 1 short-range radio. Willemstan radios have proven to be an easy way to communicate short-distance (between houses) or on the road several times, and are less cumbersome than phone calls. There are currently 4 known participants who have bought radios and programmed them to Willemstan frequencies.
In December of 2022, a radio repeater was set up at the Nolan residence, so that handheld radios within a 0.5 mile radius or so can send a signal to the repeater, which will then rebroadcast the signal with a higher intensity on a different frequency for many miles. This also works in reverse. This system has been tested and used several times and works well, the furthest distance tested was 10 miles. So effectively, the distance that the radios can be used is much greater, even with weak handheld radios, as long as there is a repeater somewhat nearby. In February of 2023 this was demonsrated to the robotics team, by communicating between a weak handheld radio and a car miles away through the use of a repeater. Weather greatly impacts reliability. Vehicle radios can also function as repeaters, to extend range even further in non-permanent solutions. If any other participants purchase radios to use as repeaters, range could extend into the dozens of miles.
In January of 2023, it was found that the 155.750 MHz signal selected was getting interference from some city service or something, so it was changed to 155.500 MHz. In retrospect, this might have been due to the Michigan State Police transferring municipalities to a new digital radio system. Further radio traffic was picked up in February but it appears to be a 1-time issue.
Also, starting in November of 2022 or so, and completing in February of 2023, after experimentation from a few counties, the state of Michigan transferred over most emergency services and some municipalities to use a digital trunked radio system in the 700 MHz band. This is hard to explain, but what it means for Willemstan radio is that it will now be subject to less interference and there is much more bandwidth available for use.
On February 25th of 2023, Charlie decided to overhaul Willemstan Radio a little bit after doing some research. All channels switched to lower bandwidth, and radio settings have been adjusted to be more intuitive for users. Additionally, transmissions are now encoded in a different way.
How do you get to be a part of this? Just ask Charlie, you will be provided with all the info needed. Charlie also has some extra equipment, such as a few vehicle/base station antennas, as well as some radio amplification devices and cables. He is also willing to program HAM radios or repeaters for people who would like to join, and is willing to be a supplier of new radios... but would rather you just buy them directly on Amazon or something.
|Name||Band||Frequency||Modulation||Bandwidth||Digital Squelch Code||Uses|
|UHF1||UHF||431.750 MHz||FM||12.5 kHz||132||Short to medium range general communications, handheld radios, can be used on a vehicle if needed.|
|UHF2||UHF||431.775 MHz||FM||12.5 kHz||132||Short to medium range general communications, handheld radios, can be used on a vehicle if needed. Backup frequency, to use if using a vehicle radio as a repeater nearby, in order to avoid creating a feedback loop with any base stations.|
|VHF1||VHF||155.500 MHz||FM||12.5 kHz||132||Longer range communications, worse with handheld radios but better with vehicles or base stations.|
|VHF2||VHF||155.5125 MHz||FM||12.5 kHz||132||Longer range communications, worse with handheld radios but better with vehicles or base stations. Backup frequency, to be used between vehicles and base stations, repeated over from 155.500. Not in use yet.|
|WGOV1||UHF||Classified||FM||12.5 kHz||Classified||Willemstan Secret Police use.|