A Radio Station? In Cobb?!

Calling All Stations!

Is there anybody out there willing to help us put together a radio station in Cobb, operated 24/7 by teams of young people?

CRF* is now starting (1Q2021) to develop a partnership (WIP) with another small local nonprofit which includes the goal of putting RadioCobb online and on the airwaves from a location in Cobb (near the Post Office) and possibly getting some kind of support from Lake County. It will be connected to the Cobb Area Volunteer Emergency Radio Network, which will be able to interrupt the radio station’s broadcast with brief CAVERN emergency alerts (in case of fire) as well as send out a “siren tone” over the airwaves in case of a major disaster or evacuation order.

We need feedback from the Cobb Area community. Would you please take 2 minutes to let us know a few quick things using the handy form below? We really need a few radio-savvy local people to help us launch this public information and safety service that gives young people the opportunity to serve the community both creatively and with an important purpose.

RadioCobb Community Survey #1
Just pick ONE (hopefully not the dog).
Please check all that apply to you.
If you want us to get in touch with you about this idea, we'll only use the email you give us here for that one purpose.
Donations are tax-deductible at the Harmless Little Project website for the CAVERN Project's parent Project VERN.

* CRF (CryptoRights Foundation) is the nonprofit behind the CAVERN project and it’s parent Project VERN (Volunteer Emergency Radio Network), which itself is part of CRF’s Harmless Little Project (Human Rights Technology R&D) effort.

A Snowy Rescue in Cobb

2021.01.27 — A small mountain town blanketed by a freezing white snowstorm has a certain Capra-esque quality to it. There’s also the awful 1930’s-era road conditions. Still, in this kind of weather, the bright spots that warm our hearts are the road crews (from CalTrans and the County) who weather the frigid winds and drive the impassible roads, freeing them of drifts to keep us connected to the Rest of the World and the good people of Cobb.

Today, the leading role in our little radio drama was played by Seigler_1/Mel. Cobb’s own George Bailey rescued a little freezing lost dog, a paleta mexicana, up on Hobergs hill in a very Jimmy-Stewarty way.

1:10pm: Seigler_1/Mel was mobile down in Cobb (having made it from Loch Lomond on a road plowed by CalTrans), when he spotted a small white dog (“possibly a Chihuahua”) wandering in the snowdrifts out on Hwy 175 near Evergreen. When you’re only a few inches tall, it’s not hard to get lost in a foot of snow, and it gets cold very fast.

1:18pm: Update posted to Cobb “Friends & Family” FB page by unknown CAVERN member(s). Hobergs_22 reports human is “99% sure to be Danny”.

1:19pm: Hobergs_2/Jessica (our new D5 Supervisor) reported that CalFire would be plowing the Pacific Gas station lot sometime after 1:30pm.

1:20pm: With a low-to-moderate level of difficulty, Seigler_1/Mel reported that he’d coaxed an angry little dog with very cold feet into his warm truck. There may have been some growling and snapping involved. CAVERN GMRS operators began calling for anyone with info on the dog’s human. He can’t have gone too far, we all assumed.

1:21pm: Seigler_1/Mel & the dog parked near “the road on the summit that goes by the swimming-pool”. A photo of the shivering wet poochito is requested for identification purposes.

         A little face full of love and trust… not!         (photo by Seigler_1/Mel)

1:23pm: BottleRock 2/Julie and other CAVERN members connected Seigler_1/Mel to el perrito enojado‘s human Danny and his place on nearby Evergreen Road. Since that road had not yet been plowed and was more everwhite than -green, Seigler_1/Mel managed to wrangle the dog through the snowon foot to the house. We do not know the extent, if any, of the ankle bites or ripped pantlegs he sustained for this act of kindness.

1:35pm: Seigler_1/Mel, having safely returned the dog to his family, home and most importantly food bowl, drove off into the snow flurries. The adventure was complete a short while later when we learned that Mel himself had been able to return home through the snow and arrive safe & sound.

Kudos to Mel, our Green Explorer Guy, who gets CAVERN’s good samaritan award of the day.

Thanks to all the CAVERN members who chimed in with helpful info!
To paraphrase little Zuzu Bailey, “whenever a voice is heard on the air, a yappy little angel gets to go home to his food bowl.”

Special Audible Signals

VERN • Special Signal Tones

Network Control and Group Leaders (with a GMRS radio+license) could use additional audible DTMF tones to indicate certain conditions on a Volunteer Emergency Radio Network. These tones are sent using the radio’s numeric keypad as described here for the two basic signal tones.

A standard GMRS radio, the BTECH GMRS-V1

NOTE: FRS radios generally have no keypad and are NOT able to produce tones.


For Network Control & Group Leaders ONLY, three (3) additional special audible signals are proposed. Most VERN operators will not send these but could hear them.

(3) Danger Level Signal

Keys                                                  Name                                      
 ###  ###  ###  ###  ###            Danger !
###  ###  ###  ###  ###  ###  ###  ###  ###  ###   HEY !!

• Press “pound” key 3x rapidly (a ‘triple-tap‘)
• Pause for one (1) second between each ‘triple-tap’
Repeat ‘triple-taps’ 5x-10x (more indicates higher danger)
• 10x = highest possible danger level (catastrophe: almost never used)

NOTE: These signals are sent by Network Control
   —> Only to the Emergency Alert Channel (FRS 9, GMRS 33)
—> Only when there is useful incident info to broadcast.
   —> Followed by:
            A brief incident summary.
            More info on Main VERN Repeater channel (FRS 8, GMRS 23)

(4) Group Leaders / GMRS “Gather” Signal

Keys                                                  Name                                      
  88 33 77 66                                 Group Leaders Gather

• ‘Musical’ tone for NetCon/Group Leaders to call all GMRS operators*
Press & Hold each key Twice (2x) holding for a half second each
Pause 1 second between pairs

NOTE: Spells “VV EE RR NN” for Volunteer Emergency Radio Network operators. Variations on this are still being proposed and refined.
* GMRS operators are the network‘s backbone, leading the groups and relaying other people who cannot be heard: this calls them together for something important.

(5) Test Signal

Keys                                                  Name                                      
 218  218  218                                  Start Test / End Test

Used by operators to: test the Repeater and train on using signals.
Press each key Twice (2x) holding for a half second each press.
Pause 1 second between pairs.
Preceded by saying “START Test Alert” out loud.
 • Followed by saying “Test Alert END” out loud.