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The Heyphone – A Radio Designed Specifically For Cave Communications

Heyphone

For the Thailand rescue of the children’s soccer team, it appears they were aided by a device invented by a UK Ham Radio operator.

The “Heyphone” is a voice radio designed by John Hey, G3TDZ, as open-source hardware specifically for cave rescues. It uses upper (single) sideband voice on 87 kilohertz in the LF (low frequency) band.

The antenna consists of two stakes driven into the ground about 20m apart. Enough of the current between them fringes outward to couple to another antenna up to a few hundred meters away (or down).

John Hey passed away in 2016 so he didn’t get to see his work used here. But he made a difference in this rescue and perhaps in many other cave explorations. Thank you John!

You can read all about the Heyphone and other cave communications recommendations on the UK CREG Website.

Thanks to Phil Karn via Facebook and Star Simpson via Twitter for the info!


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3 Comments

  1. Heyphone radio, could be a blessing to work in such a low frequency. Wonderful invention.

  2. Not sure who the author of this article is, but would you have any links to blueprints for making one of these from scratch? Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks!

  3. You can find out about building the original Heyphone at http://bcra.org.uk/creg/heyphone/documentation.html. NOTE: the British Cave Rescue Association is recommending newer devices: Ian Cooper’s Micro HeyPhone, which was described in the CREG Journal in 2017, Système Nicola, and Cave-Link) but these last two are semi-commercial products and not available for home construction. SO perhaps check out the design of the Micro Heyphone in that journal?

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